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Plan Commission Meeting Minutes 2017

Meeting Minutes

01-04-2017 Plan Commission

January 4, 2017 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 M. Austgen, Town Attorney
John Kennedy   Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on January 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

The recording secretary took roll call. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil, Rick Eberly and David Austgen.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of February 3, 2016 Regular Session; December 7, 2016 Session; January 20, 2016 Study Session, February 17, 2016 Study Session; March 16, 2016 Study Session and May 18, 2016 Study Session were presented to the commission. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the minutes. Mr. Williams asked if they we’re caught up. Mr. Forbes advised there are a few more pending. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion on the minutes. Mr. Kozel motioned that the board approve the aforementioned minutes as submitted, motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention. Mr. Kennedy noted that he abstains from the all the minutes with the exception of the December 7, 2016 meeting, as he was not yet on the board.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 K – Primary Plat Approval (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is a Public Hearing for Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K – Primary Plat approval and called Mr. Lotton to the podium.

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies introduced himself to the board, and advised that he is here representing Mr. Lotton here this evening. Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions.

Mr. Kraus advised that the public improvements for this particular subdivision was included in Unit 10 I and 10 J, so all the engineering was approved even before then, because they really did not make any changes from the 2005 plans that were revised in 2015 by Torrenga Engineering.

So, all the engineering is exactly the same as it has been approved, and the Primary Plat approval is needed because a few lot lines got moved a couple of feet over. Mr. Forbes stated there wouldn’t be a letter of credit since it would be covered by blanket letter of credit, correct? Mr. Kraus advised that the letter of credit would be at Secondary Plat. Mr. Kraus commented that all the improvements for this unit are already in place. Mr. Kil advised that there is really nothing outstanding in the Gates, that they usually have everything put in before it is Final platted, or we will withhold the signatures from the mylar.

Mr. Forbes noted that this is a public hearing and called upon Mr. Austgen. Mr. Austgen advised that he has reviewed the proofs of publication and that everything was in order for them to proceed with the public hearing.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public comment. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’s letter from January 4, 2017:

“We have reviewed the Primary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. This project includes six R-3 lots, associates infrastructure and facilities. The engineering plans have not been changed since the original plan prepared by V3 since 2005 and revised by Torrenga Engineering since 2012. 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 lot lines have been revised.

Mr. Forbes stated that with that being said he will entertain a motion from the board regarding Primary Plat approval for Unit 10 K.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Primary Plat approval for the Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K, and referencing the Findings of Fact into the record. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Strickland addressed the board and asked that at this time if they could seek Secondary (Final) Plat approval.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if there were any objections to authorizing Final Plat approval this evening. He advised that there is typically a thirty-day waiting period. That waiting period usually gives the developer the opportunity to complete infrastructure installation, but as we have already heard, that is already completed.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Forbes that they would need to withhold signatures on the mylars until the Developmental Fee has been paid. Mr. Kraus advised he has not calculated that figure as he does not have the Final Plat for review yet, but he should have that shortly.

Mr. Austgen advised the Chairman that from a purely legal perspective, you can act tonight on this as has been requested, but, it is advisable that you wait 30-days to sign the mylar; to allow all of the legalities to be updated and completed, and for compliance with the law. There is a reason for that thirty days in the book. But they do not need to come back if you grant the approval tonight, for the Final Plat, just withhold signatures.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board to waive the rules for the 30-day wait between Primary and Final Plat approval. Mr. Volk made a motion to grant the approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Given the previous discussion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant Final Plat approval for Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K, contingent upon the Review of the Final Plat by the Town Engineer, the payment of the Developmental Fee, withholding of signatures on the mylar for the 30-day waiting period, and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. ROSE GARDEN – Phase 2: Secondary (Final Plat) Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden – Phase 2, this is Final Plat approval.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG / Land Technologies introduced himself to the board, and is here requesting Final Plat approval for Rose Garden – Phase 2. Mr. Rettig advised that it is a simple one lot, which would be Lot 11. This is a simple extension of Parrish Avenue with a little bit of street, curb and storm sewer for one large house on a 1 ½ acre lot.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will be pursuing the further extension of Parrish Avenue when they come back for The preserves of Willow Ridge, but for tonight it is just for this one Lot 11.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the Developmental Fee and SWPPP Fee, and asked if that has been resolved. Mr. Rettig advised he is working with the developer to get that Developmental Fee calculated.

Mr. Kraus advised that this is a one lot subdivision; and the only subdivision work is about 170’ of road, so he would rather that the SWPPP be placed on the building permit stage, on whatever a normal lot would usually pay. Mr. Kraus advised that he believes that is appropriate since it involved less than one acre of disturbance of earth.

Mr. Williams asked if all the improvements were in place. Mr. Rettig advised that there is approximately 170’ of street to install. Mr. Williams asked if that was next to Lot 55. Mr. Rettig advised, correct. Mr. Rettig continued that when they developed Willow Ridge they did not take the street to the end of the unit line, so we are having to put it in now.

Mr. Forbes asked of there was a letter of credit for the infrastructure. Mr. Kraus advised that he does not have the construction costs for this yet.

Mr. Austgen and Mr. Kil advised Mr. Rettig that the matter should just be deferred until the road is in, or he is close to it.

Mr. Williams stated that he knows we are not talking about The Preserves of Willow Ridge, but is any of this going to support connecting into that? Mr. Rettig advised that the house is pre-sold so they wanted to start this house immediately, before the subdivision, because there is a lot more work to be done in the Preserves, so he may want to start this house.

General discussion regarding deferring the matter for one month. Mr. Rettig asked if they posted a letter of credit, would they let them start now. Mr. Forbes stated that if they get a letter of credit, you will get approval for Final Plat. Mr. Kil noted that he will be asked for a building permit to put in a foundation before the road is put in, and it is not the first time he has been asked that question. Mr. Kil told Mr. Rettig that the key is, what kind of access would be available to the construction site. Mr. Forbes commented, what is the point of building a house if you don’t have road access to it. It was noted that even a driveway would be close enough to start on this house.

Mr. Gill noted that the road stops just short of where it angles there. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes stated they believed it should just be deferred for the thirty days.

Mr. Forbes asked the board that with all this discussion are they in agreement with deferring the issue for a month.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to defer for one month. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. LAKE CENTRAL SALT AND MAINTENANCE BUILDING – Secondary (Final Plat) Approval (Mr. Bill Ledyard and Mr. Larry Veracco)

Mr. Bill Ledyard, Director of Construction and Dr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent of Lake Central School Corporation, introduced themselves to the board and advised that they are seeking Final Plat approval for the Salt and Maintenance Facility for the Lake Central School Corporation.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they had previously appeared before this board and were granted Primary Plat approval contingent upon appearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals for several variances needed.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they appeared before the Board of Zoning appeals on October 24, 2016 and all of their variances were approved, some with some contingencies. I have spoken with Mr. Kil on the condition of the streetscape view of the property and also the wall pack lighting on October 27, 2016; so that has been addressed and should have been distributed to all the members for their review.

Mr. Ledyard also advised that there was a meeting on November 17, 2016 with Dr. Veracco and myself, along with our attorney, along with Mr. Kil and Mr. Austgen in regards to the access road. Our conclusion was to reduce the size of the subdivision, so that we are not next or adjacent to any property other than our own. Mr. Ledyard noted that they just removed Lot 3 from their proposal and the new drawing is up on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Williams inquired about the BZA variances that were approved regarding the southern property, are they nullified now, or does that still stand up.

Mr. Austgen advised that they have shrunk their project parcel by the area of the third lot, or Lot 3, that was referenced on the plat that you saw previously, so that this is now a two-lot subdivision. And that to the effect that the BZA variances, impact or affect that Lot 3, they are no longer of effect, because that Lot 3 parcel, which was part of the original plat presentation is no longer before you.

Mr. Williams asked that if Lot 3 were to be reintroduced at a later date, would those variances still stand up, or would they have to be re-approved. Mr. Austgen answered they would have to be re-approved.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the 20’ easement was still there for access to the south. Mr. Ledyard showed where the 20’ easement still remains, at the southern edge of Lot 2. Mr. Forbes stated that he thinks the access is basically a driveway, and will prohibit any business back there.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus clarified that there is a 40’ roadway right-of-way, and then the 20’ access easement that was requested.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Ledyard to explain the two sheets of landscape views that were handed out. Mr. Ledyard advised that the one view is the original planting, and the second sheet is the landscape view at a mature growth around 5 to 6 years from planting. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Williams requested that some of those plantings be moved toward the Southwest section to block the view that they were reviewing. Mr. Ledyard advised that would be no problem.

General discussion ensued as to the planting of the trees and the location of the easement.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’s letter from January 4, 2017:

“We have reviewed the Secondary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. This subdivision project includes two lots zoned Public on 35.68 acres. It appears that approximately 158.5’ along the south edge of Lot 2 is zoned Industrial. We have completed our review and find the plat to be satisfactory. We have been informed the the Board of Zoning Appeals had contingencies with their approval that need to be met prior to Secondary Plat approval by the Plan Commission. The Developmental Fee is $900.00.”

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat approval. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to grant Final Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Forbes).

Mr. Kennedy amended his motion to withhold the signing of the Final Plat until the Developmental Fee has been paid. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Forbes)

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion for Site Plan approval for the Salt and Maintenance Facility, approval would have the contingency of relocating the landscaping to further hide the South side of the Salt Barn. Mr. Williams made the motion to grant Site Plan approval with the aforementioned contingency. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay. (Mr. Forbes)

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Mr. Swets asked if they have yet to get a response on the traffic study for the impact fees. (Mr. Forbes advised that the data is in, and the procedure is to form an Advisory Committee for the Road Impact Fee, hold several meetings and a public hearing. Mr. Forbes advised that they plan on forming the board on January 12, 2017).

Mr. Forbes inquired if there was anyone else that wished to make public comment. Hearing none Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

01-18-2017 Plan Commission

January 18, 2017 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 Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy Michael Muenich, Board Attorney David Austgen, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on January 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gill, 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. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE THREE – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG / Land Technologies introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Rettig advised that this is the second study session that they have attended for this phase, and they will be looking to come before the board on February 1, 2017 for the public hearing; and just for information that advertising has been completed and it will appear in the newspaper in the next couple of days and the certified letters were mailed out today.

Mr. Rettig advised that they were asked to come back to another study session to discuss it further before that meeting and that is why we are here tonight.

Mr. Rettig advised that Three Spring – Phase Three is the latest phase of a project that was started about ten (10) years ago. Phase One was a mixed use where there were single-family homes, as well as duplexes. Phase Two was all single-family, which is just North and East of this phase. We are back here to do again a mixed use of single-family homes and duplexes.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have a difficult piece; which they have discussed earlier. There is a railroad, high-tension tower lines, as well as multiple pipelines running through it. They are trying to make the best from a tough piece with this layout that they are proposing. Mr. Rettig advised that it is a 34 acre site; 15 acres will be open area because of the Outlots and the existing lake. They will only be developing 18 acres of property, which will have a density of 1.9 units per acre, which is pretty consistent with a R-2 density even though the lots are a little smaller.

Mr. Rettig advised that at the public hearing they will be asking for a re-zone to R-3 PUD, and engineering will commence once the zoning issue is worked out.

Mr. Williams asked if the high-tension wires run along the South edge of the drawing, where Outlot “D” is written. Mr. Rettig advised that is correct, the dark line shown is the middle of the high-tension line, Mr. Barick owned the 4.43 acres lying South of that line and it was sold to the adjoiner, which is the Schilling Family. Mr. Rettig advised that they made the center line of the high-tension lines as the property line between the two projects, rather than having a sliver of property that no one could do anything with.

Mr. Williams asked about the difficulty in building R-1 homes versus R-2. Mr. Rettig advised that the largest problem is that R-1 lots are a minimum of 20,000 s.f., 100’ x 200’; R-2 if 15,000 s.f., 100’ x 150’. This property does not lay out really well, and those homes do not want high-tension lines or a railroad in their back yards. This was one of the reasons that they did duplexes in Unit One, and they have a whole long street of duplexes that backs up against the railroad and it works for the duplexes, but it does not work well for higher-end single-family homes.

Mr. Rettig advised that the cottage home lots will be 8,400 square feet, with 60’ width. The R-3 duplex lots will be 20,000 square feet, or 10,000 s.f. per unit, as per ordinance and is a very large duplex lot, as was done in Phase One. In Phase One they were too big; so we are asking for a minimum of 14,200 square feet.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if they had done an analysis to see what the yield would be at a standard R-2, and/or R-1 lot. Mr. Rettig stated that if that was done it was so long ago, and they do not recall.

Mr. Kennedy inquired about the pipelines through the areas. Mr. Rettig advised there are three (3) petroleum pipelines. They are Vector, Trans Canada and Enbridge; one is a 42” line that they are replacing and up-grading to heavier gauge pipes; they have already staked out the parcel now and starting soon.

Mr. Williams asked if that land ever gets disturbed. Mr. Rettig advised that it is being farmed right now, but because of the increase in population, the pipeline corporation has an obligation to upgrade their pipes. Mr. Kil commented that this pipeline project is also continuing through the Gates of St. John to Blaine Street.

Mr. Birlson stated he is afraid that if they allow these duplexes and cottage homes here, then East and South of this property, they will be wanting to continue. Mr. Barick advised they do not have the major hardships that this parcel is facing. Mr. Rettig advised that for clarification that they are stubbing the street to the East line and it is 1/4 mile to Parrish Avenue, and the pipelines do not parallel the property lines, so they will get trickier and will only be able to build on one side.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have discussed with Schilling Development of running that street South instead of East, and they advised they didn’t want it.

Mr. Williams asked if there was a way to create a barrier so it is not apparent that there is a R-3 PUD next door. Mr. Rettig advised, well there is a 140’ high-tension tower easement, which is a huge buffer with a large grass area, and to the East those are all single-family residences along that property line.

Mr. Forbes asked what the square footage that they are proposing to build on the lots. Mr. Barrick advised they are 1,800 to 2,000 s.f. typically in the duplexes. Mr. Kozel stated that is the cottage homes. Mr. Rettig advised that is basically half of the duplex, it’s the same thing, just a little fancied up. Mr. Barick stated it is just a duplex, split down the middle with green space between so they don’t have a common wall.

Mr. Kil asked about the pricing by the lake units. Mr. Barick advised they would be $300,000 to $350,000. Mr. Rettig advised that the ones along the lake will have walk-out basements for pretty much all those along the lake. Mr. Williams asked that in comparison what are the ones in Willow Ridge by the lake going for. Mr. Gil advised they are going for $500,000 and up, and those are R-2, because of the lake.

General discussion ensued as to cost, long term value of homes built and the stigma of power lines and the pipelines. The other topic included the natural growth of area by the water line, and the homeowners association will cut the grass, but there will be a buffer area left at the lake. Discussion also revolved around a home maintaining its value if it is built correctly. Mr. Barick stated that he builds masonry walls for the common walls of duplexes, because it is a better product and is a great soundproofing.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Rettig advised they will be back in two weeks.

B. GO LO – Review of Site Improvement Plan

Mr. Eberly advised that was just a continuation of a previous study session agenda, so it was left on there. He believed that Mr. Mil made the comment at the November study session that he has not received any updates from them. Mr. Eberly asked if the board members wish to have this item removed from further agendas until they make contact to move forward.

The consensus of the board was to remove until they make contact with the offices.

C. CASTLE ROCK – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG / Land Technologies advised that he is here with Mr. Andy James, the developer, and advised that this was a portion of the Kilkenny Estates. Mr. Rettig advised that the plan was presented before and they are making a few changes to the plan.

Mr. Rettig advised that it was presented as shown on the second page, and we had talked about access between Kilkenny Estates and this new project, and in particular the park area to the South. The original thought was to install a sidewalk to the park.

Mr. James advised that he knows the neighborhood and that park is very underutilized, and placing a sidewalk between lots, would impact four lots and would probably cause discomfort to the homeowners near the sidewalk access.

Mr. James and Mr. Rettig advised they are now proposing to install a parking area in front of the Kilkenny Water Tower area, a drive for the Public Works Department to the tower, and then landscape the area Mr. James thought it would bring ambiance to the area. Mr. Kil strongly agreed that he would like Mr. James to landscape all around the water tower site.

Mr. James stated that there is park equipment there and may be the Park Department knows how often it is used, and whether they are going to update any of the amenities there.

Mr. Williams asked if there is a Park Department that they can reach out to and get feedback on what they would prefer. Mr. Kil advised that the Park Board is planning to have different area parks have upgrades or change-outs, but this is not one of them.

Mr. Kil stated that he believes there is some merit in what Mr. James is proposing because one of the most common shortfalls of the parks is that people have to park on the street to utilize them. He further advised that placing 6 to 8 parking spaces would make it better. Mr. Kil also advised that they have a point with people walking between their homes to access the park; nobody wants to build a $500,000 house and have strangers walking past it all the time.

Mr. Forbes advised that it is actually a two-fold thing that they are discussing here. First is the access from along Lot 63 and Lot 38, that is a 10’ walkway and it is next to an existing house, and I am the one that brought that up for the concern of the residents there now, may have this expectation of privacy.

Mr. Kennedy advised that he lives in that area, and agrees that the park is underutilized. He further stated his thought of the parking lot concept is a better idea for this open park area.

Mr. Kil advised that he feels they would get a lot more mileage out of the proposal of a parking lot, maybe a bike rack and landscaping. Mr. Rettig can do a landscaping design for Outlot “A”, showing the parking and bike rack.

