Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton Town Council authorizes study of proposed park east of Ind 49

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The Chesterton Town Council has taken a first, very preliminary and tentative, step in the direction of developing a full-size 60-acre park on the east side of Ind. 49.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted 4-0 to authorize Lehman & Lehman, its contracted recreation impact fee consultant, to provide a site analysis and a master plan for a park which Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann said would be comparable in size and facilities to Dogwood Park. President Dave Cincoski, R-3rd, was not in attendance.

The cost of the work is not to exceed $12,700, it would be paid with CEDIT funds, and should an impact fee ever be enacted the expense could be reimbursed through the proceeds of that fee.

Among the deliverables which Lehman & Lehman is obligated to provide: an aerial site plan to be used in the planning phases; a development program for park facilities; an illustrated master plan of the potential park development; a statement of projected construction costs; and a proposed phasing of construction.

The site of such a park is yet to be determined. But as part of its annexation agreement with the Town of Chesterton, Olson Farms LLC has donated 20 acres, located in the area of C.R. 1050N and C.R. 250E, to the Parks and Recreation Department to “jump-start” the development of a park east of Ind. 49. That donation exceeds by 13 acres the minimum required under Town Code. Olson Farms LLC is developing a 360-unit single-family subdivision on 133 acres located at the terminus of East Porter Ave., east of Friday Road, which the Town of Chesterton annexed earlier this summer.

Parking Lot

to be Appraised

In other business, members voted 4-0 to hire two appraisers, Vale Appraisal Group and Professional Appraisal Services, to appraise the four 25’ x 125’ lots in the graveled parcel immediately across the street from the town hall at 726 Broadway.

Those lots are currently owned by the Tonner family, which is reportedly in the process of selling the site of the old WiseWay Foods store at 801 Broadway to an undisclosed buyer. That buyer has the right of first refusal in the acquisition of the graveled parcel but has not expressed an interest in purchasing it. Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski, without actually urging the council to buy the parcel, has said that the development of the property would eliminate a great deal of convenient public parking. The Tonner family has priced the four lots at $25,000 a piece.

Under state statute, the town may not pay more for the property than the average of the two appraisals.

No Parking

on Gateway Blvd.

Meanwhile, at the request of the Police Commission, members voted 4-0 to approve on its first reading an ordinance which bans parking on Gateway Blvd. between Ind. 49 and Village Pointe, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve the ordinance on its final reading.

Police Chief George Nelson told the council that the ban is chiefly aimed at the truckers who have unaccountably been parking their rigs on that stretch of Gateway Blvd., obscuring visibility and causing congestion.

“Logic would dictate that there’s no parking there,” Nelson said. “But not everyone’s logical.”

Vacation Granted

Members also approved the petition of Tom Lee for the vacation of the portion of unimproved Jefferson Ave. immediately south of his residence in the 500 block of South 21st Street. Lee had requested the vacation because he wants to build an addition to his home and needs the extra property to meet setback regulations.

There had been one concern on the part of Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, namely, that Lee’s addition could encroach on an easement needed for a drainage project slated for the right-of-way. As it happens, however, that easement is nowhere near wide enough to impact Lee’s plans. The project began on Monday.

No one spoke against the petition at a public hearing on Monday. One person, Jerry Huddleston, spoke in favor of the vacation, calling it a “good idea.”

Members then voted 4-0 to approve the vacation ordinance on its first reading, 4-0 to suspend the rules, and 4-0 to approve the ordinance on its final reading.

Lee made a point of thanking O’Dell and Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg for their work in reviewing his petition. They’re “great people,” he said. “The town should be very proud of them.”

Waiver of Town Standards

Members voted 4-0 as well to approve a petition for a waiver of the Town Standard which requires the primary entrance of a principal structure to front the street upon which the structure is addressed. That waiver was requested by attorney Cliff Fleming, representing the group building the Village Pointe Medical Office Building at Coffee Creek Center.

The medical office building, Fleming explained to members, fronts Seymour Street, which was originally intended to be a major thoroughfare in Coffee Creek Center, running the width of it. But the design of Seymour Street has changed, only the medical office building will ever be built on it, and for the purposes of promotion and user-friendliness the group wants it to be addressed 3100 Village Pointe.

Building Commissioner Mike Orlich told members that a secondary entrance to the medical office building does front Village Pointe, and the council accordingly granted the waiver.


Posted 8/18/2007