Chesterton Tribune

 

 

LEL Gateway extension will replace paving bricks

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Fourteen years after it was first proposed, a bid could be let next month on a 700-foot continuation of Gateway Boulevard east of the main entrance to Coffee Creek Center.

The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission reviewed developer Lake Erie Land's project Thursday; no action was needed although the plans were explained and reviewed.

Installation of the extension, a multi-lane parkway with planted median and sidewalks, also will include reconstruction of the original Gateway Boulevard to replace its brick pavers with a conventional road surface. The pavers have proven difficult to maintain.

The extended road, which will end near Johnson Ditch, will enable development of a large tract to the east purchased by Urschel Laboratories for a new manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters.

Urschel will be installing the culvert, Johnson Ditch bridge and a cul-de-sac east of it, said LEL engineer Michael Johnston of Lawson-Fisher Associates of South Bend.

Current plans are for the extension to include new storm sewers, curbs and two approved detention areas; Johnston said additional detention areas south of Gateway for future development also are proposed and approval is pending before the Porter County Drainage Board.

Johnston said warmer, dryer weather is needed to tear out the pavers and their base. Commission president George Stone, long a critic of the pavers, welcomed the change to asphalt. "The vision of those (Urschel) trucks on pavers was not a good one."

Commission member Sig Niepokoj asked if the Coffee Creek streets that serve Speedway, Hilton Garden Inn, Lakeshore Bone and Joint and other businesses will remain open during the road work.

Town engineer Mark O'Dell said yes, especially with doctors' offices and a dialysis center there that needs to remain open.

Tamarack changes advance

On a 7-0 vote the commission recommended that the Town Council approve changes to the Tamarack Plaza development at the northeast corner of Rail Road and County Road 100E.

Proposed amendments to a 2001 ordinance governing the project would allow developer Paul Shinn the option of having four, four-unit townhomes instead of commercial buildings. After 13 years only one commercial building was built and Shinn said he hopes residential will be more marketable.

During a public hearing last month, some neighbors balked at possibly having 16 rental units in their area. To address that, Tamarack attorney Greg Babcock submitted revised language that better defines condominiums. After the meeting commission attorney Julie Paulson said the new language doesn't prohibit rentals of the condo units.

Commission member Jeff Trout said a lot of young professionals want to be mobile, and empty nesters don't want the obligations tied to home ownership.

Babcock said the town still would review floor plans, covenants and other aspects of any residential buildings proposed. He also said a berm with trees is in place on the property's west side.

Stone inquired if anyone in the audience wanted to comment on the Tamarack petition but no one did. He noted Jeff Dueberry submitted a letter restating the opposition he voiced Feb. 20.

Stone Meadows April 17

At developer Marci Stone's request the commission unanimously rescheduled to April 17 a planned public hearing on 25-lot Stone Meadows subdivision.

As attorney for the project, Babcock said the developer still is working with the Chesterton Utility Service Board and construction drawings are being finalized. The single-family subdivision would be located on 10.5 acres at the southwest corner of County Roads 1100N and 50W.

Also Thursday, the commission asked Paulson to prepare language to modify its 2012 stop-work order so homes already built in the Villages of Sand Creek can obtain building permits to make improvements.

The original intent was that new construction only be prevented until issues with the developer are resolved, but discussion last month showed the meaning of the original 2012 motion was not clear and existing homeowners were being penalized.

 

 

Posted 3/21/2014