Chesterton Tribune



Improvements advance for traffic issues in Burns Harbor Village

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Work continues on resolving traffic and sight issues on Burns Boulevard within sections of the Village In Burns Harbor.

Burns Harbor Street Department Superintendent Pat Melton said stop signs have been painted to make them more noticeable and the Town Council asked him Wednesday to keep painting white crossing lines to mark the corners.

But the Village Property Association is hoping to do more to mitigate problems after the Council last month asked that it trim the overhanging trees in view of the stop signs.

POA President Jeff Freeze wrote a letter to the Council saying that a quote was solicited for tree trimming but the POA determined it was not able to cover the whole neighborhood. He asked the Council to allow more time to resolve the issue.

Stop signs, speed limit signs and one-way street signs have been ordered and the POA will work with Melton and the Police Department to install those, Freeze said. Melton said he could also find some paint for the fire hydrants as well.

Freeze however implored the Council to not ban parking on Burns Boulevard, stressing in his letter that it is “vitally important to the neighborhood.”

“We are sensitive to the importance of emergency vehicle traffic, but taking away such a large amount of parking will have a very negative impact on residents and ultimately the town,” Freeze said, adding that POA is willing to enforce the Town ordinance that parking not be allowed when there is two or more inches of snowfall.

Fire Chief Bill Arney, who resides near Burns Blvd., said he does have a concern about getting a fire truck through. There was one section of the road last week where “we would not have gotten an engine down there” with cars parked on both sides of the street.

“They need to figure something out,” Arney said. “We could get an engine down there if possible but there is one particular home where a car is parked away from the curb.”

Arney said the Town could choose to allow parking on only one side, but it could “cause havoc between the neighbors.”

Council Member Eric Hull said if parking is eliminated completely, it’s “going to be a drag strip.”

“It was before the houses were in. That’s not a good solution,” Hull said, who agreed one-sided parking is an alternative worth researching.

Council President Ray Poparad asked Arney to talk with Freeze and see what his feelings are on having one-sided parking on Burns Blvd.

The Council agreed with member Toni Biancardi’s suggestion to give the POA another month to see what can be done about the trees.

Hull said he appreciates the POA ordering the signs and lauded them for doing what they can.

Village alley dedication

Later, there was more discussion on the ongoing issue involving a request by Sarah Oudman for the alley in Phase 4B of the Villages In Burns Harbor to be accepted by the Town. Oudman owns the part of the property with the alley and made the request, but the development is being done by Traditions Apartments and In Good Company whose contractor is Core Construction.

Poparad said regarding the stipulations the Town put on the alley to be accepted for the legal description, an engineer was not on site when the section was put in according to the Town’s specifications, although for the section to the north an engineer was on site. Because there is no record of the south section being inspected by a Town engineer, he suggested that Global Engineering take core samples to determine whether it meets the specifications for dedication.

The specifications call for a base of ten inches deep, three inches of binder and two inches of cap, Poparad said. “I think we need to make sure it’s acceptable before we accept the dedication,” said Council member Toni Biancardi.

Shem Kahlil, of Global Engineering, said he would try to be on site this week to take the samples. The Council voted 5-0 to accept the dedication of the alley, on a motion by Council member Kevin Tracy, if the sample checked out in two locations, but it decided to hold off on accepting the infrastructure to be put in by the developers.

In order to accept the infrastructure, the developer would have had to post a maintenance bond which has not happened, Khalil said.

The Council also agreed to waive the sidewalk there. Poparad said he met with John Hicks of Traditions this past month on a sidewalk on the east side of the property that “went to nowhere” and asked that the Council waive that since it doesn’t connect to the sidewalks on the south end. The Council voted 5-0 in favor of the wavier.

The Council also discussed getting the large amounts of dirt on the northwest corner of the development removed.

Khalil recommended the Town get a plan for any moving of dirt, with an engineering plan devised by the developer’s engineer for the Town to remove dirt from that lot.

Biancardi said the dirt and the issue of drainage should be addressed before the developers come back to the Plan Commission.



Posted 8/14/2017




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