Chesterton Tribune

Sand Creek Farms developers hope to have new homes ready for sale within two years

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Developers of 362-home Sand Creek Farms, Chesterton’s largest residential subdivision yet, said Thursday they hope to have the first housing ready to deliver to homebuyers in 18 to 24 months.

The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission voted 4-0 Thursday granting primary plat approval to Eric Gastevich and Vlad Gastevich as Olson Farms LLC for the 130-acre subdivision. It will be located on the east side of County Road 250E at the terminus of East Porter Avenue.

Primary plat approval allows developers to install infrastructure like streets, water lines, and storm and sanitary sewers but no lots can be sold until secondary plat is granted.

The brothers have been seeking approvals for various stages of the three-phase planned unit development since 2007. A public hearing took place months ago and since then detailed engineering has been reviewed, revised by developers and reviewed again by town staff.

Last night, town engineer Mark O’Dell said he had no remaining issues. Although the construction drawings have been revised and the layout of the storm and sanitary sewers changed on the primary plat, nothing about the plan of development has changed, he told the commission.

Member George Stone asked how the current economic downturn will affect the Gastevich project, initially slated for late 2009 construction.

Eric Gastevich said he and his brother have worked for 20 years as developers and this is the third recession they’ve seen, now creating horrendous times for the housing market. “These will pass. Those in trouble today were in trouble one, two, three years ago.” In anticipation of a possible downturn, Gastevich said his partnership took steps in 2005 to better position itself for the future.

Eric Gastevich also said they’re excited about Sand Creek Farms because of its proximity to the South Shore commuter railroad, and because of the quality of life the Duneland area has to offer. “It’s not easy to replicate.”

Part of the Sand Creek Farms PUD includes donation of 20 acres to the southeast on County Road 1050N for a major town park. Duneland School Corp. owns adjacent property and plans to help develop the park as well as use it for athletics.

As for all new residential dwelling units in Chesterton, each building permit issued for Sand Creek Farms will include a $1,171 recreation impact fee for purchase/development of new parks. When it’s built out, Sand Creek Farms will be responsible for contributing nearly $424,000 to the park system.

Members Steve Yagelski, Emerson DeLaney and Fred Owens were absent Thursday.


Posted 11/21/2008