Chesterton Tribune



Stone Meadows developer speaks against plan for neighboring property

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There was only one remonstrator Monday night at a public hearing on a proposed annexation of 59 acres off 1100N, but the Chesterton Town Council got an earful.

Under consideration: 58.89 acres owned by PSR LLC, located on the south side of 1100N, mostly west of 23rd Street and immediately opposite the soccer fields at Dogwood Park, but also immediately adjacent to the Stone Meadows subdivision east of 23rd Street.

Attorney Greg Babcock, representing PSR, told the council that less than half of the acreage is actually developable and that PSR will be seeking a planned unit development ordinance before the Advisory Plan Commission which would include paired- and tri-patio homes as well as two commercial buildings of around 4,000 square feet each.

On Monday, the only consideration before the council was a public hearing on the proposed annexation and a fiscal plan prepared by PSR, which deals with the impact of a new PUD development on municipal services. The actual particulars of the PUD ordinance itself will be negotiated later, between PSR and the Plan Commission.

No one spoke in favor of the annexation. But William Stone, developer of the Stone Meadows subdivision--located right next to PSR’s acreage and to which his subdivision would be linked to PSR’s by an internal connector roadway--made it clear that he’s adamantly opposed to the sort of development which PSR is looking to build.

Stone told the council that each of the 25 planned homes in his development is sited on a “good-sized lot” and that he sold those lots “to good community members,” “the upper middle class.” Connecting Stone Meadows to the PSR PUD development would impact his resident’s “quality of life,” Stone said, and he pointed specifically at the proposed paired- and tri-patio homes and the smaller lot sizes mentioned by Babcock.

Stone also told the council that, so far as he’s concerned--so far as the Stone Meadows residents are concerned as well--the acreage up for annexation needs to remain R-1 single-family. And Stone promised to take his concerns to the Plan Commission, at such time as it begins working on the details of the PSR PUD.

Babcock, for his part, waived his right to rebut Stone.

Members did vote unanimously to accept the fiscal plan, whose findings their contracted financial consultant, London Witte Group, reviewed and endorsed.

Members will formally consider the annexation itself at their next meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Appraisals Sought

In other business, members voted unanimously to seek a statutorily required pair of appraisals for a residential lot located on the west side of South Calumet Road, between Washington Ave. and Westchester Ave.

That lot is one of several owned by developer Paul Shinn whose zoning was recently changed from commercial to residential, but it’s oddly shaped and may present building challenges. Earlier in the fall, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, proposed the town’s purchase of the lot, with an eye on converting it into a trailhead for the Dunes-Kankakee Trail, which when completed will link Indiana Dunes State Park to the Kankakee River in south Porter County.

The route of the Dunes-Kankakee Trail as proposed would wind through the Downtown and then proceed south on South Calumet Road.

Town Standard Waiver

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve a waiver of Town Standards requested by builder Mark Markovich for a residence he’s constructed at 411 Lost Tree Drive in the Villages of Sand Creek.

The Town Standard in question: the requirement that garage pads and driveways be poured no higher than 30 inches above grade.

As Markovich explained to the council, he accidentally poured the pad and the top half of the driveway at 36 inches above grade, six more than permitted by Town Standard. The alternative to a waiver, Markovich said, would be to “tear it completely out and re-pour.”

Members agreed to approve the waiver, on the condition that, before obtaining an occupancy permit, Markovich must install a curtain drain or similar drainage appliance.

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, spoke in favor of the waiver, inasmuch as Markovich is “a reputable builder who is man enough to admit he made an error.”



Posted 12/11/2018




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