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Plan Commission Meeting Minutes 2016

Meeting Minutes

01-06-2016 Plan Commission Meeting Canceled
01-20-2016 Plan Commission

January 20, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on January 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jim Maciejewski, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, Greg Volk. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. DANCING WATERS – Phase 2 – Review of Proposed Development Plan (Mr. Dennis Meyers)

Mr. Forbes advised that although we have discussed this development in previous study sessions, this is the first time we are seeing actual drawings on this phase of the development. Just for your orientation, up on the screen, down on the corner Bingo Lake, this development is on the northern boundary of that and east of U.S. 41.

Mr. Dennis Meyers of Meyers Development introduced himself to the board, here to present a preliminary drawing, we have not done architectural drawings on these buildings yet. I wanted your comment and suggestions to see if this is something you want us to proceed with.

[Mr. Meyers walked to the screen area] Mr. Meyers advised that the original plat, which he has been working on the project with the Town for the past three years, has been approved, and we are underway on the first phase. Mr. Meyers pointed out the second phase on the screen. Mr. Meyers advised that he has been consulting with Doug Rettig of Land Technologies and we came up with the shown design. It is a skinny piece of ground and a real obstacle is there is a pipeline running through it (dark black line shown), and there is a fifty foot (50’) easement, 25’ on either side of the pipeline. They believe they have come up with a really good plan; five (5) buildings with a view of Bingo Lake, hopefully working with the Town to make it more attractive. My idea is two-story buildings and the second floor would be the living areas with big decks off the backend overlooking the lake. We also proposed to installed two or three large fountains, lit at night to make it attractive. Its approximately 4.5 acres, part of which is water.

We created a cul-de-sac which was not in the original drawings, but after the purchase of additional property we have the capability to do so.

Mr. Kozel asked what is the distance between the buildings and the wetlands. Mr. Meyers advised it is at about twenty feet (20’). Mr. Meyers reiterated that the living areas would be on the second floor; there would be a garage and a bonus room on the first floor, and a 10’ x 30’ balcony on the top level, two (2) bedrooms, around 1,500 to 1,600 square feet. These would be for the “empty nesters” in mind, not people with children. These are all smaller versions of what they have previously built.

Mr. Forbes advised in order to help the board members, there is currently discussion for a proposed business at the corner of U.S. 41 and Bingo Lake. Mr. Kil advised that he has a site plan of Levin Tire if they wished to see it on the screen. Mr. Forbes advised that it would help show the proposed frontage roadway should the other development come in, which would involve two (2) lots.

Mr. Meyers advised that he is familiar with building near or around pipelines, and one thing is certain is that they do not want a road on top of the pipeline; they will let you cross it, but do not want you to parallel to it or run on top. Discussion ensued as to the location of a frontage road that will accommodate the development in the future, conceptual at this time.

Mr. Meyers reiterated that if the concept he is proposing is something the board would like to see then he will proceed with engineering and additional information to present at a later date, including leaving room for a tie-in to a road, or leave it as a private road serving a high-end development of these homes. Additional general discussion continued on the future frontage road between the board members, Mr. Kil and Mr. Meyers.

Mr. Forbes noted that that Mr. Meyers could go ahead with the engineering as there were no objections or additional concerns from the board members.

B. CIRCLE K – Preliminary Review of Development Plan (Mr. Don Silver)

Mr. Don Silver of Circle K Real Estate Division introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Silver advised he is also here with his team, Mr. Mike Mathis, who designed our site, and Mr. Joe Carroll, who will be in charge of construction. Mr. Silver advised they are excited about their first prospect in the St. John community, and appreciate the opportunity.

Mr. Silver advised the site is the Southeast corner of 93rd and U.S. 41, it is currently owned by a bank, he advised there is an overlay and a site plan, but they have also brought renderings this evening to show the members. Mr. Silver was advised that he could connect his laptop to the meeting room screen from the podium access outlet. Mr. Silver also advised that there are “before” and “after” pictures of that location to display.

(talking in background, possibly petitioner talking by the display screen, inaudible)

Mr. Forbes asked if a site plan was available. Mr. Kil suggested a certain displayed to remain on the screen for the planners to review and comment.

Mr. Silver pointed to an area where there is space for a sidewalk, however he advised that they do not do that anymore, they do not have a “step up”. Mr. Silver talked in general terms of certain items noted on the screen.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Silver that this is very difficult for determination as they do not have any drawings in front of the planners for review.

Mr. Kozel asked about the distance between the entrance on U.S. 41 and the one for the bank right now, as it looks very close.

(at this point, several members have having discussions amongst themselves regarding paper copies presented)

Mr. Kil offered to put the site plan on the screen, noting that he did not know if it was the latest rendition of the proposal. After a discussion between Mr. Silver and Mr. Kil they determined that it was not the latest rendition; however, it was good enough for tonight’s discussion.

Mr. Forbes inquired, in relation to the overview of the 93rd and U.S. 41 intersection, the entrance East of the former dental office, the distance of same, from U.S. 41 to the canopy of Circle K is 40’. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil discussed the 60’ set-back from the right-of-way. Mr. Kil advised that they are aware that there are a lot of variances in which they will have to petition the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Forbes wanted it noted that the canopy, by their definition is a structure, and by ordinance should be back at 60’. Mr. Kil calculated the actual store to be 130’ back.

Mr. Kraus noted that they are 40’ to the gas pump, so 60’ from property line to pump. Mr. Forbes advised that he was trying to get all the dimension straight. Mr. Silver advised that the canopy can be moved back farther, and that they were careful to keep cross-access to the bank and also to get to the recreational area to the back.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil discussed the requirements: 45’ for rear yard according to the zoning district. Mr. Kil advised that he had discussed with Mr. Silver at length that this project would require a lot of variances for the project, and that they have not even gotten to the issue of signage. Mr. Forbes mentioned to one of the team members (unknown) that a monument sign, as well as a digital sign, both require action from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil noted that with a corner lot, the 93rd side setback would be 20’, and the other side that is next to the bank would be 10’, with a 45’ rear year yard.

Mr. Kozel stated that he is concerned with the ingress and egress of the site. Mr. Kil stated that he had discussed a 93rd entrance that was pushed way far to the East, and believed that was on one of the previous site plans.

Mr. Kil advised that along with this site, while looking up and down U.S. 41, it is a raised median that would have to go in, a turning lane, so if going southbound on U.S. 41, the developer would have to put in a designated turn lane, which would also access the bank site. Mr. Forbes asked if that meant a right-in and right-out only due to the fact of the raised median. Correct, it will not be a full access cut, and the traffic issue was discussed in full.

Mr. Silver said that there is a new INDOT plan, as he understands it, from U.S. 41 down to U.S. 231, for re-paving and center turn-lanes. Mr. Kil advised he got the letter from INDOT that said they were going to be surveying, which means there is not a specified date they would actually do the improvements. Mr. Silver stated that given that information or what Circle K would propose a decel lane on 93rd, and hopefully INDOT will make their improvements on U.S. 41, which would mean a right-in and right-out only, by virtue of a 300’ median placement.

Mr. Forbes advised that he can see the thoughts they have on the intersection, and we have had meetings with INDOT on U.S. 41 on several intersections, and we are still awaiting some action. Mr. Forbes noted that at this intersection there are a lot of accidents along this area and he would not like to add to those problems that already exist.

Mr. Silver advised that he cannot speak for the bank, that Circle K will do what they can on their part. Mr. Forbes felt that contacting the bank, which would benefit from certain improvements should be their first and best action. Discussion ensued concerning the bank owning the right-of-way and the shifting of the lanes over to accommodate improvements, that would shift traffic out of the through lanes.

After continued discussion in regards to INDOT and their timelines, Mr. Kil suggested that they go directly to INDOT and request their feedback. That way INDOT can tell you exactly what their plans are and they can say whether they like it, don’t like or have any suggestions. For INDOT to purchase right-of-way parcels would take them years and years.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Silver to point to the current exit onto 93rd Avenue on the screen.

Mr. Kozel asked if there was any way that they could turn the building 90˚ to make it work. Mr. Kozel was thinking of having the back of the building to 93rd Avenue. Discussion ensued and it was the consensus that having the building back on 93rd would be unsightly, or repositioning the primary structure. Mr. Kozel state his concern was the traffic flow, and to get it through to 93rd much easier.

Mr. Gill inquired as to the dimensions of the canopy, and discussion ensued amongst the board members, estimating it to be approximately 48’ x 160’.

Mr. Silver commented that he knows that there is a lot of work to be done on the plans; work on U.S. 41, move entrance to East farther, and overall site plan that addresses flows.

Mr. Forbes suggested that they go back to discuss with the bank and INDOT, reiterating that this intersection is a trouble spot and most accidents occur south of 93rd on U.S. 41, to Joliet Street. Noted that it was addressed in stat report of 27 accidents in a 3-year period, a lot of distractions with the Parish festivals, Donkin Donuts, the bank itself and the like.

Mr. Silver was also directed to have the engineering checked for storm water retention. Mr. Kil referred them to the pond behind the bank, but it would be the petitioner’s responsibility to have the calculations checked.

Board discussed various variances that will be required by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Forbes suggested that they acquire a lot more information so it can be presented to the BZA all at once, the set-backs, the signage issue. Continued discussion was directed as to parking. It was noted that the professional offices leased at the bank do not take up much parking, and this will be reviewed by Mr. Kraus once all that information is available.

Mr. Silver thanked the board for their input and will be coming back at future study sessions when additional planning details are available.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. THE PRESERVES – Review of Development Plan and Primary Plat

Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is The Preserves, it is located at 93rd and White Oak Avenue, all the way down to 101st Avenue on White Oak Avenue. The board will be looking at the preliminary plat of the entire subdivision, and the developer will final plat sections as they complete those respective sections.

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development introduced himself and Mr. Scott Zajack. Mr. Slager advised he would give an overview of what has been occurring over the last eight months. Mr. Slager advised that they started out with annexation in May of last year, we began with some preliminary meetings and Plan Commission study sessions through July and August; requested permission to advertise, we did get re-zoning on this property to RC-1, and I will discuss that further.

Mr. Slager advised that they had the public hearing for the primary approval which occurred on December 2, 2015, and due to cancelations or lack of quorum, we are pushed back to the February 3rd meeting, so we will be back in two (2) weeks to continue the public hearing that was started back in November. Mr. Slager asked for the plan to be displayed on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Slager showed the entire site. North is at 93rd Avenue, East on White Oak Avenue, showing the entrance location on White Oak across from Rosewood Estates, another on 93rd across from Schillton Hills, and lastly one on 101st at the South end. Basically it is 423 single-family lots, no multi-family, no duplex, no townhomes, all single family. There is a variation of 80’, 100’, 120’ lots, trying to conserve as many trees and wetlands along the creek as we can. There are very nice wooded lots, he showed areas on the screen that are being preserved as wetlands.

So, we have 423 lots on 319 acres, our intention is to develop approximately 40 to 50 lots a year, for the next ten (10) years. This will be a long scale project. They Master Plan the entire development, then showing a rendition in yellow, Mr. Slager pointed out the first phase of approximately 57 lots with the entrance coming off of White Oak, then we would come in each time with a plat for a successive section.

Mr. Slager discussed the RC-1 zoning advising it is right out of the Zoning Ordinance, and the reason for the RC-1 PUD is to provide for the development of innovative residential environments by allowing a high degree of flexibility in the design of single-family subdivisions, encouraging more efficient use of the land through the introduction of open space and conservation land within residential areas, and protecting remaining significant natural features within the district by emphasizing less intensive suburban land uses. Mr. Slager stated that he believes this is the first area to use the RC-1 PUD zoning and there are many natural features that they want to preserve.

Mr. Slager advised that there are four (4) parcels combined to make this area; the Huppenthal Farm, which is 185 acres, The Herman Farm which is 80 acres, property that we already owned off 93rd which is 44 acres and The Buchmeier parcel which is 10 acres. Totaling 319 acres. Mr. Slager showed a density plan on the screen and advising it comes to 1.36 units per acre. We are preserving over 100 acres of natural space, along the creeks, woods, wetlands, so there will be this land set aside that is not developed. Mr. Slager compared this subdivision density to Schillton Hills.

Mr. Slager showed a park that is designated in the center of the development. Showing the areas homesteads and some of the trees that they will be keeping. A nice bike and walking path will be installed and weave along White Oak and along 93rd, and will ultimately will connect up to the existing bike path system that will take you to the Ice Arena down south. It will be an 8’ wide asphalt path that will wrap around the wetlands and through the trees; and in addition these designated lots (shown on screen) will be required to have a 7’ wide sidewalk on the front of their lot. Overall Mr. Slager advised that they have the best engineers working on the project, Manhard out of Illinois, and they are also working with the best wetland engineers, am working with Army Corp and DNR, making sure we preserve as much as possible.

Mr. Slager noted that they have been to no less than ten meetings and advertised three (3) times, regarding the annexation, re-zoning, public notices. Mr. Slager advised that they have listened to all the feedback from the public and noted that the primary concerns have been on traffic along White Oak, 93rd Avenue and 101st Avenue. Mr. Slager advised they are proposing, after looking at the Town’s Thoroughfare Plan, we are providing 45’ to 50’ of right-of-way on these three roads so that if in the future they need to be widened the right-of-way is there. The Thoroughfare Plan also noted connection to future development; which they have addressed, and new development should not allow driveways onto arterial or collector streets. All along White Oak and 93rd, there will be no driveways allowed from any of the lots, they will be all interior lots, there will be berming and landscaping along the backs of the lots to shield them. The entrance will be improved with accel and decel lanes, ultimately when we go to Phase 2, we are proposing to widen and improve the intersection of White Oak and 93rd Avenue with left turn lanes, when we go to Phase 3, we are proposing to improve 101st and White Oak with widening and left turn lanes; and then on final phase we will improve the entrance which will be directly across from Monix Drive in Schillton Hills.

First Group Engineering has been hired to do traffic counts. Mr. Forbes advised he saw them out there already. Mr. Slager advised they will analyze the traffic at the intersections and have a report to us in two weeks, by the next meeting. First Group will analyze the existing conditions of the roads and also the proposed conditions.

Mr. Slager advised that Schilling Development is dedicated to making this one of the nicest developments in the Town, and they have worked diligently to come up with a nice land plan, preserving as many natural features as we can. They put a high regard on architectural detail.

Mr. Williams asked about a “top portion”. Mr. Slager noted that that is 40 acres that will be preserved as a wetland complex, with walking trails and they want it to be a real feature. Mr. Kraus noted that it was the detention portion of Schillton Hills. Mr. Slager agreed and advised of plans to make it real nice with plantings and hopefully attracting bird wildlife.

Mr. Birlson asked about the entrance again for Phase 1. Mr. Slager pointed to the area of White Oak which is across from Rosewood and about 300’ South. Mr. Slager then pointed to the entrance off 93rd Avenue, across from Monix Drive, and again that will be a wide divided entry. We eliminated another entrance from White Oak based on feedback from the residents, as it may be used as a “cut through” to avoid the intersection. The third entrance will go across the creek and out to 101st Avenue.

Mr. Forbes commented that the lane improvements are key to this development, as they are improving three arterial roads.

Discussion ensued as to this development and its comparison with other developments where a Master Plan was proposed, with the development done in phases. Mr. Slager advised that this could possibly go more than fifteen (15) years before the last lot is done.

Mr. Williams asked about the difference between R-1 and RC-1. Mr. Slager advised the ultimate size of the house does not change between R-1 and RC-1, only the lot size, and all the rules apply otherwise to an R-1 zoning, so basically a same size house on a smaller lot. Mr. Slager advised they are looking at a price point of $400,000.00 to $600,000.00 home and lot packages. Based on the covenants that we put on the lots as to what can be built, that is the price point and even higher in some of the nicer areas.

Mr. Forbes inquired if they were the developers of Copper Creek in Crown point. Mr. Slager advised yes, however, those lots are 60’ x 130’. Mr. Forbes advised it was a nice development and suggested that the board members see for themselves.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Kil how many times White Oak has been repaved, as it has consistently been destroyed by construction, wanted to know who would be picking up the cost should this cause the same factors. Mr. Kil advised that Lake County and Olthof Development have done a lot on 101st. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil advised that with the annexation, we are closing the loop where we will be responsible for the maintenance.

Mr. Maciejewski asked about infrastructure impact with this development. Mr. Slager advised that there are a couple of issues that they will be solving. Rosewood has a 12” water main along White Oak and it ties into an 8” water main that continues up White Oak. Mr. Slager advised that they are going to finish that 12” water main loop, get it up to 93rd Avenue, and then we are going to finish the 12” loop South and tie-back in here (shown on screen).

Mr. Slager advised that in the future should the Town be looking at a well or a tower down South near the Ice Arena perhaps, that will allow that future water source to feed the North side of town up to the Kilkenny water tower. Basically we are filling in some missing pieces of the water lines by continuing the loop. Mr. Slager advised that the sanitary sewer, there is an 18” that runs through Rosewood and an 8” line, we are going to tie into that, and that will feed a good portion of this property through gravity, and ultimately another portion of the property will go up to the Lift Station No 4 on 93rd, and that will need an up-grade at some point in the future, probably at Phase 3 or 4.

Mr. Slager thanked the board and advised he would see them in a couple weeks.

B. EDENS COVE – Review of Development Plan / Rezone from R-1 to R-2

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Eden’s Cove, it is a review of the Development Plan, they are scheduled for a Public Hearing, they are requesting a re-zone from R-1 to R-2. Mr. Forbes noted that they were not present.

Mr. Kil brought up the Site Plan on the meeting room screen. Mr. Forbes advised that the development is on Joliet Street, by Maginot Meadows. It is an eight (8) lot subdivision, and one of the lots is on Grasselli Street. Six (6) lots vary in sizes, they have not gotten into the hard geometry yet. Mr. Kil advised the screen shows just how the site will generally will layout. Mr. Forbes noted that Maginot Meadows is zoned R-2. Mr. Kil advised that this will be done by Dutch Mill, they build a very nice product.

Mr. Williams asked what is the difference between R-1 and R-2. Mr. Forbes explained briefly, and general discussion ensued as to various zoning matters.

C. CHERIES GARDEN – Site Plan Review

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Cheries Garden, it’s a daycare center in The Gates, north of St. John Liquors. Their business has grown and they want to expand.

Mr. Kil advised to give an orientation (showing site plan on screen), this parking lot, just south is St. John Liquors. The hashed-marked area is existing and they wish to put an addition on to the North. Basically they are doing so well that they want to put an addition on. They will be appearing before the board on February 3, 2016.

D. RENAISSANCE – Unit 7 / Final Plat Review

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Renaissance – Unit 7, Final Plat approval. Mr. Kil displayed the plat on the meeting room screen. Mr. Kil advised they are still working on Lot 498, 499 and 500. Mr. Forbes advised (for the newer board members) that they have Preliminary approval which allows them to put in infrastructure and improvements.

They need to come in for Final Plat approval in order to actually build structures. Renaissance was platted approximately 8-9 years ago. Mr. Forbes noted on the screen, showing the area that is Clarmonte Ridge subdivision to the West. Joliet Street is the southern boundary. With this development it will extend to make it line up with Parrish Avenue to make a cleaner – safer intersection for everyone. This is part of The Gates, which was purchased by the Renaissance group and they have been building it for years now.

Mr. Kil displayed a plan which showed what Unit 8 would look like, which is three (3) lots with a cul-de-sac. Mr. Forbes asked about back when this was purchased, there was supposed to be a bike trail all the way across the subdivision. Mr. Kil advised that particular topic needs to be brought up on February 3, 2016. The trail is to go along 101st (Joliet Street), the entire length of the subdivision, on the North side, between 405 on the south and 456 on the north, that is where it will cross over to connect to The Gates.

Mr. Forbes advised that secondary approval is pretty much easy, as they rely on Mr. Kraus to review the improvements and calculate any Letter of Credit needed and we pretty much rely on his recommendation.

E. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 1 – Review of Rezone Request

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates – Unit 1, Cheries Garden is going to be at the bottom of this next drawing. Mr. Kil noted the location on the meeting room screen. What was preliminary platted here was both sides of the street are zoned R-2. The units to the East are duplexes, and what the petitioner is requesting is to change from an R-2 zone to an R-3 zoning, because they want to build more of those duplexes. They are selling like crazy in that area. The current builder of the duplexes is McFarland and a different builder is coming in for this section. Mr. Gill stated it is Illiana Builders on this section.

Mr. Williams asked what the sizes were. Mr. Kil advised 84’ x 140’. Mr. Forbes noted that he is not requesting to change the size of the lots, just the zoning. The Gates is one giant Planned Unit Development. General discussion ensued about side yard set-backs that was talked about at an earlier meeting. Mr. Kil believes his proposal is to build duplexes all through there.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Lotton is on vacation, which is why he is not here tonight, but he will be here on February 3, 2016. Mr. Forbes noted that this was on last year’s agenda, but due to circumstances got bumped to this year. He will have architectural drawings at that time. Mr. Kil advised that he will e-mail all the board members the drawings as they are submitted.

F. WINE BAR

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Nick Georgiou is present to discuss a Wine Bar, although it was not an agenda item.

Mr. Georgiou introduced himself and thanked the board members for allowing him to speak tonight. Mr. Georgiou advised that at the December Study Session they presented a small project on U.S. 41, it is the old Meinzer & Babineux Office building. The owner who purchased the property is going to convert that to a Wine Bar and we presented a site plan. There are some variance issues required. It is a commercial building and has a shared driveway with the property to the North. The parking is in the back.

There are some variance issues, also they need to plat this as a one-lot subdivision as its current legal description is “meets and bounds”. The crux of the issue is access on U.S. 41, or access to the lot because they currently share the driveway which is only 17’ wide. To the South is Roger & Son Locksmiths and to the North is an abandoned house which is owned by First Financial, and they own the ATM to the North.

We were advised to go back and see if we can improve the access or look at options out the rear to Patterson Street and what we can do at 41. Mr. Kraus reviewed what was submitted, noting the parking was adequate, drainage impact was very minor. The owner has talked to First Financial, the commercial broker, and actually got a positive reception relative to acquiring property to the North.

Mr. Georgiou handed out paper copies of the latest rendering. First Financial responded they wanted the purchaser to tear down the house and garage, and spoke about the north parcel which is actually zoned R-1, which makes a weird situation, and First Financial also requested that they get the parcel zoned commercial. They were able to confirm that when you combined the INDOT driveway there, it is about 35’ wide. There is a 33’ wide drive that we can accomplish there, which would allow left out – right out. I did show potentially going out the back, but as a primary entrance that was not preferred and if we can maximize the U.S. 41 as the one joint access for both properties, that is really the direction that they would like to go. I am looking for feedback, checking for a favorable response in regards to the access issue, then the owner will have a more serious discussion with First Financial and the broker in trying to make this happen.

Mr. Forbes asked if First Financial was receptive to the rear access also. As a secondary, if this would go straight through it would be beneficial to both parties. Mr. Forbes advised that the width of this driveway make a huge difference in what was proposed before.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if that portion of U.S. 41 was going to be striped with a center turn lane. Mr. Kil advised they have asked INDOT a lot about that issue and still does not know what they are going to do. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Denny Cobb of First Group has checked that location and it meets all the criteria and width-wise for a bi-directional turn lane, but why INDOT won’t just allow it we don’t know.

Mr. Kozel inquired as to primary access, now that they have a rear access to Patterson Street. Mr. Georgiou advised that right now he is just proposing the 33’ wide full curb cut as the primary access. It also allows me to meet some of the side-yard setbacks, and a couple other things to resolve, other than they will still have to do the one-lot subdivision. If First Financial is willing to work with us this could be a win-win for both parties.

Mr. Williams asked if it would still look like a house. Mr. Georgiou said that it would. They have re-roofed and the inside would have a complete renovation and the exterior will be cleaned up significantly, they are looking for outdoor space, like a deck or patio associated with the business.

There focus with the liquor license is not as “a bar”. The patio would be to the rear and the south of the structure.

With no further questions from the board members, Mr. Georgiou advised he will go back to his client and see what can happen.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further items for the board, Mr. Forbes advised that they are officially adjourned.
(Meeting adjourned at 9:42 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

02-03-2016 Plan Commission

February 3, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
Jim Maciejewski    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on February 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary (Susan E. Wright). Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Willilams, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Forbes noted that the first item on the agenda is the Election of Officers and entertained a nomination of President of the Plan Commission for 2016. Mr. Volk nominated Mr. Forbes for President. With no further nominations, motion carried by 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a nomination for Vice-President of the Plan Commission for 2016. Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Volk for Vice-President. With no further nominations, motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Secretary for the Plan Commission for 2016. Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Kozel. With no further nominations, motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of December 2, 2015. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel motioned that the board approve the December 2, 2015 minutes as submitted, motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PLAN COMMISSION APPOINTMEN TO BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS:

Next item on the agenda is an appointment of a Plan Commission member to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Forbes advised that Mr. Williams has offered to accept that appointment. Mr. Forbes asked for any objections from the board. With no objections, Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Williams as the Plan Commission member to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. EDENS COVE – Rezone from R-1 to R-2 (Mr. Dave Spoolstra).

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is a Public Hearing for Edens Cove for a zone change from R-1 Single Family to R-2 Single Family, and the petitioner is Dave Spoolstra. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Muenich if the proofs of publication are in order for this public hearing. Mr. Muenich advised they were, he examined them this afternoon.

Mr. Dwayne Gillen of V3 Companies introduced himself and advised that Mr. Spoolstra is in the audience. Mr. Gillen advised that they were here a few months ago to introduce this project, it is a zoning change to allow eight (8) lot single family homes. It is located north of Joliet Street and just East of Grasselli Avenue, and is about a five (5) acre parcel. I have submitted layout and engineering plans, and he has copies for the board members. It is the plan that was discussed before, and two comments that the Plan Commission had was to add a right-turn deceleration lane off Joliet Street, and also to expand Lot 8 which up along Grasselli, so it was made wider to the north, away from existing residences.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for any questions or comments. Hearing none Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He further asked that they step up to the podium and please state your name and address for the record.

Marcia Maginot (10030 Joliet Street): I live West of the farm where they want to put the new homes. My concern is the lawn service that was used to mow the farm area, they were mowing my lawn, and I had to tell them they were on my property. I want to make sure that my home is mine. Also, when my mother and my uncle decided to divide the farm up, we have a fence running north and south, can I straighten my fence out, so if I ever sold that home, I don’t want someone else’s fence on my piece of property. (Mr. Spoolstra advised that would address her concerns and give her a survey showing her property and be mindful of same).

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): She wanted to know the difference between R-1 and R-2. (Mr. Forbes advised that R-1 lots are 20,000 square feet and R-2 lots are 15,000 square feet. And is there any difference the actual width of the lots at all? Mr. Forbes advised that both are 100’ wide).

Mike Alonza (9665 Grasselli Avenue): He had a question about the storm water basin and he wanted to know how the property was going to be drained, mechanically where the pipes are going to be running, or how that is going to be tied in. (The developer’s engineer advised that there are inlets on Grasselli that our storm water basin will discharge directly to the West through an underground storm sewer and tie into the existing system by the road. Lot 9 will be part of the storm water management basin, so there will be a swale and a storm sewer that goes out to the street).

John Koontz (9965 Maginot Circle): He was curious if there was talk about a fence going between our property, which is just north of there, and the new project. (Mr. Gillen advised not at this time).

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I guess just one question, is Edens Cove, are you approving the zoning change or the development tonight. (Mr. Forbes advised the discussion tonight is about zoning).

Marcia Maginot (10030 Joliet Street): Again, so the storm basin is going to be right behind my home, is that going to have any effect like flooding on my property. (Mr. Gillen advised that it should be the opposite).

Dale Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): So looking at this property they want to zone it as R-2. Is there a variance they are getting for the lots? (Mr. Forbes advised that the engineering is not on this drawing, this is the draft, and advised that the developer is not asking for a PUD).

Hearing no further public comment, Mr. Forbes closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board.

With no questions from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion that will be a recommendation to the Town Council, when making a recommendation please reference the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for zone change from R-1 to R-2 for Edens Cove and referencing same in the Findings of Fact. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 I – Rezone from R-1 PUD to R-3 PUD (Mr. John Lotton).

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John – Unit 10 I, this is a public hearing for a zone change from R-1 PUD Single Family to R-3 PUD Duplex. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Muenich if the proofs of publication were in order. Mr. Muenich advised that they are and the public hearing can proceed.

Mr. Lotton advised that the Unit 10 I is currently zoned R-2 PUD single family, and they are looking to do R-3 PUD “restricted duplexes”. The area to the East of this unit is R-3 PUD, those are 2-3 and 4 units. To the North is single family, and to the South is the day care center, which is commercial.

Mr. Forbes inquired about the boundary, that the eastern boundary of this unit is R-3 PUD. Mr. Lotton advised that POD has 2, 3 and 4 unit building in there, and Parrish Avenue is the boundary to the West.

With no immediate questions from the board, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to the public hearing, reminding those wishing to speak to please give your name and address for the record at the podium.

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): By zoning this from R-1 to R-3 duplex, how many more people and vehicles does that put on our roads like Route 231, cause right now it is horrible, and to me a Plan Commission should care about the residents who live there now. She mentioned seeing two and three-story buildings. (Mr. Kil advised that she is looking at the assisted-living facility). Ms. Pacific stated her concern over Greystone and the Preserves and having too much traffic on the roads, including those outside of the Town’s boundaries. She stated that they will be destroying the quality of life in St. John, Cedar Lake all the surrounding area they love.

Robbie Hidenriech (10748 Maple Lane): I live in the duplex abutting this property. I am in favor of the change, because it is going from single-family homes to the duplex. Duplex, you have rules and regulations where people cannot put in play gyms and swimming pools. Your typical single-family home has a lot of people because there are children there, and so there is going to be more people, whereas the duplexes you are typically going to have one or two people to a unit, not so many families and I think it will be quieter. I believe it will enhance what we already have with the duplexes that are already there, so it will be a nice continuation.

(Announcement: Mr. Forbes asked the ladies and gentlemen not to interfere with someone making their comments at the podium. I think it is pretty unfair for you when someone has an opinion opposite what you have, that you attack that individual, and yet you applaud and support those that are on your side. Let’s be courteous to those coming up to the podium).

Mary Therese Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): We have duplexes behind, or swimming pools behind the duplexes behind my neighborhood, so that is not a true statement, they do go in, so do the gyms, so do the pergolas, it is at those peoples’ homes, so that is untrue.

Cindy Carlson, maiden name Hogan, born and raised in St. John (9371 Keilman Street): I don’t know where to begin, this is the first planning commission meeting I ever attended, which is shame on me. I am sorry that it has to come now, when I have seen our town just go from a great thing growing up to, I almost said something nasty. But, if there was a reason to vacate this town, we can’t do it. I can’t even get out of my driveway in the morning, with the school traffic and the traffic that comes off of 93rd. The traffic that comes off Indianapolis Boulevard or Wicker Avenue, it’s just ridiculous. And I don’t understand the continual building. I understand everybody has a right to build, to prosper, but what about us. Where is our right in all this? And when I heard through the grapevine that Keilman Street is on the agenda for going to be a one-way, or they want to do something about Keilman Street. (Mr. Forbes stated I have no idea what you are talking about). Well, that’s the rumor I heard and that’s why I am here tonight, because I want to know, if that going to happen, aren’t you going to even address the people who reside on the street? (Mr. Forbes stated I really have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. That has never been brought to my attention). Well, that’s a good thing; however, if something does need to be done about Keilman Street and I prefer that we have a three-way stop at 93rd to stop that traffic. (Mr. Forbes: Ms. Carlson I appreciate this discussion, I understand your concern, but, it is not the topic on the agenda. If you want to continue this discussion under Public Comment, I would encourage that, but do you have something for this item). I do, I do, because like I said I never came to a plan commission meeting before, so I don’t understand some of this terminology that you use, like the PUD, what the heck is a PUD? (Mr. Forbes: It’s a Planned Unit Development) And what is an R-3 (Mr. Forbes: a Residential District 3, it allows for “duplexes”, it is 15,000 square foot lots and you are allowed to put duplexes or up to 4 units max). Are there duplexes out there already? (Mr. Forbes: Yes, a lot).

Mr. Kil pointed to the meeting room screen and directed the attention to the area in question. They are two-unit building.

Ms. Carlson (continued): ... so there are no three’s there are just twos.

Gregory Tippery (9639 Maginot): The question I have based on a previous comment. I believe it is R-2 right now. So we are going to single family to duplexes, not from duplexes to more units. For the Town Plan is there a level of duplexes that we are seeking to have in our Master Plan and are we above or below it right now. (Mr. Forbes: At a maximum it is at eight percent I believe. We had a discussion about that at our last study session. Mr. Volk reaffirmed that number).

Mr. Kil commented about the overall residential units in the Town. Our goal and the Town goal is to keep single-family as “dominant” in the community, such that they occupy 92%, +/- of the housing stock of the community.

Mr. Tippery (continued): I thought that was the case, but there are petitions going around and I thought it was going above the 8%, and I believe it serves us better to have the single family that it is already zoned, rather than increasing this. The town is seeking to find different funding for the roads, and the roads are suffering, and in our area it is getting overwhelmed. When I get on Joliet to Parrish, the roads are falling apart. This time I think we are better served by keeping the zoning the way it is.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court, Golden Pond): Are there any rules on the books that if developers are building condos, that they cannot be rented out by the builder. Because I know of one developer that builds condos, then if he doesn’t sell them, he rents them out. Is there anything..,.

Mr. Kil advised Tim that he could answer that question. It is our understanding when things come in front of the board, in front of the Plan commission and Town Council, that they are “owner occupied” units. If somebody chooses to rent out their home, the town simply has no legal mechanism to prohibit it, and Mr. Muenich can probably speak legally about that.

Mr. Wolf (continued): But if the builder is renting out homes, that he hasn’t sold (Mr. Kil: is he the owner?) Well, he probably is, but if he has ten condos he hasn’t sold, is he going to be able to rent out ten condos to renters? (Mr. Kil: I can’t say, it simply is not my property) So then you are bringing in a different type of person, then.,. (Mr. Kil stated that he knows very, very, very few, percentage wise, that I am aware of personally that are rented. This town is owner occupied units, and if you look at the Census data, it backs up owner-occupied units to a tee). Legally you cannot put something on the books that say that condominiums cannot be rented out.

Mr. Muenich advised that would violate the Fair Housing Act.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to ask, there are some new members here that I am not familiar with on this Plan Commission. It just says member; do you work for the town sir? (Mr. Kil advised that the name plates have not come in yet). Mr. Gill and Mr. Forbes advised “yes, he is the Building Commissioner. Okay, this gentleman over here, do you work for the Town? (unknown who he is pointing to): “I do not”. I am pointing to the next guy.,. “I do not”. Are you residents of St. John? “Yes” Both of you, okay, just wanted to get that clear. This guy here, are you the plumbing inspector? (Pointed to Mr. Kozel, who responded that he is the Assistant Building Inspector). So we have people here who work for the town, and who owe their jobs to the Town Council and Mr. Forbes you are the President of the Town Council, so I got a question. Have you filed a Conflict of Interest Statement Mr. Forbes to be sitting here today?

Mr. Muenich intervened advising “Mr. Chairman, the discussion about the occupancy of the Plan Commission is not relevant to the public notice. The matter of the constituency of this board is not a subject for a remonstrance, if he has a remonstrance against the agenda item he is free to do so, as you aware the statute requires certain members, a certain number of members of the Plan Commission be employees of the Town. So whether Mr. Hero likes it or not, that is a requirement, and there is no obligation for any of you to file a Conflict of Interest Statement, you are appointed as members of the Town, as opposed to citizen members of the Plan Commission. So, if Mr. Hero chooses to make a remonstrance he is free to do so; but interrogating the Commission is not within his pervue.

Mr. Hero (continued): My question was not of these other individuals for a Conflict of Interest, mine was for Mr. Forbes, because I attended a hearing where your personal attorney was the attorney that just gave that opinion, okay. So, is that a conflict of interest for you to be sitting up there if that is your personal attorney in a defamation suit against you? How do we influence this board and its opinions that are given by the attorney, if that is your personal attorney?

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero, do you have any further comments.,.,.,.

Mr. Hero (continued interrupting): I don’t think this is a full and fair hearing if that is your personal attorney and you haven’t identified that to the people here. That’s my first objection to all these things on the agenda tonight. The second thing is; what this Plan Commission has been doing is killing the Town of St. John by series of small cuts. Every time you put another duplex in, you increase the population, you increase the burden on the sewers. And even though it may not look like much, for this one little thing, if you keep doing this over and over again, you have to say what is the capacity of terminal treatment plant for the sewage in Schererville. What is the capacity for the water, what is all the capacities for drainage and everything else? Because, when you make things smaller and smaller, there is less ground area for the water to trickle down. So you are talking about storm water, so I think we need to re-examine all of these things, and I object to keep cutting the integrity of the town and the systems by small cuts. And I object to the duplexes, because they are not how this thing was originally zoned. And every time you do this, without doing a study for the roads, a study for another water tower, a study for the sanitary sewers, a study for the terminal treatment plant, and every time you do another little cut, at some point all these little cuts end up bleeding this town dry. So I object to that. I object, my personal opinion is you have a conflict of interest, getting an opinion from your personal lawyer in a defamation suit. And I think all these, with you presiding, are unfair in these circumstances Thank You.

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street): I oppose any reduction in zoning. It is currently R-2, it was platted that way. Even if it was under a PUD, and I prefer for it to keep that way and regarding the percentage of multi-family in town. I just have a question about the mathematics of the eight percent calculation, I know Mr. Volk you had come up with that, and I appreciate that. (Mr. Volk commented that “No, I didn’t come up with that, actually the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Consultant did”). Okay, I had a thought in the back of the room, was that calculation done on number of lots, like adding up R-3 lots, adding up R-1 and R-2 lots, or was it done by residents, so an R-3 lot might have 2 residents or more. So I am curious of how that percentage was calculated, cause it would come out quite differently, can you really can’t count a multi-family lot as one, in that math. Do you recall what the mathematics was on that?

Mr. Volk looked to Mr. Kil who advised that they are referring to the Comp Plan.

Paul Panczuk (continued): I would like that to be investigated if it’s possible, because I think it makes a big difference. If we’re gonna have a target we are shooting for, I would like to know where it is gonna land, and um,., and I was at the Comprehensive Plan meeting and I’m fairly educated on the Comprehensive Plan and I don’t think I met a single resident that said well we want any multi-family, so less is better. And we need to make sure we’re doing that math the right way, in general. But, for this particular development, I am opposed to any reduction in the zoning. Thank you.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I didn’t hear the answer to the how the calculations were made between the multi-family.

Mr. Kil advised that he would have to confirm with the Comprehensive Plan people, that was done a while ago, so I can confirm with them and let you know and get back to you on it.

Gerry Swets (continued): But we have a goal or limit of eight percent I believe? (Mr. Kil advised that has been the goal of the Council). I think Mr. Volk made the comment that I read in the newspaper that it the limit that the Town had put on multi-family. (Mr. Kil: I think that was the goal that was said). And if you guys have no idea what the real percentage is, cause a duplex should be two families. (Mr. Volk: Based on units).

Mr. Kil stated, then again there are different way like Paul (Panczuk) said, on how that can be done. You can do it by zoning, you can do it by lot count, there are different ways you can come up with that percentage. I think the point that Mr. Volk was trying to make was that the “dominant zoning” and the “dominant structures” of the town right now are single family. They out-weigh the multi-family, if you will. If you drive around the town it is pretty obvious.

Gerry Swets (continued): My point then I guess, and my objection to approving this tonight, would be that you don’t know what the percentage is. You are taking somebody’s word that yes we are under eight percent, but you’re not quite sure how that was figured out. And if that’s even accurate, unless there is a true study that’s been done. So, until you guys know exactly what percentage we are at, I would encourage you to not approve any more multi-family zoning, until you know where your number are.

Al Halajcsik (9931 Joliet Street): I lived in St. John for thirty years, this October. I’ve seen a couple of cows in the road across the street from my house. Though I can’t get out of my driveway now. And I have asked Mr. Kil a couple of times about possibly putting in a couple stop signs, reducing the speed limit and possibly getting some police out there to control the traffic. I haven’t seen any of it. And I was wondering if it would be that difficult just to put in a couple of stop signs, maybe one at Parrish, one at the tracks...

Mr. Forbes: Again sir, at this point, this is not the time for this discussion, if would you can bring it up under the Public Comment.

Al Halajcsik (continued): ... putting in more housing is making things worse. So I just want to you to think about the problem we have now, and bringing in how many more cars, that will be running up and down these roads. Our street went from a country road to a highway. And we need to do something about it before somebody gets killed. I try to back out of my driveway when nobody is around, I put it in drive and there’s somebody on by butt. There’s a problem and it needs to be addressed before some kid standing there waiting for a school bus gets run over. There’s cars passing cars on that street. Far as I know a stop sign wouldn’t cost too much. Definitely better than somebody dying over it, too much traffic on a country road. Used to be country road.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): My first question is when is the group from LaPorte gonna come out and do the, this traffic study for the light at Route 41 and Joliet Street. (Mr. Forbes: They have already come out). Any idea when we’re gonna know the findings? (Mr. Forbes: It’s in the paper today, isn’t it?) Another thing I want to say, I seen an awful lot more people coming to these meetings than there have been before. A couple of you guys have been here way too long, first off, and I think you really don’t.,.,

Mr. Forbes addressed Mr. Parada. We are discussing the change in zoning in The Gates. I have reminded several other people that we are discussing The Gates.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board. Gentlemen, and questions or thoughts. As with the last public hearing this is a recommendation to the Town Council, either favorable, unfavorable or no recommendation; whatever motion is made please incorporate the Findings of Fact by reference.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Kil, if he could answer, the total number of units in The Gates. Mr. Kil answered 1,450 ultimate build-out, you mean? Mr. Kil asked developer Mr. Lotton in the audience to correct if wrong, it is 1,450. Mr. Maciejewski asked, and what does this change constitute as part of that overall percentage. Mr. Kil advised to his understanding is really nothing. We are going to stick with the 1,450 units that were agreed to. Mr. Kil advised they are not increasing the number of units that the Annexation Ordinance approved. Mr. Forbes noted that there were areas that were supposed to be three-units, that downgraded to duplexes. So the total number of units has not changed.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to make a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for The Gates – Unit 10 I rezone from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD duplexes and incorporate the Finding of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Birlson).

Mr. Lotton stated at this time he would like to advertise a Public Hearing for March 2, 2016 for the re-subdivision of Unit 10 I, contingent on the Town Council granting the zoning change on February 25, 2016.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for any thoughts on the request. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the request. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE PRESERVES – Primary Subdivision Plat Approval (Mr. Jack Slager)

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development introduced himself to the board. I am here tonight to request Primary Approval for The Preserves subdivision, located at 93rd and White Oak Avenue, to 101st. Mr. Slager directed their attention to the plat shown on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Slager advised this is 432 lots on 319 acres. I wanted to bring back the timeline this evening, that was before you at the last study session, the same information, but I wanted to go over it one more time.

Talking about the history of this parcel and the property and the approvals we have received over time, going back to May 2015 when we filed for annexation of this property. The annexation was passed in June 2015, we went through some study sessions, we received rezoning in November of last year. During this time we’ve attended ten plan commission meetings, study sessions, public hearings; we have advertised three different times in the newspaper, public notices to the adjoining property owners, both for the annexation, the rezoning and the subdivision public hearing.

The public hearing began on December 2, 2015; there was not enough members present at that time, so we did hold a public hearing at that time, and it was continued until tonight.

Again, 432 lots on 319 acres. We have previously received the RC-1 zoning, which is a residential conservation zoning. It allows us to have some smaller lots in order to come up with some creative layouts for the subdivision, in order to preserve some of the woods, preserve some of the wetlands and nature areas. I wanted to remind the plan commission that we are looking at a 15-year development plan. We were previously talking ten years, but by the time this is all developed and built out we’re thinking it going to be more like 15 years. We are looking at 30 to 50 lots per year.

The first phase will be 57 lots off White Oak, and in subsequent years would come in with additional phases of 30-50 lots. The overall density of this project is 1.36 units per acre. One (1) of the lowest densities of any single-family development in town. As compared to like a Lake Hills which is a 1.4, a Renaissance which is a 1.8. Because of the amount of open space that we are preserving we have a low density. There will be 40 acres along 93rd Avenue that will be dedicated as a nature preserve, we have some other areas where there is some woods that we are going to preserve. There is a park, with some nice trees right here in the center. Of course, all this nature buffer along the creek, kind of a wildlife corridor.

The community will include parks, which I just talked about. A walking/bike path that will ultimately connect to other bike paths in the town. It’s going to go all the way from 101st and White Oak, wind around the wetlands, all the way up to 93rd Avenue, along 93rd and ultimately to Schillton Drive along 93rd. We are also going to require a 7’ sidewalk along this main road, East-West, which will eventually connect to future development to the West.

A large split-divided entrance, with an island at one location and also at the other location (showing on screen). I have been listening to the feedback of the residents, and I have heard some comments about entrances being maintained. We will set up a Homeowners Association before we sell the first lot. The HOA is fully funded, and these entrances will be maintained. There are additional funds put in so that the entrances can be maintained, the natural areas, the bike paths can be maintained, set we have set that up right from the start.

One of the things we pride ourselves on is utilizing the best engineers and consultants. Wetland consultants, traffic consultants, the engineering company that we have hired on this project is Manhard, out of Illinois.

One of the main points that we heard in the feedback from the community, both at the Plan Commission and Town Council, we have come to meetings where we were not even on the agenda, and we listened to the feedback. In addition to what you heard tonight, talking about traffic.

Through our development we have followed both the 2005 Thoroughfare Plan and the recently released 2016 Thoroughfare Plan, although it is still in the draft stage. Some of the recommendations that they have is that new development will provide adequate right-of-way for future road widening, 45 to 50 feet. We have done that long all of our boundaries. The development will be linked to adjacent undeveloped parcels; we have done that with a stub road out to the West. And new development should not allow driveway onto arterials and collector streets. We have done that by not allowing any driveway onto White Oak or 93rd Avenue.

At the request of the Plan Commission, after feedback from the public, we hired First Group Engineering to perform a traffic study. I have the traffic study at 120 pages, it came out last Friday. The Town’s Engineer has had a chance to review it since Friday. I wanted to point out the recommendations down on the bottom. The three recommendations that came out of the traffic study are to (1). widen the southern approach at Monix Drive intersection to two (2) lanes. (2) The area adjacent to all three intersections have vertical curves in the vicinity intersection site distance should be checked by the site civil designer and if not sufficient, stop ahead or intersection advisory signs should be installed (3). At 50% development the project should be re-studied to determine if the assumptions on distribution were correct and determine the impacts of the full development.

So, because this is a 432 lot development, over a 15-year time period, the traffic impact study has to make some assumptions. Where are the cars going to go when they leave the development. They looked deep into the project as to what kind of homes are going to be in there. $400,000.00 and up homes, professional families, probably one or two working in Chicago, what direction is the traffic going to be going when it leaves and comes back to the subdivision. We have agreed to re-study at that 50% mark and follow their recommendations at that time.

Some of the intersection improvements that are going to address the traffic issues; this will be the first entrance that will be constructed, it is Waterleaf Drive off White Oak Avenue. Mr. Slager showed it on the screen in relation to the entrance to Rosewood. There was the recommendation to have left and right exits out of the development, so we have actually widen the entrance from the original design to allow for side-by-side traffic exiting the development. This will be installed along with a decel lane, decel taper and an accel lane coming out.

The second phase of the development will improve the intersection of White Oak and 93rd Avenue. This is probably the biggest factor in the whole traffic study plan. Obviously the current intersection is inadequate, there is a single lane in each direction. We have voluntarily agreed to improve this intersection to widen it, so that there is a left turn lane on 93rd, right turn lane on 93rd, and then a left and right on White Oak.

During the third phase of the development, we have agreed to improve the intersection of 101st and White Oak. Again, left, left-right at both White Oak and 93rd, and this will coordinate with the new bike path, and we will create a cross walk at the intersection, that will ultimately connect that bike path up to others.

And lastly, the last intersection that will be improved, and this will be done when this entrance is installed; will be at Monix on 93rd, directly across from Monix Drive in Schillton Hills. Again, in the traffic study they requested both a left and a right dual access out of the development. In addition, you will have left, straight and right. This will dramatically improve the traffic along 93rd.

Once that second entrance is constructed, we will re-study the traffic to confirm the numbers, see where the traffic is going that enters and exits the subdivision.

One of the items I wish to discuss, that I haven’t in the past, especially since we have some we plan commission members, maybe some new residents. I want to discuss the history of Schilling Development, what we have done in this town. We pride ourselves in some of the finest developments, we have been here for many years; Rosewood, Wellington, Crossing Creek, Cardinal Cove, Weston Ridge. The history of Schilling; first residents in the town. Gas station in 1930, built one of the first banks in town it is now the Subway, and the fact that we all live and work in this community. We have heard comments that developers just want to make money and leave; however, we live here, we work here and we are here to support this town.

Some of you may be aware of our involvement with the prayer trail at the Shrine of Christ Passion, the nativity sets that are put up all around town during the holidays, again, supported by Schilling Lumber and Schilling Development is a division of that lumber yard which has been in business for 85 years. We have been developing for 120 years. Five (5) generations of developing. Mr. Slager identified the third generation that is currently developing Copper Creek in Crown Point.

Mr. Slager advised the long term benefits of this development being a 15-year development. When we are done with this, basically we are putting in the roads, the sewers, the water main, and then we are turning it over to the Town of St. John. We are putting in 20 million dollars’ worth of infrastructure, fixing water main issues that are lacking right now. Fixing drainage issues by installing retention ponds. Over time, we are looking at over 5 million dollars in building permits. We are estimating 3 to 4 million in property taxes annually from this development, once it’s built out. Increased revenue for local businesses and the economy, people that live here, work here and shop here. As the new residents move into this development we anticipate homes from $400,000.00 to $1,000,000.00. When you talk about you want to see more restaurants, this is what they want to see, new homes with new residents and money to spend at the restaurants.

Mr. Slager advised that was all he had right now and asked for any questions from the board that he could answer.

Mr. Williams asked about the preserve area where they talked about boardwalks that was discussed earlier. Mr. Slager stated there is a 40-acre nature preserve dedicated (trying to display on meeting room screen) along 93rd Avenue. They had a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers that went really well. Their excited about the development, this wetland and wooded area with the bike path winding around it, these ponds are going to be planted in a native grass that attracts birds and butterflies.

They were extremely excited that we’re looking at this area, and what we can do with it. The first step is in the Fall, what’s called a controlled-burn, where they come and burn off all the invasive species and start over with some plantings. There is an existing trail that we just need to find and rehab it.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the study that was turned in gave grading scales A through F for intersections, can you quickly summarize the levels of service that are there now, and what the improvements will do to improve those scores. Mr. Slager asked Mr. Kraus if he had this report more readily available, but from his recollection, the intersection of 101st and White Oak is basically an “A” in all directions. The 93rd and White Oak is rated B, C, and D. Mr. Kraus advised that the left-hand turn onto White Oak, is right now ranked at a “C” in the morning and a “D” in the afternoon, between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. And at times it actually drops to an “E” for about 15 minutes, and only affects about 16 cars.

Discussion ensued amongst the planners, Mr. Kraus and Mr. Slager as to the varied details of the traffic study, including the number of cars that would warrant a traffic signal device. They reiterated that once The Preserves is 50% built-out that the study would be done again to revisit the numbers and calculations. Mr. Slager noted that the widening of the intersections, those improvements are being made, so if a traffic signal is warranted, that the property dedicated to that matter is already in place.

Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Slager that he was going to walk them through the 93rd Avenue and Monix Drive intersection. Mr. Slager advised the biggest concern highlighted in the traffic study was getting out of our development, and the original was a single lane out and a single lane in. So we have actually widened this to two (2) lanes, one left and one right, and this was the modification that was made after the traffic study came out.

Mr. Forbes read a review letter from Mr. Kenn Kraus of Haas and Associates. We have reviewed the preliminary plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. The subdivision includes approximately 432 residential lots, 12 lots and associated facilities and utilities to be built on 321 acres. We have completed our review and find the certified plans, including the intersection improvement plans, 8 sheets, to be satisfactory with the following contingencies:

o The recommendations included in the traffic study be followed, these recommendations include having two northbound lanes to 93rd Avenue from Tall Grass (which is shown in that drawing). And conducting a new traffic study once the occupancy of The Preserves is at or near 50%.
o The intersection of White Oak Avenue and Water Leaf Drive will be improved during the Phase One construction.
o The intersection of White Oak Avenue and 93rd Avenue, will be improved during the Phase Two construction.
o The intersection of White Oak Avenue and 101st Avenue will be improved during Phase Three construction.
o The intersection of 93rd Avenue and Tall Grass Avenue be improved during Phase Six of the construction.
o The improvements or replacement design of Lift Station No. 4 be engineered and those plans reviewed by the Town before Phase 6 starts construction.
o The construction of the Lift Station improvements will be part of Phase 6 or Phases 7 through 11, if constructed before Phase 6.
o This work needs to wait on finalizing Town strategies for improvement in force main re-routing plans for Lift Stations 1, 2, 4 and 5.
o The connection of a new 12” water main to the existing 12” water main at White Oak Avenue and 101st Avenue, will occur during Phase 3.
o The Developmental Fee has not been established at this time, it will be based on 2% of the construction costs of the public improvements, as supplied by the developer or certified estimate by the developer’s engineer.
o Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is include in the project plans, but has not been reviewed at this time. The review made be made for each Phase as they are constructed or for the entire site. The fee for this review will be determined at the time of the review.

Mr. Forbes advised that there was a Public hearing held on this, and was closed to the public. I am going to ask the board if it is their desire to re-open the public hearing to the public for comment. Hearing no objection from the board, I will open the floor to comment from the public.

Again, please state your name and address for the record.

Rich Sorenson (9161 Franklin Drive): My question was not what you were doing, but could we get an explanation of these letters you were throwing about. A,B,C,D.,. (Mr. Forbes advised that is a rating, A being “best” and “F” being worst) So it has nothing to do with traffic flow, it’s just a condition?

Mr. Forbes: No it’s a determination using the amount of traffic going through the intersection. Mr. Kraus: Level of service A means you don’t have to wait, or it only took 9 seconds for you to make your movement, Level B will be between 12 and 15 seconds, C is 15 to 20 seconds, and E is anything over 30. So in this study, the worst case we had was an E for 15 minutes during the afternoon hour that affected 16 cars, so they had to wait 30 seconds per car. So if you have several cars in a line, it will take you a while to make that turn, but with this new intersection plan, the idea is to give them their own left turn lane. So anybody who wants to come up to 93rd Avenue and turn right, won’t have to wait for all those cars in front of them wanting to turn left.

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): What Mr. Slager said was very interesting. Number one he said he was a resident of St. John, and I’d like to know if he lives in this area. She wanted to know where (Mr. Slager asked where she lived?) I actually live in the unincorporated area, south of Exchange or 101st. So you don’t live in that area, but one of the things he mentioned was that these homes were gonna run anywhere from $400,000.00 to a million dollars, but he guesses there’s only going to be one or two people, one of these homes working in Chicago. Now you and I know, all of you know that, that there are not any jobs in this area that’s gonna pay that kind of money to afford those homes, unless they are coming from Chicago or Illinois.

The other thing is I wonder why the traffic study did not include all of 101st over to State Line. Because that is what is going to be affected by this subdivision. It’s not gonna be just White Oak and 93rd, its gonna to 101st all the way over to the State Line. And we people on State Line who have to cross 101st, cannot cross it now during peak times of traffic. When people are coming home from work, when people are going to work, no one will let us through. I have, I explained this last time, I have to go all the way back, go down 113th and go down Calumet Avenue to the stop. It’s horrible and I don’t understand why that traffic study would not include all of 101st, when that is where that is where the traffic is going to be coming from. That’s why I protested the thing about The Gates of St. John, because all that traffic now is coming that way. And the people are actually coming down 101st or Exchange, going south on State Line and going down 113th, then going north on Calumet, and going across on 231 to avoid 101st. It’s horrible in that area. And if you allow these subdivisions to come in, it’s only going to be so bad that the people that have lived there like me for 35 years, you’re destroying our home life. I hope you don’t approve this. I really do. And I think a traffic study should be made on all 101st, not just where Mr. Slager had the study conducted.

Dale Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): I’ve been studying these Planned Unit Developments. And to me, I look at ‘em, their reducing the size of the lots to a minimum or maximum, wait minimum of 80’. All that’s doing is selling more lots. It’s not making the environment better. There’s nothing to that. All their doing is making smaller lots as far a PUD. I don’t know where they come up with this, why do you even have a PUD, just so they can do what they want, I don’t know. Mr. Forbes, I did bring up a question about wetland that was in the middle of that farm, can you show that on the map for me please.

Mr. Forbes advised there are several. Mr. Slager pointed to points on the map.

Dale Robert (continued): There is a wetland called BEMIC, are you familiar with that one sir? That one is on 97th Avenue, it’s not on there, you got lots on top of it. This is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife web-site mapping wetlands. You should look it up. I brought that up to your attention before. This is a freshwater eminent wetland, and it is on the Fish and Wildlife.

Mr. Slager advised that he is very familiar with it, and it is not always accurate to what is in the field. We actually have wetland scientists. There are maps that show potential wetlands that you can find on-line, which is where I am assuming that is where you found that. We have wetland scientists go out, walk the entire property, identify wetlands and then the Army Corps comes out and concurs with their findings, that has been done.

Dale Robert (continued again): That’s why I think this board should look at this entire area, where the designated wetlands are at. Mr. Forbes was aware of the one on 101st and White Oak. I believe that’s the one he mentioned, and didn’t know nothing about the one in the middle of the farm. I don’t know if all the approvals have been turned in on this. Um, there’s a lot of things that really, I don’t know if they have all been turned in. Amendment to the zoning districts? Natural features, such as strange wetlands, woodlands, you know, all these under your zoning ordinance of B-6. Did they turn in all of this documentation? Before they got approval for PUD?

Mr. Kil advised that it is not a PUD, it is an RC-1. Mr. Kozel and Mr. Kil reiterated for Mr. Robert, “not a PUD, it is an RC-1, a Residential Conservation 1”, an RC-1.

Dale Robert (continued again): So, but there are 232 – 80’ lots. Bringing up the point too, um. (Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Slager already went through the densities on the development). But that doesn’t mean anything to me. To me I’m questioning, what I’m questioning is, he has a standard lot of 80’, where the rest of the town the standard lot is 100’ frontage. He has a premium lot of 100’, well that’s a standard lot or the rest of the town. So, what are you guys thinking here? So, then advertising on this is also questionable on this also. The question to have is a safety of this. I think every subdivision should have an in and out, before its being constructed. If you have a fire at the beginning, right at the beginning of the subdivision, what is the rest of the people in the subdivision, where are they gonna go? I think the infrastructure and roadways should be put in before the building starts, so that you do have safety for the fire, for the police. My opinion is the Council should make an ordinance to have the fire and police sign off on these subdivisions before their approved, because of safety. It is big concern. Nobody ever questions this; I don’t know why not. That’s all I have at this time, I hope this subdivision doesn’t get rubber stamped like everything else has been doing here.

Cindy Carlson (9371 Keilman Street): First of all, I have to say born and raised in St. John. I am very familiar with the Schilling family. I grew up with your parents and um, too bad Schilling’s didn’t develop the whole damn town, cause they do quality work. However; I am very concerned about the traffic that will affect me. And as I said before, I cannot even get out of my street now. And 93rd, if you widen it, how would that happen, how from, Wicker all the way through where, would you go to accommodate traffic coming in and out of that new subdivision. And then when you do the grades for the traffic study, is that just for that development? For the traffic going in and out of that development?, or does it affect the surrounding streets and subdivisions. I don’t understand, what does the traffic study do?

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Kraus to go over that study again. Mr. Kraus advised that when they do a traffic study they pretty much study a 25-mile radius, around the development that they are looking at. The traffic study, the level of services that are determined, are for all the traffic, not just what is going to come out of this subdivision. So it is basically what’s there now; and what will be generated from the subdivision add to it. They look for traffic patterns 25 miles away to see what is coming here and if this development; what it adds to that traffic pattern.

Cindy Carlson (continued): So it would affect my street. And the other thing that I don’t understand to, is when you come out, about having two lanes coming out of their subdivision. I don’t see how.,. I think that would create more havoc than it would if it was just one,., one car coming out instead of two cars coming out,., no that would be 3 cars coming into that subdivision, so I don’t understand, that would just put more traffic in the flow quicker.

Mr. Kraus commented that as you know it is hard to get onto 93rd, especially if you are making a left-hand turn. What this recommendation was saying was; for cars going north out of this new subdivision, onto 93rd, there should be a left-turn lane and a right-turn lane, so that the people turning right don’t have to wait for the one turning left in front of them. Because it is going to take that guy longer to make his turn than the guy turning right.

Cindy Carlson (9371 Keilman Street): That was my main concern. And the other thing is I didn’t ask before under the Edens Cove, how many, I know you guys say units. How many total family would be under that development. (Mr. Forbes advised eight (8). And on the duplexes, how many would that be? (Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil advised eleven (11)). Eleven duplexes, like eleven homes. (Mr. Forbes: Eleven units of Two, so twenty-two). And then my last question, um,,, is when a developer comes into the town, and they do the sewer, they do all these things, like they added a water tower or they built a fire station, or the storm sewers and all that other kinda stuff,., and they pay for that all up front. How does that affect us as taxpayers in the future, cause their not gonna continue to update it or whatever, so what kinda of a cost are we looking at for future,., for us?

Mr. Kil said he believed he could speak to this a little bit. We charge on building permit fees, we charge system development fees. Every home that comes into this town, new home, pays $1,500 for water and $1,500 for sewer. That money then, what we do is then, we have been repairing the old water mains in the community. Those system development fees don’t pay for anything in the new development, it’s all brand new. We use that money to update the older sections of the town and update the utilities that way. So, try to wrap your arms around this; that’s the fee structure that comes in so that new developments actually pay for the updates for the older developments.

Cindy Carlson (continued): So if we have no development going on? All you need to do is put police on Keilman Street and we would be rich, cause they speed up and down there all the time and on 93rd. We would be awesome in money.

Donna Spila (9665 Rosewood Drive): My concern is with the entrance for the new section, that is right on top of the ridge, when you’re coming down White Oak. So my kids get on the school bus every day. School busses come under our trellis to turn left onto White Oak; somebody decides to come out of the new section, turns in front of that school bus, and school bus ends up in the ditch. Which has happened numerous times, not with school busses, but with cars. That road is just not wide enough there. And at the beginning, obviously construction traffic, cement trucks, and semis and everything else turning in and out of there, I Mean, we have all seen construction go on in the town. And on White Oak, there’s just not a lot of room there for things like that. And when you come up to that ridge you won’t see the bus coming out of my subdivision. Because it goes up, so the bus is lower than people that are going to be turning in and out of that entrance.

So it is definitely a concern as far as, you know, what is gonna happen when somebody obviously pulls out in front of that bus, with that road not having any shoulders. Or curbs, or you know, anything. And then just past that entrance, it goes very low there, so is that going to get built up to road level, or are those houses going to be down. (Mr. Forbes advised that there won’t be any houses down there).

Mr. Slager spoke to Ms. Spila of the areas shown on the screen that will be widened, and where tapering will occur. (Mr. Slager advised that across from the entrance where she lives is actually where the widening starts, we actually have to, what they call “mitigate” in that area). Discussion ensued between Mr. Slager and Ms. Spila regarding the widening and tapering of that section of White Oak.

Donna Spila (continued, back at podium): If there anyway that you can make the construction trucks not be able to go to 93rd Avenue (Mr. Forbes: Probably not). Because turning semis and everything else back onto 93rd to back everything up, it’s just obviously gonna be more of a cluster than it already is. Maybe that is something that needs to be looked at as well.

Julie Belicek (9417 White Oak Avenue): This project will be our new front yard. I know you had mentioned about adding right and left turn lanes on White Oak, going north to 93rd, how far back are those lanes going to go. (Mr. Slager pointed to the first house on the corner, and the second; so I cannot read those numbers but I believe it is about 300’, plus the width of the road). And then my next question is we have drainage problems now, and I know you said you are putting in retention ponds, is that going to benefit our side as well, we just don’t want any more than we have right now. (Mr. Slager pointed out some drainage point that goes across and comes into the new development, that will be picked up in the new storm sewer and it will be channeled into this detention pond right here. If there is any drainage coming under or over is going to be channeled through storm sewers into a new drainage system).

David Makowski (9871 Ponton Place): You gotta have development for anything to grow. My question is, with all the new homes that has come in, all the new subdivisions. Where’s all the infrastructures to support these. You can’t drive down Parrish Avenue now without your car falling apart. Your car falling apart cause the road is such shit, it’s gotten worse, worse and worse over the five to ten years I’ve been here. But yet there is more development, more homes, more this. Why don’t we put the infrastructure onto the developer, instead of the town? Have you drove down Parrish Avenue? Did your teeth jar? That’s not a problem, an issue that needs to be addressed? Joliet Street is the same way, it’s getting there. It used to take 15 minutes to get from my home to 394, it’s now 45 minutes to an hour just to get there in the morning. The infrastructure has got to be upgraded, before any more homes come in.

Mary Therese Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): I spoke to the Army Corps of Engineers today; your plan has not been approved yet (Mr. Slager: Correct). So we’re moving forward without the approval of what needs to be done? (Mr. Slager: We need Town approval before Army Corps approval). Oh, okay!?!, Thank you.

Paul Panczuk (8910 Magnolia Drive): First of all, I am glad to see a traffic study and some actual data, so that’s helpful. And I saw some improvements that were added, so that’s a good step in the right direction. I have two questions; um, and I am not sure if our engineer or Mr. Slager can address it. Was a round-about ever considered for 93rd and White Oak? (Mr. Forbes answered that it was; but it would require us to take three (3) houses). Is there any way to, and that’s always a worry obviously to take houses and no one wants to do that, I didn’t know if there was any way to engineer it more into the new development, in other words, give some more right-of-way, or at least for future expansion there, didn’t know what kind of possibilities existed, for it to be built more onto the new property, as opposed to taking out the old, so to off-set it some (Mr. Forbes advised that round-about(s) require that roads come in at 90˚ angles to be fully functioning). That’s the ideal case, I’ve seen them done other ways (Mr. Forbes advised that they have to, and people are confused enough about round-about(s) and if you start coming in at angles, it just really messes it up that much more). I fear a problem with that intersection for sure. The second question I have is that regarding the trigger for the re-study of traffic, are you approving all, or is he seeking approval on all 400+ lots, or a certain amount of phases, because it seems that the study should be tied to a second approval, or coming for a second phase.

Mr. Slager advised that he could answer that. So, we are seeking primary approval for the entire development tonight. We will have to come back after each phase, or during each phase for final plat approval. So we will be back here, every year for final plat approval; and at any given point, when we get to that Phase 5 or Phase 6, whatever they agree to with Mr. Kraus, that is holding our commitment to these improvements in the re-study. They can deny us a final approval at any of the given phases; so we’ll be back in here, we are anticipating ten to eleven phases. So, we will be back ten or eleven times seeking their approval on final approval of a certain phase.

