Chesterton Tribune



'Growing Kids' advances; Bell family developing former Ruge property

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Growing Kids Learning Center cleared its first hurdle in locating a new facility, the company’s seventh, at County Road 1100N and South 11th Street.

The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission voted to forward a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to allow the use. The council needs to amend the original 1984 planned unit development ordinance for the Chesterton Professional Center.

The council also is being requested to vacate easements at the site, where only a dental office is located and Growing Kids would build to the north and on either side of it.

No one commented Thursday during a Plan Commission public hearing on the PUD amendment that will combine three parcels into one 3.8-acre lot. Using a Power Point presentation, Growing Kids attorney Todd Leeth explained the variances from town code that are included in the request.

In addition to allowing child care, a monument sign 8 feet above grade --- 2 feet higher than allowed --- is sought. Also being requested are a total 170 square feet of signage instead of the maximum of 145 square feet; a 6-foot fence instead of a 4.5-foot fence around the playground area southwest of the building; and four fewer parking spaces than the 65 required.

Commission members George Stone and Fred Owens asked about claiming 13 spaces from the dental parking for Growing Kids own use. Leeth said the spaces will be on Growing Kids property but won’t actually be used by the daycare/learning center. The dental sign will be relocated.

Owens said the original PUD called for four triangular lots served by a circle drive which would allow good access for fire trucks; he asked town engineer Mark O’Dell if fire trucks can maneuver using the revised site plan. He said not as easily, but yes.

Commission and council member Emerson DeLaney asked if the monument sign would cause a blind spot for drivers at the 1100N/11th Street intersection. O’Dell said it’s believed to be far enough back so that won’t occur.

Sidewalks will be installed along both sides of the corner lot. The new building will be constructed diagonally facing the intersection.

Commission member Sig Niepokoj asked if Growing Kids performs background checks on its employees. Leeth said yes, and the company also thumbprints them. Vote to forward a favorable recommendation was 6-0 with member Tom Kopko absent.

Bell subdivision planned

From the audience under public comment Glenn Peterson presented a sketch plat for an approximately 11-lot subdivision on the eastern 7 acres of the former Ruge property at the southwest corner of Porter Avenue and 15th Street.

The Bell family acquired the larger Ruge tract in 2005; the existing brick home and a pole barn on its western portion will remain intact, according to Peterson.

He said some homes in the new section will be for family members but lots along 15th Street would be sold. The family would retain architectural approval and the homes would conform to Residential-1 even though the property is zoned R-2.

President Stone said he had no immediate comment because no subdivision petition has been filed and he invited Peterson to do so.

Duneland Trails accepted

Developer Don Coker said final repairs have been made and the commission voted unanimously to accept Duneland Trails subdivision subject to a final review by town staff.

The commission also agreed to accept Coker’s $10,392 cash bond and extend from June 18, 2014 to June 18, 2016 the completion date for the sidewalks on the final four unbuilt lots in the subdivision.



Posted 6/20/2014




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