Advisory Plan Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the planned unit
development ordinance for Duneland Prairie Residences, a 64-unit project to
be constructed on 11.83 acres of heavily wooded land immediately west
of--behind--the Chesterton Post Office.
unanimously at their meeting Thursday night to approve the concept and hold
a public hearing on the PUD ordinance at their next meeting, Thursday, Dec.
Sixty-two of the
residential units will consist of paired patio homes, similar to those built
on Texas Street. The other two will be single “cottage homes.” The primary
entrance/exit to the development will be off South Calumet Road, with a
secondary entrance/exit off Richter Street. According to the ordinance, the
developer, John Nekus, intends to begin construction of the infrastructure
in May 2019.
Although there will
be no public open or recreational space set aside in the development, it
will have both “walking trails and open green space maintained by a
homeowners association.” Sidewalks will also be installed to serve the
development proper, but as Nekus’ attorney, Greg Babcock, told planners, no
five-foot sidewalk will be built either on South Calumet Road or Richter
Street, the latter of which will run along the back lots of a number of
homes on the north side of the development.
said, Nekus will dedicate a sum of money equivalent to the cost of
installing a five-foot sidewalk along South Calumet Road, running the length
of the development north to south, to be used by town at such time as it
builds a larger eight-foot sidewalk there as part of the Dunes-Kankakee
Planners Jeff Trout
and Fred Owens did share one concern: that the PUD ordinance as written has
no enforcement language guaranteeing that public walking trails will
actually be planned and built. “They’re a great amenity for people who like
them,” Trout noted. “Let’s tighten the ordinance up to make sure they go
The problem, as he sees it, is not that Nekus would fail to build the
walking trails but that the residents of the development themselves may not
want the foot traffic that comes with them. “But as a community we need
this,” he said.
that enforcement language would be added to the ordinance prior to the
public hearing on Dec. 20.
In other business,
planners voted unanimously to continue a public hearing scheduled for
Thursday on the primary plat for a double hotel project at Coffee Creek
Center, located immediately to the north of the Speedway gas station and the
The continuance was
at the request of the developer, the Amerilodge Group of Bloomfield Hills,
Mich., which is proposing to build a Holiday Inn Express and a Fairfield Inn
& Suites. The Holiday Inn would feature 90 rooms in four stories; the
Fairfield, 87 rooms in three stores. The complex would be accessed via
Matson Street and Blackwell Lane.
Stone did repeat a concern he’s stated before about the hotels: that
Amerilodge wants both of them to face west, toward Ind. 49, the Holiday Inn
on the north and the Fairfield on the south. Stone said that he understands
the desire of the developer to attract as many travelers as possible but
that Amerilodge could get the same result with the proper signage.
Planners will hold
the continued public hearing at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday,
endorsed the creation by the Town Council of a steering committee for the
purpose of overseeing the development of a new Chesterton Comprehensive
Plan, the most recent version of which dates to 2010.