WARSAW — Warsaw Mayor Joseph Thallemer presented a large task to the Plan Commission during the meeting held last night, Jan. 8. Thellemer urged the board to look at solutions to combat the lack of workforce housing in the area.
“A lot of communities are facing this challenge. The median income has not kept pace with the cost to build,” explained Thallemer. “We are hearing this straight from the employers, it’s a workforce problem. There’s no simple, easy answer.”
Thallemer suggested the board look into various zoning issues and consider changing the setbacks and lot sizes, which would allow more homes in smaller areas. This would in turn allow builders to earn more money on a neighborhood, allowing the builder to lower the home prices.
“Providing density in these neighborhoods would provide incentives to builders to build in that area,” continued Thallemer.
City Planner Jeremy Skinner explained that the first step towards a solution would be to sit down with all parties involved, including contractors, developers and builders. Once a plausible incentive is discovered, the Warsaw Plan Commission would be able to approve or deny the incentive.
Since this was the first meeting of the year, some annual tasks needed to be completed. Dan Stevens’ term as board member had expired. Mayor Thallemer was present to swear Stevens in for an additional four-year term. The board then voted on the elected official positions. The board unanimously agreed to keep the same arrangement with Tom Allen as president, Rick Keevan as vice president and Kim Arnold as secretary.
Two requests were then approved for minor replatting.
The first request was for plat seven of 103 Enterprise Drive, Warsaw, owned by Warsaw Community Church. The replat readjusted property lines to allow extra land to be sold by the church in the future as office space is consolidated. The board unanimously approved this request.
The second request was to replat 652, 653 and 655 S. Buffalo St., owned by Jim Lemler. The replatting would split the lots into four lots, making the land easier to sell in the future. The board also unanimously approved this request.
The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12 at Warsaw City Hall, 102 S. Buffalo St.