Starke County Commissioners Render Decision on Lot Vacation Request

Several lots in San Pierre will not be vacated following a decision by the Starke County Commissioners Monday morning.

Tom DeCola, representing Argento, LLC, asked to vacate portions of land surrounding property he owns off of U.S. 421 in San Pierre. One reason he gave was to prevent trespassing.

 As explained by Auditor Rachel Oesterreich, the portion of land he wants to vacate is adjacent to the property and into the center of a parcel that was meant to be an extension of Clay Street to White Street, but it never materialized.  He would also like to vacate to the center lane of the alleys adjacent to the lots. 

One adjacent property owner objected to the petition to vacate the lots.  She stated that she didn’t see the need to do that. 

Commissioner Bryan Cavender stated that he doesn’t like the fact that alleyways would be vacated as they could be used as a venue for future utilities, like internet.  Commission President Charlie Chesak commented that he doesn’t like residents giving up ground and the county hasn’t given up land in the past. 

DeCola argued that the land shouldn’t be preserved as a right-of-way in undeveloped areas in San Pierre with platting that dates over 100 years.  He offered right-of-ways in adjoining streets rather than on the property he proposing to vacate. 

“The reason for vacation is to create buildable space to establish septic tanks and plans for housing,” said DeCola.  “To preserve that type of easements for future broadband is absolutely erroneous considering people have WiFi hotspots on their phone like I do now.  I mean, broadband is a thing of the past.  Suggestions or statements regarding this issue are totally erroneous and it’s preventing the growth and the economic development of that area.” 

Citing their reasons and those opposed to the vacation, Cavender and Chesak both voted to deny the vacation of the lots.  Commissioner Kathy Norem was not present.