Paul Panczuk (continued): So that will be,., you’re thinking that will be Phase 6?, is that a fact for sure that it will be Phase 6 is when that re-study will be done. (Mr. Forbes: whenever they reach 50%. Mr. Kraus commented that he thought it would be closer to Phase 5). So, I just wanted to keep that in mind. Okay, so it’s just on public record, we know where it’s at, we know when to expect it. My final comment, nothing to do with traffic, just having to do with lot size. I understand the benefits of the additional wetland and leaving the open space. I live in Kilkenny Estates, and there is a significant amount of wetland and open space, and we all have 100’ wide lots. So I oppose any lot under 100’, as a general rule in town, and so I will oppose it here too, despite the open land he’s leaving, because they are not having any problems selling those new lots in Kilkenny, their putting up houses as fast as they can on 100’ wide lots. $600,000.00 - $800,000.00 houses, easy. So I would like to see this updated to a 100’ minimum.

Sharon Pacific (again): The traffic study that was done, is that based on the traffic that’s there now? (Mr. Kraus advised that the traffic study that was done now, studied the traffic that is there now, plus what will happen through computer-programming and software, what will happen once this subdivision will be built). So it’s actually projecting. So you know what the projection is? (Mr. Kraus: Yes, we talked about that earlier, the projections of the intersections at White Oak and 93rd, will remain of the same service level, but we will be able to handle more vehicles because of the improvements). What about actual cars? (Mr. Kraus advised it is in the 120-page report, those projections are in the technical data of that, and although I looked through all of that I don’t know what the numbers are. The level of service is what’s important on this, it doesn’t matter how many cars go through it, it how fast you can get in and off of the street). But even with the improvements didn’t you grade the one a “D” and even an “E”. (Mr. Kraus explained the timing issue involved with the grading). Did you say the lowest was an “F”? (Mr. Kraus advised that they can keep on going, but they usually don’t go past “F”, “E” is a 30-second wait, but that is a 30-second wait for every car making that turn).

Mr. Kraus and Ms. Pacific continued a detailed discussion as to the 120-page report. Mr. Kraus advised of diagrams, and percentages projected to occur. Ms. Pacific wanted a copy of the report. Mr. Kil advised that the report will be downloaded on the web-site for everyone to look at.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I see that the traffic study went out the 2nd of December, arrived, did he say last Friday Mr. Slager? And I thought the Town’s PUD requirements Mr. Kil said that should have been submitted originally, when the PUD was requested, why wasn’t that done. (Mr. Kil: It is not a PUD). When this was a PUD, is it not a PUD now? (Mr. Kil: No). So therefore, his submission is to get first approval, this isn’t to finally approve a PUD? (Mr. Kil: No, there is “No Final Plat Approval being sought tonight, it is all primary plat approval”). Yeah, but the development can go forward, is that not correct? (Mr. Kil: The installation of improvements can go forward, nothing can be built without final approval). You checked this report and you’re gonna put it on the web-site, or should I come in tomorrow and make a request for the complete report. (Mr. Kil: We’re gonna put it on the web-site, but if you want to, you can make a request for it). I was just wondering if it was available, because Mr. Slager said it was delivered Friday (Mr. Kil: It was delivered to Mr. Slager Friday and the engineer, I have the copies right here now, I reviewed for the first time today). But my point is, you’re sitting here approving things, and the traffic study just arrived, and this is a serious problem. I don’t know how they got these counts. Do they have the criteria for the study in the report. And they didn’t count cars. It didn’t have anything with Mr. Kil sending town employees over there, in my back yard last Wednesday and Thursday? Cause I have pictures of trucks parked in my yard, and when I went out and knocked on the window and said “Excuse me, who are you and what are you doing parked in my yard?” and he goes, “I thought I was on the right-of-way”. I told him no the right-of-way up in front of you, so I said “what are you doing?”, he said he’s out counting cars, and another guy will be out here in the morning, and he’ll count from 8:00 in the morning till 12:00 p.m., so that means, in total, since that’s my back yard. I’ve been living there for 25 years, so you really can’t tell me anything about that corner that I don’t know. Cause I look at it, any number of times a day, a week, a month for 25 years. So therefore, I didn’t see anybody out there counting anything. (Mr. Forbes stated that he did see the vehicle out there counting). How many times was it out there. To go out one day, a criteria for an exam or a study of this nature. (Mr. Forbes advised he saw the counter out there twice, on 93rd Avenue and White Oak, on two (2) separate days, and I saw it on White Oak and 101st, for one day). Were they in a vehicle? (Mr. Forbes: they were). They must have been hidden cause they sure weren’t in my back yard. (Mr. Forbes: they were parked right by the transformer, on the AT & T pad, they were right there). Well, all I can say is we have a problem with traffic, we have a problem with those, and I don’t believe that their criteria for that exam, actually tells the truth. When you say there’s a 5 and 6, there’s a one (1) fifteen-minute period, where traffic. I can sit there on a summer day and watch nine-ten cars back up waiting to make a left turn. And the widen Mr. Slager gonna be to the top of Hilltop? Is Hilltop going to be where you stop the three lanes, and it all funnels down into two again? Is that where your responsibility is going to end? (Mr. Slager advised that they have no responsibility to improve that intersection; we’ve offered to do that). Please, don’t make it sound like you’re being good guys. You don’t get your development improved unless you put in some skin in the game, let’s be realistic. But what I’m asking you is, you’re gonna put three lanes up the Hilltop, out of the goodness of your heart, so therefore the people coming over that hill on Hilltop, coming down, not only is it bad in the wintertime, but once you start filling that subdivision up, those people are going to be turning left, onto White Oak, and right now they go 6-7 cars deep. They only have a 100’ turn lane figured on your drawings, therefore, that gonna give four cars room. Cause you ain’t gonna put 5 cars on 100’, nobody sits on anybody’s bumper. So therefore you’re gonna have four cars, therefore the cars coming in, past Hilltop, are going to be pulling up on the tails of people wanting to turn left. Do you know what that is going to do to that intersection? It’s gonna turn it into a nightmare. It’s already bad. So widening the road across the development, that swell, but its gonna funnel into 2-lanes going toward Route 41. It’s going to accomplish nothing.

Vince Casboni (9679 White Oak Avenue): Good evening, my name is Vince Casboni. We live right across the road from the big subdivision. We have drainage that comes in from the north, and now we’re gonna have drainage coming in from 400 and some-odd homes, plus 319 acres. Bull Run Creek starts in that subdivision, comes across by 101st, crosses at 101st and White Oak, goes along the east side of White Oak, cross into Rosewood subdivision and part of our property. We are constantly getting flooded out from the north subdivision, and now we have this big one. I have asked a number of times, everybody is talking about traffic, which I’m gonna bring up also. What are we doing about the storm water run-off? I have contacted the Corps of Engineers; they are gonna get back to me tomorrow. I have contacted the Drainage Board, the Surveyor’s Monday, met with two of the fellows over there and they have absolutely no, nowhere in the big subdivision that they have nowhere, they have got no applications, why? You’re gonna pass this here with no authority from the Drainage Board of Lake County?, their surveyors know nothing about this, so you’re gonna pass something without their knowledge? Any regulated drain has to be approved by the County. Nobody knows about this project, but you’re gonna put a stamp of approval. That’s one issue. The other issue is the traffic study. I don’t know where you’re coming up with this traffic study. I was out there for two days; November 24, 2015 from 3:10 p.m. to 6:31 p.m. Three hours and twenty-one minutes. From 93rd to 101st, I counted 517 cars, from 101st to 93rd, which was northbound, 408 cars. 925 vehicles in 3 hours and 21 minutes, and I don’t know where they are coming up with this traffic study. So, I decided to do one again. December 9, 2015 on a Wednesday; from 3:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m., 3 hours. Again on White Oak, 93rd to 101st, 675 vehicles. White Oak north from 101st to 93rd, 502 cars, total of 1,177 vehicles on White Oak only. And I did make a count on 93rd Street, going east and west. From Monix Drive to Hilltop, 779 vehicles, from Hilltop to Monix 663. That’s 1,442 vehicles, so in one day three hours, I counted 2,619 vehicles, and I don’t where you’re coming with some of these studies that they did. I question that. Serious thing you have to worry about is the traffic and the drainage issue. That is my biggest concern. You did a 2005 draft of the traffic. If you look at the draft that you have, didn’t even show White Oak from 101st to 93rd. Doesn’t even exist. You have 101st from White Oak, all the way to Calumet Avenue, according to your draft, there just 22 feet wide, that’s the narrowest road. Has any of you down 101st from White Oak to Calumet Avenue, but you’re putting in subdivisions over there. Before you pass it, my biggest concern is the drainage and the other thing is the traffic. Let’s do some traffic studies that are accurate.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): First of all, to the Schilling Development Group, I would like to say thank you, because you have done some serious improvements based on some of the feedback that you have received. And I appreciate that. To be honest with you I am looking for more, we really think more needs to the done. I come here, and it seems like the last few months, it seems like ever development that comes before this board asks for an exception. Well, we have a set of ordinances, and I think we should abide by those ordinances, and leave exceptions for an exceptional case. You know you’ve got Lotton comes in here and he ask for approval for five-foot side yards, and you guys approve that (Mr. Forbes: that was not approved). Thank you I didn’t know that, I was out of town when that meeting, I assumed that you approved that so I apologize. Thank you very much. And that’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see, you guys abide tighter and tighter to the ordinances that you guys have put together. I know this is a new group of guys, but these ordinances have been in place, and put in place for a reason. And then Schilling comes here in and asks for two hundred and some lots at 80’ and he has been in front of this body a number of times, and nobody called into account for the 80’ lots. I think that’s is a problem, in a town where our standard is 100’. Every lot whether you’re R-1 or you’re R-2, it’s a 100’ lots. And I think we need to maintain that standard. You talked about,., no, I don’t even want to go there, I’m sorry. I just hope that this group, this new building and planning commission is wise enough to see the necessary steps to approve the subdivision, which it’s a wonderful thing for St. John that we grow, but the necessary steps for the subdivision aren’t completed yet. I mean we talked, and I talked to a number of people who would like to see four lanes, 93rd, White Oak and 101st, from the very beginning. Right now, ya know, the studies are okay, but the studies don’t take in every day, cause they were out there for a day or two, okay. But if every day you guys are out there and you see what the people have to go through. They’ve paid good money to live in this town. I and I heard a gentleman say that now it takes him over an hour, or takes him 45 minutes to an hour, just to, extra just to go to work every day. It shouldn’t be that way. It shouldn’t be that way. Things should be getting better, not getting worse. And to approve subdivisions like this of this size, without first putting in everything in place to make sure things are done and proper order, and that the traffic is handled properly, and that any rain water problems and issues are handled properly. I think those need to be done first, and you guys haven’t done that yet. So I’m not speaking against the approval, but I think you need to delay, and hold off, and I’d like to see some more changes done. And then open this back up for public comment again. And Mr..,., actually for the entire board, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to speak today, we really didn’t plan that we were going to have that opportunity, cause it was mentioned a couple of times, so I would like to thank you for that. But I would hope that this board, um, would have enough,., wisdom and insight to know that this development cannot yet be approved until those improvements are made. Not only planned for, but also made.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): I noticed this weekend, at the end of The Times article, the wound was opened up again about Joliet Street. And what’s gonna happen there and what Boyer’s planning on doing. I guess the best way I can say it,., I don’t give a damn what Boyer has to do. As far as building his, ., he can build somewhere else.,. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada we are discussing The Preserves). Okay, I wasn’t aware, I thought there was some other things being said too. Okay, Okay, I’ll be back, I have time.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court): See a lot of retention, retaining water, in this subdivision. Uh, the Zika virus is in Florida right now, and the World Health Organization tonight on the news said that this could be a worldwide problem. Is there going to be any movement of this water, in all of these ponds. (Mr. Slager: The majority of these are dry ponds. Detention areas). Okay, well that answers that question. Have you don’t any impact studies with the schools’ system as far as elementary schools. Are there enough roomed classrooms in the existing elementary(s) to accommodate all of these children that are gonna be coming into these subdivisions. Or, are we, the taxpayers gonna have to build another elementary school, and purchase land that you have not donated any land for an elementary. Are we going to be liable for the building of a new school if we needed a new elementary school? (Mr. Forbes: We are pretty much forever responsible for building the schools. Indiana is a referendum state, so any time the schools want to build something, they do a referendum). Well, a lot of times the developer will include land for a school, that.,. a The Gates of St. John, they included land for a private schools. My other question is, the impact study on water, are we the taxpayers going to have to pay for drilling the new well and the water tower, and the pump to pump the sewage out to Schererville Treatment Plant. (Mr. Forbes: There is currently no new well being made, there is no new water tower being made, and this sewage is paid for by the individual homeowners). The sewage pump, the treatment plant.,. (Mr. Forbes: Yes, that is part of the fee you pay every month). I see, oaky. And as far as 93rd and 41, do you have land there to increase the turning lanes, and. (Mr. Forbes: That’s up to INDOT, we don’t.,.) No, 93rd, do you have land on 93rd to make that four lanes. (Mr. Forbes: That is a sticking point, we would have to buy easement on either side of the road). Or, you could just have the people funnel through the parking lot of the church, like we have to in Golden Pond, go into the parking lot of Lake Central Plaza to get to a stop-light.

Bill Mearna (9361 Hilltop Drive): And I agree with Bryan back here, with this traffic down there off of 93rd, how terrible it is, you got speeders flying up east and westbound on 93rd. And if you put a traffic cop out there, St. John will make a ton of money. And uh, I never heard of no traffic study done on 109th of how they come outta Weston Hills down there. That subdivision, when you come down to 109th and 41; there is a single lane going eastbound. And that is going to be a nightmare down there. Of course, I got my own nightmare on Hilltop. Sometimes I don’t even get out of my own driveway, and I brought that the that time and I think we’re still working on that. I suggested the southbound of the street you either make it “no parking”, make it a “no parking” on that southbound side of the street. Cause I gotta picture on my cellphone, and right at the end of my driveway, there’s a car parked there, and if I ever gotta get out to go east, I better knock on his door and ask him if he’ll move his car. It wasn’t that way years ago, when we moved in there. And like some of the people said, St. John’s a good town, we don’t want to lose it. And the biggest concern is the traffic. And when I come down, coming westbound on 93rd to turn onto Hilltop, that car coming eastbound kind a just jumps out at you, and if you don’t watch it you’re gonna hit him. Because it’s going uphill, and I’m looking at’em going downhill, I can’t see what’s coming at me. But if you shaved it down, or something like that, but then, I don’t know what that would do. I mean, you would be able to see what’s coming, you know, eastbound. But that study for 13 seconds to make a left turn off White Oak, I would like to see it, because I waited there and it took me more than 13 seconds. Thank you very much.

Chris Lafond (10236 Windsong Way): Just a quick question, I appreciate all the improvements that they’ve done with the traffic study, but does that take into account the summer traffic that is on White Oak going to the Midwest Training Center and the baseball fields. And all the traffic that is going to go down that road. (Mr. Kraus: stating that there is a peaking factor, like a safety factor that they figured into their assumptions in normal traffic, and I believe it is 1.4 or 1.5, of what they counted out there right now, to account for special events or certain..). That’s every night of the summer out there, that’s not just a special event, but.,. does that, that’s something included, and what is that 1-point whatever include? Does it include maximum amount of traffic that’s going to go there. (Mr. Kraus: well you can get a copy of the.,.). Yeah, well I understand, but I’m just saying, does that include that amount of traffic that’s going there, cause that’s a lot of traffic in the summertime. Thanks.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): Today we see new faces on the Plan Commission. You gotta decide if you’re gonna be rubber stamps like the existing people that have been on this plan commission, or if you’re gonna stand up for your neighbors, for the zoning ordinance and what is the right thing to do. Not be a rubber stamp and worry about your job. That is the attitude you need to have when you decide on all of these projects. I would like to object to this project because of the Conflict of Interest that I believe Mr. Forbes has, by running this meeting and his relationship, in his lawsuit for defamation, where the attorney is sitting there, advising this board, and Mr. Forbes has not come to this board and filed the Conflict of Interest Statement, and let you approve that conflict of interest statement. So, that’s my first objection. My second objection is the traffic study. Where the first draft that was put on-line had a certain company on it, now my understanding is the same company is on the other traffic study, plus members of the town. I think we need transparent, independent traffic study. Not something rushed because it was raised in the last few weeks. I think there is a conflict of interest if we don’t have an independent engineering firm whose if not tied to another contract, with the town doing the same traffic study. So I object because I believe that is a conflict of interest. The other item is simply this. You have to weigh this safety on the people that are going to be living on the west side of town. And it’s very simple, Mr. Forbes, you are aware that Mr. Volk voted against having your own 9-1-1 to keep,., (Mr. Forbes: please stick to the topic). No, you cannot direct a public hearing with your opinion. You have been interrupting these people all day (Mr. Forbes: I have been keeping people on topic). I am on topic, because it’s a safety issue when you have the traffic and you’ve converted to a system that build s delay in for response. So there is a response delay with giving this thing to the County for the 9-1-1, and I believe you need a satellite fire station there 24-7, because of all the traffic issues that are raised. And you look at the delays that have occurred with the new system that Mr. Volk voted for, okay; that impacts this very development and every development on that side of town. You have to resolve the traffic first. If you look at what Dyer has done, as they put new subdivisions in, they added lanes. So you ended up with a four-lane road. You got a time to go back and add infrastructure for making the connection through. But you have to look at the safety and health of the people that live there, for the response time for the police and the fire department. The other issue is, we’ve gone through and we keep adding more development. I wanna see somebody say we don’t need another water tower for so many units. Nobody has presented that study here. And the way this traffic study is done, it has been real quick, one, two three, people have not been able to get that book for what?, two days and figure it all out? I think you need to continue this meeting so the public can look at the traffic study that you’re saying was done. This is not an issue about the Schillings. This is an issue about the public safety of your neighbors and maybe your children if they decide to live in this town. And you gotta take that approach on these projects and not be a rubber stamp for Mr. Forbes. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment. Hearing none he brought the issue back to the board. Mr. Forbes asked the gentlemen on the board if they have any questions for the developer.

Mr. Birlson asked, just to be clear; we will have final approval before a single house gets built. Mr. Forbes advised that they have to come in for Secondary Plat approval, before. Mr. Birlson asked, so our approval tonight does not,., has nothing to do with building a house, it has to do with improvements and platting. Mr. Forbes stated “absolutely”.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions from the board. Hearing non he entertained a motion for Preliminary Plat on The Preserves, and please incorporate the Findings of Fact with whatever motion is made.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve Primary Subdivision Plat approval for The Preserves, to include the contingencies outlined by the Town Engineer into the findings of fact. Mr. Forbes advised that just so we’re clear, you have already included all of the recommendations from Haas & Associates, I would also request that the order of construction Phase One though Phase 6 as implemented as set forth, also in the same thing, so that it is covered, and that we hold the developer to the re-study of this; and I am calling them out just to make them very clear. Re-study and validate the opinions and conclusions of the traffic study, so I believe that is included by referencing Mr. Kraus. Mr. Kozel advised Yes, as outlined, so I am going to include that also. We have that motion; do we have a second. Seconded by Mr. Maciewjewski. Motion carried by 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. CHERIE’S GARDEN DAY CARE – Site Plan Approval (Ms. Cherie Kelley)

Mr. Forbes announced the next item on the agenda is Cherie’s Garden Day Care, this is a developmental site plan approval. The petitioner is Cherie Kelley.

Mr. Tim Kelley, representing Ms. Kelley, stated that he does not know if there are any further questions as to what we presented two months ago. Mr. Kelly stated that they just wanted to get started. Mr. Forbes asked the board members for any thoughts or questions, concerns.

Mr. Birlson, I don’t know if I asked this the last time or not, but by adding on the additional space, has the parking requirement change? Mr. Kelley advised that yes, it does. And that is shown that.

Mr. Kraus advised that by ordinance they need one parking space for every 350 feet of net usable floor, and they have with the new addition, 749 square feet of net space, divided by 350, is twenty-one (21) spaces. They have twenty spaces and one handicapped space, so they have 21.

(Announcement by Mr. Forbes to audience (due to noise): Ladies and Gentlemen, please)

With no other questions I’ll entertain a motion authorize and approve the Site Plan for Cherie’s Garden Day Care Center. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. SILVER LEAF – PHASE 2 – Reduction in Subdivision Bond

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Silver Leaf – Phase 2 for a Reduction in Bond. The reduction amount requested is for $267,296.00, and the new Bond amount is to be $600,057.73.

Mr. Kraus, this is new for some of our members, can you briefly explain what this process is. Mr. Kraus advised that Silver Leaf a bond of something like $800 and some thousand dollars right now. And as they come in with Phases in which they have completed the infrastructure, they ask for a reduction for the value of those infrastructure items. They will have to come in with a new letter of Credit, in this case or $600,000.00 which is the costs of the rest of the infrastructure, plus ten percent. So right now they have done a half-black or three-quarters of a block in Silver Leaf, and they have asked for that value to be removed from their Letter of Credit.

Mr. Williams asked what is the original purpose of the bond? Mr. Kraus advised that the original purpose of the bond is to insure that if they sell a lot to a homeowner, that they are going to be insured of all the infrastructure that’s showed on the plans. So the developer could come in here, without putting in any infrastructure in the ground, but have to put up a Letter of Credit for the value of that infrastructure. So, if he folds, goes under, goes to Jamaica and never comes back, The Town will have a Letter of Credit to build that infrastructure that the homeowner is expecting. So you’re saying that they have performed to such a degree that the $600,000.00 amount is no longer needed. They can come in and put all of the infrastructure in before they sell any lots and then there would not be a Letter of Credit, because all the infrastructure would be in place. Mr. Forbes commented that this is a protection for the Town.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. This is a recommendation to the Town Council, so the motion would be to be accept the reduction in the Bond to the $600,057.73 for Silver Leaf. Motion moved by Mr. Maciewjewski. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

D. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 7 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Terpstra has asked to be deferred. He will be placed on the March agenda.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): Let’s talk about the Performance Bond or whatever you want to call it. My understanding is, the Plan Commission and the Town Manager are responsible for these Performance Bonds to make any engineer that they are correct and in place. I have asked about the Three Springs Performance Bond. That they went bankrupt or something? (Mr. Forbes: They did not). They did not?, what happened with that Performance Bond. (Mr. Kil: Well, you know what happened to it Joe, go ahead.,.) No, I don’t know what happened, I am asking the question. I want to hear your side of the story. (Mr. Forbes stated: Prior to the expiration of a Letter of Credit, several entities in the Town are alerted that the Letter of Credit is going to expire. The engineer’s then; we get the original Letter of Credit in order to re-establish that Letter of Credit. When we contacted the former Clerk-Treasurer to get that Letter of Credit, it was never found, never,., it disappeared. I don’t know where it went, nobody does. During the time we waited for the Clerk to provide that document to us, it expired. So, that is completely and fully a responsibility of the further Clerk-Treasurer). That’s your side of the story, but my question is simply this (Mr. Forbes: That is the truth of the story Mr. Hero). Okay, my question is this. I asked that question at a previous Plan Commission meeting, Mr. Kil said he was responsible, the engineer and one of the other plan commission guys were responsible for control of that. (Mr. Forbes: For establishment and calculation, that is what the responsibility of this board is). Is there an ordinance that says, somebody has to notify you when this expires?, it should be the responsibility of the Town Manager to notify you when it expires. And what it says is simply this, using a Letter of Credit has loopholes in it, and you should ask for an actual Performance Bond, with a bonding company or somebody that’s holding on to the cash. So you’re not releasing, waiting on some Letter of Credit to vaporize into bankruptcy. You need to have hard assets. I hold the Plan Commission responsible and the Town Manager, in my opinion responsible. You have to manage the money of the town when you do these Letters of Credit. And that between the Town Engineer, Town Manager and this Plan Commission. You got to put controls in place and can’t have an excuse “well, I wasn’t notified by the Clerk-Treasurer”, she has never kept track of when these things expire. Your responsibility of Town Manager, responsibility, along with your attorney’s responsibilities to set guidelines in place, checks and balances to make sure those Bonds exist in real cash, protected from bankruptcy and other conditions. It is your responsibility to do that. And I am asking you to do that with all these other Bonds. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes commented that fortunately that weak link has been replaced by a promising and skilled individual. Any other public comment?

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): Yeah, remember me? Okay, here’s my point at the end of The Hammond Times article this weekend. The wound guard opened again about what Mr. Boyer wants to do. I don’t give a rats’ ass how put-out Mr. Boyer is, about what he says to go to acquire the property, okay look. Let me tell you something, a purple tailed google-eyed bobble-link could go over there, be an endangered species, nest there one time, and then the DNR will come in and call it off, and endangered species area. You know what?, we don’t want to be the endangered ones here. Been here a long time. We have been talking about the Joliet Street and the Thielen Street group here. And here’s the way I look at things, you know what?, have some respect for us. This thing, make it go away, we don’t want it, we don’t want a round-about, we don’t want a half round-about, we don’t want a quarter round-about. We want it gone. We want it gone and we’re not gonna put up with it. And that’s mainly what I have to say. No know what?, two of you guys, like I said before, two of you guys been here way too long. You sir and you sir, you know what?, you guys are the endangered political species here, you better start paying attention to how many people come here every meeting, lately, cause this place has been pretty much been packed up for a whole bunch of meetings. Start paying attention to what our needs are, okay. And not Bruce Boyer’s, I’m done.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment. Hearing none, we are adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

02-17-2016 Plan Commission

February 17, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on February 17, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, Greg Volk. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil. Absent: James Maciejewski.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CROWN POINT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL – Review and Discussion of Site Plan Approval (Mr. Jack Huls)

Mr. Forbes advised the first agenda item is Crown Point Christian School, and asked if a representative could come before the podium. With no one stepping forward, Mr. Kil advised he could update the board on what they are wanting to do.

Mr. Kil advised that the school itself is located in The Gates, (he displayed the site plan on the meeting room screen). The top section on the school is where they want to build the classrooms, so it would be the north part of the school. As you may recall, the southern part was the last addition that they did, of classrooms. They need to do a second addition, which as you will notice they have plenty of room on their site, they are by no means encroaching anywhere. That is what they want to do for site plan approval. And the structure would be like and kind to what is already there right now.

Mr. Forbes commented he thought it was five (5) classrooms and two (2) bathrooms. Mr. Forbes thought the rendition was pretty straight forward. Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they had any questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes noted that this will be on the March 2, 2016 Plan Commission agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 I – Review of Subdivision Plan

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is under Old Business and is The Gates of St. John – Unit 10 I, this is a review of the subdivision plan.

Again, no one came before the podium, so Mr. Kil briefly updated what information is available. Mr. Kil stated that this was just in front of you guys. He is going to come back with the side areas redrawn, so that the side yards meet the requirements that you had questions about. Last time with the minimum of seven foot (7’), which is consistent with the other part of the development. That is what he is in the process of doing right now. Other than that, it is the exact same layout.

Mr. Birlson asked what the width of the lots. Mr. Kil advised 84’. Mr. Forbes stated on the West side they are 80’, and asked is that going to be adjusted.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments from the board. Is everyone okay with putting this on the agenda. Mr. Kil reminded Mr. Forbes that he requested that Final Plat approval be given, contingent upon the Town Council granting the zoning approval. So, obviously he is going to have final drawings to us at that point.

B. GREYSTONE – Review of Proposed Development Plan (Mr. Jack Slager)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Greystone.

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development introduced himself to the board. Mr. Slager said he wanted to come here tonight to talk about the Greystone project. Several of you are very familiar with this, we have been in many times, but I really want to bring it at a Study Session tonight to update the new members, and kind of tell you where we have been and where we are going with this development, so you can become familiar with it also.

The Greystone property is 113 acres trisected by Calumet Avenue, between 101st Avenue and 109th. The timeline is kind of small there, but I wanted to go all the way back. We purchased the property back in 2006. We are actually a minority partner in a group that purchased this property. In 2008, the Town of Dyer passed an ordinance annexing the property, and the same year we requested annexation in to the Town of St. John. That ended up being a big legal battle, and we were actually annexed in to the Town of St. John in 2009, and it was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2010, some of you will remember that issue.

So in November of 2013, we brought this site before the Plan Commission at a Study Session and started to look at how we could develop both sides of Calumet Avenue. Some of the challenges to this site, these white lines shown are pipelines. There are a set of pipelines that angles through the property like this. There is another set of pipelines that comes through the property here, and a third set that comes through here, and then there are a set of high tension election lines that runs to the North of the property. Then of course you have Calumet Avenue bisecting the property north and south. This will be 101st Avenue on the North, and of course 109th is down off the screen. The yellow line shows the current town boundary of St. John, how it runs around. We have The Emerald Crossing development to the West, which is unincorporated Lake County. There’s Saddle Creek and Silver Leaf to the East, also bisected by the pipelines.

So we started coming in 2013, continued into 2014, attended numerous study sessions, regular plan commission meetings. We were tweaking the plan at that time. This is actually an older development plan, I will show you the new version. The Plan Commission had a lot of input; the staff had input, and so this layout has been modified over time as we went through these meetings. And we listened to the public and the Plan Commission; we came up with some better ideas.

We got to about May of 2014, and at that point the Town started talking about an upgrade for Lift Station One. That was in early 2014, that was something in the process, and basically we decided at that point that we were going to wait until the sewers were available for this site. Otherwise there was no point in continuing on, there was no sewer availability.

So then in 2015, we came back with the revised version which I will show you in a minute. November we requested permission to advertise for a zone change. In December we held the Public Hearing for the Zone Change, and were granted the zone change, based on our new layout, so now we are here at a Plan Commission Study Session. The engineering, we’re basically at this point going to concentrate on everything on the East side of Calumet Avenue.

The engineering for this site has been completed, it’s been submitted to Mr. Kenn Kraus, he’ll have some time to review that. And we would like to come back in two weeks, at the March2, 2016 meeting, request Permission to Advertise for our public hearing, which would put us at the April 6, 2016 Plan Commission Public Hearing.

This is the final version of the layout based on comments we received, so again you have Calumet Avenue running north and south, you have a main drag running east and west, one main entrance on Calumet Avenue, divided. We will have a tie-in here with Saddle Creek. We will have a tie-in here with Emerald Crossing. We provide stubs to the North, both sides of Calumet Avenue. We provide a stub to the South, and also a stub to the South over here. These are single-family lots, these are cottage homes, these are duplexes and these are professional offices. This part here is a park, there is a bike-path that goes along the park, crosses at the intersection on Calumet Avenue, comes through the property and angles up along here and actually ties into the bike-path that is in Saddle Creek. So that will complete the bike-path system.

Obviously there are a number of detention ponds that will be created, some berming along Calumet Avenue with some heavy landscaping.

So, here is kind of a summary of the East side of Calumet Avenue, along with the engineering, and unfortunately that drawing is not very clear. So, we have 84 single family lots, south of the pipelines; we have 19 duplex lots along Calumet Avenue; we have 39 cottage homes in this area along the retention pond and the pipelines, and there we have four (4) professional office buildings in this area. This community will include parks, walking paths, bike paths, sidewalks and divided entrances, and again we’re utilizing the best engineers and consultants.

Some of the utility aspects of this property, there is an existing 15” sewer in the Saddle Creek Development that’s deep and it’s sized for future expansion, south of our property. We’re going to be running that 15” sewer through our property and at full depth, at full size of 15” and stubbing it out along Calumet Avenue at our Southwest corner. Ultimately, I believe it will be about 25’ deep at that point, which will allow it to continue being extended as development comes further down Calumet Avenue. Ultimately, a new high school potentially further south will be able to tie into it, and there’s enough depth for it to run quite a way. So we’ll be continuing that 15” sewer through our property. There is a 12” water main that the school, on the other side of the street put in previously. We will be extending that, both north and south along Calumet Avenue, so you’ll have the 12” water main loop. We have one big detention pond, and then there is another one here.

The 84 single family homes, this is kind of our concept of what we are envisioning, heavily architectural and landscape requirements, covenants, homeowners’ associations to maintain the entrances. The 19 Duplexes, again heavy architectural and landscape requirements, the craftsmen style and some brick and stone, heavy landscaping. The Cottage Homes, a similar style trying to carry a them through the development, “cottage style”, heavy architectural landscape requirements. The Professional Office buildings, again we received the proper zoning for this last year. This has now come in with a C-1 zoning, so basically allowed uses would be attorneys, dentists, realtors and title companies, etc. We envision a very nice, attractive heavily landscape professional office building.

One of the main concerns we were hearing at the other meetings is the traffic. We enlisted a traffic study for this parcel also, studying Calumet Avenue. We actually received a draft of the traffic study at about 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, so we only briefly went through it. They examined our main entrance at this point, both pre-construction and post-construction, and what the effect will be on Calumet Avenue and the entrances going in and out. One of the surprising things that we saw in the study so far, we asked them for a potential for a round-about here. Being that we control both sides of Calumet Avenue, we have the right-of-way and we have the room to do it. The Town had asked us to look into a round-about at that point, and we were excited about it. However, the traffic study came back and said a round-about would not work at that location, because of the fact that traffic on Calumet Avenue is up to ten times greater than the east-west traffic that would be in and out of this development. There is such an off-set in the volume of east-west versus north-south, that a traffic circle would actually slow Calumet Avenue traffic and be a hindrance.

Their suggestion is to have a future signal at this intersection, to provide left turn lanes in all four directions, which we could do at 75% build-out of the entire development.

We have done all the engineering on the East side of Calumet, and we have to get the water and sewer at this location, so this road would go in, basically we would like to develop the East side, put in all the turn lanes and then as we enter into the West side of Calumet Avenue, we would signalize this intersection, when we are at the 50% stage at that point. As we get the final version of the traffic study we will provide it to the Town.

The plan has been tweaked a bit as it went along, but it was essentially finalized, in order to get the zoning.

Now we are in the second stage, where we are going to ask for plat approval, and that would be just for the East side of Calumet Avenue. We will come in with a first phase of maybe 8 duplexes, 8 cottage homes, and 10 single-family.

Mr. Williams asked what the timing on this. Mr. Slager advised they are on hold until the sewers are available, until Lift Station One is ready, so potentially either late Fall or early Spring of next year. And we are projecting about five years on the East side and five years on the West side of Calumet. I know it’s a big project, it’s potentially a ten-year build-out; starting in 2017.

Mr. Williams stated that in his brief tenure here they have talked a lot about the Preserves, so help me frame it on what we are doing at the Preserves. Mr. Slager discussed the momentum differences between The Preserves as opposed to Greystone. The Preserves has rolling hill areas and Greystone is all cornfields. Greystone is targeting the $350,000.00 to $450,000.00 mark, whereas The Preserves will probably be $450,00.00 and up.

Mr. Williams asked if the traffic study took into account The Preserves. Mr. Slager advised absolutely, it is the same engineering company doing both. They also studied the intersection of 101st and Calumet, and they advised it is over capacity right now. According to that study that intersection warrants a traffic signal now.

Mr. Kozel asked for the total number of Cottage Homes. Mr. Slager pointed to the area and advised it is thirty-nine (39). Mr. Slager advised this development is modeled after Weston Ridge, and we would like to get the same builders. There is demand for these high-end cottage homes and duplexes, and they run about the same price as a single family home. Our research shows that there is a demand for the mix of all, they want to be near each other. We have request of St. John residents that want to stay in St. John, but can no longer maintain the one-acre lots, so they are looking for the maintenance-free type product.

Mr. Williams said he had one last question, could he show the park and the bike-trail. Mr. Slager showed on the meeting room screen where Saddle Creek ends; and where they will pick it up, come along the pipeline, cross at the intersection; as this will be eventually a signalized intersection, so you would have a crosswalk here, and we will stub it to the South, so it can be continued with future development. So the park, but this area would actually be a playground. It is triangle shaped, which is all green space. The parcel to the south is currently undeveloped, and at that point this park could be potentially expanded as it is on the property line.

Mr. Slager advised that they will be back at the March 2, 2016 meeting, requesting permission to advertise for the April meeting. We will get the final version of the traffic study before then. Mr. Kraus just received the engineering this week, so he’ll start to review that. Mr. Slager advised Mr. Kil that he will send the entire PowerPoint over for their records.

C. ROSE GARDEN – Review of Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden, review of Final Plat.

Mr. Doug Rettig with Land technologies introduced himself to the board. He advised he is the Project Engineer for Rose Garden. Rose Garden was granted preliminary approval last year. The build-out of all the infrastructure is pretty much complete at this stage, so we are getting ready for Final Plat.

Mr. Rettig advised that they just laid asphalt at the intersection of Parrish and 89th, which now makes it a four-way intersection. This really opened up the availability to Willow Ridge, and looks to be a big improvement to the area. Simple enough tonight, they will be coming back in two weeks for Final Plat approval, we just wanted to re-introduce it. It has not changed; it is the same plan we received approval on. They have the first house sold, and they want to start building very soon.

Mr. Forbes commented that the intersection looks nice and works very well, and he has received a lot of compliments from people who live over there. Mr. Rettig stated that they were lucky with the weather, and it held out so this could be completed.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Rettig that we will see you in two weeks.

D. RENAISSANCE – Unit 7 and 8 – Review of Proposed Subdivision Plan (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Renaissance Unit 7 and 8.

Mr. Doug Terpstra of Wyngate Development introduced himself to the board. Mr. Terpstra advised they ended up switching a few things, just because of the acquisition of the property, we could not get our hands on the deed from the County, and this had been going on since late last Summer.

Mr. Terpstra advised Preliminary Plat approval was done back in 2006. They just want to complete the development, there is approximately twenty (20) lots left. There will be three (3) of them not included, what has broken out in to Phase 7 now. We wanted to do them all at the same time, and probably still will. Those three lots that we are talking about are 498, 499 and 500, and then it’s the Clarmonte reconstruction.

There is not really anything to talk about until the point where you see the divided line where that lot where 498 splits; that’s the property acquisition, couple things we have to talk about is how the board wants to handle the transfer of that deed. The board can request to Quit-Claim it; or do you want to be co-signers on it.

Mr. Kil advised that back in 2006; that was the detention basin, which now is no longer needed, and it was decided that we would close Clarmonte Drive off, make an intersection at Parrish. Lake County acquired the property, they since have sent it back to us, so now we have to figure out how we want to do it. Mr. Kil advised that he told Mr. Terpstra that he would ask our attorney which way he would prefer this take place. It calls for a cul-de-sac at Joliet Street, and that will allow for the installation, if necessary, of a four-way stop at Parrish and Joliet Street.

Mr. Terpstra advised that the reason it is in two plats, which is a Phase we should be doing all at one time, is we thought that deed was going to be here since the first of the year, and since it wasn’t we deferred, had the public hearing meetings back in December 2015. I have had them redraw this thing. Due to expenses we are going to leave it as two phases; but more than likely they will be done at the same time.

We will be asking to come back in two (2) weeks and get Secondary (Final) Plat approval on both of these.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if they can take action on Phase 8 until we have the deed. Mr. Terpstra advised that is okay as Phase 8 would be at the end of the construction of Phase 7 anyway, and if that takes another month, that’s fine. The Town Council would have to take action to transfer the deed; unless it is re-platted and co-sign the plat, I don’t know what mechanism the attorney is going to want to use. Mr. Kil advised we would probably do Phase 7 on March 2nd, and Phase 8 we would probably see in April.

Mr. Terpstra advised that Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus have all the engineering details and layers with it. So, it’s just updated, there is nothing that has changed. The only changed was the widening of the cul-de-sac, it was just cut-off street width, and now it is designed so a fire truck or other emergency vehicle can get through there. Both lots 499 and 500 face Clarmonte Drive.

Mr. Forbes asked for questions from the board. Hearing none Mr. Forbes advised that they board will see him in two weeks.

E. KILKENNY HIGHLANDS – Review Final Plat Approval (Mr. Andy James)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Kilkenny Highlands.

Mr. Andy James introduced himself and advised that he is developing Kilkenny Highlands, of which we have received initial approval several months ago. We would like to back for Final approval in a few months, but we have a change that we thought was significant enough to where we felt we had to come back. What we have done; after looking at where we had our proposed retention pond, after staking it out, and looking at how it will actually affect the people who live around there and I have some pictures here. There would be significant impact on the properties close to it.

The retention pond is essentially slowing the water down from going into a big wetland. The stake shows where the retention pond was proposed, and to the West you can see where the characteristics of the land where it flows down. The second pages, we are taking out. There are about 250 second growth Oak trees, oaks, hickory, all huge beautiful trees, it just seems terrible to take the trees out for the purposes of what would be a thimble full of water in a five-gallon bucket.

So, again, I would like to build it this way, keep the trees. Mr. Kozel reminded that we have talked about being environmentally-correct before. So we looked a little closer, I looked at the watershed; this area here all drains to a very large depressional, it’s a wetland, and it’s been there for years. The Lantern Woods pond drains to a pipe right to this location, and there is a ditch that runs right through this piece, all of this water from Lantern Woods, Kilkenny and it all ends up in a very large natural depression. We have studied it and walked it; there are actual high water lines on some of the big trees down in this area there. This is a natural detention pond and we have talked to Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus about this, and we have talked to the wetland authority, and they get it, it makes sense.

So, we changed the plat and just made two lots bigger. Nothing else changed. We have a conservation easement to the back of those lots, which is where the ditch is; we do not want to disturb trees all along this whole perimeter of our project. We are looking to be very good neighbors.

Mr. Forbes asked if they have any kind of language as to the conservation easement and the rules. Mr. Rettig advised that there will be language on the Final plat addressing that.

We have talked with Mr. Kraus, I tried calling him today but he was out sick. Mr. Kil also stated that Kenn was ill and that they have spoken about the conservation easement at length.

Mr. Kil asked when are you thinking of coming in with the Final Plat. Mr. Rettig stated probably in the Summer, possibly May or June. We want to make sure all the improvements are done before we come for Final Plat. Mr. Rettig advised that their IDEM Permits are downstate and we will have those any day now, including the sanitary sewer system, the SWPPP has been filed.

Mr. Forbes inquired, you said you talked with the wetland people, who is that. Mr. Rettig advised Earth Source is our wetland consultant.

Mr. Birlson, so do you need a detention or., Mr. Rettig advised that technically the Town ordinance requires it, but what we’re saying is, this natural depression is an existing detention pond, which is owned by us already.

Mr. Williams asked if they need some declaration from some official body, or is what we’re discussing here a proxy for that. Mr. Kil advised that should Mr. Kraus’s approval letter. Our Town Engineer will write a letter to that effect. Mr. Forbes noted that this is all contingent on what Mr. Kraus tells us.

Mr. Williams asked if the wetlands that they currently own, is it zoned so that it cannot be constructed on at a later date. Mr. Forbes said you can’t build in a wetland. Mr. Kraus confirmed that it is protected. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that you will basically plat it so it can’t be built on, it can’t happen. Mr. Forbes noted that there are also pipelines running through there that would also prevent that.

With no further questions from the Board, Mr. Rettig advised he would be in touch with Mr. Kraus when they are further along.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further items for the board, Mr. Forbes advised that they are officially adjourned.

(Meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

03-02-2016 Plan Commission

March 2, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT JON GILL STEVE KIL
GREGORY VOLK, VICE-PRESIDENT JASON WILLIAMS KENN KRAUS
STEVE KOZEL, SECRETARY BOB BIRLSON ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN MUENICH
JAMES MACIEJEWSKI    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes, called to order the March 2, 2016, regular session of the Plan Commission at 7:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, took roll call with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, Jim Maciejewski, John Gill, Bob Birlson and Jason Williams. Mr. Steve Kil, Town Manager was present. Mr. Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer was present. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to defer the meeting minutes. “So moved,” by Mr. Kozel. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Aye --- all. Nays --- none. Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.
A. GATES OF ST. JOHN --- UNIT 10-I PUBLIC HEARING --- JOHN LOTTON.

Mr. John Lotton, developer, Gates of St. John, appeared before the Board seeking primary plat approval for Unit 10-I. He stated that he had forwarded the layout of the parcel to Mr. Kil. Mr. Lotton pointed out the Arbor Lane location on the media screen.

Mr. Lotton stated Unit 10-I would be a 12-lot parcel designated for all brick duplexes. He stated that the developer has decided to go all brick with the units being eight-foot brick all the way around. Mr. Lotton stated that these duplexes will have a slightly higher finish on the exterior than the ones he is currently putting up.

Mr. Lotton stated that these duplexes will have porches on the front, the roofs will be steeper than the existing duplexes to the east. He estimated the square footage on the proposed units to be between 1800-2000 square feet. Mr. Lotton stated that the McFarland duplexes are around 1600 square feet.

Mr. Forbes asked if there any questions from the Board. There were no questions from the Board. Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Burnell Penny, 10706 Maple Lane
Mr. Penny asked the developer if there would be a homeowner’s association involved with this project. Mr. Lotton acknowledged that there would be a homeowner’s association.

Mr. Forbes called for further public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Forbes referred to a letter from Mr. Kraus which indicated that the primary plat had been reviewed with the following comments: The engineering plans have not been changed since the original plan prepared by V-3 in 2005 and revised by Torrenga in 2012. No re-review of those plans was required, construction of the required public infrastructure has been completed at the time of this review. The reason a new primary plat needs to be approved is that some of the lot lines have been revised. The plat was found to be satisfactory except for the side yard dimension should be seven-foot not six.”

Mr. Forbes stated that the Board had discussed with Mr. Lotton that there would be seven-foot side yards. Mr. Lotton concurred. He explained that the seven-foot side yards would be inked in to reflect seven-foot side yards. Mr. Kil stated that the final plat should reflect the seven-foot side yards. Mr. Forbes stated that the mylar(s) would not be signed until all was in order.

Mr. Forbes asked the Board if they had any further questions.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant primary subdivision approval for the Gates of St. John, Unit 10-I, incorporating the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Lotton made a request that the Plan Commission suspend the rules and grant final plat approval for Gates of St. John, Unit 10-I this evening. He stated he has reviewed everything with Mr. Kraus and the only change on the plat is addressing the seven-foot side yard.

Mr. Forbes acknowledged that the rules have been suspended in the past. He stated that he has before him a letter from Mr. Kraus related to the secondary plat review of Unit 10-I. He stated that the letter reflects that the revised plat has been reviewed and found satisfactory except the side yard dimension should be seven feet and not six feet. Mr. Forbes noted that the letter also reflected the price of the developmental fee for the project at $1,463.80, public improvements have been satisfactorily installed and the as-built drawings have not been submitted.

Mr. Forbes stated that the only hang-up to signing the mylar(s) would be the dimensions need to be changed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil recommended that Mr. Lotton prepare a new final plat with mylar(s) and the Board could be called in to sign off on the same if they are satisfactory. Mr. Lotton had a copy of the revised mylar and a check for the developmental fee in the amount of $1,463.80. Mr. Lotton stated that the as-builts could be done in “No time.”

Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to authorize waiving the 30-day waiting requirement between primary plat and final plat approval. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the waiver of the 30-day time period. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0/1). Ayes --- six. Nays --- none. Opposed --- one. Mr. Williams was opposed.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to grant secondary plat approval to the Gates of St. John, Unit 10-I. Mr. Forbes stated any motion for secondary plat approval would be contingent upon receipt of corrected mylar(s), receipt of as-built drawings and incorporating the findings of fact. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant secondary plat approval to Gates of St. John, Unit 10-I, incorporate the findings of fact by reference and contingent upon the receipt of the corrected mylar(s) and the as-built drawings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0/1). Ayes --- six. Nays --- none. Opposed --- one. Mr. Williams was opposed.

B. GREYSTONE --- REQUEST PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE FOR PUBLIC HEARING FOR PRIMARY SUBDIVISION APPROVAL ON APRIL 6, 2016 --- JACK SLAGER.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Greystone, seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing for primary subdivision approval on April 6, 2016. He noted Mr. Slager’s absence.

Mr. Scott Zajac, Schilling Development, appeared before the Board seeking approval to advertise for primary subdivision approval for the Greystone project. He stated that this project had been discussed at the last study session.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to grant permission to advertise for a public hearing for Greystone. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant permission to Greystone to advertise for a public hearing on April 6, 2016. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved by voice vote (6/0). Ayes --- all Nays --- none.

C. ROSEGARDEN --- SECONDARY SUBDIVISION APPROVAL. --- DOUG RETTIG, LAND TECHOLOGIES, REPRESENTATIVE FOR SUBLIME DEVELOPMENT.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden seeking secondary subdivision approval. Mr. Doug Rettig, of Land Technologies appeared before the Board on behalf of Sublime Development, developer for Rose Garden.

Mr. Rettig stated that the project was preliminarily approved last year and all of the improvements are in. He stated that Sublime Development is now seeking final approval for the 10-lot addition to Rose Garden (next to Willow Ridge). Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. Kraus has reviewed the plans and the same were deemed satisfactory.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes noted he had a letter from Mr. Kraus stating “We have reviewed the secondary plat for the referenced project and have the following comments: The subdivision project includes ten residential lots and associated facilities. We have reviewed the revised plat dated February 26, 2016, and find it satisfactory. The developmental fee for this project has not been established. Construction costs information has been requested but not yet received. The developmental fee will be calculated at two percent of the construction costs. All public improvements have been installed but the sanitary sewer testing is not yet complete. As-built drawings have not been submitted to the Town. These items should be completed before the plat is signed for a letter of credit, or a letter of credit be submitted to cover the costs of completing these items. The value of the letter of credit should be $5,000.00.”

Mr. Forbes stated that the letter of credit is for the testing and the as-built drawings. Mr. Kil stated that in lieu of messing with a $5,000.00 letter of credit the as-built drawings should be done and the testing performed. Mr. Forbes stated signature could be withheld on the mylar until these two items were fulfilled.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Rettig agreed with Mr. Kil’s recommendations. He stated he would submit everything at once.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the Board members. Mr. Williams asked if this project had been discussed in many previous meetings where the neighbors had a chance to talk about the subdivision. Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Williams that a public hearing had been held on Rose Garden.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Rose Garden for secondary subdivision approval with the following contingencies, withhold signature on mylar(s) until the Town has received the development fee, as-built drawings and sewer testing is completed, and incorporating the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant final subdivision approval for Rose Garden contingent upon incorporation of the findings of fact by reference, sewer testing is complete and receipt of as-built drawings and developmental fees. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CROWN POINT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL --- SITE PLAN APPROVAL --- JACK HULLS.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was the Crown Point Christian School to submit plans for site plan approval. Mr. Jack Hulls, DVG, civil consulting/engineering, Crown Point, Indiana, appeared before the Board on behalf of Crown Point Christian School.

Mr. Hulls stated he also has a personal affiliation with the school in that he served on the school board for a couple of years and was involved in the start of the school in Northwest Indiana. He stated that the school is located in the Gates of St. John, bounded on four sides by roads. Mr. Hulls stated that the existing school has approximately 686 kids enrolled there.

Mr. Hulls pointed out on the media screen the phase of the school that was completed in 2013. He outlined the scope of the proposed addition/improvement. Mr. Hulls stated that the proposed plans include six classrooms, a resource room, closet/storage, rest rooms and a utility room.

Mr. Hulls stated Crown Point Christian School’s request is to make the addition on to the school. He stated that there is room on the site, the addition would be interior to their site, so it would not affect any setbacks. Mr. Hulls stated that the sidewalk that goes around the north side of the building would be rerouted. He stated that all of the utilities would be serviced from the interior of the buildings.

Mr. Hulls stated that the architecture of the building would be identical to what is there. He stated it would be a cohesive aesthetic and it would not even be noticeable that it is an addition. Mr. Hulls stated that the building is all masonry with a hipped roof.

Mr. Forbes asked the Board if they had any questions. There were no questions from the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’s letter from Haas & Associates as follows “We have reviewed the site plan for the referenced project and have the following comments, drawings dated February, 2016, are satisfactory. Parking requirements are not affected by the addition of the proposed five classrooms because the special events parking criteria takes precedence and is unaffected by this new addition. The disturbed earth area for this project is approximately 7/10’s of an acre. The storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) fee is $52.50. Since the disturbed area is less than an acre, a submittal to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will not be required. There are no public improvements associated with this project and as such the site plan review is the minimum fee of $900.00.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the Crown Point Christian School addition with the following contingency: withhold building permit until such time as Town is in receipt of the SWPPP and developmental fees. “So moved, including the contingencies as noted,” by Mr. Maciejewski. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. RENAISSANCE --- UNIT SEVEN --- FINAL PLAT APROVAL --- DOUG TERPSTRA.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Renaissance, Unit Seven, final plat approval. He stated Attorney Austgen requested this matter be deferred. Attorney Austgen explained that Attorney Muenich had reviewed this matter and there are some legal procedures related to the land swap that are under review.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Terpstra was present. He stated he was hoping to find out what the issues were. Mr. Forbes stated given the discussion that was had, he would entertain a motion to defer Renaissance, Unit Seven. “So moved,” by Mr. Kozel. Mr. Maciejewski seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would see Mr. Terpstra at the next meeting. Mr. Kil stated that he would contact Mr. Terpstra in a day or so.

F. TIBERON --- UNIT THREE --- LOT 156 --- REQUEST FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AMENDMENT, REAR YARD EASEMENT REDUCTION --- DAVE WILBERT.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Tiberon, Unit Three, Lot 156, requesting a Certificate of Amendment for a rear yard easement reduction.

Mr. Adam Wilbert appeared before the Board on behalf of Dave Wilbert. He explained that he was filling in for his father who was in the hospital. Mr. Adam Wilbert requested approval for a partial release of the 35-foot drainage and utility easement. He stated he had letters from Comcast, AT&T and NIPSCO releasing the north 20 feet.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil apologized to the Board as he stated he was not aware that Mr. Dave Wilbert was in the hospital. He explained that this is the last lot in Tiberon. Mr. Kil stated that there is a very large rear yard/easement and it precludes them from building a deck or anything else on to the back of their home.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil showed the Board the location of the parcel on the media screen. He stated that this lot is right in the middle. Mr. Kil stated that there is a 40-foor rear-yard easement that basically renders the entire back yard useless. He stated that there is no problem in reducing the size of this easement as it is not necessary for the easement to be so large. The Board discussed the sewer location.

Mr. Kil stated, as a rule, the Town will not even consider the reduction of an easement until the utility companies sign off on it. He stated he does not have any issue with the easement reduction as long as the Town has 15 feet.

The sewer, future sewer, force main and sewer route were discussed.

Mr. Forbes stated that as long as there is 15-foot of easement he is okay with the reduction. Mr. Kil directed Mr. Wilbert to have a mylar drawn up and a Certificate of Amendment that actually would reflect the easement size reduction.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any further comments or questions. There were no further questions or comments. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion regarding Tiberon, Unit 3, Lot 156, for a Certificate of Amendment on the easement reduction. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant the rear yard easement reduction for Tiberon, Lot 156, Unit 3, upon receipt of the Certificate of Amendment. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

G. 10179 PARRISH AVENUE --- SITE PLAN APPROVAL --- ADDITION TO EXISTING BUILDING --- DALE HUSEMAN.

Mr. Forbes noted 10179 Parrish Avenue was next on the agenda, seeking site plan approval. Mr. Dale Huseman, Petitioner, was present.

Mr. Huseman stated he was seeking approval to put a 60-foot addition on to his existing pole building. Mr. Kil brought this parcel up on the media screen and showed the Board members the location for the proposed addition. Mr. Kil stated that the only reason Mr. Huseman is before the Board is due to the ordinance that requires site plan approval for this addition.

Mr. Forbes asked the Board members if they had any questions or comments.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Huseman informed the Board that the existing building is 42x63 north and south. Mr. Williams asked the Petitioner about the usage of the pole building. Mr. Huseman stated that the building was used for storage for his “stuff.” Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner to describe what type of stuff he stores. Mr. Huseman replied, “Whatever I have to put in it. It’s a storage building.”

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the Board members. There were no further questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion for site plan approval for the addition to the existing building at 10179 Parrish Avenue addition. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant site plan approval for addition to the existing building at 10179 Parrish Avenue. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

H. 14350 101ST PLACE --- SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR A POLE BARN FRANCIS COOPER.

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item for the Board’s review and consideration is site plan approval for a pole barn located at 14350 101st Place. Mr. Francis Cooper appeared before the Board for site plan approval at 14350 101st Place.

Mr. Cooper pointed out his location for the Board on the media screen. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Cooper uses the pole building for horses. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Cooper proposed an addition on to the existing barn for horses that are currently stabled on the property. Mr. Kil explained, per the Town’s ordinance, the proposed addition requires site plan approval from the Plan Commission. Mr. Kil stated Mr. Cooper also had to petition for a variance before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a side yard issue.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Cooper stated the proposed addition would be used for storage, tractor, feed, hay and other horse-related materials. He stated that his existing pole barn is 60x30, and he is proposing a 30x50 addition. Mr. Maciejewski added that a public hearing was held before the Board of Zoning Appeals and there were no objections by any of the surrounding property owners.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the Board members. There were no further questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion regarding site plan approval for the pole barn at 14350 101st Place. “So moved,” by Mr. Williams. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called three times for public comment. There was no public comment. He closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.
(The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION

03-16-2016 Plan Commission

March 16, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on March 16, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jon Gill, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, Greg Volk. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. SANCTUARY – 10119 WHITE OAK AVENUE – Review of One-Lot Subdivision Plan (Mr. James Buchanan)

Mr. Forbes advised the first agenda item is a one-lot subdivision, the property is on White Oak Avenue, north of 101st Avenue, South of Rosewood, and across from the entrance for The Preserves on White Oak. Mr. Forbes called upon Mr. Buchanan to come to the podium, and advised that there are new board members that he may want to acquaint everybody with his proposal.

Mr. Jim Buchanan advised that originally they were going to carve the parcel into two lots, but we ended up with a customer that wants the entire parcel as one lot. We are just going to have one house. Soil borings were done by the same engineer that did the work in front of you, and that is where he is building his house. The sewers are already there.

Mr. Williams asked where the house was being built again? Mr. Buchanan pointed out the location on the meeting room screen. Mr. Buchanan showed where Bull Run Ditch goes through, and where the peninsula is available for building a structure. Mr. Buchanan noted that there was a 100-year floodplain that wraps an “L” shape around the property.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to switch to Google Earth for a better overall view of the parcel.

Mr. Buchanan pointed out a “grassy knoll” where the main structure would be placed, and the other half of the lot is to be left vacant.

Mr. Williams inquired if there will be an additional drawing before them to review. Mr. Kil advised that there will be a plat of subdivision with all the specifics; this is just a review of the overall plan at this point.

Mr. Buchanan pointed out the area that he will be required to provide certified mailing of this subdivision, acknowledging that he has to mail out to everyone within 300’ of any point of the designated area. Mr. Kil asked about his engineer. Mr. Buchanan advised that would be Krull Engineering. Mr. Kil showed on the meeting room screen the areas that will require legal notification. Mr. Buchanan advised he will bring in the list that was provided by the Township Assessor and go over it with Mr. Kil to make sure it is accurate.

Mr. Forbes asked about the entrance to the property. Mr. Buchanan pointed to the area where the driveway will be placed. Mr. Buchanan noted that the drive will be approximately 100’, and the owner likes the view scape of the location, the house will set well back and the woods will be left intact. There will be very little tree removal, only for the driveway.

Mr. Buchanan was advised he will be seen on April 6, 2016 for permission to advertise for the May meeting, he was also advised to come to the April study session with the plat of subdivision to run through it with the planners.

Mr. Forbes stated that they will see him at the beginning of April.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. WINE BAR – 9190 WICKER AVENUE – Review Site Plan and Access (Mr. Nick Georgiou)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Wine Bar at 9190 Wicker Avenue. Mr. Robert Meinzer, local attorney, introduced himself to the board. He advised he bought the property at 9190 Wicker Avenue in 1977, at that time they had the property re-zoned from residential to C-2 and also had to go to INDOT for the roadway access.

Mr. Meinzer asked for the layout to be placed on the meeting room screen. The property is 70’ wide by 200’ deep, and goes to an angle to the West side. My partner had opened up an office in the Ravenswood area, and my wife would like to open up a wine bar at this particular location. When we came to the board previously there was talk about obtaining approximately 40’ to the North, so that there would be better ingress and egress.

Mr. Meinzer advised that they have made an offer to the Bank for the purchase of the 40’ to the North and demolish the existing house and the garage. The bank turned us down, and all they did was raise the list price this past month from $450,000.00 for the entire parcel to $625,000.00.

So, I’m reporting back that is not cost effective and I cannot keep this building empty. So, I need to get a feel from the board if they will consider an egress on the South side of the building. If not, just tell me; so I can lease the place out or just tear it down for cost efficiency.

Mr. Meinzer advised that they have received the liquor permit this last summer. Right now they have property that is not usable and I cannot put that liquor permit to use. If this property is non-doable with regards to the proposal; then they will look somewhere else. Mr. Meinzer advised that the structure North of his is vacant and is run down and loaded with vermin.

Mr. Meinzer advised that he is not involved personally in the Wine Bar, it is under the name Vin41 LLC. It is owned by my wife and her daughter.

Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Kil to place the original drawing on the meeting room screen that was presented.

Mr. Nick Georgiou introduced himself, and pointed out that when he came in earlier, and on first presentation he was asked to go back, we acknowledged that there were variances required to get this done. There was a detention variance, distance from driveway to property line, and then back with owner for access onto U.S. 41.

Discussion ensued as to the demands that the other property owner (Bank) is placing a lot of demands, including financial that they are not willing to do. And further discussion as to routing the patrons to a southerly route to egress. The problem noted was that the entrance and exit would be at the same road-cut on U.S. 41.

Mr. Meinzer stated that he has no control over INDOT, however he has property that he would like to do something with it, and make his wife happy. He advised that they like the character of this building.

Mr. Forbes stated that he appreciates what they are trying to do and what the thought process is here; however, he is back to being uncomfortable as far as safety as far as ingress-egress goes. Mr. Forbes expressed that it is unfortunate that you have run into some difficulties that would have help the proposed project.

Mr. Maciejewski inquired about earlier discussions of waivers or variances, as he was not at the previous meeting that discussed this project. General discussion ensued as to site storm water detention, reduction of parking stall width, set-backs to accommodate the drive, etc.

Mr. Meinzer advised he was a former member of the Plan Commission and also the Board of Zoning Appeals and is aware that you cannot do behind closed doors decisions, so he just wants a feeling so that he does not waste any more money if this property cannot be used for this purpose.

Mr. Kozel commented that he was uncomfortable with the congestion before also. Mr. Williams also expressed the same concerns.

Mr. Meinzer thanked the board for their input, knowing that there may be another location for the wine bar and this property can still be used as office space as legal non-conforming.

B. EDENS COVE – Review of Primary Plat (Mr. Dave Spoolstra)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Edens Cove.

Mr. Dwayne Gillian with V3 Companies introduced himself to the board, advising his is here for Mr. Spoolstra. Mr. Kil placed the primary plat on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Gillian advised that the primary plat that is here is essentially what has been presented to the commission before. There have been no geometry changes. Earlier the board wanted Lot 8 wider, and that has been done. For those of you that were not here before, it is a nine (9) lot subdivision, eight (8) single-family homes, and Lot 9 is the storm water management facility. This will be R-2 zoning, with 100’ building frontage.

Mr. Gillian advised that the engineering plans have been submitted to the Town and Haas & Associates Engineering. There will be sidewalks in front of all the lots. Mr. Kil and Mr. Gillian discussed a curve in the sidewalk to save two large trees; it was noted that it would have to favor the right-of-way and not on private property. There was discussion as to additional right-of-way to secure the option. Mr. Gillian advised he would bring that information back to Mr. Spoolstra to decide whether to grant the addition or just remove the tree.

Mr. Gillian pointed to a right-turn deceleration lane into the seven lots that would be served from Joliet Street. Mr. Forbes asked if they can adjust the geometry of the acceleration lane to match the other side. After discussion, Mr. Gillian advised they could make that adjustment to a 50’ taper.

Mr. Gillian advised the existing water lines are on the south side of Joliet Street, and they will pressure tap right by the entrance. The water line will dead-end into the cul-de-sac with a hydrant, with all the water services off that line, and sanitary sewer runs down the opposite side of the street. The high point is Lot 1 and the rest drains towards the north through the cul-de-sac, and you can follow it through to the pond.

Mr. Forbes asked that a no access easement be placed on Lot 1 and Lot 7, just to guarantee that there are no driveways that would come out on Joliet Street. Mr. Gillian advised that all the homes will be directed towards the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Williams asked how far along is the commission on the process of the subdivision. Mr. Forbes advised that we are reviewing primary plat now. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that there will be a public hearing on April 6, 2016 and the adjacent property owners will be notified.

Mr. Gillian thanked the board and advised he would see them on April 6, 2016.

C. GREYSTONE – Review Primary Subdivision Approval (Mr. Jack Slager)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Greystone.

Mr. Scott Sayjak with Schilling Development, representing CWS Holdings here this evening for the Greystone project. Mr. Sayjak advised that they have brought this project before them on multiple occasions over the years. He advised that Mr. Jack Slager gave a presentation a couple of weeks ago.

Mr. Sayjak advised he is here to present it again and answer any questions that may have come up. Mr. Sayjak stated to just summarize briefly the timeline, they have come to several study sessions. The public notice requirement, the letters were mailed today. The site sign was placed today. He also advised the advertisement in the newspapers were done today as well. Mr. Sayjak stated that they are ready for their April 6th Public Hearing, everything should be in order.

Mr. Sayjak reminded that this subdivision is on Calumet Avenue, south of 101st Avenue. The overall development is on the West and East side of Calumet Avenue. Right now they are only focusing on the East side. Mr. Sayjak pointed to areas in “blue” that are detention ponds, they are colored that way to show where the storm drainage will go, and 95% of the time they will be dry, and they will be done right at the beginning of placing improvements.

Mr. Sayjak stated that in summary, Unit 1 is the East side of Calumet Avenue. There are eighty-four (84) single family lots, duplexes, cottage homes and four (4) professional buildings. There will be parks connected to the bike paths to what is already located at Saddle Creek. Since our last study session, our engineer, Manhard, has been giving Mr. Kraus some plans to review.

Mr. Sayjak pointed to a rendition on the meeting room screen as to what the single family homes will look like, or something very similar. He noted that as with all Schilling Developments they will have heavy architectural and landscape requirements, and that is “across the board” whether it is a single family home, a duplex lot or a cottage home. Several renditions were displayed for the board members.

Mr. Sayjak advised that the professional buildings are going to be more for an attorney, dentist, doctor’s office type of building with brick façade.

Mr. Volk asked: Wine Bar?

Mr. Forbes asked about the area where the professional offices are going, they are listed as “Outlots”, we don’t typically build on outlots. Mr. Forbes stated his belief is that it needs to be a lot number. Mr. Kraus affirmed that would be a correct action. It does not need to be platted separately, just corrected, such as namely it uniquely. The four buildings should be platted out with the common parking denoted.

Mr. Kil advised that the particular lot would have to have a separate site plan approval for it. Mr. Kraus advised that he has a set of plans just for that site also, just the commons, the little triangle they are discussing. Mr. Kraus stated that it is already a separate set of plans, and advised they were sent out this afternoon.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if they were verifying where the drainage is in relation to the buried pipelines and all that? General discussion ensued with Mr. Kraus as to the easement lines and pipelines. Mr. Kraus noted a water line that parallels along the one pipeline easement, it was placed for the school.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Sayjak if they are ready to get site plan approval for the commercial at the time of the public hearing for this project. Mr. Sayjak advised that he would check with Jack Slager on that, since he works more on that end, and he will relay. Mr. Kraus advised that he has a set of plans for The Commons, and it would suffice for a site plan approval. Mr. Kraus advised that there are eleven (11) sheets to the development that they should have to review.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any more questions from the board.

