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DNR posts Pavilion related documents to State Park website

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has posted to the Indiana Dunes State Park website new documents pertaining to the Pavilion project.

The DNR announced the posting on Monday.

Construction Design Release

The first document is an addendum, dated Sept. 5, 2017, to the construction design release issued by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Division of Fire & Building Safety Plan Review Division to Pavilion Partners LLC for its restoration of the Pavilion.

The addendum authorizes the “elimination of gallery areas and added dining areas and some second-floor additional structural changes and modifications.”

The document itself provides no further information on those “structural changes and modifications” and emphasizes that the release does not constitute an actual building permit.

Accompanying the release are a dozen undated drawings prepared by Virtue Architects. Among them: a project site plan, elevations, demolition plans for the first and second floors and the roof, renovated floor plans, renovated cross sections, and new foundation work.

NPS Memo

The second document is a memo generated by the National Park Service and dated Jan. 16, 2014. Its subject: “Allowable Uses of Buildings Located on LWCF 6(f)(3) Protected Lands.”

The memo was prepared explicitly to address two issues: a “growing need for public park system administrators to find new ways to support the operation and maintenance of outdoor recreation and park areas, many of which”--as the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park is--“are protected under Section 6(f)(3)” of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act; and a “concern that many outdoor recreation areas contain buildings and other structures that require maintenance and upkeep, further straining park operation and maintenance budgets.”

As the memo notes, Section 6(f)(3) is intended to “protect in perpetuity from casual conversion to other-than-public outdoor recreation purposes and uses” those properties which have benefited from LWCF grant assistance.

But the memo concludes that the use of buildings constructed prior to the establishment of Section 6(f)(3)--as the Pavilion was--may be modified without NPS review for a host of “supporting uses,” including the following: “restaurant-type establishments, snack bars, carry-out food service, and concession stands”; “lodging”; “gift shops/park stores”; and “comfort facilities.”

“NPS review and approval is not needed for proposed improvements or changes to buildings accommodating the allowable uses described above, including related renovations and support facilities such as parking and storage, as long as the intended use of these improvements is continued support of the primary outdoor recreation purpose of Section 6(f)(3),” the memo states.

NPS review is required, on the other hand, for “any building uses that . . . support non-outdoor recreation purposes and/or support the non-park using public,” the memo adds. In such a case, NPS review “is required to determine if the use could trigger a conversion.”

NPS has already determined that the planned construction of a banquet center adjacent to the Pavilion does trigger a conversion because it would support non-outdoor recreation purposes as well as the non-park using public.

Lease Amendment

The third document is an amendment, dated June 2, 2017, to the DNR’s lease with Pavilion Partners LLC.

Among the additions and changes:

* “In the event a 6(f)(3) conversion is deemed necessary, the Lessor”--the DNR--“will be responsible for securing the necessary appraisals and purchasing suitable replacement property. Any literature, advertising, and signage provided by the Lessee”--Pavilion Partners LLC--“will provide that the Pavilion is a publicly owned, outdoor recreation facility operated by the Lessee.”

* Pavilion Partners has the right to offer the following at the banquet center; “public events within the banquet facility” and “on the beach through a special use permit as approved by the Property Manager”; “conference/meeting spaces” and “wedding receptions, conferences, meetings, and packages”; “gifts, souvenirs, sundries, and other items normally associated with this type of business.”

* Pavilion Partners has the right to offer the following at the Pavilion: “rental of outdoor recreational equipment”; “alcoholic beverages sales in accordance with this lease and all laws and regulations”; “public events on the beach through a special use permit.”

ACHP Letter to PEER

The final document is a letter, dated Oct. 5, 2017, from the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation (ACHP) to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), following PEER’s own Sept. 24, 2017 e-mail seeking ACHP’s opinion on whether the Pavilion restoration should trigger a review of the project under the National Historic Preservation Act.

“You expressed concerns about the potential for these proposed changes to alter the integrity of the Pavilion,” states Charlene Dwin Vaugh, representing ACHP. But--after making contact with LWCF staff and the Indiana State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)--ACHP has concluded that a further review is not necessary.

As Vaugh notes, SHPO “stated that the proposed project would not alter character-defining elements significant to this historic Pavilion, with the exception of the replacement windows and the entry canopy removal.”

“While you have raised a number of issues regarding the manner in which the IN SHPO conducted its review of this project, we see no basis to recommend that their previous review be invalidated and a new review conducted” under the National Historic Preservation Act, Vaugh states in her letter.

 

 

Posted 2/7/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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