Chesterton Tribune



Preliminary hearing Thursday on Nekus retirement village

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The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the town hall.

At that meeting, planners are scheduled to hold a preliminary hearing on the petition of John Nekus to develop a “retirement village” on the 11.28 acres which he owns behind the Chesterton Post Office. Nekus’ attorney, Greg Babcock, has represented the concept as a “substantial change” from the planned unit development which planners voted 5-2 to reject earlier this year. Those changes, according to Babcock, include the following:

¥The retirement village would provide for the construction of 42 residential units in 21 duplexes, compared to the 62 units which Nekus was seeking to build in the PUD.

¥All roadways and sidewalks would be built to Town Standards and dedicated to the town. That is, they would be public, not private, as the original PUD called for.

¥The retirement village would be developed according to the requirements of the B-3 zone and there would be no need for any “relief,” that is, for variances of any kind.

¥A “community center” would be built for residents of the retirement village.

Planners, however, could struggle over the Zoning Ordinance’s definition of “retirement village” and whether it actually applies to Nekus’ concept: “A business venture for the establishment of a retirement village for senior citizens that will provide for the privacy of the individual residents in private dwelling units but also including such basic services as barber shops, beauty shops, gift shops, pharmacies, and a centralized kitchen and dining area.”

More: “A retirement village must also meet all of the following criteria: (1) have a centralized kitchen and dining area to accommodate all occupants of the facility; (2) have a full-time staff member on site; (3) comply with all ADA requirements; (4) have a maximum of two persons per unit; and (5) at least one occupant of each unit must be 55 years of age.”

At issue: whether Nekus proposes to build an actual retirement village or just a residential subdivision in a B-3 zone.

Public Hearing

Planners are also scheduled on Thursday to hold a public hearing on a petition from the Villages of Sand Creek Home Owners Association.

Specifically, the HOA wants to amend the PUD ordinance to use $40,000 which for years has been held in escrow to build sidewalks, instead to expand a children’s play area located just north of Sawgrass Drive and east of Ballenisle Court.

In June, the HOA’s attorney, Clay Patton, told planners that for various reasons the sidewalks were never built and at this pointÑgiven the fact that they were meant to be routed behind residents’ homesÑthe sidewalks would probably irk a lot of folks interested in privacy.

Secondary Plat

Finally, planners are scheduled to consider granting secondary plat approval for the Dollar General project being pursued by Tom Lipinski on the old Lipinski Automotive property at 1300 Broadway.

Last month planners unanimously approved a re-plat of the property into two parcels and a re-zone of the easternmost parcel from I-1 to B-3 for the development of a Dollar General.



Posted 10/14/2019




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