Mr. Sayjak reiterated from the earlier meeting where Mr. Slager advised that a traffic light will be installed at the 50% build-out point, which would be the when full East side is developed. Three main points came out of the traffic study that was done. One, the intersection at 101st and Calumet Avenue warrants a traffic light with turn lanes right now. Second, was the idea of using a round-about to go through our entrance and through on Calumet Avenue. The engineering shows that a round-about is not the most effective solution for conveying traffic, a traffic light is. The key is for planning with Phase One, we would build the center lanes to turn in and out, essentially the entrance will be built around the crossings that will eventually need to be put into place with a light.

Mr. Forbes noted that they are donating an additional 45’ of right-of-way on both sides of Calumet Avenue on the property that you own. Mr. Sayjak stated that is correct.

Mr. Sayjak advised that the traffic study not only looked at present conditions, it also looked at conditions in the future, movements in the greater region.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Kraus is working on; based upon this traffic study that they did, working on a layout of a conceptual traffic signal at 101st and Calumet to show the board members as well. This would show what it would take; right-of-ways, things of that nature.

Mr. Sayjak advised that another engineering feature that Mr. Slager mentioned, but I want to bring up again, is we are going to be running a deep sanitary sewer through our property to the Southwest, in anticipation of future expansion. It will be deep and large enough so that when the school or whatever else may be built on that end they have a place to tie in. Mr. Kraus stated he believed it was 25’ deep in a 15” pipe. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Kraus if he had a map showing the area that it would service. Mr. Kraus stated that he does not have that tonight; however, it would serve south of 109th and probably all the way down to 113th.

Mr. Kraus stated that regarding Illiana Christian High School, they can abandon the force main sewer versus the long run of gravity sewer over to Silver Leaf. Mr. Kraus advised that particular information was given to V3 so they are aware of this improvement.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

(Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

04-06-2016 Plan Commission

April 6, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT JON GILL STEVE KIL
GREGORY VOLK, VICE-PRESIDENT JASON WILLIAMS KENN KRAUS
STEVE KOZEL, SECRETARY BOB BIRLSON ATTORNEY MICHAEL MUENICH
JAMES MACIEJEWSKI    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes, called to order the April 6, 2016, regular session of the Plan Commission at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, took roll call with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, Jim Maciejewski, John Gill, Bob Birlson and Jason Williams. Mr. Steve Kil, Town Manager was present. Mr. Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer was present. Attorney Michael Muenich was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to defer approval of the meeting minutes. “So moved,” by Mr. Williams. Mr. Maciejewski seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (7/0). Aye --- all. Nays --- none. Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.
A. EDEN’S COVE --- PUBLIC HEARING --- PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION --- PETITIONER, DAVE SPOOLSTRA.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was a public hearing for Eden’s Cove for preliminary subdivision with Petitioner, Mr. Dave Spoolstra. Mr. Forbes asked the attorney if the Proof of Publication were in order. Attorney Muenich acknowledged that the proofs were generally correct and subject to a count of green card receipts and the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Duane Gilllian, V-3 Companies, appeared on behalf of Petitioner, Mr. Dave Spoolstra. He stated that he was at the last study session and he believes Petitioner has addressed all of the concerns noted by the Board at the study session. He stated that the right of way on Joliet Street has been changed in order to save a tree and preserve drainage in this area. Mr. Gilllian started that some engineering questions brought up at the last study session had been clarified. He stated that V-3 had received some comments from Mr. Kenn Kraus related to the development and all of the issues have been addressed through the revised engineering plans.

(Audience members state they can’t hear proceedings.)

Mr. Forbes read into the record a letter from Haas & Associates as follows:

“We have reviewed the preliminary plat for the referenced project and find the following comments: the subdivision project includes approximately eight R-2 residential lots, one lot for the detention labeled “Lot 9”, streets and associated facilities and utilities to be built on 4.69 acres. We have completed our review and find the plan to be satisfactory with the following exceptions: The plan that we received did not have a certifying stamp and signature for the plans or the drainage certification.”

Mr. Forbes asked if the certification issue had been resolved. Mr. Haas stated he had received the plans via PDF e-mail and the electronic stamp and signatures were not the plans. Mr. Haas stated his understanding is that the official plans/ paper copies are usually hand-stamped. Mr. Haas stated he spoke to a representative of V-3 who stated that a stamped/certified paper copy will be forwarded.

Mr. Forbes continued reading the letter from Haas & Associates:

“The developmental fee has not been established at this time. It will be based on two percent of the construction cost of the public improvements as supplied by the developer or a certified estimate by the developer’s engineer. Storm water pollution prevention plan is included in the project plans but has not been reviewed at this time. The fee for this review will be determined at the time of review.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kraus stated there was an item that he forgot to include in the letter. He stated he informed V-3 that Lot No. 7, the corner lot at the new street and Joliet Street does not have the required 120 percent wider width. He explained the reason for the wider width for corner lots is so that the residence(s) could use either street for their address. Mr. Kraus stated that this subdivision has a no-access easement to Joliet Street.

Mr. Forbes noted that the extra width lot size is unnecessary because, as discussed in the study session, Lot 1 and Lot 7 will not be facing Joliet Street. Mr. Kraus concurred, although he confirmed that Lot 1 has the proper 120 feet, Lot 7 does not. Mr. Gilllian stated that a note, as requested by the Board, was added to the primary plat stating no access will be provided to Joliet Street.

Mr. Forbes asked the Board members if they had any questions or comments. There were no questions or comments from the Board. Mr. Forbes acknowledged that this was a public hearing for Eden’s Cove and he would open the floor for public comment.

PUBLIC HEARING

Marsha Maginow, 10030 Joliet Street:
Ms. Maginow stated she was at a meeting held previously for Eden’s Cove and she just wanted to ensure that when the building (previously discussed) is torn down, that she can straighten the fence out on her property. She stated when she or her family goes to sell the home she does not want any problems related to this issue. Mr. Forbes stated his recall is Mr. Spoolstra stating that the fence straightening would not be an issue.

Mr. Forbes asked about the fence: “The jog in your fence comes deeper into your property to go around the building and you want to move the fence back to the lot line?” Mr. Gillian stated he could explain the fence issue. He stated that the fence that was constructed by Ms. Maginow encroaches on to Lot 6. Mr. Gillian stated that Mr. Spoolstra stated that he would remove the fence and re-attach it to the barn.

(General discussion ensued.)

An audience member stated that the building was on Ms. Maginow’s land, and she notched her fence to go around the building that was encroaching on her property.

Mr. Forbes acknowledged this statement and stated that as soon as the building is gone, Ms. Maginow will be able to straighten out the fence along her property line.

Mr. Forbes called twice more for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment. He closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. Mr. Forbes asked they Board members if they had any final questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion regarding preliminary plat for Eden’s Cove, referencing the findings of fact. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant primary subdivision approval for Eden’s Cove contingent upon waiving the width requirement for Lot 7, receipt of a hard copy of the plans with the certification stamp and incorporation of the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. GREYSTONE --- PUBLIC HEARING --- PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION APPROVAL --- JACK SLAGER, SCHILLING DEVELOPMENT.

Mr. Forbes noted that the next item on the agenda was a public hearing on Greystone, seeking preliminary subdivision approval. He asked the attorney if the Proofs of Publication for the Notice of Public Hearing were in order. Attorney Muenich stated, again, subject to a count of the green card receipts, the public hearing could be properly held.

Mr. Jack Slager, Schilling Development, appeared before the Board representing CWS Holdings, landowners of Greystone. He stated that he wanted to briefly go over the timeline of Greystone.

Mr. Slager in 2006, CWS Holdings purchased the Greystone property, located in unincorporated Lake County at the time of purchase. He stated in 2008, CWS Holdings hired attorneys and paid to have the property voluntarily annexed into the Town of St. John with the annexation being finalized in 2010. Mr. Slager stated in 2013, preliminary plans for the Greystone project are first presented to the Plan Commission. He stated that through the years of 2014 and 2015, the Petitioner worked with the Plan Commission reviewing the plans and tweaking them along the way, based upon comments and recommendations from the public and the Plan Commission. Mr. Slager stated in December of 2015, a public hearing was held on the zone change for Greystone, based on the plans worked on with the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission granted the rezoning to R-3, R-2 and C-1.

Mr. Slager stated subsequent to this time, final engineering has been submitted to the Town’s engineer Mr. Kenn Kraus, Haas & Associates. He stated that after the last Plan Commission meeting, Petitioner, Greystone, advertised for tonight’s public hearing. Mr. Slager stated he is present tonight, on behalf of the Petitioner, requesting preliminary plat approval on the final version of the primary plat. He stated the plat reflects single family lots to the south and multi-family lots to the north containing duplexes and cottage homes.

Mr. Slager stated that, due to previous comments, the out lot that was previously lettered as an out lot for the commercial/professional offices, was given a number and is now known as Lot No. 121.

Mr. Slager stated, in summary, that the 71 acres known as Greystone on the east side of Calumet Avenue will have 84 single family lots, 19 duplex lots, 39 cottage homes and four professional office buildings. He stated that there will be covenants in place that will control the strict architectural covenants and landscaping requirements. Mr. Slager stated that there will be parks, walking/bike paths, sidewalks and a beautiful entrance off of Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Slager stated that the development’s layout and engineering have been reviewed over the past couple of months by the Town’s engineer. He stated all of the comments have been addressed. He elaborated on some of the comments. Mr. Slager stated there was a comment related to an existing street that stubs off of Saddle Creek subdivision. He stated that the street is platted with the Saddle Creek development as Dakota Drive. Mr. Slager stated that Dakota Drive has no homes or addresses on it at the present time, but it is platted as Dakota. He stated Dakota Drive will be continued to Calumet Avenue and the developer wants to name it “Greystone Drive.” He stated that this change in street names is an issue that will have to be resolved with the Town Council. Mr. Slager stated a couple of the street names within the subdivision have also been changed to Red Rock and White Sand.

Mr. Slager stated that the neighbors have been invited to tonight’s public hearing including Saddle Creek residents from the newer homes along the proposed Greystone’s eastern boundary. He stated that the Greystone parcel is currently a farm field that sits higher than Saddle Creek. He explained when it rains, about 50 acres of raw farm field (Greystone) drains towards the Saddle Creek homes causing their rear yard drains to become inundated with water and also causing some other water issues in their back yards.

Mr. Slager stated when the Greystone property is developed, Out Lot C, will be designated as a large detention basin and all of the storm water coming off of the farm field will be collected and directed into the storm water basin, discharged into a storm sewer and then flow into a creek. He commented that any of the Saddle Creek residents who are currently experiencing the heavy rain off of the farm field should see an improvement with the development of Greystone subdivision.

Mr. Slager addressed another comment from Mr. Kraus’s letter. He stated that the address for Lot 121, the professional office area, was not given an address on the plat but the developer is requesting a Calumet Avenue address for this parcel, 10501 Calumet Avenue. He stated there will be no access onto Calumet Avenue from the professional office area, but the Calumet Avenue address will give the location a more professional sound.

Mr. Slager noted that the Calumet Avenue intersection will be improved with left-turn lanes in all four directions. He opined that the Petitioner has answered a lot of questions in the past at study sessions, but he would be glad to answer any specific questions tonight.

Mr. Forbes asked the Board members if they had any questions. There were no questions from the Board. Mr. Forbes stated that a stop light was discussed at Greystone and Calumet Avenue. He stated that the stop light will be put in prior to any development occurring on the west side of Greystone development. Mr. Slager concurred. He stated that the Petitioner is requesting approval tonight on the entire east side of Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Slager stated prior to seeking approval to develop the west side of Calumet Avenue, the developer will install a stop light at the intersection. He stated when it goes from being a three-way intersection to a four-way intersection, a stop light will be installed.

Mr. Forbes read the letter from Mr. Kenn Kraus, Haas & Associates, as follows:
” The subdivision project includes approximately 84 R-2 PUD residential lots, 36 R-3 PUD residential lots and one C-1 PUD commercial lot, three out lot streets and associated facilities and utilities to be built on 74.43 acres. The developmental fee has not been established at this time. It will be based on two percent of the construction costs of public improvements, and the storm water pollution prevention plan is included in the project plans but has not been reviewed at this time. The review may be made for each phase as they are constructed or for the entire site or this review will be determined at the time of the review.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes acknowledged the public hearing for Greystone and opened the floor for public comment.

PUBLIC HEARING

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific stated it has always been her understanding that St. John was a town that had strict standards for developers to follow as to the size of housing lots and their frontage measurements. She opined that these “very strict standards have been what has kept St. John a pretty prestigious town.” She asked, “Why have you lowered your standards for the Greystone development and the Gates of St. John by allowing duplexes and cottage homes?”

Mr. Forbes responded that he does not see these projects as lowering the Town’s standards. He stated that these developments are being built to the Town’s standards.

Ms. Pacific stated she is talking about lot sizes. She stated that all one would have to do is drive down 101st during peak traffic times to see what the (lot sizes) are going to do to the surrounding people who live in the area and how it will affect their quality of life.

Ms. Pacific stated that this doesn’t even take into consideration the aquifer. She stated she discussed the aquifer with Mr. Kil a couple of days ago. Ms. Pacific stated that a well is going to be built that goes down 300 feet. She stated that these homes will not be getting water from Lake Michigan but will be getting water from the aquifer that’s under the ground.

Ms. Pacific stated everyone has wells where she lives, and there were standards when the homes were built, five and ten acre lots. Ms. Pacific stated now all of these homes, duplexes and businesses are going to be built in a small area. She asked again, “Why are you changing the standards of St. John?” Ms. Pacific stated that the current residents “Are going to have to deal with all this mess.” She asked if the Board members were from this area or did not care about it.

Ms. Pacific stated she does not understand because St. John has always been a wonderful town that cared about it residents. She stated she does not see that with Greystone; she stated “This is a mess.” Mr. Forbes commented, “I respectfully disagree.”

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Anna Orkeza, 14928 109th Avenue
Ms. Orkeza stated that she lives “Right in shoe corner down on the dead end.” She asked of the covenants and restrictions for Greystone been published yet, and if so, where she could get a copy. Mr. Forbes informed her that he developer would have to provide a copy of the covenants to her. Ms. Orkeza asked if the Board had reviewed the covenants. Mr. Forbes informed Ms. Orkeza that the Plan Commission does not enforce covenants.

Ms. Orkeza asked Mr. Slager if the developer would be willing to provide a copy of the covenants. Mr. Slager responded, “Sure. It will be public knowledge and above the standards of the Town of St. John.”

Ms. Orkeza asked about the timing on the stop light. She asked if the stop light would be installed if Calumet is cut all the way through. Ms. Orkeza asked where the stop light would be located. Mr. Slager stated that the stop light that he referred to would be at the Greystone development’s entrance. Ms. Orkeza asked why the stop light would be located here. Mr. Forbes explained that the light would control the traffic that will be coming from Greystone development.

Mr. Forbes stated 101st and Calumet, 109th and Calumet, Sheffield and 101st, all of these intersections are a separate issue. He stated that the Board has seen the traffic study of the intersection of 101st and have knowledge of what the traffic is like at this location. Mr. Forbes stated that the Town is currently talking with the Lake County and the State and examining everything from 109th all the way to State Line Road as a global project. Mr. Forbes explained if a stop light is put in one place, it will only shuffle the back-up traffic to the next intersection.

Mr. Forbes stated the county, state and Town need to work together to fix all of the problems at the same time or all a stop light will do is push the problem off to the next intersection. He stated that there is dialogue going on right now regarding the traffic/traffic signals and the Town is very serious about it. Mr. Forbes stated that they are currently working on 101st and Calumet because this intersection, due to the most recent annexation, now belongs to St. John. He stated that there is a plan for 109th and Route 41 from Lake County. Mr. Forbes stated the Town is attempting to get Lake County on board to review all of the intersections he mentioned earlier.

Mr. Forbes stated giving a timeline as to when these projects will be addressed is difficult to do when the Town is working with so many entities. He stated it would be a major project and the Town is seriously reviewing, investigating and addressing the work that needs to be done.

Ms. Orkeza asked what water source serves the Town currently until there is a new well built. Mr. Kil stated that the current Town water supply is more than sufficient to serve the new development. He stated when he talked about the need to drill another production well, it is probably five to ten years down the road. Mr. Kil stated a new well project would be undertaken for the general growth of the Town in order to supply water globally to the entire community.

Mr. Kil stated he shared some of the preliminary work the Town has done with Ms. Pacific. He stated that there are a lot of fractures and a lot of different places that can be drilled for a production well. He stated it most likely would be within the Town’s boundaries. Mr. Kil stated this is a difficult subject to address because it’s so far off. He stated that there are probably no less than 30-40 locations where a production well could be drilled.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Orkeza asked about the condition of the highway. She stated that the road in front where the proposed Greystone will be developed is “atrocious in terms of potholes.” She asked for a timeline for repaving or improvements to this road.

Mr. Forbes stated that the road paving project would be inclusive as to what the Town is reviewing and addressing as far as a global plan. He stated since this road is now in Town, at least the pot holes will be patched. Ms. Orkeza stated that the road has been patched several times and it is like driving down a gravel highway. She stated, in her opinion, it would be logical to get this work done prior to having improvements made to the subdivision. Ms. Orkeza asked why anyone would want to buy a lot in the subdivision if the entrance and/or the highway approaching it is in such terrible disrepair. Ms. Orkeza stated she has complained to the Lake County about the road and she was told that St. John is now responsible for it.

(Applause from audience.)

Ms. Orkeza asked if the developer might be responsible for repairing the road in order to get the approval for the subdivision.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Dale Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated he heard numerous times tonight that the development was designated R-2, R-3, and he also heard PUD. He asked which zoning was it, R-2, R-3, or PUD.

Mr. Forbes responded the zoning was designated R-2 PUD, R-3 PUD. Mr. Robert asked, “Why is it a PUD when this is open corn field? Why is it a PUD?” Mr. Forbes explained that this was the zoning that was approved. Mr. Roberts commented what he is seeing is an open corn field that is zoned PUD so the developer can make smaller and sell more lots.

Vince Casboni, 9679 White Oak Avenue:
Mr. Casboni stated he has done several traffic studies on White Oak from 93rd Avenue to 101st and east and west from Monix Drive to Hilltop. He stated there were over 2700 vehicles at one particular time in three hours. Mr. Casboni stated that he has done traffic studies on 101st. He stated the Town’s traffic study from 2005 doesn’t show White Oak from 93rd to 101st, it does not show 101st from Calumet Avenue to White Oak.

Mr. Casboni stated he had mentioned this before, but he asked the Board if they were aware that 101st Avenue is only 22 feet wide. He stated a big subdivision is going to be put in and he asked that the Town widen this road.

Mr. Casboni asked where all of the water would flow to. He stated he heard the gentleman say there was going to be a big retention pond; he asked if the retention pond would be adequate to handle the water. Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Kraus has reviewed the detention. Mr. Kraus stated that he had reviewed the retention requirements; he stated that the pond will have enough capacity to handle the water.

Tom Kowalik, 10617 Calumet Avenue:
Mr. Kowalik stated he lives just south of the proposed development. He stated he heard about the improvements for the storm water, but the Christian high school is also going in. Mr. Kowalik stated that when the high school goes in there’s going to be even more water. Mr. Kowalik stated he doesn’t think it will be “overkill with the drainage.”

Mr. Kowalik asked the Board if they were going to reduce the speed on Calumet Avenue. He stated that the road is so “crumbly” and it’s up to the Town to repair it and he wonders when the Town is going to repair the road.

Mr. Kowalik stated, as far as a stop light goes, it will just back traffic up to Route 8. He stated he gets up at 3:00 a.m. and traffic is already building. Mr. Forbes acknowledged Mr. Kowalik’s comments and stated that part of the discussion has been to keep the traffic moving.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated it would all be in the timing and the timing of the light would control the flow of the traffic. Mr. Kowalik stated he leaves his home at 5:30 a.m. and traffic is already so bad that he sits in his driveway for five minutes trying to get out.

Mr. Kowalik stated everything is growing and the development can’t be stopped but everyone must work together and try and make it work. Mr. Forbes concurred. Mr. Forbes stated that he believes that is why Lake County has also been involved because a lot of traffic that is on these roads is not all from St. John.

Mr. Forbes stated that St. John has the corridor where they see the traffic. He stated he believes that residents will see an improvement because finally someone is looking at the traffic problem. Mr. Forbes stated that he wants to work with Lake County, not bash them, but the county probably should have looked at this a long time ago.

Mr. Kowalik stated the same thing could be said of the ditch where all of the water drains. He stated there was discussion on this and it was a big farce. Mr. Forbes stated that cleaning out the ditches is another discussion that the Town is having; he stated the ditches have not been cleaned out in a long time.

Mr. Kowalik stated that the ditch by his home has been dug out within the last ten years or so. He asked who was responsible for the ditch. Mr. Forbes responded, “The county.” Mr. Kowalik reiterated that they better work on cleaning it or it won’t be effective for drainage. Mr. Forbes reiterated that the Town is working with county to have the ditches cleaned out too.

Mr. Kowalik stated that he was not worried about what the Schillings are doing because he knows they do good work. He stated he just wanted to make sure they don’t go too small because everyone south of their location is feeding into the retention too. Mr. Forbes stated that it seems that there are “100 year storms every other day lately” and the Town does not skimp on the drainage.

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific stated since the developers are going to be making all of the money off of this development, why aren’t they required to widen the roads and make the roads more acceptable to the current landowners who live there and are going to have to put up with the traffic. She stated she brought up impact fees before and she asked why aren’t impact fees going to be imposed on the developer as part of just “good neighborliness.” Ms. Pacific stated that the developers should actually be responsible for the road improvements because they will be making a lot of money.

Ms. Pacific stated if the roads were four lanes, the current residents would not have a problem and would be able to live as they’ve always lived. She stated that the developers don’t want to put forth money they just want to take the money.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Town is not allowed to impose impact fees. He stated the Board is working on creating an impact fee. Ms. Pacific stated, meanwhile, the Town is going to allow all of the development to take place and then try to make things better.

(Applause from audience.)

Marilyn Peto, 9430 Hilltop Drive:
Ms. Peto stated that she’s here again to tell the Board that they have to widen the road. She stated that putting up stop lights will stop the flow of traffic. She stated that this developer is putting up more homes and another subdivision is going up with even more homes.

Ms. Peto stated that the last time she asked about the roads, she was told that the Town would have to have easements. She stated that there are no easements on this property because it is still a field. Ms. Peto stated, “Let the developer donate the land and put up enough land for three lanes.” Mr. Forbes stated that the developer is donating land for the easement. Ms. Peto stated that the developer is donating land for the turn lanes and she wants them to donate land to widen the roads. She stated that a turning lane is going to stop the flow of traffic if you can’t get to the turning lane to turn.

Ms. Peto stated she has gone from Hilltop Drive to Route 41 and it sometimes takes her 10 minutes to be able to make a right-hand turn on 93rd Avenue. She stated you cannot make a left-hand turn during peak traffic. Ms. Peto stated that if you go down as far as Route 41, you can be stopped at Olcott because you can’t get up the hill. She stated there are not enough turning lanes on Route 41 to make a left-hand turn, and the Town is talking about putting up more homes, more cars, more traffic. Ms. Peto stated that the Town is not doing this correctly. She stated, “Widen the roads before you build all these homes.”

(Applause from audience.)

Russell Vogel, 10358 Rolling Meadows:
Mr. Vogel stated he talked to Mr. Kil approximately a year ago when he first purchased his home. He stated he gets all of the water from the farm field. He stated he has spent thousands of dollars on his back yard, putting up rock walls and everything else. Mr. Vogel stated his main concern is the water. He stated this water is either going to kill him there or he will have to put his house up for sale.

Mr. Vogel stated he paid over $300,000 for a house and he can’t even use the yard. He stated all of the money that he had to take and add on to his property to slow the water down is going be taken now. He stated he has spent thousands of dollars, “for what?” And a year of his time to try and get his property done.

Mr. Vogel stated he has a drain in the middle of his yard, and it drains at the left side. He stated he is at the lowest point of Saddle Creek. Mr. Vogel stated that if he had known, he would never have built the home. He asked if the Board really thought the retention pond is going to hold all of the water and not overflow onto his property. Mr. Vogel stated that for the way the last two years have been, water has been coming heavy. Mr. Vogel stated if water is being pumped into the lake of Saddle Creek, it is going to over flow.

He opined that the Board should think about this a little bit better because he doesn’t want to have his yard flooded even more than it already is. Mr. Vogel stated he has had engineers and everybody else out to his house. He reiterated he has probably spent $20,000.00 of his hard-earned money into his back yard.

Mr. Vogel stated that he understands that the developer does a phenomenal job trying to keep water away from the house. He stated he was assured of that and that he has seen all of the plans. Mr. Vogel asked if all of the work that he has done in the back yard of his home will be removed.

Mr. Kil recommended that Mr. Vogel show Mr. Slager the location of his home, and Mr. Slager could show him, specifically, every improvement that’s going to be made directly adjacent to him. Mr. Kil stated that if Mr. Vogel had come and talked to him and they could have looked through the plans ahead of time, he would have seen he was at the lowest point where all of the water goes.

Mr. Vogel stated he never thought to look at the field. He stated there is an elevation of 20 feet and he asked the developer intended to lower the ground, or bring it down.

Mr. Slager stated that there is a lot of earth-moving that needs to be done. He stated he would be glad to go over the engineering with him at some time other than tonight.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Slager stated that the only way to slow the water down is to build the detention pond to catch the water. Mr. Vogel concurred. Mr. Vogel stated he has never seen rain in all of his life like he’s seen in the last couple of years.

Mr. Vogel asked if his yard is still getting flooded, would the developer stand behind their work. Mr. Slager stated that the developer will stand behind the design of their subdivision. He stated he does not know about the design of Mr. Vogel’s subdivision. Mr. Slager stated that the proposed Greystone subdivision has been designed the property.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Terry Pritchitt, 8564 Illinois Street, Merrillville, IN:
Mr. Pritchitt stated he works with Mr. Schilling at Schilling Construction and he’s a potential, future St. John resident. He stated he wanted to make note of the fact that it has been mentioned that the proposed development will have smaller lots. Mr. Pritchitt stated that the smaller lots will make it possible for a blue-collar person like himself, with four children, to actually afford to move to a nicer community, and a community where he won’t have to be afraid to send his children public schools. Mr. Pritchett stated he believes, as far as the water is concerned, the key word is that the water draining into a creek might have been missed by the public, which means it would be carried into a waterway and not into a (unintelligible word) water system.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets stated that it has been represented that the proposed development will be up to the standards set by St. John; he asked if all of the lots were a minimum of 100 feet wide. Mr. Forbes stated that the lots are up to the standards of a Planned Unit Development as approved. Mr. Swets commented, then, there were some exceptions being made with lots being less than 100 feet wide; he stated he had wondered about this. Mr. Swets stated he had asked before that the Board try to keep lot sizes that other people have as well to at least 100 feet wide.

Mr. Swets stated he was hoping that some of the traffic studies that were done would be “a little bit more thorough.” He stated that there was a traffic study when the Preserves were being reviewed, and it was a one or two-day study done by First Group. Mr. Swets stated he was really happy when Schilling agreed to do their own traffic study; he stated he was hoping to get a second opinion.

Mr. Swets stated that when Schilling used the same company to do the traffic study, it did not give the Board a real, true analysis that the study was very good or adequate. He stated that the Board has heard in the past study that the traffic studies that were done by “Vince” and “Brian” are quite a bit different than what First Group has done. Mr. Swets recommended that the Board get an another study or an “independent study” just to ensure that the numbers are adequate. Mr. Swets stated that the Town has such a terrible problem with traffic. He stated it would be in the best interests of the Town and the best interests of the sport to get a second opinion on an “engineering traffic study.”

Mr. Swets opined that there are too many multi-family homes being built in St. John. He stated, “I know you have an eight percent --- and I didn’t get an answer at the Council meeting so I’m hoping I can get an answer tonight --- is the eight percent, is that a guideline or is that a restriction or requirement?” Mr. Forbes stated that the eight percent is a guideline.

Mr. Swets asked if the Board would address the eight percent guideline so that a duplex would actually count for two families and a quad would count for four families. He asked if revising guidelines is something the Plan Commission would address or the Town Council would address. Mr. Forbes stated he does not know if Mr. Swets request would be the right way to go about calculating the eight percent. Mr. Forbes stated that the Plan Commission deals with land use, percentage of land use and/or acreage; he stated the calculation should be based on land use and not physical dwellings, whether it was divided out by two, four or six. Mr. Swets stated he would disagree because if there are four families living in one building, there are four times as many people that are using showers, using water and driving on the Town’s roads and street. He stated that these are some of the major issues.

Mr. Swets repeated his request that the Plan Commission would address the eight percent issue. He stated maybe eight percent isn’t a good number, but the Board needs to look at multi-family as true family units. Mr. Swets stated that a house is one family unit, a duplex would be a two family units because there are twice as many people using the resources of the Town.

(Applause from audience.)

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero asked the Board members the following question: Is this Plan Commission working for the developers or are you working for the residents of St. John; can you answer that question?

(Applause from audience.)

Mr. Forbes responded, “Residents.” Mr. Hero asked “If you’re working for the residents, and you use the excuse that an impact fee is being studied, while in the meantime, this Plan Commission keeps approving more and more subdivision with high population intensities and not actually making the developer widen the road adjacent to these developments as they go --- are you working for the developer or are you working for these people that are complaining about the traffic, complaining about the water? Why aren’t you making the infrastructure sound now? So that at some point, it’s a less burden on the Town to widen the connecting roads that are not wide enough. So the question comes back again, are you working for the developers or are you working for the residents of St. John?

(Applause from audience.)

Mr. Hero stated if the Board was working for the residents of St. John, you would be widening these roads adjacent to every one of these developments, not just, ‘I’m going to give you an easement’ because there’s already infrastructure along some of these roads that has to be relocated. He stated, just a dedication of an easement isn’t going to pick up the cost of widening the road and moving the utilities. Mr. Hero asked, so who benefits from that? The developer. Because he doesn’t have to spend the money to move the adjoining utilities and put them in the right place. He asked the question again, who is the Board working for? For the monetary benefit of the developers or for the people of St. John who have the flooding problems and the traffic problems?

Mr. Hero stated that the Board can see all of the people have legitimate concerns. He stated it is time that St. John institute a building moratorium and build no more subdivisions and deny Greystone. He stated that the roads should be fixed.

(Applause from audience.)

Mr. Hero stated that the drainage should also be fixed. He stated if the Board is working for the residents and have the residents in mind and they aren’t working for the developers, they would listen to the complaints of the residents and build the infrastructure first, widen the roads and make the developer widen the adjacent roads so that the connecting roads can be built later. He stated this is how the Town of Dyer works with their developers.

Mr. Hero stated if the Board looks at the county roads and as things are annexed, there are no county funds to fix the roads for the Town. He stated that the Town continues to annex and take the property out of the jurisdiction of the county. Mr. Hero stated the only beneficiaries he sees here are the developers.

Mr. Hero stated, in the long term, the residents of St. John are going to have to pay to widen the roads, move the utilities and fix the problems that the Board has neglected to take care of now in the creation of the subdivisions. He asked again, is the Board working for the developers or are they working for the people of St. John?

(Applause from audience.)

Mary Therese Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Ms. Robert stated, “I think it’s a sad day here when we let greed take over safety.”

(Applause from audience.)

Phil Myrna, 9361 Hilltop Drive:
Mr. Myrna asked what route traffic going east to Route 41 out of the proposed subdivision would take. He stated it would be White Oak to 109th or the traffic would be going to 93rd to get to Route 41. He asked what was going to be done with the traffic. Mr. Myrna stated most of the vehicles will be trying to make it to Route 41. He stated some motorists might even try and come up Hilltop and go around through the park. He stated Hilltop is a narrow street to begin with. Mr. Myrna stated that there are problems with double-parking on the corner near his residence.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he had very little to say tonight. He stated looking around the room tonight, he sees almost 60 people. Mr. Parada stated, “You guys better start buying some more chairs, because these folks are not going to go away, and they have legitimate requests that need to be filled and answered to. So, we’re not going anywhere. This is going to continue to be the way it is until this stuff is hashed out.”

Mr. Parada requested, again, that the Board provide more chairs for the audience.

Ms. Siminak stated she lives off of 93rd and Cline and she sees a lot of the traffic when going through Town. She noted that many of the developments/subdivisions have been getting PUD zoning. Ms. Siminak stated her interpretation after reading the literature, is that PUD zoning was created with the intent of clustering houses in order to leave more open space, more green space. She asked the Board why the PUD zoning is becoming so prevalent in St. John.

Mr. Forbes responded that the PUD zoning just depends on the development. He stated one factor he relies on when making a decision for a PUD is the surrounding area and development of the area around it has a lot to do with it. He explained Greystone is basically a continuation of Emerald Crossing and on the other side Greystone will be a continuation of Saddle Creek. Mr. Forbes cited Weston Ridge has cottage homes and Homestead Acres has duplexes and Schilling Development has met with some success with these developments. Mr. Forbes stated these are not “slouch developments,” they’re very nice. He explained that it’s the way the area around a proposed subdivision is zoned is what he bases his determination on, in part.

Paul Panczuk, 8410 Magnolia Street:
Mr. Panczuk stated what was just discussed, the PUD, is the exact subject he would be addressing. He stated he was present to oppose the rezoning of the parcel. Mr. Pancuzk stated that his understanding is tha the parcel meets the Town’s now current zoning, but he’s still opposed to the multi-family. He acknowledged that there are lot of multi-family surrounding the proposed development. Mr. Panczuk stated he specifically moved from Schererville to St. John because of the amount of multi-family going up in Schererville.

Mr. Panczuk is very unique in Indiana with half-acre lots and it was prevalent in Town and been a great thing. He stated that this trend is worrying him, especially in this part of Town. Mr. Panczuk explained that unincorporated Dyer, nearby, just west at 101st and at Hart Street is multi-family, and very densely packed in. Mr. Panczuk stated St. John may not be to that density yet, but all the clustering of multi-family homes in one part of Town will bring values down.

Mr. Panczuk stated he heard someone mention of “working class housing” and he sympathizes with this, but Dyer and Schererville is full of “working class, smaller lot size, multi-family housing,” and St. John has always differentiated itself by shying away from that and setting the standard for the area and now it seems like the standard is being changed. Mr. Panczuk reiterated he is opposed to the multifamily and he would like the Plan Commission to consider this in the future, and go back to what St. John was built on. He stated he doesn’t think developers will have problems putting up homes and selling them.

Mr. Panczuk noted Kilkenny Estates is doing real well right now; he stated that there are wetlands and half-acre lots there and it’s beautiful.

Christen Jorgensen, 10157 Wellington Court East:
Mr. Jorgensen stated he lives on 101st. He stated he wanted to talk about timing, as timing has been brought up quite a bit and so has discussion with regard to Lake County and other entities as far as signalization and traffic. He stated he has no doubt that Schilling Development will be efficient in the subdivision and this does not concern him at all.

Mr. Jorgensen stated what does concern him is the entire corridor from Sheffield and 101st and 101st and Calumet. He stated that the signal that is proposed at Greystone, which Shilling is going to put in will be appreciated. Mr. Jorgensen talked about the proposed signalization and redevelopment of Route 41 and 109th. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the development and traffic pattern cannot be looked at in a vacuum.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he is concerned with the discussion and the timing. He stated if things don’t proceed a timely fashion, there are going to be more problems.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he would like to see some planning and assurance that there will be a meeting and a schedule to coordinate the projects so that signalization for the entire corridor will be addressed. He stated one without the other without the other won’t work. Mr. Jorgensen stated it has to be looked at in conjunction with all of them, and not looked at in a vacuum.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he doesn’t want to completely distrust the county and county government, but they certainly can make many promises in an election year and the promises won’t be fulfilled. He stated the signalization in conjunction with payment should be addressed. Mr. Jorgensen stated he is all for the Town kicking in money for certain signalization projects, but developers should often kick in as well. Mr. Jorgensen stated he doesn’t know if Providence Bank has offered to kick in for the signalization at 101st and Calumet, but this is a discussion that should be had as well. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the scheduling should happen in a timely matter and the townspeople should know how it’s going to progress.

(Applause from audience.)

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated all of the discussion points to the fact that there is no solid plan to develop St. John. He stated that the homework has not been done, the roads have not been planned and everything is done piecemeal like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Mr. Hero reiterated his earlier question, “Who’s the beneficiary of this and who loses by this?”

Mr. Hero stated that the developers benefit by a lack of a plan and the lack of the Board’s intentions to widen the roads and/or make the developers do it. Mr. Hero stated a schedule alone isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. He stated that the only thing that’s worth anything is getting it done before the development comes in or as part of the development in order to get final approval.

(Applause from audience.)

Mr. Hero stated that once preliminary approval is given, as long as they follow whatever is planned in the preliminary approval, all of the voices are silent. He stated it is very simple, if there is no plan, a schedule is not worth the paper it is printed on and the only thing that counts is money in the bank. Mr. Hero stated that money in the bank is the actual votes that go in and the drainage that is provided.

Mr. Hero stated that the members of the Board are responsible to make the traffic flow good, and if they don’t do that it’s going to flow bad. Mr. Hero stated that the Board can’t say it will be scheduled five years ahead or this or that it will never happen because the Town won’t have the money to come back and fix what the developer should have done now.

Mr. Hero stated that the developer is going to reap their profit from selling the lots and building the homes now. He asked where the money will come from in the future to do the road improvements. Mr. Hero stated that the Town had to pass a five million dollar bond issue just to repave some of the roads in St. John. He stated the Board has to make the developer pay now and put the roads in now, and this is the Board’s responsibility as a Plan Commission, otherwise they are just bunch of rubber stamps working for the developers.

(Applause from audience.)

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
She asked if Mr. Schilling was present at the meeting, and if he would be willing to step up and say a few words so the audience could get his take on the matter.

Tim Wolf, 8229 Meadow Court:
Mr. Wolf stated be believes that there should be an impact fee considered with all of the developments. He stated all of the developments should be tabled until the impact fee is set. Mr. Wolf stated that the taxpayers are tired of paying the fees for new road improvements and the developers reaping all of the benefits.

Mr. Wolf stated, if worse comes to worse, the ballot box at the next election is where the residents will speak. Mr. Wolf stated, if it has to be done, the residents could boycott Schilling Lumber too.

(Applause from audience.)

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back before the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Slager answered a question about drainage. He stated right now the entire 50-acre farm field is a hill and it drains east and flows unabated into the back yards, (indicating on drawing).

Mr. Slager stated that there are some drains in the back but not enough to handle the amount of water coming off of the field. He stated that the detention pond will be installed to take on all of the water, including some water that comes from across Calumet Avenue, and the detention pond will hold the water and will channel the water into a pipe and bring it into the creek.

Mr. Slager emphasized that the over-sized detention pond (indicating on media screen) will handle all of the development and some of the property on the other side of Calumet Avenue. He stated a berm will be built along the development’s east boundary that will hold back any water that now going into the rear yards (indicating on drawing).

Mr. Slager explained the overflow route where the overflow for the pond would be into the street, into Greystone Drive, which would then run down Dakota and then into the creek.

Mr. Slager stated obviously he is showing the preliminary plat for the parcel, but the developer will have to come back in for final plat as the development is piecemealed together. He stated that the developer is looking to construct 20-30 units a year, in pieces, as they go. Mr. Slager stated that the build-out for the entire east side of the subdivision is anticipated to be five years.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any more questions from the Board. There were no further questions. Mr. Forbes stated he will entertain a motion regarding preliminary plat approval for Greystone, incorporating the findings of fact, by reference. Mr. Kozel stated he believes that Greystone has met the criteria for preliminary plat approval, and he asked that the findings of fact be incorporated, by reference. Mr. Maciejewski seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes --- five Nays --- one. Mr. Birlson was opposed.

Mr. Slager read into the record a brief statement in response to some of the misinformation out there. He read as follows:

“We are lifelong residents of St. John and having done business with hundreds of thousands of people, we have always done things to the best of our ability with morals and ethics as our guide. We have recently received threatening phone calls, viewed web sites, read news articles and overheard gossip around town that has been attacking our family, our intentions and our ethics.

We are your neighbors. We work down the street. We may see you at church. We are always available to discuss any concerns you have about what we do. To anyone who spreads false accusations, we take great offense. No one can legitimately say we have ever acted any manner that is not ethical, honest, fair and in the best interest of the Town that we call home, our customers and our employees.

Mr. Slager stated that the letter is directed to everyone. He stated he heard comments this evening about boycotting Schilling Lumber, and he stated this is completely out of line.

(Applause from audience.)

C. SANCTUARY --- REQUESTING PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE AS A ONE-LOT SUBDIVISION --- MR. JIM BUCHANAN.

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda was the Sanctuary, seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing. Mr. Jim Buchanan, 1064 Shore Lane Road, Crown Point, Indiana, appeared on behalf of the Petitioner.

Mr. Buchanan stated that this parcel is a 7.50-acre lot that was originally slated to be two lots, and it now his customer is interested in just one lot. Mr. Buchanan stated that his surveyor has been conversing with Mr. Kraus related to some issues that need to be addressed.

Mr. Forbes stated that this matter had been discussed at the last study session, and there is one study session left prior to the public hearing. He stated anything not addressed tonight could be addressed at the next study session.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions. There were no further questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to grant permission to advertise for a public hearing for the Sanctuary. “So moved,” by Mr. Williams. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes called for public comment.

Vince Casboni, 9679 White Oak Avenue:
Mr. Casboni stated he was disagreeing with the address of 10119. He asked how this address could be 10119. Mr. Forbes stated he brought this matter up at the study session and Mr. Buchanan needs to look at this.

Mr. Kraus commented that the address is wrong.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Kozel. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (7/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

A TRUE COPY

Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:22 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION

04-20-2016 Plan Commission

April 20, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on April 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jim Maciejewski, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil. Jason Williams, David Austgen and Michael Muenich were absent.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. SANCTUARY – Review of One Lot Subdivision – White Oak and 101st Avenue (Mr. James Buchanan)

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. James Buchanan has worked out an address for the property as 10119 White Oak Avenue, as it is just one lot. Mr. Buchanan should be ready for Public Hearing on May 3, 2016.

Discussion amongst planners as to whether there would be sidewalks for this development. Mr. Kraus advised that there are no other sidewalks on White Oak and that the bike trail starts just north of this location. There could be no connections to other development sidewalks as there are none in the area.

Mr. Kraus advised that they will need a waiver for the detention portion as there is a natural low lying areas in the back to retain a lot of storm water, as it naturally exists there at 101st and White Oak Avenue where Bull Run goes through.

Mr. Forbes noted that the building will be on the one section of the lot and that the remainder is going to remain a natural preserve.

Mr. Kraus noted that the impervious surface for this is very insignificant to the size of the lot and is not an issue.

Mr. Kil advised that they will be ready for Public Hearing on May 3, 2016 for the one lot subdivision.

B. 8650 PATTERSON STREET – Site Plan Review – Driveway Addition

Mr. Daniel Ruzbasan advised that he is the owner of the property at 8650 Paterson Street. Mr. Kil placed a site plan on the screen, and advised that every home has one driveway cut into the road and that this gentleman is asking for two (2) roadway cuts, and asked Mr. Ruzbasan to appear before the commission as there are currently no regulations on this particular topic. Therefore, he is looking to the Plan Commission for direction or any objection.

Mr. Kozel inquired about the distance of the fire hydrant and the telephone pole shown on the site plan. Mr. Rusbasan said it was sixty-four feet (64’). Mr. Ruzbasan advised the reason for the additional driveway was due to Patterson Street itself. The road rises by 17.6” in the 200’ of the property that rises 12’. Basically the line of site is thereby obstructed in a manner from either direction to an unsafe level.

Mr. Ruzbasan advised there are no guidewires or hydrant within twelve feet (12’) of the proposed driveway addition. From the proposed driveway radius the owner can see traffic on 85th Street and can see approximately 500’ south to assure a safer view of traffic.

Mr. Williams asked how high the wire is. Mr. Ruzbasan advised that would have to be moved as there are trees missing. About 11’- 13’, going to have to ask if new pole can be put in. He noted that this was not a power line by Nipsco, but an AT&s;T line. Pole at South property line is 275’ to the North. Fire hydrant is 10’ – 12’ South of where new driveway would be placed. So if we go to 64’ there is no hydrant and no pole at issue. Pole right now is 20’ off of existing driveway. Mr. Kozel made a calculation of 30’35’ away as shown and does not see a problem with the plan.

Mr. Forbes noted that it would definitely make a safer ingress and egress to the residence. It was also the consensus that the matter does not require formal Plan Commission action and that Mr. Gill could go ahead and issue the permit.

C. PROVIDENCE BANK DEVELOPMENT – Two Lot Subdivision (Mr. Philip Mulder)

Mr. Philip Mulder of Lagestee-Mulder introduced himself and advised he was there on behalf of Providence Bank. The bank has currently purchased the property at the Southwest corner of 101st Avenue and Calumet Avenue and consists of 24+ acres. They are seeking to develop the North 1.9 acres for a retail banking facility. The current location of this bank is approximately ¼ mile west in a commercial development in Dyer.

The new bank facility will be six thousand square feet at this corner.

Mr. Forbes noted that the bank would be on one lot and the remainder of the acreage would be on the other lot. Mr. Mulder confirmed that they would be looking for a two-lot subdivision. Lot 2 is not shown now as it’s just the initial presentation of the bank and how it was going to lay out on Lot 1.

Mr. Mulder advised that when they do a two lot subdivision, the plat will have those both on the plan. Lot 2 will be to the South and there is no planned use at this time. The southwest corner triangle area is where the detention is.

Several planners discussed the traffic flow of this location at 101st and Calumet Avenue, as it is now really poor. It was mentioned that it was rated an at “F”, and asked what improvements the bank would be required to make at that intersection.

Mr. Kil advised that it warrants signalization right now and had indicated to Mr. Mulder that it would come up tonight.

Mr. Mulder advised that they haven’t spent a lot of time looking into that aspect. The parking lot will have twelve (12) people parking there at any given time. The bank is willing to do whatever they can to help, however it is not their intent to put in a traffic light just because it’s on the corner.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Kraus (Town Engineer) has done a preliminary layout of that area and what it would take to put a signal there. He further stated that it would be appropriate for the bank to construct and undertake the improvements that are just on their corner itself. That would be a reasonable request and that would require a right-turn lane on 101st Avenue for southbound traffic on Calumet Avenue, and also eastbound to southbound. Basically another lane, but for designated right turns.

Mr. Forbes asked about drawings made from County discussions; a draft drawing based on the traffic study? Mr. Kil advised that he did not have those here tonight, but would have them downloaded. Mr. Kil advised that a rough drawing by himself and Mr. Kraus has been going back and forth. As soon as Mr. Kraus gets it fine-tuned then it would certainly be sent out to the planners for review.

Mr. Kraus advised that the traffic study requires a right turn lane 200’ long with 100’ of taper; Twelve feet (12’) wide, exclusively for right turning. Of course there is signalization needed there and also the controls of the signalization. There is going to have to be a right-of-way acquired on the southeast corner of that intersection. Bank cannot be responsible or the North and East side of improvements as they do not own it; and should not take on any more of this improvement.

Mr. Mulder advised they would work with everybody else in the signalization costs, however they do not have anything laid out and what Mr. Kil has so far is very preliminary.

Discussion continued as to the timing of the signals timings would be critical to make it work correctly without having a left turn lane for westbound on 101st Avenue to turn onto Calumet Avenue, so this is being worked out with Mr. Dennis Cobb (Traffic Engineer), since this intersection is a “T” site. He (Mr. Cobb) did ask for a left turn lane for eastbound to southbound Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Maciejewski asked how does this interact with the corner development. Mr. Kraus advised that he does not have that information yet as he has not seen any plans to overlay the 200’ length with the 100’ taper.

Mr. Kil advised that improvement alone would double as their decel lane as you are coming into the Bank site. Mr. Mulder advised that plan does not show a decal lane, but it is quite a bit off the property line so it should work.

Mr. Forbes asked if the turn lane effects the monument sign. Mr. Mulder advised that no it does not. There is a fifteen foot (15’) right-of-way running off Calumet Avenue and a fifty foot (50’) right-of-way off site. Mr. Kil advised he has a 11”x17” plan that he could scan and send to the planners.

Mr. Mulder asked when the traffic light would go in. Mr. Forbes advised even if the Town put in the light and fixed that intersection that all we would be doing is moving the problem somewhere else. That is why they are in communication with Lake County Highway, the Surveyor, Commissioner Gerry Schueb and others as a whole project.

Just like the 109th Avenue and U.S. 41 improvements are starting, their application is in at NIRPC (Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission) right now. They are working with INDOT for improvements. They were advised of the traffic study which suggests a light at Calumet Avenue and 101st, and that they would need to undertake an improvement at 109th and Calumet Avenue; and more importantly at Sheffield. Depending on what the Plan Commission does, the Town Council can authorize the project to be engineered and right-of-way purchased for this intersection so that the second we get the layout worked out with Lake County, we can go. The Town can construct a signal at some point in the future, when its coordinated with County so we do not just move the problem to Sheffield.

Mr. Birlson asked if any of the area property owners were being invited to the meetings with County. Mr. Kil advised the property in the Southeast corner, which is just farm land is solely owned by Mr. Leon Heldt. Mr. Kil advised that they have had only the one preliminary meeting, so they haven’t had a chance yet.

Mr. Kil pointed out that it is appropriate for the Bank to bear the cost of the right turn lane, as shown, and that that’s the biggest cost of the project.

Mr. Kraus stated that there are so many variables to this, could not even give a range; however, some cost estimates would be:
$ 150,000.00 Signalization and Controls
$ 20,400.00 Right Turn Lane and Taper
$ 2,100.00 Pavement Marking – Grading and Restoration

So, Mr. Kraus advised it at a range of $198,000.00, plus a fifteen percent (15%) contingency since it is so early in estimating such cost factors.

Mr. Forbes advised they would definitely be pursuing a timeline to get that traffic signal in, but again a traffic light is not going to fix the overall problem and will require a lot of teamwork.

Mr. Kil pointed out that the site plan tonight addresses one (1) immediate problem with the additional lane on 101st with the taper; it basically adds a lane to the intersection. Mr. Kraus discussed with the traffic engineer (Mr. Cobb) that there could be back-ups at peak times and that the 200’ turn lane with the 100’ taper is just what would be needed.

Mr. Maciejewski asked what is the disposition of the drive-through of the facility that would be vacated. Mr. Kil advised that it is not in St. John, that it is unincorporated and that information is unknown.

Mr. Mulder and the planners started discussions of stacking issues with the drive through. Mr. Mulder noted on the plan that the parking layout would direct vehicles to go around the north side of the building. There are a lot of parking spaces noted and Mr. Mulder advised that is how the bank wanted the facility designed and has done so at all their facilities.

Mr. Forbes asked if this was a multi-story building. Mr. Mulder advised that this is a single story, all brick facility. It will be built as their other bank facilities and photos can be sent to Mr. Kil to send out to the planners to see.

Mr. Mulder advised there are no plans for the South, Lot 2, leave options open for connection in the event it develops as commercial. He further advised that due to this factor, that is why they placed the detention in the southwest corner to cover this. There is a storm crossing right now in Calumet Avenue, which is why we have that depressed area shown along Calumet Avenue by the parking lot. There are also existing storm sewer easements back there by the pipeline.

Mr. Kraus asked if sidewalks were going to be required in the development. Since the area east that is developed as Saddle Creek, and the Greystone Development, it was assured that this development would also require sidewalks.

Mr. Mulder advised that he will proceed with the site plan as presented tonight and will be before the board again soon.

D. HEARTLAND PARK – Re-Subdivision and Site Plan Review (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies advised that he is here presenting the expansion proposal of the Ice Arena which is part of Heartland Park. The primary objective of the whole project is to put a sizable addition to be arena building.

We will be building a new parking lot east of the new addition. The old house along White Oak Avenue has been torn down. There is still room for the volley ball courts and has spoken several times with Chip Sobek, the Park Superintendent, to make little changes in the design to accommodate the specifications that he wanted and the dimensions as requested. Mr. Sobek stated that he was satisfied with the location.

Mr. Rettig advised this is to re-subdivide the property into one (1) large lot, in which the Ice Arena entity would own all of Lot 1.

Mr. Kil advised that dedicated easements run through the parcel; access to the baseball and softball fields with shared parking. The Town will maintain ownership of the main parking area. They are going to rebuild it, dedicate it to the Town, because its shared parking for everything in that area.

Mr. Rettig advised that the Ingress-Egress will run through the parking area there, and will be re-drawn for clarity. Storm water detention is already in place. They will be relocating a bit of storm sewer due to the addition, but believe they can utilize the existing detention basin. Mr. Kraus will be checking the calculations.

Mr. Forbes questioned the width of drive along the South side of the building. Mr. Rettig advised it was approximately fifteen feet (15’). There is also a sidewalk that runs all around the building. Mr. Kraus advised that the width of 15’ is more than enough room for a fire truck or garbage truck to maneuver.

Mr. Rettig advised they are trying to save the existing walking path; however, if it is torn up, it will be replaced.

Mr. Birlson asked about the loss of some parking spaces versus the addition of parking spaces on what is being submitted tonight.

Mr. Rettig advised that they eliminated the space of six (6) old volley ball courts and moved them and it will be four (4) new volley ball courts. Mr. Sobek advised that was adequate for the volley ball league use. There was continued discussion as to the location, parking and interest in volley ball in general.

Mr. Kraus advised that he will be looking into the drainage and parking calculations also. Mr. Rettig advised that the building is pretty straight forward. Similar materials to be used as is there already. The total is 43,000 square feet of addition; about an acre of addition and similar in look and finish to the existing building.

Mr. Kil advised that the petitioner will be coming before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a sign variance and have laid out a timeline with the petitioner at a staff meeting.

Mr. Kil also advised that the development agreement needed to be signed-executed by the Town Council. Mr. Rettig advised that they are anticipating coming in May to request permission to advertise for the public hearing in June 2016. All of this is contingent on the Town Attorney having the final papers completed.

E. EDEN’S COVE – Secondary Plat Review (Mr. Tony Strickland)

Mr. Tony Strickland advised he is representing Mr. Dave Spoolstra in the development of Phase One of Eden’s Cove. This plan develops the first two (2) lots on the west, lot 8 and lot 9. Lot 9 being the detention pond and Lot 8 being a residential lot.

Mr. Forbes noted that Lot 8 opens onto Graselli Avenue and lot 9 is where the detention pond will be for the entire development.

Mr. Kraus advised that he sent the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan – Form 1 to Building and Planning to be paid. Mr. Strickland advised that they would get all information over to Mr. Kraus for construction costs review.

(With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:59 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

05-04-2016 Plan Commission

May 4, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
James Maciejewski    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on May 4, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary (Susan E. Wright). Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Willilams, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the March 2, 2016 and April 6, 2016 were deferred.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. SANCTUARY – Primary Subdivision Approval (Mr. James Buchanan).

Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order for the public hearing.

Mr. James Buchanan introduced himself and advised that the Sanctuary subdivision is one (1) lot consisting of 7.8 acres on White Oak Avenue. He stated that he originally wanted to develop two (2) lots, however the person interested in it only wanted the one lot and did not want to look at a neighbor.

Mr., Buchanan stated he would request a waiver for storm water detention and sidewalks along the front; otherwise its pretty much as it shows (displayed on screen). The sewers are existing in the back of the property and water is existing in the northwest corner of the parcel.

Mr. Forbes asked Town Engineer Ken Kraus if he has reviewed the storm water detention. Mr. Kraus referred to a letter written on April 29, 2016. He noted that the project includes one (1) R-1 residential lot to be built on 8.7 acres, including a dedication of a fifty-foot (50’) wide half right-of-way for White Oak Avenue. Lot 1 will be 7.4 acres, and we have completed our review and find the plans to be satisfactory with the follow exceptions.

There is no storm detention system planned, and there is no minimum elevation of the lowest point of entry needed. A waiver is being sought for all of the aforementioned items. Development fee will be the minimum of $900.00, as there are no public improvements associated with this project.

Mr. Forbes noted that there is no curb on the entire length of White Oak Avenue and if we put in curb there we’re affecting the drainage on White Oak Avenue. Mr. Kraus stated that you definitely do not want that. Sidewalks were discussed briefly at the Study Session for that side of White Oak Avenue and there will be a bike trail on this side.

Mr. Kraus advised that it cuts in and becomes an “interior bike trail”, but there are no sidewalks for that point north to 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kil clarified that the bike trail runs the full length of White Oak and will be the full length to 93rd Avenue and there is a connection to the interior sidewalks which will be wider that’s going to serve a function of a bike trail.

Mr. Forbes noted that it swoops into the subdivision and back out onto White Oak Avenue, but it does go the full length of White Oak from 93rd Avenue to where the wetland is; goes around the wetland, then shoots off to the West, then comes back out to White Oak. Then, there is a crossover at 101st and White Oak Avenue. He noted that no sidewalks are on the East side of White Oak from 93rd to 101st, and all the houses have been established there.

Mr. Kraus noted that the drainage the plan shows a lot of low-lying areas of wetlands and floodplains that encroach onto this property, so 7.4 acres with one driveway is insignificant to the increase of impervious surface and because its adjacent and abutting this wetland area there is plenty of natural storage over and above what you would need for just a house and a driveway.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kraus discussed the minimum elevation of the lowest entryway. Mr. Kraus stated that normally we put in an elevation that is usually 18” – 24” above the curb at the center of the lot. This residence would set way back from the street, and sits on a knoll; we don’t know what kind of house is going to be built. It could be a walk-out on one side, r it could be a ranch. But whatever they build as long as it’s two feet (2’) above the flood level it will be acceptable; and they are plenty high. It’s literally sitting on a knoll which is ten feet (10’) above the flood plain now. Flood plain elevation is about 678 approximately, a reasonable guess, would have to check the FEMA map. Mr. Kraus noted that the specific elevation would be on the building permit plat.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Tim Bushack (9993 Delmar Street). Mr. Bushack stated that this may be out of the point for what is proposed right here, however he has taken video and that St. John is notorious for flooding a little bit more and more over the years. He referred to the screen advising “you have a subdivision coming in over here”. I have video of water coming across White Oak Avenue and it’s pretty heavy; all through there. There at 101st, it is all under water and you know the retention area over with Rosewood Estates, they cut down all the woods and they burn it out every year. It looks like a lake, so obviously one every 10 years it happens and that’s a lot of water. He just wanted to make sure enough information was given on what is happening.

Mr. Kraus noted for Mr. Bushack that what he is pointing to (on the screen), that’s where the floodplain is. That’s the reason for having the lowest entryway elevation at 2’ above, in order to accommodate the 100-year flood elevation.

Kevin Cole (10652 Manor Drive). Mr. Cole just wanted to know that since there is going to be a lot of construction down that road, what about the red foxes, all the natural materials and the deer. We are going look like Schererville.

Kourtney Cole (10652 Manor Drive). Ms. Cole advised that she lives with her parents and inquired how is the Town going to handle the essentials with EMS, schools, road construction. She advised that when she comes home from work that she can at times see 25 deer that live in that area and where are they going to go. Noted that there is proposed building of 500 new houses across the street which will that will put even more students in Lake Central that is already overflowing. They had to build an addition to Lake Central, you have flooding issues and you have animal issues. You have overcrowding on streets and there’s the sports complex for baseball and there is too much traffic as it is. Stated she is concerned about fire safety, police safety and road safety.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that in this instance it is one (1) house on 7 acres. I understand what you are saying and we have talked previously about this. Your concerns lean more toward The Preserves and other larger subdivisions. However, in this instance, this is a single lot where the property owner is not going to cut down all the trees. They are going to leave all the land in a natural state with the exception of where they are putting their driveway, house and their garage. This is one unit on one lot.

Vince Casboni (9679 White Oak Avenue). Stated again, the problem is right there (pointing to screen). That’s the Casboni property and even though its one lot all of the drainage coming off of White Oak and Bull Run Ditch, it crosses behind Rosewood subdivision, and then crosses behind the Casboni property. This is only one lot. The Preserve subdivision is 319 acres and 445 homes in there. There are two issues, one is the drainage issue and the other one is the roads. Three hours and 20 minutes from 101st to 93rd Avenue, 917 vehicles. That’s an awful lot of cars. And I did one December 3rd, 2780 cars in a three-hour time, which was 93rd to 101st and from Monix Drive to Hilltop. We have to do something with these roads. 101st is only a twenty-two foot (22’) wide road and nobody seems to care about it. That’s the narrowest road in Town. Before you allow these subdivisions we have to do some infrastructure.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street). Seeing the past history of some of the flooding that some of the residents in Rosewood have had, I seen some pictures. Can I ask the engineer the height elevation of the home that’s going to be here, how does that compare to any of the homes that are in Rosewood that are having some of the issues.

Mr. Kraus advised that he hadn’t compared those elevations, so we were looking at flood elevations in the requirements that they have to be above the two-foot (2’) to the lowest opening of whatever dwelling is put there.

Mr. Swets advised that he has seen the pictures from Rosewood where they were just totally flooded, including their driveway and I want to make sure we avoid that again if at all possible, so I encourage you to check the elevation levels of what we’re building and what we’re approving before it actually does get approved.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive). My comment at this public hearing is simple; there are drainage issues that are foreseeable; there are traffic issues that are foreseeable and there are safety issues that are foreseeable even though it’s a one lot subdivision. We have to be looking at all the subdivisions together as a whole. I think this Plan Commission, its consultants, its engineers, should make sure that the drainage is proper for this and its impact on the surrounding areas. If in the future, I would like this Plan Commission and its members individually, because these types of engineering problems are foreseeable, that they be held personally liable for any detriment done to other property owners, because if you fail to do your due diligence in all of those combined additions to the Town, I think you should be held personally held liable if you don’t do your job. If your consultants don’t certify to you that everything is correct and that we are not increasing safety issues, creating drainage problems.

So, for that reason I would like you to look at all these, even these little ones, the one house, but I think you are responsible and I ask you to be liable, personally, for any damages to other property owners, because if you don’t do due diligence, and you’re not correct, I think you should accept responsibility of the damages.

With no further comments, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the Board.

Mr. Williams inquired as to a stipulation in our motion that there should not be an entrance below 680’, but I think you made that note as to 2’ above flood plain. Mr. Forbes advised that any waivers should be addressed first. Mr. Kozel made the motion waiver requirement for curbs on White Oak, no sidewalk on White Oak, no storm water detention system plan, no minimum elevation on “plat”; but we will notate that it must be two-feet (2’) above the flood plain. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion for Preliminary Plat approval of Sanctuary subdivision and please notate the 2’ above flood plain elevation, a development fee of $900.00 must be paid and referencing the Findings of Fact. Mr. Kozel made the motion and referenced the Findings of Fact into said motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. EDEN’S COVE – Unit 1 / Phase 1 Final Plat Approval (Mr. Tony Strickland)

Mr. Strickland introduced himself and advised that he is here on behalf of Dave Spoolstra, looking for Secondary Plat approval of Eden’s Cove – Unit 1.

Mr. Forbes noted that from our previous Plan Commission study session that they are separating two (2) of the lots, one is an outlot that contains the detention pond and the other is a buildable lot on Grasselli Drive.

Mr. Volk inquired as to the silo that was near Joliet Street. Mr. Strickland advised they will be widening the right-of-way so that we can bump the sidewalk and save that large beautiful tree. That will be part of Phase 2, but they did widen the easement in order to keep it.

Mr. Kraus stated there was a drainage issue down on the corner and they know for sure if they bumped it out and it did not affect. They were able to work around it. And again, this is on Phase 2.

Mr. Strickland showed that they are extending the sidewalk along Grasselli for this Phase through Lot 9 as well.

Mr. Kraus read his recommendation letter dated April 27th that they have reviewed the plat and found it to be satisfactory with a developmental fee for this project if $1,112.63. All public improvements are existing except for the detention basin and associated piping etc. A Letter of Credit is required in the amount of $72,320.95 to cover the cost of these public construction improvements.

Mr. Strickland and Mr. Forbes discussed receiving the Letter of Credit before the signing of the mylars.

Mr. Maciejewski made a motion for Secondary Plat approval, contingent upon receipt of a Letter of Credit in the amount of $61,194.65, payment of the developmental fee of $1,112.63 and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Volk made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit for Eden’s Cove in the amount of $61,194.65. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. PROVIDENCE BANK DEVELOPMENT – Request Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Philip Mulder)

Mr. Forbes reminded the board that this was discussed at the Plan Commission study session. Mr. Williams stated he was absent for that and wanted the high points of the study session. Mr. Forbes advised it concerned traffic flow and suggested that the owners of the bank add a lane on 101st by Calumet Avenue. A decel lane at the very westerly border of this property. The Plan Commission did not feel that the development should be responsible for the signalization of the intersection because its currently in a “failure” type of intersection. That responsibility falls on us, but they felt it appropriate to have the lane added. We discussed flow around the building that was the bulk of the concerns.

Mr. Williams stated that the way the cars exit out onto 101st to him was reminiscent of what we turned down for the Wine Bar, and expressly why we turned it down. Did that thought come up at the study session and if so what did we say about it. He felt that basically people would be doing a “U-turn” to get out of the bank property to get out on 101st.

Mr. Forbes advised that the width of the ingress/egress driveway was significantly different compared to what the Wine Bar proposed. This is actually two (2) lanes.

Mr. Kil expressed that the issue with the Wine Bar was there was a single lane entering and exiting. So, if a car was exiting, that one could not enter. This is a fully improved intersection on 101st and there is another fully improved ingress/egress on Calumet Avenue.

Discussion ensued that Providence Bank would be coming back to the Plan Commission study session before they come to a public hearing. The issue of stacking cars was discussed and it will be addressed more accurately when final drawings are prepared.

Mr. Philip Mulder, representing Providence Bank, advised that all issues brought up would be clarified and adjusted by the next study session. Concern about lighting standards and two existing houses that are kitty-corner across 101st. so as not to create a problem for them. Mr. Mulder advised that the photometric plan would be available by the study session.

General discussion ensued about the drive-up lanes and curbing. Mr. Mulder again advised that the final engineering would show that and address a bail-out lane.

Mr. Birlson asked about previous views showing wider lane on Calumet Avenue. Stated it looked like a single lane going South, original had multiple lanes as he recalls.

Mr. Kil confirmed that a revised site plan would be done for the study session and corrected. Confirmed that they would have engineering all checked by the next study session.

Mr. Mulder reminded everyone that the last time in the conversation, the construction estimate was $150,000.00 for signalization and it was at least $20,000.00 to $22,000.00 for the turn lane and some other incidentals. So the issue of signalization in its entirety was $170,000.00 or so. Widening the West entrance would encourage “drive-through cuts” through the parking lot. Mr. Mulder reminded that Providence Bank will participate in the improvements.

