One year after a public input session to kick off an update of Chesterton’s
current 2004 comprehensive plan, the town’s Advisory Plan Commission will
conduct a public hearing on a final draft of the new planning document.
By unanimous vote Thursday the commission set Sept. 16 as the hearing date.
Over the last two months members, staff, town manager Bernie Doyle and
commission attorney Charles Parkinson have been fine-tuning the 151-page
document that includes a new land-use map. They were assisted by zoning
consultant A.J. Monroe of SEH Inc., whose fee was funded with a Lake
Michigan Coastal Program grant.
“I noticed a lot of changes (in the final draft) and they were all for the
better,” said commission president Fred Owens.
“A lot of people put a lot of hard work into it; I appreciate their
efforts,” said commission and Town Council member Jeff Trout.
The new comprehensive plan includes a separate downtown master plan; it
recommends inventorying vacant buildings and infill sites, making
intersection improvements at Broadway and Calumet Road, and adopting a
master plan for the adjacent Coffee Creek Park.
Also, conducting studies and developing a downtown parking plan, and
constructing a municipal boulevard at 15th Street and Broadway, site of a
future combined town public works building.
The downtown plan also addresses building massing and height, building
facades, awnings, signage, street plantings, lighting, street
furniture/seating, sidewalks and private pathways and streetscapes.
The areas encompassed in the downtown plan are the central business
district, the north Calumet Road corridor to Indian Boundary Road, and the
west Broadway corridor to 15th Street. In that area two hike/bike trails
will converge so it’s recommended the intersection be transformed to welcome
trail users to the Chesterton community.
The downtown plan also recommends an extension east from the existing 15th
Street Prairie Duneland Trail terminus to Thomas Centennial Park to link to
the future Dunes Kankakee Trail, for which a route has yet to be chosen.
Monroe said while not specifically part of the downtown, the Indian Boundary
Road corridor is addressed in the overall comprehensive plan with
suggestions for better access management because Indian Boundary is an
important route that leads people into Chesterton’s downtown.
Once the Plan Commission makes a recommendation whether to adopt the updated
comp plan, final action will be up to the Town Council.
Copies of the final draft plan will be available at the town hall and at
Thomas Library in Chesterton at least 10 days prior to the Sept. 16 hearing.
The plan also will be available on the town website at
After months of drafting, review and comment, “I think we’re on the one yard
line,” said Trout.