The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission heard three presentations Thursday
under a revised agenda and advanced each petition to further consideration
Feb. 20. They are:
* Construction of a Culver’s Restaurant at 506 Gateway Blvd. in Coffee
Creek Center east of Indiana 49 and the Indiana Toll Road entrance.
* A request to allow up to four, four-unit townhomes at Tamarack Plaza
at the northeast corner of Rail Road and County Road 100E.
* Development of Stone Meadows subdivision where 25 single-family
homes would be built at the southwest corner of County Road 1100N and County
Smith Family Hospitality, which has Culver’s franchises in Illinois, would
develop the one here. The Chesterton restaurant would be built east of the
Speedway fueling/convenience store and have both a drive-thru window and
outdoor seating. It also would follow the franchise’s newer beige-brick
The Culver’s petition seeks approval to make changes to Coffee Creek
Center’s 1998 planned unit development ordinance that governs uses and
construction in the PUD. Final approval of the PUD amendment would be up to
the Town Council on a recommendation from the Plan Commission.
Among the changes and generating a lengthy discussion last night was
Culver’s desire to have a 13 foot-tall monument sign when the PUD limits
such signs to 6.5 feet in height.
Commission president George Stone said a slight increase might be
acceptable. “Some is alright. The question is, how much is some?”
Commission member Emerson DeLaney said at 13 feet the structure would be the
tallest monument sign in town, and Speedway’s lower sign doesn’t hinder its
business. Member Jeff Trout said letting Culver’s have a taller sign could
open a can of worms the town doesn’t want.
Member Tom Kopko said the town is getting a lot more restrictive with its
sign ordinance, not less.
Kopko and building commissioner Mike Orlich suggested to project contractor
Christopher McGuire of McCon Building Corporation that Culver’s corporate
office accept a lower monument sign, especially since the Culver’s name will
be on all four sides of the building.
McGuire said a brick base to clear landscaping, reader board to advertise
daily offerings and the Culver’s name atop both is the company’s standard
monument style; corporate already shot down having a lower sign in Florida,
he added, but the request will be made for Chesterton even though he
believes 13 feet is a reasonable height.
Attorney David Woodward representing Smith Family Hospitality said the
company needs a public hearing in February to keep the project moving or it
won’t go forward. Vote to set the hearing was 7-0 in favor.
Tamarack Plaza townhomes
Representing Tamarack Plaza, attorney Greg Babcock said its owner is seeking
the flexibility to possibly build up to four, four-unit townhomes north of
an existing commercial building in the project. Two additional commercial
lots currently are vacant.
Babcock said the townhomes are a good use near existing single-family
residences in the area, and they promote the live/work concept of keeping
living space near employment centers.
“I’m delighted residential is back in the picture,” said Stone. DeLaney said
live/work is a wonderful way to go either residential or commercial.
Like Coffee Creek, Tamarack was approved in 2001 as a PUD so changes to its
governing ordinance need to be done as an amendment. Vote to set the public
hearing Feb. 20 was unanimous.
Stone Meadows proposed
The new 10.5-acre subdivision’s concept review Thursday generated questions
regarding drainage and traffic access. Babcock and developer Bill Stone said
homes on approximately 1/4-acre lots would be about $250,000 to $325,000 and
comparable to more upscale homes in Jackson Township.
The site --- across from Dogwood Park and Bethlehem Lutheran Church ---
includes the former Victory Park driving range parcel on CR1100N and would
have entrances off it and 50W. A 1.66-acre detention pond for the
subdivision would be located at the southwest corner of that intersection.
Commission members inquired about the fact a proposed east/west Meadow Court
does not end in a cul-de-sac, rather in a T shape for turnarounds at the
subdivision’s west border. It was determined that design is preferable to
preserve access in the event vacant land to the west is developed.
Vote to set Stone Meadows for a preliminary hearing Feb. 20 was unanimous.
2014 officers selected
During annual reorganization Stone was retained as president and Kopko was
elected vice-president. Gail Murawski was named secretary.
Stone, member Sig Niepokoj and town engineer Mark O’Dell were retained to
serve on the Plat Committee, which rarely meets.
Following a brief discussion the commission voted 7-0 to set for public
hearing next month a revision of the town’s sign ordinance. Minor changes
had been made to the draft discussed in December. Final approval will be up
to the Town Council.
Also Thursday, vote was 6-0 with Trout recusing himself to authorize the
town to call on a letter of credit for the Venturi development if a revised
LOC isn’t in hand by noon Monday. The matter deals with sidewalks.
Representing Venturi, Babcock said all sidewalks are in and approved; a new
two-year maintenance guarantee for them was being finalized but the bank
omitted needed language so it needs to be redone, he explained.