Mr. Forbes reminded the commission members that they will be meeting again at a Study Session and if everybody is comfortable to authorize the public hearing and that this would allow the process to move forward. Will be placed on May 18, 2016 Plan Commission Study Session.

Mr. Williams made a motion to authorize Public Hearing for Providence Bank. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. HEARTLAND PARK - Request Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself and advised that he represents Dick Kortenhoven and others regarding the St. John Ice Arena, which is known as Heartland Park.

Virtually the same thing presented before the commission, other than we have to relocate a storm sewer. But the geometry you see on paper and what you see on the screen is the same. When they spoke a couple of weeks ago that the intent is to build about one acre of addition to the existing facility. His understanding is they want to open up the second ice rink that is in the existing building and then move the gymnastics that currently occupy that space to the new addition.

This comes with additional parking area, which is at the East side of the project. So there will be a new parking lot. The volleyball courts will be relocated, which are shown next to White Oak Avenue. They have not had any more feedback from Chip Sobek, the Parks Superintendent, on those, as to the relocation. To move them more West would require removing some pavement. The old pad there will be removed. This is all minor stuff; moving a little South and West.

The building is straight forward enough. It’s an addition that will look like to the existing facility. Lots of parking there, and we are going to be putting in more parking.

We are here tonight for Permission to Advertise or Public Hearing. It is a two-lot subdivision and will be re-configured.

Mr. Birlson asked about the new parking count as to the current parking count. Mr. Rettig advised he does not have that information, but will have it for the study session.

Mr. Kraus noted that the detention basin will hold the additional run-off from pavement. Mr. rettig stated they will confirm the calculations to make sure its adequate.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he sees from his notes that there was supposed to be a developmental agreement. Mr. Forbes advised that the agreement is still in the works. Mr. Kil advised that the developmental agreement has to be in place and signed prior to the public hearing taking place.

Discussion ensued by Mr. Forbes and Mr. Williams as to traffic impact in the area. Expanding the existing facility to almost twice the size and having peak usage times would have a 50% increase in people using the facility than before. Concern over entering and leaving the facility would create significant stress on the surrounding area. It was discussed if a traffic study was needed with this project, along with The Preserves, and everything else going in this area to make sure that our intersections can withstand it all, or do you think it is irrelevant to this particular project. Mr. Volk was asking if they were talking about traffic on 101st. Mr. Williams advised he felt that 109th and Calumet Avenue were going to get hit pretty hard.

Mr. Kil stated that he believes at the study session the operator can probably talk a little bit more about the operation. Ice times, the two primary functions of Heartland Park itself, the Ice Arena and the Baseball/Softball fields. Both are seasonal. Ice time is usually during the winter. Baseball and Softball are all during the summer. The two sports are completely different, so he thinks the operational aspect of the facility will be addressed. There was discussion as to when baseball/softball tapers off, then the hockey season picks up, so all these functions are not going on at the same time. With gymnastics, free skate times, there is also a fitness center, but traffic flows and there have never been traffic jams.

Mr. Williams inquired to once The Preserves is up and running, he is concerned with the total system. Mr. Williams felt that in 10-20 years when the development if all in, are we creating a gridlock situation.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil advised the planners that the Town is doing a Town-Wide Study to grade our roads, to figure out what improvements will be needed.

Mr. Williams asked about the current road configuration at 109th and White Oak. He was advised that there is a 50’ right-of-way coming South to the project. Mr. Snell owns the property to the south of Heartland Park.

Mr. Kil advised he understands what Mr. Williams is getting at. The issue of The Preserves at 93rd to 101st and the project is all to the south to 109th. The study that the town is undertaking is going to be for the purpose of trying to establish a roadway impact fee for the community; for all new development, so along with trying to do the impact fee is probably the most comprehensive traffic study that anyone has ever undertaken. It looks at the totality of the community and the surrounding collector of minor and major arterial streets, all of that into consideration. So to answer your questions it is all going to be in consideration. There are four (4) engineering firms quoting the study and we will be making sure they quote the same scope of work. Hopefully this will be presented to the Town Council in May of this year.

Mr. Rettig stated that it is not in this plat, but there will be a dedicated easement to the North on the final plans.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Kozel made a motion to authorize permission for a public hearing on Heartland Park. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT

(Unstated – Unknown) Asked about the scope of work that traffic study would include.

Mr. Kil advised the cost of study service is to establish an impact fee. Having not done this before, the Town will make it as comprehensive as possible. They will have 20 to 30 intersections that they will be studying and all the major and minor arterials. It will be a complete Town-Wide Study that should take several days.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive). It is his opinion that this Plan Commission is being misled. When we say we’re going to get bids for a traffic study and then its gonna take so much time to do it. It’s a game of masquerade. What I believe is going on here is the rest of the Town is being developed. You will be led into development before the traffic study is useful. You should put a building moratorium on all projects until you have a genuine traffic study.

Kourtney Cole (10652 Manor Drive). I live right across the street from this whole sports complex and feel it will impact the traffic a lot and when would the study be done.

Mr. Kil advised that we already have a consultant on board who has done work in other communities. It is The Arsh Group; they are getting engineering quotes from different companies from all around the state. Only one of them has done this previously. Impact fees are assessed on building permits. Once the Impact Fee Ordinance is done there is a six-month grace period before you can start charging the fee.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street). First off I don’t think anyone here wants to see progress stop. Just want to make sure that due diligence be taken through all this stuff. Jason in particular, I want to thank you for that. And I have another question; what is the other town in St. John that has had this thorough traffic study done.

Mr. Kil advised that the other community in the State? Mr. Parada said yes. Mr. Kil answered, it is Plainfield, Indiana.

Dale Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road). This does not pertain to the comments said tonight, but there is a question of the Plan Commission. What ever happened to the road grindings on Bingo Lake? Was there anything observed on that and where did it go.

Mr. Kraus answered that he believes he is referring to the large pile of clean stone that was placed for the Dancing Waters development. He reiterated that it was not grindings, it was clean stone.

With no further public comment Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Mr. Maciejewski made the motion to adjourn. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

05-18-2016 Plan Commission

May 18, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on May 18, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jon Gill, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer. Absent: Gregory Volk and Stephen Kil.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. PROVIDENCE BANK – Southwest corner of Calumet Avenue and 101st Avenue – Review of Two-Lot Subdivision Plan (Mr. Phillip Mulder)

Mr. Forbes advised the first agenda item is Providence Bank Development.

Mr. Phillip Mulder of Lagestee-Mulder handed out site plan materials, and introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Mulder advised that after the last Study Session they attended, they received some comments from Town Manager Stephen Kil regarding some items that needed to be updated and included on the site plan. They were the photo-metric and the landscape plan, which have just been distributed to you.

Drainage and retention requirements are shown on the engineering plans and are in the process of being finalized and submitted to Mr. Kraus. We have revised the geometry on the entrance to 101st and have slightly changed the entrance on Calumet Avenue. The traffic flowing into the site at 101st, has been changed so that there is not going to be any back-up entering the drive-through for the Bank, or for the ATM.

The right-of-way for the egress – ingress easement will be added to the plat of subdivision once the site has been finalized. That summarizes most of the changes. We have changed the position of the monument sign in the Northeast corner and we have widened the entrance on the West side, entering 101st Avenue.

Mr. Williams stated that at a previous Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, we had understood that was going to be a banner-lit sign. So, the point being, the way you have the sign oriented in the map, as shown, it would be shining directly at two houses. You need to flip it at 90˚.

Mr. Williams asked about how entering off of 101st Avenue; help me understand what these lines mean. Mr. Mulder advised that after they enter off of 101st Avenue, you can only turn right off of 101st Avenue, there is no left-turn access off of 101st to prevent any back-up of westbound traffic; so as they turn right off 101st, there is room for stacking of the cars exiting the Bank, so multiple cars can be waiting to turn onto 101st before the car coming in has to taper and jog. There’s room, even if there are high volumes of traffic exiting the Bank at once. Any cars in-coming can turn right in and not have any issue.

Discussion ensued about physical barriers. Mr. Forbes noted that there are two different geometries, 3 of 11 is different from the page 1. Mr. Mulder advised that the engineering plans do not reflect the latest. The engineering plans have all the detailed engineering showing the changes with the revised entrance. Further discussion ensued as to a customer wishing to go West on 101st from the Bank property. The current count at the Dyer facility on a daily basis, if used as a comparison, and they have mapped it out on a daily basis, and I can get a chart for you, but it is no more than twelve (12) cars per day that go through that facility. It was noted that it is just not high traffic. Most people are not going to the Bank on a daily basis.

Mr. Forbes advised that he trying to bring the meeting room projector up and running, please excuse the noise.

Mr. Kozel asked if there was a dedicated easement for the expansion of Calumet Avenue. Mr. Mulder advised they are dedicating 50’ of right-of-way on the West side, it’s on sheet 101.

Mr. Birlson inquired about sheet 3 of 11, 101st Avenue turn lane “C” intersection plans for detailed design, where is that at in the plans. Mr. Mulder advised that right now there is no detailed design of the engineering for the turn lane. That is still up in the air as far how the design is going to fall, in terms of the Town and on our end.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he believes that at our last meeting we discussed that the plans were almost done, and we have not seen those plans yet. Mr. Maciejewski advised that he knows Mr. Kraus has been given some information, but we have not seen those plans yet.

Mr. Kraus advised that they have not gotten too far along. They have a turning lane, just basically 200’ along with the 100’ taper.

Mr. Forbes advised that the Town is handling the traffic light signalization, but like Mr. Kraus just mentioned, it is a 200’ long lane with a taper, noting that no curb will be placed, as it would mess up the drainage, so it is just a paved lane and a shoulder. Mr. Kraus advised that he has something laid out that he can send to Trevor tomorrow.

Mr. Mulder commented that just to design a turn lane, in his estimation is one thing; but, if you are going to coordinate it with a light and a future light, it has to go hand-in-hand.

Mr. Kraus advised that he has a Preliminary Plan hard-copy that he can give Trevor now.

Mr. Forbes noted that until the other side of Calumet develops; there will probably be no real changes to Calumet Avenue, and I know we are discussing acquiring easements to locate the signals; however, at this point it just going to be a pretty basic signalization and then we will make adjustments accordingly if and when the West side develops. Go with the drawing that Mr. Kraus gave you and if you have any questions he can coordinate between Mr. Denny Cobb and whatever else is available.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus if he could send the planners the drawing that he sent to the developer. Mr. Kraus advised sure, he had sent it to Steve Kil and thought that maybe it had already been distributed.

Mr. Maciejewski advised that he is looking at the islands in the parking lot, and he is looking at a couple that, I guess I am not understanding the purpose. Mr. Mulder advised that just has a walk-on in that island leading to the South end of the parking lot, just so there is still a route for someone to walk.

Some discussion ensued on the photometric plan and the landscape plan, looking for any tweaks that need to be addressed. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Kraus if he could track the maximum/minimum ratios on those photo metrics. Mr. Kraus advised that he did not believe there is a maximum, as long as you do not have light trespass to the property.

Mr. Mulder advised that it is not shown, but there will be a sidewalk installed on 101st and Calumet along the property line. Also, though it is not on the primary subdivision plat yet, there will be an ingress-egress easement running from the entrance on 101st straight South to the un-developed property as it stays within the current ownership, unless it gets sold off for some other development.

Mr. Williams asked about one of the previous plans had provisions for traffic moving through the Bank parking lot further South, is that no longer a consideration. Mr. Forbes advised that was what he was just talking about.

Mr. Williams asked if there is potential for future commercial development going South. Mr. Forbes advised he felt that was the purpose of the discussion in the event that it is commercial development, we would want that access. However, if it’s residential it is questionable as to whether we would want that, but the thought was to just have it on the plat in that event.

Mr. Mulder advised what they are discussing is not shown on the plat, they wanted to make sure it was generally agreed upon before they went through on the final plats. Discussion ensued as to the location of the sidewalks in relation to property lines and roadway right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes advised that himself and Mr. Kraus were discussing the extension of water and sewer. It is currently shown that you are extending it all the way along Calumet Avenue to your southern boundary. Mr. Mulder advised that is correct.

Mr. Forbes asked about across the 101st Avenue side. Mr. Mulder advised that his previous discussions are that they would not be required to bring it across 101st because they would not be connecting to anything west of our site. Mr. Forbes stated that he did not remember having that conversation. Mr. Kraus noted that typically the Town requires the subdivider to extend utilities across the front to the property line on all public streets.

Mr. Kraus advised he does not know what they have to the West as far as water and sewer. Mr. Forbes asked if that is where Aqua takes over? Mr. Mulder advised yes, the Emerald Crossing subdivision is serviced by Aqua, and there is a water main on the South side of 101st.

Mr. Kraus noted that the sizes of the water main that they have shown on their plans to the extent; 12” on the water main is the correct size to match our grid pattern for the water distribution system. Sizes are good and the location is okay, if they do not have to extend it to the West property line. Mr. Forbes stated that he just wanted to make everyone aware of it.

Mr. Kraus noted a fire hydrant and asked if that was going to be a private hydrant. Mr. Mulder advised they would move the hydrant so that it is a public hydrant, but it would still service the building.

Mr. Birlson asked is it a requirement for them to install improvements past their boundary lines, because he thinks he missed that part. Mr. Kraus advised the reason for the extension is to serve future development that is in Town, except the development West already has water being serviced to them from another source.

Mr. Forbes asked for the sake of argument, if in the future somebody needed to put water and sewer in there, is there an easement where that can be placed. Mr. Kraus stated that the water line looks like it falls within the street right-of-way; and the sanitary sewer jogs a little to the South of that North right-of-way line. Mr. Mulder advised that the last manhole that was built, it angled South, so we grabbed it at that line extended. Mr. Kraus suggested extending through the right-of-way line and capping it off at a 5’ stub.

Mr. Kraus asked about the property North of 101st, that would be future development and would require water and sewer at some point also. The signalization that is being reviewed does not contemplate a north branch of this intersection. Mr. Forbes asked if another 5’ stub would be enough to be for future connection. General discussion ensued on placement of future improvements. Mr. Mulder advised that they would place 5’ stubs in for the future.

Mr. Williams advised he just wanted to restate that he thinks the ingress-egress off of 101st is extremely problematic, but it sounds like the rest of you do not have the same concerns. Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Williams would be more comfortable with landscaping in that triangle area. Mr. Williams advised yes, but he is still concerned over the ingress-egress off of 101st, and how we keep them from cutting over into the drive-through.

Mr. Mulder stated that a curb there would be a problem with a snow plow. General discussion again ensued as to interior traffic driving through the parking area.

Mr. Forbes asked if any of the board members had any further questions.

B. HEARTLAND PARK – Re-Subdivision and Site Plan Review (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Heartland Park. Mr. Rettig passed out paper copies of the proposed plans to the members.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself. He advised that he is here tonight to talk about the Heartland Park Ice Arena property. Mr. Mulder advised that they will be doing a re-subdivision of what is now a two-lot subdivision, and we are going to re-subdivide it into another two-lot subdivision.

Mr. Rettig advised that the plat is shown on page three of the handouts. Mr. Rettig advised that it is one very large lot, which has the ballfields on it, and there was a small lot where an existing home was. The existing home has been demolished, and that will be incorporated into the large lot. Mr. Rettig directed them to what is shown as Lot 2A, the larger portion of that is already owned by the St. John Ice Arena Partners, and they are in the process of purchasing the little appendage that is going off to the East there, that is what we have been working on for the last several months.

That closing will be happening very soon, possibly next week. So the Ice Arena Partners will own what is delineated on this drawing as Lot 2A, and then the Town will own Lot 1A, which is the balance of the property.

Mr. Rettig advised that this is how they are going to clean up the plat. They will be dedicating an ingress-egress easement for the existing roadway that is already there, that’s the curvy lines running through the middle of the drawing. We will also be creating new utility easements to cover the existing water main, there’s a water main that comes in, we call it the Southeast corner of the property, runs along the south property line, North along the West side of the building, back East all the way back to White Oak Avenue. Mr. Rettig advised that there is an existing sanitary sewer line that runs along the South property line that is in the existing 12’ easement that was already platted.

Mr. Rettig advised that basically they are going to do away with a lot for the house; there is also an easement that benefitted that lot that does not need to be part of this new plat either. So, that is how we are going to re-subdivide Heartland Park, which is what we are going to call the First Re-Subdivision of Heartland Park.

Mr. Rettig directed their attention back to the first page, which showed the existing building and the addition that they have been talking about for some time. The gray “hashed-in” area shows the new addition, which is for the gymnastics wing of the building, and that is for the purpose of opening up the other ice rink in the existing building.

Mr. Rettig advised that the addition is being built on top of an existing parking lot. So, a whole other parking lot will be added to the East, which is where the volleyball courts are now. Mr. Rettig advised that everything is being pushed towards the East.

We have moved the volleyball courts eastward, as shown to you tonight. That has been presented to Chip (Mr. George Sobek) the Park Superintendent, so he is aware of this. This does necessitate removing a little bit of asphalt down by that metal building. Mr. Rettig advised he was not sure what the metal building was used for. Mr. Forbes advised that is the Animal Control Shelter and Public Works Storage.

Mr. Rettig advised that a small portion of the asphalt will be removed to place the volleyball courts to the shown location, and we feel this gives it enough room away from the driveway that should be sufficient.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are having to relocate some lights that are on the site, as well as adding new lights. We will also have to re-locate one fire hydrant and add two fire hydrants. Re-locate a storm sewer that is physically underneath where the addition is going to be. That will be relocated around the Southeast side of the building, that’s shown on the site plan. An all new storm sewer system in the new parking lot which will go directly to the retention pond.

Mr. Rettig stated that summarizes the proposal and he will be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Williams asked what is the total parking capacity “before and after”. Mr. Rettig advised 425 and 435, and he believed it is on one of the pages handed out. Mr. Rettig advised they are kind of maxed out, due to the existing walking trail all around three sides of the property. The architect laid this out, and I am just following what he did. But, from what I understand this parking lot is never full. Mr. Rettig advised there is also a lot of off-site parking to the west too; which is off the drawing here.

Mr. Birlson asked if the main entrance was going to remain the main entrance. Mr. Rettig advised yes, access to the new facility would be from within the building. Mr. Rettig advised that it would be like a new room on an existing house, with the same front door; however, there will be six (6) emergency exits. Mr. Rettig advised that the Fitness Center will be in the new addition in part as well. The fitness facility is expanding as well.

Mr. Forbes advised it makes sense that the bulk of the ice arena will be during the winter months, so there won’t be any baseball, there won’t be any volleyball and that is the traffic during the winter months, and just opposite during the summer months with baseball and volleyball. He also noticed that the fitness facility is random, not everyone comes and leaves at once, it is scattered.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that there looks like a significant grade change alone the North side of the building, can you advise how that is being handled. Mr. Rettig advised that it only effects the northeast corner of the addition for the most part. What happens is we want to have the same floor elevation as the existing building and that is what we’ve done. The old building and the new building will have to be at the same floor elevation. However, the parking lot that is already there has 3’ of drop in it. So, a couple of the emergency egress doors on the North side of the building, will need stairs to get down to grade, and possibly ramps. Mr. Rettig advised that he put a call into the architect to discuss that specific issue. Once he talks to him, if necessary they will install ramps and a guardrail, and it only affect two (2) of the six (6) doors.

Mr. Maciejewski suggested a wider sidewalk to have a continuous path of travel. Mr. Rettig advised he would have that information once he makes contact with the architect.

Mr. Kozel asked if there is any place where overflow parking could be designed. Mr. Rettig advised on the North side of the whole parcel, there is a walking path, an asphalt path, but there is room there for additional parking someday. Mr. Williams asked where that would be located on the plan. Mr. Rettig showed that area on Page One of the plan.

Mr. Williams asked if he could venture a guess of how many more parking spaces he could get in there. Mr. Rettig estimated around 150, easily. Mr. Rettig advised that they are not maxed out and there are ways to provide additional parking space if needed.

Mr. Rettig advised that he did go over the storm water detention, the existing detention basin was oversized originally, and he has looked over the numbers and it appears to be adequate for the expansion. Mr. Kraus advised that it was calculated for a lot more impervious surface in the future so that you would not have to expand the detention basin.

More discussion ensued as to additional future parking and the movement of a portion of the walking path around the Animal Control shelter.

Mr. Forbes advised that he has not seen the Development Agreement as yet, that is between the two attorneys, and a meeting with Mr. Kil to work out next week when he gets back. Mr. Rettig advised that when he spoke to Mr. Kortenhoven he stated that the closing was to be next week.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions from the board members.

C. 9501 WICKER AVENUE – PROPERTY PERSPECTIVE LLC – Discussion of Possible Uses of Existing Structure (Mr. Trent VanderZee)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 9501 Wicker Avenue. I believe this is the house next to the Dairy Queen.

Mr. VanderZee advised that is correct. Mr. Maciejewski advised the Chairman (Mr. Forbes) that he will need to recuse himself in this matter.

Mr. Trent VanderZee introduced himself, and advised that he does not have anything on paper for them to study this evening; he advised that he more or less just wanted to introduce himself and ask some questions. Mr. Trent VanderZee advised he is with Straight A Builders, and his first new home was built in St. John. Mr. VanderZee advised he is also on the Building Committee for Crown Point Christian School for the existing facility, and you will probably see more of me because I have been recently appointed as Chairman for the Building Committee for the new building for Redeemer United Reform Church, who has property just east of Crown Point Christian School, so we have been working on some plans for that and hope to break ground sometime in Spring of next year.

Mr. VanderZee advised that through remodeling over the past several years, I have been in to purchasing and flipping some foreclosed homes, it fits well with what I do. As such, 9501 Wicker Avenue is my first foray into commercial; possibly an exciting transition. Mr. VanderZee advised that he has been reading the zoning code and I will continue to study it more, but I thought there is probably a resource here to get some answers to a few of my questions.

Mr. VanderZee stated that as he sees it with this property, it is a unique opportunity, but he has no specific plans for the property yet. I believe I have the option of demolishing the existing home and sell it as a site for someone to develop. I could demolish the home and develop the site myself. Or I can try to lease the existing property who would want to use the existing building. Or lastly, sell it to someone with the house in place, who may want to use the existing building.

My thought was I could put a sign up in front and probably ascertain pretty quickly if there is any desire for the property. But, if I come across such person, I will need to know, or it would be helpful to know, what the options are for using that facility.

Mr. VanderZee stated that his understanding is that it is currently legal non-conforming, or legal use of a non-conforming building. It is in need of some repair, but it has been maintained as far as electrical systems, plumbing systems, the roof is in good shape, the soffit and gutters, the exterior brick is in good condition, and the foundation does not appear to have any cracks, but there is some seepage there. In my mind it can be very functional, ugly as it may be, it could be used from the standpoint of just holding up. If it had some new windows, and new parking lot, new signage, it could possibly work for somebody for several years to come. As far as “flipping” that may be where I can put my expertise to put new windows in for them and remodeling some bathrooms.

Mr. VanderZee advised that he is not suggesting that is the best thing for St. John or for the Dairy Queen next door, so I know there is probably some incentive there to do something different. So, maybe this is a questions for Mr. Maciejewski eventually or an architect at some point to, but, if I were to update bathrooms in that facility.,. I guess the first question is being able to continue to use that facility, for someone given there are some improvements. And if so, secondary to that, is if that facility can be used, does it have to be brought up to current accessibility codes, the front steps, the back door, the interior door widths, etc.

Mr. VanderZee then asked, so, due to your abandonment clause in the zoning code, which reads something to the effect of if it has been sitting for six (6) months that it has to be brought to current standards. I didn’t abandon it for six months, but it did sit for six months or even longer.

Mr. Forbes commented that it has been abandoned far longer than that, so I believe that clause applies here. So the legal-non-conforming usage that the prior owner had, does not apply.

Mr. VanderZee then asked, so any improvements, or any future use of that building would have to be have to be brought up to code.

Mr. Kozel concurred with Mr. Forbes. Mr. Kozel further stated that it would all depend on the usage of the building (when asking about the upper level and the requirement of an elevator). Mr. Forbes agreed that it all depends on the usage of what is being proposed, such as a professional office.

Mr. VanderZee stated that is probably the use that would be the better fit. Very low traffic. Mr. Forbes advised that with the G & K Development as an example is it is a professional office with very little parking, however; there is little traffic to go there. Mr. Kozel advised it would depend on what the usage would be that would dictate what is okay, something else would place them in a different classification.

Mr. Kozel advised that if any portion would be used by the public it would have to bring it up to ADA standards. Mr. Kraus commented that out may not have to make the second floor accessible. Mr. Kozel concurred, if the second floor is just for personal use and not public use, will determine that factor. Mr. Kozel further commented that if the stairs are as bad as you say they are, something would have to be done with them.

Mr. VanderZee advised that he just started consulting with Mr. Maciejewski. He also noted that it is 75’ wide by 300’ deep. Just driving around, auto repair may be something that may fit there nicely.

Mr. Forbes noted, but then you are running into traffic volumes with auto repair, and people trying to pull out onto U.S. 41, and that is a very-very dangerous area right there. Mr. Forbes noted that we have a lot of problems near Joliet Street and U.S. 41. Mr. VanderZee questioned: So you would like to see it be of low traffic type of use based on its location. Mr. Forbes advised that given the circumstances of the area, correct.

Mr. VanderZee asked if a storage facility would fall under that category, or just something you would not want to see there either. Mr. Forbes commented that would not be something that he would want to see on U.S. 41, and he believes it would require a special exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. VanderZee asked about any specific storm water issues in that area, someone had told him about. Mr. Forbes stated he believes there is some sort of pump under the Dairy Queen, and I believe the drainage issue has been resolved. Mr. Gill stated that they did put a pump in by the southwest corner of the property, and then the Town ran a pipe down U.S. 41.

Mr. Forbes stated that it has been so long since it was an issue; however, if developed it would have to be revisited as part of the development.

Mr. VanderZee asked if any of the board members knew the name of the person that wanted to develop the property and was working on it. Mr. Forbes advised that was quite a long time ago, there was talk about a scrap-booking store, and it just fell by the wayside.

Mr. VanderZee asked for any thoughts, with you saying “low use”, I not sure I can continue with that, but I have thought about approaching the guy immediately East of this parcel, that has quite a bit of property that might be accessed through this. Any thoughts on if that would be a good thing or a bad thing. That owner is a Mr. Gerry Swets. Mr. Forbes advised that would have to be a conversation that he would have to have with him.

Mr. VanderZee thanked the board for their comments.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

(Meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

06-01-2016 Plan Commission

June 1, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
James Maciejewski    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on June 1 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary (Susan E. Wright). Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, and Jason Williams. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich. Absent: Steve Kozel, James Maciejewski and Bob Birlson.

Attorney Muenich advised Mr. Forbes for a point of order, noting that because you have only four members in attendance tonight, the statute requires not just a simple majority, but a majority of the board. Any proceedings by the board tonight must be approved by a 4 – 0 vote, otherwise it would have to be deferred or rescheduled.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the approval of the March 2, 2016 and April 6, 2016 Plan Commission meeting minutes, and asked for any questions or amendments. Mr. Williams stated he had an amendment to the March 2, 2016 on page 4, first and second paragraph, where it says Mr. Williams, it should read Mr. Maciejewski. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to approve the minutes with the correction. Mr. Williams made a motion to approve minutes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. PROVIDENCE BANK DEVELOPMENT – Primary Plat Approval / Public Hearing (Mr. Phillip Mulder).

Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order for the public hearing.

Mr. Phillip Mulder of Lagestee-Mulder advised that working off of some comments from the study session two weeks ago they made some changes to the site plan. Mr. Mulder advised they added sidewalk running along 101st and Calumet Avenue. They have also included the turn lane on 101st Avenue with these plans and it is finalized in the engineering plans.

They have also extended the curb on the entrance to 101st to prevent cars from trying to turn right off 101st and use the bank lot. They have also added on the plat of subdivision the ingress-egress easement that will extend to the property to the South. Mr. Kraus noted that the change is on sheet 4 of the paper copies handed out. Mr. Forbes advised that on final plat it will have to denoted what it is. Mr. Kraus advised that on the final plat it does show it.

Mr. Mulder stated that he believes that were all of the changes proposed by the commission. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Williams if his concerns were addressed. Mr. Williams stated that it addresses the immediate issues that they discussed, but also stated that this plan does not make a lot of sense to him. Mr. Williams stated his concern was the traffic pattern on the site. Mr. Forbes offered that this is like the pattern at the Walgreens at 93rd, where those using the drive-through often make a “U-turn” with the connected strip mall to the North in order to access southbound U.S. 41, and he has not heard of any incident at that location.

Mr. Williams also asked about the trash enclosure location in relation to the property immediately to the South. Mr. Forbes advised that they do not have immediate plans before them. Mr. Mulder advised that they may relocate that trash enclosure as they are not set on that.

Mr. Muenich commented on the access to the property to the South, either showing on the primary and final plat now, or have it addressed later if and when the property to the South is before the commission. Mr. Forbes noted that the access is addressed on the final plat. Mr. Kraus noted that if you look at detail Lot 1 on the left side of the plat, it shows all those easements, including an ingress-egress easement.

Mr. Forbes then read Mr. Kraus’s letter concerning the development. We have reviewed the primary plat and site plan for the referred project and have the following comments. Subdivision project includes one R-1 residential lot, which is 20.9 acres and one C-2 commercial lot which is 1.38 acres. The R-1 lot will not be improved or developed as part of this project. We have completed our review of the primary plat of Providence Bank Subdivision, proposed improvements for Providence Bank, 10100 Calumet Avenue, lighting, photometric(s) and catalog cut sheets for Providence Bank; and landscaping plan, and find the plans to be satisfactory with the following comments. The primary plat and the proposed improvement plans are certified by a registered land surveyor or professional engineer. The lighting photometric(s) and landscaping plan are not certified and are considered insorily documents for the project. There are no curbs planned for either Calumet Avenue or 101st, it was discussed. The detention basin is designed for Lot 1 only. The detention for the residential lot is not included in these plans. Developmental Fee has not been established at this time, and it will be based on 2% of the construction costs of public improvements as supplied by the developer or a certified estimate by the developer’s engineer. Public improvements for this project should include the extension of the water main, sanitary sewer main, the additional of the right turn lane and taper, and the replacement and the addition of headwalls and culvert pipes under Calumet Avenue. Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan is included in the project plans, but have not been reviewed at this time. The fee for this review will be determined at the time of the review.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they had any questions concerning the engineer’s letter. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes noted that this is a public hearing and opened the floor to public comment, advising to please step up to the podium and state your name and address for the record.

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): My question is, I don’t like the way the sign has to be posted for these development issues. Because most people who are driving in a rural area at 40 miles an hour cannot see a sign that faces out. To me the developer should be required to have a sign facing both sides of the road, so that when they.,. people are driving along there so they actually know about these meetings. It’s not like unless you know somebody, you have no idea about these meetings at all. And I would like to propose that you make a change, and actually put this into procedure, so that the developer has to post the sign going both ways, that it’s not just somebody.,. I mean it’s different in the Town of St. John, because the speed limit is basically 20-25 miles an hour, you’re driving along, you see a sign that’s facing out, but if you’re driving 40 miles an hour, you don’t see that sign when it’s facing out. And I brought that up to Steve Kil about the Greystone. I was.,. could not believe when I went down Calumet Avenue and saw the sign, and he said that was a regulation sign by the Town of St. John. And that may be acceptable in this town, but you guys are smart enough to know that’s not a good enough sign going 40 miles an hour going down a rural highway. So I would like to propose that you have a sign that goes both ways on the road, so people who drive that road, can actually know what’s happening in this area. Thank you.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked for any final questions or comments, hearing none he entertained a motion regarding Primary Plat for Providence Bank, please incorporate the Findings of Fact by reference. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Primary Plat for Providence Bank Development and reference the Findings of Fact. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion regarding Site Plan. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Site Plans for the Providence Bank Development. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

B. HEARTLAND PARK – Primary Approval / Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Heartland Park, for Primary approval and this is also a public hearing. Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order for the public hearing. Mr. Forbes advised, just for the record, the development agreement between the Town of St. John and the Ice Arena Group has been completed and signed. Mr. Kraus advised this is also ready for Site Plan approval.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself, representing St. John Ice Arena regarding the proposed expansion of the existing facility. Mr. Rettig advised they have been working on this for a couple of months with different meetings. The intent is to put an addition on the existing ice arena building. Build an additional parking lot to the East of that, re-locate the volleyball courts, and then re-subdivide the existing two-lot subdivision into another two-lot subdivision.

Mr. Rettig showed the Site Plan to the members, directing their attention to a portion that will be the addition to the existing building, showing the existing and new parking lot to the East. Mr. Rettig showed the existing and the relocation of the volleyball courts. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be repaving an area by the Animal Control Facility, re-striping and connecting it to the other parking lot, so additional overflow parking of about thirty (30) new spaces have been added. These will serve the volleyball courts, as well as the proposed addition.

Mr. Rettig advised that the sanitary sewer is in place along the South property line. The water mains are also along the South property line. There is a storm sewer that runs along the building to the detention pond, and because of the new addition that is getting relocated around the building, which is very minor. New storm sewer in the new parking lot, which will also go to the existing detention pond. Mr. Rettig advised that he has provided Mr. Kraus with the calculations regarding the existing basin, which was oversized when it was built.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will be re-doing most of the lighting. Some of the poles have to be relocated and several new light poles will be installed. The architect is working on the landscape plan, which Mr. Kraus and I have discussed.

Mr. Williams asked about the proposed parking lot expansion, a couple questions here. One, that asphalt drive that empties out onto White Oak Avenue currently, what is the plan for that. Mr. Forbes stated that it already exists. Mr. Williams stated but that is a one car in and one car out. Mr. Rettig advised that would be kept as-is, but there will be a new connection (showed on meeting room screen) that would connect the two parking lots. Mr. Rettig advised that would be more secondary use for Animal Control Facility, they do have an overhead door here, so we are leaving them access to utilize that part of the building.

Mr. Williams advised that he was at the Animal Control Facility and there were about 3 or 4 dogs out in the dog run that was there, is it being relocated. Mr. Rettig advised that it was and showed the location. Mr. Kil advised they are looking at the West side of the building, the current ones are falling apart, so they needed to be replaced anyway.

Mr. Gill asked if there was a plan for where the asphalt path intersects the proposed driveway, like signage or striping to keep somebody from heading North on that path. Mr. Rettig advised that signage would be in order, it is not that different from the main drive.

Mr. Rettig asked Mr. Kil to place the last drawing of the plat set onto the meeting room screen. Mr. Rettig advised that this is the Primary Subdivision Plat, which will ultimately be the Final Plat, and I believe you will be seeing us back in a month asking for Final Plat approval.

Mr. Rettig advised he just wanted to clarify, right now Heartland Park is one very large lot, and one small lot. So he showed the original Lot 1 and the original Lot 2. Mr. Rettig showed that the re-subdivision is changing it to Lot 1A and Lot 2A, shows this Lot 2 is going away. That is what the re-subdivision plan is accomplishing, and this parcel, right now the ice arena sits on a parcel which is pretty much a square parcel here, but it is part of Lot 1. Mr. Rettig advised that they are creating an egress-ingress easement all the way through the property, from White Oak all the way to the ballfields, for the whole site, and then Lot 1A will be the public portion of the site. And then Lot 2A will basically be just the ice arena and little of the property outside of it.

Mr. Rettig advised that it is owned by two (2) entities, both entities; the Town and the Ice Arena Group will have to sign those mylars. That is the language on the plats, Mr. Kil and I will work out those details before the mylars are signed.

Mr. Volk asked if part of the Animal Control building was used by Public Works. Mr. Kil advised only cold storage, like Christmas decorations, there are no vehicles stored there.

Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Rettig mentioned landscaping. Mr. Rettig advised that the architect is working on that and we will be providing it well before Final Plat approval, Mr. Kraus and I discussed it. We will be drawing a landscape plan and the photometric(s) for the lighting as well.

Mr. Williams asked if Mr. Maciejewski’s comments about walking around the building at street level were addressed. Mr. Rettig advised that the sidewalk on the North side of the building has been widened to accommodate landings on the North side, then those landings are due to the elevation difference between the finish floor of the building and the parking area that is already there. So now the sidewalks are quite a bit wider.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other thoughts or questions.

Mr. Forbes read the Town Engineer’s (Mr. Kraus) letter onto record: As stated the project includes two public zoned lots for Heartland Park, the original Lot 2 and the access easement for the original lot 2 will be vacated and are included in the new Lot 1A and new Lot 2A will incorporate the ice arena building and an area of the proposed additions to the building, new ingress-egress easements for the ice arena building and ballfields are also included on the plat. We have completed out review and find the plans to be satisfactory, with the exception that the parking lot photometric(s) and landscaping plan have not been submitted as part of the Site Plan documents. The Developmental Fee has not been established at this time, it will be based on 2% of the construction costs of the public improvements as supplied by the developer or a certified estimate by the developer’s engineer. Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan has not been review at this time. The fee for this will be determined at the time of review.

Mr. Forbes advised that this is a public hearing, I will open the floor to the public. Anyone wishing to comment please come to the podium and state your name and address for the record.

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): The thing I want to bring up is I think this is a really nice facility. But one of the things over the years since it was built and they put all that lighting in, there is so much lighting, that is just kinda ridiculous out by us, because it’s very dark and it’s really nice and you can see the night sky. We can’t even see the night sky anymore, because of all those lights. Couldn’t the developer, whoever the gentleman is, do something like they did at Beverly Shore, where they actually had the lights that direct down, rather than up into the sky, and therefore it cuts down into the overall effect of what the lights are. That their actually down helping the people rather than everywhere.

Mr. Forbes advised that they actually have a new ordinance in place and our new ordinance requires those type of lights. Mr. Kraus noted that it won’t change the ballfield lighting. Mr. Forbes agreed and stated that it will not address the ball field lights, but this will address the parking lot lights for the Ice Arena.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment, hearing none he brought the matter back to the board. Mr. Forbes asked for any final comments or questions.

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion for Primary Plat for Heartland Park Development, and please incorporate the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Primary Plat and incorporate the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Gill seconded motion. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised that now he will entertain a motion in regards to Site Plan, and that would be contingent upon receiving the landscaping plan and review of the photometric(s). Mr. Volk made a motion to give Site Plan approval to Heartland Park project, contingent upon receiving landscaping and photometric(s) plans. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Request Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Renaissance – Unit 8, they are requesting Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Subdivision Approval.

Mr. Doug Terpstra came to the podium and advised that unit 8 is three (3) lots and includes improvements to Clarmonte Avenue.

Mr. Forbes stated that he believed the board has been over it a couple times, and it was just a matter of getting the property transferred over, and I believe that is all handled.

Mr. Muenich asked if he could give some background information. Unit 7 received Primary Approval approximately two (2) years ago. Mr. Terpstra then approached and in December we reviewed a revised Unit 7, which included these three lots in the proposal, but made some changes and locked them into the North tier. That was deferred and not moved further. In the interim, we determined that the detention basin apparently, as a result of a tax sale, had gone to the County, and the Town arranged to get the parcel back. We had advertised for bids, and the Town has entered into an agreement with Mr. Terpstra to completely restructure the whole corner, made Clarmonte tie over onto I believe Parrish. Part of the agreement and part of the original project contemplated that move. I have seen, and I believe you have seen it originally incorporated as part of the revised Unit 7, that subdivision which now stands alone, just those three (3) lots. It does not impact what was here before. So, Mr. Terpstra is going to have to withdraw the application of this deferred, and heard back in December. He has now filed an application for Unit 8, which just involves these three (3) lots, which you have all seen before and is consistent with the exchange agreement with Mr. Terpstra. So at this point, given the fact, it still has to have its own separate public hearing, even though it has already been submitted to a public hearing before as part of the revision Unit 7. So my recommendation to the commission is at this point, to make everything clear, you hold a public hearing on Unit 8, which just includes these three (3) lots, assuming Mr. Kraus’s engineering review is accurate, that it be given Primary Approval and you waive your rules for the 30-days, so that he can proceed with Final to get those streets in. This isn’t a new project; it has been kicking around for some time. This is consistent with what the Town Council has wanted to do for some period of time. It is consistent with the annexation agreement with The Gates, so we just have these mechanical problems that we had to solve. All of which to my knowledge have now been solved, so my recommendation is proceed with the public hearing on Unit 8; waive the rule and grant Final Approval for Unit 8, either assuming he posts a Letter of Credit until the improvements are done, you wouldn’t do it otherwise. But if those conditions are met, grant Final approval and move on.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Muenich to clarify: you want Mr. Terpstra to withdraw the petition for Unit 7. Mr. Muenich stated yes, as it was heard in December. Mr. Kil: and ask for permission to advertise for a Public Hearing for Unit 8. Mr. Muenich: correct. Mr. Kil asked if that was fine with Mr. Terpstra. Mr. Terpstra: “Sure” (laugther). Mr. Kil stated, for the record note that he said sure.

Mr. Forbes stated then, the only action the board needs to take is to authorize public hearing. Mr. Muenich and Mr. Kraus noted that notices were done in the Unit 7 / Unit 8. Mr. Muenich was just wondering if Mr. Kraus has had the chance to make an engineering review on Unit 8. Mr. Kraus advised that he hasn’t because it was never on the docket. Mr. Muenich stated that has to be completed and Mr. Terpstra should attend the Plan Commission Study Session, next coming, resolve those issues, and assuming you have an engineering review and the other documents that are required by your ordinance, hold the public hearing and grant Primary and Final approval at your next meeting in July.

Mr. Forbes asked if everyone got that? Mr. Muenich continued that he has to withdraw, because you do have a Primary Plan pending that was heard on December 5, 2015 and was deferred, so that has to be withdrawn, otherwise you have two primary(s) covering the same parcel and pending at the same time. Mr. Forbes contended then it is just a matter of Mr. Terpstra saying that it’s withdrawn.

Mr. Kil repeated “He just said sure!”. Mr. Terpstra finally got to speak, and stated that he would like to formally withdraw what was proposed before, which Unit 8 was included in Unit 7. Now Unit 7 is stand alone, it was already approved, nothing changed on it. Unit 8 is a new one so it needed Primary with this piece of property. Mr. Muenich stated that is an accurate recital.

Mr. Forbes stated that given the foregoing I will entertain a motion to authorize a Public Hearing for Renaissance – Unit 8. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Vince Casboni (9679 White Oak Avenue): I am here again in regards to traffic. Casboni(s) did three traffic studies, one which was November 24, 2015 White Oak from 93rd and 101st north and south. We had 925 vehicles in 3 hours and 21 minutes. The second one was done December 9, 2015 White Oak north and south from 101st to 93rd. 3 hours exactly from 3:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m., also we did the survey on 93rd from Hilltop Drive to Monix Drive. The total of those two intersections, which met at 93rd and White Oak, was a total of 2,619 vehicles in 3 hours’ time. The latest one was done just last Monday, May 16, 2016 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This was White Oak from 101st to 93rd, north and south. We had 3,268 vehicles. White Oak is going to become a boulevard. It is a two-lane road. 101st is just a 22’ wide road from White Oak to Calumet Avenue. You’re approving all these subdivisions, infrastructures, but the roads are still the same. Something has to be done. Thank you.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Casboni if he could ask a follow-up question? Your May 16th report did you say 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.? Mr. Casboni said correct, sixteen hours.

Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road, Dyer, Indiana): We were here before about Greystone,.,um, it was brought up then, I brought up about imposing impact fees on the developers who are going to be making money from all these subdivisions. That they should be the ones who fix our roads. What has happened about that.

Mr. Forbes stated that we are in the process of hiring a group to get this impact fee in place. It’s a daunting task, nobody in Lake County has done it, so we are the first that are researching this. But the process is moving on.

Sharon Pacific (continued): And who is in charge of this group ,., that you’re hiring.,. is it a company or what?

Mr. Forbes advised yes, it is The Arsh Group. They are the group that does our Park Impact Fee, every five years. They are an independent consulting group; they have experience with Impact Fees. It is going to take some time, because as part of the process, the entire Town has to be evaluated, by an engineering group. So, when this is all said and done, we will know every single road in Town. Everything – Everything has to be studied, it needs to be done globally.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil about the estimated time frame. Mr. Kil stated that if he has to guess; if we got moving this Summer, which I think that we could do, The Arsh Group has solicited proposals from three separate engineering firms at this point. That will be presented to the Town Council very shortly. Costs are significant, but the benefits could be significant. If I had to guess from the time we started it to the time we finished it, would at least be twelve months. Because, remember you can finish the Impact Fee Analysis; but then you have to wait six months to implement it. So no matter when that work is done, you have a six month waiting period. The Impact Fee statute requires the six-month lag time before something is implemented.

Sharon Pacific (continued): And you can’t go back on the developers who have already put the developments in, and make them.,.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes simultaneously said “No”. It will be placed on the building permit. Once established, any permit pulled from that point forward can be subject to it. Mr. Forbes reminded Mrs. Pacific that Greystone and The Preserves are 10-year developments. So if the impact fee takes a year to take effect, that still means nine years of building that the fee would be placed on.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I know this is public comment, but I guess there are a couple of questions and I had. One of them would be following “Robert’s Rules of Order”, Mr. Chairman, I’m wondering that when a motion comes from this body; or the Town Council, and then there is a second, why you don’t have a time for discussion or questions at that time before a vote. Because I think that is typically the way things are done. Also, and sorry I’m not asking for a response,., I’m just making a statement. Also, on your order of agenda at the Town Council meeting you had public comments before any decisions were made, which allows us time to remonstrate against any issues. And I thought we kinda asked for that, so I thought maybe it was gonna happen, but now I see it’s back here on the back end again. So I am wondering if you would consider bringing public comments back towards the beginning before any decisions or motions are made, so that we can remonstrate against that. And then the third point I have is, I’m looking at the zoning ordinance Chapter 7 for building, I’m sorry, for development plan requirements. And it talks about, um, the requirements for a development, in a NB-2 Section C, where it requires the thoroughfare studies, the traffic studies, um., D gets into the location capacity of drainage facilities, sewer systems and things like that. At what point, and I guess maybe using the ice arena would be an example,., at what point are they required to bring this up in the approval process. Typically, would that be for, before this business was done tonight, or would it be prior to final plat approval. I guess if you could give me an education on that I would appreciate it. And if you’d rather I took it offline and saw Mr. Kil in his office, I can do that also. So, I’m just wondering how that process works. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes stated that on your public comment request. I do not intend on resetting that process here at the Plan Commission, because there is opportunity to present your comments during the “public hearings” of most of the items that we discuss here. And if you do have a comment, it needs to be made “during” the public hearing, because your comments outside of the public hearing don’t actually count inside it. So, being as this board is set up differently, there is opportunity for you to discuss, during our meetings, pretty much everything that is on the agenda. Where there is not public comment opportunity, for example the authorization of a public hearing that we just gave, there is really not much to discuss there. And there again, you would have the opportunity to discuss that when it does become the public hearing in two weeks.

Sharon Pacific (again): (Mr. Forbes tried to explain that she is only allowed one turn). But I just wanna ask something about what Mr. Casboni said. When I saw the traffic study, that Steve Kil gave me, it differs greatly from what Mr. Casboni is stating, as far as the traffic. And one if the things I brought up at one of the other meetings, was why the Town doesn’t hire its own company to do the traffic study, and make the developer pay the Town, instead of the developer hiring the company that does the traffic study. Where the company that does the traffic study is answerable to the developer. Why isn’t the traffic study company answerable to you? Not the developer. Because why are Mr. Casboni’s figures so much different than what Steve Kil gave me. Any ideas?

Mr. Forbes stated that in fairness, you really can’t compare what Mr. Casboni is doing to an actual traffic study. What Mr. Casboni is doing is a traffic count, and I understand that he is spending a great deal of time out there counting cars, and I don’t doubt that there are that many cars. But what the actual traffic study does, is takes into account the vehicles, where those vehicles are going, and the condition and quality of that road. And that road is given a grade at the end of that study. So there is a significant difference between a “traffic study” and a “traffic count”. And at the end of the day, anytime this board feels that there is a need for a traffic study to be done; we tell the developer to do the study. Because they have to pay for it. That study is then reviewed by our engineering staff. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I have the expertise to interpret a traffic study, which is why I rely on those that are skilled and have that skill-set. I guess the problem I am having is, you are saying have the Town pay for it, and then have the developer reimburse it.

Sharon Pacific (again): That’s right, then they are answerable to you!

Mr. Forbes: But I can picture someone coming up to that podium saying “Why?”, “Why do you pay for it, when the developer should pay for it out of pocket”. And at the end of the day the developer is answerable to us, based on the results of the traffic study.

Sharon Pacific (again interupted): But don’t you want it right?

Mr. Forbes stated that he has a lot of confidence in the group that we hire, and, was hired by the Schillings. They are a top notch company. And I have no doubt, or concerns, over the quality of the product that they deliver. They are not going to gear their results to favor us or whoever they are hired for. The truest fact of that is, if they were doing something to favor the Schillings, who hired First Group Engineering to study Calumet Avenue, don’t you think they’d have given that intersection at 101st and Calumet a little bit better grade than an “F”.

Sharon Pacific (again): Well, I’m not talking about that, I was talking about the numbers actually. Because I can go out there like Mr. Casboni does. And I can tell you. I have told you before, I can’t cross 101st from State Line. Nobody will let me cross. I have to go all the way back around to 113th, and go back that way. There has already been somebody killed out there on that corner. And if that continues, that’s gonna be on your shoulders, not ours. But that’s not right to people to put this on us. Where we have to try to risk our life to across 101st.

Mr. Forbes stated that this has been a long growing problem. And it’s “not solely because of the Town of St. John”. It is a cumulative problem, we have a part in it, there is no doubt, St. John has a part in it. And not just The Gates. But, Crown Point, Winfield, Cedar Lake, we are a block of the fastest growing communities in Lake County. There is no if(s), and(s) or but(s). Every year, it is between us and Crown Point as to who has the most building permits. So everyone is calling us to stop building. If we stop building, somebody is going to pick up the slack, be it Crown Point, be it Cedar Lake, be it Winfield. And that same growth is going to cause more cars to pass through the area that you are talking about. So, what we need to do, is “exactly what we are doing”. Talking to the County, trying to get all the intersections regulated. Once they are regulated, the problem is going to be minimized. It’s not going away; it will never go away. It’s not going to be the way it used to be. But, if we can get all the intersections regulated, the situation will be improved.

General discussion continued with Ms. Pacific and Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes advised that this discussion has gone entirely too long.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): I just wanted to bring something up. Unless you have changed the latest edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order”, and modified it to your own liking. A person is allowed to come up and make a second statement, as long as the floor is still open, and everyone else has spoken.

Mr. Forbes advised we have modified that rule in the ordinance, regarding the three (3) minute rule.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment. Hearing none he closed the public portion and bring it back to the board.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

06-15-2016 Plan Commission

June 15, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on June 15, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, Jon Gill, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams. Staff present: Kenn Kraus and Stephen Kil.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Subdivision Plan Review (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Forbes advised the first agenda item is Renaissance – Unit 8, subdivision Plan Review and called Mr. Terpstra to the podium.

Mr. Kil advised that he is not here tonight, he has been through it several times and I told him that I can relay any questions that the board may have tonight.

Mr. Kraus advised that he did have a comment. If you look at the plat for Clarmonte Drive, just South of the new cul-de-sac, it calls out for the existing right-of-way to be vacated, but we have sewer running through there, so I think it is best if we did not vacate that. Just leave it as a right-of-way, but unimproved. Mr. Kraus advised he did not know if there was gas, telephone or other buried utilities there, but I do know there is a sanitary sewer that runs through there.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Kraus to make contact with their engineer to have that denotation removed from the Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes stated that this was pretty simple, as we have talked about it several times. Mr. Forbes confirmed that Mr. Kraus will make that call for the changes.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 J – Review of Re-Zoning from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Unit 10 J, review of rezoning request from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD.

Mr. Lotton stepped to the podium and advised he is here to answer any questions concerning the proposal.

Mr. Kozel asked if those lots were comparable to the others that are existing. Mr. Lotton advised that they are identical to ones that have already been platted in Unit 10 I, and zoned in the area just North of there. Mr. Lotton noted that it has the same side yards and same product. Mr. Lotton advised that the lots may have an extra foot or two in about half of the lots, but basically the same product with the same overall concept.

Mr. Kozel asked if they are the same type of building. Mr. Lotton advised that they are again, all brick. Stone and brick in the front, with the remainder of the building being all brick.

Mr. Kozel asked what was the square footage of those units. Mr. Lotton advised that the units are around 1,800 s.f. per unit. The larger one maybe around 2,000 s.f., but 1,800 s.f. is the average.

Mr. Williams inquired how many units are being added. Mr. Lotton stated there are seventeen lots, so thirty-four total.

Mr. Gill asked if these were a mix of full slab and basement units. Mr. Lotton stated yes, we are starting off with some slabs, and felt that the majority will be full basements, just due to the existing ground conditions there. On the North side he believed will have to all be full basements. The South side will have maybe 3 or 4 lots that we can use slabs. He advised that is the current trend is going for all the multi-family that is in The Gates.

Mr. Volk commented that he actually counted nineteen (19) lots.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Kil about his e-mail on the existing counts for The Gates. Mr. Kil advised that he should have that all pulled together by next week. There simply wasn’t time to get the exhibit ready. Mr. Maciejewski stated that he is looking for the total count for lots. Mr. Lotton stated that would be 1,450; and I am not sure if we are going to be able to hit that number, more than likely they will probably fall short by the time they are done with the project. Mr. Lotton commented that he thinks he has never completed a project where he received all the units he was entitled to.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions. Hearing none, he noted that they were coming back in a few weeks to request permission to advertise? Mr. Lotton advised that is correct.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 6 C – Review of Final Plat approval (Mr. Bill Robinson)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John – Unit 6 C, review of final plat.

Mr. Forbes called Mr. Robinson to the podium. Mr. Robinson advised that this is Unit 6C, and we are seeking secondary plat approval and that nothing has changed since the primary approval. Mr. Robinson advised he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Forbes asked if this unit was just South of the one we were just discussing. Mr. Kozel stated that it was South of 103rd and just North of Waverly.

Mr. Forbes noted that no changes have been made since primary approval, which was done years ago, so this is just secondary plat approval. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if there are any ministerial issues that need to be addressed. Mr. Kraus advised that the only thing he needs from Mr. Robinson is the cost estimate for public improvements, so the Developmental Fee can be calculated. Mr. Kraus also stated that he understands that all the improvements will be installed before the secondary plat approval is done.

Mr. Kozel asked what kind of units are going to be placed here. Mr. Robinson advised they are single family homes. The agreement calls for 1,600 square feet minimum, and we go all the way up to 3,000 square foot. Mr. Robinson advised that they purchased lots and they have started already on Pod 5, that were already final platted.

Mr. Forbes noted that these are cottage homes that all face one street. Mr. Robinson said they are like cottage homes, but they are actually full size homes, and the zoning is for cottage homes. Mr. Williams commented that the homes were stacked very tight. Mr. Robinson stated that there is 12’ minimum between the houses, 25’ front yard, 30’ rear yard and 15’ corners.

Mr. Lotton stated it was platted like townhomes, where you have the larger lot and then you break it down afterwards, and the final survey determines the size of the lot. Mr. Kozel asked how they would know the size of the lot. Mr. Lotton stated that there is no regulation on the size of the lot, the only regulation is the number of units in the Pod, and the distance between the buildings.

Mr. Kozel stated that we need a little bit of a standard or some type of a guideline to work with. Mr. Lotton explained that if he gets a user than wants a bigger home that encroaches, then he just loses another lot.

Mr. Forbes commented that they seem to break down to 60’ lots. Mr. Lotton stated 62’, except for around the corner, on the corner you have an additional 9’.

Mr. Williams stated that he felt that they were having trouble visualizing three houses with 12’ side yards. Mr. Lotton stated that the houses already built in Pod 5 and Pod 6, they are identically laid out. Mr. Lotton noted that there are 220 to 230 units already standing.

Mr. Gil questioned whether there will be three taps made for each lot. Mr. Robinson advised that each house would its own individual sewer and water tap.

Mr. Forbes asked that; so when the house is built, depending upon what size unit you build, that is what determines where the property line is? Mr. Robinson advised that where the building ends then you will have at least 12’ between what your building is going to be. Mr. Lotton stated that this will be no different than a single family subdivision after its done.

Mr. Birlson asked if the individual lots would then be recorded separately at Lake County. Mr. Lotton advised that each house, after its built would have its own PIN number from Lake County.

Mr. Forbes noted that this is for Secondary plat, and the board will see you at the next meeting. Mr. Robinson thanked the board.

D. 9001 West 96th Place – Re-Subdivision and Site Plan Review (Steve and Julie Salmen)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 9001 West 96th Place, re-subdivision and site plan review, petitioners Steve and Julie Salmen. [inaudible] Person stated that she is the neighbor and she is there for Steve and Julie Salmen, as they are out of town.

Mr. Kil advised he would place on the screen what came through on this issue and briefly explain the request.

[Neighbor] So their house is on 124, but they own 123 as well, and they have a community garden on 123 that they want to put a shed on the back of that lot, that was denied because there was no house on it. So they are asking that the two lots be combined as one, under one PIN is the terminology, so that then they can put the shed which will not be towards the street, it going to be in the back. I have a drawing of where they want to put it.

Mr. Kil advised that this is not the first time we have done this, since basically you cannot put an accessory structure on a lot without a primary structure. [Neighbor] She just wants to put a shed. It’s a community garden where the kids, every year, we plant and it’s a nice community garden and she just wants to keep the supplies in a nice shed there.

Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn’t have any issue with it and asked the board members for questions or concerns. Mr. Kozel stated he just wants the shed to be within code.

Mr. Kil advised they would have to advertise for the July 6, 2016 meeting for public hearing.

With no further questions, Mr. Forbes advised the neighbor that they will have to appear at the next meeting to authorize a public hearing, which would be in August.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes advised that they will need to come into the Building and Planning Office upon their return, as they have some procedures that need to be done, and Mr. Kil will help with the process.

E. McNAMARA ESTATES (10806 Ontario Street) – Review of Re-Subdivision to Two (2) Lots (Ms. Pamela McNamara)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 10806 Ontario Street, request to re-subdivide two (2) lots.

Mr. Kevin McNamara advised that they have a residential lot in St. John, and they are simply asking to divide it into two (2) lots. It is currently 1.25 acres. Mr. Kil advised he would show the lot using Google Earth to display on the meeting room screen.

Mr. McNamara stated the current lot is 165’ by 330’, our intention is to divide it strictly in half, so it would be 165’ both East-West and North-South directions.

Mr. Kraus inquired what the property was zoned. Mr. McNamara advised he believes it is R-1, but he would have to confirm it. Mr. McNamara stated that each lot would be approximately .62 acres roughly.

Mr. Kil noted on the screen that it is the lot directly behind Dick’s Restaurant, and he owns the big large rectangular piece of property there. That Is where two (2) lots would be split and then it would face on 108th. Mr. Forbes inquired about that area on 108th where all the trees are would become the second lot. Mr. McNamara stated that is correct, and it goes all the way back to the tree line; that sculptured section, and 10’ – 15’ behind that out building.

Mr. Birlson asked if they were on city sewer and water. Mr. NcNamara stated they were. Mr. Kil advised there are no taps there, whoever built there will have to tap the main.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if the dividing line would then become a side-yard setback. Mr. Kil advised the address for the new lot would be on 108th. Concerning the lot lines, Mr. Kil stated that they do not have a surveyor yet so he does not know how to answer the setback questions just yet.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions. Hearing none, he advised that like the last petitioner, you need to come to our next meeting and request permission to advertise for public hearing.

Announcement: Mr. Kil advised that he has a gentleman from Thielen Street that has a similar request as this that he neglected to place on the agenda and asked if the board would consider a quick review of this request before going on to the other listed agenda items. With no objections from the board, Mr. Forbes called the petitioner to the podium.

F. 10965 THIELEN STREET – Review of Re-Subdivision to Two (2) Lots (Mr. Mirko Zagoric)

Mr. Mirko Zagoric came to the podium and introduced himself to the board. He advised he purchased the property at 10965 Thielen Street and right now it is showing it as three (3) lots, 50’, 50’ and 80’. He advised his intention is to make it two (2) lots and one (1) lot would be 78’ and the other 102’. He advised he has a perspective gentleman that would like to build a home. He had a contractor with him, who said they only needed 65’, and I said No, I’ll give you 78’.

Mr. Forbes, this is.,. Mr. Kil stated that the new house on the corner of Joliet and Thielen, this is the gentleman that bought it. Mr. Zagoric stated he bought it three months ago.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to rotate the image on the screen for a better angle. Mr. Forbes asked if the property to the East was Mr. Parada’s property. Mr. Kil advised yes it is. Mr. Forbes also asked if the grass there is the property line. Mr. Zagoric stated yes.

Mr. Forbes reiterated for clarification that Mr. Zagoric has three lots there; and you wish to make it two (2) lots. Mr. Kil noted that all the lots in this area are at 50’. Mr. Volk asked if they were going to split the 180’ in half. Mr. Kil advised basically, however it cannot be split exactly in half, but his idea is to do that.

Mr. Gill asked if this was R-1. Mr. Kil advised that it is non-conforming, they are all non-conforming in that area right now. So, back in the day it was properly platted. Mr. Kil advised that regarding side and rear yard, that it would have to conform to the ordinance now, but the width, you simply can’t do it. Mr. Gill thought it would be very tight with the side and rear yards.

Mr. Zagoric stated that the man he spoke to about zoning said he would get 78’ and I would get 102’.

Mr. Kozel stated that he would be concerned that he has enough room. Mr. Kil advised that is not known until someone draws a house on the plat, and there’s no way to know that.

Mr. Zagoric stated again that the contractor that came out with the young couple told them he needed a minimum of 65’ for what they want to build, that was his comment, and I said I can go 78’.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Zagoric that he needs to go to the surveyor to have him actually draw the two lots out, and you need to take the house that this couple actually wants to build, and drop it on the second lot. Then you need to bring it back for the board to look at it.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Zagoric that it is the same process as before, you are going to have to request permission to advertise and before the public hearing, we have another study session, and you will need those items that Mr. Kil just referenced by that meeting.

G. HEARTLAND PARK – Final Plat review (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Heartland Park, Final Plat Review.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. He advised that they are going to come back in July and request Final Plat approval for the first re-subdivision of Heartland Park. Mr. Rettig reiterated as they have been discussing at previous meetings, Heartland Park is mostly a large one lot subdivision, and he noted the parcel that was an old house that was razed. They will be redefining where the Ice Arena building is, and denoting a Lot 1 A and a Lot 2A where the ice arena and the new addition will be located.

Mr. Rettig stated we are here tonight to tidy up and re-subdivide the plat; we’ve dedicated an ingress-egress easement all the way through for the benefit f the ballfields to the West. Mr. Rettig advised they have platted some new easements for the existing water main that surrounds the ice arena project.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Mr. Kraus advised he has a few items; such as calculating the cost of public improvements in order to figure out the Developmental Fee, and if there is going to be an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, since he is coming in before the work is done before Final Plat, unless there are some waivers that are planned. Mr. Kraus further stated that as far as the public improvements is the storm sewer reroute, the parking lot and lighting, and he cannot think of anything else. Mr. Rettig advised that was basically it. Mr. Kraus stated that he just needs a listing and a tabulation of all those costs, so that he can figure the Developmental Fee. Mr. Rettig advised that he would get that figured out and sent to him.

Mr. Kraus asked if anyone knows the cost of the volleyball courts, since it is basically digging a hole and putting sand in it. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Kortenhoven was contemplating trying to recycle some of the sand, because it is a foot thick. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Kraus that it would be new posts, new nets for the court, and he know that Chip Sobek our Parks Superintendent gave him the specs on the courts that he wanted built.

Mr. Volk asked about the outside dog kennel being moved. Mr. Kil advised that they are looking at that anyway, because we were looking to build new dog runs for the Animal Control Shelter, and we are contemplating the West side.

Mr. Rettig advised it is the intention of using the North side of the building for parking.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions or comments. Having none, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Rettig that they will see him in July.

H. KILKENNY HIGHLANDS – Review of Final Plat approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Kilkenny Highlands – review of Final Plat.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies advised that regarding Kilkenny Highlands, we intend to come back in July for final plat approval. The project is well underway, all the infrastructure is in place, the curbs will be going in any day now, and the pavement will be done soon thereafter. All the pipes are in the ground, so we are basically trying to wrap this up and keep it on schedule. Mr. Rettig advised they already have interest in some of the lots, and they want to start soon, so we are trying to expedite this development.

Mr. Rettig advised that there is a little bit of housekeeping that needs to be done in talking with Mr. Kil and Mr. Jason Dravet. The previously platted phase of Kilkenny, Unit 4 – Block One, this was done by Torrenga Engineering about a year ago. They platted this street, called James Lane, then they platted this little bit of the street here (shown on screen) is called Columbia Street. It was pointed out that the existing street to the North is Columbia Avenue, and this street is going to be called Declan Court, so Mr. Kil and I have been discussing the matter and we will prepare a certificate of amendment to amend the street names. It is a separate matter and a certificate of amendment will be submitted.

Mr. Rettig asked if Mr. James was going to put up a letter of credit or is all the improvements going to be done by July 6th. Mr. Rettig stated that he is going to be close, and we understand that any outstanding improvements will require the letter of credit. Discussion ensued with Mr. Kil, Mr. James and Mr. Rettig on some housekeeping issues that will be covered by the letter of credit, because they do not wish to push it back to August.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised he will anticipate seeing them back in July.

I. ROSE GARDEN – Review of Re-Subdivision request (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Rose Garden – review of re-subdivision request.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies advised that this development is pretty straightforward. They platted Rose Garden very recently, and it consisted of ten lots on the West side of Parrish Avenue, and that has been completed and we are building homes in Rose Garden currently.

Mr. Rettig advised the developer, Michael Granessy from Sublime Homes, has an interested party who wants to build a larger home and they want to buy two lots. And in order to do that, we have to do a one-lot re-subdivision and combine the two into one. This will come back in July and request permission to advertise for the August meeting for public hearing, so we can combine what is now known as Lot 6 and Lot 7, into Lot 1 of the Rose Garden First Re-Subdivision.

Mr. Rettig advised this is to just introduce the project and to accommodate a rather large house, that will not fit on the one lot.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Rettig about a 45’ conversancy easement on Lot 7, and then it extended half-way into Lot 6. Mr. Rettig said thanks for reminding me, we did plat a 45’ conservation easement, to address some of the wetlands that we had on site, and those wetlands kind of got into the middle of this lot, and we had always planned to mitigate a little bit of the wetlands. The new owners have gotten involved, they want to mitigate even more, it is going to cost them some money, but they are working with a wetland consultant to basically fill additional wetlands, and that why we have moved the easement further back to the West, but it is being worked out with the wetland people. Mr. Kil noted that IDEM did an on-site inspection of this property.

Mr. Williams wanted to confirm that with the public hearing that the surrounding property owners will be notified so that they can voice any concerns that they might have. Mr. Rettig advised that would be in August. With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Rettig that the board will see him in July and August.

J. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – Site Plan Review for New Concession Building at High School (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Lake Central School Corporation, review of site plan for the construction of a new concession building.

