A reconfigured parking plan for Seven Peaks Waterpark will be in place
before the 2014 season begins, according to the new Porter attraction’s
The Porter Plan Commission on Thursday approved a site plan for the west
parking lot, but subject to town building commissioner Mike Barry’s final
review of the plans.
Seven Peaks manager Matthew Phair said adding a new north entrance off
Waverly Road with double lanes to increase stacking space will take waiting
cars off Waverly faster; vehicles will be directed to a new ticket booth at
the far northwest corner of the parking lot.
The lot’s current entrance/exit off Waverly closer to U.S. 20 will become an
exit only upon completion of the new entrance.
Representing Seven Peaks, Jeffrey Oltmanns of Global Engineering and Land
Surveying said the parking modifications are only Phase 1 of a master plan
for the parking area. If visitation dictates, Phase 2 could add more parking
spaces by graveling the current overgrowth areas; future improvements could
include asphalting the lot itself and adding a turn lane on Waverly if
When Seven Peaks purchased the former Splash Down Dunes waterpark last year,
the company’s Utah owner said a pedestrian tunnel under Waverly Road was a
possibility to provide safer passage between the parking lot on the west
side and the actual waterpark venue on the east side.
After Thursday’s meeting, Phair said as more phases of the Seven Peaks
project are developed, additional improvements including a pedestrian tunnel
will be discussed. For now, “We’re trying to pull (waiting vehicles) off
Waverly to make it safe as we continue to grow.”
Plan Commission member and town police chief James Spanier supported moving
the entrance to the north, calling it imperative for safety. Other
commission members backed his request for some kind of fence to direct
pedestrians where to cross at Waverly.
Member Ken Timm said he was stopped four times in one pass past the
waterpark because of crossing pedestrians.
Commission president John Kremke said Seven Peaks representatives need to
meet with Barry, who cited a number of things missing from the parking plans
like drainage calculations during an earlier staff review. Town planner Jim
Mandon said those matters deal with issuance of a building permit, not Plan
Commission vote to approve Phase 1 of the parking master plan was 5-0 with
member Brenda Brueckheimer absent and member Elka Nelson recusing herself
because she has a business relationship with Seven Peaks.
After the meeting Phair confirmed in the coming weeks Seven Peaks hopes to
open the former Westchester Lanes bowling alley in Chesterton that it
acquired last month. Over the next 12 to 18 months cosmetic renovations are
planned inside and outside for bowling, a games arcade and reopened
Like Seven Peaks waterpark, the bowling alley won’t be open on Sunday but
will be a participating venue in Seven Peaks’ Pass of all Passes promotion
that allows entry into various regional attractions. Phair said the pass
program has been well received by the public and participating partners.
In other Porter Plan Commission business, planned discussion regarding C&C
Development --- the subject of legal action between developers and the town
since 2008 --- did not take place. A scheduled closed executive session last
night for commission members to discuss litigation was canceled yesterday.
The commission also unanimously approved primary and secondary plat approval
in one night as a minor subdivision for Jim Chlebowski. He is combining Lots
39 and 40 in Wagner Hills subdivision to build a larger home. No one
commented during a public hearing. No future driveway access will be allowed
off Wagner Road.
The Porter Board of Zoning Appeals met briefly Thursday and set a public
hearing Sept. 18 for Al Raffin, who said he replaced a rotting split-rail
fence in his front yard at 451 Waverly Rd. without knowing a variance to
have a fence in a front yard should have been obtained first.