Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton annexes second property south of Toll Road

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The Town of Chesterton has just grown by around 85 acres and continues its reach beyond the Indiana Toll Road.

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 agreement:

•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 the property.

•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 development.

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.”

Previous Annexations

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 five-story building.

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 single-family homes.

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.


Posted 10/28/2008