Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Plan Commission to hear Alliance plans for business center at Pope farm

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The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission will get its first look Thursday at a conceptual plan for Alliance Business Center, which would be located at the proposed Pope’s Farm development at 98 E. County Road 950N.

The commission meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.

Following Alliance on the agenda is Urschel Laboratories Inc, which seeks both preliminary and secondary plat approval of its development plan for a new manufacturing facility and headquarters at Coffee Creek Center.

Representatives of Larson-Danielson Construction Co. of LaPorte have been meeting with town department heads about the Alliance proposal, which at this stage outlines only in broad terms what might be in a business park there such as manufacturing, biomedical or parmaceuticals research, commercial and retail as well as healthcare and residential.

Documents show the business center would be a planned unit development or PUD that gives both the developer and the town flexibility to negotiate.

If a formal PUD petition is filed, a preliminary hearing, public hearing, recommendation from the Plan Commission and final action by the Town Council all would be required.

In July of 2009 developer Cliff Fleming representing Village Communities LLC came before the Plan Commission with very preliminary plans for The Village at Pope’s Farm of Chesterton on 81 acres that were annexed to the town in late 2008.

Fleming is developer of The Village in Burns Harbor new-urbanism subdivision where both single-family homes and several multi-unit apartment buildings are being built.

The Pope’s Farm tract is located at the southwest corner of Indiana 49 and 950N and lies north of but is not contiguous to the new Porter Hospital campus at the northwest corner of Indiana 49 and U.S. 6. A railroad separates the two properties.

During initial Pope’s Farm talks with town officials the lack of municipal water and sewer in the area was discussed. Chesterton currently is completing a $2.8 million extension of sewer, water, stormwater and fiber optic infrastructure to spur development along the Indiana 49 corridor.

Although the Pope’s Farm project never advanced to a formal public hearing, Liberty Township neighbors and Plan Commission members both expressed concern over traffic, drainage and density during the preliminary review.

At that time Fleming pledged to work with the neighbors as well as with developer Robert Rossman, who in 2008 proposed the 50-acre Coffee Creek Crossing commercial/retail development at the southeast quadrant of Indiana 49 and the Indiana Toll Road across from Pope’s Farm; Rossman’s mall never was built.



Posted 6/18/2013