After two final plats were approved Monday by the Warsaw Plan Commission, City Planner Jeremy Skinner gave the board a heads-up about an upcoming housing discussion.

The first final plat approved was for 13 lots at Harrison Ridge subdivision on the northeast side of Husky Trail, north of Harrison Elementary School. The applicant – who was not present – was listed as Harrison Lake Development LLC.

Senior Planner Justin Taylor said the final plat for section 3 of Harrison Ridge was submitted and reviewed for conformity to the city’s subdivision control ordinance. The subdivision meets all of the development requirements for a Residential-2 zoning district.

He said the final plat is consistent with the preliminary plat that was approved in 2006. “So we see no reason for you not to approve the final plat for the Harrison Ridge phase 3 subdivision,” Taylor said.

Rick Keeven, commission member, asked what the price range of the homes in there were. Skinner said they’re $220,000 to $250,000.

“Oh, they’re pretty nice homes then,” Keeven responded, and then asked if that home price falls in the range that the city has a need for.

“I think that is a category the city needs. We’re currently doing a housing study that is going to tell us hopefully a lot more about what that need is,” Skinner said. “We’re hoping to have that done by sometime in December.”

Diane Quance, commission member and city councilwoman, said she visited the Harrison Ridge subdivision two weeks ago.

“All of the homes are occupied now, and then they’ve already started building some homes down in this area, and a couple of homes already have sold signs on them. Some of them are being rented, so there’s renters in there, so they belong to like a landlord and then they’re renting, but they’re still nice homes and they seem to be going. The people that live there were talking to me about being excited about this road being extended and knowing people wanted to move in there,” Quance said.

With no remonstrators, the final plat was approved 5-0.

The second final plat was for the Greenmark Subdivision at 2020 Polk Drive, with four lots created out of one. It’s in an Industrial-2 Commercial zoning on 21.25 acres. The applicant – represented by attorney Steve Snyder – is TLCO Inc.

Taylor said the final plat was submitted in a timely fashion and reviewed for its conformity to the subdivision control ordinance.

“There is an extension of Polk Drive that will remain private at this time. With that said, there’s no reason for us not to approve the final plat with this subdivision,” Taylor said.

Keeven asked if the subdivision was going to be a commercial one. Skinner said it would be industrial.

Snyder said his only comment was to agree with Taylor completely. There were no remonstrators to the petition, and it was approved 5-0.

Since housing came up during the meeting, Skinner told the commission he wanted to talk to the members a little bit about the city’s current efforts at starting “the ability for us to do two residential TIFs.”

He said they’ll start at the Redevelopment Commission in November, followed by the Plan Commission, City Council and then return to the Redevelopment Commission.

“So sometime here in November, you’ll have before you two proposed residential TIF districts,” he said, adding that the city is holding four public meetings to engage the public.

Public engagement sessions for the “south” proposed district will be at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and 30 at Eisenhower Elementary School, 1900 S. County Farm Road, Warsaw. The session for the “north” proposed district will be at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 28 at Harrison Elementary School, 1300 Husky Trail, Warsaw.

“They are within those residential TIF areas,” Skinner said. More information on the TIF districts can be found on the city’s website and Facebook pages, or at Skinner’s office in the city hall.

Quance said it was her understanding the city had to finish the process by year’s end, and Skinner said that was correct.

He also explained, “So the TIF district will give us a set of tools. It’s not going to set housing, it’s not going to create housing, it’s going to give us a set of tools to incentivize housing. How we use that set of tools is still up to us as a community. There will be a lot of discussion going forward on how do we utilize this new set of tools that the state has enabled us to take advantage of.”

He said he hoped the housing study would provide a better understanding of what type of housing the city is lacking.

“If you ask me, I think it’s going to be a very broad range. I think we’re lacking a variety of a lot of different housing – whether it be apartments, single-family homes. Price ranges, probably two or three different price ranges we’re lacking,” Skinner said.

“It’ll be up to us as a community to take these tools that we’re going to take advantage of and use them to fill in those gaps,” Skinner said.

In one other piece of business, the board also noted it was member Jim Gast’s 75th birthday and congratulated him on the milestone.