Chesterton Tribune



Town Council enacts its way through long list of ordinances

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The Chesterton Town Council quick-stepped its way through a backlog of ordinances at its meeting Monday night.

Each ordinance had previously been discussed by members--or had previously appeared before, and been endorsed by, another board--and each ordinance was enacted by unanimous vote.

Amendment, PUD, 4th Addition to CCC

The developers of Conservancy Point--an upscale apartment complex eyed for the acreage south of Rail Road, east of Kelle Drive, north of Sidewalk Road, and west of the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve--had sought an amendment to the planned unit development ordinance governing the 4th Addition of Coffee Creek Center, chiefly for the purpose of lowering the stipulated density of the property, from the 209 residential units originally permitted to 170, a reduction of not quite 20 percent.

The amendment came to the council from the Advisory Plan Commission, which endorsed it following a public hearing by a 4-1 vote. Planner Thomas Kopko voted against the PUD amendment on the ground that 170 units are still too dense.

Amendment, PUD, Easton Park

Eric Gastevich, the developer of Easton Park--what promises to be one of the largest subdivisions in Chesterton, if not the largest, to be built on property located east of C.R. 250E at the terminus of East Porter Ave.--had sought a number of mostly minor changes in the current PUD, including reducing the number of single-family homes from 362 to 346; and shifting the main east/west road on the north side of the subdivision--what is essentially an extension of East Porter Ave.--slightly to the south.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann noted that Gastevich has “done much more than could be required of him,” including a commitment to donate 20 acres in unincorporated Westchester Township to the town, at such time as it becomes annexable. Currently, Lukmann said, the acreage isn’t sufficiently contiguous.

Re-Zone on 11th Street

Laura Gerhardt was granted the re-zone of two lots on 11th Street--the two on the west side of the street immediately south of Val’s Pizza--from R-3 to B-2.

Gerhardt’s attorney, Greg Babcock, has previously said that the building on those lots has been home to several businesses over the years, including a dental practice, minimally a B-1 use; and a veterinary practice, a B-2 use. The neighborhood itself is zoned R-3, multi-family.

In fact the property in question consists of a total of five lots but only the two northernmost ones, adjacent to Val’s and having the building on them, have been re-zoned. The three southernmost lots remain R-3.

B-2 uses excluded under the re-zone: auto part sales, auto repair/minor, auto service station, bar/night club, billiard room/arcade, bowling alley, and video store.

Re: Manufactured Building Materials

Fire Chief John Jarka had requested this ordinance, which requires the builders of all new commercial and residential construction, as well as of alterations to existing structures and accessory structures, to disclose on the building-permit application whether manufactured roofs or floors will be installed.

That is, the builder must now disclose whether any of the I-beams, trusses, rim board, headers, joists, or rafters are constructed in whole or in part with engineered wood products, as opposed to conventional or natural wood products.

Engineered--or “manufactured”--wood burns more quickly than the natural kind and has been shown to put firefighters at more risk in their response.

If manufactured roofs or floors are going to be used in the building, the Building Department will make available a small tag, to be purchased by the builder or owner and affixed to the structure’s exterior in some unobtrusive but uniform place, to alert firefighters in the event of their responding to that address.

Re: Flood Hazard Areas

Members also enacted a ordinance which formalizes a new floodplain map drawn by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The map is the final draft of a document whose first version the town successfully appealed late last year, on the ground that it incorrectly designated a number of properties as being in the floodplain.

“This is so that people whose property qualifies can obtain flood insurance,” Lukmann told the council.

Currently the Stormwater Utility believes that a couple of other inaccuracies may have found their way into this final draft and is pursuing a correction from the DNR.

2016 Budget

Finally, members formally adopted the 2016 budget ordinance, following a public hearing at which no one spoke in favor of the budget and no one in opposition to it.

That budget must still be reviewed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.




Posted 10/1/2015




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