Mr. Kozel said he thought the park is all in Edgewood. Mr. Rettig advised that Outlot “A” is just a remnant parcel because of the land plan that we have; and there are lots on both sides. Mr. Rettig advised that the driveway for the Town to the water tower will provide easier access for them to maintain it.

Mr. Kil also asked Mr. James to go ahead and keep landscaping beyond the property line and keep going and landscaping around the water tower [laughter].

Mr. Rettig advised that the other thing they wish to point out is Lot 41 and Lot 42, we now have Lot 67. There is a lot of elevation change, especially in front of this Lot 67. They have come up with a plan to make it an “estate lot” with a very winding-curvy drive with the placement of the house at the top of hill. Mr. James advises that they will have to have it all roughed in. Mr. Rettig advised they just started on the engineering.

Mr. Forbes asked if he thought there would be a buyer or Lot 41, which backs up to the water tower. Mr. James advised that it is a nice quiet neighbor, and nobody would notice it, though he did have the same thoughts at first. Mr. Kil commented that it may behoove Mr. James to landscape the West side of the water tower for him to sell that lot [laughter].

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig to explain the double frontage lots with walk-out basements and a steep slope, so that everybody understands what is going on there and why.

Mr. Rettig advised there are five lots that are deeper than a typical lot, and we are going to leave a strip of trees, a conservation easement, so they can’t take the trees down. This will mean these people will have back yard with trees, again the road will be about 20’ lower than their road, hidden by the trees, and the others will be looking at slope and trees, rather than the back of these houses. Mr. Rettig advised this was done specifically to address the severe slopes that are there.

Mr. Kil advised that he was not too keen on the formation of the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig advised that believe it or not, all roads are 30’ wide in Town, from curb to curb; and this is 28’ wide. Mr. James is hoping that the island will stay wild, leaving it as woods.

General discussion ensued as to who would be responsible for the appearance and maintenance of the wooded island. After numerous suggestions, Mr. Kil asked for a deed restriction, and recorded, for all the Lots; 52 - 53 - 54 - 55 - 56, that would cause them to maintain 5’ behind the curb. Mr. Volk stated that he likes the look of the trees, and agreed that it would be best to assign the deed restriction to all of the lots in the cul-de-sac. With each homeowner bearing equal responsibility this would not cause problems with the property owners.

Mr. James also suggested an individual HOA for that area; but Mr. Kil advised whatever they decide that he would like this outlined and specific, and included in the plat.

Mr. Rettig and Mr. Kil discussed the slope and the possibility of retaining walls and side-loading garages. Mr. Rettig stated that they may dictate that if they have side-loaded garages that they have to be on the same side, so that would require a mirror image. Mr. Kil stated that would help, because then it would eliminate the need for the retaining wall. Mr. James advised that they will put them in the covenants where they are “lot specific”.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Rettig advised that they will be back on February 1, 2017 for permission to advertise for public hearing and then back on March 1, 2017 for the public hearing.

D. PRESERVES OF WILLOW RIDGE – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the Preserves of Willow Ridge, and called upon Mr. Doug Rettig again.

Mr. Rettig advised that he spoke to Mr. Eberly and Mr. Kil yesterday about this project, they have scheduled a Staff Meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday with them, himself and Mr. Granessy to discuss the legal description that was somehow mixed up on the re-zone ordinance and some other issues. Mr. Eberly advised that there is something that needs to be corrected.

Mr. Rettig advised that this is what they are calling the Preserves of Willow Ridge, it lies immediately South of Willow Ridge, there is the lake we talked about (shown on meeting room screen),

Mr. Rettig pointed to Parrish Avenue and to the Rose Garden subdivision; they will extend Parrish Avenue from where it ends to the south line of Willow Ridge to Willow Lane and will then complete the loop within the Willow Ridge subdivision. The street will then be extended down to 92nd Place.

Mr. Rettig advised they will install a new cul-de-sac that will line up with Clarmonte Drive, which will be a “T-intersection”, they are buying this in three (3) parcels.

(Mr. Rettig showed the parcels on the meeting room screen via laser pointer). Mr. Rettig showed the East portion, then a West portion in which one house on the parcel will be demolished, and the land will be incorporated into the “big picture”.

Mr. Rettig showed a large wetland in which portions have been delineated, and they will bring in a R-1 at the cul-de-sac area, with the remainder being R-2. Mr. Rettig advised they thought they re-zoned the easterly portion three (3) years ago and they found some e-mails and a Council ordinance. Mr. Eberly found that the re-zone ordinance that they possibly entered the wrong legal description, and it may not be done correctly. Mr. Rettig advised it is not a large problem as they will have to re-zone parcels anyway; but we do desire a R-2 zone. Due to some wetland constraints they may be looking for some 94’ lots, so they will probably have to do an R-2 PUD.

Mr. Rettig, if you remember when we were here before, we talked about extending the sidewalk out. Mr. Kil advised that it was definitely a “bike path”, that was to be extended.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will be back for another study session before we attempt to go for the re-zoning. Mr. Kil advised then you will be placed on the February study session, and by that time they should have it worked out.

Mr. Williams stated he would like to see a numbered list, like an Excel spreadsheet, of here are all the lot sizes we are asking for, and then I want to see R-2 @ 15,000 square feet and I want to see a percentage of all the lots and what percent of R-2 that you are hitting for each one of those lots.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the bike path they were discussing as there are no sidewalks on the North side of 93rd. Mr. Forbes advised that the discussion they had is that the bike path would come South from the development, turned East to Schafer Drive.

Mr. Forbes asked if any members had any more questions. Hearing none, Mr. Rettig advised that he will be in discussion with the staff and be back before the board soon.

E. SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH – Addition to Church and Creation of Fifty (50) Additional Parking Spaces (Mr. Ryan Marovich)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Suncrest Christian Church, they are looking to add 50-parking spaces to their parking lot.

Mr. Ryan Marovich of DVG Engineering introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Marovich advised he is here representing the Suncrest Building Addition and Parking Expansion. He advised that they are looking to expand the parking area South of the existing parking area, by approximately 50 spaces.

Mr. Marovich advised the building expansion includes approximately 8,000 square feet to the entrance, that includes some new sidewalk and a new entrance in the front. There are also plans to add a “baptistery” with a baptismal pool and a ramp to allow them to bring musical equipment and bigger equipment. Mr. Marovich pointed to the stage area. He also pointed to an area that will be the new location for the site dumpster enclosure, in the back.

There will also be some re-surfacing of the parking lot area in order to make ADA compliant grades. Mr. Marovich advised that with the expansion, the grades become a little steeper than ADA allows.

Mr. Marovich advised that this project would also include the re-location of the sanitary sewer line; which is actually part of the Lift Station One Project.

Mr. Williams asked about assisting the common parishioner attending, and entering the building.

Mr. Marovich showed the ADA lots and the designated entrance; and showed a back entrance but he did not know if that was used.

Mr. Marovich advised that there are plans to “heat” the sidewalk, for inclimate weather, to prevent ice from forming. He further stated that Pastor Dan said that during Sunday services; they are frequently at capacity in their parking area, and you get people parking along the drive, into the site from 101st and I believe off of Parrish Avenue as well.

Mr. Williams asked if he thought that was enough to solve the capacity problem. Mr. Marovich stated that it is their belief that this will solve the parking problem at this point in time.

Mr. Marovich advised that the building expansion; the entrance in the front would contain a café’ area here, but not really anything that would add anymore, it will not be expanding the congregation area. It is more to create a nicer entrance. One of the problems they have currently is there is no vestibule area, so a lot of times when you walk in during this time of year, you get that cold air.

Mr. Birlson asked how you are addressing storm water. Mr. Marovich advised there is an existing pond to the North, and he conducted an analysis of the capacity. The survey shows a 12” pipe outfall that serves the pond here. As-Built plans showed a 12” routed to a 8” restrictor. I ran both analysis on an 8” and a 12”, and both show that there is more than enough capacity for the pond. Mr. Kraus advised that he has that information and has looked at it already, and the requirements for detention volume are more than exceeded by the pond that is there, even with the additional building and parking spaces. Mr. Kraus advised that the outlet pipe should not change from what was originally designed for anyway, because that was designed for the whole site in its developed state, so that stays the same no matter what they do.

Mr. Kil stated that the board members should also know that the Town is eliminating their ejector system for their sanitary sewer; that is actually being done right now, and there will be a gravity line to the sewer, a huge maintenance nightmare for the Church is now eliminated as part of the Lift Station One Project.

Mr. Kozel asked if there will be additional handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Marovich advised there will be two added to make the ADA minimum; one stall with two spaces on each side. Mr. Marovich advised there will be a sidewalk added, there is a back entrance here, it is currently grass and so just for fire safety that is an added feature that they wanted.

Mr. Kil inquired if they were just requesting Site Plan / Development Plan Approval, correct? Mr. Marovich stated yes, however, they do have an existing parking area has 9’ x 20’ stalls, and the ordinance requests 10’ x 20’ stalls, so we are in the process of filing for a variance to match the existing. These would be 9’ x 20’ and this row would line up with the existing striping with a 90˚ angle.

Mr. Eberly advised that he sent an e-mail out today, that they do allow 9’ x 20’ spaces, if they are angled parking 30˚ – 50 ˚ angled parking, and I don’t know if that works for you on this site. Mr. Marovich stated that for the sake of uniformity, they want the 90˚, because I had looked at this, but just for the uniformity of the site.

Mr. Eberly and Mr. Marovich discussed that they will probably come before the Board of Zoning Appeals in February.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he was good with the calculations. Mr. Kraus advised he was good with the drainage, but he would like a chance to compose a letter saying so for accuracy and record keeping purposes.

Mr. Kraus advised he would also like to go through the Site Plan Checklist, and make sure everything on that as well is current. Mr. Forbes asked if he could get to that in two weeks. Mr. Kraus advised that would be plenty of time.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any concerns about addressing this at our next regular meeting. Mr. Eberly advised that they would not be going before the BZA before February 27, 2017. Mr. Forbes advised they can make their approval contingent upon the Board of Zoning Appeals approval, or just have them come to the March meeting as it is only a matter of a couple of days.

Mr. Marovich thanked the board for their attention.

F. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT THREE – Amended Plat (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3, and again called upon Mr. Doug Rettig.

Mr. Rettig handed out amended documents to the board members for review. Mr. Rettig advised that this is an amended plat that is adding four (4) buildings toward the lake side of the property.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Meyers (in the audience) if we were going to call this an extension of “Dancing Waters”, cause this Meyers Addition – Phase 3, I am calling Dancing Waters – Phase 3. Mr. Rettig stated that it however has been platted as Meyers Addition – Phase 3 – Block One, Block Two and Block Three, so the plat says Meyers Addition, the “Project” name is actually Dancing Waters.

Mr. Rettig advised that he has given out the amended plat of Meyers Addition – Unit Three, and the second page of your handout is the original plat; and the only real difference is the property line stopped as denoted.

Mr. Rettig advised what Mr. Meyers (Dennis) would like to do; is add these four (4) buildings, basically on the lake, the road was always planned to go to this South property line, and put a little wiggle in it to accommodate the Town’s wishes to extend Shell Drive to our property line. This is the North line of the Levin property, which has also been before you.

Mr. Rettig advised that his understanding is they want the road extended, so Levin can continue it through their project as well.

Mr. Rettig showed on the meeting room screen a “funky line”, which he advised is another pipeline, that is Explorer Pipeline, and the easements associated with that. This is one of the hurdles with this project, they have to get across this pipeline, work with the good ground between the easement and the lake, but we feel we can accommodate these four buildings.

Mr. Rettig advised it is a little different from the building he is doing on the current project, although some of these will be similar. So, this is another product in Dancing Waters, these are nicer duplexes on the ponds back here. These are all two-stories with a view of the lake, and they will probably do the two-stories here (shown in screen) because they back up to the commercial area, and give a little bit of a buffer there.

Mr. Rettig advised that the gist of it is they want to add four (4) lots, and the easiest way to do that is to amend the original PUD, extend the road, put in the four buildings, deal with the pipeline, and it is just a continuation of Dancing Waters.

Mr. Kil asked, so then you will put in the frontage road that we talked about, extending it right to the property line? Mr. Rettig, Yes, as shown here. This is where Levin can pick it up and ultimately extend to 85th Avenue. Mr. Kil noted that Levin Tire is still at the BZA portion.

Mr. Birlson asked how close are the buildings to the wetlands, the four buildings there, what is the closest. Mr. Rettig advised the wetland is very near the edge of the water, but I would say 20’ minimum from the water. Mr. Birlson asked if Bingo Lake has an out-fall. Mr. Rettig advised that it goes underneath the tracks and goes North towards Schererville, through a pipe that goes up Alexander Street.

Mr. Williams asked if this was something that they looked at a year ago? Mr. Forbes advised: Pretty much, and I think the only difference is the road configuration. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that it took twelve months to convince Mr. Meyers to put the road in, but in the interest of the frontage road and what the board members wanted this has finally come.

Mr. Gill asked about Tract 18 to 21, what’s the rear yard like on those. Mr. Rettig advised it is a PUD, and what is being proposed is duplexes, they are not condos or townhomes, so typically just like the rest of the units we sell half and half, and we sell a little bit of property around their building. That is what I am trying to do here, and I labeled them tracts so it is easier to write the legal descriptions when they go to convey the property.

Mr. Rettig pointed to an area where he said he wanted to do an Outlot and call it an access-ingress and utility easement, and that would be in the covenants. That would all be a common area access do these tracts that they would own. Mr. Kil noted that it will be one big greenbelt and they won’t know where their property starts or stops, because it all grass. Mr. Rettig advised it is just so that we can convey legal descriptions.

Mr. Kil commented that they will just want their spot to sit and look at the water, they are not going to be shoveling snow or mowing lawns.

Mr. Williams said he has this dream where Bingo Lake has this frontage to the East of Tract 18, could be somehow converted into a sidewalk or something that people could, those just of this subdivision. Mr. Rettig said that there is, it is going to be a Park. Mr. Kil advised that there was a hand drawing that was done.

With no further questions from the board members, Mr. Rettig advised he would be before them on February 1, 2017 to ask permission to advertise for public hearing; then back to the February 15, 2017 study session and be ready for public hearing at the April 16, 2017 meeting.

E. MASTER COMPREHENSIVE / THOROUGHFARE PLAN – Review and Recommendation (Plan Commission Inhouse Discussion)

Mr. Forbes advised this is a continued discussion as to the Master Comprehensive / Thoroughfare Plan. Mr. Forbes advised that from our last discussion the only outstanding concern or question was the drawing of the Town Center. Following our meeting at the public hearing, we had the consultant re-draft the drawing, it was sent to the Economic Development Commission. The EDC has looked at it again and they are okay with it.

Mr. Birlson asked what would be considered the Town Center, what would be the boundary. Mr. Forbes advised the area where you see the orange buildings (denoted on meeting room screen).

Mr. Kil advised that the orange buildings to the very South next to the yellow, those are actually part of Boyer’s Project. That is if they have any interest.

Mr. Birlson asked what is the reason to tie in Civic Drive to Joliet Street, because we have access around Thielen and 93rd Avenue to get back to the Municipal Center, because there is like five houses in there that would be taken out to put that road in there and the commercial building.

Mr. Kil advised that he does not have an answer, maybe connectivity. Mr. Kozel commented that it is not something that they have to follow.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is just concerned for those people who own those homes there, there is five of them. Looks like um.,.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Birlson that honestly if those homes on the end of Civic Drive, if those ever become for sale, I know that at one point the Town was going to be first in line to get those, just because the ballfields are there. I would envision that would be something the Town Council would very interested in having. We frequently run out of parking at Civic Park. We do not have enough for the ball fields.

Mr. Forbes wanted to clarify that statement “If,.,. they ever became for sale”, we are not looking to take them. Mr. Kil corrected by saying that no this could be twenty years in the future, and it may never happen.

Mr. Birlson was concerned about commercial buildings coming to Civic Park. Mr. Forbes advised there are very strict deed restrictions that can only be used for the Park.

Mr. Birlson said what he reads about the round-about at the tracks is a “no-no”, you gotta really look at it to have a round-about so close to the railroad tracks. What I have read is you just don’t want to do that.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes advised that is why the traffic engineer is looking into that.

Mr. Williams stated that he thought Mr. Birlson’s comments were valid.

Mr. Forbes asked for suggestions from the board. Mr. Williams stated he thought his replies were fair, but he also just has a concern about trying to put that round-about at that sport, with that railroad tracks. I guess I am not entirely sure of how much traffic that railroad crossing would get, from trains, not from cars. I mean how often would that be closed, and then that entire intersection would just back up. Mr. Forbes advised that it backs up now.

Mr. Kil advised there is nothing that we can do about the tracks there. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk talked about the two lanes in the circle. Mr. Kil advised that the meeting room screen picture is just that, it is not the significant engineering that would be done.

General discussion ensued as to traffic education and concerns over traffic circles. Mr. Forbes noted that he had huge concerns over the first one in Weston Ridge, but if that was not there, you could not move the amount of traffic that comes from that church that they do so fluidly. Mr. Forbes advised that it is amazing the volume of cars that get in and out of that facility with minimal issue.

Mr. Kil commented that the traffic circle at Cline Avenue and 77th in Schererville is a life-saver. Mr. Williams stated that the one in Schererville is well placed, no doubt. Mr. Forbes mentioned that they just put in one in Crown Point by the Government Center and it is really nice looking, and even though the traffic wasn’t that bad, it made a big difference.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that the purpose of this again is just a concept, and the picture does not approve anything, other than it is a concept inside a Comprehensive Master Plan.

