president of Growing Kids Learning Centers, told the Chesterton Advisory
Plan Commission he hopes to open the companyís seventh site early next year
preliminary hearing Thursday, the commission set June 19 for a public
hearing on the petition.
attorney Todd Leeth said the daycare/learning center wants to develop 3.8
vacant acres at the Chesterton Professional Complex at the southwest corner
of County Road 1100N and South 11th Street.
facility would serve infants from typically six weeks old through ages 10 or
11, and be open from approximately 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. to accomodate
parentsí day-turn and afternoon shifts.
In addition to
private vehicles, smaller buses and possibly school buses would drop-off and
pick-up children, said Leeth responding to a question from commission member
Emerson DeLaney asked if sidewalks are included in the plan. Leeth said
Growing Kids would install an 8 foot-wide sidewalk across its 1100N frontage
as part of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, and a standard 5 foot-wide
sidewalk along the 11th Street side.
Sig Niepokoj inquired whether the retention basin would be fenced. Garatoni
said final site engineering isnít completed but if the slope dictates, it
will be although the chance of kids being near the basin are very slim
because the Growing Kids play area will be fenced.
president George Stone said a consideration is neighborhood children outside
the fenced area.
DeLaney asked if
the facilityís services include sleeping, food service and a kitchen.
Garatoni said cots are provided for naps, and on-site meals and snacks will
Leeth said the
Chesterton Professional Complex was approved in 1984 and a document was
recorded, but itís unclear from public records the exact uses approved for
the site at that time. Growing Kids wants to acquire three parcels (the
fourth is a dental clinic) and combine them as an amendment to the original
Garatoni said he
hopes to start construction in Chesterton later this year. Elkhart-based
Growing Kids has a learning center at 3400 Campbell St. in Valparaiso.
In other business,
the commission voted 5-0 with Tom Kopko and Fred Owens absent to find that
the Chesterton Redevelopment Commissionís intent to install fiber-optic
infrastructure in the townís three TIF districts conforms to the current
comprehensive plan. An order was approved for each district.
Niepokoj asked if
the rubble still on site at the former Quonset hut on Broadway will be
removed by the owner. Interim building commissioner Mike Orlich said a final
notice for clean-up has been ignored and itís now a matter of code
enforcement in cooperation with the town attorney.
Chuck Parkinson said he plans to meet with Street Commissioner John
Schnadenberg to determine if there are any infrastructure deficiencies tied
to development projects for which guarantees expired long ago with likely no
ability to recoup repair funds now.