Mr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent and Mr. Bill Ledyard, Director of Facilities for Lake Central introduced themselves and asked if there were any questions concerning their proposal. Mr. Ledyard advised it is a small building, approximately 900 square feet, to house a small concession stand and bathroom facilities (men’s, women’s and one family). This building will match the existing out-buildings at the high school that we did on the initial referendum project. This includes the football building, the locker rooms, as well as the baseball press box. It is going to be brick outside. It will be located in the Northwest corner of what was the existing central office building, as depicted on the site plan.

Mr. Forbes entertained any questions from the board. Mr. Maciejewski asked about the overall height of the building. Mr. Ledyard advised it is 12.5 feet, and it has parapets so you don’t see the roof, just like the football and baseball building.

Mr. Kraus asked if the sewer and water service are nearby. Mr. Ledyard advised that they are going to use the existing tap from the central office building. Mr. Derwin Nietzel of the Public Works Department and I spoke, the service was capped off when we were done with the building.

Mr. Kraus asked if there were chili-cheese dogs? [laughter] Mr. Ledyard advised they don’t control that. Mr. Kraus asked if they would like that as a condition on the project? [laughter]

Mr. Forbes noted that this was just site plan review so at our next meeting on July 6, 2016 they will be back.

K. COMMERCIAL CENTER – Initial Development Presentation (former Standard Lumber property) – (Mr. Bruce Boyer)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Initial Development Plan Presentation for proposed Commercial Center located at the site of the former Standard Lumber Company and Mr. Boyer is the presenter.

Mr. Bruce Boyer of Boyer Properties introduced himself and Mr. Scott Hazel, to the board. They advised they are here to night to introduce our preliminary plans for our proposed commercial development. This project is located, approximately 23 acres of land, on the East side of U.S. 41 and 96th Place. This basically encompasses all existing property formerly known or as currently known as the old Standard Lumber property. It also includes the abandoned car wash to the South, the one home South of the car wash is also included. There is another residential house North of the lumber yard building that is currently used as commercial use, and that is also included.

Our plan is to take out all of those buildings that total approximately 43,000 square feet, everything will be demolished and taken out. We have an existing detention pond on the property that will be relocated to the rear, pushed further back to the railroad. The underlying and current zoning of the property is a C-2 Commercial, as well as some Industrial zoning in the back. We are also incorporating a parcel of land that is East of the current Al’s Auto Body Shop. We are doing that to include an extension of Earl Drive, that we will be installing from 96th, all the way down behind the body shop to make that connection to the existing road that is behind the new McDonald’s.

Part of our project also includes the extension of 96th Place to the East. We will be dedicating the land for that to the Town for the extension of that road. There has been conversation and planning for a traffic signal at that intersection. Mr. Boyer pointed to the screen, showing the detention pond pushed farther back towards the railroad tracks.

Out initial phase of the project will include three (3) buildings, after the existing lumber yard buildings are torn down and everything is cleared, to the far North of the property, on the northeast corner of 96th and U.S. 41 we will have approximately 14,000 square foot multi-tenant building. At the very rear of the propriety, we will have a 18,000 square foot kind of a light industrial, but we call a flex-type use building. Our plans are to re-located Malt Brothers Brewery into that building from their current location. So, that will be a combination of a manufacturing facility, and also a tap-room and restaurant as well as their retail store.

We also in our first phase will include 7,000 square foot single-tenant retail building at the South end of the property, currently where the house and the car wash sits.

In addition, we will be doing the entire infrastructure for the development. We will be installing the extension of Earl Drive from 96th South to make the connection behind McDonald’s. And we will be creating all groundwork and site work for the Outlots along U.S. 41.

Mr. Boyer stated that the second phase, which is shown in the yellow-orange area, includes the two (2) additional outlots between the multi-tenant building and the retail building along U.S. 41. We show a large parking area and additional retail in the back of the property, of approximately 100,000 square feet. And another, on Lot 2, another multi-tenant retail building between the Malt Brothers building and the first building along U.S. 41.

Out first phase is about 39,000 square feet and our second phase is about 126,000 square feet for a total of 165,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

This shows our proposed elevation of our first building, the 14,000 s.f. at the northeast corner of 96th and U.S. 41. The main elevation, the South elevation is what will be facing south as you are coming up Earl Drive, we’re showing small users, multi-tenant, different store fronts, all brick construction of various combinations of facades. The West elevation will certainly face U.S. 41. The East elevation we are planning on a large courtyard and sitting area between the two buildings.

This is a preliminary drawing of our single-tenant retail building at the far South end of the property, again an all-brick building of different facades.

And this is our planned elevation of our Second multi-tenant retail building, between the Malt Brothers building and the first tenant building; again facing South, the direction of Earl Drive as you are coming North on Earl Drive.

Last shown is just a black and white layout of the entire development. We are seeking Planned Unit Development zoning for the entire 23 acres. We will include a signage plan. We have to deal with a lot of different signage issues on these types of developments. Between monument signs, shopping center signs, and individual building and tenant signs; so we’ll create a signage plan for your approval.

We would like to be at the next Plan Commission meeting and ask for public hearing after that. For our PUD zoning, we would like to move things along with this. Our plans are to be under construction approximately one year from now, with tenant occupancy, possibly by the end of 2017, probably more likely the first quarter of 2018.

Mr. Forbes asked what needs to be re-zoned. Mr. Kil advised that there is some zoning in the back that is industrial, and the whole thing needs to be Commercial C-2 PUD. There are really no lot lines, its shopping center zoning, so to speak.

Mr. Kozel asked about the adequacy of the parking. Mr. Boyer advised they are very conscience of that; we look at the different users, whether daytime use or evening use, we tend to over-design the parking areas for the shopping centers like this. There is shared parking, particularly when you get into some restaurant use, maybe along the outlot areas that then can bleed over into the main parking area for the major retail. But we will exceed the parking requirements of the Town.

Mr. Kozel asked when you say exceed, do you have a number. Mr. Boyer stated not today, but we will have.

Mr. Volk inquired that the first buildings to be built in the dark areas, the one to the North and then the light industrial building in back? Those three buildings in the dark shade are your first phase. We actually have to build the rear building, part of tearing down the majority of the lumber yard building and we have to re-locate Malt Brothers into that building. So we’re going to maintain them as long as we possibly can, in their current location, and then move them into that. Mr. Volk asked if they were using that whole building. Mr. Boyer stated their plans is to use the majority of that building, yes. Mr. Volk asked if that said 18,000 s.f. Mr. Boyer advised yes.

Mr. Kil advised it would be everything he has now, and Mr. Jim Estry (the owner) has visions of, and always had from day one, of obviously growing his business. Mr. Boyer advised he didn’t want to speak for them, however, discussions were that they wish to expand their manufacturing, they are beginning to distribute quite a bit.

Mr. Boyer stated so, that would be our first phase with all the infrastructure, the road connecting everything and certainly the extension of 96th Place to the rear of our property.

Mr. Kozel asked would that include the light. Mr. Boyer advised yes, they would want the traffic signal in as part of the first phase.

Mr. Birlson asked what is the North edge of Lot 1 and Lot 2 look like. Mr. Boyer said that they actually go right up to the St. John Pool Center, that is the next building north of our property. Mr. Birlson asked if they were anticipating that being sort of a service area fence, what would be at the edge of Lot 1 – Lot 2. Mr. Boyer stated it would be the rear of our building, but the buildings will be all brick, we do the different facades in the back also. There really won’t be a service area, it will be rear entrances.

Mr. Volk directed Mr. Boyer’s attention to what he thought to be landscaping. Mr. Boyer advised that they plan to do extensive landscaping / hardscaping, that is one of the things we learned over the years. Good quality developments bring good tenants, so again if you reference what we have done in the past. We do extensive lighting, landscaping and hardscaping.

Mr. Birlson asked what does Lot 6 become. Mr. Boyer stated that they don’t know yet, we’re planning that as future development, could be an expansion of Lot 3, or could be some free-standing buildings, we honestly don’t know, but we do want to include that land in our development.

Mr. Williams asked so what happens to the pizza place, are they going someplace else. Mr. Boyer advised that they are not that far along with some of the tenants, we are certainly willing to talk to everybody that is there. They are all aware of this project happening.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil about the lighting on U.S. 41 stop light, and expansion; it looks like several extra lanes being added. Mr. Kil advised that our traffic engineer would coordinate that, there was a meeting in my office this morning with representatives of INDOT and our State Senator. This project was laid out again to them. This has been the third time they have seen it. They were given a preliminary overview of it, and they are aware of what the preliminary plan is and more to follow. Obviously the traffic engineer will have to get involved when we get to that point. We are simply not to that point yet. But there are significant improvements on U.S. 41, yes, no doubt.

Mr. Kil advised that it is important to note that the traffic signal at 96th does not just service this project. It services everything on the West side of the road as well; Community Outpatient Center, the site that everyone knows as the former K-Mart site, you have access from Keilman Street to that signal. It could potentially be a busy intersection, so it will be designed accordingly.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if that little frontage road at K-Mart gets nixed in this. Mr. Kil advised he does not know if it gets nixed yet, I guess I would leave that up to the design engineer, to see how that would be incorporated into the project.

Mr. Boyer advised that is why with all these items they are a year away from starting construction. There is a lot of work to be done, engineering wise with this project.

Mr. Williams commented that the drawings look good.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions from the board. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Boyer is going to request zoning, but then subdivision approval is not going to follow for quite some time, because engineering has to take place before subdivision approval, so all he is going to request is the Commercial PUD zoning with the proposed layout and elevations that you see in front of you. And then the project will be one hold until engineering takes place and actual physical design of the property. Mr. Boyer stated only then we will come back for subdivision approval. Any delineation of outlots or separate lots, or anything we do will then be accomplished at that time.

L. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN / THOROUGHFARE PLAN REVIEW in advance of July 6, 2016 Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Review of Comprehensive Master / Thoroughfare Plan in advance of our public hearing on July 6, 2016. Mr. Forbes noted that the plan was sent out to the planners about a month ago, and some names changes need to be done to the plan.

Mr. Forbes asked for any initial thoughts on the proposal. Mr. Williams asked if this was just general conversation and then a recommendation. Mr. Forbes stated any questions that you may have and general conversation is good.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams for his reference, that the Economic Development Committee took this up and made a recommendation to the Plan Commission, on the plan. The next step in the process is for this board to hold an actual Public Hearing, where you are going to solicit public comment at that time. After the public hearing is concluded, then it is anticipated that you will make a recommendation to the Town Council, sending a recommendation regarding the Comprehensive Plan. So that is the process that it will follow. I believe Mr. Forbes wanted it on the agenda in case you have any questions on the plan or just to talk amongst yourselves.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if you can describe coming out of that sort of discussion, whatever happens today or out of the public hearing, what is the process for any type of revision to the document. Mr. Kil stated that obviously the Town Council can take your recommendations or they can alter them, they can do anything however; my experience has been they weigh the recommendations of the boards heavily when they make their decisions.

Obviously we have two council members on the Plan Commission here, so you can also make a recommendation to change something before making a recommendation to the Town Council. Mr. Maciejewski stated that answered his question. Mr. Forbes that is like the process for the public hearing for Lake Central, where public input was taken into consideration, and out of “that” public hearing, some modifications were made. And again, this is the second of two (2) public hearings required for this. If this board feels there are changes that need to be made, they will be made. We will just defer action from the public hearing, have modifications, and then make a recommendation.

Mr. Kil stated “or” you can make a recommendation with modifications and send to the Town Council.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that there are four classifications in the Thoroughfare Plan, improvements in different spots and proposals in different spots to make extensions and so forth. I think the first two categories would be helpful to see those highlighted on our roadway system if that is possible. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Maciejewski that he would have to look into that, and he’ll see if he can get some type of exhibit for that.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that it would be up to him to understand those categories and he would feel better if a traffic engineer had that quick exhibit. Mr. Forbes asked if he was looking for the Thoroughfare. Mr. Maciejewski stated he was looking for the principle and the minor arterial roads.

Mr. Kil advised that might take care of itself, the Town Council, between right now and July 6th, when you have your public hearing. The Town Council is going to be entertaining a proposal for a Roadway Infrastructure Impact Fee, that will include an analysis of the entire Town. We may end up doing that,., we’ll know more,., after the Town Council acts on that matter; which is June 23rd, but I understand your point and I will request an exhibit.

Mr. Birlson commented that now that we have seen the Boyer Development, my recommendation to the board would be to eliminate, or have removal of the Town Center.

Looks like he is going to be putting in quite a few shops and stores and restaurants and sitting areas. You may want to rethink about the Town Center. Boyer Development looks like it’s going to cover a lot of that.

Mr. Kozel commented that the Town Center revolves around the railroad station. Mr. Kil stated that is not true. The Comprehensive Plan; there is an inclusion of a proposed railroad station, obviously who knows if that,., that is way beyond us. The inclusion of that is down on Route 231. I know the Congressman is pushing for that right now. Mr. Kozel, stated the other question he had was that station close to the Amtrak line or not. Mr. Kil stated he believed the Amtrak would run on that line. Mr. Forbes said that the CSX line basically, but they are talking additional rail for that. Mr. Kil stated that it is the one that comes out of Dyer and Munster and comes at an angle.

Mr. Kozel commented that it would make it important to make it a Hub then, in the future, if it does materialize.

Mr. Kil stated that the railroad is so far beyond the Town’s capabilities, that would have to come from the federal government.

Mr. Williams stated that I know we have discussed this before, but I think in the Congressman’s eyes, the train station and all that additional warehousing capability that were discussed, are one insane.

Mr. Forbes: There plan? Mr. Williams: Yes. Mr. Forbes commented that their plan is to build a railroad station and a rail.,.,. Mr. Williams commented it is a good place to put all their trains at the end of the line. Mr. Forbes noted that it is not part of our plan, but it is part of their plan.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that it was made abundantly clear to the Congressman and his Chief of Staff, that., Mr. Williams: “It went in one ear and out the other”. Mr. Kil said he can’t say how they took it, but I can tell you that they have been told that, that we do not want to be a railroad station and a maintenance yard, so to speak.

Mr. Forbes “the end of the line storage facility”. Again whether they listen or not, I don’t know, but I can tell you that it has been expressed to them, several times, by several people. Mr. Williams stated he also shares that thought.

Mr. Birlson stated that he understands that if the Town accepts federal money for the train station, you have to build, that you have to allow low-income housing. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes stated that they have never heard that. Mr. Birlson stated that is what he understands, I don’t believe how much, but.,.

Mr. Kil said he has never heard of a housing component ever mentioned with a train station, and that is the first time he has heard that out of anybody, that a railroad station has a housing component attached to it. Mr. Forbes said that even throughout all the discussions on the extension, nobody has ever mentioned it. Mr. Birlson said that it may be something we need to look into just so, if we accept the money, we have to be aware if there are strings attached.

Mr. Forbes said that don’t make the mistake that we are jumping at the proposal. Mr. Kil stated further that they are requesting money from us – they are not proposing to give us money, they want some of our money to go,.,., they are asking all the communities obviously to donate, so the Town would not be accepting any federal money for this, just so you know that would not happen.

Mr. Forbes said he recalls a conversation previously that if you are trying to attract someone to build a train station, the do like multi-family, mixed use around the train station. Look at Homewood, look at New Lenox, look at all those areas, they have really nice train stations, but they do have a large component of residential around it and its usually condominiums and the like. But I believe if you are purposely reaching out and trying to attract them, they want to make sure that the train stations is going to be used, that its easy access and people can immediately walk to it and that kind of thing. I look at the sites for the train station more as a protection for the Town, for discussion point with anybody that wants to come in, and if they want to place a train station in a certain spot, we’ve got the plan, well now we are going to have a conversation.

Mr. Kil commented that it is not so much to put all the housing around it. I can see us putting maybe a municipal parking facility by it. So people can go and commute there. We are not a big walking area, I can honestly see people commuting to it, parking there and then leaving at the end of the day, that would make sense.

Mr. Forbes noted that when you get closer to the cities, they are the walking communities. Mr. Kil stated he thought the Comp Plan had a parking facility actually drawn in.

Mr. Forbes stated that what you are actually seeing in the second site, has actually been preliminarily approved, right for Oak Creek? Mr. Kil said the property between the tracks on Route 231, was zoned probably about 15 years ago now. It has commercial, and variations of residential behind it. I’m sure that when Mr. Schilling actually gets down to actually doing something there, he is going to ask for a re-zoning there, I’m sure those lines are going to change.

Mr. Forbes commented that the market has changed so much, since what they were thinking 15 years ago is not the reality, and the drawing that we have there is again just a concept idea for the area, based loosely on the zoning that does exist there. Mr. Kil stated truth be told, our consultant thought it up.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if that area would be defined as special zoning districts at that point. Mr. Kil answered that depending on what we wanted to go there. Just like Mr. Boyer is asking for a Commercial PUD; I’m sure anybody would want some kind of commercial PUD zoning there. Its hard to say because who knows what the plan would be.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that just speaking on his own experience, like Mr. Birlson objects to the Town Center; but town centers typically carry a separate zoning district and separate zoning requirements to development that type of character that you would like to see in that center or in that district.

Mr. Kil advised that the issue he is talking about right now is in the zoning ordinance right now. The first draft of the Comprehensive Plan, the one that exists right now, the same company then re-drafted the Zoning Ordinance for us to compliment the Comprehensive Plan, so there is a Town Center zoning. Mr. Maciejewski asked about design guidelines and Mr. Kil advised that there are design guidelines in there as well.

Mr. Kil stated that every piece of property in Town has an underlying zoning attached to it; but then if you are on U.S. 41, you are in the U.S. 41 Overlay District, so not only do you have to look at what the underlying is, you have to meet the requirements of that overlay district. Discussion continued between Mr. Maciejewski and Mr. Kil concerning special districts and in particular Lot 6 of the Boyer Commercial Project. Mr. Kil advised that Lot 6 is Al’s Auto Body, and has been approached and wants to join this development, because that property extends all the way back to the railroad tracks. So, basically the extension of Earl Drive would fundamentally extend all the way South to Alsip Nursery, so it makes a frontage road that we have been trying to piece together all these years and keeps traffic off of U.S. 41.

Mr. Volk asked if McDonald’s ever paved that portion behind them. Mr. Kil advised that was part of the agreement and he is going to have to call and get them on it.

Mr. Forbes asked for any more thoughts or comments. Mr. Birlson had one more thought about Earl Drive extending all the way done to Alsip Nursery; I noticed that there were six traffic lights purposed for the U.S. 41 corridor, and that is something we need to look really seriously about. Traffic lights are great for eliminating incidents, but to allow traffic to flow it can cause issues. Mr. Forbes reiterated that we are not saying that there will be lights at those six locations, just that these are the locations that we would allow signals, and most likely not all of them. Mr. Forbes agreed that he is not looking to have six stoplights on U.S. 41; more like one, maybe two. He stated that he would think there may be one South of Alsip in the future, because it is a very dangerous area. Mr. Forbes stated they have also talked about Rout 231, our intention is to have one stoplight between Parrish and Cline, and we are not looking for anything over and above that.

Mr. Kozel stated that I guess it all depends on how it gets developed. Mr. Kil added to the board that the Comprehensive Plan is just a guideline, and 90% would be hard for the Town to follow anyway because it has such lofty goals that are outlined in it, but you have to start somewhere and have some kind of plan. So, when people come into Town there we have given some thought to the community and some ideas that would go well with our current land use plan, maybe future.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

(Meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

07-06-2016 Plan Commission

July 6, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
James Maciejewski    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on July 6, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary (Susan E. Wright). Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and David Austgen.

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CHAIRMAN:

Mr. Forbes noted that this is quite a lengthy agenda this evening. During the public portion of any agenda item you may remonstrate either for or against the matter at issue. If you intend to speak, please sign the register, identifying yourself by name and address. Please limit your comments to the matter being heard. Please avoid repeating the same comment in your remonstrance. If you are joining in on a remonstrance already heard, merely indicate that you merely join in “John Doe or Jane Doe” as the case may be.

Please note that pursuant to Section 3 of Ordinance No. 1623, any individual who makes personal, impertinent or slanderous remarks, or becomes boisterous or delays or interrupts the proceeding or peace of the meeting of the Town Council and Plan Commission, or Town public body; or refuses to obey the orders of the presiding officer, shall be barred from further participation in the proceeding and appropriate action for restoration of order, by the presiding officer may be made. In the event of any disturbance or disorderly conduct during the public meeting, the presiding officer shall be authorized to restore order and direct appropriate actions for the same if necessary.

Persons addressing the Town Council or Town Public Body are to maintain a decorum of civility and presenting personal comments, public comment, and to avoid repetitive comments.

Thank you.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN / THOROUGHFARE PLAN

Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is the Comprehensive Master Plan and the Thoroughfare Master Plan, and he asked if the proofs of publication and notices are in order to proceed. Mr. Austgen advised that they have reviewed all the publications and notices and they are in order, I have the documents in hand verifying same.

Before we begin this, I have a question for you Mr. Austgen. Mr. Birlson, a member of this board and commission has remonstrated both in writing and verbally against the Comprehensive Master Plan at the Economic Development Committee. Is he in conflict this evening? Mr. Austgen advised that depends, we have reviewed the law, the 200 Series of the Planning Code, we have reviewed the Statutes in addition to that, you are a quasi-judicial body here, as you have administrative functions related to these matters. The Comprehensive Plan, zoning, subdividing and the like. There is a prohibition discussion in the Statutes concerning public hearings and being influenced, and being contacted. There are cases, relatively recent, even here in this County that have had members disqualified as a consequence of predisposition or actions taken on one side or another of an issue, before the issue was adjudicated as it comes before you. Those cases resulted and some decisions averse to the member, and the barring of the member. It’s clear that some portions of tonight’s proceedings will relate to some of the things that have been talked about. I was at the EDC meeting so I saw Mr. Birlson there. He is a citizen of your town and he did have comments to make, and we respect that. The appearances of that though can be that there is a predisposition, and that the predisposition might render him; might being the key, might render him incapable of being objective here tonight, hearing the whole story, both from a presentation perspective of the Comprehensive Plan itself, as well as, what the public might say in favor of or opposed to, those thoughts or positions. So coming out early, if you will, before the proceeding is conducted gives the appearance of predisposition, bias and the like. Those are incredibly sensitive and hard to define, ethical terms or statutory type terms; however, doing the right thing usually is what it comes down to. It’s really our opinion tonight, and based upon the importance of these proceedings; and knowing the importance to the Birlson family, of what their position was and how it was so passionately stated, that Mr. Birlson is bias and predisposed, and probably should not participate in this public hearing on this matter. However, saying that, I cannot make him do that, and probably you can’t either, statutorily, so I want the record to be clear, the record made to this point seems to indicate all of that and kind of unfortunate because of the sensitivity and nature of this proceeding, but that is our position. Our legal position.

Mr. Forbes then asked, Mr. Birlson, you understand you have a conflict, are you willing to acknowledge that conflict and not participate in this public hearing? Mr. Birlson stated that he does not consider himself to have a conflict. I spoke out in the audience at Plan Commission, I did speak out at the EDC meeting, the Economic Development Committee meeting with regards to the Town Center in the Comprehensive Plan. My opinion hasn’t changed since then, as it effects many homes, um, I’m not on that list, that my home could be taken away, but it does effect the homes. I am a citizen here, just like many of the folks here in the audience. Are citizens here, and they will be effected by it.

Mr. Forbes stated that no one is arguing that you are a resident of this Town, but, you are a member of this Plan Commission, and as a member of this Plan Commission you are supposed to have an air of neutrality, that is not the case in this instance. So, again, I am going to accept the fact that you are not going to voluntarily excuse yourself from this proceeding, correct?

Mr. Birlson: Article 4, Meetings and Public Meeting, conflict of interest. In accordance with I.C. 36-7-4-223, a commission may not participate in a hearing or decision of that commission or body concerning any matter which he has a direct or indirect financial interest. The commission shall enter in its records that fact, that his member has such a disqualification. I do not have a direct or indirect financial interest in this matter.

Mr. Forbes: Gentlemen, any thoughts on this? Hearing none, my objection stands. We will move forward.

Are you ready to give us your presentation?

COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN / THOROUGHFARE PLAN

Ms. Christine Carlyle of Solomon, Cordwell and Buenz, introduced herself. She is a principal at SCB and has been working on the original Comprehensive Plan in 2005, and we are now back again working on the update for 2016. I will be providing a short overview (she directed everyone’s attention to the meeting room screen). She advised that she would be showing the planning process, key issues and the planning recommendations that are contained within the Comprehensive Plan.

SCB worked in conjunction with First Group Engineering who worked on the Thoroughfare portion of the Plan. This was the same team that worked on the 2005 Comprehensive Plan and coordinated efforts of same. Ms. Carlyle advised that a lot has happened since 2005. St. John has seen a lot of development; a tremendous amount of residential expansion, a build-out of the municipal center, as well as new retail development. There has been annexation that allows for additional growth. The goal of the Comp Plan is the quality of life for the residents of St. John.

Ms. Carlyle advised some of the key points in the analysis of the data that went into the updated Comprehensive Plan, including demographics, community survey information, including a public meeting that was held on August 31, 2015. With these components we compiled a Draft Plan and then a Final Plan.

Ms. Carlyle pointing out comparison of “where you have been” to “where you are now”. In 2000, you had a population of 8,382 people; and the estimates for 2016 based on building permit information is approximately 16,987 people. You have had some changes in terms of that the population has gotten a little older, your total households have doubled, and your median income has increased. This all notes that you have had significant rapid growth, whereas some communities have leveled off, you have had steady growth. In 2000 the land area of the town was 7 square miles, but by today you have annexed to 12.4 square miles.

With the community survey that was sent out there; there were over 1,000 responses turned in, that is around 20% response turned in, which is very high. Highlights from the survey, which was very detailed, were the requests for restaurants, improvements to shopping availability, and expansion of the bike/pedestrian path. Of the retail preferences, 78% were in favor of creating a Town Center, and 69% listed the Target and Strack & Van Til as their most frequented visited retailers. 39% wanted more choices of stores and therefore increase their uses of businesses in St. John.

The overall plan is to improve quality of life and economic development; establishing guidelines and improving the U.S. 41 corridor to include some pedestrian access and safety. Proposal of a commuter rail station in the future in conjunction with Regional Transportation plans.

Maintaining the majority of single-family housing, but also providing more choices for “senior housing”. Further, protecting environmental resources and expanding parks and open spaces. Vehicular traffic patterns and safety concerns. Coordinating signalization with retail and traffic patterns as growth evolves along the U.S. 41 corridor.

Ms. Carlyle pointed out current development points along the U.S. 41 corridor; Meyers Development of “Dancing Waters”, Gelatka Property, Boyer Development and Schilling Development. The Municipal Center was looked at in order to connect with the Town Center concept. Ms. Carlyle pointed out conceptual ideas that are suggested in order to connect 93rd to Joliet through Thielen Street, and then through the Boyer properties. These are all conceptual strategic ideas to have them created into a more of a shopping oriented environment.

In terms of the transportation recommendations, we looked at reducing congestion and improving safety, this is in combination with Frist Group Engineering. Highlighting a center turn lane along U.S. 41, expanding the frontage roads where possible, for retail areas so that you do not have vehicles turning directly in and out of U.S. 41, bringing the cars to signalized intersections. This also shows increasing pedestrian safety in regards to walkways, and then expanding pedestrian and bike trails so that you have a greater network.

List of proposed intersection improvements on U.S. 41 includes Wall Street, 93rd Avenue, 96th Avenue, 101st Avenue, 103rd Avenue and 105th Avenue. Map of existing and proposed plans were shown on the meeting room screen. Also, directing traffic to frontage roads, and also pedestrian signalization walkways so people can get from the East side to the West side of U.S. 41 in a safe environment. All this would be in conjunction with State and Federal considerations for improvements.

The last area of concern that we were looking at was a commuter rail station. The previous 2005 plan was North of the Municipal Center and it had issues with topography and the slope of U.S. 41, those constraints and geometries made it less desirable. We looked at other locations, and the other option that was promising was along Route 231. The most Western rail line is a more ideal site and flat site for a train station. It is also great for access from Route 231. There are some wetland components in creating some amenities to allow for open space.

This one view is from Route 231 looking North, in which you have a mixed use retail area, adjacent to a parking deck and train station (in light blue), and then some multi-family housing and mixed use housing.

Ms. Carlyle then showed some examples of some train stations that have been built in a mixed use environment. She advised that is basically the quick snap-shot of the Comp Plan and what some of the goals and how they got to some of those conclusions. Mr. Carlyle then advised she would be happy to answer any questions from the board.

Mr. Williams asked that for the traffic plan it seems to me in the next 20 years that driverless cars are going to significantly impact the way we get around in our communities, was that taken into consideration at all. Ms. Carlyle advised that she is not the traffic engineer and I would have a hard time speaking on behalf of Mr. Denny Cobb on that, but I have to say that until we know how driverless cars actually operate, it is very hard to plan for them.

Mr. Maciejewski requested that Ms. Carlyle speak about the stats regarding density, housing units versus the area of the Town, how it’s expanded and if I understand you it has stayed relatively the same density, because the area has double and the housing has doubled.

Ms. Carlyle stated that is correct, and she said that the only places you could expect any density to change would be is where you plan for it. Right now you have a lot of PUDs which actually lower the density, you tend to have cluster housing and you have opened up a lot of areas to having trails and access. So, if you look at the development that’s taken place between 1980’s and 1990’s, then what happened after 2000, most of that was more generous in terms of land area, but maybe the houses were a little closer together, so it is a different way of looking at your land utilization. SCB did not get into a lot of details in the update focused on your zoning or your “R Districts”, because that was done extensively in 2005, and we got no message that there were any changes to that. So any new development that comes to you, you need to look at very carefully as to what they are proposing for the number of units and does that fit, along with the residential areas.

Ms. Carlyle stated it seems that you have two different types. You have some potential special areas; which could be your Town Center area, which could also be your rail station area, which might have more of a unique character that you want to have a mix of housing types. But, otherwise I think you will be continuing with the residential housing types you have today, so we did not make any recommendations in altering your code in that.

Mr. Forbes advised that he is going to open the floor to public comment, when I call your name, please come up to the podium, state your name and address for the record.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Talking to people around town these last few months, it has become rather obvious that no one real wants to see six traffic lights planned along the Route 41 corridor from 93rd to 109th Street. So gentlemen, I have a wild idea. Why don’t we re-draw the Comprehensive Plan to exclude all of these traffic lights and replace them with frontage roads with access to Route 41 at may two locations. That will save the traffic nightmare that you’re going to create on Route 41 between 93rd and 109th, and be more acceptable to the residents who live here right now. Mr. Kil and the Planning Commission and the Town Council have repeatedly said over and over, this is just a plan. Last time I checked a plan means something’s going to happen in the future. So maybe we can agree to revise the plan, so there are not six stop lights drawn on it, but maybe two. That way when developers realize before submitting plans, or the Route 41 corridor, that they are going to be required to use frontage roads, and they are not going to have stop light access every two blocks on Route 41. We can all drive north to Schererville and Highland, and see what Mr. Boyer and his developers’, and the developers have created on Route 41 through the 41 corridor. Right around Main Street, it is a traffic disaster. People will not go there to shop due to the traffic congestion currently. The residents of St. John who live here now, have to get around town every day. We do not need more restaurants, bars, fast-food outlets and grocery stores that will create bigger traffic problems for the people who live here, when the other shoppers and out-of-towners take their cars and go home. Reduce the six traffic lights drawn on the plan, and re-submit them as two. The second item is the traffic study. The traffic study on page 3 recommends that 93rd be widened by three lanes by the year 2027. This study is so poorly done; the recommendations are an actual comedy to read. With the Preserve coming on line, and Greystone as well, 93rd and White Oak should have been widened last year or the year before. How can the Commission in good conscience accept this poorly done traffic study? It is truly pathetic. The Commission should be embarrassed to even consider this study as valid, especially when it says it ought to be revisited again ten years from now. With the Town paying $211,000.00 for a new traffic study, the Commission should delay approving the Comprehensive Plan forward, until the current costly study is completed. It will answer a lot of questions the current plan raises about traffic, traffic lights and residents driving around town on Route 41, 93rd and White Oak. Do not move the plan forward as it is currently written, it is not in the best interest of people who currently live here.

Jerry Koster (9194 Eggert Lane): Just my comments, and comments of the neighborhood in the subdivision I live in. I think as you look at the growth from 2000 to 2016, you saw the numbers and population growth from eight to sixteen thousand. What was the traffic increase on Route 41 in that same time period? Is there a traffic count on that? Um, I’m getting a little tired, even though I am a native from Illinois, and there is reasons we came to Indiana, because it is a small town. But we get a little tired, and as you saw tonight on the proposal, this is the way we did it in Illinois. Well you know what?, my comment is that if that’s the way you people in Illinois want it, then you should stay in Illinois. You shouldn’t have to design a town of Indiana on what was taken place in Illinois, alright? And the third thing I have to say is that the traffic, stop and go lights, I agree, some are less than a thousand feet apart, and I know it is a proposal, that the State has to approve. But, looking at the overall plan, I think the Town Centers’ have to be off 41 cause there is just way too much traffic. That’s all I have.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I am going to remonstrate against the Comprehensive Plan. As I reviewed the plan, and some of the comments made at the previous meetings, I had a few concerns. Main concerns of traffic, traffic flow and the fact that you moved the Town Center from north of 93rd to the Joliet and Thielen Street neighborhood. But I am going to concentrate on some of the regulations. I guess the first question I have is that at the Economic Development Committee meeting, we passed out remonstrance that were written, and we were told that those were gonna be distributed to you guys, so I’m hoping that you guys all received those? (Mr. Forbes: We were copied on those). I’m sorry? (Mr. Forbes: We were copied on those). Okay, thank you, wonderful. Um, second of all, is the State Statutes make it very clear that Mr. Birlson does not have to excuse himself from this hearing because the Statute that he quoted (Mr. Forbes: Do you have an opinion on the Comp Plan?). Oh I do, I do. (Mr. Forbes: Please continue with that matter). Why, does it make a difference? (Mr. Forbes: Please continue your remonstrance on the Comp Plan). State Statute of Indiana Code 36-7-4-501 on the State Comprehensive Plan says that it should promote public health, safety, morals, convenience, order, or the general welfare of a community. I think your plans do not include the necessary findings of fact. The traffic study is defective, and the recommendations seem to have some major flaws. Some of those were covered already, so I’m not gonna put a lot of time and energy into those. Um, but widening 93rd twelve years from now, um, I think is ridiculous. You got a traffic study that didn’t even include White Oak on its traffic study. I think you missed an opportunity to get a second opinion for free when you required Schilling to do a traffic study on The Preserves, but you let them use the same engineering company that you used. You had an opportunity to get a free second opinion there and you missed that opportunity. Uh, we don’t want six more stop lights on 41. The five that are detailed, plus the one that shows north of the hill to be the sixth one, which are on page 56 and 57 of the master plan. And detailed on page 9 of the Thoroughfare Plan. Um, we don’t want to Wicker to end up like the traffic flow that they have on 41 and Main Street. I think it’s frustrated being stuck in traffic, which does not promote improved public health. At the last Council meeting you claimed that not all of those would maybe be done, it would just depend. Well, that’s the same statement that you used months ago about the Town Center and my neighborhood. Um, we were told that it would go away, but yet now its back again. So is the general welfare of the town better, since you introduced this plan back in October? Has your life become more convenient? More orderly? I still have believed that you would put a family, that you would put out a plan that would wipe out thirteen homes, and make five or six remaining worthless for raising a family. You are supposed to protect the values of our homes, but how many people would want to buy a house to raise their family, knowing it’s stamped “Town Center” and scheduled for demolition. Whose gonna benefit from that. I mean, I was one of the people that the 80, the 78% who is in favor of a Town Center. But not at the price of knocking somebody’s house down, and throwing the family out. This whole plan has been a nightmare for us, ever since you,., when it became public last year. I got a call from my neighbor Joe Gerlach; he asked if I knew what was happening, and that the Town was planning to do to our beautiful neighborhood. That started the formation of the St. John Homeowners PAC, and we selected candidate support for election, that were sympathetic to our cause,., (Mr. Forbes: Stick to the Comp Plan please). The PAC was produced and committed and put together specifically to fight the Comprehensive Plan, okay. We have asked you to do that over the past, and it doesn’t seem like anything has happened. Um, we have candidates that we supported, um, in fact I didn’t even go to the first couple of meetings. But, my wife informed me that it was very important that I be there, so it didn’t take long for me to a.,. (Mr. Forbes: All right, you are advertising your PAC, we get it. Do you have any further comments “on the Comp Plan”). I certainly do. (Mr. Forbes: Make them brief please). I think this whole plan and the approval process is tainted. Tainted by the actions that happened back in November, but as far as the plan goes, in 2005; the 2005 plan had the Town Center north of 93rd to include the St. John Mall and that blighted area that’s north of Aspen Café. It’s an eyesore to this town. Um, leave it there. Move it back there. Put in an area that has vacant land. There’s plenty of vacant land left in this town. You’ve stated that the traffic lights and the Town Center, that it’s just an idea and that it may not happen. But let me tell you why that’s troublesome. One, I don’t trust everything that I’m told. But more importantly is, it’s the law. I did some research before I came here tonight. It’s the law. If it’s on your Comprehensive Plan, you’re required to move forward to try and make it happen. That’s what Indiana Code is all about. When the last Comprehensive Plan was approved in 2005, there was a lawsuit. Now, my legal expertise is kinda minimal and the two gentlemen to my left may disagree, because they were both involved in that lawsuit, so they should know what’s going on. But basically it was a zoning issue, that had to do with a disagreement with the Comprehensive Plan. Okay, um,., so the Indiana Court of Appeals interpretation of the State Statute was that a municipality must comply with its Comprehensive Plan’s vision. Indiana Code 36-7-4-603 also states, that when dealing with zoning and approvals, the Plan Commission and the legislative body must pay reasonable regard to a number of factors, including: #1, is the Town Comprehensive Plan. I believe that if you put on your Comprehensive Plan, the Town Center and six stop lights, and someone takes action on that, maybe buying a piece of property knowing or thinking that they are gonna have stop light, or being able to anticipate something else going up there, um, if you don’t follow through with your plans, you leave yourself open to legal action. Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, I’ve heard two different Councilmen suggest removing the Town Center from the Plan. You don’t need to approve a plan that destroys our homes. You don’t need to approve a plan that demolishes some of the oldest homes in St. John. You don’t need to approve a plan that will displace families with over a hundred years living in that neighborhood. There are plenty of good locations in this town for that expansion. And that will also maintain the property values and fit better with Indiana Code 36-7-4-501 on Comprehensive Plans. Where places less traffic and improve safety. No roundabout for the school busses to navigate promoted better health and well-being of the community. You don’t need to approve the Town Center as part of that plan. Just remove pages 60 through 63 from the plan before you vote to approve it. Or, bring back pages 53 and 54 of the 2005 plan. Many people comment on how St. John, our Joliet Street area is such a great reminder of the charm, that old communities have. Don’t tear it down. Don’t send in the wrecking ball. Keep the charm in St. John. Thank you gentlemen.

Mr. Muenich: Mr. Chairman, before you proceed, one correction for the record. The Appellate Court decision that Mr. Swets referred to was reversed by the Indiana Supreme Court approximately a year and a half ago to two years after the date of the Appellate Court opinion. And specifically held that the Town does not have to follow its Comprehensive Plan, that zoning is a discretionary matter of the Town Council, to be implemented as it sees fit. I was representing Mr. Chester Borsyk; Mr. Austgen was representing the Town of St. John at the time, and the recitation that Mr. Swets made is inaccurate. Just so that the record is clear.

Joe Gerlach (10946 Thielen Street): I appreciate you gentlemen being here tonight, and also the group of people that are here tonight for different reasons. As I saw the plan and all that was presented was quite thorough. I’m just wondering as I look at each one of you individuals, how much time did you take to look at these plans. How much stock did you put into it? Also in the traffic study, as far as the traffic lights, how much time and thought had you gentlemen put into it. I think back about a number of years ago here in St. John, St. John was always the place to come to. And even other residences as far as Schererville, Dyer and other communities up in north of us; St. John was the place to come to. And its been a great place to bring up my children. Been very active throughout the years. My family goes way back. I don’t have to repeat what some of the things that have been brought up already tonight. But I am concerned about how much you gentlemen have studied what all is involved in this. Not only about the history of St. John, but also the future of St. John. Now when I think about what was brought up about these shopping centers; I got two words to say about it, and that’s “free shipping”. Free shipping is what’s coming our way folks, whether you want it or not. And all these different facilities that you’re talking about, I don’t if even half of them are going to be utilized for shopping area. So I think we’re looking into a nightmare, and this is one of the factors that I can see in the future. I worked down here at Lake Central after I retired from my day job, I could say, and I was training with a number of people that took jobs as bus drivers. And some of them were different uh, carpenters, plumbers, and all because of the housing boom, that fell apart a number of years ago. And they were there to drive a school bus. And the story I’m getting now, that a lot of those gentlemen that were carpenters and plumbers and electricians, they are not going back to that trade. Because they see on the horizon, there’s gonna be another problem with housing. And gentlemen, whether you like it or not, as you hear on the news, we are at war. And you are talking about restaurants? Some of the nicest restaurants in the world are the targets today. You better start thinking about that. And if you attend those restaurants, you better make sure that your back is to the wall, and you be prepared. Because what I see going on, with the Presidential election, those two clowns are not gonna protect us. You better be ready. But I was getting back to the jobs at LC, Lake Central; a friend of mine had two golf businesses, golf stores, one in Lansing and one in the Homer Glen area. Both of them went under. And I asked him, and they went bankrupt. And I asked him what was the problem. He said the problem was the internet killed him. That’s my speech tonight.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): These are my comments on the Comprehensive Plan. Um, my children are the sixth generation to live in my family homestead, which was built in 1840. I hope that my children and my grandchildren will have the opportunity to live in my home after me, and have that same option in the future. And I just don’t understand why you would take away that opportunity from people who have been here, this family was one of the first families that founded this town. That founded St. John Evangelist Church. I also believe that if there is additional commercial development in this town, that there should be a buffer zone between the commercial development and the residential development. When I look at the Boyer Development up in Schererville, and I think if that goes in behind my home, and there’s a roundabout that connects it, what kind of traffic is going to be going by my eight-year-old girl whose riding her roller blades on the sidewalk. And so I feel like that should be respected, when we consider this plan. Um, I am not up here just to complain, there um,., I am reiterating what was in the old Comprehensive Plan. There are other solutions that are viable solutions. We’ve seen them in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan as Mr. Swets stated. When you look at the north of 93rd, north of the Town Hall, that was proposed in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. That area there, there is already commercial development there when you look at the St. John Town Mall. Its connected directly to the Town offices, the police, the fire station. It has excellent visibility from the bridge on Wicker Avenue, so people can find where it is. That’s a possible train station location, which would allow people to utilize the restaurants and shops without even having to have a vehicle in town. There’s parking already available at the Kolling School for use in the evenings and on weekends. So you wouldn’t need as much parking put in by the town, so it would save us on costs. It would eliminate the eyesore of those empty lots and the hodge-podge of businesses that are located between 93rd and Kolling School. And it wouldn’t take the people’s homes. I don’t understand why someone would needlessly destroy a beautiful, beautiful neighborhood, that I believe is one of the best neighborhoods in St. John. I have friends of mine telling me all the time, if you know any of your neighbors selling their homes, let me know cause I wanna move into your neighborhood. Because you guys are a tight-knit community. There’s also the possibility the new train station down south of town. The Shrine of Christ Passion, I’m sure there will be a lot of development going in, there is a lot of commercial opportunity down there, for people who visit that place. The empty K-Mart building site. So, I’d ask all of you to reconsider and think about this Town Center, it’s been stated pie-in-the-sky, as Mr. Kil has said in the newspaper, and he said it probably wouldn’t happen in his lifetime, so I ask you as members of this Plan Commission to show respect for the residents who live on Joliet and Thielen Streets, for the history of their families. Cause several of them are living in their own homesteads also. And remove the Town Center concept as it stands from the Comprehensive Plan. And give us a good night’s sleep.

Jackie Van Gundy (9510 Joliet Street): July 15th we’ll have been there 44 years. I love our town and I would like to see it expand. We are not Plainfield, we’re not those other towns that were mentioned, Long Grove. We’re St. John, Indiana. And we definitely need to grow and expand, but sensibly. And it tears my heart up to think that we are still considering tearing down our historic neighborhood on Joliet Street. Homes that have been lived in for generations. I cannot fathom why in the world you would even consider destroying historic homes. Our only historic street in this town by the way. To put in a bunch of stores, restaurants, traffic, traffic, traffic. There’s so much empty property south of Strack and Van Til’s, in that mall, it even has a frontage road. Lots of land on both sides of the frontage road. We also have property to the north where the St. John Mall is, been there since I’ve lived here. All the prairie that goes all the way to the school is empty. Perfect for development. Why isn’t that being considered instead of tearing down an established neighborhood as Theresa Birlson has stated. We’ve had people ask us, if you ever sell your home, or any one in your neighborhood is selling, please let us know. They like our little historical area. Also, I just want to know who we are trying emulate, who we are trying to be like. Again, we are not Plainfield, we’re not Long Grove, we’re St. John. And we do need to grow, but in a sensible way. And mindful of traffic, building,., first we put roads in, then we build homes, that’s not been done. My last statement, please change your mind and eliminate these plans for tearing down our street. Last October, Mr. Kil sent us all letters, which I am not going to read, I’m sure you’re all aware of it. The one line I want to quote, he said “I can assure you one-hundred percent, that what you have been told is completely inaccurate. The fact that the area of your home is included in the Comprehensive Plan, means absolutely nothing, unless you and your neighbors voluntarily ever decide to sell your homes”, then in capitals “VOLUNTARILY SELL YOUR HOMES”, well guess what, none of us want to sell our homes. We are very happy where we are. Please eliminate,.,. oh, and another thing I just thought of. While you’ll all sitting there. I would love your individual opinions and thoughts as to why you think this is such a good idea, to tear down a historic street, for a Town Center. What are you opinions, individually, do you have anything to think about this plan? So, we know here, not as a collective group. But as individual people, what do you think of this? (Mr. Forbes: We are here to hear your comments). You have nothing to say? (Mr. Forbes: Not at this time, because this is the opportunity for you to.,.) ….. think about that, maybe the next time we’ll talk about.

Mr. Forbes called Mr. Scott Kilptr.,. [from the audience someone said they had no comment, that all his questions were answered].

Randy Stoltmeister (10760 Thielen Street): I came here I notice one thing, especially my street. People are very-very friendly. I love my neighbors and they love me. When you go to a small,., I came up from a farm community in Illinois, and people go like this (?), you may not know them, but that is what they do, its friendly. And that is what this town has. You know in Munster, they don’t do that there. They don’t do that on Main Street in Highland. I’ve heard that St. John isn’t the top friendliest towns in the country to live. Do you think we are gonna have that status after we do all this? This Comprehensive Plan. You know I am for a Town Center, and there is,., there is some great engineers that can engineer away to make it south of here. We got,., you know like Whiting, you know their stuck. They can’t do anything. And there’s open areas in Munster, and a little bit in Highland. But we have an opportunity now to take advantage of the open area and do it right. And you know, there was mentioning that 78% of the people want a Town Center, but they didn’t say after that, but at the cost of people’s homes? I don’t think you woulda got 78% of that, no way,., no way. No way, especially in St. John. Let’s keep the friendliness, cause if we,., of,., last time I spoke I mentioned about Main Street in Highland, we don’t want that here. It will take away the friendliness, the closeness that we have that’s unique to St. John, we don’t need that here. But let’s re-look at this program, let’s do it right, but let this go south of here or someplace where its open, and we don’t need to take people’s homes.

Tom Parada (9535 Jolie Street): Um, I’ve been kinda quiet about this for quite a while. July 13th is when the first shot in this war was fired. And it was fired at me. Okay, on July 13th, I was contacted by Mr. Kil and was told that the Town was,., wanted to acquire my property. And my answer to that was, I wanna fix the place up and I want to live my life out here. And his was, well we’re gonna do whatever means necessary to take your property. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada, what does this have to do with the Comp Plan?). EVERYTHING! (Mr. Forbes: It has nothing to do with the Comp Plan) It has EVERYTHING to do with it (Mr. Forbes: No sir, I disagree, do you have any remonstrance?). THIS WAS THE BEGINNING (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada, take it down a notch). It was the BEGINNING OF THE TOWN COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. (Mr. Forbes: You are mistaken). This was the beginning of it. (Mr. Forbes: You are mistaken). NO I AM NOT MISTAKEN, NOTHING MUCH OF ANYTHING WAS SAID ABOUT THIS, and nobody was informed about it, this was before the meeting at Lake Central High School (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada,., Mr. Parada, do you have any comment on the Comprehensive Master Plan). YES I DO, I DON’T LIKE THE MEANS YOUR USING TO TRY TO GET THE PROPERTY, AND THAT’S WHERE I COME IN. YOU TRIED TO BUY MY PROPERTY FOR $31,000.00, AND YOU KNOW WHAT?.,. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada, Mr. Parada,., Mr. Parada, Mr. Parada,., [knocking of gavel] Mr. Parada). YES MISTER FORBES! (Mr. Forbes: Do you have a comment on.,.) I AM MAKING MY COMMENT (Mr. Forbes: No sir, you are not. This is your last chance.,. sir) I CALLED MR. VOLK LAST NIGHT (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada, do you.,.). I’M MAKING MY COMMENTS AND I’M GOING TO CONTINUE IF YOU QUIT INTERUPTING ME (Mr. Forbes: Stick to the topic). I called Mr. Volk last night. He represents our neighborhood as a councilman. I want to know, we elected you, why are you not coming to bat for us, instead of Mr. Boyer. You’re in there because we elected you. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada do you have anything to say about the Comprehensive Master Plan) I’M SAYING IT! (Mr. Forbes: No, you are making accusations). It has to do with the Comprehensive Plan, it went away for a while. I went away for a while. Now it’s back, so I’m back. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD TORN APART, because of a PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL that wants to build somewhere in this town that we have (Mr. Forbes: Again Mr. Parada, you are confusing two topics). I AM? (Mr. Forbes: Yes you are). WELL THEN SET ME STRAIGHT ON THAT THEN MIKE. (Mr. Forbes: We are discussing the Comprehensive Master Plan). WHICH THE TOWN CENTER IS PART OF, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? (Mr. Forbes: I do, and you are not part of the Town Center). I’m not part of the Town Center? (Mr. Forbes: Not the discussion you are having right now. Mr. Parada, we’re done. Mr. Parada Thank You. Your done, Mr. Parada, I have the authority to end this portion). I KNOW, WHICH YOU USUALLY DON’T USE, WHEN YOU SHOULD USE IT IS WHEN BILL WAS OVER THERE, BILL KEITH CRYING ABOUT HE NEEDS A RESTAURANT HE CAN RIDE A BIKE TO. Worst Town Council President that I’ve ever seen in my life.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): First of all. I would like to remonstrate against this Master Plan, because I think first of all, people here are not having a fair public hearing. The Town Board President and President of this Council, is shutting down their comment. And for that reason, I think this is an illegal public hearing. And I object to this type of hearing. I also object to this hearing because the St. John Homeowners PAC, which represents the people on Thielen Street, who will be impacted by this Comprehensive Plan, they tried to fight it with the political action, with political signs. The Town Manager took those signs (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero,., Mr. Hero). I’M GIVING MY OBJECTION TO THE FAIRNESS OF THIS HEARING (Mr. Forbes: This hearing is fair, I have.,.). LOOK, YOU CANNOT INTERUPT A PUBLIC HEARING (Mr. Forbes: You need to stop your rhetoric. You need to stop your rhetoric. You’ve made one comment that is directly related to the Comprehensive Master Plan. Do you have any more comment). YES I DO!, I THINK THIS HEARING IS UNFAIR AND I OBJECT TO IT BECAUSE I THINK THAT MR. FORBES HAS FAILED TO DISCLOSE THAT ONE OF THE ATTORNEYS HERE REPRESENTED HIM IN A CASE. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero.,.). I THINK HE SHOULD HAVE DISCLOSED THAT HERE, SO I OBJECT TO THIS HEARING IN THAT RESPECT. NOW, I’M GONNA GET DOWN TO OTHER ISSUES; the traffic congestion that this thing will create is going to be horrific with all the stoplights on 41. I think it will compromise the safety of the people, the residents and the property owners. The other thing is, the Comprehensive Plan will not protect the public health, safety, welfare, comfort, and the general welfare of the town. The Comprehensive Plan, in my opinion, has been developed for one person. The outcome of this Plan Commission is predisposed. We heard at the Economic Development Commission where Mr. Kil has already met with INDOT for the 96th Place road, okay, and a State Senator. That tells me that it is predisposed. And the fact that Mr. Parada’s house was to be taken for a turn-around, which eventually this master plan will impact, that tells me this is predisposed and this is not a fair hearing. Uh, also, the Comprehensive Plan, I believe will constitute an unconstitutional taking of people’s properties. People that live on Joliet and the Town Center, the way this master plan is set up, it has to be basically followed. And, rhetoric that says it doesn’t is false, in my opinion. Uh,., I think the municipality will be forced to comply with the Comprehensive Plan, which is going to adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, of the residents, and the property values. The Comprehensive Plan won’t create a efficiency, and economy in the land use development. If you look at 96th Place on that master plan, the road is gonna have to be expanded on the other side. And if you look at the master plan, and the Boyer Development, that shows that 96th Place as a dedicated highway, which means the taxpayers gotta pay for that. I think that is totally inappropriate. And, the way this thing is going, that this thing is set to be voted on no matter what is said here tonight, so I think it is an unfair hearing again. The plan must state the objectives for future development. I see just general rhetoric. I don’t see specifics on how this is gonna improve the town. I don’t see the detail. I don’t see a statement of policy where the land use development is gonna be improved. I think I see the statement of public ways, public places, public lands, public utilities, I don’t see any of that in the master plan in detail. So that it’s reasonable to assume it’s gonna be implemented the way it is. I think this plan is developed for special interest people. I think one of these stop lights is going to benefit special interests people, and not the people in St. John. Because it’s gonna make their land very valuable. So I think the master plan is not geared for the people of St. John, it’s geared for special developers. I think the plan is not giving consideration to the community as a whole, with, with preserving the identity of the community. The present Comprehensive Plan was relied on by people who moved here years ago. I think this diverts the existing master plan. And I think its detrimental reliance that these people moved here on and their property values will be diminished, because you’re putting this new Comprehensive Plan in. The scope and perspective of this Comprehensive Plan creates inefficiencies in the development of the community, and will have an adverse effect, same effect as spot zoning. The Comprehensive Plan will not give the community the best course of development, of real estate. It will not give the best advantage to real estate. This is done for specific beneficiaries of these spot lights, and that is not the beneficiaries of the common people of St. John. The plan does not have a reasonable regard to the factors of conservation of property values throughout the community. It is not responsible development and growth. It is not the most desirable use of the land. It also takes,., damages the current character of the community. The Plan is (pause) arbitrary and capricious, and has no rational basis for development. The Plan will aggravate traffic congestion. Can you imagine six stop lights on 41? The traffic there is horrific now. If we put all those traffic lights in, its going to be gridlocked. Look what the development did in Highland, on the Schererville – Highland border on Main Street. Okay? And what you’re going to be doing is, you’re going to be pushing traffic from 41 onto the side streets on Joliet, School Street, Keilman, 93rd, and you have failed to develop 93rd into an adequate road. This plan will force drivers to use side streets, and neighborhood streets,., as short-cuts to get around the congestion that you’re putting on 41. This plan has no rational basis, its arbitrary and capricious again, the traffic patterns and increased traffic will have an adverse effect on the public health, safety, welfare, morals and whatever. And if you look at the ultimate goal of the Boyer Development, its to hit Joliet Street, put a turn-around there, and I think once you do that, that’s gonna effect the school busses, the children, public safety to the local elementary schools and wherever their going. Uh, this plan is totally defective in my opinion, and it should not be put forward. Um, I think we need to carefully plan the roads to protect the health, safety, welfare of the community, and I don’t think that is done again in this plan because it creates hazards that were not there before, and increases the hazards that are already there. The findings of fact of this Plan Commission is going to lack specificity, okay? Again, I think this think has been pre-destined, going back a long time (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero, you are repeating yourself. Can you wrap up please). I think the findings of fact are going to be prejudiced, by all of the factors that I said, and I think theres,., it unbiased and not balanced, and there is no proper reasoning in developing this plan. So I think for these reasons, this thing should not be adopted. If you look at who the beneficiaries are.,. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero you are repeating yourself again). I want you to look,., I DIDN’T SAY WHO THE BENEFICIARIES ARE, I’M ASKING IS THERE ANYBODY HERE PRESENT AT THIS TABLE THAT’S A BENEFICIARY OF A STOPLIGHT HERE? I don’t here an answer, okay. We’ll go look at all the properties along the route of the six stop lights. That will tell you who the beneficiaries are gonna be. So, for all of these reasons I think the Town of St. John; the people are not the beneficiaries. The developers are the beneficiaries, and I think there’s been an undue influence by Mr. Forbes, in conducting this public hearing. I think it is illegal, because he has shut down Mr. Swets, he has shut down Mr. Parada, and he has tried to shut me down. AND FOR ALL OF THOSE REASONS THIS IS NOT A VALID PUBLIC HEARING (Mr. Forbes: We got it Mr. Hero). AND FOR THOSE REASONS I OBJECT TO IT – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING (Mr. Forbes: Appreciate your opinion).

Michelle Haluska (12406 Patnoe Drive): This is specifically for the Comprehensive / Thoroughfare Plan. I was here when they did the 2005, and a lot of things have been brought up. At that time they were looking at the Fabian property that is North of the railroad tracks, just north of the mall. That is bad soil. That plan had to be changed. They just want to go back to the 2000 plan, but keep in mind, when you did the Master Zoning Ordinance and U.S. 41 was made our commercial corridor. They didn’t take anybody’s houses. You are having a knee-jerk reaction because you are being part of a Comprehensive Plan, and just like the letter that was sent to you. They are not taking your homes. NIRPC has been working on the high-speed rail system that was supposed to go from Indianapolis to Chicago, and have a train station around here. That was back in the 1980(s). It took 22 years to get the stop light at 97th Lane and U.S. 41. All of Homestead Acres, all 34 phases, was just about completed before that light went in. I do understand that these six stoplights are conceptual. Are they just going to pop up overnight?, No.

Is INDOT going to just put them up because “Hey, we have a comprehensive plan and we’ve had a public hearing, and they want here, here, here and here”? No. We are not Schererville. We are not Highland. We are not Dyer, East Chicago, Whiting, Crown Point.

However, keep in mind, those of you that have lived here a long time, I know the historical value of the different neighborhoods. I remember when Standard Lumber was on par with Schilling Lumber. And both were thriving family-based businesses. Mr. Buchanan Sr. developed that commercial property, and tried to keep the same building. Now, it has nothing to do with the Comprehensive Plan that Mr. Boyer / Buchanan, want to take that old, dilapidated Standard Lumber building and tear it down, and put in some beautiful brick commercial buildings. But anyone that has gone to Dunkin Donuts, and one of my favorite places to get coffee, knows that the intersection is a nightmare, and they also know that the Indiana Department of Transportation is adamant, they will not allow the Town of St. John to put a traffic light there. To divert the traffic to 96th, which is the only one I feel is probably in the near future, is for the safety of the Town, including all the residents on Joliet. Nobody should be making a left hand turn onto U.S. 41, period, from Joliet Street. Traffic shouldn’t be backed up to the light because they are trying to make a left hand turn onto Joliet Street. They need to just settle down. Nobody is taking your homes. This is conceptual. What it does mean is, that if; after all your families at your house have gone, you want to sell it because that used to be the Town’s commercial area. That’s where our Post Office was. You now have Mr. Sarkey’s insurance, and you do have seamstress work there in part of it. If you sell your house and say well it’s going to make our house worth less. No, it’s going to be worth more because then it can be sold for commercial, as part of the Town Center. Only if and when, you choose, to sell your house. [background comments diverting attention] (Mr. Forbes: Ms. Haluska please address the board). Absolutely, sorry. But nobody took any homes on U.S. 41 when they made it all a commercial corridor. They did make standards. Somewhere, somebody has been telling people, and selling them a bill of goods about how they are gonna take their homes away from them. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Parada, please! Mr. Parada please do not interrupt). They are trying very hard to take a safety issue, which is very poor, and make it better. Thank you for your time.

Mr. Forbes advised that was the last name on the list and he closed the floor to public comment, and bring it back to the board. Mr. Forbes stated to members “ Gentlemen, we have heard a lot of discussion ideas, any thoughts on moving forward, not moving forward, or deferring so that we can have a discussion on this”. Mr. Kozel stated that he thinks the board needs to discuss it just a little bit more. Given the length of our meeting tonight, can we defer this matter to our Study Session? Mr. Kozel said he had no problem with that. Mr. Gill; no objection, Mr. Maciejewski; no objection, Mr. Volk; no objection.

Mr. Forbes stated then he will entertain a motion to defer this topic and continue the discussion at our Study Session. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. RENAISSANCE UNIT 8 – Primary Plat Approval / Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Terpstra, Wyngate Development)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda was Renaissance – Unit 8 for Primary Plat approval and Public Hearing. The Petitioner is Mr. Doug Terpstra of Wyngate Development.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if the proofs of publication are in order. Mr. Austgen advised that they are and you may proceed with the public hearing.

Mr. Doug Terpstra of Wyngate Development introduced himself to the board. Mr. Terpstra advised that they are here requesting Primary Approval for a three (3) lot addition, final phase in Renaissance at Rosegate, and it includes shutting off Clarmonte Avenue to the Town’s specifications.

Mr. Forbes noted that the board has discussed this several times and ask the board for any questions at this time.

Mr. Kil read Mr. Kraus’s review letter:

“We have reviewed the Primary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. The subdivision project includes three residential lots, streets and associated facilities. We have completed our review and note that the infrastructure details will adhere to the original approved Gates of St. John details. We find the plans to be satisfactory, with the exception of an extraneous note to vacate a part of Clarmonte Drive. The Developmental Fee has not been established at this time, but will be based upon a 2% of the construction costs of public improvements as supplied by the developer”.

Mr. Kil stated he thought that they were not going to vacate that part of Clarmonte. Mr. Kraus advised that they did take the all the other indication, the hatching of that, but there is one note that got left on the plan, that should have been removed. So if that one note is deleted like it should have been, them it’s fine. Mr. Kraus said he believes it is just an oversight and should be correct by Final Plat.

Mr. Muenich advised that you cannot vacate all of that entire right-of-way, they have public water mains, sanitary sewers that lie within that right-of-way. So the re-structuring on the cul-de-sac is within, plus the addition from the Final Plat for the ground part off to the East. But you can’t vacate the remainder that goes out to Joliet Street because of the utilities that are in place. I think there is also a telephone line and Comcast lines within that right-of-way. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Muenich that is what they were discussing by not using the words vacate so it stays public right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes advised that this is a public hearing, please come up the podium and state your name and address for the record:

Scott Kielasinski (9600 Berkley Lane): Which is just off of Clarmonte Drive. The question I have is, I don’t understand what they want to do to Clarmonte Drive. Do they want to shut that off? (Mr. Forbes: Yes, that has been in the plans since the inception of The Gates project. Clarmonte Drive will turn into a cul-de-sac, then 97th Place, you will now come down Clarmonte, turn on 97th and go to an extension of Parrish and there will be an aligned intersection of Parrish and Joliet Street). And what is the purpose of them doing that. (Mr. Forbes: To eliminate the jogs in the two streets and bring them back together). Okay, so now the people that come down Parrish will now just go through the subdivision and continue through the subdivision, now going past more homes, it doesn’t not alleviate a problem that they are having going on Clarmonte Drive. (Mr. Forbes: It does slow the traffic down. And it does improve the intersection of Joliet, Clarmonte and Parrish). I think the new homes there are going to be very upset, cause all its going to do is bring more traffic past all those new homes that their gonna build there. It might as well turn onto Joliet Street and go down Clarmonte again. And let them blow the stop signs there, like they do now. Its not gonna stop,., if they take off that street, where they cut into Clarmonte Drive, now you’re talking about stopping the traffic flow. Where they came back in onto Clarmonte Drive, dead-end that street. (Mr. Forbes: Which street?). (Mr. Kil: He’s wants a dead at 97th, not connected to Clarmonte is what he’s saying. You would eliminate the north movement of traffic). Yes. (Mr. Kil: Cause right now they just turn..) Let them extend Cline Avenue all the way through. That’s what they’re trying to do. That’s the only way you’re gonna stop the flow of that traffic through.

Wendy Anderson (9714 Berkley Lane): So, I’m at the corner of Berkley and Clarmonte. I’m where that stop sign gets blown, every day, several times a day, where my kids have played. The problem I have.,. I built my house there over twenty years ago. I built it when it didn’t go through to 93rd. I built it when there were two dead-ends, Clarmonte dead-end and Berkley dead-end. That’s what my subdivision was when I built my house there. We were told, all these different thing, “oh there’s gonna be a park there”; we were told a lotta stuff. But anyway, my problem is, when Parrish initially, the way it was before they moved it over, it did hit Clarmonte. And it was a straight shot. This jog that as Mr. Kielasinski just said, this jog is gonna cause,., it’s a safety issue, because now people are already whipping around. Their gonna whip around, their gonna whip around that corner of those house, and their gonna come right back into our subdivision. So those of us that just wanna just leave the subdivision a straight way, leave the subdivision. Now we have to go through another.,. group of homes,., somebody else’s subdivision. And its completely a safety issue. There is no reason why there needs to be a dead end there. Um, when there were dead-ends before, what was happening,., you got,., you had just people driving down, stopping and turning around, driving stopping. The same thing over and over. Now you’re gonna have the same thing. People are gonna come down Clarmonte, not realizing that the street is the only one to go through. Their gonna stop, their gonna have to turn around, their gonna go back down that street. I think having,., I get oh we don’t need to have the jog, well then we shouldn’t have moved Parrish to begin with. Because you didn’t have the jog before. So I guess my whole thing is that it’s a safety issue, um, and you’re not.,. you’re not, you can tell yourself until your blue in the face that your slowing down traffic. But until you sit in there, or you have police officers sitting there, which I have seen on several occasions, sitting there and see that traffic, zoom in there. This is not gonna stop it,., at all. Its just an extra jog that people are taking that is gonna cause another safety issue.

Mr. Forbes advised that was all that was on the list and he will be closing the floor to public hearing and bring it back to the board. Mr. Forbes asked the commission for any discussion on this.

[Voice in background stating that he was not aware that he was supposed to sign in,., if I may?]

Mr. Forbes asked the gentleman to step up the podium.

Richard Mislan (9780 Clarmonte Drive: Um, you said something about a three lot approval. What exactly are the three lots that are being approved.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to bring up the proposed plat onto the meeting room screen.

Mr. Forbes advised that basically the two lots, those two lots are across the street from you, and one lot is north of 97th Place. [background noises] Mr. Kil will bring it up on the screen in just a second.

[It was noted that the laptop at the podium was still plugged in from the Comprehensive Plan presentation of Ms. Christine Carlyle of Solomon-Cordwell and Buenz, and will have to be un-plugged before the board’s device can display the reference agenda item plat. After unplugging the laptop the meeting room screen malfunction and would not come back down for display].