Mr. Kil advised that they only thing that gives development a green light, is the Plan Commission platting the subdivision, and there is a whole bunch of things to be done at the Plan Commission level. When you grant Primary Approval to a subdivision, you are giving them the green light to install infrastructure. Put in roads. Final Plat is ministerial.

Mr. Birlson stated he is still concerned about Civic Drive being extended down to Joliet and having homes taken away.

Mr. Forbes – again would you be more comfortable if that orange building was removed and the extension of Civic Drive were taken out.

Mr. Kil: So, if what I am hearing from you guys is, remove the extension from Civic Drive, remove the North orange building, and put everything back the way it was, and just leave everything else to the South, because, is that where we’re at?

Mr. Birlson wants a definite; a boundary that says this is the Town Center, or, orange buildings is the Town Center. Mr. Kil asked if he would like a BIG BOLD LINE DRAWN AROUND IT?

Mr. Forbes said that if we are going to send this back to the consultant, have the two Boyer buildings that are in orange, changed to yellow, and that will delineate what is the Town Center, and what is the Boyer Development.

Mr. Birlson, yeah, a bold line, something to designate it.

Mr. Kil asked if the whole plan commission was okay with that,., he will have it re-drawn and re-distributed.

Mr. Eberly asked if they wanted this on next month’s study session. Mr. Forbes directed Mr. Eberly to the February 1, 2017 meeting.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kraus if he received any information on the lights at Park Place in the Gates. Mr. Kraus advised they were gifted before the Dark Skies Ordinance went into effect. Mr. Kraus advised they are 100 watt bulbs. The photo-metric plan does not show any additional lights.

(With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 9:13 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

02-01-2017 Plan Commission

February 1, 2017 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, Board Attorney
John Kennedy   Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on February 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

The recording secretary took roll call. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil, Rick Eberly and Michael Muenich.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board for a nomination of Plan Commission President. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to nominate Mr. Michael Forbes as President. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board for a nomination of Plan Commission Vice-President. Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Gregory Volk as Vice-President. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board for a nomination of Plan Commission Secretary. Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Steve Kozel. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of April 1, 2015 and January 4, 2017 Regular Meetings; and August 17, 2016 and January 18, 2017 Study Session were listed on the agenda. Discussion ensued with the Board Members and Board Attorney Muenich as to some direction for the April 1, 2015 meeting minutes, as there was not a quorum of members who were board members at that previous date; so they wish to abstain. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Muenich that there are minutes that go back to Year 2012 that are being prepared to catch up with any minutes that are missing. Mr. Muenich advised that he would review of legal procedure and contact Mr. Forbes as soon as possible as to a solution and procedure to get these minutes approved for the formal records.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the January 4, 2017 Regular meeting minutes, the August 17, 2016 Study Session and January 18, 2017 Study Session minutes as submitted. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE III – Public Hearing for Re-Zone from R-1 to R-2PUD And R-3PUD (Mr. Dave Barrick and Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes announced that a Public hearing was scheduled for this evening, but due to a deficiency in the notification for this public hearing the board can not hold this public hearing. Mr. Muenich advised that is correct and stated that they have two (2) options this evening; you may defer the public hearing to March 1, 2017, subject to review of all the legal notification requirements being met. Mr. Muenich stated the second option is for the board to “cancel” the agenda item, requiring the Petitioner to start over the legal procedural notification process.

Mr. Eberly advised that the deficiency was that a Notice of Meeting Sign was not posted on the parcel in question as is required by their Rules and Regulations. Mr. Kozel asked if all other aspects of the legal notice were completed. Mr. Muenich stated that since there was this deficiency he did not review the proofs of publications for the newspaper, nor the white and green cards to compare with the certified Assessor’s list.

Mr. Forbes conferred with the board members and entertained the pleasure of the board on this item. Mr. Kozel made a motion to defer the Public hearing for Three Springs – Phase III to the March 1, 2017 meeting and upon review of proofs of publication. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. CASTLE ROCK – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing and Primary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG introduced himself to the board and advised he is appearing tonight to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat Approval.

Mr. Rettig advised that Castle Rock as discussed at length at past meetings is a portion of Kilkenny Estates. Mr. Rettig passed out hard copies of the current layout of the development. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Andy James is also present, and they are seeking permission to advertise for the March 1, 2017 Plan Commission meeting which is four (4) weeks from tonight.

Mr. Rettig reminded the board that it is a 67 lot R-2 zoning subdivision. Mr. Rettig stated that they are not asking for any variances, they all meet the R-2 zoning of 100’ x 150’ minimum, of 15,000 square foot lots.

Mr. Gill asked if they worked on the driveway and grade situations. Mr. Rettig advised they have, they intend to submit Engineering Drawings tomorrow to Mr. Eberly for review. Mr. Rettig advised that they have engineering plans, SWPPP Plans. Mr. Gill inquired if that dictates what side of the lot the driveway would go on. Mr. Rettig reminded that it was only an issue for some of the lots, however; they are on the drawings.

Mr. Volk asked if they made a decision on preserving the island on the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. James is trying to preserve it as much as possible. It is a 40’ x 125’ island that will be preserved as much as possible. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. James has walked the property, has staked some center lines so he can envision where the roads are going and which trees have to come down, but he will try to preserve what trees that can be preserved there.

Mr. Rettig advised the board that they will be coming back to the February 15, 2017 Study Session for further discussion before the March 1, 2017 meeting.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board for permission to advertise for public hearing at the March 1, 2017 Plan Commission meeting. Mr. Volk made the motion to authorize public hearing for March 1, 2017. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 – Permission to Advertise for Re-Zoning of Parcel from C-2 / Light Industrial to R-3PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG introduced himself again to the board, advising he is representing Mr. Dennis Meyers. Mr. Rettig advised that they talked about this at the study session, where they are going to amend the Plat of Meyers Addition – Unit 3, in order to do so, it was brought to my attention, that we need re-zone the piece that he bought, which is “highlighted” on your copies. Mr. Meyers bought this property after he bought the property known as Meyers Addition – Unit 3.

Mr. Meyers intends to place four (4) buildings; but due to the current zoning, we are here tonight to request permission to advertise for a Public Hearing to start the re-zone process, so that we can come back later and amend the PUD plat of Meyers Addition – Unit 3.

Mr. Rettig reiterated that it is an odd shape. Mr. Rettig directed their attention to the location of Bingo Lake. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers bought this parcel months after than the original parcel, it was not thought of at the time to re-zone.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for questions on the rezoning. Mr. Forbes advised that this will probably be discussed at the study session also.

Mr. Williams asked if when it comes to the study session of he could see a rough sketch of what the park is going to look like that they spoke about during the previous study session. Mr. Rettig advised he would make a note of that.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to authorize a Public Hearing for re-zoning for Meyers Addition – Unit 3. Mr. Kozel made the motion to authorize the public hearing for the re-zone from C-2 and Light Industrial to R-3PUD. Mr. Williams seconded the motion..Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. COMPREHENSIVE and THOROUGHFARE PLAN – Recommendation to Town Council

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the Comprehensive Master and Thoroughfare Plan. Mr. Forbes advised that at our last Study Session we adjusted the drawing for the Town Center. There was just the one adjustment to include a borderline around the actual Town Center portion of the plan.

Mr. Forbes, given the forgoing was there further discussion from the board members.

Mr. Birlson advised that going back to the “round-about”, I know that this still is just a concept, and I did not really specify my concerns on it at the last meeting. However, just looking at the traffic on Joliet Street, the majority would go westbound if the road gets re-routed through the Boyer Development. So you have westbound majority of the traffic; eastbound majority of the traffic will go through the Boyer Development and then turn right. Mr. Birlson wished to state that he feels that the “round-about” is just not necessary, although he know they are quite expensive to put in, you are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a “T” intersection would suffice.

Mr. Forbes stated he appreciated Mr. Birlson for his opinion; however, Mr. Forbes stated he thought the drawing is fine the way it is. Mr. Forbes reminded that it is a concept and he is ready to move forward with the drawing as is.

Mr. Williams stated that he shares the concern, but is also willing to move forward.

Mr. Muenich wanted it stated for the record that he received a written remonstrance from Thiel Cabinet Shop, and he is aware of the fact that the public hearing has been closed. Mr. Muenich stated that you would need to make a decision as to whether or not to include that written remonstrance in the packet; there is no requirement for you to re-open the public hearing, it would be purely discretionary with the commissioners as to whether to accept or not accept it. You also have the option, just so everyone is aware, under the statute, to make either a Favorable Recommendation, an Unfavorable Recommendation or No Recommendation. The form of certification that was prepared from our office was on a basis of a “Favorable”, if the Commission should choose to do something different, then they should either modify that, showing the “un-favorable” or “no recommendation”.

Mr. Forbes stated that he is not personally interested in opening the public hearing again on this matter; “I think we beat this horse”, as much as we possibly could.

Mr. Williams stated that as much as he would like to hear all opinions, he would have to agree with Mr. Forbes. Mr. Williams stated that we have covered this enough at this point.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he works for an engineering firm, one of the largest engineering firms in the State of Indiana. When it comes down to it. A Traffic Engineer, and an engineer is going to determine whether that “round-about”, that thoroughfare, is acceptable with its close proximity to the railroad and how traffic flow is going to be. So, although he understands Mr. Birlson’s concern, when it gets down to it, and the engineers start to look at it, they will determine if the “round-about” is one, needed, and the best location for it. Mr. Kennedy stated with that said he would like to move forward with the plan as is.

Mr. Kil advised that for the record you can confirm that the remonstrance received was sent on to the Town Council as well, so everyone has a copy of this. Mr. Forbes stated that it would be unfair to re-open the Public hearing to include this, and not allow other public comment.

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council regarding the Comprehensive and Thoroughfare Master Plan; is there a Favorable, Unfavorable or No Recommendation. Mr. Kozel made a motion to send a Favorable recommendation to the Town Council. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Birlson).

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentleman I have a couple of concerns, um, one that I wasn’t even planning on and that’s the Comprehensive Plan. You made some major changes to this and I think you need to ask for public comment on all those major changes. So, I’m gonna remonstrate against your, the action that you just did. Against the Comprehensive Plan because we have not had a chance to talk about the changes that you’ve made. Also, I think the um.,., looking at the agenda tonight there were three action items, or actually four, and then three action items and one of them was actually what was changed, but I am looking at the PUD, the approvals and the amount of approvals that we are seeing, requests for PUD’s. And I think that, um, I think that’s getting a little bit out of hand. Two out of three are looking for PUD’s and basically what you’re doing is giving the developer an okay to propose just about any lot size that they want to, any front yard size, any side yard size. And then basically you’re approving it. And I think housing development in this town should be R-1, R-2 and R-3 as stated in Ordinance No. 1483, it is very specific about the guidelines should be. And I think exceptions should be just that. When there’s an exceptional situation. Maybe you need to have an exception for a lot or two in a development. You don’t need to make a PUD for the entire development. Um,., I think we are eventually gonna end up with, you know, what’s gonna look like row houses, they might be really nice in some of the cities, um, but I don’t think they are proper for St. John. R-3 townhomes, R-3 family, multi-family require 15,000 square foot lots. And you guys aren’t doing that. We need to get back to that and use that as a guideline, use that as a goal and use that as a requirement. Every time you shrink the lot size you’re adding to the density, which creates more cars, more traffic. The need for additional police and fire protection. More water, more sewer volume, crowded schools and none of those benefit the residents of St. John. So I would like you seriously give that some consideration. And then the last thing would be, um, agendas, um,., it seems like the agendas come out more last minute than they do, um, anything else. I mean, I got an agenda yesterday at, at, at 2:42; and then after there was some changes made, I was looking for a revised agenda this morning, and there was no agenda posted this morning at all. And so I am wondering, can’t you get these things out a little bit earlier, so that we can see what is going on and be prepared. I would assume you would want your board to be prepared, whether it’s this board or whether it’s the Town Council, so I would like to see agendas out on a more timely basis. That’s all thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to remonstrate against the decision you made on item 6, where you said the notice wasn’t adequate, and then you deferred to March the first. You changed the agenda. People saw the agenda and then you changed it. So the people that didn’t come tonight aren’t here to hear about March first. Basically, if the notice isn’t correct, then the only choice you have, in my opinion, is to make them re-advertise and go through the whole process again. You don’t have the authority to keep deferring once you’ve told the people; you’re not having the public hearing. So, you defeat the purpose of the public notice that was made when you put out the word that it’s deferred. And the only way it can be deferred is by all of the people that are here, but you told them it’s not a public hearing, so you’ve gone against the public notice. So, I remonstrance against the deferral. I think they should have to re-advertise and start the whole process over again and meet the notice requirements. The second thing I would like to remonstrate against is the Comprehensive Plan and Thoroughfare Plan recommendations by you to the Town Council, because you have changed this drawing several times since you had the public hearing. The purpose of the public hearing is to make a decision, based on comments from the public. Once you’ve substantially and significantly changed the concept of the Comprehensive Plan, you void the outcome of that public hearing. So, I remonstrate against this, saying that you haven’t had an adequate public hearing, by closing the public hearing, and for that reason I remonstrate against this Comprehensive Plan, because you have changed it so many times, it is no longer what was presented at the public hearing. Thank you.

(Mr. Forbes: As much as I appreciate your opinion Mr. Hero, I will rely upon the legal opinion of our hired legal staff. And the other comment I will make is, the changes that were made to that picture are “based” upon comments that came out of the public hearing.)

Casey Stroup (9137 Maplewood): (did not come to podium)

Catherine Stroup (9137 Maplewood): This is my first meeting, so, I apologize, but I live in Edgewood subdivision. I am confused as far as the Comprehensive Planning goes. What is the plan with the traffic that will be happening on Calumet Avenue, with the Castle Rock subdivision? School busses, schools, I mean, comprehensive plan, I think that being that is going to be part of our neighborhood, as a neighborhood we need to know, what the plan is for traffic, for schools, for everything else, all the traffic that’s coming in our neighborhood. No accommodations for bike paths and children playing or “what-not”. It’d be.,.um,., I would like to know what that plan is, so tell me when to come back and I’ll be here, and I’ll bring some more neighbors.

(Mr. Forbes: We’ll be,., did you have anything else? This will be on; Castle Rock will be on our next Study Session, which is two weeks from now. And then the public hearing is scheduled for two weeks after that. So, we will be able to get more information out during that discussion).

Kim Ryan (9016 Calumet Avenue): This is my first meeting too, and I live at 9016 Calumet Avenue, again that is in Edgewood subdivision. And I wanted to find out about traffic. How that’s gonna play into, you know, construction traffic going down Calumet Avenue, that street is already pretty busy as it is. I was just wondering how you were going to accommodate that traffic going into the new subdivision. So, I’ll come to the next meeting as well.

Gina Eustace (10070 Springlake Road): I thought that we were going to discuss the Three Springs subdivision, so I will hold comment at this time. Thank you.

Kim Boros (9217 Calumet Avenue): I live in Edgewood subdivision. I am also concerned about traffic, um, coming in and out of our subdivision. Um, also concerned about, construction traffic that will be coming down Calumet Avenue or I would like to know are they going to be entering through Kilkenny or one of the other subdivisions. And, let’s see,., I’m sorry this is my first meeting too also. One of my questions, or concerns is why is Castle Rock connecting to Edgewood subdivision. Why is there, you know, a need. And, when I had, well another concern is when I looked at the plan of the Castle Rock map, it didn’t show exactly where the exits or entrances heading North and heading um,., and heading West. I’d like to know where the exits and entrances for those folks living in that subdivision, and also Kilkenny where will everyone be coming out through Edgewood subdivision. So, mainly traffic concerns. Thank you.

Mike Sikora (10134 West 98th Place): I was here originally for the Three Springs subdivision discussion, which I will see you on March first for. Um, but I am also here in support of Miss Boros concerning the traffic on Calumet Avenue, with the new subdivision of Castlewood, because my children play at her house also, and uh, we are concerned about the traffic going up and down Calumet Avenue.

Michelle Patton Pupillo (14180 West 89th Place): I am also concerned about the Edgewood subdivision. I’m concerned about the traffic that will be coming out on 93rd and I think that the traffic also leads into Hart Street. And I’m concerned about Hart Street being a thoroughfare through that subdivision and through Edgewood. People using that as a short-cut. Um, and, you know there is already so much traffic on 93rd and on Hart Street in the mornings and in the evenings. I just wonder whether we shouldn’t be expanding those roads before we begin developing another new subdivision. And, I wonder whether we will be able to get a picture of that map, because we received something, but it’s not the same as what was up there. And uh, finally, um,., what was my last point,.,.,um, sorry,., I quess that’s all. Oh, um,., when is the next meeting then? (Mr. Forbes: Two weeks from tonight is a Study Session). Are we welcome to come to that? (Mr. Forbes: You are welcome to attend, but there is no public discussion. It is an opportunity for you to come, hear the developer, hear our discussion and prepare yourself for the public hearing that will be two weeks after that). Okay, and I also wonder why there’s already trees being cut down at that subdivision area, we live just uh,., south of that, and I hear the developing going on, and so I felt concern over the fact that, you know, there’s already something happening there before anything has been approved. (Mr. Forbes: That is one of those things. The individual owns that property and while can’t build anything out there, but he certainly can move trees and dirt, as he feels are acceptable to him. There is really no regulation that can prevent him from cutting the trees down). Thank you.

