Chesterton Tribune

Photos: Extension of Porter Ave urged for Sand Creek Woods

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Site of proposed Sand Creek Woods east of 250E/Friday Road

Porter Ave./Friday Road T-Intersection.

Planners want Porter Ave. extended east

(Tribune photos by Margaret Willis)

By PAULENE POPARAD

Two Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission members said Thursday they want to see an extension of Porter Avenue carried through the planned Sand Creek Woods residential subdivision.

The 130-acre tract eyed for 360 homes is located at what is now the east terminus of Porter Avenue on the east side of County Road 250E (Friday Road).

A conceptual plan presented by developers Vlad Gastevich and Eric Gastevich showed a looping roadway system with two access points on Friday Road.

The project is being developed as a single-family planned unit development and with Thursday’s concept review closed, the brothers said they will submit more detailed plans for the PUD’s preliminary hearing, possibly Aug. 16. A public hearing will be slated at a later date.

Vlad Gastevich said Sand Creek Woods will offer four different areas each having varying lot sizes, a wooded preserve, 20 acres of open space, a landscaped berm to buffer the railroad track to the north, and provisions for a park.

The Gastevich property recently was annexed by Chesterton expanding its municipal border to the east. Commission member Mike Bannon said someday the land east of Sand Creek Woods might be annexed as well requiring connectivity between the parcels and Porter Avenue extended is the way to do that. Member George Stone said he agreed with Bannon’s statement.

Bannon, a Town Council member, also questioned that some planned streets in the PUD terminate in stubs rather than cul-de-sacs, which are preferred for maneuvering larger town vehicles like fire trucks. Said Stone, “I would like to join Mr. Bannon on anti-stubbing. I would look unfavorably on your PUD with stubs.”

Eric Gastevich said stubbed roads that end without cul-de-sacs would be private roads maintained by a homeowners association. Stone said that doesn’t preclude emergency vehicles from having to use them.

Bannon and Stone also questioned a planned decorative concrete wall paralleling CR 250E.

Following the brief concept review, commission member Jeff Trout said, “I’ve seen quite a few projects these gentlemen have done in Lake County and the surrounding area.” Addressing the Gasteviches, “I look forward to going through this process with you.”

The brothers have developed more than 3,000 residential units, several of them in Munster and Schererville in Lake County, during their 20-year partnership, said Vlad Gastevich.

Creek hearings continued

President Fred Owens opened and the commission later continued by unanimous vote related public hearings for the Estates of Sand Creek on the west side of 250E south of Porter Avenue. The previously platted Phase 6, closest to 250E, would have 57 lots approved in 2003 decreased in number and increased in size to 32 lots.

Phase 7 would include 15 lots not already platted and be located west of Phase 6 abutting the Sand Creek golf course. Both phases would be accessed by a gated Brae Burn Boulevard and have private roads.

Attorney Clyde Compton, representing the four property owners involved, asked for a continuance on both petitions until Aug. 16 to incorporate some suggested changes from town department heads. Town engineer Mark O’Dell later said these included easement issues, legal descriptions and drainage issues.

Revised documents will be available for public review after Aug. 6.

Attorney Russell Milbranth told the commission he represents persons who wish to comment on Phase 6 but agreed to withhold his remarks until next month. However, commission attorney Charles Parkinson said if anyone would be unable to attend the Aug. 6 meeting and wanted to speak Thursday on the Sand Creek petitions, they should be allowed to do so.

No one spoke in favor but during opposition, Porter resident Albert Rioli questioned if developers are paying their fair share and expressed concern that the people of Chesterton may be paying more in taxes to support services to developing areas.

Written comments also are accepted for public hearings.

Bond called in

On a 6-0 vote with Frank Sessa absent the commission agreed to call or cash in the $18,048 infrastructure guarantee bond for Phase 3 of Rose Hill Estates on County Road 1100N west of Meridian Road. The infrastructure is in place but not all is according to town standards, said O’Dell and town building commissioner Mike Orlich, and a maintenance bond should have been posted by now.

Orlich said he has attempted several times to contact Rose Hill developer Randy Hall about the matter without success.

Also Thursday, the commission had considered calling in expiring infrastructure maintenance bonds for Rose Hill Estates Phases 1 and 2 but Parkinson said the paperwork and financial guarantees had been submitted in proper form prompting a vote to accept them.

 

Posted 7/20/2007