Mr. Kil showed Mr. Mislan and Ms. Anderson a hard copy at the dais, showing the location of the proposal and answered their questions directly.

Mr. Mislan – continued: Mr. Forbes, the last meeting I was here, was when they tried to change the original plat that we had on this. He wanted to get,., I don’t know, four or five extra lots. (Mr. Forbes: He did not get that). You said you were against that, and you agreed with me. The original plat, and I got the picture here, only showed one lot across from my house, and the other one was an Outlot, that was supposed to be dedicated to the Town of St. John.

[A lot of discussion in the background amongst several persons; cannot ascertain any specific information for the record].

Mr. Mislan – continued: … what is the mountain of dirt you have there. That mound of dirt that you have right across from me. What’s your intentions for that. (Doug Terpstra: To move it). How long will that be there. (Doug Terpstra: as soon as someone buys the lot). Approximately how long do you think that will take. In the meantime your gonna have four-wheelers, that have already been on it, you seen that, you seen that yourself. And it creates a lot of dust and I live across the street from it. So, your gonna leave that pile of dirt there 20’ high? Are you gonna let him keep that pile of dirt there 20’ high, across from my house?

Mr. Kil advised that he can’t keep the pile of dirt there, because he can’t build houses unless he moves it.

Mr. Mislan – continued: Well, what’s the time limit. Are you gonna keep it there for five years, ten years?

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Mislan that he cannot give him an exact day when the pile will be moved; as was stated by Mr. Terpstra.,.

Mr. Mislan – continued: In the meantime, I see you have four-wheelers already been on it. Are you gonna keep them off of it? (Mr. Kil: Am I personally going to chase them off of it?). The Town of St. John, will they keep them off of it. (Mr. Kil: Well, if you call the Police Department, I think that they can take care of that for you). And what other plans do you have on landscaping there. (Doug Terpstra: None). No landscaping at all? (Doug Terpstra: Just seeded grass). Now, are these lots, are they gonna be facing Clarmonte Drive? (Doug Terpstra: Yes). Well, I was under the impression that this was the original plat, and there was only one lot there, that’s what baffles me, I don’t know what happened, but.,. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked the commission for any final comments. [A lot of discussion in the background amongst several persons; cannot ascertain any specific information for the record].

Hearing no further comments from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Primary Plat approval for Renaissance – Unit 8, and please include the Findings of Fact by reference.

Mr. Kozel made the motion to grant Primary Subdivision approval for Renaissance – Unit 8 and referencing the Findings of Fact. With no second to the motion, motion dies.

(Unknown asking Mr. Forbes for the location of stop signs). Mr. Forbes advised that is at the discretion of the Police Chief.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for their thoughts on moving forward on this item. Mr. Williams made a motion to defer for further study of traffic impact. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays. Mr. Forbes stated that this will be on the next Study Session.

C. ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Chapter 15 Sign Regulations

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Zoning Ordinance 1483, Chapter 15, Sign Regulation Public Hearing. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Muenich if proofs of publication are in order. Mr. Muenich advised they are in order and public hearing can proceed.

Mr. Forbes noted that he is aware that the commission members were unaware that this topic was going to be on our agenda, as we did not discuss this at our study session. This comes from a request by the Town Council to rescind the Political Signage Section of our sign ordinance. The ordinance calls for the repeal of Section G.2 in its entirety.

Mr. Maciejewski commented that Section G.2 includes more than just political signs, as it includes temporary signs and banners. Is there a reason why the entire section is to be stricken and not just the lower portion. Mr. Maciejewski commented that political signs start at Item “B” through “J”; “A” deals with temporary signs and banners and I’m not sure if the intent was to strike that. Mr. Maciejewski stated his second question was if there is replacement language or are we just striking that.

Mr. Forbes advised that he had requested replacement language and I have not received such information at this time. Mr. Austgen advised he would be happy to give an explanation on the record.

Mr. Austgen advised that the Town Council directed at its May public meeting the political sign portion of this, and they didn’t say specifically political signs portion, but they directed that the political sign component of the Zoning Ordinance not be enforced, and that it be cleared from the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Austgen advised that he knows it was taken generically as a description, a direction and an action. Mr. Austgen advised that he reviewed the Section G.2 of that chapter and it is a 15-page chapter to your Zoning Ordinance, and it has a lot of regulations in it. He advised that the reason for that removal has to do with its application to the Federal and the United States Supreme Court case that came down, that has impacted a lawsuit proceeding against this Town. Mr. Austgen further advised that you have to read all of that, and you just can’t read your ordinance, you just can’t take those 15-pages and read it, you cannot just take the permitted political signs and read, you have to read the Gilbert lawsuit, the decision by the United States Supreme Court. And you have to take and understand that against what the regulations are. Political Signs are permitted, absolutely they are permitted, they are permitted just like other signs are permitted in this Town. So, the deletion of the defined section G.2, Permitted Political Signs, was to take away the, or to remove from interpretation and enforcement, a specifically described content wise, sign in this Town. As of a violation or a regulation that you are creating. In other words, all signs are to be treated nearly the same if not the same. So, we don’t treat some signs as political; and we don’t treat some as otherwise. That is what the case has talked about. So, when I reviewed this, I looked at it in that context, that totality, not just a single or simple component. And I was asked by Mike about the replacement, and its my opinion, at least at this point, still, that the remaining regulations still work, subject to probably some adjustment based upon additional information that I am receiving, and most notably from the Police Chief in the last week. Unfortunately the Police Chief is on vacation, for me unfortunately, good for him. But there is additional information that I have been researching related to some aspects of replacement or additional, but at this point, removal of this seemed appropriate, given the body of the balance of the sign regulation portion of the ordinance.

Mr. Maciejewski said he guessed he understands that for his section question, but his first question was that the first portion of G.2 Item “A”, has nothing to do with political signs.

M

r. Austgen read: “G.2 says permitted signs, permitted political signs and “A” is political sign shall not be allowed more than thirty days before.,. and that’s been removed by this ordinance, this text amendment that is proposed, its deleted”. Mr. Maciejewski asked where he was reading that, he believed he was reading something different than what he is reading.

Mr. Forbes read: “I’ve got G.2 Permitted Signs and zoning districts except for commercial and industrial. Temporary signs and banners. Temporary signs, temporary signs, as Jim says Section “A”.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he thinks he understands everything that they are saying, which is what he is reading as starting as Item “B”, and go down from there.

Mr. Austgen advised that he was just reading from what is has as the code. Mr. Austgen advised that he has additional information to obtain from the Police Chief, and he has no issues with a deferral, once you have the public hearing and access that.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or thoughts from the board. Mr. Williams asked what mechanically are we being asked to do tonight with regard to this situation. Mr. Forbes advised that the ordinance, as written, calls for the deletion of Section G.2 in its entirety.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that in the context of what Attorney Austgen stated that other provisions of the sign ordinance would govern, he just has a disagreement with Item “A”. Mr. Austgen commented that the intent was to delete the phrase “political” from the sign regulations, so that signs are treated the same from a content perspective.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he then had another question in regards to G.2 Item “F” that political signs are allowed only with the permission of the owner of the premises. Mr. Austgen advised that all signs are permitted on private property, only with the permission of the owner.

General discussion ensued as to similar language in the Zoning Ordinance where this topic was addressed.

Mr. Williams asked if they can keep Item “A”. Mr. Austgen advised that the board could make that recommendation to the Town Council.

Mr. Birlson stated that he did not receive any specific language regarding G.2. Mr. Forbes advised that there is no replacement text, and that they received only the repeal ordinance and reminded that there was no discussion on replacement language. Mr. Birlson stated that he did not receive the original language then. Mr. Kil advised that a Master Zoning Ordinance will be provided to him.

Mr. Austgen commented for record: “There is a prohibited signs section, and you’ll find in “P” signs on any property without the consent of the party having the right of present possession, is a prohibited sign. And I can only liken it to all of you at your homes. Somebody showed up in the middle of the night and dropped a sign in your yard, “for sale by owner”, whatever it says, you gave no permission for it. That is a prohibited sign. And your ordinance says that. Generically, its says that about any sign”.

Mr. Forbes stated he takes back what he said, because Item 4 under G.2 says “temporary signs are only allowed with the permission of the property owner”.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to Public Comment.

Mr. Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): In the interest of time I am gonna to make this very brief. Um, when can I put up my sign that says “Vote for Gerry Swets, Lake County Recorder”. Is there a time restriction on that. (Mr. Forbes: Apparently not any more). So I can put that anywhere in St. John. (Mr. Austgen: Where you have permission. If you go to Mr. Birlson’s house and he says “no”, or Mr. Forbes house, or mine). Okay, that’s the only question I have.

Mr. Joe Hero (11723 S. Oakridge Drive): I requested a copy of what was on the agenda today from the Clerk-Treasurer and some of these people up here. And there was a lot of confusion. I think this should be, first of all, “deferred” until you have something substantial in your hand, so you can all read to understand what is going on. Because based on the conversation, nobody seem to know what was going on. So, I think in order to make a intelligent decision, you have to have a piece of paper in front of your hand. And obviously that was not provided to you , or not available to the public. Second item is this, I would ask that when you draft the new sign ordinance, that any public official who removes a sign that’s a political sign, for any reason at all, be terminated from the Town of St. John. I ask that you put that right into the sign ordinance, as a penalty for any person who is an employee of the town, that he be terminated immediately. Any employee who illegally removes a political sign be terminated. Okay, put that right in the ordinance. Also, I would ask that you put in the ordinance, that any public official, elected public official who assists in the removal a political sign, illegally, be deemed to have resigned his office. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board. After much discussion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer to our next study session. Mr. Williams made the motion. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. BOYER COMMERCIAL CENTER – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Bruce Boyer)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Boyer Commercial Development located at the site of former Standard Lumber, request permission to advertise for public hearing for a zone change from C-2 and Industrial to C-2 PUD.

Mr. Bruce Boyer of Boyer Properties introduced himself to the board. He advised that they are here tonight regarding their proposed commercial development located on the East side of U.S. 41 and 96th. The property is currently zoned C-2, C-2 PUD and Industrial, that there are a number of separate parcels there. Mr. Boyer advised they will be seeking a new C-2 Planned Unit Development zoning, and we are here tonight simply to request permission to advertise for that zone change.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or concerns. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize Public Hearing for the Boyer Commercial Center. Mr. Volk made motion to grant approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes 0 nays.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Pod 10J – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Gates of St. John – Unit 10 J, request permission to advertise for public hearing for a zone change from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD.

Mr. Lotton stepped to the podium advising he is requesting the zone change. Mr. Forbes reminded the board that they have had extensive discussion on this item at their study session.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or concerns. Mr. Williams asked Mr. Lotton to refresh his memory on how many units they are talking about with this.

Mr. Lotton advised nineteen (19) lots, maximum two (2) units per lot for a total of thirty-eight (38) duplexes.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Motion made by Mr. Kozel to grant request to advertise public hearing. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. 9001 WEST 96th PLACE - Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Steve and Julie Salmen)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is permission to advertise for a one lot subdivision at 9001 West 96th Place from a Steve and Julie Salmen. Mr. Forbes reminded the board that there was discussion of this at the study session; they are looking to combine two (2) lots. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or thoughts from the board.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing. Motion seconded Mr. Maciejewski. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

D. McNAMARA ESTATES (10806 Ontario Street) – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Ms. Pamela McNamara)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is McNamara Estates at 10806 Ontario, requesting authorization to advertise for public hearing for a two (2) lot residential subdivision.

Mr. Kevin McNamara introduced himself to the board, and advised his property is on the corner of 108th and Ontario, and they are requesting permission to advertise. Is was noted that they are evenly dividing the one lot into two (2) fairly substantial lots. Each lot will be approximately .6 acres.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Mr. Williams wanted to know which building was facing where, because he thought there was some questions at the study session in that regard. Mr. Kil advised that the new lot would face 108th, since it is not even close to Ontario, so the new lot would have an address on 108th.

Mr. McNamara advised the plat will clearly show that distinction. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize public hearing. Motion made by Mr. Kozel. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

E. ROSE GARDEN – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Rose Garden, request permission to advertise for public hearing for re-subdivision of two (2) lots into a single lot.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. Mr. Rettig advised that he got ahead of himself and advertised for public hearing tonight. Mr. Rettig advised that they placed the notice in the newspaper and send out the green cards. Mr. Rettig advised that it is a simple two (2) lot re-subdivision, combining two lots into one lot, and he has drawings available. Those drawings were presented a few weeks ago. Mr. Rettig knows he needs permission to advertise; however there are some residents here and asked if they could do the public hearing as well.

Mr. Williams asked if today’s date was on the advertising. Mr. Muenich advised that it is, and that the proofs of publication and the green cards are in order. Mr. Rettig apologized for getting ahead of himself on the procedure.

Mr. Muenich advised Mr. Forbes that his options are, (1) you can waive your rules, requiring permission from the board to advertise in the first instance, to allow him to go ahead and hold a public hearing tonight, it has been advertised, it has been published so you would not be breaking anything within the framework of the statutory ordinance, you would only be waiving your own rule that normally people appear before you to request permission to get to that stage in the first place.

Mr. Muenich further stated that he does not know if this was reviewed at a Study Session. Several board members advised that it was. Mr. Muenich advised the second option is that you can go ahead and hold the public hearing, and defer ruling on it, until the next meeting that stays within the guise of the advertising as an expos-facto. Mr. Muenich advised the third option would be to defer the whole matter, including remonstrance(s) and the public hearing to the next regular meeting.

Mr. Kozel asked if there was anyone here (to the audience) to speak on this matter? Hearing none, Mr. Williams made a recommendation to defer this matter to the next regular meeting. Mr. Muenich advised that the question becomes, does he have to re-advertise or are you going to accept this advertising, that conforms with the statute in your rules.

Mr. Williams clarified that his recommendation is for the petitioner to re-advertise for the public plan commission meeting, which would be early August. General discussion ensued with the board members on the recommendation. Mr. Williams asked Mr. Rettig what is the cost factor. Mr. Rettig advised it is approximately $400.00 - $500.00. Mr. Muenich counted that there were seventeen (17) green cards sent.

Mr. Kil stated to address Mr. William’s concern, he recommended that they open the floor, have the public hearing, and defer everything to the date of when the public hearing would be anyway. That would allow him to not re-advertise, but also kind of follow procedure, if you will.

Mr. Rettig stated that is what he was hoping for, although he said it was his mistake. Discussion ensued with the board members who agreed to continue as suggested.

Mr. Forbes commented that for edification, you are combining two (2) R-2 lots, into one (1) R-2 lot. Mr. Rettig advised it is just to allow to build a larger home on two (2) lots.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to waive the rules requiring the approval to advertise the public hearing. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Maciejewski. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions before opening the floor to public comment. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes open the floor. With no one stepping forward to speak on Rose Garden, Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought it back to the board. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer. Motion made by Mr. Williams, Motion carried by Mr. Maciejewski. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays. Mr. Rettig was advised that this will appear on the August regular meeting for continued public hearing.

F. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – Site Plan Approval for Concession Stand (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item was the Lake Central School Corporation, site plan approval for construction of concession stand.

Mr. Bill Ledyard and Dr. Larry Veracco approached the podium and introduced themselves to the board. They advised they are here to present the site plan that was brought to the last study session, and since that study session, Mr. Kraus has gotten back to myself and Schmitt & Associates with some questions and comments. They concerned site grading and details would adhere to the 2012 High School plan. We have confirmed the water size and we added a handicapped ramp per Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Kraus advised that he spoke to Mr. Derwin Neitzel of the Public Works Department, concerning the sewer and water service line to be extended to this facility.

With no questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding site plan approval for Lake Central School Corporation. Mr. Gill made motion to grant site plan approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

G. HEARTLAND PARK – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes announced the next agenda item is Heartland Park for Final Plat approval.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself, advised he is here to request Final Plat approval for the First Re-Subdivision of Heartland Park. He advised he has hard copies of the plan available for the board members. Mr., Rettig advised they have been working on this for several months. This involves the St. John Ice Arena, and they will be subdividing what is now known as Heartland Park, which is a two-lot subdivision, and re-subdividing it into a two-lot subdivision with a different configuration.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Kil if a decision was made on the dog kennels on the side of the shelter building. Mr. Kil advised that he is still working on that matter with Animal Control. Mr. Kil advised that there is only a couple of them and they will work.

Mr. Forbes called upon Mr. Kraus for comment. Mr. Kraus advised he sent a letter this afternoon. He reviewed the plat and everything on the plat is fine; they had to put the FEMA information on there that was lacking, and I had some confusion over the notaries’ certificate since there are two different owners; however, that was cleared up. Mr. Kraus further advised that the Developmental Fee has not been calculated as they have not received the cost of the public infrastructure, but once that has been submitted they will calculate the 2%. That will have to be paid before the mylars are signed. This will also be done once we know if a letter of credit is going to be submitted.

Mr. Forbed asked for any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion; advising that any motion should include the withholding of signatures until the Developmental Fee and Letter of Credit are established, and posted, and please reference the Findings of Fact into your motion.

Mr. Maciejewski made a motion to approve Final Plat approval for Heartland Park with the contingency that final signatures be withheld until determination and payment of developmental fee and letter of credit and referencing the findings of fact. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

H. KILKENNY HIGHLANDS – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies, re-introduced himself to the board for the record, representing Andy James of Homes Lake Development, who is the developer of Kilkenny Highlands.

Mr. Rettig stated that once again this is a project that has been before you for several months; it is a twelve-lot subdivision. This is right next to Kilkenny Estates – Unit 4 Block 1, that Mr. James developed about a year ago, and it is an extension of that.

Mr. Rettig advised they are here to request Final Plat approval; 97% of the infrastructure is in place. Mr. James brought a check for the outstanding items for the Letter of Credit that we worked out with Mr. Kraus. Two of those items were the asphalt surface; the binder course and the surface. The binder went down yesterday, however due to rain today they could not put the surface down.

Mr. Rettig advised that they do have the mylars here tonight and we have an interested party who wants to build a house, so we are trying to get this final approval done and over with so we can record our plat and get on with the construction of homes. Again, all the sewers in the ground, curbs are in, binder’s down, and hopefully finish asphalt tomorrow.

Mr. Rettig advised that the other thing that they spoke about before; is changing the street name in the previous unit. It was platted in Unit 4 – Block 1, the little curved street was platted as Columbia Street, when in fact the street to the North is called Columbia Avenue. The new portion, the name desired is Declan Court. Therefore, we have prepared a certificate of amendment that addresses whose street name changes. We will not record this until everyone is okay with it. This changes the addresses of three lots in the existing Unit 4.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig for the hard copy to scan and get sent out. Mr. Birlson asked what lots are changed. Mr. Rettig advised Lots 12, 14 and 15, call in Unit 4 – Block 1. There are no completed homes on the lots. Mr. Kil advised this is what we have been working on; our I.T. Director Jason Dravet, and Mr. Rettig. It is only a change in the addresses. Mr. Kil advised that if the board is inclined, you can vote on it tonight, because it does not change a plat, it just changes numbers.

Mr. Muenich commented that he reviewed this on another matter the other day, and there is a statute I.C. 36-74-405 that governs the numbering of lots and the naming of the streets. The Plan Commission has the authority to add street numbers to lots and to structures; however, the Executives names or renames streets, if there is an ordinance, and to my knowledge, there is not one. The Plan Commission recommends the naming or renaming of streets to the Town Council. Absent that ordinance, the Executive, who would be the Town Council President, as I read the statute, has the authority to name and rename the streets under Sub-Section C. Mr. Forbes clarified that the Columbia Street portion of this issue would have to be re-platted in order to rename a 50’-60’ stretch of road. Mr. Forbes suggested that the plan commission make a recommendation to the Town Council to rename street to simplify the matter.

Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Kraus recommended the Letter of Credit in the amount of $51,330.00, but that was before you knew the asphalt was down on the road. So, the check submitted is for $29,825.00; Mr. Kraus concurred with the amount. So, Mr. Forbes commented that he has in his hands both the Developmental Fee and the Letter of Credit in that aforementioned amount.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is a motion regarding Final Plat approval for Kilkenny Highlands. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant approval. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised he would entertain a motion regarding the sending of a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $29,825.00 for the Kilkenny Highlands. Mr. Kozel made motion to send favorable recommendation to the Town Council. Motion seconded by Mr. Maciejewski. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes lastly entertained a motion regarding sending a recommendation to the Town Council, regarding the renaming of Columbia Street to Columbia Avenue, and a portion to be named Declan Court, for that portion lying South of James Lane.

After clarification on the changes to be made, Mr. Forbes asked if there is a motion on that recommendation. Mr. Maciejewski made the motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the aforementioned changes of addresses. Motion seconded Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays

Mr. Muenich advised Mr. Rettig that he would send him a note on how to change the certificate of amendment to tie it into the statute for the action at the Town Council.

I. PROVIDENCE BANK – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Phil Mulder)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Providence Bank for Final Plat approval.

Mr. Phil Mulder with Lagestee-Mulder introduced himself to the board, advising they are seeking Final Plat approval for Providence Bank at the southwest corner of Calumet Avenue and 101st. Mr. Mulder advised that he has brought four (4) copies of the mylar, and he has the checks that were requested.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he sent a letter on this project. Mr. Kraus advised they have reviewed the Secondary Plat for the Providence Project and had the following comments. The subdivision project includes one (1) R-1 Residential lot of 20.94 acres and one (1) C-2 Commercial lot of 1.38 acres. We have reviewed the plat and find it to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $3,114.59. Not all public improvements have been installed, therefore a Letter of Credit in the amount $171,302.45 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $202,448.35 to cover the cost of construction of these public improvements.

Mr. Mulder advised that he has a Cashier’s check. Mr. Kraus advised that the Surety Bond is 20% higher is due to the difficulties in cashing them. Mr. Forbes placed the checks into the file.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions on Final Plat. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat Approval on Providence Bank. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval, and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council regarding the Letter of Credit in the amount of $171,302.75. Mr. Kozel made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the Letter of Credit submitted. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

J. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Pod 6C - Final Plat Approval (Mr. Bill Robinson)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Gates of St. John – Unit 6 C, Final Plat approval.

Mr. Bill Robinson advised that they are requesting Final Plat approval for the Gates of St. John – Unit 6 C. Mr. Robinson submitted the Developmental Fee and advised that they are in the process of getting the Surety Bond. Mr. Robinson advised that he has spoken with Mr. Kraus about the amounts needed, and he should be getting that by next week.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Robinson to provide a Letter of Credit, instead of the Surety Bond.

Mr. Forbes noted that this is Unit 6C, these are single-family homes, but they are on larger lots. Mr. Robinson advised that there is nine (9) lots, and then you divide up the lot depending upon the size of the homes. Mr. Robinson reminded that was what was approved originally with discussion with Mr. Lotton.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for any questions or comments. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if there was anything other than the need for the Letter of Credit. Mr. Kraus said his letter only stated that it covers nine (9) multi-family lots and associated facilities and that the plat was satisfactory.

Mr. Kil asked if we have the mylar(s), we will hold these, and sign them once the Letter of Credit is submitted. Mr. Forbes noted that he has the Developmental Fee check in the amount of $7,529.00.

Mr. Forbes asked for any thoughts or questions from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the Gates of St. John – Unit 6C, if there is a motion to approve please reference the Findings of Fact and withhold signatures until the Letter of Credit is received into the motion.

Mr. Kozel made motion to grant Final Plat approval for the Gates of St. John – Unit 6C, referencing the Findings of Fact and withholding signatures until we received the Letter of Credit. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes 0 nays.

K. ZAGORIC ADDITION (10955 Thielen Street) – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Mirko Zagorac)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Zagoric Addition, 10955 Thielen Street, request for public hearing for changing a three-lot subdivision into a two-lot subdivision.

Mr. Mirko Zagoric advised that he has a young couple that is very highly interested, and they want to put a little house there. Mr. Zagoric stated that when he was discussing with Mr. Kil, he was asking for only a 45’ front, and he came down to what the city requires 78’, and I just now need permission to advertise.

Mr. Forbes asked for questions or comments from the board. Mr. Kozel asked if that area was zoned R-1. Mr. Kil advised that area is all legal-nonconforming, this is Keilman’s First Addition from way back. Mr. Muenich stated that he thought it was in 1910. Mr. Kil noted that it’s at least older than Mr. Muenich [laughter]. Mr. Kil advised that entire area does not conform to any ordinances that we have.

Mr. Forbes asked if the board had any other questions, otherwise he entertained a motion to authorize permission to advertise for public hearing. Motion made by Mr. Kozel. Motion seconded by Mr. Birtlson. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to add to my remonstrance on the Comprehensive Plan, by saying this; I believe that hearing was illegal and my public comment is simply this.

Mr. Forbes asked for a moment as Mr. Muenich wished to address the Chairman. Mr. Muenich advised, just so we’re clear, he can make any comment he wants, under Section 6 of your agenda, he may not amend or modify the remonstrance which was previously filed when the Public hearing closed. He can say anything he wants to say, but he’s not amending his remonstrance and the record should be clear on that.

Joe Hero (continued): We thank Mr. Muenich for your opinion. I would still like to say this; that what was not available to us, was your approval of Item 5A, when you had the public hearing. You allowed Mr. Boyer to advertise for a zoning change for an area that is in the Comprehensive Plan. So I would like the minutes of this thing to reflect my opinion still that the meeting was fraudulent and that this has already been predisposed, and that the public hearing is meaningless. So, I would like the minutes to reflect that, because I was not, did not have that knowledge during that comment period. But now I have that knowledge, after you’ve approved him advertising for a zoning change. And I believe somebody wouldn’t advertise for a zoning change, spend the money, unless this commission has been predisposed to go through with the Master Plan, which fits his development. That’s just my public comment and I would like that incorporated into the minutes as my objection to Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Because of the hour I am going to try and make this as brief as possible. But I just want to follow-up to see if there has been any further discussion on the percent guideline concerning multi-family housing units. I think each unit should be counted as an individual dwelling. If there are two utilities and two families living there with two sets of cars, and fire and police protection, two garbage bills, utility bills, I think it should be counted for two residences as it relates to the eight percent rule. Like a single-family dwelling should count for one. A duplex should count for two. And if you have a quad or three, they should count for three. And I was just wondering if you have had any further discussion on that. And then lastly, um, the point that I was trying to make earlier is the State Statute that Mr. Birlson was quoted earlier, about excusing himself from the.,. the law does not apply in that case to a Comprehensive Plan, and I don’t think he got quite that far on the list of the statute, but the statute is very clear that he does not have to recuse himself for the reason of a Comprehensive Plan. Thank you.

Mr. Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia): Regarding the Kilkenny, and specifically the part that kinda wasn’t on the agenda, um, I have no issue with Kilkenny Highlands as it sits. The street name, and actually, um, I caught Mr. James in the hallway, and I pointed out something that they didn’t realize. I’m think it’s going to cause some GPS confusion possibly? I’d like it if you could possibly check into that, cause what I’m afraid of is once that street name’s aligned with the street it’s not connected to, the computer world might think it’s connected, and it will start bringing people through the subdivision thinking it goes up to 81st where it does not. I prefer that street name to be something other than Columbia Avenue, preferably one of the other two street names that exists there, just to prevent that kind of driver confusion, or worse yet, like I said Google will bring everybody through the same, cause it says Columbia,., wow, Columbia, yup it goes through, and people will come there, turn around and come back out, so that was my public comment on that so.

Mr. Forbes stated that he appreciates your thought on that, but I think that it is such a short gap that the computers’ probably going to override it anyways, and it doesn’t matter what the name is, it’s gonna show those streets connected.

Mr. Paul Panczuk (continued): I’m wondering if, I guess the GIS guy is the one that made the recommended change, so if he’s the expert, can he review it. [Mr. Forbes: He was just reviewing the name of the street. Not from a connection standpoint, not from a technology standpoint].

Mr. Kil advised that he would have to ask Mr. Dravet about that.

Mr. Paul Panczuk (continued): On a totally different subject. I would like to just second what Gerry just said. I am the one who brought out that issue with the multi-family counting. And that needs to be changed, cause right now, the.,. it is definitely unfair way of counting housing, and if you’re gonna put a percentage on it, um, I will reiterate what the majority of residents stated at the Comprehensive Plan meeting is, they,., there was nobody up there saying they want more multi-family, so um,., if we’re gonna put a percentage on it, let’s count it properly. I think we need to count each family household residence, every electric meter, water meter; look at it like that cause that is a fair and just way to do so. Otherwise we’re gonna artificially count that, we’re gonna have more multi-family than eight percent. You know, its gotta be looked at as households. Thank you very much.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes advised this meeting is adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

07-20-2016 Plan Commission

July 20, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim Maciejewski   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on July 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jim Maciejewski, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson and Jason Williams. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil, Michael Muenich.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. RENAISSANCE – Unit 8 – Primary Plat Review and Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Renaissance – Unit 8, we held the Primary Plat Public Hearing on this and the matter was deferred with no action, and we are bringing it back for discussion. It is a three-lot subdivision, and is the final addition to the Renaissance subdivision on the North side of Joliet Street. Unit 8 is lot 498, 499 and 500.

Mr. Volk stated that the concern at the last meeting was how Parrish Avenue will tie into an intersection. Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil to confirm that was in the original agreement for Renaissance in 2005. Mr. Kil advised that even before Parrish Avenue was relocated as part of The Gates of St. John project; Clarmonte Drive and Parrish Avenue were “off-set”, they did not line up. The entire point was to get rid of the “off-setting” intersections that were causing problems, and take them and bring to a logical location and create perhaps in the future a four-way intersection. Mr. Kil further stated that whether the streets align or not, both are connected to Joliet Street. Mr. Kil advised that this makes more sense in order to have a four-way intersection.

Mr. Kozel commented that it would mean a lot less hazard. Mr. Kil advised that it was planned probably for twelve years now.

Mr. Williams stated his memory was a little rusty on some of the concerns brought by the person speaking at the public hearing, somebody saying it would be used as a through street. Mr. Forbes advised that Clarmonte is actually a thoroughfare through the Clarmonte Ridge subdivision, its wider and was designed as such; the mainstay is to align Parrish Avenue.

No matter where you put this street; Clarmonte Ridge is still going to be the thoroughfare, it is just now you would have to take a little jog to get there. Mr. Williams asked if that was from 97th and then to Parrish? Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that it is a straight shot now, and with Unit 8 it would make those having to go to 97th and then to Clarmonte, so that you are losing three hundred feet of momentum, slowing traffic from Joliet and 97th.

Mr. Williams stated he was trying to resolve a comment at the public hearing concerning that traffic would be forced through the subdivision; and make sure we have a good resolve for that. Mr. Forbes reiterated that the traffic is there now and is supposed to be there.

Mr. Gill and Mr. Kozel commented that the change would allow people to go in different directions, thereby alleviating some of the traffic from Clarmonte Drive.

Discussion ensued as to the original location of Parrish Avenue, the curve in the road and the connection that was off-set of Clarmonte Drive. The new plan helps not only with alignment, but also the “line-of-sight” aspects to make that location safer.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Maciejewski that he has not had the chance to discuss a stop sign with the Chief of Police yet for that location, so that information is still pending.

Mr. Forbes asked for any comments or thoughts from the board. Hearing none, this item will be placed on the agenda for the August 3, 2016 meeting.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 10 J – Rezoning Request and Confirmation of Public Hearing (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised next item is Gates of St. John – Unit 10 J; we have approved the request for their public hearing of the rezoning from R-2 to R-3. Mr. Forbes advised the public hearing is scheduled for August 3, 2016.

Mr. Kil advised the information he was sent on this topic was sent out electronically to all the board members.

Mr. Forbes commented that where it is zoned R-2 that is where you built this past year’s Parade of Homes. Mr. Lotton confirmed that was the location.

Mr. Lotton advised the property to the South is zoned for two- threes and fours, and to the West is R-3, all duplexes. Mr. Forbes asked if then when you go farther South you have the Day Care Center and the commercial district. Mr. Lotton advised that is correct.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Lotton if the duplexes being proposed are of the same decoration as they have seen in the area. Mr. Lotton advised that it is the same units that are going up currently in Unit 10 I; which is all brick and stone units.

C. 9001 WEST 96th PLACE – One Lot Subdivision / Site Plan Review / Continuation of Public hearing (Steve and Julie Salmen)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 9001 West 96th Place, this is a re-subdivision and site plan review, making two-lots into a one-lot subdivision. This will be a public hearing on August 3, 2016.

Mr. Gill and Mr. Kozel noted the location of the property in the Renaissance subdivision for the other board members. Mr. Gill reminded them this was for a shed to place on the property, where a community garden has been implemented. Since there is no primary building on the second lot, you cannot place an accessory structure, so they are making the two lots into one for the purpose of the shed.

With no further questions from the board, the next agenda item was brought up.

D. McNAMARA ESTATES (10806 Ontario Avenue) – Two Lot Subdivision – Confirmation of Public Hearing (Ms. Pamala NcNamara)

Mr. Forbes advised that McNamara Estates at 10806 Ontario Avenue, review request of re-subdivision of a single lot into a two-lot subdivision. Mr. Kil advised this is behind Dick’s Restaurant and there is a lot of property back there.

Mr. Forbes remembers that the one will face Ontario Avenue, while the other lot will face 108th.

Mr. Williams asked if there was a decision on some of the outlot buildings near the proposed property line; does that violate any town ordinances. Mr. Kil advised that he was going to move the lot line so that all his shed and accessory structures were on the proper lot, confirming that there is no conflict.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was an exhibit to show. Mr. Kil advised that he does not have that yet from the engineer; but obviously, that will be available before the August meeting. Mr. Kil advised he would try to get a plan ahead of time to send to Mr. Maciejewski.

Mr. Forbes noted that he did have the initial drawings; but it was left as that he would finalize where the line was going to be placed. Mr. Kil advised there will have to be a drawn plat as the next meeting is their public hearing and primary plat approval.

No further questions or comments from the board members.

E. ROSE GARDEN – One Lot Subdivision / Confirmation of Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised next item is Rose Garden, re-subdivision of two-lots to a single lot.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the commission. Mr. Rettig advised that they presented this a couple of weeks ago, and we started our public hearing. The public hearing is being continued at the next meeting on August 3, 2016.

Mr. Rettig reminded that they are combining Lot 6 and Lot 7 in Rose Garden into one lot. Mr. Rettig included an additional page, which is a preliminary site plan as to where the house will sit on the property. Mr. Rettig advised it is a large house, and Rose Garden subdivision is platted with a 30’ building line, and the developer and homeowner are hoping you would consider changing this building line to 25’ (directing their attention to handout materials).

Mr. Rettig advised that they are hoping to save some trees in the back yard; noting that in the handouts there is an aerial showing the trees, so they are asking if it is not too late to change that one line to 25’, and the only thing that is going to matter in this instance is that little corner of the garage. Mr. Rettig reminded the board that the zoning ordinance states the R-2 building line is a floating building line; and noted the section regarding wildlife areas or trees whereas it can be no larger than 40’ and no less than 25’. Mr. Rettig therefore is also asking for the one building line of 25’ to be considered, on behalf of the developer and homeowner. Mr. Rettig advised that the final drawings will be modified in accordance to the recommendations that he receives from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes advised that we have done this quite often; such as the Lake Hills Development, as it adds character to the subdivision so each house is not lined up right against the next one. Mr. Volk noted that the point of the garage sticks out far from the remainder of the house. Mr. Rettig advised that since it was not what he presented a few weeks ago that he wanted the feedback from the planners before the next regular meeting.

Mr. Volk asked about any wetland issues in the back of the lots. Mr. Rettig advised the wetland area that was on the property was mitigated, and there is a conservation easement is still behind there; however, they will not be impacted.

General discussion ensued regarding this development and the topography. Mr. Rettig advised he will have the new plat of the subdivision ready for the August 3, 2016 meeting, if the consensus of the planners is okay with the waiving to the 25’ building line.

Mr. Williams asked if that would be a separate approval step, one being for the re-subdivision and the second being for the 25’ building line. Mr. Kil advised that it would be covered under the re-subdivision of the property, and will be done all on one Primary Plat.

Mr. Williams asked if this was the one that was advertised for the last meeting and continued. Mr. Rettig advised that it was.

With no objection mentioned by the board members, Mr. Rettig advised that he would make the plat change and be at the August 3, 2016 meeting.

F. BILL DISANTO (Estates of Wellington Lots 6 & 7) – One Lot Subdivision / Confirmation of Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Bill DiSanto, re-subdivision request of two-lots into one lot in the Estates of Wellington; this will be Lot 6 and Lot 7.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies advised that this is a very similar situation in Wellington. The gentleman that he spoke to a couple of days ago is purchasing both Lot 6 and Lot 7; and wanting to re-subdivide into one large lot. This is exactly as with the Rose Garden request, and he will be coming back on August 3, 2016 to request permission to advertise for public hearing.

Mr. Rettig advised that the only real issue with this subdivision is that there are platted utility easements between the two lots. Some installations were different as the transformers are installed in the front, and there are no rear easements for transformers, so they come along the street and they push them back along near the building line.

Mr. Rettig advised they need to check with Nipsco to make sure they can pull that transformer forward about 30’-40’; whatever it takes. This would probably be by moving the easement, as has been done before on an earlier development, and bring it to the building line.

Mr. Rettig and the board members discussed that this project just became known a few days ago, so it is very much preliminary.

There were no further comments or questions from the board members.

G. GREYSTONE – Unit 1/Block 1 – Final Plat Review (CWS Holdings)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Greystone Subdivision.

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development, introduced himself to the board members, advised he is representing CWS Holdings who is the developer of Greystone. Mr. Slager advised that they received their Primary Approval earlier this year, and will be coming back at the August 3, 2016 requesting Final Plat approval for what they are calling Unit One – Block One.

Mr. Slager advised that this is a small section of Unit One that was approved earlier this year. Basically this is the final plat that will consist of a small section of Calumet Avenue, Greystone Drive, which goes through Calumet Avenue; all the way through to the Saddle Creek Subdivision.

Mr. Slager advised that the large triangular Outlot “C”, which is a retention pond; then you have eight (8) lots that are on Red Rock Place, which are duplex lots. Further, there are four (4) lots on White Sand Lane, which are cottage home lots. This will be the extent of the first phase, which will consist a total of twenty-five (25) units.

Mr. Slager advised that the one issue that came up is when having conversations with Mr. Kil, is when Saddle Creek was platted, it left a little stub street, which was nice because they were able to tie into that; it is only 150’ in length; however when they platted that street it was named Dakota.

There are no homes that face Dakota and there are no addresses assigned to Dakota, so we would like to change the name of the 150’ of Dakota to Greystone Drive. Mr. Slager advised that actually they do not have any addresses fronting on Greystone Drive either, however, we will once Greystone Drive continues across from Calumet Avenue. It was recommended that a certificate of amendment; which we have prepared and that will actually go to the Town Council for action.

Mr. Slager advised that improvements are being installed currently. They are dedicating 45’ for our half of Calumet Avenue; there will be another 45’ on the West side of Calumet Avenue in the future of the development.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Outlot “C” is in this phase, they are discussing. Mr. Slager advised that it is; and it is a detention pond for more than just these twenty-five (25) units, as it will accommodate this entire section as they are developed.

Mr. Kraus inquired if all the infrastructure would be installed or are they going to need a Letter of Credit. Mr. Slager advised that by August they should have all the improvements completed; they are putting in the curbs next week, and the asphalt will follow after that.

At this time, there were no further questions or comments from the board members.

H. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – New Salt Storage and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is for Lake Central School Corporation for a new Salt Storage and Maintenance Facility.

Mr. Bill Ledyard, Director of Construction for Lake Central School Corporation introduced himself and Mr. Liming Zhang, Engineer, Schmidt Associates to the board members advising that they have a very old maintenance building off of the Southwest corner (directing their attention to meeting room screen).

Mr. Ledyard advised that they wanted to build a 20’ x 20’ Salt Barn on the West of that building, for the salt storage in preparation of winter. Then, on the South side of the existing maintenance building; we would like to build about a 4,760 square foot New Maintenance Building. Once the new facility is completed, then they will tear down the old building. Mr. Ledyard advised they have a very tight radius point for their bus drivers, so that will help out there, and it’s not the most sightly area here as well. With the new facility, it will allow all of the vehicles to be inside, so there will be a lot less outside storage of the vehicles.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they will be seeking three (3) waivers for this project. They do not have eight (8) exterior corners, these are just secondary support buildings, so they do not have that feature. They would also like metal siding to help defer some costs on both the buildings, and because of that they will not be having three exterior building materials as well.

Mr. Zhang the Project Engineer noted different points of interest on the meeting room screen in general discussion (away from microphone).

Talking to Mr. Kraus about additional stone at the outlet of the detention basin.

Mr. Kozel asked if any of that would flow to the wetlands behind this location. It is far enough away that it will flow to a Southeast direction, far away from the site.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the pitch point was going to be landscaped. Mr. Ledyard directed their attention to the large amount of pavement. General discussion ensued as to the amount of square footage they will be gaining by the new facility. Mr. Ledyard advised that the notations that he is looking at are foot-prints of the project and not landscaping.

Mr. Forbes advised that he has a letter from the Town Attorney in which he states that this parcel is actually a “meet and bounds property”, so you are going to have to subdivide it. Mr. Ledyard advised that Mr. Kil had e-mailed that information to them this afternoon that we “might” have to do that. Mr. Forbes clarified that “you will have to do that”, if you want to build on it. Mr. Forbes stated that it has to be platted.

Mr. Ledyard stated that they did that with the high school property, and the reason they hesitated on this property, even at the last time we were here, on some of the drawings it still showed the potential for along that track, that property being useful for something else. So, if I understand what you are saying, we would have to combine it into.

Mr. Kil corrected Mr. Ledyard in that for the transportation building you can draw your lines where you need to, and you can make two or three lots; just need to subdivide so all your buildings are on a single lot. Then the other buildings could be on one big lot also. He also advised that the one parcel of property should be subdivided so that if they ever want to sell the lot, it would be a subdivided lot of Lake Central Addition.

Mr. Ledyard advised if there were any problems or concerns with the other matters that they were requesting, as we have never seen a brick and stone salt barn. Mr. Kil discussed that it would be a miniature version of the municipal salt facility.

Mr. Ledyard pointing out that they are looking to improve the appearance of the south side of the facility; and the west side also, with some landscaping and screening.

Mr. Kil advised he would work with them to get to the correct board for the items they are requesting; reminding that they are in the U.S. 41 Overlay.

Mr. Forbes inquired how much property does the School Corporation own in that area. Mr. Ledyard showed them the area on the meeting room screen, pointing further to a small portion that is owned by a private party.

General discussion ensued as to the various parcels owned by Lake Central School Corporation. Five (5) acres at the very South is owned by the Town of St. John, and another parcel approximately 1.5 acres is owned privately. It was also pointed out on the northern side toward the railroad tracks is where the wetlands that they were referencing earlier are located.

Mr. Maciejewski inquired about the elevation from U.S. 41 to the building grade. Mr. Ledyard and Mr. Zhang directed his attention to a very large swale.

Mr. Williams asked about the very large fence around the buildings now, and most of the buildings cannot be seen from U.S. 41. Mr. Ledyard advised it is a 6’ chain-link fence with beige slats, and that everything is pretty much hidden back there.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions from the board members. Mr. Kil advised they will be back for another Study Session. Mr. Ledyard advised some of their concerns regarding the waivers or variances that they will need to receive, if they do not get a positive response then they would not proceed with all the engineering work. Mr. Forbes advised that he does not see an issue with the waivers.

Mr. Kil advised that he would be talking to Mr. Ledyard about a timeline.

I. BOYER COMMERCIAL CENTER (formerly Standard Lumber) – Review of Zone Change and Confirmation of Public Hearing (Mr. Bruce Boyer)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Boyer Commercial Center. Mr. Forbes advised that we have a Public Hearing on August 3, 2016, and noted that Mr. Boyer was here for the earlier presentation.

Mr. Forbes advised that this was just an agenda item and asked the board members for thoughts or concerns.

Mr. Volk stated that it has been discussed, and he thought they were all in agreement on it. Mr. Williams asked if there was any further thought of having the frontage road go further north, or are we leaving any accessibility for that.

Mr. Forbes stated that yes, there is consideration for an extension that will connect to Joliet Street and asked it that was what Mr. Williams was asking about.

Mr. Birlson and Mr. Williams advised they were asking about Earl Drive as it “tees into” the development.

Mr. Kil placed a diagram on the meeting room screen to show the traffic flow through the proposed development. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Williams that where he wants the frontage road to extend that there is a proposed building.

Mr. Kil directed their attention to the aerial view to the North, where St. John Pool Center is located is where it would end, and they are not interested. Mr. Forbes advised that there is potential with the 1.68 acres for traffic to go around that side of the buildings. Mr. Williams asked if that dedicated area would link up to Joliet Street. Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was dedicated easement to the East for all the commercial existing to connect.

General discussion ensued on the traffic flow of the development. Mr. Kil reminded the board members that this would not be before the Plan Commission for months yet. During the subdivision process is where the they would plat all the easements and everything; however, it’s nice to bring it up so you are aware of the process going on. Mr. Kil pointed out the existing properties and named their owners, and advised that Mr. Boyer did approach the Pool Center; however, they wanted to sell the business and not just the property.

Mr. Kil pointed out the location of Al’s Body Shop, that just South of there is the new Eenigenburg Water and the Earl Drive frontage road is actually stubbed right where that road would connect into, and that would take you all the way down to Alsip Nursery.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil if he has made contact with McDonald’s to pave their portion of the access road. Mr. Kil advised that he has yet to hear from the corporate office as yet.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the West side of U.S. 41 has been studied at 96th in order to study the impact on that frontage road and how that will tie in there. Mr. Kil advised that he does not have any information for the members right now, which will be part of the subdivision process. This right now just gives you an idea of what the intersection would look like. This is not the geometry, and this is not the approved plans, this is just a concept plan right now.

Mr. Kil advised he does not know what the traffic engineer is going to propose, and asked Mr. Kraus if he has a feel for that. Mr. Kraus advised that he has not had any discussion about that with Mr. Denny Cobb (First Group Engineering) about designing that intersection.

Mr. Kil felt that Mr. Cobb may eliminate that problem by having a raised center median at 96th. That would mean that if you are coming across the road from East to West, you can either keep going straight down 96th, or turn up there. But if you coming out of that road, that is going to force your movement to the West to get you out of the intersection. Again, he stated he is waiting for what the traffic engineer proposes on that.

Mr. Forbes asked for any more questions or comments from the board members.

J. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN / THOROUGHFARE PLAN – Review in General (Ms. Christine Carlyle)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the Comprehensive – Thoroughfare Master Plan. Mr. Forbes advised that he reached out to the President of the Economic Development Commission, and through our discussion, there is interest in a Joint Study Session of the Plan Commission and the Economic Development Commission.

Mr. Forbes asked the members if they would be okay with deferring our discussion tonight and having a group discussion with the EDC and possibly getting the consultant here to go over where the plan came from, what their thoughts were as they were going through the process.

When asked, Mr. Forbes advised that this would be a separate meeting with just that one topic. Mr. Kil advised that he would reach out to Mr. Nick Georgiou who is the chairman of the EDC and ask him to poll the members for some dates and try to coordinate with the planners as well.

The board members agreed to defer the topic from the agenda tonight.

K. ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Chapter 15 Sign Regulations

Mr. Forbes advised we can move on to the next item which is the Zoning Ordinance No. 1483, Chapter 15 – Sign Regulations, repeal of political signs. Mr. Forbes advised that we had quite a bit of confusion on the zoning ordinance, and he believes that we all have fresh copies distributed to the members.

Mr. Williams asked if this was a request for a complete repeal of “G.2”. Mr. Forbes advised that is his understanding. Mr. Maciejewski said he thought the discussion was of the restriction here; if every one of these are covered, in another fashion elsewhere in the ordinance. Mr. Forbes stated that the intent of this in several sections is to keep the Town orderly. One of the things that was in the ordinance is that you have to have permission of the homeowner. It also gives some options for removal, and it is not about restricting political discussion or freedom of speech, it is solely to keep the Town clean and orderly.

Mr. Forbes continued that because they are called political signs, it was deemed unconstitutional, and that is the only reason.

Mr. Volk stated he feels that is covered by another section of the ordinance, however, we would have to go through each section and make sure it is included elsewhere.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like it to be made absolutely clear; is that the permission of the homeowner is required.

There are so many people that wake up one morning and find a political sign tucked behind their evergreen bush, and they won’t move it because they are afraid to move it. Mr. Forbes said that he had first-hand experience with that and the complaints that come from it.

Mr. Forbes stated that the homeowners need to be aware that they have the power and that authority is very important.

Mr. Forbes advised that now that they all have the new manual they can go through it within the next two weeks before their next meeting. Mr. Kil advised that he reads the sign ordinance daily, and there is not a sign that comes in that is not covered by a section of this.

Mr. Williams asked if there was a way to phrase the sign ordinance to remove the “unconstitutionality”, if there is such a word, in order to re-phrase to personal message or some such thing. Mr. Kil indicated that to draft that kind of language, his understanding, would take quite some time to make sure it is done correctly. Mr. Kil stated that the thought process was to eliminate section “G”, the political sign part, the rest of the ordinance covers all the other signs, and that will give us time to actually think about it, and determine what may make sense.

Mr. Williams stated that there are sections of “G.2” that make a lot of sense, and I am not necessarily aligned to having to completely repeal. Mr. Kil suggested that Mr. Williams read the entire Chapter 15 in order to find where it is covered elsewhere.

Mr. Birlson stated that his recommendation, when it comes to vote on this, is to defer this to the Town Council. Mr. Forbes, Mr. Volk and Mr. Kil stated that this board is charged with making a recommendation to the Town Council; advising you have the option to “favorable, “unfavorable” or “no recommendation”. Mr. Kil advised that those are your only options. Mr. Birlson stated that he wants to send a “no recommendation” then. Mr. Birlson felt that this is a policy decision and should be the responsibility of the Town Council. Mr. Forbes advised that he disagrees as the entire Zoning Ordinance is our responsibility and jurisdiction to take care of it,, that that is why it is here before the Plan Commission, because it is required.

General discussion ensued as to taking a “no recommendation”, and what ramifications could result. Mr. Volk suggested that since Mr. Austgen wrote the ordinance, have him review his notes and ask him relay the information to the planners.

L. NOVO SELO – Resubdivision for 10 Lots (Mr. Mirko Klagic)

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Mirko Klagic requested to be added to the agenda regarding Novo Selo, that was sent to the board a while back. This is at the end of Schafer Drive in St. John. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Klagic developed this section years ago.

Mr. Kil showed a lot which backs up to approximately five acres, which the petitioner reserved for himself to build his own home. Now, he has a proposal. He wants to run a road basically down the middle and plat lots on either side. The problem is with developing lots on both sides they will not be of sufficient size.

Mr. Klagic handed out materials to the board members. Mr. Forbes suggested that we accept the drawings, and bring it up at the next Study Session for further discussion, which will allow the members to check the area in question.

Mr. Klagic advised he is requesting ten (10) lots. Mr. Kil noted that there is the issue of R-1 zoning, and the depth of the lots would only be 131’. The road would have to be a cul-de-sac or just stub the road at the end. Mr. Kil noted that Outlot “A” is the existing detention for this area.

Mr. Williams suggested putting the road on one side so that proper R-1 lots could be developed. Mr. Klagic stated that it would not be cost effective, and is just looking for direction.

General consensus was to look at the area and bring it up for discussion at the next study session.

(With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

08-03-2016 Plan Commission

August 3, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
James Maciejewski    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on August 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary (Susan E. Wright). Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, James Maciejewski, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich. Jason Williams was absent.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN – POD 10 J (Mr. John Lotton) – Re-Zone from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD.
Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order for the public hearing. Mr. John Lotton advised that he is requesting a rezone to R-3 residential PUD, having nineteen (19) Duplex lots. Mr. Lotton displayed some samples of the development. He advised that it would be the same product that is going into Pod 10 I. Mr. Lotton stated that these are high end, all brick units, identical to the units that Illiana Construction has been building there. Grounds will be graded, sodded with sprinkler systems.

Next, Mr. Lotton showed interior views, noting a front to back view, with real wood floors and noted it is a higher end product. All units will have hard wood floors in them. Mr. Lotton next directed them to a photo on the meeting room screen showing three (3) bedrooms off to the side, then asked Mr. Kil to show the photo of the unit with the full porch that is currently under construction.

Mr. Lotton advised that there would be three (3) different elevations and one with a full porch and an additional one with gable ends on it; so it has three different looks, but again is all brick construction.

Mr. Volk asked if the units off to the East are currently under construction. Mr. Lotton advised that they were.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Marc Burns (8297 Willow Haven Drive). Mr. Burns first stated that he does not know if he should speak as he was served a “cease and desist” letter from Mr. Lotton and his attorney, who as he understands is the same attorney for the Town of St. John. The same Austgen Kuiper Jasaitus P.C. Attorneys at Law. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Burns that this is a public hearing.

Mr. Burns reminded the board of his previous proposal and requested a moratorium on any grants of permits to Mr. Lotton, and on any changes until such time as the Town and Mr. Lotton have different attorneys and that that everything he is going to agree to is in writing.

Also in addition; we have enough of these homes that he (Mr. Lotton) is showing here in the Gates, they were supposed to be single-family and higher end community and that’s not what they are going to be and will end up leasing out rentals, and thought this is a huge conflict of interest.

Mr. Burns asked if any members of the Plan Commission live in the Gates of St. John.

Eric Schnieder (9190 West 106th). Mr. Schnieder said he took the time to go around to those in close proximity to this on 106th, that he has their responses and informal petition, but not what was in the covenants and read the “land use and building type of lots in Cypress Gates, which is part of Cypress Gates unit 10F and E, shall be used for private residential purposes only, one single family dwelling may be erected for occupancy by a family with an attached private garage. No other building not specifically authorized elsewhere in the declaration shall be erected, re-erected or maintained on any parcel, lot or sub-lot”. Mr. Burns stated that by approving this rezone we have given up seventeen (17) lots already and adding nineteen (19) present homes and why would they need more townhomes when there are, as of some August 1, 2016 in St. John, 70 single-family permits and 37 duplex and townhome type units. Olthoff, McFarland, Dutch Mill in the Gates, all the east side of the subdivision to Cline Avenue seem ready to do more townhomes. None of this was ever proposed as anything other than single-family residential which is why I bought where I bought.

This was never part of the initial game plan in 2009-2010 when approved.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street). Mr. Parada stated that he does not live in the Gates of St. John but stands in solidarity with these folks and is curious about an honest count or percentage of multi-family units in town if you count duplexes as 2-family dwellings, etc. They get individual water, sewer and trash service, and these people want their property values protected. The cap was set at eight percent (8%) and I think these are questions you are responsible to answer. Stated that you are killing the character of the Town.

Kathy Wilson (9621 East Oakridge Drive). Ms. Wilson advised that this is the first meeting she has attended and is trying to understand. She advised that she does not live in the Gates, but were these all supposed to be single family houses? and if so, why they are changing it now.

Mr. Forbes explained that they were platted as single-family R-2 lots. The developer has come before this Board requesting a zoning change to allow duplexes to be built on these properties and that is all that is going on right now.

Ms. Wilson asked if the developer has a reason why he wants to change from single-family to duplexes. Mr. Lotton advised that that is where the market is now.

(Disruption occurred) Mr. Forbes announced for Ladies and Gentlemen do not interrupt again.

Mr. Lotton advised it is not about the money, that this is what people moving into St. John are buying and I guess at the end of the day some people don’t want them to move in.

Ms. Wilson asked how many duplexes have been going in the last few years. Mr. Forbes advised that he did not have the numbers readily available.

(Mr. Forbes again asked someone in the background not to interrupt).

Ms. Wilson ended by saying “so you want a larger profit margin”.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street). Mr. Swets addressed Mr. Forbes and said that he believes that you have heard what this crowd, what these residents are looking for. When they moved to St. John they anticipated they would buy a house and that the value of that house would appreciate over the course of years. Mr. Swets further stated that as you build multi-family houses that it would diminish the value of that home. You said people are buying that, so that’s why we build them; and I guarantee you if we built low to moderate income housing in this Town that would sell also, because people want to live here. You guys have the right, the privilege and responsibilities to maintain the value of this town. The land use in the town. The homes being built in this town, is your responsibility. Don’t keep giving away smaller lot sizes, bigger density, just because developers ask for it. Let’s keep this town with big lots and big home values and increase properties.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes returned the discussion to the Board. At the request of the attorney, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer this item. Mr. Volk made the motion, seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

B. ZAGORIC ADDITION (10965 Thielen Street) – Three (3) lots into Two (2) lot Subdivision.
Mr. Muenich addressed the board that the proofs of publications are not complete. Although it is not a statutory requirement it is however one under the Rules and Regulations as set forth by the Plan Commission. He offered that the matter could be dismissed, deferred or continued to the September meeting.

Mr. Zagoric explained that he had turned in all receipts to Mr. Kil and was not aware of any return of green cards that verify receipt of the mailing.

Discussion ensued as to whether the statutory and rules and regulations policies for conducting a public hearing have been met.

Mr. Muenich again advised the board their option to defer the public hearing thereby allowing the petitioner to resolve the issue of the green card notification, which is evidence that notice was given of the public hearing.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer and continue the public hearing to the September 7, 2016. Mr. Kozel made the motion to defer, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

C. MCNAMARA ESTATES (10806 West 108th Street) – Two (2) Lot Subdivision.
Mr. Muenich advised that the certified mailings are in order, however in the publication of the public hearing The Lowell Tribune publication was used. The Lowell Tribune is only a weekly publication and not a daily circulation publication so as to not meet the statutory regulations of the published notice of public hearing.

Again, as with the previous Zagoric petition, he recommends that the public hearing be deferred until the September 7, 2016 meeting thereby giving the petitioner time to have the notice of public hearing placed in a newspaper of general daily circulation.

For Mr. Kevin McNamara’s clarification, all other notices are in order and that he will only need to publish in the Post Tribune for the public hearing in September.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer and continue the public hearing to the September meeting. Motion made by Mr. Kozel and seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motio carried 5 -0 – 0.

D. SALMEN ESTATES (9001 West 96th Place) – One (1) Lot Residential Subdivision.
Mr. Kil advised the Plan Commission that the petitioner (Ms. Julie Salmen) has removed their petition from the docket and that no further action is required.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. GREYSTONE – UNIT 1 BLOCK 1 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Jack Slager)
Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development introduced himself, advising he represents CWS Holdings who is the landowner of the Greystone project. Advised they had received Primary plat approval several months back and subsequently have been installing improvements for Greystone Unit One – Block 1.

At this point the improvements are nearly complete. They were installing the stone base for the streets today. The curbs are in and they will be installing asphalt within the next several days.

He is requesting Final Plat approval for Greystone Unit One – Block One, which consists of eight (8) duplex lots along Calumet Avenue, and four (4) cottage homes lots. There will be a total of 25 units, and then a large detention pond for the entire site.

Mr. Slager noted on the screen the location of Greystone Drive, which is the main entrance coming in from Calumet Avenue and ties into Saddle Creek subdivision. As discussed at the Plan Commission Study Session two weeks ago, one of the housekeeping issues is that the stub-street out of Saddle Creek was named Dakota Drive and there are no homes built on that street. It has been renamed through a Certificate of Amendment to Greystone Drive so that there is continuity between the two plats.

Mr. Kil advised that the Town Council already took formal action on that matter at the July 28, 2016 Town Council meeting so that the proper name will appear on the street sign.

Mr. Slager believed the only other issue was concerning the matter they have been having with Nipsco. They have placed all utility easements to the rear of the property as per Town specifications and feel that this is a safety issue with water and sewer lines, not wanting them next to electric or gas utilities.

Mr. Kil advised the planners again that Nipsco is taking the position to install all gas and electric in front yard easements, which means transformers in the front yards, pedestals, etc. However, our ordinance says that you cannot do that for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is you do not want a water main break blowing up right next to a gas main. Schererville and several other surrounding communities are having similar problems with this issue.

Mr. Kil advised that they have scheduled a meeting with a Mr. Rick Kalinski, who is a Public Relations Director for Nipsco, so that there will be upcoming meetings with the other communities on this very issue to address.

Mr. Kil advised that basically, Nipsco cannot place utilities onto private property and that we require that those designated easements be placed in the rear of the lot.

Mr. Slager reiterated that there is a large back yard easement to accommodate Nipsco, and that there are no front yard easements.

They are seeking Final Plat approval at this time. Mr. Forbes read a letter from the Town Engineer Kenn Kraus advising that he has reviewed the Final Plat and has calculated a $20,159.00 Developmental Fee based on two percent (2%) construction costs. Mr. Kraus noted that public improvements have been installed with the exception of asphalt paving. It is anticipated that the paving will be completed in the next few weeks, so in lieu of obtaining a Letter of Credit, the developer is asking that the Town not sign the final plat until the paving is completed.

Mr. Slager advised that he paid the developmental fee in the office yesterday.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the Board. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval for Greystone Unit One – Block One and referencing the findings of fact into the motion, and withhold signatures on the Final Plat until asphalt is finished. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 – 0 nays.

B. BILL DI SANTO – Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies advised that he presents the purchaser of the lots, which are Lots 6 and 7 of Wellington Estates. It will be a simple re-subdivision taking two (2) lots and making one larger lot, thus allowing to build a larger home in the combined lots.

There are no plans yet and are simply seeking permission to advertise for the next meeting and follow proper procedures to have a public hearing. They will have plans available at the public hearing.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 – 0 nays.

C. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 7 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)
Mr. Terpstra advised that they are seeking Final Plat approval for what is the remainder of the Renaissance subdivision, except for the last 3 lots. All improvements are in. The top coat, turn lanes are all installed and approved. The Bike Trail is shown as an “easement” in Unit 7, from West side of the East entrance and that where it comes across 101st, all the way to Clarmonte.

Mr. Forbes read that Town Engineer Kenn Kraus has reviewed all 16 residential lots, one Outlot for detention and associated street right-of-ways. Mr. Kraus has reviewed the final plat and found it satisfactory and has been informed that the Developmental Fee for same has been paid. Public improvements have been installed with the exception of the Bike Trail along Joliet Street and that such will be installed as part of Renaissance Unit 8.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval to Renaissance Unit 7 and referencing the finding of facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 5 nays – 0 – 0 nays.

D. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Primary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)
Mr. Terpstra advised that they were deferred from the July 6, 2016 meeting for Primary Plat approval. Mr. Terpstra showed the end of the property of what the developer and what the Town owned. Original drawing in 2005 was set up so that it would be completed as part of the development. A transfer of property needed to be completed for this to take place.

Mr. Terpstra advised that they are seeking Primary Plat approval, noting that there is nothing new and all is the same as specified in the developmental agreement. We are required to do this and I will be happy to answer any questions that the planners may have.

Mr. Muenich and Mr. Forbes discussed with the developer to make sure the last lots have Clarmonte address and will face Clarmonte. It is noted in the Primary Plat as such.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Primary Plat approval to Renaissance Unit 8, referencing the findings of fact into the motion, and that the addresses be on Clarmonte Street. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 - 0 nays.

E. ORINDANCE 1483 – Chapter 15 – Sign Regulations
Mr. Forbes advised that he is entertaining a motion to remove Section G.2 from the Sign ordinance in its entirety. This would be a recommendation to the Town Council for final action.

Mr. Kozel made a motion that they remove Section G.2 from Sign Ordinance and send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes- 0 -0 nays.

F. ROSE GARDEN – Continued Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Doug Rettig (Land Technologies) advised he represents Sublime Development. This matter was deferred from the July 6, 2016 meeting due to issues with the notifications. This would be a continuation of the public hearing of a re-subdivision in combining two (2) lots; Lots 6 and 7, into one large lot. This is similar to my other request made tonight.

The larger home proposed does not fit on one lot, so they are purchasing two lots and putting the house basically in the middle. The legal advertisement was taken care of last month.

Mr. Muenich reviewed his notes to reflect that a public hearing was already held last month and that this is just a continuance.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public comment. After three formal calls the floor was closed and the matter was brought back to the board for any questions or discussions.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant the re-subdivision of Lots 6 and 7 in Rose Garden and referencing the findings of fact into motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 -0 nays.

Mr. Rettig advised that they would be ready for Final Plat approval at the September 7, 2016 meeting.

G. NOVO SELO – Re-Subdivision for Additional Lots (Mr. Mirko Klajic)
Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Klajic is not here tonight and he believes that he is not ready to proceed. At the previous meeting the planners wish to do a site visit to see the size of the lots in question, and I believe he just isn’t ready with any plans to submit to the board, and suggested that the matter be deferred.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to defer the Novo Selo re-subdivision matter until petitioner is ready. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes the next agenda item was public comment and opened the floor; asking those to please state your name and address for the record.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Ms. Sharon Pacific (11423 State Line Road):

Heard a gentleman talk about easements in the back and wanted to know how does that effect the size of the lots and what was the public right-of-way versus the utility easements in the back of the lots. She was also concerned about the closing of Calumet Avenue during high traffic times and asked why the Town will allow a major highway to be closed by a development.

Mr. Kil advised the closings for the installation of the utilities and alternate routes were posted at all times. Mr. Kil explained the difference between the public right-of-way, in which the owner’s property starts on their side of the sidewalk, and the utilities that cannot be placed in private property and by ordinance are expressly meant to be installed to the rear of the property as not to conflict with water and sewer lines in the front.

Mr. Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Lane):

Mr. Wolf expressed a concern that those attending the meeting for the purpose of a public hearing were not allowed to speak and felt that does not mean it is a real public meeting. He further stated that there are often times he cannot hear the members from the dais and particularly the attorney who he said he could not hear half the time. He expressed that he wished to hear what the attorney was saying during the meetings and that it is very inaudible.

Mr. Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive):

Mr. Hero asked how final plat approval could be given to Greystone without resolving the easement issue and asked if the plats had to be re-drawn to accommodate this matter. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes advised that there are no changes to the plat plans, as the members, by ordinance of the Town, are forcing Nipsco to place the utilities in the back and that they were already drawn that way.

Mr. Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street):

Upset with the situation with Mr. Zagoric and how can the Plan Commission would not hear the matter if people don’t sign for the mailing, and maybe they are not just interested in the situation. Mr. Parada advised that Mr. Zagoric is a new neighbor but he seems to be a very good neighbor and thinks he is being treated unfairly by the board.

Mr. Parada also stated that he strongly objects to two things about February 6, 2016 meeting. One was that the only proponent of the Comprehensive Plan was Michelle Haluska and her name is “first” on the sign-in sheet, but after each of us spoke, she all of a sudden got moved to the last position, and I think that was stacking the deck. She was allowed to speak last.

Next, Mr. Parada stated to Mr. Forbes that his was very discriminatory to him when he went to speak at the meeting about the Comprehensive Plan and that his point is that he feels he was treated unfairly and that he was going to look into the legality of it.

Mr. Erik Schneider (9190 West 106th):

Mr. Schneider wanted to go on the record to say that he was not against the town growing; and that if it has to grow with townhomes and paired-villas that he completely understands that. Mr. Schneider stated that he just feels that there is a whole other section of the Gates platted for more town homes and the like and feels the purpose is not to give up all the single family lots.

