By KEVIN NEVERS
The Town of Chesterton has
just grown by around 85 acres and continues its reach beyond the Indiana Toll
At its meeting Monday night,
the Town Council voted 5-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance annexing
three parcels located in Liberty Township and south of the Toll Road, 5-0 to
suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve that ordinance on its final reading.
The parcels in question:
•Slightly more than four
acres, located east of Ind. 49, west of North Calumet Ave., and contiguous
with the 75 acres annexed last year for development by I-80 LLC, owned by
Richard and Nancy Baulos.
•Slightly more than four
acres, located west of Ind. 49, south of C.R. 950N, and contiguous with the
Toll Road, owned by Irvin and Dorothy Pope.
•And around 77 acres, located
immediately west of the Popes’ parcel, owned by the Irvin Pope and Dorothy
Pope Irrevocable Trust.
Members also voted 5-0 to
adopt a fiscal plan—prepared by H.J. Umbaugh & Associates at the petitioners’
expense—which projects no need to expand existing police or fire to serve the
annexation area, “minimal” road maintenance costs, the addition of no new
park land or facilities, and no strain on governmental administrative
services as a result of annexation.
And, finally, members voted
5-0 to enter into an agreement with the petitioners which establishes the
terms of annexation and future development. The salient terms of that
•The property will receive an
interim zone of R-1 but may be developed as residential, commercial, retail,
industrial, medical, or a combination of any of those uses.
•But no development may occur
until the Advisory Plan Commission has endorsed, and the Town Council
approved, a planned unit development ordinance governing the construction.
•The owners of the property
must install all infrastructure, including sanitary, stormwater, and water
utilities, at their own expense. For its part the town “represents and
warrants that there is presently adequate sewage treatment capacity to
provide sanitary sewage treatment services to the subject property.”
•The owners will contribute
the following amounts to the town for park land acquisition: $200 per single
family residential unit; $200 per multi-family residential unit; and $500 per
acre of commercial, retail, medical, industrial, or mixed development. In
addition, the owners will pay any recreational impact fees for park uses for
•And the owners will
contribute the following amounts to the town for equipment acquisition: $250
per single family residential unit; $100 per multi-family residential unit;
and $400 per acres of commercial, retail, medical, industrial, or mixed
Attorney Cliff Fleming,
representing the petitioners, has indicated that, at the moment, there are no
specific plans for developing the annexation area. The agreement only states
that it “is anticipated that a PUD for the subject property will contain
residential units and/or commercial/retail/medical/industrial development.”
Before the votes two persons
spoke from the floor in favor of the annexation. Both of them said that they
were prompted to do so by the objections of 10 remonstrators at the Town
Council’s last meeting.
Tyler Demar, noting that the
area of Ind. 49 and Ind. 2 was not developed until the City of Valparaiso
annexed it, argued that the same boom could be Chesterton’s, that Dunelanders
would have a reason to stay home to shop, and that out-of-towners would have
a reason to visit.
Mark Chamberlain, president
of the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce, also voiced his and the
Chamber’s support of the annexation. “The membership sees the benefits of
long-term growth,” he said. Chamberlain added that the Chamber Board voted
unanimously to endorse the annexation.
Members voted on the
annexation ordinance, the fiscal plan, and the annexation and development
agreement without comment. President Jim Ton, R-1st, did take a moment at the
end of the meeting, however, to repeat his belief in the importance of
controlling the town’s borders. “Our job up here is to control the borders of
the town,” he said. “We have to control our borders and decide what goes on
there or someone else will.”
Monday’s was the second
trans-Toll Road annexation and a somewhat larger one than the first, when in
July 2007 the town annexed 77 acres south of the Toll Road and east of Ind.
49, for a PUD which Bob Rossman of I-80 LLC has dubbed Coffee Creek Crossing.
In July 2008 the Town Council approved a PUD ordinance which, among other
things, permits the construction on the site of a strip mall with a maximum
square footage of 430,000, an anchor building of 175,000 square feet, and a
Last year the town also
annexed 132 acres formerly known as the Olson Farm, located at the terminus
of East Porter Ave., east of Friday Road (250E). The owners, Vlad and Eric
Gastevich, are developing a PUD called Sand Creek Farms, with 362
The annexed 39 acres as well
in 2007 along 1050N in Crocker, immediately west of Abercrombie Woods. The
owners, Larry and Christine Wright, are developing a PUD called Springdale,
with 94 residential units in a mix of single-family and paired-patio units,
with commercial uses along the west edge of the project.