Gino Pupillo (14180 West 89th Place): That was my wife, once again she has probably said it all before I get up here. But, I wanted to know, um,., with all the cutting and everything that’s being done. Has the Army Corps of Engineers aware of all the wetlands and everything there? I mean,., and then, somebody else here mentioned, you know, bike paths. Heaven forbid we should have some bike paths, or walking paths. I mean that’s all woods that go all the way to like Bibich there. And people have been walking it for years and now it’s, you know, taken a hike, along with the deer and everything else. Let’s not lose sight of that. Okay?, and then the size of the lots, the R-1 is what? (Mr. Kil: 20,000 square foot). And then R-2? (Mr. Kil: 15,000 square foot). Okay then there’s no R-3 in Castle Rock correct? (Mr. Forbes: No). (Mr. Kil: Their proposing to build homes, you know what you see in Kilkenny and Edgewood right now? Their building all custom homes in there. It’s the same homes that are there right now). Just, you know, lots of greenbelt, place for the (Mr. Kil: No know Gino, what they are proposing for the paths, what they are proposing for the lots, all that is laid out in the Study Session stage. So, like Mike said, you guys are encourage to come and take a look at that. You will get to hear the Engineer speak. The Developer will be here. The Plan Commission asks a lot of questions. You’ll get to see the connectivity of the roads. You’ll get to see the overall plan. A lot of that stuff comes out, so you are definitely encouraged to come). Sounds great, and one other thing is, um,., I live in the cul-de-sac there right next to the park. By the water tower, okay um,., whenever anybody comes to use that park, we get twelve cars parked in the cul-de-sac. (Mr. Kil: Gino, what you don’t know is that he is proposing a parking lot). Oh, I did, but it’s on the far side. It’s on the north side of the park, and the playgrounds are on the south side of the park. I’m glad they are at least putting in a parking lot for it. Will it be used?, maybe not. Most people show up there. It’s mostly kids and they are good kids. They come there and they start a football game, and they have a ball, and they’re usually pretty good. You might have a can of pop or something left in the road or something afterwards, but for the most part I’d rather have them doing that then doing anything else. So,., okay. Thank you.

Kathy Wilson (9621 East Oakridge Drive): My question is basically on the Comprehensive Plan. A couple months ago, I went in and printed out several pages And then yesterday I went back in and it is like the whole plan has changed. But does that,., I mean like I’m comparing page numbers here to page numbers there, and there is,., nothing similar, so it’s not just like a line for two here or there has been updated. There is only one Comprehensive Plan on the website right? (Mr. Forbes: The only change that we did make, was the picture that was put in the Comp Plan, correct?). (Mr. Kil: Kathy there’s only one change that is the picture of the Town Center concept. I think it’s on page 61. At the Study Session, Bob Birlson asked that a section on the North side of Joliet be removed from the Town Center concept. He asked that a border be placed around the drawing. There’s only been one change for the last two years really, and it’s that picture of the Town Center, so, there is one picture change on page 61, that’s all. The rest of the document is identical to what you see). And there’s no other plan document out there.

(Discussion ensued on general topic of pages of Comprehensive / Thoroughfare Plan)

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street): Just a comment on that last comment. I know for a long time there’s been two Comprehensive Plans on the web-site. The current and the “draft”, and there might be some confusion. (General discussion on the current Comprehensive Plan and the Proposed Comprehensive Plan). So, on the Castle Rock, um, I think you just answered one of my questions about the park, cause that was always declared as a future park, right there at the 90˚ turn. And uh, so I guess you guys are already looking out for improvements and everything there. So that’s great, cause Kilkenny does not have a park right now. (Mr. Forbes: Well, actually that park is in Edgewood and “not” in Kilkenny, so that is not the developer’s park). I know the existing park, we were under the impression that Kilkenny that, somewhere, there was additional park land dedicated. (Mr. Forbes: We had a substantial discussion on that, and I don’t believe that ended up being the case. Paul, you really need to just come to the Study Session). And I only wanted to mention it now because I know that I can’t talk there, so I wanted to make sure that you guys look out for our interests there as far as, um, putting whatever park was initially promised back in 2000. Second thing about Castle Rock and Kilkenny in general, I’m not sure if the Plan Commission can do anything about this. I heard a concern about construction traffic. Um,., 85th has been taking a beating. And its been in bad shape, and we’re carrying all the traffic, all the construction traffic for Kilkenny, Kilkenny Highlands and I believe a lot of the trucks will probably come off of Patterson to get to this. And I don’t know if there is any impact fee that can be imposed on the developer, anyway they can, um,., help out with 85th, cause it’s, that road need to be re-done, terribly, and its only gonna get worse in the next year or two as it builds out, so that a concern of mine. Um, lastly on Castle Rock, um,., this developer has done some nice work, I’ve seen it, um,., please persist on as much tree and wetland preservation as you can, I know you are already looking out for that. And, to finish with Castle Rock, one comment on the Town Center revision, I noticed you pulled it back outta the where the folks live, and I think that’s what they wanted, so that’s appreciated, but I was a little surprised that the area of near the Municipal Complex and 93rd, up to the intersection there, that was all pulled out of there too, I was a little bit surprised on that. Um, will there be chance for public comment at the Town Council meeting for that,., for the approval.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil noted that there is a Public Comment portion at the beginning of the meeting.

Paul Panczuk (continued): I understand that the folks at Town Center wanted their homes not in that drawing, but, it pulled it out of that, I think it’s what,., Standard Bank?, and all that is now out of there. To me,.,

Mr. Forbes apologized to Mr. Panczuk, but stated that he has gone well over the time limits. I’ll see you at the Town Council meeting.

Diane Neely (14230 West 89th Place): I was kind of wondering what we saw tonight versus, something I had seen earlier with the Lot 67, the bigger lot on the south end. Is that going to be a lot that is going to be for sale, or not. And is there any, well I guess we’ll have to wait until everything has been approved to talk to the developer about, like would we like get first dibs that, we live in one of those houses and is just to the south of that lot, as far as possibly purchasing it ourselves.

Mr. Forbes advised that you would have to talk to the developer about that. That has nothing to do with us.

Diane Neely (continued): Any chance of getting the name and information about of who the developer is.

(General discussion ensued about contact information, number of houses built per year and where to get a copy of the concept plan).

Jerry Koster (9194 Eggert Drive): I just want to make for your consideration a couple things. If you look at the southbound of 94, which is at the top of the map, I think that the main concern is you have an exit going out there, and then you have two exits, which would be east. And the concern is, if you look at that map, um, people are probably gonna exit off out of that subdivision on Calumet. And for most of those people who will work in Illinois, you can only guess that they are gonna take Calumet through the neighborhood to 93rd over to Sheffield and then onto 394. So, our concern is that all that traffic for those who work, that are gonna head back to Illinois, you’re gonna see a lot of traffic through Calumet, which is really only a subdivision, and there are school busses, and there’s probably a lot of people that travel in excess 25 miles an hour through there. And a year or so ago, you put up stop signs on 90th I guess and Eggert, to try and slow that down, and from what I’m told it not really helpful. They kinda really come to a half-stop, and then move on. So the concern is for your consideration, is maybe not allow that Calumet exit there. And let them exit through the east owned subdivision there, and then move on.

Because they’re gonna head toward Illinois, their gonna head down Calumet. I betcha, any money. Cause that’s where all the traffic heads, 93rd to Sheffield to 394, and people coming out of that subdivision. So if there is anyway you can stop from Calumet tying together that would be really helpful. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes inquired if there was anyone else that wished to make public comment. Hearing none the floor was closed to public comment, and brought the business back to the board.

[outburst from audience member, Mr. Forbes stated that the public comment portion is closed]

Mr. Williams stated he just wanted to echo your comments about the changes made to the Comp Plan being in response to the public comment, and support you on that.

Mr. Birlson stated he wanted to make a comment on the Comprehensive Plan, just to fellow members and President, I appreciate the changes that were made, especially to the Town Center, just wanted to say that to you guys.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil if there were any updates on the Lake Central building permits. Mr. Kil advised there is no update tonight Mr. Volk. Mr. Williams asked what they were discussing. Mr. Volk advised it is the tower and the other signs. Mr. Kil stated that they did not take out any separate permits.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

02-15-2017 Plan Commission

February 15, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Stephen Kil, Town Manager
John Kennedy Michael Muenich, Board Attorney David Austgen, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on February 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by President Michael Forbes, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gill, Bob Birlson, Steven Kozel, Mike Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jason Williams, John Kennedy and staff present of Town Engineer Kenn Kraus and Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director. Absent: Town Manager Steve Kil, Attorney David Austgen and Michael Muenich.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT THREE (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG, representing Sublime Development introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Rettig advised that he is using One (1) Exhibit on the meeting room screen for items “A” and “B” on the agenda. Mr. Rettig explained that Rose Garden – Unit Three and Sublime Estates are basically right next to one another.

Mr. Kozel asked that it be kept separate in order to understand it more clearly.

Mr. Rettig advised that Rose Garden – Phase Three and is the northerly portion of what is being presented. This is immediately South of Willow Ridge – Phase Two. Mr. Rettig noted the lake, the dead-end of Parrish Avenue, which is going to be extended. This road will be under construction this Spring, and extend it to the other street stub of Willow Lane, and then also connect to 92nd Place. This will complete the loop through Willow Ridge and we are going to call this portion of the development Rose Garden – Phase Three.

Our intention is to come back in two weeks and request permission to advertise for a re-zone from R-1 to R-2 PUD. Mr. Rettig advised that they are going for the PUD designation simply because we are going to need a couple of variances that would just be easier just to use the PUD, rather than ask for variances. Some are simply that these bank of lots (shown on screen) will need to be shrunk down of 94’ wide, they are extra deep at 200’, so they still meet the size requirements. Mr. Rettig pointed out some constraints with the streets and the wetlands in the middle.

Mr. Rettig advised they have not started engineering, but will start that once they have received the rezoning of the property.

Mr. Williams asked if Mr. Rettig had the lot sizes and dimensions that he was looking for. Mr. Rettig advised they are still working on that as they are still doing survey work now.

Mr. Eberly noted that he believes that only eight (8) lots will be just under the 15,000 square feet, while the remainder will all be in excess of that. Mr. Rettig advised that is correct, but he will tabulate that information.

Mr. Rettig pointed out that they have a wetland limit and a flood zone limit, so there are storm water detention issues, and thus there is a lot of engineering to do. Mr. Rettig pointed to an eighteen inch (18”) pipe that drains through the delineated wetland area into the very large wetland and that will remain. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be doing some wetland mitigation and they will have that detailed information in the future.

Mr. Eberly mentioned to Mr. Rettig that there is an existing drainage problem in Lancer Estates – Second Addition at the northeast corner of this proposed developed, that they would like to look at during engineering.

Mr. Kozel inquired if they looked into the bike path. Mr. Rettig advised that they have not yet, but Mr. Mike Graniczny (Developer) has discussed it in detail.

B. SUBLIME ESTATES

With no further questions or comments from the board, Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Sublime Estates.

Mr. Rettig noted that it is the same drawing on the screen. Mr. Rettig advised that this portion of the project, this cul-de-sac, he wants to call and develop separately as Sublime Estates. This will be an R-1 project and is already zoned R-1, so we can start now with engineering. Mr. Rettig advised that this would be a four-way intersection at Clarmonte and 93rd Avenue, a nice divided entrance. Mr. Rettig advised this would be estate-type developed. These are all R-1 size; 100’ wide and the square footage is all over 20,000 square feet per residence. There will be no need for any variances or waivers.

Mr. Rettig advised that they intend to develop this as a separate project under the R-1 zoning ordinance. When we come in for the re-zone for the North part, we are simply going to take a zone line. We have talked at a staff level about some excel-decel lanes on 93rd Avenue, and we will address all that when we get to the engineering.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Forbes that if 93rd is widened, how would that impact this drawing. Mr. Forbes stated that “if any widening were to occur” it would have to be to the North.

Mr. Kozel noted that the South is all wetlands. Mr. Rettig noted that Clarmonte and Renaissance subdivisions have already dedicated 50’ of right-of-way for their half, and we will dedicate additional right-of-way through here where our property is located. Mr. Rettig advised that he is hoping to make it a little wider so it is safer as a four-way intersection.

Mr. Williams asked if any of the lots were going to be practically constrained due to the wetlands that they border. Mr. Rettig noted that the line Mr. Williams was looking at is the flood zone line, and that line is not as much of an issue as the wetland. Mr. Rettig advised that the wetlands would be protected in a conservation easement in the rear of those lots. The flood zone line is not going to impact things because of the elevation change here, where we will be easily be able to build all the basements two-foot (2’) above the base flood elevation. Mr. Rettig explained the designated “Zone X” and the “Zone AE” as to the floodplain notations. Mr. Rettig stated that he will make a note to bring those tabulations with them when they come again before the board.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if they will be seeking LOMA(s) on any of the lots shown, or are you going to try and keep the building footprint out of the AE Zone. Mr. Rettig advised that they will try to keep out; however, it is possible that they will need some LOMA(s), which is not a problem.

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

C. CASTLE ROCK – Discuss Primary Plat issues (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is Castle Rock.

Mr. Rettig handed out hard copies to the board members for review, and stated it is also on the meeting room screen. Mr. Rettig reminded that this has been reviewed over the past couple of months. Mr. Rettig advised that the developer of Castle Rock, Mr. Andy James, is present this evening if you have any questions for the developer.

Mr. Rettig stated that Castle Rock is a R-2 zoned property, and it will be developed as such. Mr. Rettig advised that they have a Public Hearing scheduled for this development two weeks from tonight. They have sent out all the notices and legal requirements for the hearing.

Mr. Rettig reminded them that it is a very unique piece of property with lots of woods and rolling topography. Castle Rock will tie into existing streets to the North end, and an existing street stub in the middle of the property, and also to the end of Calumet Avenue that is in Edgewood Estates. Mr. Rettig noted that they came up with a nice curvy street. The area will be walk-out lots. He further noted that they purposely put in a cul-de-sac so that the lots he was showing on the screen could also be walk-out lots.

Mr. Rettig reminded the board of the conservation easement placed to save trees in a specific area, which will make a better view for the homeowners.

Mr. Rettig brought to their attention to another page that showed the parking lot being provided for access to the park near the water tower area. Mr. Rettig advised this will allow for pedestrian access and even vehicle parking in order to enjoy the existing park.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have turned in their engineering, and all other requirements for the public hearing are in place.

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Williams has asked him to bring up this development to the Park Board. The Park Board stated that they have no plans to build anything in that park for the next three (3) years, but they really like the idea of the parking area in the development and the walkway access to the park.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to future development and traffic flow that was brought up by several residents at a previous meeting. Mr. Rettig noted that Mr. James owns the property that abuts to the North, however, there is no intention of taking it any further than to the extent of his property. Due to a rather large ditch, they have no intention of having Calumet Avenue go through.

Mr. Forbes stated that he feels there should be some sort of connection, even when Kilkenny was being developed. Mr. Rettig reviewed some plans and stated that he not is saying that it can “not” be done, but it is difficult, there are lots wetlands and the beginning of Dyer Ditch is right there (pointing to the end of Calumet Avenue). Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. James has looked at other ways to get to 81th Avenue and is talking to other homeowners to the East.

Mr. Rettig pointed to a cul-de-sac to the North, which is known as Kilkenny Highlands that was completed last year.

Mr. James explained that at some point in the future, that maybe Lake County will require that Calumet Avenue goes through, and noted that there is some interest in the property that is due West of his, and it will actually be developed through the Town of Dyer. Mr. James stated that would make a more practical access out of the area, and if that surfaces that he would work with that person or group to make that happen before the final phase of the subdivision.

Discussion ensued on the connectivity of an area, shown on the screen, whereas there is only 100’ of unincorporated land in the way of connecting to the North.

Mr. Kennedy stated that for the future he would like to see the connectivity and will keep that in mind at a later date. Mr. Williams stated that he would like the dimensions noted on Lot 1 through 14 when available. Mr. Rettig advised he would make a note of it and have that available.

Mr. Rettig advised they will be back in two weeks for the public hearing on Primary Plat.

With no further comments from the board, the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit Three.

D. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT THREE – Discuss potential Rezoning from C-2 to R-3 PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig handed out materials to the board members and placed the information on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Rettig started by saying that he is showing on the screen the same display for the next two (2) agenda items; Meyers Addition – Unit Three and Meyers Addition – Unit Three / Block 3.

Mr. Rettig advised the first item of Meyers Addition – Unit Three is the northerly “highlighted” area, is the most recent project that Mr. Meyers has put together consisting of the commercial building that is under construction right now. Mr. Meyers has five or six duplexes under construction and finished in the notated area. Mr. Rettig drew their attention to Unit Three / Block 1, which is the commercial portion whereas they extended Lake Central Drive and upgraded the stoplight. Mr. Rettig then advised that Unit Three / Block 2, was platted last year, which brings us to Unit Three / Block 3. Mr. Rettig advised that this phase will pick up six (6) more duplex lots that were preliminarily approved over a year ago. Mr. Rettig pointed to an Outlot area, which will be a park, and a second Outlot, which will be a detention basin.

Mr. Rettig advised the improvements have been installed to complete the “loop”. They are lacking asphalt until the weather breaks. Mr. Meyers is also aware that he needs to finish the pond, and he will be bonding for any improvements not completed. In the meantime he wants to have the plat recorded so that building permits can be issued, as many of the units are sold.

Mr. Rettig advised that they intend on coming back in two weeks for the Final Plat approval, and that is with the knowledge that the plats will not be signed until a bond is in place.

