By KEVIN NEVERS
Coffee Creek Development I (CCD) LLC, the Lake Erie Land Company’s joint
development partner and the developer of the Village Green Townhomes at
Coffee Creek Center, is the first developer ever in the Town of Chesterton to
be assessed a fine for violating the town’s stormwater quality control
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Stormwater Management Board voted 3-0 to
assess CCD a fine of $9,400. Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann told the Chesterton
Tribune on Thursday that that fine represents somewhat more than the
calculated cost of municipal staff time devoted since November 2007 to
enforcing the stormwater quality control ordinance at the construction site.
That amount is far less than CCD might have been assessed. Under Town Code a
first violation is subject to a fine of between $1 and $2,500 and any
subsequent violation to a fine of between $1 and $7,500, and every day in
non-compliance is considered a separate violation.
Village Green Townhomes is the first project undertaken by CCD since it
entered into a formal relationship with the Lake Erie Land Company in June
2006. The project occupies 18.5 acres located south of Sidewalk Road and east
of Village Point. A total of 94 units in 35 buildings are planned. CCD—whose
principal is James Gierczyk, a developer and builder based in Homewood,
Ill.—is the official holder of the Erosion and Sediment Control Permit and is
therefore legally responsible for meeting the requirements of the stormwater
quality control ordinance.
In support of the fine, members adopted a raft of findings, among them the
•The town issued notices of violations of the stormwater quality control
ordinance to CCD on Oct. 18, Nov. 7, and Nov. 26, 2007, and on Jan. 8, 2008.
•On three separate occasions, Nov. 21, Dec. 10, and Jan. 8, sediment-laden
water escaped the project site and onto Sidewalk Road in violation of the
•CCD has failed to maintain its inlet protection throughout the project site
in particular along Sidewalk Road.
•CCD agreed on Dec. 20 to install a sediment trap at the corner of Village
Point and Legend Circle no later than Dec. 26, and as of Jan. 30 had failed
to complete the trap.
•CCD similarly agreed to backfill curbs by Dec. 26. Backfilling was not begun
until Jan. 15.
•CCD was required to stabilize unvegetated areas with dormant seeding and
erosion control blankets by Nov. 20. It did not do so until Dec. 27.
Last year Chester Inc. was accused of violating the town’s stormwater quality
control ordinance while working on a construction project at St. Patrick
Catholic Church. Chester paid $5,000 to settle the town’s claim and was never
formally assessed a fine.