Chesterton Tribune

Merrillville says apartment developers need not apply

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) Leaders of a suburban town in Indiana's second-largest county have decided that it doesn't need more apartments than it already has.

Members of the Merrillville Town Council and other town officials said that the ongoing addition of big apartment complexes has put a strain on public services and police protection.

Councilman Shawn Pettit said the town just south of Gary has an "unbelievable" concentration of apartments on its south side.

"We should be encouraging more single-family detached homes instead of multifamily," he said.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday against approving more multifamily developments. The council's vote followed a recent proposal from developer Edward Rose Properties Inc. for a 252-unit complex in the Lake County town a short drive from the intersection of Interstate 65 and U.S. 30, The Times of Munster reported.

Councilwoman Chrissy Barron said five apartment complexes in her district alone have about 2,000 units and that total doesn't include more being added in two complexes that won earlier approval.

She said an inventory should be made of all apartment complexes in the town to determine how many units are occupied at each complex.

The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reported that Police Chief Joseph Petruch said allowing more apartment construction would put additional demands on police and other municipal services.

"You can't add more apartments without adding more police," Petruch said.

The Associated Press left a telephone message Thursday seeking comment from an attorney for Edward Rose Properties.

Posted 7/28/2011