Mr. Williams asked that since this is a PUD, how are we diverging from the normal R-3. Mr. Rettig advised that is due to lot size and right-of-way width. They went with a 50’ right-of-way, with a 30’ street, curb to curb.

Mr. Rettig advised that the lots that they are platting this time are in the 14,000 – 20,000 range, still pretty good size lots. The smallest is 12,000. Mr. Rettig advised that the average of these is well over 15,000 square feet.

Mr. Williams asked what is happening with Outlot “B” again. Mr. Rettig advised that is going to be a park, with a gazebo.

Mr. Birlson asked about the three (3) lots that are sitting there by themselves.

Mr. Rettig advised that the original PUD line was located here (shown on screen). They always intended to place the pond at the noted location. Always had to deal with the denoted pipeline and a triangle parcel, and then there is a line for Bingo Lake.

Mr. Rettig continued by saying that as the board has been presented before; Mr. Meyers always intended to do something with this parcel; which is the next item on the agenda tonight. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers bought this piece, after we did the engineering for the former parcel.

General discussion ensued as to timeline of purchasing additional parcels from Mr. Plaskota. Mr. Rettig advised that if he had known about the additional land it could have been engineered earlier, and they could have asked for a zone change sooner. Mr. Rettig advised that brings us to the next agenda item in which we will be asking to re-zone this parcel to match the zoning of the other parcel, that way it can all be completed.

Mr. Rettig advised that is why he has two (2) things on the one exhibit being displayed for the board members. Mr. Rettig advised that after they get the rezoning, they will amend this PUD to “include” this piece, it is the only way it can be done. Mr. Rettig advised that is why they are doing it in steps.

Discussion ensued about the pipeline constraints, curbing and combining of the PUD. They having been talking with the pipeline people for clarification as to a more definitive location of the pipeline. Mr. Rettig advised his last conversation with persons from Tulsa, they want to shift the easement so that it is “centered”, so it will be 25’ and 25’, that is why the pond is where it is located. Mr. Rettig advised they presumed the worst case scenario here, so if the easement is 25’ over that line; but what it does is open up a little bit more land.

Mr. Forbes asked if the new area, is that three (3) or four (4) new duplexes. Mr. Rettig advised that he presented four (4), and Mr. Meyers advised me the other day that he is trying for five (5). Several board members stated that Mr. Meyers should stop trying for the one [laughing].

Mr. Rettig reiterated that they have received permission for the rezoning and have done the legal process for the public hearing, which will take place two weeks from tonight. Mr. Rettig further stated that after checking on the property it is strictly from a C-2 to an R-3 PUD, there is no light industrial part of this project, and was presented as such in the legal notice.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions from the Board on either of these two sections.

E. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT THREE / BLOCK 3 – Secondary Plat review

(Addressed above).

F. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE THREE – (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Three Springs – Phase Three.

Mr. Doug Rettig advised that Three Springs – Phase Three, we have been before the board numerous times already due to different delays. Mr. Rettig noted that they have not changed the drawings since they were originally submitted.

Mr. Rettig advised they are ready to come back two weeks from tonight for a rezone to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. Mr. Rettig brought their attention to the “dotted” zone line as presented on the screen and handout materials. Mr. Rettig showed the area to be known as R-2 PUD, and then the other portion that they are asking for R-3 PUD, because he intends to build duplexes on the southerly portion of the property.

Mr. Rettig advised that the number of units is tabulated on the second sheet of the handout material. Basically, sixty-five (65) total dwelling units on 34 acres; a density of about 1.9 units per acre. The smallest lot for the cottage homes is 60’ wide, the duplexes for the narrowest is 83’, and the square footage minimum for a cottage home is 8,400 square feet, and duplexes are 14,200 square feet. Mr. Rettig noted that there is one conventional single-family lot because it matches with the other ones on Spring Lake Road. A buffer was left for access to the lake.

Mr. Rettig summarized that there is one conventional lot, 20 cottage home lots and 22 paired villas (or duplexes), and that is how we get the total density for 43 lots and 65 dwelling units.

Mr. Rettig advised that this has been properly advertised.

Mr. Rettig reiterated that some of the hardships that Mr. Dave Barrick has made clear is the railroad track location, high-tension lines, and there are three (3) pipelines that cut through this area that we could not do anything with. Mr. Rettig pointed out that there is a lot of green space around the area. Mr. Rettig advised that with that factor it gets our density to a very comparable to a conventional R-2.

Mr. Forbes asked board members for thoughts or concerns.

Mr. Williams commented that he would still like to see the conventional R-2 lots, and he does not see the need for the R-3 PUD, even with the high-tension wires. Mr. Rettig advised he can understand his concern, and he will make sure that the developer is made aware of that.

Mr. Rettig wanted to remind the board that at the South end of the property, we are putting in a street with only buildings on one (1) side, which will most likely extend out to Parrish Avenue. Due to the constraints they can only place houses on one side and noted that the installation of streets is extremely expensive. General discussion ensued as to the difficulties on the property and the expense of the improvements that it will require.

Mr. Rettig thanked the board for their time.

(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

03-01-2017 Plan Commission

March 1, 2017 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, Board Attorney
John Kennedy   Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on March 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

The recording secretary took roll call. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Rick Eberly and David Austgen.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of April 1, 2015; June 1, 2016; July 6, 2016 and February 1, 2017 Regular Meetings. Study Sessions: June 15, 2016; July 20, 2016; and February 15, 2017. Several members announced abstentions from voting on the minutes, as they were not yet on the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen for direction in this matter.

Mr. Austgen advised that as seated members to this Commission, even if you were not here, you are still entitled to vote on the minutes of the public meetings that are referenced. He further suggested that those members present verify or validate the accuracy of the minutes for those who were not present. But we do need to have public meeting minutes, and they really do need to be approved and public meeting action is required, with the majority of the body voting on same.

Mr. Williams stated that with that being said, he would ask for a deferral as he did not review them, as he was not expecting to vote on same.

Mr. Forbes stated he would take the minutes individually:

  • April 1, 2015 Regular Session - Mr. Williams has made a motion to defer. Mr. Birlson seconded. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.
  • June 1, 2016 Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 5 ayes – 2 abstentions.
  • July 6, 2016 Regular Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
  • February 1, 2017 Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.
  • June 15, 2016 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
  • July 20, 2016 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
  • February 15, 2017 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

None was had.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE III – Public Hearing for Re-Zone from R-1 to R-2PUD And R-3PUD (Mr. Dave Barrick and Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the first item is Three Springs – Phase 3, a Public Hearing requesting a zone change from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. Mr. Barrick is the Developer and Mr. Rettig is the Representative.

Mr. Eberly stated for the record that all three (3) of our Public Hearing petitioners are prepared for this evening’s meeting, all documents are in order and the public hearings can proceed.

Mr. Rettig of DVG, introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Rettig advised that the developer/owner of Three Springs, Dave Barrick is also here tonight.

Mr. Rettig advised that Three Springs – Phase 3 is the last phase of the Three Springs development. This parcel is at the far south end with an existing street stub, which is shown on the drawing. That will be the primary entrance to this phase. Mr. Rettig advised that Spring Lake Road exists up to this location, and they are proposing to “loop” the street with a future street stub to the East, that will ultimately connect back to Parrish Avenue.

Mr. Rettig advised they are requesting a rezone. Mr. Rettig noted that when you annex property into the Town of St. John it is automatically zoned R-1. Mr. Rettig noted that the previous phases of Three Springs are zoned R-2 and R-3 so far; there are duplexes along the railroad tracks coming in off of Joliet Street, zoned R-3. The balance of the subdivision is zoned R-2. Mr. Rettig advised that what they are requesting tonight is an R-2 and R-3 PUDs.

Mr. Rettig directed their attention to a dotted-line that separates the zoning areas. They are proposing that the southerly portion to be R-3 PUD, with the northerly and easterly portion to be R-2 PUD, with one lot that will be left as a conventional lot that matches with the other lots in Phase 2.

Mr. Rettig stated the reason they are requesting the PUD zoning is to have a little latitude with the lot sizes, since there is no zoning lot size for what is called “Cottage Homes”, and that is the desire of what Mr. Barrick is wanting to build. These would be Single-Family Cottage Homes, along the lake, which will be conventional single-family homes on smaller lots. The balance of the property we are seeking R-3 PUD, will be duplexes. Mr. Rettig advised these will be consistent with the duplexes that were built in Phase One.

Mr. Rettig advised that there are a total of 65 dwelling units on approximately 34 acres, so the density is at 1.9 units per acre, which is not that unusual for a residential area. Mr. Rettig advised that the Cottage Homes will have no less than 60’ of frontage; and the duplexes will have no less than 83’ of frontage and for the record it is measured at the building line. The minimum lot areas are tabulated at 8,400 square feet for the Cottage Homes and the Duplexes at 14,200 square feet. Mr. Rettig reiterated that those are the minimums.

Mr. Rettig did a tabulation of the overall averages, which show the Cottage Homes at 10,000 square feet and the Duplexes at a little over 18,300 square feet.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are not asking for anything on the side yard setbacks, which will be 8’ minimum. The minimum front yard setback is 25’, which is also typical of the zoning ordinance. The rear yard minimum will be 25’ as well.

Mr. Rettig advised that he has presented this at earlier Study Sessions and Regular Meetings, and noted that one of the issues that they have in this parcel is the green space. Mr. Rettig directed their attention to the meeting room screen where a triple pipeline goes through the middle of the parcel in question. He noted that the large grassy area as shown cannot be developed due to the pipelines. They need to install a public street and they can only place buildings on one side of this due to the difficulties. Mr. Rettig also pointed to the high tension tower lines at the very South end of the property.

Mr. Rettig stated that he understood that this is the first step in rezoning the parcel and that this will also have to go before the Town Council for approval. Mr. Rettig advised that he would be glad to answer any questions that the board may have.

With no questions from the board members, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to Public Comment. He reminded those wishing to speak to come to the podium and please state your name and address for the record. Mr. Forbes asked for the sign-in sheet that was provided.

Jerry Shallon (12095 Oakwood Drive): Just in general I’m here. Been here 25 years in the town. It’s getting more and more congested, crowded, traffic’s getting worse. The town plans for zoning when they annex properties, and I kinda feel like we don’t need more houses, duplexes, smaller lots. Uh,., the developers buy the land with the zoning that’s on it,., and it seems over the 25 years all they do is want is keep wanting zoning changes,., and I hope the board really considers, does the town need more,., more densely populated area. That’s all, just a general statement.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I’m concerned Mr. Chairman because we never had to sign in for a public hearing before. There are a number of people here who came to speak tonight, in fact I almost didn’t sign in because I really only planned to speak and this public hearing. So now I concerned that now you’re changing the rules and the regulations. Cause it has never been that way before. Now. Gentlemen. When you develop a parcel and begin to build homes and you share with the homeowners what their neighborhood is gonna look like. You shouldn’t be surprised as a developer,., when they get angry and upset when you start to change some of the things that they were planning on. Changes like putting up twice as many homes on the same amount of property. Putting up twice as many homes and putting them on sixty foot wide lots.., right across from the lake where there are houses right down the street, from where there are houses on a hundred foot wide lots. Put up twice as many homes and selling for much less,., than what they paid for their homes. Change up the neighborhood of,., of the people that you,., that you sold to,., um,., just so you can make more money. Now I know that Mr. Barrick is in business to make money also realize,., this is a challenging piece of the property to develop because of railroads,., pipelines, power lines,., but he knew that when he bought the property. In fact he even shared with you at a meeting earlier, that that’s one of the reasons why he got such a good deal on that piece of property. Because it was a difficult piece to develop. Um,., I don’t think you can shake your money bag and cry poor at the same time. If you look at the development to the east that’s gonna happen after this,., um, there’s a pond there as well, which is lake front, water front property, which is a valuable commodity. Everybody would like to have lakefront property. But don’t build multi-family homes that are gonna effect future development to the east. And I know you’re tasked with trying to decide what to allow, so that land can be developed without injury to the developer,., and also to the homeowners. I also know that you’ve made some suggestions in the past study sessions, but the developer is not interested in your ideas. If you look at the sale prices of land around this lake, the single family lots sold for twice the price of the property of the duplex lots are. So, if you do not allow the,., the duplex lots, the developer would not be hurt if he’s required to keep them as single family because he would be getting the same amount of money. If you look at the homeowners, what would duplexes and cottage homes do,., well it would lower the average selling price of homes in their development or in their neighborhood. It would increase the population density in their area. Two residences or two families in one lot would increase vehicle traffic. Would increase the need for all the required resources,., water, sewer, garbage, police, fire, schools,., and if you look at what the town,., the town has potentially has a chance to lose,., to lose a reduction in real estate tax revenues. If each home owner gets an exemption,.,. for a homeowners,., uh, a mortgage exemption and a homestead exemption,., now on each piece of property instead of having one exemption,., you gonna have two sets of exemptions. So you’re gonna have two people getting exemptions on the same single piece of property if it was a single family dwelling. And that’s long term revenue that’s gonna last forever. You’re never gonna get that money back. So, I ask you to deny the request for this zoning,., I would also thank you gentlemen,., I would also like to ask for a ruling on the other people that wanted to speak that didn’t sign up tonight.

Gretchen Sutherland (10075 Springlake Road): Good evening. Thank you for hearing our thoughts about this development. My home is located at 10075 Springlake Road. I believe on the map, my property is located next to the proposed house number two, one of the cottage homes. Um,., I first want to say that many years ago Mr. Barrick built me a home. That I was able to raise my children in and have a wonderful life in this town that we very much enjoy and cherish. Um,., when we built our home I was told that the next phase would homes just like ours. As my concern being that I was building a home right on the edge of not knowing what would come next, and having to think about how that would impact my quality of living and my property value. Um,., the standard of housing and standard of living in the Town of St. John, was referenced on Monday evening at the BZA meeting. And that there was, an intention of honoring a commitment to maintaining a large lot community. Um,., this plan does not align with that standard. Um,., if Mr. Barrick is allowed to rezone this subdivision, and build small houses, on small lots, this standard definitely will not be maintained. Um,., the other,., or the outer phase of this plan includes duplexes along the southern edge, and then the cottage homes on the western edge. This sets a precedence for future development that concerns me. Um,., because what comes next, condos and apartments. Um,., none of this is good for the feel of our community or the value of our community. Um,., I firmly believe that this change should be denied, and that we should maintain the standard of housing in St. John, and maintain that large lot community. Um,., and I also wanted to say that I do agree with many of the things that Mr. Swets said. Thank you.

Ronna Reznik (9971 Wisteria Lane): And um,., I am also a resident of Three Spings, and um,., Mr. Swets and Mrs. Sutherland, um,., pretty much said exactly what my thoughts are. Um,., the increase in the amount of homes on the smaller lots is concerning, when we were under the impression that the houses would be similar to what was already in the subdivision. So,., I just second what they said. Thank you.

Amy Barsich (9960 Springlake Road): Um,., I live on Springlake Road, which is you can kinda see on the map, um,., Mr. Barrack built my home, a wonderful single family home. My main concern echoes with what they state about the state about the values of the homes and the smaller lot sizes. But also the traffic. There’s only two ways in here right now, there is no street to Parrish at this time. Um, there are a lot of little kids in our subdivision and um,., this is basically going to double the traffic, so that’s one of my main concerns. And I wanna disapprove this,., give my disapproval. Thank you.

Kathy Hecimovich (9963 Hart Street): I do have a duplex on the lake. I just had it built. But I am against the changing of these rules for the smaller cottage homes. My home would look across on these homes, and we were always told that it would be bigger lots, conforming with what everyone else was on the lake. Um,., I was in a smaller duplex in the same subdivision two blocks down. I had a house, or a duplex built two blocks away, I love the town, I love Three Springs itself. I just do not approve of changing this from R-1 to R-2 and 3.

Grant Luff (10080 Springlake Road): I just want to say what the rest of them have said. Right now I’m the last house on that lake. And I really do not,., I’m,., took all the time to look for this place and finally found a nice place, and I just don’t wanna see cottages right next to me and these little lots and all that, you know what I mean. I just think it’s a waste if you do it. I really do, I’, just,., that’s up to,., I mean,., It’s up to you guys, but I’m telling ya it’s not gonna look good you know what I mean. Thank about it. I didn’t spend all this money and take my money to buy something like this and for you,., to put all this little stuff beside me, you know. That’s all I really gotta say.

Kevin Matokar (10050 Springlake Road): I’m presenting a proxy for Kevin Matokar, who is working tonight. I am also a resident of the home. “Council people, I’m just reading this quick note from my cousin Kevin Matokar, who is at work tonight. Um,., I, Kevin Matokar oppose the request of Dave Barrick and Doug Rettig to rezone the Three Springs Phase 3 from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. His wife, my cousin Rebecca, and I were sold the lot with the promise that this would be single-family home lots. To request a change in zoning is an act of fraud, also unethical; and when we built our homes with a different understanding. This is also stated in our lot contract, which we had to abide by. He should also have the stand by what is in that agreement as we did.” That’s from Kevin Matokar. Thank you.

[the aforementioned was read into the record by Mr. Mike Cicirale of 10050 Springlake Road]

Rebecca Matokar (10050 Springlake Road): Kevin is my husband. I agree with the previous speakers. I oppose the request for the rezoning, for the obvious reasons. Thank you.