Ms. Anna Arkea (14928 West 109th Avenue):

Ms. Arkea was told about a month ago about possible additional annexation of land into the Town of St. John. She lives at the “shoe-corner” – dead end of 109th and wanted to inquire as to when she might expect this to happen. She also noted that a brochure at Peoples Bank was showing Phases 1 and 2 which is west of Calumet Avenue, referring to Greystone.

Mr. Kil advised that those are long-range plans that could be 30 years away, if at all. It is up to the individual property owners to petition for annexation into the Town of St. John. That the annexation issue is a long legal process at the Town Council level and would be very much advertised. Mr. Kil suggested that Ms. Arkea can always check the Town’s website on a regular basis for the agendas and what issues are being considered before the various boards.

Mr. Marc Burns (8297 Willow Haven Drive):

Mr. Burns stated that he feels the board has a responsibility to the public and noted that he has heard that Mr. Lotton has had previously problems with the HOA’s. Mr. Burns stated that Mr. Lotton does not honor what he says that he is going to do and I heard about previous lawsuits with him. Mr. Burns feels that the school system is saturated and would like the members to consider such issues when making decisions on further development.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

08-17-2016 Joint Plan Commission and EDC

August 17, 2016 Joint Plan Commission and Economic Development Committee Study Session Meeting Minutes

PLAN COMMISSION:

Michael Forbes John Kennedy Bob Birlson
Jon Gill Gregory Volk  
Jason Williams Steve Kozel  

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE:

Nick Georgiou John DeYoung Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
William Keith Mark Barenie Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gina Fezler Kelly Stoming David Austgen, Town Attorney
Richard Setlak    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Gregory Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on October 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Mr. Forbes called the August 17, 2016 Joint Plan Commission and Economic Development Committee study session to order at 6:01 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

BUSINESS:

Mr. Forbes said that first he would like to thank the EDC members for taking time to meet with the Plan Commission tonight. There is no doubt that the Comprehensive Plan has been the topic of conversation lately. Mr. Forbes wanted to get both the Plan Commission and EDC together, so that they may clear the air. He would like them to have a straightforward discussion about what the EDC did as far as bringing together the information. He would like to possibly address the major outstanding concerns about the plan.

Mr. Forbes said that a lot of people don’t know that the EDC was responsible for the compilation of information, and the formation of the comprehensive master plan. This is typically something that would have been done by the Plan Commission, but this time around the thought was to get some fresh eyes on, and that is when the EDC came in.

Mr. Forbes asked that the EDC members talk about what their thoughts were, as far as gathering the information. Mr. Forbes asked that before they do that, everyone introduce themselves, so everyone knows who is who and where they come from.

Introductions:

Nick Georgiou: I am currently the President of the Economic Development Committee. I own my own business here in St. John. I am a local architect and contractor. My business is on Joliet Street.

Kelly Stoming: I work for People’s Bank. We have an office here in St. John. I am also a lifelong resident of the town.

Gina Fezler: I am part of the Economic Development Committee. I am also a resident of St. John for about ten (10) years. I work for First Financial Bank doing business lending.

Jon Gill: I am a member of the Plan Commission. I work for the Town of St. John in the Building and Planning department. I have been a resident of St. John, since 1988.

Robert Birlson: I work for a local civil engineering firm for the last 18 years. I have been doing civil work for the over 25 years-working locally, mostly municipalities. I have been a resident of St. John for the last 18 or 19 years.

Steve Kozel: I work for the Building and Planning Commission, also. I have been in town since 1978.

Mike Forbes: Both Councilman and Plan Commission member. I have been on the Plan Commission for about 20 years now. I was a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals. I have been a resident of St. John for about 23 years.

Greg Volk: I have been a resident of St. John for about 20 years. I am also a Councilman and Plan Commission member. I was a BZA member. I work for Arcelor Mittal in East Chicago.

Jason Williams: Plan Commission and BZA. I work for Pepsi-Co downtown in Finance. I live in North Point, and I have lived in town since 2013.

John Kennedy: I have been on the BZA and Plan Commission for all of five minutes. [Laughter] Thank you everyone. I have been a resident of St. John for 13 years. I work for a firm called American Structure Point. We are a civil engineering and architectural group based out of Indianapolis. We have a local office in Highland.

Bill Keith: I was born and raised in St. John, so I have been here 53 years. I bought my parent’s house, so them before me. I graduated from Indiana University, and worked for the family roofing company for 25 years. Then, I developed a solar powered attic fan that we make out of Warsaw, Indiana and we sell them all over the world. So, that keeps me busy day to day. I am a member of the EDC. I made an unsuccessful run at Town Council several years ago, but now I am on the EDC, and I have been on it for a few years.

Richard Setlak: I have been in St. John for just over eleven years. I am retired. I used to work for a major national government. I just wanted to say that. (Laughter) Anyway, I was an auditor there looking at government contracts. I have been a member of the EDC for a few years now.

John DeYoung: I am a member of the EDC. I have a retail business here in town. I have lived here since 2000, and I am glad to be a part of this group.

A. Review of Comprehensive and Thoroughfare Plan

Mr. Forbes said that we would now get started with the basics. There have been a couple public hearings on the comprehensive master plan. Mr. Forbes asked that the EDC members walk the Plan Commission through some of the steps that they went through.

Mr. Georgiou said he would give some background. When the EDC was initially formed it was more of an advisory committee of the Town, the Town Council, and the Plan Commission. It was an outshoot of conversations between himself, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Barenie, and the Chamber of Commerce about helping to promote business and development in the Town of St. John. So, when we initially formed-most of the members here were some of the original members. Although, Gina has changed.

Mr. Georgiou said they actually went through a very methodical approach to what it will take to attract business to St. John. Plus, what guidelines and plans should be in place in order for the town to orderly grow as it moves forward to what we have been told will be 40,000 people in the year 2040.

So, the very first document that the EDC was involved in was to generate the first promotional document. Mr. Georgiou held it up and said that he hopes everyone has seen it. This was to be used as a document the town could use to promote themselves for economic development and business development. The other offshoot that came off of that document was thought as “Ok, now we can tell people this is an attractive place to come to, but what is the town really looking for. What does it really need?”

Mr. Georgiou said that the next document endeavor they went on was to create the Metro Study Opportunity Analysis. This document is 92 pages long, and again Mr. Georgiou said hopefully all members have seen it. If they haven’t, Mr. Georgiou explained that this document identified: the demographics of the town, the area, what it is lacking, what it could attract as far as businesses, retail, restaurants, and even residential. This identified even residential growth in the town relative to what was initially generated off of the first document. This study became the next wealth of information that the EDC now had at their fingertips to then go forward.

Mr. Georgiou said they knew the Comprehensive Plan was developed around 11 years ago in 2005. So, the next step would obviously be to update the Comprehensive Plan. Now, the mission to think how can we attract and orderly grow development in the town, understanding what are the needs or shortfalls of trying to attract business in the town, was to now update the Comprehensive Plan and see where we have come in 12 years. Mr. Georgiou said the EDC was the basis of meeting with SCB, who did the original plan, and provided input, background, etc., on going forward to what was now generated.

Mr. Georgiou said that he was now going to let Christine (Carlyle) talk. He wanted her to explain in some detail how we didn’t just pull this out and say ok we are going to update this etc. The number one factor was town input. Mr. Georgiou re-stated that he would like her to talk about that, because they were talking ahead of time about how the response was phenomenal. There was a public hearing on the original Comprehensive Plan. There was a public hearing on the last Comprehensive Plan, and as Mr. Georgiou believes around 300 people showed up to the public hearing for this Comprehensive Plan. The feedback in particular that drove what some of the conclusions were was about 18%, where normal response is about 2%.

Ms. Christine Carlyle said our response was actually 20%. Out of the 5,300 residents in St. John, we received a little over 1,000 surveys back. That is really amazing. Mr. Keith asked Ms. Carlyle to please introduce herself, so that everyone knows who she is.

Ms. Carlyle stated that she is with Solomon-Cordwell & Buenz.. She is the Principle and Director of Planning. She worked on the 2005 Comprehensive Plan, and then recently came back to meet with the EDC.

She has been working with them on this Comprehensive Plan that we are all reviewing now. Ms. Carlyle said that their focus has really been to understand what has changed in the community, and where we want to go. She reminded the members that in many ways (regarding) the Comprehensive Plan from 2005, we actually filled out what the original plans were to improve the area, growth ratings that were established that were associated with our water and sewer boundaries, and looking at our commercial corridors.

Understanding some of the feedback that was done from the Metro Study and looking at our demographics we were a little shy of 17,000 people. She added that just so everyone knows, when we started we were at 8,400 in 2004 for the first plan. So, it is pretty amazing growth for this community. People just don’t see that. A lot of places just don’t see that, so it is a real opportunity to shape where we want to go.

That is part of what we were looking at as far as what the town needs. There were definitely needs for housing. There were needs for determining where we want our commercial developments to go, and that’s where the Town Center idea…it started early in the first 2005 Comprehensive Plan. It was a question of it moving around, and there were a lot of conversations about where would be the best location for it. There were discussions about Joliet Street being through the heart and center of the original development of the Town.

So, that was part of what they looked at. In terms of-could it happen there; could we get it away from the heavy traffic of U.S. 41. As well as, since that period of time we have seen a lot of traffic accidents and things along those lines. So, understanding how to improve U.S. 41, and they worked with Mr. Denny Cobb of First Group Engineering. He set the intersections and where the opportunities were for signalization in the future.

But, they just looked at how that might affect our land use and our roads associated with that. Ms. Carlyle said that those were some of the big elements at the time, but that there is a lot of material in there. The plan is really based on quality of life; and improving the quality of life. There is a lot of recreation, a lot of connections, bike trails, and it was an opportunity for taking as much input and putting it in one place, so that we may have a book basically guiding the Plan Commission for the next ten (10) years.

There is nothing mandatory in it. It is really about putting together a list of goals and aspirations, so that when the opportunity comes we can then use it to help evaluate some individuals who have concerns aabout properties. It is really so we can have a bigger picture in mind when we are thinking about what the town is going to be like in ten (10) years. Ms. Carlyle said that actually, most of the time, a comp plan is done within ten (10) years.

If we are on track with what it is that we want, and we are connected to our demographic and what the trajectory is for growth; we would not see beyond ten years. Ms. Carlyle said that that is a quick synopsis.

Mr. Georgiou said there is another piece he would like to append to that. He said that when the EDC concluded their recommendation, it was for the October 2015 version; and the Town was on a parallel track, he is unsure of the details if it was the Plan Commission or Town Council ; but the Thoroughfare Study was not initially a part of the Comprehensive Plan, but since the town was on a parallel track with the Thoroughfare Study it was decided at the conclusion, at least when they concluded this, that it would make sense to append the Thoroughfare Study, because again it was a plan for where the town was going and its street and plans, and where it was going to add that to it.

Therefore, the Thoroughfare Plan was then appended to it, to which he believes was the February 2016 version. Again, guidelines for as the Town grows, what should be looked at as far as streets and thoroughfare approach.

Mr. Forbes said he would like to touch on some of the points that Ms. Carlyle made a little more. He believes there are some of the bigger concerns that have been passed along. The Comprehensive Master Plan is a required document. We are required to have that by the State; but it is not a hard-fast “by the book document”. There was a conversation at the last Plan Commission meeting; some of the people that were remonstrating said that if we put this document out there “you have to follow it”. The attorney was there that night, and he said that we do not have to follow it but we can when we want to. Mr. Forbes said that to him, it goes to the thought that it is a “pie-in-the-sky” ten thousand foot view of the Town.

If we want to focus on something, we can, but we don’t have to. We can use it to protect ourselves if we need to. Mr. Forbes said that is the way he has always looked at the Comprehensive Plan. He added that as Ms. Carlyle said, there are things that do get done, but not everything gets done. Again, going back to the survey, we have based this direction on what the residents of the Town have said.

Mr. Georgiou said that most of those areas were reinforced by the respondents and the majority of input and direction that people had indicated. In particular, obviously the one area that generated commentary was the Town Center, it was like 78%. The Town Center in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan was from Wall Street to 93rd Avenue. And as the Town is growing and it is going more to the South, it was always around the Civic Center. That is what always considered “downtown”, because relative to that (Civic Center). As the town grew and the respondents and having looked at the growth pattern, it is moving just a little bit more South but it is still concentrated around the Civic Center.

Mr. Georgiou explained that again, as things are moving farther South; and as Ms. Carlyle indicated our growth from 8,400 to 17,000 people; the train station was another thing that morphed from the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. As residential development moved South and also the current development, one of the developers came forward; and said this will be in agreement with the EDC and the Town of where the train station will be. It used to be off of Wall Street by Aspen Café, and now it is down by U.S. 231. Mr. Georgiou said to Mr. Forbes that like he said they had envisioned that in five (5) years from now, or for the next census or when this plan is updated again; that it will continue to evolve.

Mr. Georgiou said this is where the EDC believes they are at in the plan, and it is not legally binding in terms of just because we say something should be “here” that it dictates that it is in fact going to happen.

Mr. Keith said that he would like to make a comment about the train station part of it. He said that long story short, he had a conversation with Congressman Pete Visclosky; and some other people about the train, and this whole thought seemed like it was starting to get serious about locating it around the bus barn for Kolling Elementary School, kind of around that area. Then, Mr. Keith heard that they wanted to dead head the train there, or in other words put a service center there. Mr. Keith said that which to him means storing all the cars, and having locomotives running through the night. That reminds him of an industrial area. So, Mr. Keith got into another discussion with Congressman Visclosky and asked that if we were able to identify some other land, would they be open to hearing that. They told him, absolutely. So, Mr. Keith put together another meeting with the Congressmen and a few other people. Some of the committee and commission members were there.

They identified this new land, and it just so happens that it is south side of town along the railroad tracks. The owners of the land were not at first open to the idea of the train station maybe being down there, but now have kind of come around. So, that is how that got put into place. Some of the comments were that it is so congested up there by Wall Street how could we put a train station right up there with the overpass, and Schilling Lumber, and the elementary school. It didn’t seem like that would be a very good place, because it was so crowded, so it moved down South. That may very well be what happens with this whole Town Center, just to alleviate some people’s concerns. For right here and now, for the sake of putting together a plan, we put together this Comprehensive Plan idea with a Town Center; like you would put together a concept car.

The reason they put together concept cars is so that everyone can go to the car show and say what they like and don’t like about it, so the engineers have a chance to realign it, so that when they do come out with a production vehicle it is what the consumer wants. So, we are getting a lot of really good feedback from residents; “they want it” – “they don’t want it”. Mr. Keith said that like Ms. Carlyle said everyone can agree that what everybody wants…Mr. Keith included, that yeah it would be nice to go back to the 1960’s and the 1950’s; and you could play ball in the street. But, that is not reality anymore, so what do we want now. What we want is nice amenities. We want walking paths; we want bike trails. We want a more pedestrian friendly community with sit down restaurants. Why do we have to go to Highland or Schererville to go have a cup of coffee or sit out on a patio? Why do we have to go to Crown Point to do that? Why can’t we do it in our own town? Why can’t we keep the money here and get people spending and attract people from other places to come to St. John and spend some money? So, from and EDC point of view that is kind of how it came around.

Mr. Keith explained some of his background; how he got it, is that he was looking for a community like that. He enjoyed some success in his company, and he thought he is getting out of here. He was born and raised in St. John, and he thought, “I am blowing this popsicle stand”. Therefore, he went to California and spent five years looking for a home in California. Mr. Keith walked into Carlsbad Town Hall. A big shot with the town said to him “hey, you look like you’re lost. Can I help you?”. Mr. Keith told him he was looking for someone to give him an idea of what Carlsbad is all about. The guy took his lunch hour, and he was on the City Council, and took him to meet the Parks Department guy and took him here and there. Then he gave Mr. Keith a two-inch thick Comprehensive Plan. He said they have a moratorium on building permits, because they don’t want to overcrowd their schools. He told Mr. Keith that they have just told developers they are out. The guy told Mr. Keith they don’t know if it will come around in the next generation or not, but they are not developing their city any more, until they can do it comprehensively in cooperation with the school board. It gave Mr. Keith a vision of what we might have here.

So, those were some of his ideas coming back. Mr. Keith said he met with Janet Emerick, former Superintendent of Schools; he stated he has known all the superintendents through the years, and is very good friends with Larry Verracco now; but everybody commented that they feel like there was a big lack of communication with the school. The town is just out there writing building permits, and not communicating that properly to the school. Mr. Keith said that he thinks Lake Central can handle a little bit more growth, so that is a good thing.

Mr. Keith said he is trying to just give all those ideas and some background about what he brings to the table. Which is that, he is trying to look at what St. John is going to look like for his children and grandchildren; and what they want it to look like, because it is our turn to make those decisions. That is some of his background and thoughts he used in putting together his ideas for the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Birlson said that he would like to make a comment. He said that he commends all those on the EDC for putting together this Comprehensive Plan; and all the effort that was put into it, in organizing it, and coming up with all of these ideas. But, when he first looked at the Comprehensive Plan almost about a year ago, he was absolutely shocked to see his house gone in an orange square where a business would be, and most of his neighbors’ homes with these orange squares. Mr. Birlson said that we may be saying that it is a “pie-in-the-sky” or that it is “a plan that might work-might”, but it got a lot of people upset, including himself, to see that.

Mr. Birlson asked that we put ourselves in his shoes; or some of the people in the public audience. If we saw that for the first time we would think wow my house is gone. We don’t matter. You would be shocked too. It is appalling to even see that on a piece of paper; to have that, and now it won’t go away. Mr. Birlson said he wants a Town Center too, just like the rest of us. He wants a place to go. He does not want to have to drive to Cedar Lake or somewhere else to go to a restaurant, or to Munster. He wants to eat here. It would be very nice, but to take people’s homes. Mr. Birlson said maybe he shouldn’t say that, but if someone sells their house and a business buys it; right next to someone who is trying to raise a family, that is just not going to work. Having that kind of traffic coming next door to your house. Outsiders coming into your neighborhood. It is not acceptable. There are other places to put the Town Center, and Mr. Birlson does not understand why the residents of Joliet Street, Thielen Street, and Hack Street, have to be attacked like this. He stated that they are being attacked.

Mr. Georgiou: The original Town Center…you’re basically…we identified the same area…well I didn’t, let me clarify. The original Town Center was North of 93rd Avenue, which is multiple residential locations, etcetera; as a conceptive area where a majority of people in the Town of St. John would like to see a Town Center developed.

And our concepts or areas of relative, or where we compared to was: downtown Crown Point; downtown Valparaiso; downtown Plainfield, Illinois, where residential is mixed in with the Town Center.

Mr. Georgiou said that he thinks that is a key point that needs to be understood. We actually modified, at least what was in the concept plan, of incorporating residences into what would eventually be the Town Center area of the Town.

Mr. Birlson said yes, but we never asked any of those folks. A survey never came out and asked if they would like to have a business next to their house.

Mr. Georgiou said that half of Joliet Street is zoned commercial right now. Mr. Birlson said that he understands that.

Mr. Georgiou said that the other piece he wants to emphasize is that he looks at it as, and he thinks he is logical, but this Town is going to have 40,000 people in twenty (20) years from now. Where is that growth going to be? Where is it going to be funneled to? What is going to happen? Mr. Georgiou said that he works on Joliet Street. He sees the tons of traffic that goes up and down Joliet Street, the accidents right outside of his window etc. And, he doesn’t know that the Town Center may improve that. They are just talking conceptually, as the town grows, to evolve something around the Civic Center, because the majority of the people in the town support that. He said he doesn’t know how else to say that.

Mr. Birlson said that a majority of the people, and he has talked to a lot of people, have said absolutely not when it comes to taking someone’s house. Mr. Georgiou said that we are not taking anyone’s home. Mr. Birlson said but when you show orange squares on a plan that is a start, and twelve (12) out of eighteen (18) homes on Joliet Street, Thielen Street, and Hack Street; are showed to be gone, and that is mind boggling that someone would present that.

Mr. Keith said that he cannot let Mr. Birlson make everyone think that he is the only one who knows what it is like to have an “X” on their house. If you go down to the county records, Mr. Keith said his house, and he thinks all the members kind of know where his house is; he is across from the VFW, the big blue farmhouse. That is his family homestead; and he said as we probably know, now that it is his, he bought it from his parents 28 years ago. On his watch, he has dumped a ton of money into it. He has made it kind of a showplace for the Town. He has restored it back to its original glory, and Mr. Keith said he thinks he has done a nice job. Mr. Keith said he did all of that under a big “X” on his house since the 1970’s, because they want to expand 93rd Avenue from Interstate 65 to Interstate 394 (Illinois). They have talked about it for generations. Talked about making 93rd Avenue; a four- lane, with a center median in it, and yet he did all of that. He didn’t want to.

Mr. Keith stated he even asked Mr. Kil before he started dumping a bunch of money into his property. He asked Mr. Kil, do you know of any plans? Is this back on the books? There was also a big “X” on the Zack’s house next door to his. Mr. Keith said that he knows how Mr. Birlson is feeling and he knows what he is saying, but it never happened.

Mr. Birlson asked then why have this Comprehensive Plan showing a Town Center if it is not going to happen. Mr. Keith said because it is the original Town Center. Mr. Birlson said if it is not going to happen, or if it’s going to take 50 years… if all this property along U.S. 41 gets gobbled up, now we don’t have a Town Center, because we were waiting for Joliet Street, Hack Street, and Thielen Street. Mr. Birlson suggested that we put it in a spot where it can happen.

Mr. Keith said when he was a kid the store was The Royal Blue, which is Mama D’s Pizza. That was the store. They helicoptered groceries there in 1967 from the snow storm. The post office was right across the street, and now it is an aerospace thing. So, hasn’t it always been residential mixed in with commercial. Mr. Keith asked what about Thiel’s Cabinet Shop? What about right across the tracks over there, all those light industrial buildings? Mr. Keith said he is just saying that they were tasked with putting together a quaint idea and see; and they are finding out people don’t want it. If people don’t want it, well they don’t want it. Let’s come up with some other ideas. Mr. Keith shared that somebody came up here before and said, “Well let’s put the Town Center where the K-Mart is”. Mr. Keith asked if that is a good idea.

(General comments from the audience)

Mr. Birlson said the Boyer Development is coming in; that whole area could be worked; and made into the Town Center, but coming into people’s homes. Mr. Keith told the members he is only trying to diffuse what Mr. Birlson is saying, because he himself has had an “X” on his house, and it was a financial decision for him.

(General comments from the audience)

Mr. Forbes announced to the audience to please not interrupt.

Mr. Birlson said that he is not trying beat up the EDC about it. He certainly doesn’t want to, but, it feels like everybody on those streets are being attacked.

Mr. Keith said that was not their intention. It was just a concept, and it was not their intention. He explained that they did not sit there and draw those “X’s”. It was a plan that came. They didn’t sit there and decide that. It was just a concept of what it could look like in the future.

Mr. Keith said that if they did anything wrong it was that they were not sensitive enough to go around to those residents and say “hey here is an idea we are putting together”. So, he will take the blame for that. Mr. Keith said not personally, but as a group.

(Disruption from audience)

Mr. Forbes: Excuse me, Mr. Parada, do not interrupt (bang of gavel). Mr. Parada, do not interrupt again.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone would like to add anything else to that part of the topic.

Mr. Georgiou said that his frustration is that, and again it is not legally binding and that doesn’t seem to matter relative to the resistance, but he is thoroughly confused, because the statistic is in there. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of the respondents of the Town of St. John; which is an interpretation which they take as a majority of the people of St. John; are supportive of the direction of where we went with this Comprehensive Plan. There is always going to be a minority. Mr. Georgiou said he is not downplaying what the concerns are, but again it is a plan. He said he is confused that if a majority of the town wants; and says this is where we want to go when we grow. I guess that he doesn’t understand that we are going to say; and he reiterated again that he is not downplaying concerns of people who live there; because again he works there; but to say well you don’t count.

At some point we vote; the majority takes direction. The majority does this, or the majority does that. Mr. Georgiou said that we have to take it into consideration that if the majority of the residents of St. John are supportive of the Comprehensive Plan; he doesn’t understand why it doesn’t go forward.

Mr. Birlson answered that if that 78% had a statement; that said do you want a Town Center, but it means demolishing homes. Eighteen (18) homes.,.,

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Birlson that he has got to stop going back to that. Mr. Forbes stated that we are “not, I have said this from the very beginning, time and time again, the Town of St. John is not taking anybody’s house”. Mr. Birlson said then okay the developers are.

Mr. Forbes stated that “What was said in the Public Hearing was that “if someone on Joliet Street were to sell their house, the Town may be interested in purchasing it. “IF” and “MAYBE”. “That is IF this plan is ever decided to go forward. It is a concept right now, okay?. I am sorry this drawing came out, because if the drawing looked just like Joliet Street; with everything that we discussed; you guys wouldn’t be here right now. The only reason they are here is because this part of the Comprehensive Master Plan was turned into a political football. You folks were used and abused; by a bunch of wannabe elected officials”.

Mr. Birlson told Mr. Forbes that he is going off track. Mr. Forbes said that he is not, “this is what is going on, this is the reality of it; you just don’t want to hear the story”. That is what is going on. Mr. Birlson said he is going off track, and that Mr. Forbes doesn’t know. Mr. Forbes said that he does know; he knows exactly.

Mr. Keith said that there is a lot of truth to what Mr. Forbes is saying. He said he knows that not from Mr. Forbes; but because he has seen it himself behind the scenes. Mr. Keith said that all anyone has to do is go to Mama D’s and see who shows up to whip everyone into a frenzy; and then you find out what happened.

Mr. Birlson asked the members if they would be worked up and in a frenzy. How about you Jon, or you Steve?

Mr. Kozel said that what he thinks has come out of this; the main thing is that we do not have to follow this plan. We do not have to follow the plan. It is a concept as they say, and there are people in town who have a big concern about having a center. Now where it is going to be located, again it is a concept about where would we want to put it, and once it becomes established that we do and are going to build one, then that will come before this Board, and we can turn around and make that decision.

Mr. Keith said that what he wants to interject is what he said a little earlier, why don’t we locate it down South by the train station. Mr. Keith said to that to roll the clocks back to when he was a little kid and he hated the subdivision that went in just to the east of them in the 1970’s, we hated it. All the neighborhood kids hated it, because that was where they built their forts and rode their bicycles; and brought their shovels out. They would finish their homework and then go out and build jumps on the dirt hills until midnight every night. Where the K-Mart is, there is a story in the Hammond Times about Mr. Keith and his friends. They built a BMX track where the K-Mart is to ride their bicycles. Mr. Keith said that it is very convenient for people that are now in town, that raw land got developed so that they could be here in town, to turn around and say that they don’t want anything else and they want it to move south. Mr. Keith said that he does not buy that argument.

Mr. Birlson said that playing as a kid; and living in your own house, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Mr. Keith said that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about development. Mr. Keith said that development is going to happen. We just have to do it orderly. Mr. Birlson said development where existing homes are.

Mr. Keith asked Mr. Birlson why he keeps adding fuel to the fire when he knows the facts. Mr. Birlson responded that he does know the facts; and they are 12 out of 18 homes.

Mr. Kozel: “Is it set in stone?”, Mr Georgiou: “No”. Mr. Kozel: “No. It is not set in stone”.

Mr. Birlson: “then change the drawing. Chris is that your name?”. Ms. Carlyle: “Christine, yes”. Mr. Birlson: “Christine, change the drawing then to a different location. All of that will go away”.

Mr. Georgiou: “But, a majority of the people did not want that. They wanted a Town Center built around the Civic Center, at least for a concept for the future of where that Town Center should be”.

Mr. Forbes said to Mr. Georgiou that conceptually it is logical to use Joliet Street, and Mr. Forbes has said it himself before, because it is a mix of Residential and Commercial area. Mr. Forbes said that everybody has got this picture that there is going to be a Best Buy next to their house, or that there is going to be an AMC 16. His understating of this is that is going to be a quiet, walkable,-sit-down kind of area like the Dairy Queen.

Mr. Georgiou said that the words he would describe, because of when they evaluated other similar areas, what they termed as the goal for the Town Center was “Live, Work, Shop”. He will emphasize the word live, because people who can walk to shop, walk to their work, walk in a small Town Center / “Downtown Environment” of the similar areas that we looked at. The residential part potentially could and should be part of that Town Center. That is the concept “Live, Work, Shop”. That is the whole concept.

Mr. Keith added that it is a quaint little area. Mr. Georgiou said that the intent was never “okay we are going to clear this area out and plop in a big commercial strip center”. That was never the intention, and definitely not the definition of a Town Center. Mr. Georgiou suggested that Ms. Carlyle comment relative to what they had talked about as a Town Center.

Ms. Carlyle explained that they looked at a variety of different types communities and what they had for their Downtown / Town Center. There were a number of examples that had what were conversions of houses. You can live in one, and the next one could be the knitting shop, or it could be a restaurant or a café. We looked at a variety of different ways that could work. She said that she does fully understand their point of view, and she thinks that there are many ways we can adapt this image that is causing so much turmoil.

Mr. Birlson said yes, because it is very busy, and he is not saying that this image is the end result. Ms. Carlyle said she thinks what we have on the eastern edge was an incorporation of houses and businesses; while allowing for commercial zoning over time as people opted to do something with it. It would be a place where you could have that environment.

Ms. Carlyle said that we could just bring it closer to U.S. 41, and we would pretty much be within our same zoning. She does not see that it should be such a point of contention, because they are going to be individual choices by people; in their individual homes. It may be something that is looked at over a period of time. It allows us to make the connections as far as sidewalks, streetscapes, and other things today to give that look and feel of having a downtown; although, maybe not having it be all the way down to where they have the original round-about. It goes about half way to there, and then you still have some parking that is internal that allows people to get off of U.S. 41.Then we still have a Town Center that is just a little smaller than this picture.

Ms. Carlyle agreed that she thinks that is doable. She does not see why we have to fight over it. It is going to go through many evolutions and people are going to work through it over many years. Ms. Carlyle noted that there are many other sections of the plan that are really good for looking forward in terms of making other decisions about our park spaces, U.S. 41, intersections, and how we want to deal with all of these other things. Those are big. Comprehensively these are all the decisions that start to make a community.

Mr. Birlson said that he can see what would potentially happen. There would be house “A”, “B”, and “C”. Then “B” sells. Mr. Developer buys it; comes to the Plan Commission and says, “Hey, I want to put this in, and now “A” and “C”, on either side of house “B” in the middle are stuck, because they have a business there. It used to be a house there before, but now it is a business.

Mr. Keith said that the reality is that house “B” probably is not big enough to build any kind of a business. It would have to wait for the cooperation of house “A” and “C” in order to even make it work, so it is never going to happen.

Mr. Birlson asked then again why have a Town Center if it is never going to happen. Mr. Keith said then let’s just live in a dream land and not have anything on paper. He said that the EDC was charged with coming up with a plan that would satisfy what the residents are looking for: more sit down eating, more connection to Civic Park. If you played baseball you play at Civic Park. That is what people were looking for.

Mr. Keith further said the EDC put their collective minds together. They are not dummies. They own businesses, they put their civil engineering and other minds together and they come up with this as a concept; and then some political people got everybody fired up that we are taking their house.

Mr. Keith explained that then Mr. Parada’s house, which just happened to be something totally separate; not part of this, but part of a different development. Everyone used that as a “See, Its true”. “It’s really happening, because we’re going to take his house”. Mr. Keith said to Mr. Birlson that is why he got all worried, and is whipping everybody into a frenzy. He asked Mr. Birlson to please stop adding fuel to this fire. If this is a good idea, then lets vet it out. Mr. Birlson said that is what we are doing. Mr. Keith said to Mr. Birlson that is what we are doing, but he keeps saying things to everyone that are half- truths. We are not taking anybody’s house.

Mr. Birlson said okay, but the Town Center shows a round-about where Mr. Parada’s house is, so that must be part of the plan... just a pie-in-the-sky.

Mr. Forbes said that the “Round-About is not part of the Town Center”. Mr. Birlson referred to the drawing and said that it shows it right there. Mr. Keith said that it is on the plan, but it is not a part of the Town Center. It is a totally separate issue. Mr. Birlson referred to the drawing again and said that the whole area is the Town Center.

Mr. Georgiou said that he needs to emphasize what Ms. Carlyle just said. He said unfortunately he considers this entire discussion on what he sees as, and he is not trivializing, but 2- 5%. This is an important document. Mr. Georgiou said that 98% of this is extremely valuable; actually he thinks 100% of this document is extremely valuable to the Town as it looks to plan for its growth in the future. We are discussing a component of this document that Mr. Georgiou believes represents only 2% of what is in this document. Relative to how the Town should look at this from a Thoroughfare Study, from a Residential / Commercial Development, from a very logical path, the majority of the town members of St. John support this document. He said he does not know how else to state it.

(Audience member asked if she may ask a question).

Mr. Forbes said that she may not, because this is a Study Session. This is an opportunity to listen.

Mr. Kozel commented that since we have such little time. And that most of it has been spent on the 2% instead of the 98%; what part of the 98% would the members like to address?

Mr. Georgiou answered that if we took the Thoroughfare Study, which the EDC was not intimate with that particular problem, he believes that the Town acknowledges that as the Town grows, he added the EDC knew this 10-15 years ago; relative, there are no through streets in St. John. They have known that for 20 years. It is a major headache. They have seen it in Plan Commission meetings as new developments crop up that there are no interconnections North, South, East, or West. That is the Thoroughfare part of it. The EDC spent the majority of their time on the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Georgiou thinks the Town has done a very logical growth pattern, particularly in infrastructure, because otherwise we are not going to grow. Mr. Georgiou said that they have identified that the town will go all the way to 113th Avenue. He asked if that is correct; he is not familiar with what the street it is south of the infrastructure planned. Mr. Kil corrected that the furthest south it can possibly go is 125th, but more likely 117th. Mr. Georgiou said that the plan addresses that, and that isn’t even part of the St, John currently, but the plan addresses it on an infrastructure basis. It goes back to the statement that in 2040 this town will be 40,000 people. This plan outlines that we have a Route 41 corridor. We are going to have, which actually didn’t even exist 15 years ago, the Route 231 Commercial Corridor; which is now in the Comprehensive Plan. It also addresses where the major residential opportunities are, which were identified in various locations. The train station, which was discussed as the other major component moved with this evolution and the growth southward, is also identified and clarified in the Comprehensive Plan, relative to that. Therefore, all those areas are again looked at by the EDC as an orderly, “ look to the future”. This is what has happened. This is where we believe the guidelines should be of where the growth is going to happen in Town, and what the Town Council and Plan Commission should then look forward. If they have a guideline plan, which is in the Comp Plan, that says well this one says it is going to be residential, so were not going to put commercial there.

Mr. Georgiou stated that If you look at the current zoning map of St. John there are areas that Mr. Georgiou said he scratches his head on, because he noticed that the southwest corner of 93rd Avenue and U.S. 41 is zoned Residential, which is St. John the Evangelist’s old church. There are gaps, which is totally out of the purvey of the Economic Development Committee, but the Town Council has to adapt in the future. So when the Comprehensive Plan is put in place and somebody says well wait this is zoned residential but it is U.S. 41 so the Comp Plan says commercial, we can know well that is what it should be. That is where it would be used as a guideline relative to going forward. Mr. Georgiou said that he can’t better emphasize the word guideline or plan concept, but it definitely outlines the projected growth of the town in an orderly fashion.

Mr. Forbes asked that the members switch gears, because the other major sticking point is the discussion on the traffic lights. In the Thoroughfare Master Plan, it calls for six (6) potential traffic lights on Route. 41. Mr. Forbes said that here again we are talking maybe(s). Mr. Forbes explained what he said he has mentioned in other meetings.

There are six (6) potential spots for traffic lights. Depending on growth and development; depends on where one of these traffic lights may go. Moreover, there will be more traffic lights on Route 41. There is no doubt. Mr. Forbes said that he would expect at least two (2).

The thing is that if you put six (6) pins in the map, and say this one is real now. Well, that would affect the one on either side of it. We can say all day long that we want a traffic light here, here, and here. INDOT will say you are not getting one here, you’re not getting one here, and you’re not getting one here. It is just the way it goes. INDOT has ultimate control, but at the end of the day responsible and thoughtful growth requires that we anticipate that there may be a need for traffic lights on Route 41. We need to improve the safety on 41. We will put traffic lights where we have to. We do not want to stop the traffic on Route 41. We want it to keep moving on at a safe and responsible pace. We also don’t want to gridlock ourselves. Mr. Forbes noted that is why he has been pushing for frontage roads since he came on to Plan Commission. He has been working for frontage roads for 19 years. He is very close to getting it, and he is not giving up on the idea.

Mr. Forbes said that everybody compares St. John, our new growth, to that we are going to end up like Highland or Schererville. Mr. Forbes said that we are not going to end up like Highland. We are not going to end up like Schererville up there on Main and 41, because we are going to have frontage roads. We are going to get the traffic off Route 41. Mr. Forbes said that we have been looking at this for a very, very, long time. He said that while this is a new document, this Plan has been going on for at least twenty (20) years to orderly grow the Town of St. John safely; and to not impact ourselves in a negative manner. So again, the argument about the traffic lights is unnecessary.

Mr. Georgiou commented that he actually read that earlier today. Specifically on the Route 41 signalization and what it specifically says is that when you consider commercial growth on Route 41; you should consider that these may be signalized locations. That is the language actually says. He said he agrees with Mr. Forbes that INDOT is not going to let us put in six traffic lights. They have absolute traffic limits and requirements. But as, Boyer Development; or K-Mart comes in, or something else comes in the Thoroughfare Study says that you are probably going to signalize, and you should focus your commercial access around these potential locations. That is all it says. It does not say put in six (6) traffic lights.

Mr. Birlson noted that he wanted to commend; whomever, with the Boyer Development, the frontage road from the Boyer Development all the way down to the McDonald’s. He said “Amen to that”. All the frontage roads down by Strack’s where you can go from store to store without jumping out on the highway. Mr. Birlson said whoever pushed for that, he tips his hat off to them.

Mr. Keith said that is supposed to continue all the way down. He said hopefully you’ll be able to go down to Route 231 on frontage roads, weaving all the way up. He asked if that is the plan. Mr. Forbes said that he hopes. If there is a way he would certainly push for it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any other topics anyone would like to bring up. He noted that there is about five more minutes left.

Mr. Keith stated that he would just like to plant a seed. He has heard just in discussion a few times about a possible Impact Fee on developers for road improvement and things. Mr. Forbes responded that they are working on that right now. Mr. Keith said that he would also like to plant a seed about how he has had a hard time sleeping at night with the train traffic that has increased ten-fold over the last several years. He said that everybody that knows him well knows that he barks about it all of the time. Mr. Keith suggested that there are such things as quiet crossings. He knows they are quite involved, but if we could take a look at that as a possible thing that, we can dedicate some time to looking into trying to set aside some funds, so that we can get some quiet crossings.

Mr. Kil said we are attempting our first one right now. Mr. Keith said that the businessman in him says well the trains are running ten times the amount, they are making ten times the money, so they should pay for it. He would be going after the railroad, but he knows they are so federally connected. There would be a hard time getting that done.

Mr. Forbes said that when we initially started talking about the Boyer Development, we started talking about Joliet Street being a quiet crossing. Mr. Keith said that would be a great place for a quiet crossing. Mr. Forbes said that they are working on 77th right now, and Bingo Lake Road. He said they have talked about this numerous times, and he is all in favor of it. It is just a very difficult process. Mr. Keith said that he is aware that it is.

Mr. Georgiou concluded that he hopes they brought some background to the Plan Commission, because the EDC has been working on this thing for probably a year and a half. Moreover, the background that got them to where they went with it, and hopefully it sheds some light.

Mr. Forbes said that the Plan Commission appreciates that. Members thanked one another.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now adjourn the Study Session of the Economic Development Committee and the Plan Commission.

(The meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

08-17-2016 Plan Commission Study Session

August 17, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
John Kennedy   Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on August 17, 2016 at 7:04 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, John Kennedy, Jon Gill, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil. David Austgen and Michael Muenich were absent.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. NOVO SELO – Review of request for Re-Subdivision (Mr. Mirko Klajic)
Mr. Klajic appeared before the Commission with a revised layout of the re-subdivision with wider lots. Noting that Lot 4 and Lot 6 already had existing structures built. Mr. Williams questioned the sizing as he did not feel that the property in question could support 10 lots.

A suggestion was made to reduce the 10 lots proposed to 8 lots and add 3,000 to 3,500 s.f. per lot. Mr. Forbes inquired as to meeting criteria for R-1 zoning for 8 lots. Mr. Williams calculated that as presented the lots were below the R-2 criteria.

It was noted that detention for the development was already in place. General discussion of the Commission suggested that the Petitioner have Torrenga Engineering redraw to support a cul-de-sac, providing R-1 on north side and bringing 5 to possibly 6 lots to the 20,000 s.f., off-set cul-de-sac to South.

Commissioners commented individually that they were more amenable to the 5 R-1 lots which would meet the R-1 zoning requirement.

B. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – Review of Salt Storage and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard, Construction Manager – Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies – Mr. Liming Zhang, Engineer, Schmidt Associates)
Mr. Ledyard provided a draft layout of the property showing 4 lots, Lot 1 being Kolling School.

Green building on the southwest corner of Lot 2 will remain until the new facility is built. The surrounding property is, at this time, still in a meets & bounds legal description, and platting would be a housekeeping matter. The new Salt and Maintenance Facility Building will be 20’ in height. Mr. Forbes asked why toward the front (U.S. 41) of property, for which Mr. Ledyard advised that this was needed for the salt truck deliveries; could not be placed too far eastward.

The existing curb-cut onto U.S. 41 would be exit only to northbound U.S. 41. Mr. Forbes asked about the necessary two (2) points of exit and entrance to the parcels. Mr. Kil and Mr. Williams noting that U.S. 41 and 85th Avenue via the private roadway of Kolling School Road appear to meet this requirement.

Mr. Ledyard noted that the drainage is and will be maintained to go to the South side. Mr. Forbes asked about an existing curb-cut that extends to the back towards the railroad, which was once discussed to be a possible bike path when Lake Hills was developed. General discussion noted that the particular curb-cut in question is now fenced over as it is at the absolute base of the overpass. Mr. Volk expressed concern over the issue of land locking a parcel to the South. Mr. Ledyard advised that an access easement would be provided from Lot 2 to Lot 3 calling for a 15’ – 20’ ingress/egress easement.

Mr. Volk stated that he would like the setback of the building to be back further to the East; however, Mr. Ledyard advised that that would not be possible with the supply trucks.

With the last questions from the Commissioners, Mr. Ledyard confirmed with Mr. Forbes that he will be seeking authorization for Public Hearing at the September 7th Plan Commission meeting for Preliminary Plat approval in October. Mr. Kraus stated that he was good with the drawings submitted for review and had a few questions that he would get with the engineer of Lake Central to answer.

C. CIRCLE K – Review of Development Plan (Mr. Jim Weiser, Attorney – Mr. Joe Carroll, Construction Manager – Mr. Don Southerer, Realty Agent)
Mr. Weiser introduced the proposal for the southeast corner of 93rd Avenue and U.S. 41. Advised that he has met with Mr. Kil concerning his thoughts for the project; safety features and other issues. The project cost would be significant, as it would be over three million plus dollars in construction and bring fifteen jobs to that location. The proposal is already a permitted use in its present zoning and would probably require some waivers and or variances for the signage.

The U.S. 41 entry would be right-in and right-out only. They have been in preliminary discussions with the Indiana Department of Transportation to install a median divider on U.S. 41 south along to the bank’s property for safety purposes, providing for designated left turn lane(s).

From existing 93rd Avenue access, the full access drive would be improved and moved further to the East approximately 10-15 feet depending on the rear yard setback.

Front setback would be 40’ to the canopy and 60’ to the building. Bank is in agreement with the parking, use, and other entrance. Islands shown now would be cut to make room for the barrier median on U.S. 41.

Mr. Forbes had concerns over another incident that occurred with Schoop’s Restaurant whereas a vehicle shot through property into the building. Mr. Weiser assured that the engineering plans would show the detail of the safety bollards, like the ones placed directly in front of the building. These “bollards” would secure the area as a special safety feature.

Mr. Kennedy inquired of the right-in and right-out in regards to an Ingress/Egress agreement. Mr. Weiser advised that it would be platted to the benefit of Circle K.

Mr. Kennedy asked about sidewalks on U.S. 41 and 93rd Avenue. Mr. Weiser advised that there are existing sidewalks now that would be relocated and placed at a proper distance. Mr. Weiser advised that he would be taking a look to review the dimensions of the existing parking spaces as to whether they were 10’ x 20’. Layout of canopy and building would be similar to Speedway and Marathon already on U.S. 41.

Mr. Weiser and Mr. Carroll showed the tanker truck delivery route, noting that Mr. Kil had already suggested only deliveries entering from the South. Mr. Volk noting that the south boundary and surrounding would all be contiguous.

Mr. Kil suggested that the signage approval go directly to the Board of Zoning Appeals at some point. Mr. Forbes inquired if they were aware of the new lighting standards ordinance that has been recently changed to not allow glare or light spray. He further mentioned that the Speedway in Dyer has the lighting that meets this criterion and that they would like it to mirror the same concept.

Mr. Carroll advised that all the lighting would be LED, with “lumens” in a photo-metric plan whereas light points downward and not out. 100% LED. The Reader Board cannot exceed 10” in height and must be mono-chrome with no flashing or movement. Mr. Carroll advised that it would be digital and comply with that requirement.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus confirmed that the detention for this property has already been placed and that the engineer will review any additional minimal capacity that the project may require, once he has some numbers.

Mr. Weiser and Mr. Kil confirmed that the developer is aware of the all brick structure requirement, including a similar Trash/Dumpster enclosure. Mr. Carroll advised it would be like and kind to the main structure. Mr. Weiser explained that the handout presented tonight was just preliminary and by no means complete and would review the various ordinances to prepare proper proposals for future meetings before the board.

Mr. Kil asked about the room to pull-out. Mr. Weiser advised there is 55’ pump to parking space set-back. Mr. Williams asked about placing a deceleration lane on northbound U.S. 41, as part of Circle K’s required improvement.

They anticipate appearing at another Study Session on September 21st, 2016.

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN / UNIT 10 J – Review request for Zone Change (Mr. John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes noted that there was a deferred Public Hearing from August 3, 2016 and that there were questions regarding Ordinance No. 1396 as to annexation and zoning commitments. Mr. Forbes read into the record Mr. Muenich’s legal opinion as addressed in correspondence.

(a copy of which is hereby attached)

As such and with no questions from the Commissioners the matter is set for continued Public Hearing at the September 7, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting.

E. THE PRESERVE AT SCHILLTON HILLS – UNIT 1 FINAL PLAT (Mr. Jack Slager)
Mr. Slager reported to the Commissioners that they are toward the final stages of installing the infrastructure with Unit 1 containing 57 lots. Directing their attention to Lot 25, he advised that there will be a no access easement and no driveway coming off onto White Oak Avenue. Outlot “C” – the bike path will continue as a 50’ strip along Waterleaf, from White Oak, to the West.

Lot 1 was a corner lot, but will not have access to White Oak and that they are extending the Outlot, thus the entrance to Lot 1 would be from Tall Grass Trail.

Conservation easements as noted are a heavily wooded area of no grading and no tree clearing and will remain as such with a 45’ building setback line. Should a builder wish to attempt to build it would also require heavy landscape included. There is a 50’ right-of-way dedicated on White Oak Avenue.

Weather permitting, Mr. Slager plans to complete the improvements in one month, and possibly seek Plan Commission – Final Plat Approval in 2 weeks, with the mylars held until all improvements are installed and inspected.

Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Gill discussed the basic difference of Preliminary and Final Plat approval, as they have preliminary and start placing improvements; however, they need the Final Plat approved, signed and record before any lots can be sold. Mr. Kennedy inquired of the zoning for which it was explained as RC-1 PUD so lots are 12,000 to 40,000 in size for this phase.

Mr. Slager again reiterated that depending on the asphalt schedule they would like to appear before the September 7, 2016 Plan Commission meeting for Final Plat Approval, with the condition that mylars are to be held if some improvements are still on-going and not completed.

F. DANCING WATERS – PHASE III – Review of Development Plan (Mr. Dennis Meyers)
Mr. Kil spoke with developer Dennis Meyers, who said he would rather come before the Commission when Levin Tire is ready to present their proposal, for the frontage roadway from Lake Central Drive to 85th Avenue. Until Levin Tire is ready there is really nothing to bring before the Commission at this time.

Mr. Forbes brought a discussion to the other Commissioners on the earlier Joint Study Session with the Economic Development Committee and would everyone want to see the “re-scaled” version of the Town Center. With all expressing agreement, Mr. Kil was directed to contact Christine Carlyle of Solomon-Cordwell & Buenz and have the Economic Development Committee take a look at a re-scaled plan for review for the next Plan Commission Study Session.

Mr. Kraus advised that he was contacted to review Dancing Waters for a Reduction in their Letter of Credit. He along with Mr. Bob Davis, Public Works General Foreman have inspected the site and Kenn hopes to have the numbers ready for the next agenda for a recommendation.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS: A. NOVO SELO – Review of request for Re-Subdivision (Mr. Mirko Klajic) Mr. Klajic appeared before the Commission with a revised layout of the re-subdivision with wider lots. Noting that Lot 4 and Lot 6 already had existing structures built. Mr. Williams questioned the sizing as he did not feel that the property in question could support 10 lots. A suggestion was made to reduce the 10 lots proposed to 8 lots and add 3,000 to 3,500 s.f. per lot. Mr. Forbes inquired as to meeting criteria for R-1 zoning for 8 lots. Mr. Williams calculated that as presented the lots were below the R-2 criteria. It was noted that detention for the development was already in place. General discussion of the Commission suggested that the Petitioner have Torrenga Engineering redraw to support a cul-de-sac, providing R-1 on north side and bringing 5 to possibly 6 lots to the 20,000 s.f., off-set cul-de-sac to South. Commissioners commented individually that they were more amenable to the 5 R-1 lots which would meet the R-1 zoning requirement. B. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – Review of Salt Storage and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard, Construction Manager – Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies – Mr. Liming Zhang, Engineer, Schmidt Associates) Mr. Ledyard provided a draft layout of the property showing 4 lots, Lot 1 being Kolling School. Green building on the southwest corner of Lot 2 will remain until the new facility is built. The surrounding property is, at this time, still in a meets & bounds legal description, and platting would be a housekeeping matter. The new Salt and Maintenance Facility Building will be 20’ in height. Mr. Forbes asked why toward the front (U.S. 41) of property, for which Mr. Ledyard advised that this was needed for the salt truck deliveries; could not be placed too far eastward. The existing curb-cut onto U.S. 41 would be exit only to northbound U.S. 41. Mr. Forbes asked about the necessary two (2) points of exit and entrance to the parcels. Mr. Kil and Mr. Williams noting that U.S. 41 and 85th Avenue via the private roadway of Kolling School Road appear to meet this requirement. Mr. Ledyard noted that the drainage is and will be maintained to go to the South side. Mr. Forbes asked about an existing curb-cut that extends to the back towards the railroad, which was once discussed to be a possible bike path when Lake Hills was developed. General discussion noted that the particular curb-cut in question is now fenced over as it is at the absolute base of the overpass. Mr. Volk expressed concern over the issue of land locking a parcel to the South. Mr. Ledyard advised that an access easement would be provided from Lot 2 to Lot 3 calling for a 15’ – 20’ ingress/egress easement. Mr. Volk stated that he would like the setback of the building to be back further to the East; however, Mr. Ledyard advised that that would not be possible with the supply trucks. With the last questions from the Commissioners, Mr. Ledyard confirmed with Mr. Forbes that he will be seeking authorization for Public Hearing at the September 7th Plan Commission meeting for Preliminary Plat approval in October. Mr. Kraus stated that he was good with the drawings submitted for review and had a few questions that he would get with the engineer of Lake Central to answer. C. CIRCLE K – Review of Development Plan (Mr. Jim Weiser, Attorney – Mr. Joe Carroll, Construction Manager – Mr. Don Southerer, Realty Agent) Mr. Weiser introduced the proposal for the southeast corner of 93rd Avenue and U.S. 41. Advised that he has met with Mr. Kil concerning his thoughts for the project; safety features and other issues. The project cost would be significant, as it would be over three million plus dollars in construction and bring fifteen jobs to that location. The proposal is already a permitted use in its present zoning and would probably require some waivers and or variances for the signage. The U.S. 41 entry would be right-in and right-out only. They have been in preliminary discussions with the Indiana Department of Transportation to install a median divider on U.S. 41 south along to the bank’s property for safety purposes, providing for designated left turn lane(s). From existing 93rd Avenue access, the full access drive would be improved and moved further to the East approximately 10-15 feet depending on the rear yard setback. Front setback would be 40’ to the canopy and 60’ to the building. Bank is in agreement with the parking, use, and other entrance. Islands shown now would be cut to make room for the barrier median on U.S. 41. Mr. Forbes had concerns over another incident that occurred with Schoop’s Restaurant whereas a vehicle shot through property into the building. Mr. Weiser assured that the engineering plans would show the detail of the safety bollards, like the ones placed directly in front of the building. These “bollards” would secure the area as a special safety feature. Mr. Kennedy inquired of the right-in and right-out in regards to an Ingress/Egress agreement. Mr. Weiser advised that it would be platted to the benefit of Circle K. Mr. Kennedy asked about sidewalks on U.S. 41 and 93rd Avenue. Mr. Weiser advised that there are existing sidewalks now that would be relocated and placed at a proper distance. Mr. Weiser advised that he would be taking a look to review the dimensions of the existing parking spaces as to whether they were 10’ x 20’. Layout of canopy and building would be similar to Speedway and Marathon already on U.S. 41. Mr. Weiser and Mr. Carroll showed the tanker truck delivery route, noting that Mr. Kil had already suggested only deliveries entering from the South. Mr. Volk noting that the south boundary and surrounding would all be contiguous. Mr. Kil suggested that the signage approval go directly to the Board of Zoning Appeals at some point. Mr. Forbes inquired if they were aware of the new lighting standards ordinance that has been recently changed to not allow glare or light spray. He further mentioned that the Speedway in Dyer has the lighting that meets this criterion and that they would like it to mirror the same concept. Mr. Carroll advised that all the lighting would be LED, with “lumens” in a photo-metric plan whereas light points downward and not out. 100% LED. The Reader Board cannot exceed 10” in height and must be mono-chrome with no flashing or movement. Mr. Carroll advised that it would be digital and comply with that requirement. Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus confirmed that the detention for this property has already been placed and that the engineer will review any additional minimal capacity that the project may require, once he has some numbers. Mr. Weiser and Mr. Kil confirmed that the developer is aware of the all brick structure requirement, including a similar Trash/Dumpster enclosure. Mr. Carroll advised it would be like and kind to the main structure. Mr. Weiser explained that the handout presented tonight was just preliminary and by no means complete and would review the various ordinances to prepare proper proposals for future meetings before the board. Mr. Kil asked about the room to pull-out. Mr. Weiser advised there is 55’ pump to parking space set-back. Mr. Williams asked about placing a deceleration lane on northbound U.S. 41, as part of Circle K’s required improvement. They anticipate appearing at another Study Session on September 21st, 2016. D. GATES OF ST. JOHN / UNIT 10 J – Review request for Zone Change (Mr. John Lotton) Mr. Forbes noted that there was a deferred Public Hearing from August 3, 2016 and that there were questions regarding Ordinance No. 1396 as to annexation and zoning commitments. Mr. Forbes read into the record Mr. Muenich’s legal opinion as addressed in correspondence. (a copy of which is hereby attached) As such and with no questions from the Commissioners the matter is set for continued Public Hearing at the September 7, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting. E. THE PRESERVE AT SCHILLTON HILLS – UNIT 1 FINAL PLAT (Mr. Jack Slager) Mr. Slager reported to the Commissioners that they are toward the final stages of installing the infrastructure with Unit 1 containing 57 lots. Directing their attention to Lot 25, he advised that there will be a no access easement and no driveway coming off onto White Oak Avenue. Outlot “C” – the bike path will continue as a 50’ strip along Waterleaf, from White Oak, to the West. Lot 1 was a corner lot, but will not have access to White Oak and that they are extending the Outlot, thus the entrance to Lot 1 would be from Tall Grass Trail. Conservation easements as noted are a heavily wooded area of no grading and no tree clearing and will remain as such with a 45’ building setback line. Should a builder wish to attempt to build it would also require heavy landscape included. There is a 50’ right-of-way dedicated on White Oak Avenue. Weather permitting, Mr. Slager plans to complete the improvements in one month, and possibly seek Plan Commission – Final Plat Approval in 2 weeks, with the mylars held until all improvements are installed and inspected. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Gill discussed the basic difference of Preliminary and Final Plat approval, as they have preliminary and start placing improvements; however, they need the Final Plat approved, signed and record before any lots can be sold. Mr. Kennedy inquired of the zoning for which it was explained as RC-1 PUD so lots are 12,000 to 40,000 in size for this phase. Mr. Slager again reiterated that depending on the asphalt schedule they would like to appear before the September 7, 2016 Plan Commission meeting for Final Plat Approval, with the condition that mylars are to be held if some improvements are still on-going and not completed. F. DANCING WATERS – PHASE III – Review of Development Plan (Mr. Dennis Meyers) Mr. Kil spoke with developer Dennis Meyers, who said he would rather come before the Commission when Levin Tire is ready to present their proposal, for the frontage roadway from Lake Central Drive to 85th Avenue. Until Levin Tire is ready there is really nothing to bring before the Commission at this time. Mr. Forbes brought a discussion to the other Commissioners on the earlier Joint Study Session with the Economic Development Committee and would everyone want to see the “re-scaled” version of the Town Center. With all expressing agreement, Mr. Kil was directed to contact Christine Carlyle of Solomon-Cordwell & Buenz and have the Economic Development Committee take a look at a re-scaled plan for review for the next Plan Commission Study Session. Mr. Kraus advised that he was contacted to review Dancing Waters for a Reduction in their Letter of Credit. He along with Mr. Bob Davis, Public Works General Foreman have inspected the site and Kenn hopes to have the numbers ready for the next agenda for a recommendation. (The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

09-07-2016 Plan Commission

September 7, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on September 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Stephen Kil, Town Manager who stated the recording secretary was off due to illness. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich. Mr. Jon Gill was absent.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. ZAGORAC ADDITION (10965 Thielen Street) – Re-Subdivision of Three (3) lots into a Two (2) lot subdivision.
Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the deficiencies have been corrected, and the papers for the public hearing are in order. Mr. Mirko Zagorac advised he was still interested in the subdivision and advised that after he spoke with the federal government found that he would save four hundred dollars ($400.00) a year in taxes.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Linda Case (10921 Thielen Street). Ms. Case advised she is opposed to the re-subdivision and does not want them putting a house in the middle of a lot. Stated that this is supposed to be a historic district. Mr. Forbes noted that currently there are three (3) “platted lots”, the empty ones next to the petitioners could build two (2) houses where now he has decided make a lot larger and have only one (1) house there. Reiterated that two (2) houses could be placed there now. Ms. Case stated she doesn’t want a house built there and that the people of the PAC do not want it.

Eli Criderman (8950 105th Place). Inquired if the Zoning Ordinance requirements of the lot size satisfactory to build a house there. Mr. Muenich advised that it would be legal non-conforming. Mr. Criderman asked if that meant it met the 100’ x 150’ in effect? Mr. Kil answered that is in effect for new subdivision lots and that these lots were in “1920 something”, so that they are considered legal non-conforming by the Zoning Ordinance.

After calling for any further comment, Mr. Forbes brought it back to the board for any questions.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Primary approval on the petition for a Two (2) lot subdivision and incorporating the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Kil advised that this will be placed on the September 22, 2016 Study Session agenda.

B. ESTATES OF WELLINGTON (Lots 6 and 7) – Re-Subdivision of Two (2) lots into One (1) lot.
Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies advised that he was representing the owner, Mr. Bill DilSanto in the Estate of Wellington. Mr. DiSanto has 2.6 acres and that he wishes to build his home in the “center” and needs both lots to accomplish what he wants to do with the home. Mr. Rettig advised that he has not seen any blueprints as of yet, however, it was a large residence. Mr. Rettig asked for Primary and also Final Plat approval at this time. Mr. Forbes advised to request it later after the public hearing portion.

Mr. Muenich noted that the proofs of publications for the public hearing are in proper order. Mr. Williams asked about the drainage easement and the “dashed line” through the plat before him. Mr. Rettig advised that the structure would be built in front of that line.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes brought it back to the Board for questions.

Mr. Rettig at this time asked the board to suspend the rules as they are asking for Primary and Final approval as submitted in the drawings before the board. Mr. Birlson inquired a procedure established for this? Mr. Forbes advised that between Primary and Final approval that there is a 30-day waiting period, in larger developments it allows the developer to get the infrastructure in and make adjustments, but that it was not the case in this matter as all the improvements are already in place so that it is a moot point. With no further questions from the board Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Mr. Birlson made a motion to give Preliminary approval the two (2) lots into one (1) subdivision, and incorporating the Findings of Fact for Lots 6 and 7. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to suspend the rules regarding the 30-day waiting period for Final Plat approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – o nays.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Final Plat approval and incorporating the Findings of Fact. Motion seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Rettig said he would bring in the mylars and pay the developmental fee of $900.00 very soon; before getting signatures on said mylars.

C. MCNAMARA ESTATES (10806 Ontario Street) – Two (2) lot subdivision.
Ms. Pamela McNamara (Petitioner), noted a correction in the address on agenda (was listed as 10806 West 108th Avenue). Mr. Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in proper order, that last month there was a minor glitch. Mr. Birlson noted that he had driven past this location and seeing a very large sign advertising the public hearing.

Mr. Williams inquired as to what they wish to accomplish with the petition. Ms. McNamara advised they wish to subdivide and sell the lot to have a single family home built on the other parcel. Mr. Forbes noted that it is a very large lot in Artesian Wells subdivision that they are dividing into Two (2) lots. Mr. Kil advise that these would be over 1/2 acre lots. Mr. Williams commented that it appears to exceed the R-1 zoning by quite a bit. Mr. Forbes stated he believed it was by over 7,000 square feet.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes brought it back to the Board for questions.

Mr. Forbes read a letter from Haas & Associates (Town Engineer Kenn Kraus) stating that he has reviewed the plat for Lot 26 Plan B for division into two (2) lots and finds it satisfactory with the exception that the existing zoning is not noted on the subject property; nor the adjacent properties, or the names of adjacent property owners. The developmental fee is $900.00 as there is no associated infrastructure and that this should be paid prior to the signing of the secondary plat (mylar). All public improvements are in the existing subdivision with the exception of storm water detention.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for McNamara Estates. Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Primary approval for a two (2) lot subdivision and referencing the Findings of Facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to suspend the rules for this existing development. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat approval, noting that the $900.00 developmental fee must be paid prior to the signing of the mylars. Mr. Kozel made a motion that they grant McNamara Estates Final Plat approval contingent on the $900.00 developmental fee and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN (POD 10 J) re-zone request R-2PUD to R-3PUD (Mr. John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised that this is a request for a zone change from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD. This had been deferred from our last meeting. We have discussed further at the last Study Session. We received and acknowledge the limitations of the restrictive covenants. Mr. Muenich advised he is re-stating that the Town does not enforce them.

Mr. Lotton stated that this rezoning would be restricted to duplexes. Mr. Forbes reminded the board that this would be a recommendation to the Town Council for final action; either favorable, un-favorable or no recommendation.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant The Gates of St. John – Pod 10J a zone change from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD and to make a favorable recommendation to the Town Council. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

[audience member inquired in the background of public comment? Mr. Forbes noted that the public hearing on this matter was done at a previous meeting].

B. THE PRESERVES – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Jack Slager)
Mr. Slager introduced himself to the board, advising that he represents Schilling Development in regards to The Preserve. Tonight he is requesting Final Plat approval for Unit One, which is the first fifty-seven (57) lots which was also discussed at the last study session to talk about some tweaks needed. Mr. Slager noted that this project phase has been in the works for the past 6 months; putting in the infrastructure and finding out we have to place an easement or move a lot line slightly. In this case some of the tweaks were to add some “no access easements” along White Oak Avenue so that the three (3) lots that actually touch along White Oak Avenue are not allowed to have a driveway or any other access to White Oak Avenue.

Mr. Kil placed the submitted plans on the screen. Mr. Slager pointed to Lot 25, noting no access. Stated no access or “access restriction”, so no one can build a house or have it going out toward the back. Further noted that Lot 56 at the bottom of the screen and then on the north side of Lot 56 you cannot have access to Waterleaf Drive.

Mr. Slager advised that they extended the outlot between Waterleaf Drive and Lot 1, so that again, no access, no driveway, entering at the main entrances of the subdivision.

Mr. Slager advised that other than those changes it is the same fifty-seven (57) lots that they came in with originally for the primary plat approval; so now we are requesting Final Plat approval at this stage, as we are nearing the point of putting the streets in, which will be the final step. All the sewers and water mains are installed. He advised that the street will be finished within the next two (2) weeks, so prior to the next regular plan commission meeting and therefore we would ask that you withhold the signatures on the mylars until the streets are completed.

Mr. Kil asked about the final surface. Mr. Slager advised that they would be doing that also.

Mr. Williams asked if the conversations the Plan Commission is having with Nipsco has any bearing on this at all. Mr. Forbes said that topic is not necessary for the approval being sought and that is a conversation topic for the next study session. Mr. Slager advised that they have easements “all the way around the lots”, so that they won’t have to come back and re-plat easements depending on any decisions with Nipsco.

Mr. Forbes read a letter from Town Engineer (Haas & Associates) regarding 57 lots, two (2) outlots of detention and associated street right-of-ways. It stated that they have reviewed the plat and found it satisfactory. The development fee of Twenty-Six Thousand Five Hundred Ninety-Three Dollars and fifty-two cents ($26,593.52) and is based on 2% of the construction costs. Public improvements for this project have been installed with the exception of some street construction. It is anticipated that street will be completed before the next Plan Commission meeting.

In lieu of a Letter of Credit, the developer is asking that the Town not sign the mylars until “after” the streets are completed and as-built drawings have been submitted.

Mr. Forbes noted that the only street done is Waterleaf Drive. Mr. Slager advised that they are starting tomorrow on the remainder of the streets, so they figure about two more weeks before fully completed.

With no further discussion Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat approval for The Preserves – Unit One.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval for The Preserves – Unit One and referencing the Findings of Fact; and to not sign the mylars until streets are installed and accepted. Added to his motion that also the developmental fee needs to be paid and the as-built drawings submitted. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried with 5 ayes – 1 abstention (Mr. Kennedy).

C. LAKE CENTRAL – Request Permission to Advertise (Mr. Bill Ledyard)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item was permission to advertise for public hearing by Lake Central for a Four (4) lot subdivision, for construction of a Salt Barn and a new Maintenance Facility.

Mr. Bill Ledyard introduced himself on behalf of Lake Central School Corporation. Mr. Ledyard advised they would like permission to advertise to appear at the October 5, 2016 Plan Commission meeting for Primary Plat of the Subdivision which would include a new salt and maintenance building. Mr. Ledyard further asked the board to suspend the 30-day waiting period, and would like to get Final Plat approval that night as well, if possible. Mr. Forbes advised that that request should be made at the appropriate time, at the public hearing on October 5, 2016.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Ledyard what he would like placed on the screen; Mr. Ledyard advised just the picture submitted.

