Chesterton Tribune



PUD sought for 44 acre Brassie Estates development

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Off to a good start, the developer of the 44-acre Brassie Estates, north of the Brassie Golf Course, is eager to move forward with three further phases of development by creating a planned unit development.

The Chesterton Plan Commission at its meeting Thursday heard from attorney Greg Babcock representing Jack Slager of Brassie Development, LLC on preliminary plans to add 61 new single family lots and 14 multi-family lots to the existing 16 lots approved last year for phase 1. Babcock said builders have bought up those lots in phase 1 and two homes have been built.

The proposed expansion would be to the north, abutting the Prairie Duneland bike trail on the west side of Pearson Road. A roadway would stretch between two blocks of development, one with 36 lots and the other 25 lots for single-family residences with cul-de-sacs, separated by Gustafson Ditch which moves through the property.

The cul-de-sacs and setbacks were the reasons Slager opted to pursue a PUD ordinance which would be easier than having to ask for variances from the Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals, Babcock said. The plans show “islands” in the cul-de-sacs that could be used as green space.

The northeast corner of the property is where Slager would like to have 14 lots of paired-patio homes with their own cul-de-sac and a detention pond. The PUD would have a property owners association to keep up maintenance for the three wet-bottom ponds on the property but there would be a sub-association just for the multi-family units, Babcock said. The covenants for the existing 16 lots would extend to the new developments.

Babcock said that water utilities are available for the site but sanitary sewer is still being discussed. A lift station to the northwest along the bicycle trail could be an option.

Also being considered is where emergency vehicles would have access.

Drainage was discussed this week by the Porter County Drainage Board, which would have access to Gustafson Ditch for cleaning since it is a regulated drain. The developer hopes to be able to reduce easements from 50 feet to 35 feet so owners could have the option to install swimming pools or patios.

The Drainage Board has not made any decisions but Commission President George Stone said he figures plans for drainage should be included in the PUD before the planners formally vote on it.

Planner Jim Kowalski added that properties on a regulated drain are charged a ditch assessment. Babcock said the County is planning to do away with the ditch fees and initiating a storm water fee, which will be for unincorporated residents.

Stone inquired when he expects the PUD ordinance to be ready as it “sounds like a few loose ends” need to be taken care of. Babcock said the Commission can expect to see it in February or March.

In other business, town attorney Chuck Parkinson said work is finally done on the sidewalk completion guarantee for Venturi Drive and the Commission approved cutting the last check.

Also, the Commission was handed revisions for the Town’s sign ordinance that will be given a public hearing, likely early next year. The changes stem from a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, that essentially says restrictions cannot be placed on signs based on content.

Ending the final meeting of the year, planner Jeff Trout commended Stone for his direction as president this year.

“You’ve always steered the ship in a tight rein. We’ve been pretty busy lately with new developments and leadership is important,” Trout said.



Posted 12/18/2015





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