Wayne and Denise Cain (9817 Allison Lane): [from audience: “I have nothing to add”]

Rick King (10131 West 99th Avenue): [from audience: “I have nothing to add as well”]

Gina Eustace (10070 Springlake Road): I purchased my home in Phase 2 of Three Springs a little over nine years ago. I purchased a home in this development specifically because it was zoned R-1 single-family homes. The time of purchasing my home, I specifically asked about Phase 3, as it sits one spot away from my home, I’m at the end. Um,., at that time I was assured Phase 3 was also to be R-1 single family homes, and it would simply be a continuation of the beautiful development that had already existed. Um,., I ask you to please reject the re-zoning of Phase 3 as I think it will lower all of our property values and I don’t think that’s fair. You know, we all um,., invested our,., you know,., some of us our life savings into building our homes and raising our families in this community. And I don’t think it’s right that they can now come back in and change it to multi-family dwellings which will,., you know, completely change the overall feel of our community, and like I said, lower our property values,., so, thank you very much. Thanks for listening.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I attended the study session when this development was first introduced to you gentlemen a few months back. And I wanna make this a matter of the record, just so the people sitting here in this chamber understand what’s transpired. The developer at that time was asked by Mr. Williams, and if you remember Jason what he said to you, when you asked him why about all the multi units. And his answer,., he was sitting two rows in front of me so didn’t misunderstand. His answer to you was “because I wanna make more money”. That was his public answer. I don’t believe that the reasoning behind this development, which was brought in as R-1. After subsequently, within the last two months, has sat here and said he got a heck of a deal on the property, so therefore financially, he’s under no hardship to change the zoning. Because I heard him personally, say it sitting here. Then he,., two weeks ago, came in here and said to the chamber, that he had spent a week in Las Vegas, and this is the way they develop in Las Vegas, and we should adopt that style. My answer to that is simply this is not Las Vegas. This is St. John. We don’t develop property in St. John like they do in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the country. These people were sold their houses based on promises of having an R-1. And as a result they should be given the opportunity to see their properties remain as R-1. I don’t believe that this is in the best interest of St. John, and the fact that multi-units in this area are approximately 38% of the total development, when the town’s benchmark is supposed to be 8% multi-unit. This is at 38%, straight up. That’s not even close to 8. Thank you.

Mary Jo Biscan (10201 West 99th Avenue): I also brought two letters from neighbors who are out of town. So, I’ll make my statement first. My husband and I built on the pond in Three Springs in 2008. And we were told that Phase 3 would be single family, actually “estate homes”. Our own concern was that they would be single family homes. Our view from the pond is very attractive due to the uniformity of the yards. The lots are wide, the homes have a lot of green space around them. I feel that changing the size of the lots around the pond will create clustering of homes, and a sense of overcrowding. The continuation of duplexes and cottage homes throughout Phase 3 will cause overcrowding of driveways, traffic, and would make the majority of homes in Three Springs multi-family. This will be reflected in our assessments and not what we feel would be fair for the present homeowners. Um,., I actually have two neighbors that are now in Florida, may I state their name and address and read their letter, or should I just present it to you.

Mr. Austgen suggested that Mrs. Biscan read and incorporate the names into the record along with their letters, then present the letters for the record.

Dale and Jackie Pruim (10229 West 99th Avenue): “February 28, 2017. To: The Saint John Council. RE: Three Spring Phase 3 Public Hearing. Ladies and Gentlemen: Our names are Dale and Jackie Pruim and our home is located at 10229 W. 99th Avenue, Saint John, part of Phase 2 of the Three Spring subdivision. We are currently out of town and unable to attend the March 1, 2017 public hearing concerning Phase 3. We are strongly opposed to the building of any multi-family homes that back up to the lake. When we purchased our home in 2013 we asked the builder/developer, Mr. Dave Barick, what the plans for were across the lake. At that time, Mr. Barick assured us that only R-1 single family homes would continue around the lake as part of his phase 3, therefore maintaining the continuity of the lake view as well as home values. We understand plans change but not always for the better of the current homeowners. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Dale and Jackie Pruim, 10229 W. 99th Avenue, St John, IN 46373, 219-512-6453.”

[read into record by Ms. Mary Jo Biscan]

Michael and Sherri Hammermeister (10215 West 99th Avenue): “February 26, 2017. To the saint John Council. RE: Three Springs Phase 3 public hearing. Our names are Michael & Sherri Hammermeister we live at 10215 W. 99th Ave. St. John, and reside in the Three Springs subdivision. We are currently out of town and are not able to attend the public hearing on March 1, 2017. We are writing this letter that we are opposing any building other than R1 single family homes in phase 3 in the Three Springs subdivision. We were told by the developer that they would be R1 around the whole lake which is phase 2 and phase 3. We now have 37% multi-family homes (some of these are rentals) and 63% single family homes. If the developer can build with his new plan it will be 50% for both. It seems that we should have more single family homes than multi-family homes. This will keep the values up on our homes and would look great around the lake with all single family homes. Thank you for your time. Respectfully, Michael & Sherri Hammermeister, 10215 W. 99th Ave., St. John, IN 46373, 219-805-6210.

[read into record by Ms. Mary Jo Biscan]

Hilary Friesma (8900 Drake Drive): This is the first time to ever come to one of these. Can I ask a question or no. Cause I’m was just wondering like, why does,., like I want to hear,., I guess I want to hear from, not from just heresay,., why does he want to change it when like single family homes are selling so good in St. John, and the real estate is so good in St. John, why,., is there a reasoning why,., why he wants to change the zoning.

Mr. Forbes advised that the request is based out of the layout of the properties. The request came from the developer because of the high tension lines, the gas lines, the railroad tracks, ecetera. That is where the request came from.

(Hilary Friesma continued): So he knew that when he bought the lots as an R-1. Okay, I just wanna say that I oppose this, um,., we actually bought a lot to build around Three Springs, and um,., now its on the sandstone until we figure out what’s going on with this. Um, that’s it.

Leroy Sutherland (10075 Springlake Road): I agree with everybody in front of me, you know, about the development, you know,., I’m opposed to it, so,., that’s all I got to say.

Mike Sikora (10134 West 98th Place): I’ve lived in Three Springs for about ten years. I here to support my fellow homeowners of Three Springs to oppose the rezoning of Phase 3 in Three Springs. By allowing lower cost housing to be built in our subdivision, it will eventually lower the average value of other homes in Three Springs. Why line the pockets of a builder at the expense of everyone else in our subdivision. That’s all I have, thank you.

Michael Guritz (9899 Three Springs Drive): I echo the comments of all the previous speakers. This is in no way good for our subdivision. It goes against the promises that have been made for this Phase 3, it’s gonna lower property values. It’s gonna raise the density. Uh,., more traffic that is inundated in this subdivision. Ultimately, it’s not in the best interest of the subdivision and not in the best interest of St. John.

Julie Fischer (9890 Allison Lane): I’ve been living in St. John for 12 years in that subdivision. I was told from day one, when we moved in there, that Phase 3 would be regular houses. That was the reason why we moved in there. The traffic is getting really bad on 99th Avenue. I oppose to have this done.

AJ Drensoft (9636 West 99th Court): Good evening. All I can say is that I agree with everything that everybody has said here tonight. Um,., I was attracted to the community. The Three Springs was because of the size of the lots, and told the same thing about any continuing building there was gonna be on equally sized lots. I passed on a couple other developments in the area, because there,., what they had planned, like over at Renaissance, was., their later phases would be smaller lots, but the houses were gonna be similar size. And, um,., I wasn’t interest in that, so I went ahead a purchased over in Three Springs. And I was just kinda surprised to hear what was being planned here for Phase 3. So, I just want to be on the record for opposing the changing of zoning.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to remonstrate against this petitioner and this petition, and asked that it be denied. I incorporate by reference all the previous remonstrators against this project. The petitioner mentioned hardship. The hardship is imposed by the petitioner on himself. He knows what the zoning is. He knows the layout. And in fact, the hardship is reversed from what he’s claiming to be a hardship on him, by putting a hardship on the property owners. The increased density will reduce the property values of the adjoining property owners, and the value of the whole town. So the hardship is in fact against all the property owners in town, by diminishing these lot sizes. These,., as Mr. Swets mentioned, the smaller lots will have a higher number of small units, who can have mortgage exemptions, all the other exemptions entitled to, and the assessed valuation will be lower per unit, and that will adversely effect everybody’s property taxes, because you’ll have to increase the services for fire, police, safety, the ambulance, because you’ve increased the density. Those costs will be picked up by everybody else. So this imposes a hardship on every property owner in St. John. Currently, if you look the road situation in St. John, it has turned into a nightmare of congestion. By increasing the intensity of the number of units here, you increase the traffic, you reduce the response time of the emergency services. So, in fact this is detrimental to the whole town and the residents that will be there. People who buy their homes in a subdivision, detrimentally rely on the zoning of that subdivision. You can not go back and rezone this to smaller units, when people who have made property purchases, have detrimentally relied on the adjoining zoning and layout of the community, because that creates the hardship on them. Detrimental reliance is a basis to reject this proposal. It was mentioned 8’ side lot,., we just had a BZA meeting where 8’ side lot was rejected. I believe the code is 10’, and that’s been kinda the standard in the community. When you allow 8’ side yards, you bring houses closer together, you diminish the drainage that’s available, and you destroy the quality of life in having a house that’s 10’ side yard. 10’ and 10’ is 20. So, for that reason I think the,., that diminishes the property values of the adjoining properties. St. John has gone on a drunken binge of increasing the number of duplexes in town. No matter what subdivision you live in, by increasing the number of duplexes, you destroy everybody’s property values throughout the community. People now are looking to go to other communities, because of the massive increase of duplexes in St. John. Again, these duplexes diminishes the property value of everybody in St. John no matter where you live. And if you, say,.,that you’re doing this because of the railroad tracks, the high tension lines, those are existing, pre-existing conditions, that the developer knew when he bought the lots. Bought the subdivision, bought whatever properties involved. So again, we are not responsible as residents of St. John for the hardships that the developer imposes on himself. We do not want to assume hardships because he claims a hardship that he created for himself. For all of these reasons, this Plan Commission should reject this rezoning. Thank you.

Sue Furtek (10015 Springlake Road): I am here to oppose this plan. Approximately 10 years to the day, we purchased our lot on Springlake Road. We could have chosen any subdivision in the Town of St. John. We chose Three Springs for the fact that it was a smaller subdivision. The houses were so far apart from each other, and we knew it was just going to be a smaller area of houses, less congestion, I,., We originally had out first house in Dyer off of Hart Street, and they all lined up three, then four, all the houses are on top of each other. We had a 75’ wide lot in Dyer. The fact that they’re going to put these cottage homes on a 60’, I can’t even imagine it. And the thoughts of a cottage home in St. John, that completely upsets me, that does not belong in our town. And I just oppose it,., I agree with all the opposition to this,., of everybody else’s statements. I oppose.

Mr. Forbes asked the audience if there was anyone wishing to speak on the Three Springs agenda item that did not get a chance to sign up, please step forward.

Pat Moran (9929 West 100th Place): I’d like to go on record as opposing this development, um,., we’ve been in St. John for two years now,., what,., what drew us to the subdivision was all these beautiful homes that you see as you head towards our street, um,., you have the beautiful lake, the homes on the lake,., you got the geese commin’ in, it’s almost like a wildlife preserve. Um,., when I heard that um,., this was gonna happen I just thought it was wrong on so many levels,., it’s,., it’s gonna,., to me it’s gonna look like a compound. Just sitting there at one end, there’s only gonna be one access road, that will be Springlake Road. I’m retired, I get a chance to view the traffic on a daily basis, uh,., I see an increase in traffic,., I feel with all those lots, its gonna double. Another thing we like about the subdivision,., lot of kids,., and our kids are all grown. But it’s nice to see all the kids in the neighborhood. I really worry about, uh,., their safety, uh,., that any more cars, uh,., nobody stops at stop signs anyway. Um,., I think with that many more cars in the subdivision, only one way in and one way out, rush hour in the morning, rush hour in the evening, somebody’s gonna get killed. Um,., I’d just like you to consider just that area, um,., beautiful homes continuing along the lake, throughout that subdivision. Um,., I would just like to say that um,., anything different would just upset the whole feeling for us, um,., I just want to say that I love St. John and thank you for listening.

Chris Cook (9829 West 100th Place): I’m probably the most recent Spring Wood resident. My wife and I just moved here from Illinois. Um,., we could have moved anywhere. We could have gone to Crown Point. We could have gone,., we looked at Valparaiso. We moved to St. John because it’s something special. We moved to Three Springs because it’s something special. Um,., we came from Joliet, where we lived in a single family home, where they built townhomes, uh, and uh,., duplexes right by our ,., the home value went done. Uh,., the traffic went up, uh,., nothing good came out of it. We love St. John for what it is, and we hope that you see that we wanna continue that, and that you will continue to make St. John a place for people like me want to come an live, and grow up and raise kids and spend the rest of our life.

Suzette Moretz (9821 Allison Lane): I’ve been a resident in Three Springs for approximately 13 years. We were Phase 1. I’ve watched the Three Springs area develop. It’s a nice quiet subdivision. We love our houses, we love how big the lots are, if you change that, your gonna change everything about why I raised 5 children there, so I would hope that you would listen to everyone and I oppose this. Thank you.

Angela Bartolomeo (9965 Springlake Road): I live on Springlake Road in Three Springs. I’ve been a resident there for approximately 9 years. Um,., and so that would be one of the main flows of traffic into Phase 3. Um,., there,., I have two children, um,., and um,., there are even younger children all around me on Springlake Road, and I think the additional traffic, um,.., would be a detriment to the safety and ambience and everything else that everybody was mentioning previously. Um,., I definitely oppose the rezoning, um,., and I don’t understand why,., I don’t understand why common sense would say that we would,., it would have to be such a large debate. Um,., St. John is beautiful and I think that you guys know um,., what everyone wants. You want what we want, and a rezoning is in the best interest of the town or anyone in this room. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes called out into the audience for any other further public comment on Three Springs. Hearing non Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back to the board for comment and discussion.

Mr. Birlson said that he wanted to make a statement, and said that he appreciates all of the folks present coming to the podium and voicing their concerns and comments. Mr. Birlson stated that he agrees with them one hundred percent. Mr. Birlson stated he wrote some things down, noting that he thinks it’s sets a precedence to the property to the East and to the South of this development. He continued that he thinks that eventually property values will drop on townhomes and duplexes, also putting a burden on our fire, police, public works, sewer and water, traffic, schools, roads, etcetera. It goes on and on and on. And, St. John, the Town Council and the Plan Commission had a threshold of about 8% for duplexes throughout the town. Last time I heard, we’re at 19%, so with this increase,., [Mr. Forbes: That is an inaccurate statement]. Well, that’s what was said before. Well then where are we at then. [Mr. Forbes: It depends on you’re determination. It’s either 6, 7 or 8 %]. It’s not 19. [Mr. Forbes: No.]. That’s all I have to say.

Mr. Williams stated that he talked about this during at the Study Session, but he drove this neighborhood after the last public meeting that they had on this item. I wanted to get a feel for the neighborhood, and I drove to where the current road stops, and there were kids playing hockey in the driveway at one of the houses. The houses were extremely beautiful, the ones I was looking at that backed up to the water. All R-2, all very, very nice houses, the character of the current neighborhood is outstanding. So kudos for building a beautiful neighborhood. That being said, they have heard several comments in regards to the hardship of this parcel and he does not want to overlook those. One of the hardships was that no one will buy houses that back up to high tension wires. Well, if you drive outside this area to the East, you will see houses that back up against high-tension wires. Mr. Williams also wanted to get some comment from the developer on some of the audience that spoke saying that promises were made when their houses were being built, and you would please comment on those promises. And the final thing is that I feel that the only place that R-3 has a place is along the railroad tracks. We have a precedent in the town, and I know we don’t manage these based on precedent. But building R-3 along the railroad tracks, and I think that is also in this neighborhood, and I think that idea has merit. However, I don’t think the rest of the parcel should be zoned as R-3.

Mr. Kennedy commented that in previous planning study sessions we have been very sympathetic to the issues that he has with this site, and suggestions and recommendations have been made. However, no changes have been made from all the times that we have met with him in the previous months. So, as it is currently laid out, I just don’t feel comfortable accepting it.

Mr. Gill commented that on what Mr. Williams stated in regards to 103rd The Gates; actually after the first few lots up to the first stop sign on 103rd are “all R-2”, but everything after that to Park Place is actually R-3 PUD Cottage Homes. Mr. Gill advised that this is Unit 5 and 6 of The Gates. Mr. Gill further made reference to the area of Redwood to Adler Cove and the square footage and side yards of these units, all designated at R-3 PUD.

Mr. Forbes asked the Petitioner if he had any questions or comments.

Mr. Dave Barrick came to the podium to address any questions from the board. Mr. Forbes advised that he believes Mr. Williams wanted a comment in regards to statements from the audience that promises were made in regard to this portion of the development.

Mr. Barrick asked how could I promise the third Phase when it wasn’t even developed?, and I want to make something real clear. Everybody here has a big misunderstanding. All land is annexed into the Town of St. John “has to come in as R-1”. That was not my choice, that’s the Town’s choice, and we respect that. Our first Phase and our second Phase was farmland. It was annexed in as R-1. We put multi-family duplexes in R-1, there is multi-family in R-2. This shouldn’t be any surprise to anybody, because both the first phase and the second phase has multi-family; which you call multi-family and we call it duplexes. There’s people in this room here right now that are living in townhomes that we built. Yet they are up here complaining how I’m making the whole neighborhood bad. That I resent. I have my own personal relatives living in townhomes. These are people just like you guys, they’re no different. I’ve had it,., because what their saying is my relatives are no good to live here in this town. My relatives have been here since I built the first phase.