Mr. Forbes explained that in short that the property is owned by Lake Central and is currently in a “meets and bounds” legal description, just like they had on Thielen Street. In order for them to build they have to “subdivide” in order to create a lot to build on, in order to comply with the Zoning Ordinance. So you are taking property you own and making it into four (4) lots, basically separating two (2) existing buildings and a lot that you don’t currently use.

The Transportation Center and the Salt Barn, then a maintenance building. Then there is that parcel lot to the South, and then there is the one small lot just on the North side of Kolling Road, which would be lot 4.

Mr. Ledyard advised that since the study session they have added the twenty foot (20’) access easement that we talked about and Town Engineer Kenn Kraus sent us some comments from the checklist. These were sent onto Mr. Carlson and I believe he sent a letter late this afternoon.

Mr. Forbes stated that this is basically stuff we would deal with at primary plat, just referencing $900.00 developmental fee and the fact that it is a subdivision project that includes three (3) lots zoned Public and one (1) lot zoned Industrial on 52.19 acres, which are excerpts of Mr. Ledyard’s cover request letter. Mr. Forbes advised that those would be discussed at the time of Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they have questions at this time. Mr. Kennedy asked if the sheet metal building was going to stay, gray toned. Mr. Ledyard advised that the small green-gray building will be torn down after the completion of both projects proposed. They will build around it, then tear is down. The Salt Barn will be the first to be built because it is needed for winter and then start the foundation of the Maintenance Building at the same time, but it is a much larger project than the salt barn. Mr. Ledyard said that they are hoping the Salt Barn only takes sixty (60) days to complete. Mr. Ledyard advised that providing they receive approval in October, that the salt barn would be completed by mid-December. The Maintenance Building should be done by May 2017 and then they would tear down that small structure.

Mr. Williams inquired if Lot 3 on the drawing is land-locked. Mr. Ledyard advised we added that twenty foot (20’) access easement that was suggested at the study session. Mr. Kil advised that Lake Central would also be on the September 21, 2016 Study Session as well, and then again in October.

Mr. Williams asked what they were approving tonight. Mr. Kil advised just permission to advertise for the public hearing, and that whatever will appear on a “voting agenda” will always appear on the Study Session agenda beforehand.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Lake Central permission to advertise for a Public hearing on October 5, 2016 for a four (4) lot subdivision. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

D. DANCING WATERS – Reduction of Letter of Credit request (Mr. Dennis Meyers)
Mr. Forbes read the letter from the Town Engineer in regards to the developer requesting a reduction in the letter of Credit amount that the Town currently holds on their project. Mr. Kraus advised that they have calculated a new value based on the infrastructure left to be completed, and they recommend that the letter of credit be reduced from $390,346.00 to $66,241.00.

Mr. Forbes reminded the board members that this is a recommendation to the Town Council for final action.

Mr. Volk made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town for the reduction of the letter of credit. Motion seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

E. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra / Wyngate Development)
Mr. Kil advised that the Developer asked to be deferred as he is not ready for final plat approval yet. Further that they are in the process of building the cul-de-sac and bike path. Basically they simply are not done and wished to be deferred to October.

Mr. Williams made a motion to defer Renaissance – Unit 8 Final Plat Approval to October. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

F. ROSE GARDEN – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)
Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies advised he is representing Sublime Development and that the is the Rose Garden 1st re-subdivision. This is similar to the other project that was presented tonight. They are combining two (2) lots in a relatively new Rose Garden Addition, into one (1) lot. Will be taking Lots 6 and 7, combining into lot 1 of Rose Garden. All improvements were completed with the original subdivision and it is just a matter of combining the two (2) lots.

Mr. Forbes read the Town Engineer’s comments of the project. The project combines lots 6 and 7 of the Rose Garden Addition. We have reviewed the plat and find it to be satisfactory and the developmental fee would be $900.00; and there is no associated infrastructure.

All public improvements have been installed as part of the Rose Garden Addition subdivision. The conservation easement has been revised from the Rose Garden Addition plat to better fit the needs of this project.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion on the final plat approval. Mr. Kozel made motion to give Final Plat Approval for Rose Garden, Lots 6 and 7, with developmental fee of $900.00, and incorporate the Findings of Fact. Once payment is made, authorize the signing of the mylars. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Ms. Tina Milcarek (9149 West 103rd Place, Gates):

Wanted explanation of enforcement of the Weeds & Rank Vegetation regulations adopted by the Town that she read on the Town’s web-site and believed were not being enforced as written. She was concerned about an area in her development sold by Mr. Lotton to Cal Atlantic in which the vegetation was over five (5’) feet in height. Felt that the municipality was not enforcing their own ordinances.

Mr. Kil attempted to explain the difference between an unkempt lot in a developed area and large area acreage that is platted, yet not under construction. He further advised that he spoken to Mr. Lotton and that that area should be mowed within the next week or so. Further he stated that construction would be starting soon in which the entire area would be “graded off” and that this should hopefully not be a problem in the future.

Ms. Linda Case (no one came to the microphone):

Mr. Marc Burns (8297 Willowhaven Drive, Gates):

Mr. Burns stated he was opposed to the re-zoning of the Gates parcel matter. Noted that some of the board members were not present at the last meeting in regards to the re-zoning request of Mr. Lotton, who voted for it. Feels Mr. Lotton is non-reputable in dealing with the residents, especially in regards to the Homeowners Association. Feels that the Plan Commission should be asking the existing residents about what they want in regards to these future development issues.

Mr. Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street):

Mr. Panczuk stated he has been going back to the 2004 Comprehensive Plan and the one being proposed now; and feels that the previous plan is better, other than problems with a potential train station. Has heard discussion about a Town Center along the Rt. 231 corridor and feels that if that were the case it should be a separate area.

Mr. Dale Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road):

Mr. Robert advised that going back to the issue of unkempt lots that he reported the lot at 11025 Heron Lake Road over two (2) months ago to Code Enforcement and that it still is not cut, may be they don’t have enough employees to address the issues.

Mr. Robert also wanted it pointed out that from what he read is that the Town Council paid $150,000.00 to re-pave Calumet Avenue; why did they not go for grant money that was available and the time now has passed. Next he wanted to know if a cash bond is imposed on to developers for damage done to current street due to their construction.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Plan Commission

09-21-2016 Plan Commission

September 7, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
John Kennedy   Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on September 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, John Kennedy, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil. Jason Williams, David Austgen and Michael Muenich were absent.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. LAKE CENTRAL – Review of Primary Plat and Waivers for the construction of Salt Storage and Maintenance Facility Mr. Bill Ledyard, Construction Manager)
Mr. Bill Ledyard advised that they are prepared for the October 5, 2016 Public Hearing for review of the Primary Plat and to submit the Waiver Request Letter.

Mr. Ledyard advised that there are no changes from the latest drawings that were sent out on September 1, 2016. Mr. Ledyard advised he has been in discussion with Town Engineer Kenn Kraus concerning the waivers that would be needed and briefly brought these to the attention of the Plan Commission.

Item 1 through 3; being the minimum of three exterior building materials, building designed with a minimum of eight (8) corners and exterior building material.

On the Plan Commission checklist; numbers 33 through 39, which includes a waiver of sidewalks, and since this is a part of the existing elementary school and along U.S. 41, we do not want pedestrians walking in that area for safety reasons. Also noted that all students are bussed in or are driven in by a personal vehicle. A waiver would also be sought for the front setback from sixty feet (60’) to fifty feet (50’) to accommodate the salt storage building that is just west of the existing maintenance shed.

Mr. Ledyard advised that he has sent a cover letter outlining the eight (8) waivers that will be sought. Mr. Kennedy inquired as to the height of the building. Mr. Ledyard advised that the Salt Barn will be twenty-four feet (24’) to the eave and the Maintenance Building will be twenty-two feet (22’) to the eave.

Mr. Ledyard advised that the public hearing sign for development will be going up tomorrow and the legal notices for the public hearings is being taken care of.

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Ledyard that they would be seen at the October 5, 2016 meeting for Public Hearing.

B. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Final Plat review
Mr. Forbes advised that the Final Plat matter was deferred at the last meeting as they were not ready. Mr. Kraus advised that they are putting in the cul-de-sac and bike trail. Mr. Kil and Mr. Kozel noted that they have seen them working on it presently and they should have completed by the October 5, 2016 meeting. Mr. Kraus noted that they would rather have all the infrastructure in the ground and not have to obtain a Letter of Credit.
C. CIRCLE K – Review of Development Plan (Mr. Jim Weiser, Attorney – Mr. Joe Carroll, Construction Manager – Mr. Don Southerer, Realty Agent)
Mr. Weiser directed the planners to the site plan that was brought up on the screen. Mr. Weiser advised that the site plan has been amended with updates and modified once they received some comments from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

Mr. Weiser advised that the “right in only” access point, as was previously drawn, on 93rd Avenue was not favored by the engineer at INDOT and that the changes probably work better. A softer U.S. 41 entrance and prefers delivery off U.S. 41 for fuel deposit. Advised that they have a computer model of fueling that they have used in around 8,000 facilities. They have cleaned up the rear set-back of the building to meet the requirements.

Mr. Weiser advised that they will be seeking Developmental / Technical Variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals for the issue of the sign and canopy.

The median on U.S. 41 is favored by INDOT with some modification. They want the turn lane extended to the South, so the entrance is lengthened, however, this would require acquiring some property that they currently don’t own.

Mr. Weiser advised that they submitted the Landscape Plan and that the lights that the members previously mentioned preferring at a Dyer site are the exact same ones that will be used at this site also.

Mr. Weiser said he is seeking direction as to whether to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals first on some issues; or concurrently, or seek a special exception.

Mr. Birlson zoomed in on the entrance and noted it is fifty-two feet (52’) to the pump. Mr. Kil pointed out the deceleration lane, which just came in today in regards to U.S. 41 and 93rd Avenue. This point is being addressed by INDOT and that right now the turn radius is tight, and appears to be at a 45-degree angle.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the right-in and right-out matter. Mr. Weiser advised that INDOT felt it was too close to the main intersection, and concerned of the tail-end sweep of a truck so that there is more wiggle room. They advised that they may have to acquire additional property and that they are still measuring out this issue.

Mr. Kil asked about hugging the curb-line on 93rd Avenue.

Discussions of fuel deliveries were made. Mr. Carroll advised that they are limited to about two (2) to three (3) per week depending on need.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to room for cars on U.S. 41.

Mr. Volk asked if the fuel delivery could go around the back of the building and if there is enough setback there for this, and he noted 1’ to 2’ to property line. Mr. Weiser advised that this would be a large sea of asphalt and that there is no barrier curb.

Mr. Volk asked if the fueling trucks would be coming from the South or “primarily” from the South, and thought they should soften the radius of the curb.

Mr. Weiser advised that they have altered the truck route to comply with the Comprehensive Plan in regards to the deceleration lane requirements on U.S. 41.

Mr. Birlson asked about Standard Bank, is this turning onto private property in regards to the ingress/egress. Mr. Weiser advised there is an access agreement in place with the bank. Discussion in regards to lengthening the ingress/egress was done with INDOT that would also serve Dunkin Donuts, Schoop’s and the bank property. Mr. Weiser noted that there are utilities, including a fire hydrant that would have to be relocated, along with a large amount of utilities that are in place.

Mr. Birlson asked if there was room to “back-up” a semi, then go to the east side.

Mr. Kil said he gave INDOT a set of plans with deceleration on 93rd and U.S. 41 on or about September 13, 2016, and that they wanted a longer decal lane on U.S. 41, and that it would require moving a lot of utilities.

Mr. Weiser advised that 93rd is not an issue, however the length on U.S. 41 is an issue due to non-ownership of land and the utility movement.

Mr. Kennedy asked if INDOT provided an alternative to their suggestions.

Mr. Forbes noted that INDOT regulates the road on U.S. 41. Mr. Weiser advised that they will work with INDOT on the plan and also go to the Board of Zoning Appeals for some of the issues still in question. Mr. Kil advised that as standard policy he would be meeting with Mr. Weiser and develop a schedule on the project, noting meeting dates and times.

D. ZAGORIC ADDITION – Final Plat review
Mr. Kraus advised that he called Mr. Zagoric’s engineer to have them prepare the correct final plat. This is an older platted parcel on Joliet Street and is currently under the 30-day waiting period from the approval given. Mr. Kraus will be again calling the engineer to check on the final drawings and the final plat.
E. MILL CREEK – Final Plat Phase 2 review
Mr. Ed Recktenwall advised that he represents Olthof Homes. This development is Phase 2, with the entrance on Park Place, and Southeast of development. The water and sewer utilities have all been installed, inspected and passed. Mr. Kraus noted that they are very near close to being finalized and that a Letter of Credit or Surety Bond will be figured shortly.
F. EDEN’S COVE – Final Plat of Unit 1 review
Will be on the October 5, 2016 Plan Commission agenda for Final Plat approval.
G. SUNRISE SOLAR – Ravenswood Unit 2 (Lot 5)
Mr. Forbes noted that it is located at the back end of Ravenswood and asked Mr. Kil to show a Google Earth view of property on the large screen. It was shown that currently this property is being used as overflow parking for the attorneys’ office (Margo Babineaux) and J. L. Shandy Transportation. The petitioner is looking to build “like and kind” to the existing structures in that area, with only partial brick.

This business is relocating from the Warsaw area of Indiana.

Mr. Forbes then referred to the Site Plans, showed the J.L. Shandy property is already a platted lot at the bottom. Mr. Kil advised that they will be seeking site plan approval.

Mr. Kraus said that he has checked the plan and found no grades to be shown, and the fence on the South side encroaches into the noted four (4) parking spaces by two (2) to three (3) feet. The existing lighting in the area is not up to current codes in regards to the Dark Sky Ordinance.

Mr. Kraus advised he would be talking to Precision to address these concerns. Mr. Kraus advised that the West to part of the building would likely be office space and the east part would be warehouse and then the office. There are a required 14 parking spaces, but they have 16, so it meets the ratio for such.

Petitioner will be seeking a waiver from the brick requirement and would want brick façade only, being like and kind to the other buildings that are back towards to railroad tracks.

Mr. Volk asked what distinguishes Suite A and Suite B. Mr. Kraus advised that Suite B is the office and Suite A is the warehouse portion, to the best of his knowledge.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there would be different tenants. Mr. Forbes confirmed that it would be only one (1).

(With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:59 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

10-05-2016 Plan Commission

October 5, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Commission Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on October 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, recording secretary. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson and John Gill. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich. Mr. Gregory Volk and Mr. John Kennedy were absent.

MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for approval of minutes submitted for August 3, 2016; September 7, 2016 and September 21, 2016. With no additions or corrections, Mr. Willliams made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. LAKE CENTRAL – PUBLIC HEARING – Mr. Bill Ledyard, Construction Manager

Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order. He also advised that he has prepared a draft motion concerning the Primary plat approval as a legal opinion, as some of the waivers being sought by the petitioner are actually actions that must go before the Board of Zoning Appeals. The draft motion was prepared as an aid and can be included into the record or not; whatever the board sees fit.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they have incorporated Lot 4 into Lot 1. Lot 1 being Kolling School Road and the actual elementary school. Lot 2 would be the new maintenance facility and salt barn structure; and lot 3 will remain as undeveloped with a twenty foot (20’) access easement straight along to the west edge.

Mr. Ledyard advised he is aware that some of the waivers being sought are actual variances that will have to be petitioned before the Board of Zoning Appeals and that they will have them submitted shortly.

Page Two (2) of the plan was presented on the screen. Mr. Ledyard showed the overall plat plans. Mr. Williams inquired as to the trees and fence that is existing. Mr. Ledyard advised that the tan-slatted fence would remain and that it runs parallel to the property in the rear that Lake Central owns and has no plans on selling.

It was noted that Lot 3 needed to be included into the plans as all the aforementioned property is currently under a meets and bounds legal description and must be subdivided to meet proper criteria of the St. John Plan Commission.

Mr. Williams asked if any building would be placed on Lot 3. Mr. Ledyard advised that all the construction and improvements would be on Lot 2 of this plan, and that Lot 3 would remain undeveloped.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Muenich discussed the matter of two small parcels that remain that are not owned by Lake Central Corporation. These parcels; denoted as being owned by “Smith” and “Daimer” are adjoining parcels. Mr. Muenich advised that any terms of an easement agreement must be signed by all parties prior to the Final platting. Mr. Ledyard noted that the 20’ access easement to the parcels, the improvements and bearing of said costs would be included into the easement agreement.

Mr. Kil read into the record the draft motion prepared by Mr. Muenich:

PC Lake Central Motion

Mr. Chairman, I move that we grant primary subdivision approval for the Lake Central School Corporation, Salt Barn Addition and incorporate the standard findings of fact into the record, subject to the following conditions:

1. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 1 and 2, (General and Monuments, Markers and Notches) be waived as to the matters of topography, contour lines, and minimum elevations all as noted on the Engineers Checklist.

2. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 3, (Streets and Sidewalks) and Title V, Sections 3 and 5, (Design Standards/Streets and Design Standards/Walks) of the Subdivision Control Ordinance be waived upon the submission of a recordable Grant of Easement, not less than twenty feet (20’) wide, extending to the southernmost boundaries of the platted lots, with matters of access, improvements, maintenance, and grantees to be addressed and agreed upon prior to Final Plat submission.

3. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 4, (Utilities) be waived in their entirety as noted on the Engineers Checklist.

4. That the strict provisions of Title VI, (Storm Water Drainage Guidelines) be waived in their entirety all as noted in the Engineers Checklist.

5. That the following variances to the St. John Zoning Ordinance be presented to the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals for further determination and variance prior to the submission of a Final Plat of Subdivision.

A. Chapter 8, Section K.2 Variance from Three Exterior Building Materials
B. Chapter 8, Section K.3 Variance from Minimum Exterior Corners
C. Chapter 10, Section A/B Variance from Exterior Building Materials
D. Chapter 8, Sections F/ F.1 Variance from Frontage Road Setbacks and Illustrations
E. Chapter 8, Section I Variance from the requirements for a Lighting Plan submission
F. Chapter 8, Section L Variance from the requirement for a Public Art submission.
G. Chapter 8, Section M Variance from the requirement for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Submission.
H. Chapter 8, Section N Variance from the strict requirement for Access to individual Tracts as outlined in Item 2 preceding.

Mr. Ledyard stated that all landlocked issues will be worked out by the time they are ready to come to the next regular meeting which he believed would be in November; that Lake Central’s counsel along with the Town’s legal counsels will have the necessary matters worked out in the agreement.

Mr. Muenich and Mr. Williams discussed the contents of Paragraph 2 of the draft motion which basically was stated as Maintenance – Access – Grantee and Improvements.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Denise Horton (11309 Kelly Drive):
Ms. Horton wondered why she received a notice of this public hearing by letter, as she lives in the middle of a five-unit building and no other neighbors had received this notification. Mr. Kil advised that the legal notice requirement list is obtained by the Township Assessor’s Office and that they may have inadvertently placed her on the list to make notice to.

Ms. Horton asked if all of the development in question is on the East side of U.S. 41. Mr. Ledyard and the board members assured her that it was.

After calling for any further comment, Mr. Forbes brought it back to the board for any questions.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Primary Plat approval and incorporating the Draft Motion and the Findings of Fact into same motion.

Mr. Muenich reiterated that it is items One (1) through Four (4) that is at the discretion of the Plan Commission and that items Five (5) “A through H”, must go before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Kozel stated to have that included into the motion he made. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. RENAISSANCE 8 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Doug Terpstra addressed the planners and advised that the last three (3) lots, which were approved through The Gates annexation agreement years ago have been completed.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Forbes advised they have both been in that area and seen the cul-de-sac and that it looks very nice. Mr. Terpstra and the planners discussed a present problem at the site in which it is apparent that vehicles coming from 101st and purposely driving through the back end of the cul-de-sac, as tracks can be seen. Mr. Terpstra advised that they were thinking of placing safety fence to keep cars from driving trough it. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes discussed that they will work it out with the Town in order to place a large berm the area in order to alleviate this problem.

Mr. Forbes read the report from Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) saying that he has reviewed the site and finds all issues satisfied. The developmental fee for this project is $1,417.51 based on two percent (2%) of the construction costs. Mr. Muenich advised that the western point of this property is still in the Town’s name and a deed will need to be prepared for Mr. Terpstra to have recorded with the Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant Final Plat approval, contingent upon payment of developmental fees and incorporating the findings of fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

B. MILL CREEK – Phase Two – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Joe Lenehan)

Mr. Lenehan introduced himself to the board and advised that he represents Olthoff Homes. They are seeking final approval for Phase Two which consists of twenty (20) lots. He advised that all improvements have been installed with the exception of street lights. In lieu of a Letter of Credit they wish to submit a Performance Bond in the amount of 110% of the construction costs.

Mr. Forbes read the report submitted by Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) which stated that he was reviewed Phase Two of Mill Creek, the streets and associated improvements and finds it satisfactory, with the exception as stated of the street lights. He has calculated a developmental fee of $8,088.29 based on two percent (2%) on the construction costs, and recommends a Letter of Credit in the amount of $17,600.00 to cover street lights, signage and as-built drawings.

Mr. Lenehan proposed a Subdivision Bond in the amount of $19,360.00 which is one hundred ten percent (110%) of the aforementioned remaining improvements. Mr. Muenich advised that this is up to the board; however, it is an acceptable substitute to the Letter of Credit as specified in the rules and procedures.

Hearing no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Mill Creek – Phase Two.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval to Mill Creek – Phase 2, incorporating the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Kozel then made a motion to accept the Performance Bond in the amount 110% of the cost of remaining improvements, contingent upon the approval of the Town Council, with a favorable recommendation from the board. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

C. ZAGORIC ADDITION – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Mirko Zagoric)

Mr. Zagoric advised that he provided the three (3) mylar plats to the office this afternoon. Mr. Forbes asked Town Engineer Kenn Kraus if he had a letter concerning the review of this development.

Mr. Kraus advised that he only just received this from the surveyor around 2:00 p.m. and that he found several errors in the plans submitted. Mr. Kraus advised that these were clerical in nature and could easily be corrected by Mr. Sekerez, who is the surveyor listed. Mr. Zagoric advised that he would go see his surveyor in person tomorrow to have all these things corrected.

Mr. Kraus advised that since this is an existing sub-divided parcel and no improvements need to be installed or inspected that he sees no reasons that Final plat approval cannot be contingent; upon a letter from himself once the corrected final plat is submitted and reviewed, since all the errors seem to be minor clerical matters. Additionally, since there are no infrastructure improvements to be made that the developmental fee would be the minimum of $900.00 for the Zagoric Addition.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve Final Plat approval, contingent upon receiving of the corrected plats by the Town Engineer for review and release, incorporating the Findings of Fact into the motion and the payment of the $900.00 developmental fee. Motion seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

D. EDENS COVE – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Kil advised that the petitioner requested this matter be removed from the agenda.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Forbes read from the sign-in sheet of persons wishing to speak before the commission.

Mr. Gerry Swets (Mr. Swets passed).

Mr. Bryan Blazak (Mr. Blazak passed).

Mr. Erik Schneider (9190 106th Street):
Mr. Schneider stated that he wished to apologize to the board for his demeanor at a previous meeting and specifically towards Mr. Williams. He felt he let emotions and a bad day get the better of him and just wanted to make the statement for the record.

Mr. Tom Parada (9135 Joliet Street):
Mr. Parada advised that he has been conducting polls on the Nextdoor Social web-site in regards to multi-family and that the numbers are showing that people don’t want multi-family and that the supposed eight percent (8%) cap or whatever is being exceeded. Mr. Parada made references to Mr. Blazak and others checking numbers of past building data showing a higher count. Mr. Parada believes the Town is “cooking the books” to make it look like you are abiding your own guidelines.

Mr. Terry Frankovich (9535 Joliet Street):
Mr. Frankovich advised that he had left the area of St. John to move to another state. He was originally from Hammond and he has returned and is hoping to get better informed and involved; and just wanted to meet the board and get a better idea of the growth of the Town of St. John.

With no further public comment Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Motion made by Mr. Williams for adjournment. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

10-19-2016 Plan Commission

October 19, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
John Kennedy   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Gregory Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on October 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, John Kennedy, Jon Gill, Bob Birlson and Jason Williams. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil. David Austgen and Michael Muenich were absent.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – POD 13 A – Final Plat Review

Mr. John Lotton introduced himself to the commission. Mr. Lotton advised that he is presenting Pod 13 A for Final Plat (Secondary). Mr. Lotton advised there were no changes.

Mr. Williams questioned when this was last presented because he could not recall seeing this unit before. Mr. Lotton advised that this was first brought in 2006 during the primary plat approval. Mr. Williams inquired about any traffic situations that they need to be aware of.

Mr. Lotton showed there is an entrance going South to 101st, where an excel-decel lane is located. Mr. Lotton also pointed out a stub street; however, there is a pipeline there so he does not foresee it going anywhere. Mr. Lotton advised that Mr. Dale Huseman’s property is to the South. He noted that maybe one lot could be squeezed in, but then there is 165’ of pipeline to cross, which would make it very costly to improve.

Mr. Huseman has approximately 80 acres, but that would be a whole different development, and not his.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to a turn lane to go South into the subdivision. Mr. Lotton advised all that is already in place.

Mr. Kraus asked about the infrastructure status. Mr. Lotton advised that the lime stabilization is done, all the underground is in, they will start stoning tomorrow and on Monday they will start installing curbs.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the direction of entering and exiting. Mr. Lotton advised there is one lane in and two (2). Mr. Lotton advised it would be a “right” and a “through”, and then a “left”.

Mr. Williams inquired as to an area shaded in gray. Mr. Lotton advised that was Phase 2 and would likely be developed next year.

Mr. Volk asked if Mr. Kil had anything to add to the discussion. Mr. Kil advised that he did not, this was all laid out and approved back in 2006.

General discussion ensued on the dead-end, stub street to the South.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Volk advised Mr. Lotton that he will be seen at the Regular meeting on November 2, 2016.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – POD 4 A – Final Plat review

Mr. Lotton advised that this phase was also in for Final Plat. Mr. Lotton advised that they are single family cottage homes. These are similar to Pod 2, 5 and 6.

Mr. Volk asked if anything was changed from the original platting. Mr. Lotton advised no, this was the original platting, although some easement on some drainage ways were adjusted. The actual lots have not changed.

Mr. Williams asked for a specific location on the overall subdivision plat that was on the screen. Mr. Lotton pointed out Cline Avenue, the entrance is 1/2 mile north of Route 231.

Mr. Kraus inquired as to the improvements status. Mr. Lotton advised that the roads are stoned and the curbing will start on Monday. The berms, the grass and trees are in, it is pretty far along.

Mr. Birlson asked what is the difference between a single family cottage home and a duplex. The house is detached.

Mr. Williams asked what the typical square footage is on the homes. Mr. Lotton advised that the units are from 1,600 s.f. to 2,400 s.f. Mr. Lotton advised there are four (4) different sizes. Mr. Lotton advised that it is for 21 homes in this phase, but an overall total of all will be 127.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the intersection of 105th and Cline Avenue. Mr. Lotton advised there is an acceleration lane going to the South, and from the North there is a property right up to the edge, and we will widen it to that point, as there is an old farmhouse there and they may own to the middle of the roadway. Mr. Lotton advised that he believes we have two (2) out and one (1) in there.

Mr. Kennedy asked about a decel. Mr. Lotton advised they do not have the real estate for a decel there, we only have an excel going South.

Mr. Williams asked if Mr. Lotton would mock it for the commissioners so they can see how that intersection is going to work with Cline Avenue. Mr. Lotton pointed out there is an exit also on 101st.

Mr. Williams asked for the plat on screen be zoomed out to see where the other cottage homes would be. Mr. Lotton pointed to Pod 4 on the screen, drew attention as requested to the areas that are already built and the area that is to be built in the future. For a sense of direction, Mr. Lotton pointed out Park Place and the power lines.

Mr. Birlson asked if Northbound on Cline would there be a turn lane into the subdivision. Mr. Lotton stated there is not one proposed for there. Mr. Kil advised that was discussed at some point as a primary intersection, but only if the property to the East would be developed, then we could get the necessary right-of-way property in order to put in that improvement. Right now it is all unincorporated and we don’t have a right-of-way to do everything we want. There is a similar situation with property just west of Parrish, that is going to be a subject of a fairly decent intersection improvement at some point when the property come in.

General discussion ensued on right-of-ways. Mr. Lotton advised that he is giving 50’ from the center of the road.

Mr. Williams asked if there was an overview of all of Cline from 101st to 231. Mr. Kil advised that on the east side there are a bunch of small homes, all are unincorporated and have a private drive. Mr. Kil pointed out a large section of farmland that is owned by Mr. Barman, and that presently there are two (2) cuts onto Cline Avenue.

Mr. Kil advised that if the corner develops as commercial, they will definitely want access to Cline Avenue. I and Mr. Lotton have discussed stubbing out of The Gates, but right now Mr. Barman does not want to develop, he enjoys farming.

Mr. Williams wanted clarification that Cline Avenue is two (2) lanes, one-way and no shoulder; so are we saying that the street is going to support all the residential traffic that is be put in here? Mr. Kil advised that it is not just the Gates subdivision; Cline Avenue is the North-South route for all of the area. Mr. Kil pointed out it is a main route for the steel mills. We want to improve the intersections; however, we have no right-of-ways, it is all unincorporated. So, if it develops in the future we will be able to. Mr. Williams stated that he is concerned that we are allowing development in which there is not enough infrastructure to support it, at least as far as traffic is concerned on Cline. Mr. Kil advises that it will be part of the traffic study and our consultants have not completed it yet. Mr. Kil stated he is familiar with the issues with Cline and there is no easy answer, but more importantly we just don’t have access to the unincorporated, nor funds to support the wish list.

Mr. Williams directed his attention to the screen and inquired about the status of what is planned; what is already built and what is the future plan. Mr. Lotton advised that the whole Gates development is planned, it was done is 2006. Mr. Lotton pointed to the areas that are remaining for Final Plat approval, but reiterated that the entire development has preliminary approval already.

More general discussion ensued as to right-of-ways needed on the East side of Cline, if and when it is developed. Mr. Birlson asked about future annexation to the East. Mr. Kil pointed out that our development growth plan ends at Cline Avenue, it is in Center Township and has a Crown Point mailing address.

With no further questions or comments, this topic is noted to be placed on the November 2, 2016 agenda.

C. GO LO – Review of Site Improvement Plan

Mr. Dan Tursmann of Bukus Development introduced himself to the board. Mr. Tursmann said that he has an informal presentation of the plan. The existing GoLo Gas Station at 9285 Wicker Avenue, at the corner of 93rd and Wicker Avenue. The current dealer of this business would like to replace the existing canopy and the existing pumps. They will leave the existing tanks, but essentially improve the overall layout, and hopefully improve the traffic flow and make the site look a lot nicer.

Mr. Tursmann wanted to discuss the difficult ingress / egress to the East, and what the Town would like to see with the site.

Mr. Volk asked if the existing building would be the same size or are they expanding. Mr. Tursmann advised the building is the same and the owner would like to do some interior remodeling in the future. Mr. Volk noted that it appears that they are looking to turn the pumps at a 90-degree angle.

Mr. Tursmann advised that they would remove the existing concrete pads and re-pour them, resurface the asphalt.

Mr. Kil advised the board members that he met with Board Attorney Mike Muenich to go over a list of approvals that GoLo will be required to obtain. There will be B.Z.A. action needed along with action needed by the Plan Commission and this will be a long process. I believe he wanted to come to this meeting, because as you know, this site is tight. There is a very defined property line with this property and the next (Hometown Appliance).

Mr. Birlson asked if he could explain what was Hometown’s property versus what is the GoLo property. Mr. Tursmann outlined points of the plat that were displayed on the screen.

Mr. Tursmann advised that they do not want to create a hardship or conflict to the adjacent properties. He stated that they are trying to figure out site improvements to create a better green space and to improve the esthetics, but again, not to create any hardship.

Mr. Kil advised that you basically have 20 feet from the building to their property line, roughly, which is not enough to park any cars and have a drive lane.

Discussion ensued concerning getting Mr. Tursmann into conversations with the property owner of Hometown Appliance. It was noted that the person who runs that business is not the owner of the property, that he just leases the property.

Mr. Williams inquired as to the actual property lines to the North. Mr. Tursmann showed on the plat that there is an existing utility easement located on the north line. Mr. Williams asked why the north side of the property wasn’t being used. Mr. Tursmann advised that there is a grade change of some significance.

Discussion ensued as to the angling of the gas pumps in order to have a better flow of traffic through the site and there is a lot of work yet to do and several options to go through.

Mr. Tursmann stated that it was meant to just bring the project informally to the board and introduce the project and get everyone’s feedback. We are looking to improve traffic flow; through this layout we would have an additional pump. There are currently three (3) pumps on the site. The volume on the site could support another pump.

Mr. Kil reiterated that there is a lot of planning and discussion that needs to take place with the property owner to the East. He is hoping to have a list of items that he will get to Mr. Tursmann in the next few days. Mr. Kil advised there will probably be some variances required, and he would provide that information to the Plan Commission also. Mr. Kil stated that he feels that there needs to be a discussion with the property owner to the East, a revised site plan and then come back to another study session.

Mr. Williams expressed that he would like some indication from the owner to the East. Discussion ensued about numerous cost overruns that in effect would kill the project. Mr. Kil advised it is a tough situation with the way the two parcels are configured.

Mr. Volk stated he felt that Mr. Tursmann is getting at is that he cannot have a cost overrun. So if he just does the canopy and the pumps and re-paves the lot, and the gas station owner doesn’t care how much the neighbor cares, they just want the improvement.

Mr. Kil pointed out that he will still have to go through the Board of Zoning Appeals process before he gets back to you for subdivision. Mr. Tursmann was advised that with any improvement that the property would have to be properly platted.

D. ROSE GARDEN – PHASE 2 – Request for One-Lot Subdivision

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies. Mr. Rettig advised the we recently developed with Sublime Development what we call Rose Garden, which was the extension of Parrish Avenue, just North of this site (on screen). He advised that all they are doing is putting in an eleventh lot, we are calling it Phase Two of Rose Garden.

Parrish Avenue ends at the north edge of what we are calling Lot 11; there is a pond to the West, there is a waterway that drains that pond and the street stub stops at the north line of this lot.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will extend the street to the South property line, which is the south line of Willow Ridge; they probably should have put that in when Willow Ridge was developed, but that didn’t happen. It may have been due to that waterway / sewer issue there.

Mr. Rettig advised they are extending the street to develop this one lot. It is zoned R-2 residential, but it is over an acre and Sublime Development already has someone interested in building on it. It will be a very large estate home on one large lot. Eventually, I have been doing some sketch plans, where this street will get extended further South and then East. Sublime Homes has an option to buy the property shown there as the “Elder property”. You will be seeing that pretty soon too.

Right now, they just want to plat the one lot for an estate home.

Mr. Volk asked if this was just one gigantic lot and extending Parrish down to the South line of Willow Ridge. Mr. Rettig advised that they will also be dedicating additional right-of-way, because when they did Willow Ridge they only dedicated 25, we will be dedicating 25 plus an additional 10’ to make it a 60’ right-of-way. Parrish Avenue is built off-center in the 50’ right-of-way knowing that eventually this would happen, and we have already done it with Rose Garden – Phase One; and we will do the same for Rose Garden Phase Two. Mr. Rettig advised then it would be a typical street, centered in a typical 60’ right-of-way.

Mr. Williams asked if this is just south of the two for one that we did recently, where we combined the two lots, is that correct? That is correct, and a little news flash for everybody; that 2 for 1, may not happen now, the people backed out at the last minute. It’s probably going to stay as two lots.

Mr. Kozel asked approximately how much of the property is wetlands. Mr. Rettig advised there is a dotted line there at the North edge, and we platted a conservation easement, it probably amounts to one-third of an acre. Mr. Rettig advised they are not touching the wetlands; it will be left alone. Mr. Kil does not understand why they purposely left Lot 11 out of the platting process. They now have to go through the entire subdivision platting process, show the extension of the water and sewer. Mr. Rettig stated that they did not give me an explanation on that.

Mr. Williams asked for clarification as to why Parrish was not run all the way through to the South. Mr. Rettig noted that will be taken care of with this platting.

Mr. Birlson asked about the drainage that is up on the north, and where does that go to now. Mr. Rettig advised that there is an open ditch along here that run into a funky manhole here, and that controls the elevation of this pond over here, so we will have to rework that to put the road, it will go into a storm sewer.

Mr. Rettig stated that the storm water calculations were included in Willow Ridge for this piece we are calling Rose Garden. Further, the pond to the West is just a pond, private property, is not serving part of any detention.

Mr. Rettig will return on November 2, 2016 to ask for permission to advertise for Public Hearing. Mr. Williams asked if he would be asking for any considerations to accelerate the proceedings of the development. Mr. Rettig said he will consider at the December meeting to try and go for Primary and Secondary plat approval if the board will allow.

(With no further business before the board Mr. Volk adjourned the meeting at 8:11 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

11-02-2016 Plan Commission

November 2, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Dave Austgen, Town Attorney
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on November 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, recording secretary. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Jason Williams and John Gill. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, David Austgen. Town Manager Steve Kil was absent.

MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for approval of minutes submitted for March 2, 2016; April 6, 2016 and October 5, 2016 for Regular Session and the August 17, 2016 Plan Commission Study Session. With no additions or corrections, Mr. Kozel made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 4A – Final Plat Approval (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies, here on behalf of Mr. John Lotton, introduced himself to the planners and advised that they are seeking Final Plat Approval for Pod 4A.

Mr. Forbes read the report from Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) saying that he has reviewed the site of twenty-one (21) single family cottage lots and associated facilities, and find them satisfactory. A Developmental Fee of $6,222.72 is owed, based on 2% of the construction costs of the public improvements. At the time of this review all the public improvements have been installed with the exception of: curbs, asphalt paving, streetlights and lawn restoration. Since as-built drawings have not been submitted an Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $110,625.25 must be submitted to the Town; or, the public improvements completed prior to the signing of the plats.

Mr. Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) advised that he spoke to Mr. Lotton this afternoon, and he prefers to have the signatures withheld, as he will be completing the improvements shortly.

Mr. Williams asked about a detailed drawing they were wishing to see how 106th would interface with Cline Avenue, and asked if that drawing sent along or provided for this meeting. Mr. Williams asked if they have the ability to widen Cline to the North from this subdivision, and he has had conversations with Mr. Kil, but he does not believe he has a clear answer, on widening this north to 101st. Mr. Kozel advised that there is an easement on The Gates side that was provided. Mr. Williams was asking if there is enough easement to install shoulders or make Cine Avenue a four-lane road.

Mr. Birlson interjected that there is property north, not belonging to the Gates that would not allow this. Mr. Kraus advised that you can only do the parcel adjacent to The Gates property and that they have given a fifty foot (50’) right-of-way easement. Discussion ensued about obtaining easement property on the East side of Cline Avenue, which is unincorporated. Mr. Kraus reminded that the entire development received Preliminary Plat approval in 2005, shortly afterwards being annexed by the Town.

Mr. Forbes noted that to his recollection that there is an easement extended all along the portion which is The Gates development, along Cline Avenue with the exception of the Barman property and a second house towards Joliet Street (101st), because that does not belong to this development.

Mr. Williams stated that he wanted to make the point that Cline Avenue, as it stands today, he does not believe it is safe enough to handle that additional residential traffic, not necessarily with this project, but with all the projects that will follow. Discussion ensued as to the bulk of traffic during peak times using Route 231, and although Cline Avenue will need to be improved, at this time it is not a matter before them.

Mr. Birlson asked if the Preliminary Plat approved in 2006, is there a statute of limitations on development. Mr. Kraus advised that as long as they keep having progress and continue to build, the preliminary plat approval continues; and that only if there is substantial lull or stop in construction, such as a year or two, then the preliminary plat approval would lapse.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there was a decel lane coming Southbound on Cline Avenue onto West 105th Avenue. Mr. Kraus stated he believes it is a taper, he would have to check but he does not think it is a full decel lane. Mr. Kraus advised that with Mr. Lotton giving fifty feet (50’) easement to the right-of-way, along with the existing 30’, that there is eighty feet (80’) of right-of-way; therefore, if and when the East side develops there will be the width they are discussing, but not until then.

Mr. Williams made a motion to defer the matter due to traffic issues and a general discussion ensued amongst the planners.

Mr. Austgen interjected that legally, Preliminary (Primary) Plat, once approved, makes the secondary plat, a given. The matter before the Plan Commission this evening is a ministerial matter and that there is plenty of case law on this one.

Mr. Austgen asked the Chairman (Mr. Forbes) about the engineers that are looking into the Road Impact Fee, legislation, details and science for you and the Town Council to consider in the near future; aren’t both Cline and Parrish the subject of the rebuild, preliminary engineering assessment in process. Mr. Forbes noted that Parrish at 101st, not Cline, would be looked at as part of that study, and depending how much money is available, how much we get through the grant, may this could be something else that will be included.

With no further questions Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the Final Plat for Gates of St. John Unit 4A, and withholding signatures on the mylars until all the public improvements are installed and inspected, and that the Developmental Fee of $6,222.72 be paid, and further referencing the Findings of Fact. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 13 A – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Tony Strickland)

Mr. Strickland again of V3 Companies advised that he is representing Mr. Lotton on this matter.

Mr. Forbes read the report submitted by Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) which stated that he has reviewed this project which includes 21 single family residential lots and associated facilities. Mr. Kraus noted that they have reviewed the lots and find them satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $6,621.69, which is based upon 2% construction costs of the public improvements. Mr. Forbes was presented with the check, which was placed in the development folder, so the developmental fee is paid.

Mr. Forbes continued with Mr. Kraus’s letter of review, noting that pending improvement are: curbs, asphalt paving, streetlights, and lawn restoration. As-built drawings have not been submitted and an Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $82,904.80; or public improvements must be completed prior to the signing of the final plat. As with the last final plat request, the developer is requesting that we withhold the signatures until the improvements are installed and inspected.

With no further questions from the planners, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat approval for the Gates of St. John – Unit 13A. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve Final Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion, and withholding the signing of the mylars until improvements are completed. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. LAKE CENTRAL – Final Plat Approval for Salt and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes stated that the planners have been asked to defer the Lake Central matter this evening for unknown reasons, however, they have asked to defer. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer.

Mr. Williams made a motion to defer this matter. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Austgen addressed Mr. Forbes that he is in possession of a letter that will be provided to the recording secretary, from the attorneys for Lake Central. Although it does not specify the reason tonight for the deferral, it does address a condition that will be coming back to the Plan Commission, as there was a condition of the approval given from the Board of Zoning Appeals on the various variances and the like that address the frontage road drive; the twenty foot (20’) parcel that was to connect parallel along US 41, the parcels to the South of the proposed parcel for which the improvements are to be made.

Mr. Forbes asked if it is necessary for them to be asked back to the Plan Commission Study Session and potentially incorporate that in. Mr. Austgen advised yes, and that there may be a bit of misunderstanding that needs to be bridged. I anticipate a meeting occurring here; however, Mr. Kil is gone, Mr. Muenich is gone, and they were not available in the short time that I have been dialoguing with Lake Central. Just to let you know that it is a substantive item relating to that specific element that is discussed by and between both you and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Williams stated he thought it was about the frontage road that gives access to that southernmost property is the issue. Mr. Austgen clarified that it may be more than that Mr. Williams, it may be whether or not it needs to be built, on top of it and it needs to be worked through, and they have acknowledged that. Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Austgen for the clarification.

D. ROSE GARDEN – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. He advised that he is representing Sublime Development for Rose Garden – Phase 2, and they are requesting permission to advertise for a Public Hearing.

Mr. Rettig advised that they want to advertise for a public hearing for a one (1) lot subdivision, and were here before you at a study session. It will be one lot, well over one acre for the purpose of building one large single family home. This is at the very South end of what we call Rose Garden, and we will be extending the street, along the property line, which technically should have been installed when Willow Ridge subdivision was built, so it will be done as part of this project.

With your permission we will be back in a month or so for the Public Hearing. Mr. Williams asked about the 16,000 s.f. over the R-1 designation? Mr. Forbes advised correct, however Mr. Rettig noted that the property is actually zoned R-2, so it is well over the square footage needed.

Mr. Gill made a motion to grant permission to advertise for a public hearing. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

E. KILKENNY ESTATES – UNIT 4 – Block 1 – Certificate of Amendment / Change of Addresses for Lots 12, 14 and 15 (Mr. Andy James)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda was Kilkenny Estates Unit 4 – Block 1, a Certificate of Amendment for address correction for Lots 12, 14 and 15. Mr. Forbes asked if this was a number change for an actual change in the name of the street.

Mr. James advised that he has discussed this with Mr. Kil and sent information to Mr. Kraus. Mr. James submitted copies of this documentation to the planners. It is a clerical matter in which it was named Columbia Street and the name is correct as Columbia Avenue. Then there is James Lane, that was also a clerical – bookkeeping matter.

The amended addresses would be:
Lot 12: 12661 James Lane and 8339 Declan Court
Lot 14: 13630 James Lane and 8311 Columbia Avenue
Lot 15: 8324 Declan Court

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Certificate of Amendment. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to accept the certificate of amendment for forward the same to the Town Council for action. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

F. MILL CREEK – Phase 1 – Request for Release of the Subdivision Bond No. 1121735 (Petitioner: Olthof Homes)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Mill Creek – Phase 1, request to release the Subdivision Bond No. 1121735 (in lieu of a Letter of Credit) from Olthof Homes.

Mr. Forbes read a letter from Haas & Associates (Mr. Kenn Kraus) concerning the release of the Subdivision Bond in the amount of $560,410.50 which is held by the Town as surety, against installation of the public improvement of Mill Creek – Phase 1. Public Works and the Building and Planning Department have reported that all the public improvements have been satisfactorily constructed, and there are no outstanding issues that they are aware. With this assurance, we recommend that Subdivision Bond No. 1121735 be released.

Hearing no questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to recommend to the Town Council the release of the Surety Bond.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone had a public comment to please step forward to the podium and please state your name and address for the record. With no public comment from the floor, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Mr. Williams made the motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Kennedy Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:39 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

11-16-2016 Plan Commission

November 16, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson David Austgen, Town Attorney
John Kennedy   Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on November 16, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gil, Bob Birlson, Steven Kozel, Mike Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jason Williams, John Kennedy and staff present of Town Manager Steve Kil and Town Engineer Kenn Kraus. Absent: Attorney David Austgen and Michael Muenich.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 10 K – Review of Primary Plat (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Tony Strickland advised that he is here of behalf of Mr. John Lotton. Mr. Strickland advised that this was brought before you for a primary plat, the engineering was all done under the original engineering, the reason we are doing this as a primary at this time and not a secondary, is because the lots line-up has change a little. Mr. Strickland advised that the curbs and all the underground utilities are in place. Mr. Kil asked if this was a continuation of the duplexes to the South. Mr. Strickland advised that they were. On the handout there is a correction that this is not Unit 10J, but Pod 10 K. Also its shows the street as 107th, when it is actually 106th Place. Those changes will be provided on the final drawings. Mr. Kraus stated that there is a Lake County standard naming system, and this one just has a correction to be noted on the final drawings.

Mr. Strickland advised that these lots have been changed from the original in that they are larger in size. They were originally approved for single-family and are now being proposed for duplexes. There are a total of six (6) duplexes in this unit. Originally the width of the lots were 80’ and are now 86’(s) to accommodate the duplexes, so essentially they are larger lots than originally approved during the preliminary process.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Kraus if he is aware of any drainage issues in this area. Mr. Kraus advised that there are none. Mr. Gil advised that he is out there a lot on inspections and the drainage is working pretty well. There is currently a landscape berm in the easement and will remain.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to the right-of-way on the West side by Parrish Avenue. Mr. Strickland advised that it is a 50’ right-of-way from the center of the road. Mr. Williams stated that he still has concerns about traffic on Parrish, as well as Cline Avenue in regards to the width.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Strickland will be coming before the December 7, 2016 regular meeting for permission to advertise for public hearing.

B. GO LO – Review of Site Improvement Plan

Mr. Kil advised that this item needs to be deferred from the agenda. He has not had any further contact on some of the issues that have been discussed. Mr. Kil advises that he believes that they will be back in January for a study session.

C. ROSE GARDEN – Phase 2 – Review of One Lot Subdivision (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself. Mr. Rettig advised that he will be seeking to make a one (1) lot subdivision, which would be Lot 11 from the previous Rose Garden subdivision. This lot is at the South end of Parrish Avenue. During this process he advised that the extension of Parrish Avenue will be done, as it was not completed, again during the development of the original Willow Ridge subdivision. Mr. Rettig advised that this lot is over one (1) acre in size.

Mr. Rettig advised he will be working on more detailed plans and will be seeking permission to advertise for public hearing at the December 7, 2016 regular Plan Commission meeting,

D. THREE SPRINGS – Phase 3 – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Dave Barick introduced themselves as working on this development which is the Southwest section of Three Springs – Phase 2, which was done around three years ago. Mr. Rettig advised that they are proposing Cottage Homes and Duplexes, which are very popular right now. The current zoning is R-1 Single Family. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be proposing to re-zone to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD based on the plat.

Mr. Rettig pointed out that this parcel has many variables including three large pipelines and the high tension towers that run through this area. Mr. Rettig also advised that ANR Pipeline is one of the corporations and that they will be replacing the underground pipes as part of maintenance. Mr. Rettig advised that the Federal Government is making them do these upgrades due to the density factor; as instead of vacant farmland there will be housing around the area.

Mr. Rettig also showed the planners that there is a large slope in the property that is existing and they did not change the layout from the previous development plan. Mr. Rettig pointed out a 60’ right-of-way, and that the units will have an 8’ side yard setbacks.

Mr. Williams wanted to see R-1 everything North of the pipelines. Discussion ensued as to the topography and the variables of the pipelines and high tension lines that make it difficult to configure this parcel. Mr. Rettig noted that there is 15 acres of open space; between all this greenbelt here and the lake, the density is not even two units per acre. Mr. Rettig stated that in proportion it is not a dense project.

Mr. Rettig pointed to a 45’ greenbelt on the plat that they can place the pedestrian/bike trail and then stub it to the East, that way if the farm property ever gets developed it can be extended on.

General discussion ensued as to the preference of Cottage Homes as opposed to Duplexes. Mr. Forbes commented that he had made a statement to that effect. It was reiterated that the property to the East is the Huseman property, and hoping with this parcel abutting to the East, it would probably; for future development, have to be duplexes or cottage homes continued.

Mr. Williams asked the developer about the economics of the R-1 homes along the lake area versus the cottage homes or duplexes, and why that doesn’t work. Mr. Barick spoke of the opportunity and cost effect when there are pipelines, railroad track and high tensions lines all being an adversity to work around, and that no other subdivision has all these all at one location.

Mr. Barick advised that even with only the railroad tracks, no single family residence with children are going to want to have a house right near the tracks.

Mr. Kozel asked about side yards. Mr. Rettig advised that they are 8’. Mr. Kozel commented that is more than what is in The Gates right now, and that is 16’ of separation. Mr. Rettig advised that would be the same for the duplexes and the cottage homes. They will also be going with 30’ building lines, might have to do 20’ to 25’ on the corner lots.

Mr. Rettig noted that they add soundproofing through the masonry walls to the units that back up along the railroad tracks.

Mr. Rettig advised that he is working on the formal drawings and will forward same to the Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus once he re-familiarizes himself with this parcel, as he said this plan is from three years ago. Mr. Birlson asked about the width of the lots. Mr. Rettig advised that the Cottage Homes will have a 60’ wide lot and the Duplexes will have an 83’ wide lot, around 14,200 s.f.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig about a time schedule. Mr. Rettig advised that they have not started engineering yet so they are not ready for a public hearing. With the new revelation of the pipeline renovation occurring in the Spring, so we will be doing engineering in the next few months and probably be ready to come back to the board after January.

E. CASTLE ROCK (portion of Kilkenny Estates) – Initial Review of Development Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig advised that for this development he is representing the developer, Mr. Andy James. He advised that Castle Rock used to be called Kilkenny Estates and the developer Mr. Andy James is here tonight. Approximately one year ago we worked with Mr. James to develop the little cul-du-sac, which was called Kilkenny Highlands, which is just North of this parcel.

Mr. Rettig advised that this is an interesting piece. Mr. Kil was asked to place the layout on the screen, showing the street stub from Edgewood Estates, there will be three connecting streets to the development.

Mr. Rettig pointed out the challenge of the 30’ elevation change and a very dense conservation easement on the map, which will be way back to the West and will make a great buffer. These back end houses will be walk-outs with a great view behind them.

Mr. Rettig also pointed out a tree buffer that will be back in of the homes in this unique cul-de-sac, and this is almost unbuildable because it is so steep over here (noting a very wooded lot on the far southeast portion of the displayed plat). Mr. Rettig advised that they are trying to be very creative in the conservation area, there are wetland back there, but these lots are a few hundred feet deep, so we direct your attention to the buildable area.

Mr. Birlson asked in relation to the whole Town, where was this development located for reference. Mr. Kil advised that this is the far northwest portion of town.

Mr. Willliams asked about the walkway and possible drawing to show access to the existing park land. Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig pointed to the Outlot near the Kilkenny Water Tower that would make a most desirable walkway trail to the Park and then be able to develop a patch to the East so that there will be more than one point of access to Edgewood Parkland as well as Kilkenny Parkland.

Mr. Rettig pointed out the location of the current Kilkenny Water Tower as a reference.

Mr. Williams commented that they are all R-2 homes, not looking for any variances, they are 100’ x150’ minimum, actually most of them are much larger than that. There are no sidewalks on that one area which is a conservation area. The sidewalks are on the other side.

Mr. Forbes noted that it has been a very long time since they have talked about this, even when Tapper Street went through, I remember talking about the access from Tapper to the Park, but I thought that there was parkland somewhere, where those two houses are, in the very bottom corner. Mr. Forbes thought there were two parks back-to-back.

Mr. Rettig advised that if a walking trail is needed there is plenty of room by the water tower.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he lives on Tapper Street and that there was always an assumption that there would be a park access provided at the southern end.

Mr. Rettig advised that there are several large lots in which to cut an access point between the houses. With the suggestions being made they can take that information and place the access into the drawings before they have a public hearing.

Mr. Forbes mentioned that that topic of access always comes up, so let’s have that plan, and agree to that plan. Mr. Forbes noted that even though Outlot A is kind of deceiving, there is plenty of room, that 12’ from the fence to the property line for access.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig how far they are on engineering. Mr. Rettig advised that they haven’t started, so there is plenty of time and several study sessions that you can come back for. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be starting the engineering very soon.

Mr. Williams inquired about Lot 8, what is to prevent the owner from taking down all the trees. Mr. Rettig advised that they are platting a conservation easement to protect the wetlands back there.

Mr. Williams also inquired about the gray line that runs through there. Mr. Rettig advised that it is the old wetland delineation line, they will have that re-delineated, however, that is approximately where the wetland limits are.

Mr. Rettig advised the next thing to talk about is the sanitary sewers. Mr. Rettig advised that there is a temporary Lift Station at the end of the road in Edgewood. There is a sanitary sewer at the far north end; and we will tie into an existing manhole and run gravity sewer and then put in a permanent lift station. Mr. Rettig pointed out the lots that will be served by gravity sewer, and they will be looking into upgrades that will be needed. Mr. Kil made a suggestion to Mr. Rettig to verify the existing lift station, what shape it is in; and second you want to put variable speed drives in, however you will also need to verify the outlet, meaning the force main.

Mr. Rettig advised there will be an 8” force main and once we have that information we will provide all that to Mr. Kraus for review. Mr. Rettig advised (Mr. Andy James also speaking in the background), before any occupancy, the Lantern Woods lift station will be upgraded. The discharge line that it enters is 12”, per Mr. Kraus. Discussion ensued about the temporary lift station in which it noted that it was a glorified ejector system, just for those last three houses in Edgewood.

Mr. Kraus asked about the detention for all this area, with Mr. Rettig showing it is to the far North, and it supports this all, including Kilkenny Highlands. It is twenty (20) acres, and there is a 40” storm sewer dumping into it right now, and they will utilize that.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig discussed a time line. Mr. Rettig stated he will be ready for another study session in December.

F. PRESERVES OF WILLOW RIDGE – Initial Review of Development Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig advised that it is called the Preserves of Willow Ridge because it lies just south of Willlow Ridge – Phase 2. Mr. Mike Granessy of Sublime Homes is also here for this project. This development also has some challenges due to a large wetland that sits in the middle. They are piecing together three parcels for this development.

Mr. Rettig advised they are here tonight to discuss initial review of developmental plan. The lots are zoned R-2, 100’ wide lots, shown on screen. Walk-out lots backing up to the wetland.

Mr. Rettig pointed out a floodplain line that they will be working around due to set elevations 2’ above that line. Twenty–two (22) lots on the north and each side. They will connect to the one street which is Phase 2 of Willow Ridge, 92nd Place.

Mr. Rettig pointed to an older house that is sitting on the property line of the proposed Lot 29 and Lot 30, which will be razed.

Mr. Rettig advised that some of the lots are extra deep, and they will have 94’-95’ wide lots, to compensate for, a lot of wetland issues. Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig discussed whether to ask for a waiver or to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.

Mr. Kil advised that knowing Mr. Muenich and some of the issues coming before the boards that Mr. Muenich will be wanting that particular issue to come before the board of Zoning Appeals for a variance for the lot widths, and that is the only variance you will need.

Mr. Rettig showed the outlot that will be preserved, showing the storm water discharge pipe. Showed the conservation easement. A walking path is proposed on the East end. Mr. Rettig pointed point Bisaga Woods to the West, again that is mostly wetlands.

Mr. Birlson asked for a reason not to extend the Willow Lane road. Mr. Kil showed where Renaissance Drive is off-set, there would be a very goofy intersection as they cannot line up. Mr. Kraus also advised that there are a lot of wetlands in the way of any street placement.

Mr. Rettig advised the divided entrance from 93rd will be a dry basin, green space with architectural grasses on both sides and will be maintained and dedicated to the HOA. The placement was determined in order for traffic to be seen in each direction.

Mr. Kil and Rettig discussed the next step of writing the legal description for your notice to just include the lots which you need the variance, just the three.

Mr. Forbes, Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig had general discussion as to previous board meetings in which connection and variances issues were raised. Notation was made that a variance is in place for the East side, which was done several years ago. Mr. Rettig advised that the entire development before them will be re-engineered. Mr. Kil stated that as he recalls this was never platted, and advised that he would research the previous meetings in order to provide some answers before this comes to a public hearing.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have sanitary sewers in place and no issues with that.

Mr. Rettig advised that he will start the process to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals for the one (1) lot.

(With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

12-07-2016 Plan Commission

December 7, 2016 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Stephen Kil, Town Manager
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on December 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, recording secretary. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Jason Williams and John Gill. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Michael Muenich and Steve Kil.

MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for approval of minutes submitted for May 4, 2016 and November 2, 2016 for Regular Session and the April 20, 2016, October 19, 2016 and November 16, 2016 Plan Commission Study Sessions. With no additions or corrections, Mr. Kozel made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried unanimously with a notation of abstention for Mr. Kennedy for the May 4th and April 20th meetings; and abstention for Mr. Forbes for the October 19th meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. ROSE GARDEN – PHASE 2 Primary Subdivision Plat (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised that the first item on the agenda is for Rose Garden – Phase 2 Public Hearing. Mr. Muenich advised that all the proofs of publication and mailings are in order, and the petitioner can proceed.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. Mr. Rettig reminded the board that Phase 1 consisted of ten (10) lots; this phase will consist of one (1) lot which is located to the South and will be for one house on 1.45 acres of land. This phase will include the extension of Parrish Avenue of approximately 170 feet to the South.

Mr. Rettig advised that the water and sewer lines are already installed. Mr. Williams asked for direction as to where Parrish Avenue would end to; Mr. Rettig advised that the road would go due East to connect with the other part of Willow Ridge and does not go straight due to the wetlands.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to Public Comment:

Mr. Tim Busha (9505 Highland Court, Lot 54 – Willow Ridge):
Mr. Busha asked about the development that was discussed that is going south of Willow Ridge, and extension of Parrish Avenue and its effect on it. Mr. Forbes advised, that development was just presented at the last Study Session and was just introduced and there is no engineering yet, that if you are within 300’ of the addition you will be notified by certified mail. Mr. Forbes also reiterated that Parrish Avenue cannot extend to 93rd Avenue as there is a very large area of wetlands; which is why Parrish Avenue will be extended to a 90˚ angle.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board. Mr. Forbes read the Town Engineer’s report on the review of the Preliminary Plat. This project includes one R-2 lot, associated infrastructure and facilities. The subdivision is located on the West side of Parrish Avenue south of Highland Court. The plans dated November 18, 2016 and December 2, 2016 have been reviewed and find them satisfactory noting that the detention of storm water for this area is already incorporated into the Willow Ridge Manor pond. The Development Fee and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan fee has not yet been determined.

Mr. Forbes noted that when they come for Final Plat approval they can check for the Development Fee and SWPPP Fee issue and make it a contingency before signing the mylars.

With no further comment from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the Preliminary Plat referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 10K – Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Tony Strickland)

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Engineering introduced himself to the board. He advised that they are seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing on January 4, 2017 for Unit 10K of the Gates of St. John.

With no questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing on the Gates of St. John – Unit 10K for January 4, 2017. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. LAKE CENTRAL – Final Plat Approval for Salt and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is Lake Central and called upon Mr. Kil for more information. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Bill Ledyard of Lake Central called and asked to have the item deferred to the January 4, 2017 meeting. Mr. Kil further advised that they are re-platting their proposal, withdrawing Lot 3 from their proposal.

Mr. Muenich advised that with only Lot 1 and Lot 2 the development would be self-contained and the issue of an access easement or road to Lot 3 would no longer be an issue before the board.

Mr. Williams made a motion to defer Lake Central – Final Plat Approval to the January 4, 2017 meeting. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. SUNRISE SOLAR / Industrial Light Manufacturing – Site Plan Review (Mr. Bill Keith)

Mr. Dave Van Dyke of Precision Construction introduced himself, and advised that he is here tonight representing Mr. Bill Keith, the owner of Sunrise Solar. Mr. Van Dyke advised that they are seeking Site Plan Review approval for this project.

Mr. Kil conversed with Mr. Van Dyke and several renderings of the proposal were displayed on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Van Dyke noted a 26’ side drive and that the other side would be at 15’. Mr. Forbes noted that he recalls that there were several variances that were sought from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Williams stated that was correct and commented that one of the issues they were concerned about was the building colors and the brick front and the tin roof. Mr. Williams stated that the BZA wanted to avoid having a single color pallet on the structure. Mr. Van Dyke brought the sample color to the dais for the board to see in detail what was being shown on the screen. Mr. Van Dyke also advised that the exterior lighting wall-packs were removed from the specifications.

Mr. Forbes commented on the “break” in the roof, thought it shows better dimension and believes that in real light it will look nice and give a unique non-contiguous look.

Mr. Williams noted that it appeared that the green fence that was there has been removed, noting that the BZA had requested it removed from the front, but this current rendition shows it completely removed, and favored that action.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to the size of trucks that will be utilized at this location. Mr. Van Dyke advised there would be the occasional delivery truck and that there is enough radius room, going just to the corner and utilizing a forklift.

Mr. Kennedy asked about parking near the entryway. Mr. Van Dyke showed that there is space, a gap there where the landscaping would be placed. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Van Dyke that at least one (1) parking space must be maintained as handicapped accessible.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Van Dyke who he should contact for the whole rendition and the engineering specifications. Mr. Van Dyke advised that Torrenga Engineering is doing the specs. Mr. Kraus noted that the detention is done for this parcel and that it is already a subdivided lot, currently all asphalt. Discussion ensued as to timeline for engineering to be provided for review.

With no further discussion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the Site Plan with the condition that a building permit not be issued until the Town is in receipt of Mr. Kraus’s satisfactory review and the payment of the Developmental Fee. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

D. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE 3 Permission to Advertise Public hearing for Rezone (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda was Three Springs – Phase 3 requesting permission to advertise for public hearing.

Mr. Doug Rettig reintroduced himself, advising that he is appearing on behalf of Mr. Dave Barick. Mr. Rettig had a rendering placed on the meeting room screen, showing the outline of Three Spring – Phase 3, noting that they are requesting permission to advertise as they are wishing to re-zone the area from R-1 PUD to R-2 PUD and an area specified as R-3 PUD.

The parcel on the North-West end will be R-2 PUD which would back up to the lake area, while the South and East side would be R-3 PUD duplexes.

Mr. Kennedy questioned if there is enough separation between the zoning districts. Mr. Rettig showed the area on the screen, pointing out the cottages homes and the duplexes, at their specific locations. Mr. Rettig noted that there is the consideration of the railroad and high tension lines that go through this area, and Mr. Barick thought this plan would best suit the utilization of the parcel.

Mr. Birlson commented that subdivisions like Lake Hills and Homestead Acres, either have railroads abutting or high tension lines running through them, and they are consistent with single-family houses and feel that it would be setting a precedence for duplexes if the area to the south is developed in the future. General discussion ensued amongst the board members on the zoning issue of R-1/R-2 versus R-1 PUD / R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD.

With no further comment from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to give permission to advertise for the February 1, 2017 Plan Commission meeting, and would like the petitioner to come once again to the January 18, 2017 Study Session for an update on progress and specifications. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone had a public comment to please step forward to the podium and please state your name and address for the record.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street):
Mr. Swets had concerns over the lots in Three Springs having 60’ wide lots, and he further felt that the duplexes seemed to be a lot smaller than required by ordinance standards. He commented that he felt they should be made to remain as R-1 single family.

Mr. Timothy Busha:
(Mr. Busha had already spoken earlier and left the meeting).

Ms. Deborah Dunn (9475 West 90th Lane):
Ms. Dunn advised that she is a board member of the Willow Ridge HOA. She wondered if the development to the south that will be coming in wanted to be part of their HOA, as they are the ones that maintain the pond that it will abut, and whether they would be requesting access to the pond. Ms. Dunn also asked about the spillway from the pond and is worried it will back up into their yards.

Mr. Forbes responded to one point of her question, advising that the development is very preliminary and that no engineering has been provided as yet to review on any topic of her concern, although he noted that the development should not have any effect on the drainage as it all slopes towards the large wetlands area.

Ms. Dunn (continued):
Ms. Dunn asked if they would be given sufficient notice of any meetings that would be coming before this board regarding the proposed “Preserves of Willow Ridge”. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil advised the regulations regarding certified mailing to any property owner within 300’ of any portion of the development, and the signage that has to be posted on site, along with the publications in a local newspaper of general circulation.

Ms. Kathy Wilson:
Ms. Wilson spoke from her seat and requested to pass.

BOARD ANY AND ALL

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kraus if he has been near Park Place in the Gates by the assisted living facility, as he was by there recently and noted that it looks “over lit”. Discussion ensued as to the equipment needed to check the lumens rating on the lighting to see if it is in compliance with the Lighting Standards Ordinance.

Mr. Kraus advised that he would check with their engineering firm to obtain that information on the fixtures, and also check to see if this was approved before the ordinance was passed and thus grand-fathered in.

With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:09 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

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