Chesterton Tribune



Coffee Creek Culver's, 1100N subdivision, Tamarack Place townhomes unveiled

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The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission heard three presentations Thursday under a revised agenda and advanced each petition to further consideration Feb. 20. They are:

*  Construction of a Culver’s Restaurant at 506 Gateway Blvd. in Coffee Creek Center east of Indiana 49 and the Indiana Toll Road entrance.

*  A request to allow up to four, four-unit townhomes at Tamarack Plaza at the northeast corner of Rail Road and County Road 100E.

*  Development of Stone Meadows subdivision where 25 single-family homes would be built at the southwest corner of County Road 1100N and County Road 50W.

Smith Family Hospitality, which has Culver’s franchises in Illinois, would develop the one here. The Chesterton restaurant would be built east of the Speedway fueling/convenience store and have both a drive-thru window and outdoor seating. It also would follow the franchise’s newer beige-brick exterior design.

The Culver’s petition seeks approval to make changes to Coffee Creek Center’s 1998 planned unit development ordinance that governs uses and construction in the PUD. Final approval of the PUD amendment would be up to the Town Council on a recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Among the changes and generating a lengthy discussion last night was Culver’s desire to have a 13 foot-tall monument sign when the PUD limits such signs to 6.5 feet in height.

Commission president George Stone said a slight increase might be acceptable. “Some is alright. The question is, how much is some?”

Commission member Emerson DeLaney said at 13 feet the structure would be the tallest monument sign in town, and Speedway’s lower sign doesn’t hinder its business. Member Jeff Trout said letting Culver’s have a taller sign could open a can of worms the town doesn’t want.

Member Tom Kopko said the town is getting a lot more restrictive with its sign ordinance, not less.

Kopko and building commissioner Mike Orlich suggested to project contractor Christopher McGuire of McCon Building Corporation that Culver’s corporate office accept a lower monument sign, especially since the Culver’s name will be on all four sides of the building.

McGuire said a brick base to clear landscaping, reader board to advertise daily offerings and the Culver’s name atop both is the company’s standard monument style; corporate already shot down having a lower sign in Florida, he added, but the request will be made for Chesterton even though he believes 13 feet is a reasonable height.

Attorney David Woodward representing Smith Family Hospitality said the company needs a public hearing in February to keep the project moving or it won’t go forward. Vote to set the hearing was 7-0 in favor.

Tamarack Plaza townhomes

Representing Tamarack Plaza, attorney Greg Babcock said its owner is seeking the flexibility to possibly build up to four, four-unit townhomes north of an existing commercial building in the project. Two additional commercial lots currently are vacant.

Babcock said the townhomes are a good use near existing single-family residences in the area, and they promote the live/work concept of keeping living space near employment centers.

“I’m delighted residential is back in the picture,” said Stone. DeLaney said live/work is a wonderful way to go either residential or commercial.

Like Coffee Creek, Tamarack was approved in 2001 as a PUD so changes to its governing ordinance need to be done as an amendment. Vote to set the public hearing Feb. 20 was unanimous.

Stone Meadows proposed

The new 10.5-acre subdivision’s concept review Thursday generated questions regarding drainage and traffic access. Babcock and developer Bill Stone said homes on approximately 1/4-acre lots would be about $250,000 to $325,000 and comparable to more upscale homes in Jackson Township.

The site --- across from Dogwood Park and Bethlehem Lutheran Church --- includes the former Victory Park driving range parcel on CR1100N and would have entrances off it and 50W. A 1.66-acre detention pond for the subdivision would be located at the southwest corner of that intersection.

Commission members inquired about the fact a proposed east/west Meadow Court does not end in a cul-de-sac, rather in a T shape for turnarounds at the subdivision’s west border. It was determined that design is preferable to preserve access in the event vacant land to the west is developed.

Vote to set Stone Meadows for a preliminary hearing Feb. 20 was unanimous.

2014 officers selected

During annual reorganization Stone was retained as president and Kopko was elected vice-president. Gail Murawski was named secretary.

Stone, member Sig Niepokoj and town engineer Mark O’Dell were retained to serve on the Plat Committee, which rarely meets.

Following a brief discussion the commission voted 7-0 to set for public hearing next month a revision of the town’s sign ordinance. Minor changes had been made to the draft discussed in December. Final approval will be up to the Town Council.

Also Thursday, vote was 6-0 with Trout recusing himself to authorize the town to call on a letter of credit for the Venturi development if a revised LOC isn’t in hand by noon Monday. The matter deals with sidewalks.

Representing Venturi, Babcock said all sidewalks are in and approved; a new two-year maintenance guarantee for them was being finalized but the bank omitted needed language so it needs to be redone, he explained.


Posted 1/17/2014