My relatives are not here to defend themselves, but they have been here since I started this project. They’re good, up-standing people, they don’t cause any trouble. And yet they live in a couple of the townhomes.

But, I think the big misconception here is the fact that the land has to be rezoned. The first phase was rezoned, second phase was rezoned, and the third phase is being rezoned. It’s not a change, it’s just the way it is. That is one thing that I think we should clear up here. The people here have a misunderstanding on developing.

Mr. Barrick addressed Mr. Williams in regards to “promises”. Do you have it in writing. Mr. Barrick stated that he talks to thousands of people, not hundred,., thousands. Somebody ask you what the second phase was going to be around the lake, “yes”, to bigger homes. How can I comment on the third phase when we haven’t even developed it. And these hardships?, I didn’t bring this stuff on me, myself. This was part of the package that we bought twelve years ago. One hundred and ninety acres were purchased. This little ugly duckling can with it. What are we suppose to do. It was either take that or get nothing. But nobody was here for that deal when we made it.

Mr. Barrick continued that the first two phases were better. We didn’t have to have a PUD (Planned Unit Development), did we. It was a straight-up subdivision. This little guy here, he needs all the help he can get. And yes, another gentleman here made a comment that I’m here for the money. That’s the only reason I’m here. This is what I do for a living. We need more units in there to make it profitable to develop it. I didn’t know we were going to have to give up that gigantic green space twelve years ago. So everyone wants to make me look to be into this just for the money, we’re not, we’re just trying to develop a piece of property. This is the way we feel. It would be worth it for me to invest my money to get a return, that’s the only reason I’m here. Some people think I’m running a Country Club, I’m not. I have to generate a certain amount of money out of the land, and if not, there is no reason to do it.

Mr. Kozel stated that if they would be interested in coming back to another Study Session to address this further, then I would make a motion to defer it. Mr. Forbes asked the board if there would be a second to the motion to defer should the petitioner wish to come back and work with the board members. Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Rettig if he had any comment on the matter of a deferral.

Mr. Rettig advised that he conferred with Mr. Barrick, that if a deferral is an option, that we would re-group and come up with an alternative. Mr. Barrick is willing to do that, and try to reduce the density some and still try to make it work financially, so we would entertain a deferral and work with the board at a study session. I cannot say it will be a totally different sketch; however, he is willing to reduce his density.

Mr. Forbes advised that given that discussion, Mr. Kozel has made a motion for a deferral. Mr. Williams seconded motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Austgen commented that due to the quality and the quantity of interest, do you want to have a discussion here before the developer (applicant) leaves about the what the next public notice might be. Mr. Austgen gave several examples. Mr. Austgen felt that the developer needs to know what notice requirements will be needed, and he needs to hold another public hearing. Mr. Forbes suggested that they just continue this public hearing, and given that volume of people that attended, we could open the floor again to public comment. Mr. Austgen stated that he just wants it noted for the record so that those present are aware.

Mr. Austgen further commented that when he gets lost, he looks at the “black and white of the code”, and his plan is his plan and he invited by his notice of public hearing, at your request, public comment on this proposal. Mr. Austgen noted that if it changes dramatically, there is a different plan, and no one knows who will be interested at that point, and whether there will be people other than those present tonight that would be interested in the topic. Mr. Austgen commented that this is all about “fairness transparency”, and it is necessary for them to know before they leave.

Mr. Rettig advised that he appreciates Attorney Austgen’s comments. Mr. Rettig stated that he believes that they will present an R-2 and R-3PUD still, with bigger lots. It is not going to be drastically different. The street pattern really can not change, so we are talking about reducing density, reducing the number of lots, and making lots a little bit bigger. Hopefully, it will be a lot more appealing, and that is all that they can do with the short time that they had to talk about it tonight. Mr. Rettig advised that if it is a drastically different plan, I agree that we will have to start over, and they understand that.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they are comfortable of taking this back to a Study Session, and see what comes out in discussion. Obviously if there is no substantive changes, we can make the recommendation based on that. Mr. Forbes further stated that if changes are made, we can always put them on the web-site, and then we can circulate it the neighborhoods, just so all those are informed on what is going on.

Mr. Birlson stated his concern is if he comes back in six months with a revised plan and all the smoke has cleared away, and.,.

Mr. Forbes stated that at that point, we can talk about having the petitioner re-noticing, but as of right now, we are going to a study session, we are going to discuss it, and this will be on the agenda next month. This way we know the “immediate” timeline.

Mr. Williams stated that regardless of the changes, or how small the changes that they re-open it to public comment. Mr. Forbes advised that was what he just made that point.

Mr. Eberly asked for the edification of the audience, the next two agendas, this will be discussed on will be the March 15, 2017 Study Session and the April 5, 2017 Regular Session; is that the intent of the motion. Mr. Forbes advised that is correct.

B. CASTLE ROCK – Public Hearing and Primary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Andy James)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock and this is a public hearing for Preliminary Plat for a Single Family Development, formerly known as Kilkenny Estates. The petitioner is Mr. Andy James, and represented by Mr. Doug Rettig.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if all documents are in order for the public hearing to proceed. Mr. Eberly advised that they were.

Mr. Williams asked that it is clear that they are not going to discuss the extension of Calumet Avenue to the North. Mr. Forbes agreed that is “not” part of this development.

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG introduced himself to the board and advised he is appearing here tonight representing the developer of Castle Rock. Mr. Rettig advised that the Developer, Mr. Andy James is also present this evening.

Mr. Rettig advised that what they are presenting is a sixty-seven (67) lot subdivision, with the zoning of R-2. They are proposing to develop it as R-2. Our intention is to follow the ordinance and develop an R-2 Single-Family subdivision as shown on the meeting room screen. All the lots meet the R-2 criteria, which is a minimum of 15,000 square feet, a minimum width of 100’. We have some latitude on the depth and widths of lots; however, they all meet the 15,000 s.q., 100’ wide requirement.

Mr. Rettig advised that at the last study session there was a question about lots 1 through 14. We have a large conservation planned for the rear of those lots, and the easement line is shown on the handout materials, with the easement line being 175’ back. All those lots exceed that R-2 requirement.

Mr. Rettig advised that this development is straightforward; we are going to be connecting at the South end to the existing street stub of Calumet Avenue where it ends right now in Edgewood subdivision. We are connecting to an existing street stub in Kilkenny at two locations as noted on the meeting room screen. Mr. Rettig advised that they are working with the unusual topography that exists and accommodating the existing street stubs, tying into the existing utilities.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they had any questions for the petitioner. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes advised that he would be opening up the floor to public comment. Please come to the podium and give your name and address for the record.

Jeff Neely (14320 West 89th Place): So I oppose Castle Rock for the following reasons. First of all from the Edgewood subdivision, for the safety and the well-being of that subdivision. So the only way back in there now is off of 93rd Streets, so if you go north on 93rd Street, the width of that street is about 2 ½ car lengths wide. So if there’s somebody parked south or north, you can’t even have two-way traffic today. So, with the addition of Castel Rock and the amount of extra traffic, um,., my concern is for the safety and the well-being of,,.of the current Edgewood subdivision, primarily. Uh,., second, and specific for the lots and the houses on the north end of Edgewood. Those were houses obviously bought where it was, um,., a lot of wooded area, it was peaceful, it was quiet. My concern is that with the addition of,., of the subdivision, and with the years and years of construction that would be going through that area, that it could definitely reduce the property values of Edgewood. And then third, and last, I know we’re not here to talk about it,., but if we do put this,., if this all goes in,., you know the risk is what’s next. And what’s next is that Calumet Avenue extension, and I know we’re not here to talk about that, but that is the risk that I have been thinking about as my third,., as my third comment. So, for those reasons I do oppose the Castle Rock subdivision. Thank you.

Michelle Patton-Pupillo (14180 West 89th Place): I’m concerned about Castle Rock feeding through to Calumet. Uh,., we live right there near,., in the cul-de-sac, the very back cul-de-sac, and we sit in our back yard and it’s Nirvana. We here peace, we hear birds, we hear creatures chirping, and I moved from Munster from a street where traffic was flowing through constantly. We couldn’t even open our windows, because all we could here was the noise of the traffic. We moved to St. John for the sanctity of the community, the rural feel that we get here. I beg you not to change this feel of this community, it’s tiny neighborhood. We have children playing we have a lovely little community. There are other options to feed through our neighborhoods, and I just request that you preserve the sanctity of St. John, listening to all the speakers come up today. I came from Austin, Texas originally, and we were in a community called Westlakes, and the Town Board was so cautious as to what they were willing to up in that community, because they wanted to preserve a certain feel, and I request that you think carefully and try to decide what kind of a feel that you want St. John to be. Right now it’s lovely. And I just hope that we, you know,., think carefully before we continue to make St. John a congested community. Thank you.

Kevin Connelly (8814 Tapper Street): I’m not sure who’s controlling the computer, but can you scroll down just a smidge. Thank you. I currently reside right next door to what is proposed now as Lot 63, okay, just to give everybody a visual. In 2004, my wife and I, newly married, were looking to build a house. We ended up in Kilkenny. We moved into that house on Labor Day of 2004, and been there every since. At the time we didn’t have children. The reason that I bought the lot next to Lot 63, is because the town promised 7.8 acres of a park there, next to my lot. I would never have a neighbor next to me, nor behind me. At a very young age of 30, and my wife at 26, we scraped all our money together to build this house. We paid extra money for that lot. Which wasn’t must at the time, to a lot of people, we paid an extra $3,000.00 to have nobody next to me or behind me, for the future children that we’re gonna have. Very next year we started to have kids. Now we’ve in that house since 2004, still no park. As much as that bothers me, that the town would let that park go, that was promised to myself and all the other families that paid money into that as well. I know there’s another gentleman from the subdivision that’s gonna speak later, has to pay $1,700.00 extra for the proposed park, that now isn’t gonna be there. Again, I’ve heard hearsay, like some of the other people have said that there’s going to be a proposed walkway along the side of my house, to get to a park. I don’t know if that’s still the case or not. Okay, that’s gone? I’m appreciate you clarifying that. Kilkenny is very, very quiet neighborhood, as it sits now. Aside from some of the neighbors that speed up and down the block, okay, that happens in every neighborhood, I’m fully aware of that. I understand that I’m in the third phase of Kilkenny, so I understand that opening new phases, is something that brings people into the neighborhood, and I’m all for that. Because if that hadn’t of happened, I wouldn’t be living where I am now. So I understand that as well. I’m also in construction, so I understand that as well. But I don’t seem to understand about this current layout is that you’re gonna put in 67 houses, and the only new street is going to connect to Edgewood. That means all of these houses that are gonna head back into the Town of St. John, aren’t gonna go out through Edgewood to come back around. There gonna come back down past our street to go out Columbia, cause it’s closer. [Mr. Forbes: There are two connections, no there are three connections actually. Two into your subdivision and one into]. I’m talking about leaving our subdivision. There’s,., or this new subdivision,., there’s gonna be the connection to our subdivision into Edgewood [Mr. Forbes: Yes]. I understand that there’s two at our subdivision, but I’m just saying for egress, in essense, for the people that live in my neighborhood and now the 67 new houses that are either going to pick one of three egresses. That’s gonna send a lot of people driving past my house that is currently quiet. And like many people have said here tonight, we all have young children, I have a lot of young children. All the neighbors do as well. It is a quiet area. I don’t think that the egress has been thought out. So, I guess, for the egress, I look to defer, but for the park I look to deny. Thank you.

Jerry Koster (9194 Eggert Lane): Just before I get started, I need to clarify what I heard. Is the south exit on Calumet not an issue anymore. [Mr. Eberly: The north, this development going north to tie into Calumet Avenue is not part of this discussion, its not part of this proposal]. Some of the issues that I would like the board members to consider tonight, um,., there are approximately, as you may or may not know, over 100 families in the Edgewood subdivision, which is the south end of Calcaska. When you multiply those homes and everybody has two cars in their family, that’s over two hundred cars right now. And most of them are exiting through Calumet to 93rd. And I would say that most of them probably go to work in Illinois, or they go to the town hall on 93rd, so you got a lot of traffic, just from the Edgewood subdivision people going southbound on Calumet to 93rd. Now we’re talking about New Castle,., or Castle Rock. You’re gonna add sixty-some homes. And if everybody has two cars, which I’m sure they will in today’s age, that’s another hundred and twenty cars. Now, I’m gonna assume it’s gonna head south, on Calumet,., to 93rd, and they are either gonna go into the Town of St. John or their gonna head to Illinois. So now you just created, ., a monstrous number of cars coming down Calumet. To refresh um,., your memory, Calumet was repaved a little over a year ago,., by the town. And it’s only been a year, and it’s already cracking down the middle, and that’s due to a lot of traffic. And now you’re gonna add over a hundred more cars coming down that same cars,., um,., same path. Castle Rock as I view it, should have their own entrance and exit, and as I look at it, their using Edgewood subdivision as giving into Castle Rock, when would you ever want to drive through another subdivision to get to your own subdivision. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Calumet is already a busy street, and as I indicated before in the meeting, 91st Avenue some time a year or two ago, the town put a stop sign there. Because there is so much traffic going through there, that they had to slow it down for the school kids. And a lot of people today don’t even stop, they stop at a rolling stop which means they don’t even stop for three seconds. So my concern is your adding traffic. And the big part of it is you have school kids, going in the morning from 6 to 8, busses picking them up, bringing them back in the afternoon. About the same time the people from Castle Rock and Edgewood are gonna exit that subdivision to go to work or to town. So, it’s not like everybody travels through there at noon or 1 o’clock, the majority of the traffic is when school kids are present, so I see this as a real safety issue and a concern that I would like you guys to consider, when you’re making your final decision. Thank you.

Milenko Vukas (8324 Declan Court): The reason I’m here is,., is slightly concerned because I read an article on the Times about two weeks ago,., um,., stating that a potential connection to Castle Rock would be Columbia Street. I actually,., so 8324 Declan Court,., is the property that is adjacent to the dead-end. Um,., and,.,my biggest concern about connecting,., I don’t even know if this is actually going to happen,., or if,., I just remember reading this story in the Times, and I remember, you know, the developer, Andy, assuring me when I bought the lot, you don’t ever have to worry about this dead-end connecting into Kilkenny because the people on the other side of the street in unincorporated Dyer, are opposed to it. The residents of Kilkenny Estates are opposed to it. Um, and then like,., honestly my biggest concern is that I have a 10 year old and a 6 year old. My 6 year old just started learning how to ride a bike. If you were to connect Columbia Street into Declan Court, which then trickles down to Limerick, then down to Tapper,., I don’t know how many kids live I in the subdivision, but that is an absolute recipe for disaster. To have people coming off of 81st,., uh,., to come,., to go into the subdivision,., I mean I work in Chicago. So, for me the,., that ,., the easiest way to get to the city would be to cut,., for you were to open that to go to 81st, take that all the way down to Steger to 394, and I’m onto the highway. I absolutely oppose connecting Columbia Street,., the dead- end of Columbia Street to Kilkenny to get to Castle Rock. I just want to get that on record.

[Mr. Forbes: I understands your concerns, but Columbia has absolutely nothing to do with this portion of the development]. I read the article two weeks ago,., they said,., they said,., there was a statement in there,., I think the engineer for,., for Andy, mentioned something about the most logical place to,., to connect into Castle Rock would be Columbia Street, cause it’s a hundred foot unincorporated area of land for something like that. [Mr. Forbes: And again, that discussion did occur, however it has nothing to do with this development].

But, the article in the Times was specifically referencing Castle Rock. [Mr. Forbes: But, Columbia Street and Declan Court, have nothing to do this particular development]. Is there another Castle Rock that I’m missing? [Mr. Forbes: I’m saying that Columbia Street at Declan Court, where you’re talking about is not part of this discussion. I just want you to be clear, it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right here]. Okay, sure,., then I just want to go on record for,,. for,., for if it ever comes in,., in the future,., for a connection to Columbia Street to try and get to Castle Rock, whenever it comes up. I read the article a few weeks ago in the Times,., and it specifically,., the headline was “connectivity issues in St. John development”. They,., they,., spoke about Castle Rock, uh,., the engineer for Andy mentioned the most common,., the most common sense place to connect to the subdivision will be through Columbia Street, that’s the whole reason I’m here is because of that article. [Mr. Williams: It is outside the scope of this conversation here]. Thank you.

Breanne Failor (13600 James Lane): [from audience: nothing to add].

Melanie Carlson (13586 James Lane): [from audience: nothing to add].

Brian Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I think I was at the Study Session a couple weeks back when you guys were talking about the traffic tie-in. Basically, in attending all the meetings,., all the Town Council meetings, and all the sessions. As far as this development, the people are very concerned about traffic, as we all are. And our town is a traffic nightmare and it’s getting worse,., by the months, as new homes are built. The town has to figure out some way to help these people among others. I understand Columbia Avenue in not in play on this particular subdivision. And I heard you at the study session, or the meeting two weeks ago,., saying that didn’t know what was going to happen to the piece in between. Is there anything the Town can do for these people to get them another access out of this development. Has anybody looked into the other opportunities? Um,., because they got a legitimate complaint. If you drive through there, and I’m sure we all have, at one point for another. You go lookin’, and it’s a long drive. It’s just like the Preserves, to gotta drive four to six block to get out of the Preserves, cause of one entrance one exit. This one’s got one exit. So the town should somehow be able to throw it’s weight behind something or somebody, to help these people out with their traffic problems. Thank you.

