A preview of the proposed Alliance Business Center at Indiana 49 and County
Road 950N will have to wait until next month.
Representing Alliance developers, attorney Cliff Fleming told the Chesterton
Advisory Plan Commission on Thursday that a dialogue is ongoing with town
department heads how the 81-acre project can unfold and there’s still a lot
of input to be consolidated.
Rather than engage in a discussion when some aspects of the planned unit
development might change, Fleming explained, he requested that last night’s
scheduled preliminary hearing on the PUD be continued until Sept. 19. The
commission voted 7-0 to do so. If the petition is in order at that time, a
public hearing will be set.
Outside the meeting room, Fleming said engineers are fine-tuning the
Alliance PUD details. “We’re making sure the developer comes up with uses
and standards both the town and developer believe will induce the quality
development to take place there we’re looking for.”
In other business, the commission conducted a public hearing on a minor
technical amendment to the district boundaries for a portion of Coffee Creek
Center necessitated by the recent 157-acre purchase of land there by Urschel
Laboratories Inc. for a new manufacturing facility and corporate
Fleming spoke in favor and no one spoke in opposition; the commission voted
unanimously to recommend the change to the Town Council for final action.
Also Thursday, commission member Sig Niepokoj reported that after months of
work a committee has completed its review of the town’s sign ordinance, and
a final draft of the new proposals could be ready for the commission to
discuss next month.
Tatoo shops OK?
Commission and Town Council member Emerson DeLaney said he’s had three
different requests recently asking to open a tatoo shop in Chesterton, but
it’s his understanding that isn’t identified in the zoning table of uses so
a use variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals is needed. That was
confirmed by commission/BZA attorney Chuck Parkinson.
DeLaney said since tatoo shops are licensed by the Health Department, is it
time for Chesterton to add them as an allowable use in certain zoning
districts? Town building commissioner Mike Orlich said the entire table of
uses is antiquated and needs to be updated to better address current
business, professional and light manufacturing uses.
Commission president George Stone said it sounds like a new committee should
be assembled to review the use table like the sign ordinance was.
Any changes to both the sign ordinance and table of uses would be made by
the Town Council following a public hearing and recommendation from the Plan
Tree replacement quizzed
At the meeting’s conclusion Steve Bushore asked from the audience if the
town participates in cutting down dying ash trees.
DeLaney said there is a waiting list for the Street Department to cut down
dead/dying trees in the public right-of-way and because of the emerald ash
borer infestation, “We’re being inundated by that.”
DeLaney said typically town property is from the sidewalk to the street in
most cases but not always. Attorney Andre’ Wright, who represented Coffee
Creek Center on the Urschel matter, said in CCC private property there
extends to the back of the curb at the street.
CCC is systematically removing diseased trees on its property and replacing
them where appropriate with substitute trees, said Wright.
In both the town’s case and at CCC, said officials, trees on private
property are the homeowner’s responsibility to remove/replace although
Wright said at CCC approval by the Homeowners Association may be needed
first for such projects.
DeLaney said Chesterton, a recognized Tree City, has a cost-share program
for tree replacement on public property. He said the town also makes
available free tree guidelines through certified forester Gina Darnell.
DeLaney suggested residents with tree questions contact the Street
Department at 926-2222.