Land Use Committee

Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

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6100 Southport Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

(219) 763-6060

1.0 Call to Order by Chairman Greg Stinson

2.0 Minutes of February 6, 2020

Action Required: Approval

3.0 Discussion: Upcoming Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) (Staff will lead a discussion of the plans for the upcoming Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), the next open opportunity for eligible applicants to apply for federal funds for surface transportation projects. James Winter

    1. Regional Planning Eman Ibrahim

    2. TOD Project Update/ Program Funding

    3. E-Commerce Project Update

5.0 Communities Update Everyone

    1. Next Meeting

    2. Next meeting Thursday November 05, 2020 at 10:30 am


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The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program.


NIRPC Dune Room March 5, 2020 Minutes

Members and visitors: George Topoll, Amy Blaker, Kristina Kuzma, George Malis, Katie Valis, Nick Beliar, Richard Morrisroe, and David Wright.

NIRPC Staff: Eman Ibrahim, Kevin Polette, Joe Exel, Gabrielle Biacunas, and Flor Baum. George Topoll called the meeting to order at 10:33 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.

On motion by Nick Bellar and second by George Malis, the minutes of the October 3, 2019 meeting were approved.

Living Streets Update Presentation

Joe Exl presented on the Living Streets Resolution draft policy that is merging both Complete and Green Streets elements into one policy. The draft policy will be presented and reviewed by each topical committee before being recommended to the Commission meeting for final approval. All comments need to be submitted to Mitch Barloga at or 219-254-2518. If approved, the policy will be used at the next Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The committee discussed the quality of porous surfaces withstanding climate change. If installed and maintained properly, porous surfaces can reduce icing and salt usage during the winter months. The design guidelines have not been finalized.

Regional Planning

Eman Ibrahim updated on the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The project will continue until the end of June. The e-commerce projects will have recommendations that are related to transportation improvements and best locations that could accommodate e-commerce land. As a result of the e-commerce project, there will be criteria included in the next call for projects in the 2021 NOFA.

Eman Ibrahim updated the committee on the Sensible Tools Handbook (STH). The working group has all the modifications and changes for the updates of the STH. The report will be issued in 2021. Feedback from the Land Use Committee (LUC) will be taken into d by the end of consideration.

Eman Ibrahim updated on the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project. The project will be complete by the end of June. Criteria and regulations for funding will be developed, and there will be a recommendation for funding in 2021.

Eman Ibrahim presented on Indiana’s Legislative Update for Planning and Zoning. A hardcopy of the bills was provided to the committee.

Communities Update

George Topoll stated that the Lake Michigan Coastal Program accepted the pre-proposal grant request to develop the Union gap area. However, the pre-proposal did not make it to the second round. They will continue to make efforts in the near future.

George also noted that he spoke to the engineer for the Willowcreek project. Right of way acquisition is also in the works. The engineering and environmental studies have been completed.

David Wright stated that the Facade Program for businesses that are near the Broadway Metro Express corridor are receiving funds from the City of Gary and the RDA. There is also federal funding from last year’s TIP that matches local funding to increase the budget.

Katie Valis updated the committee on Lake Michigan erosion. The Department of Homeland Security has set up a website with links and forms where individual property owners can report damages.

Eman Ibrahim gave an update on the Downtown Hammond plan. A presentation of the plan was provided by the City of Hammond. The plan to eliminate a disenfranchised downtown core has an emphasis on housing demand, a train station, and walkability within the downtown area. The project’s transformation is expected to expand south and east within a comfortable walking range of the train station. A link was also provided:

The next meeting of the Land Use Committee will be on May 7, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. Hearing no other business, George Topoll adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.