Land Use Committee

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 972 3799 5674

Passcode: 565520

+1 312 626 6799 US


6100 Southport Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

(219) 763-6060

1.0 Call to Order by Chairman George Topoll

2.0 Minutes of January 7, 2021 (pp. 1 - 2)

For Review


Sensible Tools Handbook Update

Eman Ibrahim


Indiana Legislative Update

Eman Ibrahim


Communities Update


6.0 The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday August 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

7.0 Adjournment


Requests for alternate formats please contact NIRPC at (219) 763-6060 or Individuals with hearing impairments may contact us through the Indiana Relay 711 service.

For Interpreter Services please contact NIRPC at (219) 763-6060 or 72 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting.

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 Virtual Meeting January 7, 2021 Minutes

This meeting was convened as an electronic meeting, pursuant to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04 and 20-09, extended by Executive Order 20-50. All persons were meeting remotely on a Google Meet platform that allowed for real time interaction and supported the public’s ability to observe and record the proceedings. When the agenda item was provided for public comment, this was supported as well. A roll call was taken to motion and approve the agenda items.

Greg Stinson called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m. with a roll call. In attendance were Greg Stinson (Porter), Robert Thompson (Porter), Craig Phillips (St. John), George Topoll (Union Township), Nick Bellar (Winfield), David Wright (GPTC), Eric Wolverton (Structure Point), Jeff Huet (Schererville), Ross Pietrzak (Hobart), Kristina Kuzma (Lake County), Katie Vallis (IDNR), Mike Jabo (Valparaiso), Adrian Vera (Lake Station), Beth Shrader (Valparaiso), and Bryan Blazak (St. John).

NIRPC staff present were Eman Ibrahim, Meredith Stilwell, Scott Weber, Candice Eklund, Kevin Polette, Gabrielle Biciunas, and Flor Baum.

On motion by George Topoll and second by Nick Bellar, the LUC approved the minutes of the November 5, 2020 meeting.

Eman Ibrahim presented on the NIRPC TOD (Transit Oriented Development) Project Update. Eman recapped that there are three TOD categories.

The TOD III requirements will differ from TOD I and II. A data analysis was presented for all three TODs. Data included acres, population, employment, housing, walking and biking scores, ridership/year, and bus/train frequency per day. Additional points were given to communities who already had a TOD plan in place. This data was also scored to make a recommendation on what type of development is needed to determine funding allocation to its respective TOD. David Wright (GPTC) requested NIRPC staff to consider other bus stations to be included in the TOD. Not all major bus stops could be accepted because there is not enough funding. Therefore, only the highest scoring stations could be selected. The train station is already funded by the RDA. The five major bus stations that were recommended were Broadway/11th – Gary, Broadway/35th – IUN area – Gary, Broadway/Century Plaza/US 30 – Merrillville, Downtown East Chicago, and Campbell/Brown – Valparaiso. On motion by George Topoll and second by Nick Bellar the LUC approved adding the five stations to the TOD upon contingency of Eman sending calculation information to the committee for the scoring.

The TDD area was modified in the TOD Funding Program. Eligible areas for funding include the identified TOD area, which includes all or partial of the Transit Development District (TDD) areas within half a mile of the existing South Shore and future Westlake stations. All parcels within a block

that intersect with the half a mile boundary are also eligible. On motion by Beth West and second by David Wright, the committee agreed to approve the modification of the TDD area.

Eman presented on the NOFA applications. There were three planning projects: GPTC, NIRPC, and Valparaiso. Requested data was not received before the November deadline to make changes to the GPTC score of 86. NIRPC has many variable locations within the three counties that requires state safety audits, rendering a score of 95. The City of Valparaiso’s funding request for a trail scored an

89. There were four New Road Projects: Hobart’s 1 – 83rd project scored a 53, LaPorte County’s North – South Corridor scored a 68, Porter County’s Willow Creek project scored a 58, and St. John’s Cline Ave scored a 65. Scott presented on the Quality of Place NOFA applications. The three projects were presented at the STC meeting and recommended to be considered for funding in front of the next Technical Planning Committee (TPC) meeting. The projects in consideration are the Town of Schererville’s Kennedy Avenue project, Porter County’s Willow Creek Road project, and the Town of St. John’s Cline Ave project for PE to be moved forward. On motion by George Topoll and second by Nick Bellar, the LUC approved to recommend the NOFA scores as they are to the Technical Planning Committee.

The next meeting of the Land Use Committee will be on May 6, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Hearing no other business, the meeting adjourned at 12:01 p.m.