Preliminary plans for a condominium development near Jay County High School have been approved.

Portland Board of Works voted unanimously in favor Thursday of CB Development’s preliminary plans for a 35-unit condominium development at the southwest corner of Indiana 67 and county road 75 south.

Josh Atkinson, who is serving as the attorney for Geneva-based CB Development, explained that Thursday’s board of works approval was just a preliminary step in the process. He and business owner Glen Coblentz first presented plans for the project at Portland Plan Commission’s meeting in June.

Atkinson has since visited with Jay County Sheriff’s Office, Portland Fire Department, Jay County Health Department, Portland Wastewater Department, Jay County Soil and Water Conservation District and Jay County Drainage Board and received initial approval from all of them. Though the property is outside of Portland city limits, it is within the city’s 2-mile buffer for zoning and CB Development plans to utilize city sewer services.

The nearby lift station has the capacity to handle the additional wastewater, Atkinson said.

The plans call for 35 single-story homes (three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an attached garage) to be built along a new U-shaped road that would have two outlets on county road 75 south. All of the “common ground” in the development would be owned jointly by the members of the condominium association, which would handle mowing, snow removal, trash pick-up, etc. There is likely to be a water feature in the center of the property to account for drainage rather than having water go directly to the Salamonie River to the west.

CB Development plans to have a buffer of trees between the homes and the storage units it plans to build between the condominium development and Indiana 67.

“That’s what we need. We need housing,” said board member Jerry Leonhard. “So this would be a blessing.”

Board members Portland Mayor John Boggs, Steve McIntosh and Leonhard gave the OK to the initial plans.

Atkinson said he hopes to be able to submit formal plans for the development to Jay/Portland Building and Planning Department next week. CB Development would then likely seek a favorable recommendation for rezoning the property at the August meeting of Portland Plan Commission. It would then move to Portland City Council for approval.

Also Thursday, Boggs told the board TLS By Design owner Jeff Day has approached the city to indicate his preference as an adjacent property owner that the former Sheller-Globe south building be demolished and the area left as green space. Boggs said Day would like to acquire a portion of the paved area for parking and would be willing to trade land between his business at 410 S. Bridge St. and the Salamonia River to the west.

Day is assisting the city with getting quotes for demolition and removal of debris from the former industrial site.

The property at 510 S. Bridge Street is owned by the city, which earlier this year terminated a previous agreement to sell the property to Jon Goodhew of Goodhew Roofing and Metals.

The city is also seeking estimates on the cost to renovate the building as a new headquarters for its street department.

Boggs emphasized that no agreement has been made with Day and that he was simply informing his fellow board members of another option for the long-vacant property.

The mayor also reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to accept about a half an acre of wetland mitigation to reduce the city’s financial burden at the former XPLEX Extreme Competition Park site on county road 100 North. The city is still required to spray three times this summer to eliminate multiflora rose and honeysuckle.

When that is done, the city will owe $41,600 to IDEM for mitigation credits to complete its responsibility after wetland areas were damaged when XPLEX was constructed in 2004 and 2005. It had previously had a price tag of about $70,000.

“So we’re going to save some money,” Boggs said.
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