Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton planners approve reworked land use maps

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The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission agreed on a final version of the town’s existing and future land-use maps Thursday, and to recertify the maps and the amended comprehensive plan back to the Town Council for final adoption.

The council likely will take up the matter at its first December meeting. The council two months ago sent the plan maps back to the commission when errors were found.

Commission vote to forward the updated maps was 6-0 with Jeff Trout absent. An earlier vote to approve several map changes including a request for parcels on South Calumet Road passed 5-1 with George Stone opposed.

Builder Paul Shinn and his attorney, Greg Babcock, asked from the audience that seven of nine lots Shinn purchased as the old Bassett flower shop at Calumet and Washington Avenue be shown as future residential land use, and two lots at Calumet be shown as commercial.

All nine lots are zoned commercial now but Babcock said a partial rezoning would be sought. The future land-use maps are color-coded with each color reflecting a specific land use.

Commission and council member Emerson DeLaney said Babcock was offering information regarding future plans. “I don’t look at changing color as a pre-judgement.”

Stone said showing a different use in the absence of a formal rezoning petition eviscerates the whole zoning process. “I’ll welcome a request for a zoning change when it comes before us.”

Commission president Fred Owens said future land-use maps are only a guide, not a binding document, that don’t relinquish anyone from going through a formal rezoning that involves both the commission and the Town Council.

The maps related to the new comprehensive plan, which updates the current 2004 version, include existing and future land-use maps for areas in and surrounding Chesterton’s municipal boundaries. Consultant SEH guided the com-plan update.

With commission members huddled around a table, town engineer Mark O’Dell explained in detail several map changes, like reflecting intended institutional/public use for five acres on Dickinson Road planned for a second Chesterton fire station.

Commission attorney Charles Parkinson emphasized as he has at previous meetings that land use and property zoning are two separate things.


Posted 11/19/2010