Rob Perschon (8694 Tapper Street): I purchased a lot in,., on Tapper Street about seven years ago. And, before we built the house we came and checked the plan that was on file with the village. And, we saw that there was an easement between the houses, uh,., we always knew the next phase could potentially happen. There was also an easement plan and as Mr. Connelly mentioned, there was a large park that was going in down the end of the street. So we decided, this is great, this is perfect, this is what we’re looking for. Seen how things have changed to this point, where the lots have,., their not the same size as all the lots on the streets,., that they currently are now. They’ve gotten smaller, they’ve added houses, the park has disappeared. And if you drive up and down Tapper Street, any given time on a Saturday, you’ll see probably 75% of the houses have children. If we have these two access points coming off Tapper, anyone going to downtown St. John will be coming through Tapper. Any visitors to that property will be coming down Tapper Street. The amount of increased traffic is very irresponsible and only an injury waiting to happen. Thank you.

Al Bolke (8819 Beall Street): I was in your office, uh,., Thursday, talked to Rick Eberly, looked over these uh,., primary plat, and right away I noticed,., I live (pause) below lots 5, 6 and 7. And, with the amount of run off from this property, there’s a thirty foot drop, maybe a little bit more than that, from the east end to the west end; with all the trees that are gonna be eliminated, thousands of ‘em, this water is gonna run down to my property and flood me out. This dotted line that’s on the bottom there,., below that dotted line is all wooded wetlands, which is over saturated right now. And over the years, because I’ve been takin’ run-off from Edgewood,., I had a little,., I had a wooded,., wooded acreage on the uh,., northeast side of my house and that’s getting flooded out. The trees are all dying because the water table is rising, so if he’s,., their figuring this wooded wetland is gonna absorb all that water coming off the side of the hill, all’s it gonna do is rise the water table even higher. I mean, I have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in my property and my house. And that water has nowhere to go. There should be a retention pond or something, maybe on Lot 6, 7, 8, 9. Is there a storm water pollution prevention plan for this property? [Mr. Forbes: There will be. But I believe the majority of the water that’s going to be collected from the subdivision, will be deposited in the north, correct?]. North where. [Mr. Forbes: In the northern wetland area]. That wetland is part of my property. [Mr. Forbes: No, not, it up be up from Devlan Court].

(Mr. Bolke, Mr. Doug Rettig and Town Engineer Kenn Kraus had a general discussion about a survey that Mr. Bolke brought).

Pat Mardos (8754 Tapper Street): When we purchased our lot,., back in,., many years ago. Our main concern was what was gonna happen to the property behind us. And, we were told at that time, um,., St. John,., the Town of St. John, their main concern, they couldn’t decide on,., a subdivision back then, is because they wanted to preserve the tree line. What we’re seeing is more and more buildings. Less and less land. More and more traffic. Fewer roads to accommodate everybody. I am opposed to destroying all the property,., I’m not saying destroying,., but as far as, keep building and keep building,., where does the Town of St. John say enough is enough. Thank you.

Mike Lazowski (8770 Tapper Street): I purchased my lot, looking back, in 1999. What I was told back then was that we were going to have a park at the end of the street, which is next to Mr. Connelly. I built in 2008, by the time that my wife and I were able accumulate enough money to build a house of our dreams. We also did not have kids at that time either. We are still waiting for that park to be developed. Now, I get a certified letter and a notice down at the street that there’s going to be a subdivision built. And I go on-line and I found out that the park is now going to be a bunch of houses. I’m wondering what part of my subdivision is changed, from a park into houses. I don’t see how that can take place, when we purchased this lot. We paid the money. We paid the extra money to have a park down there. To have the lot close to it. And, now there’s not gonna be a park. Also, I have a lot of other concerns about this. I’ve been going through St. John for the past forty years. The roads have not changed in those forty years, they are still the same roads. 93rd, 231. White Oak used to be a dead-end, that has now gone through. They are all two lane roads. Have any of you driven those roads in the morning? Especially trying to get out to 394? Or how about just trying to get to the Walgreens. Or to get to 41. There has been no sign of any kind of future thinking when it comes to these developments. Let’s cram as many houses as we can in here without developing infrastructure. What about if something happens at five o’clock to someone in my family. How is the ambulance, or the fire truck, or the police, gonna get down through 41 and 93rd. Have you ever watched ‘em try to go through there? And then trying to get down the street where cars come in line both ways, there’s not enough room for cars to move over with the ditches. Now my subdivision, we’re planning on putting 67 homes. I have no problem with the builder building. That’s what they do, that’s how they make their living, I have no problems with it. But I have problem with, was back in 1999 when I looked for a place to come to live,., St. John had nice large lots, beautiful homes. It was a place to aspire to build home in. Now it seems like we’re building these subdivisions and their poppin’ up and it’s let’s cram as many houses that we can onto every square foot. You’re takin’ away the appeal of what this town stood for. You also doin’,., and now you’re gonna start zoning all these R-3s? None of you up here could tell any of us here how close we are to that percentage that St. John has only allowed to. Does anybody know the real answer? [Mr. Forbes: 7 or 8% depending upon whether you look as “land usage” or “zoning”. Which is what this board does. We address land usage and zoning. So based on land usage we are 6%. Based on zoning we’re at 7%]. Okay, I’m not,., I mean, sorry I don’t understand,., what is our percentage total of what multi-family homes should be. [Mr. Forbes: Eight percent is the guideline]. 8% is the guideline?, Okay, and why was that guideline set? [Mr. Forbes: It was a discussion at the Comprehensive Plan in 2005]. Usually when that is set, from my understanding of how that is, is a fact to keep a certain area a certain way. You want the single-family homes. You don’t want the multi-family homes. There’s nothing wrong with any of the people that live in multi-family homes, I lived in one before. There’s nothing wrong with that,., I don’t see anything wrong with it. But that’s not the town that I moved into. [Mr. Forbes: But we are living within the guidelines that were set]. Okay, well, from what it sounded like up here, you guys weren’t sure what that percentage was, and we’re gonna add some more? I think it should be studied and figured out what exactly that percentage is before there is any addition to it. That’s all, that’s all I’m saying on that point. So, now, again, let’s go back to my concerns here with this subdivision comin’ in. There was no future look to see how when we start adding these subdivisions,., how they gonna exit out of ‘em. How we gonna control this traffic. Now you’re gonna stick 67 homes in here,., and went from,., with the article in the Times that I was able to find,., it says phase, possibly eluding to,., that there’s gonna be a second phase. Is there gonna be a second phase on this? [Mr. Forbes: There was a brief discussion about that. Yes.]. Okay,., we have 67 homes,., roughly,., I believe another gentleman came up here said that is roughly 2 cars per house, which is normal. So you’re talking over 120 vehicles. How are 120 vehicles gonna get outta there right now. You just made my street into a thoroughfare. With my small kids. My street that is already falling apart, that’s got divots in it so bad, that the street is caving in. So now we’re add all this additional traffic to it and everything else like that, now I gotta worry about my kids on top of it. There’s no exit outta here, we’re not looking at tappin’ into Calumet Avenue, we’re not lookin’ into tappin’ into Columbia Street. So now this is gonna go through it. Now how many more homes are we gonna squeeze onto this property back there. [Mr. Forbes: No idea. There is no discussion on that]. I know there’s no discussion, but this is what I have to look for. This is what I have to look for, to my property values which comes up. It’s a big thing. Builders don’t care about your property value, they just care about what their gonna make, which is their right. But I gotta be concerned on the money I invested into my house and everything else like that, it’s my neighborhood. People when they come to look at my house are gonna look at this “oh look at the traffic commin’ through, I’ll never buy here”, “I’ll never buy this house”. Again, like I said, I got no problem with people building,., but there is no future thought into this, and that’s you’re guys job, to make sure that this doesn’t happen, to keep the welfare of our,., the citizens in the town that pay the taxes, that do everything for this town, happy. Now you also look into,., um,., sorry I already covered that, the additional lots and everything. I just don’t understand where this town is going. Maybe we need to change our zoning laws, cause he’s right in his um,., to squeeze every inch that he can outta that R-2. But that’s not how this town was built. It’s not why builders come to this town. They can make just as much money by providing the lots the sizes that they are. The other thing too,., oh, I’m sorry,., the other thing to was the fact that of when Kilkenny was talking about development, it needed a new substation to move all the excess water, sewage and everything else like that. Has that been addressed? [Mr. Forbes / Mr. Volk: Yes.]. Okay, so I got the board and everybody else on record saying that I will not have any backup due to storage, drainage, or anything else. [Mr. Forbes: There is a plan in place to eliminate one lift station and one temporary lift station has been removed already].

Town Engineer Kenn Kraus commented that one has been moved and is still in use. However, once the development is completed that will be removed.

Has it been taken care of before these houses are built on,., or are we still waiting for that. [Mr. Forbes: The remedy is building the houses. You have to put the sewer lines in order to remedy the issues with the lift stations.]. Okay, cause my understanding was the reason why Kilkenny never developed it, because it was too costly to put in another sub-station, because everything was tapped to the max. [Mr. Forbes: I just think it’s a difficult property to develop and nobody wanted to put in temporary lift stations. Knowing that they would have to put in a permanent one. But that’s all changed.]. Okay, so that will be all taken care of then. So I won’t have any backup into my house or anything else like that, if this subdivision goes through. [Mr. Forbes: I believe that would be a fair and accurate statement.]. I just wanna make sure, cause I wanna know what’s gonna happen if it does. [Mr. Forbes: It should be taken care of.]. Okay, thank you for your time.

Robert Delvado (8618 Tapper Street): [already left the meeting room].

Randy Eenigenburg (8648 Tapper Street): [from audience: I have nothing more to add].

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I incorporate by reference all the objections and remonstrances made against this subdivision. The planning commission and the town, they should have a overall traffic plan. You can’t start piecing things together without an overall traffic plan on how you’re gonna give adequate fire services, ambulance services, in a timely fashion. I believe that has not been done listening to all the comments here. [Mr. Forbes: I believe that statement is inaccurate as we have,.,]. I’m not asking for you to respond, I’m giving you my remonstrance. Please be quiet. Don’t interrupt me. [Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero, I can cut you off any time I want.]. No you can’t. [Mr. Forbes: Oh yes I can.]. You may wish you could, but you can’t. The other thing is, I believe your study sessions present an undue influence on the final decision at these public hearings. You only listen to developers on what they want to do. They form your mind to a predisposed decision here tonight. Because you agree to certain things with them in those study sessions, when you deny public comment on those study sessions. So, I think that undermines any decision you make here, as fraudulent, because the public has been not been allowed to participate in the study session and you only get to listen to the developers. So, I think any vote here on this thing tonight is fraudulent, because you’re denying the public equal access to convince your mind differently. The other thing is this. The practice of doing deferrals, when you listen to all this people complaining, I think is improper. Because all your doing is pushing it back to a study session where the public is not allowed to comment, and then you drag out the public hearings and diminish public input, so in effect your denying a public hearing by delaying everything. You should be voting things up or down. The other thing is this, people raise issues on where the traffic is gonna go. And this thing about the Calumet Avenue exit,., that’s not up for discussion?,., it has to be part of a master plan here. And if its not gonna be put through, then you better put a cul-de-sac there, where that prevents it from going through. That should be part of this plan. The other thing is you’ve heard people complain about the drainage,., okay,., we would like to see some decisions from the DNR, IDEM, the people that govern this. When certain ,., subdivisions are built, and they effect the wetlands, they have to go through a state process, and get approval, and if there’s people that contend that they’ll get flooded, and if it goes to IDEM, they will have a public hearing, they will go to the ALJ, both sides will get to present their case. You just can’t brush people off and say we looked at it. Or our engineer’s looked at it. That isn’t a correct process. The other thing is simply this, we need a traffic study in order to prove these subdivisions. To see what the impact is gonna be on,., on the community,., and that,., that has not been adequately addressed. The separate exit, yes, no, whatever,., that has not been properly been addressed. So you’ve not done your job, in planning this thing correctly. You’ve listened to all these people complain, they should be part of the study session, so that their,., they can influence you on the right thing to do. Because you’ve already made up your mind once these developers have gone to the study session. And the public has no way to change your mind, you’re already predisposed. Again, I think the wetlands has to be addressed. And I think the other thing is simply this,., when people say that their land is gonna get flooded,., somebody has to put up a surety bond for,., what I would say,., ten years,., that if these people are damaged, they have recourse to the town, to use that surety bond to fix the problem if they,., if it’s adjudicated,., that the subdivision is causing the problem. I don’t,., I see all of these decisions by the Plan Commission and the way the growth is going as incompetent management. You wouldn’t have this many people here, if you were doing your job correctly and letting the public have their input in these study sessions. For all those reasons, I remonstrate against this project.

Bill Tameling (8751 Tapper Street): First of all, Andy Jones, I believe is the developer of this property. I commend him, he’s actually building, talking about building nice houses, and I have nothing against what he is doing. I do have questions with uh,., future parks and rec. We just,., are we just deeding areas for this parks and rec? All of us have,., everyone with houses in Kilkenny Estates has an impact fee for parks and recs. I don’t know how many houses there are now, there’s still no parks. There’s gonna be 67 more of ‘em. There’s,., what is the future plan with parks and rec as far as developing the parks allotted space in this new development. [Mr. Forbes: I’ll address that in a minute. Do you have any other comment?.]. Correct, that would be one of my things. My next concern which doesn’t necessarily even effect me,., I built in 2010. And uh,., there was already a master plan for uh,., that subdivision, with deeded easements and stuff, that affect other lots in that subdivision. I would like an answer, as far as, why that’s allowed to change, from the deeded plan that was submitted to the Town of St. John by the previous property owner, and how come you guys are allowed to change that. When people buy lots, with the deeded plan that’s already been in place, with easements and stuff behind their property, that are no longer gonna be there. So, that would probably be my second thing, that I would like to be addressed. [Mr. Forbes: I can just simply say that it’s a new property owner. And this is the plan that he is presenting.]. So okay,., so, anything that’s previously been submitted with the town, as far as development, is thrown out the window? [Mr. Forbes: Pretty much.]. Okay. That’s my answer on that one I guess. And then my next,., I think it was already addressed with the lift station,, there’s gonna be a new lift station? Coming in on this property? [Mr. Forbes: It’s all gravity. Once all the sewers are actually put in, the entire subdivision will work under gravity and there won’t be a need for lift stations. And the lift station at Calumet and the one on Declan will be removed.]. Okay, cause when Torrenga Engineering originally did the first,., uh,., the fourth phase of Kilkenny, I believe they put a temporary one in correct,., so with the understanding that there was gonna be a permanent one going in, I believe on this property [Mr. Rettig: There will be a permanent lift station to the North.]. So then,., I guess, he kinda addressed it with that. At what point is the Town of St. John gonna be concerned with impact fees for like,., what’s the master plan for 93rd Street. How many head-on accidents are gonna have to happen,., not that they’ve happened already, but,., uh,., two lane roads?. Congestion?,., it’s fatalities. You got Schillings puttin’ in 500 houses on White Oak Avenue, we got this development goin’ on, you got all the developments in Three Springs, they are all going to 394 on 93rd Street. Is there any plan that’s ever gonna be addressed to alleviate that problem,., and when is the due diligence gonna actually happen from the town, to make sure that happened,., and that’s not the property owners responsibility,., he’s just trying to build,, develop his property which is his right. So,., you know, well,., that’s that, and then uh,., Tapper Street’s a straight street,., I don’t know what’s north of there,., everybody knows Tapper Street’s a straight street. Those no slowin’ down with the cars. I see cars blow stop signs there all the time. You’re gonna have problems with all future cars coming through Taper Street, to get out, because their not going to necessarily be living there. Because it’s a straight street, people that live there, care a little bit more about th,., the residents. So, I would,., I mean,., obviously you’re not gonna get an answer on that, but I would like an answer on what the future development for the parks and rec is on this property before we,., there’s approval for the development I guess. [Mr. Forbes: Did you have anything else. I’ll get to that in a moment. Does anyone else have a comment or questions on this developemtn.].

Jerry Tippy, District 2 of Lake County Councilman (5900 Wild Rose Lane, Schererville, Indiana): Just to make it clear, I do not have jurisdiction in St. John, over this board or their Council’s, so that the audience keeps in mind. But, if you look at a map of St. John, you’ll see the surrounding areas are about 90% boundaried with unincorporated Lake County. So, we’re gonna be doing a lot of planning together I see, as we move along. I’m also a member of the Lake County Plan Commission. I,. I would, I just,., I know you did not want to speak to the Calumet Avenue to the north connection. But, with the uh,., your permission Mr. Chairman, I would just like to briefly address that, so that you guys can have an understanding of where the county is there. Cause I think it is important, to your planning of these subdivisions. [Mr. Forbes: How about when we are presented a plan for that area, that should be the appropriate time for our sit down.]. Can I address the Columbia Street uh,., connection. [Mr. Forbes: It’s not part of this development, but go ahead.]. Okay,., well, well I’m trying to be polite and then, I appreciate the opportunity. Um,., the connection in St. John that comes out of Kilkenny, that “stubs” up to the town line. To the north of that, there,., there is no road,., for I don’t know,., maybe fifteen – twenty feet. And then Columbia Street starts. Columbia Street is primarily owned by the residents who live on that street, it is not a dedicated public road. It’s not in the County inventory. We have no jurisdiction over that road. We have no intention of condemning property. We have no intention of doing “anything” with that road. So just so you understand, at least in the short term, that is not,., that will not be an access. Um,., also, just briefly, it’s the same issue with Calumet,., so that you very much.

Allen Ogden (14018 West 90th Avenue): And uh,., probably will not be able to be as eloquent as the others who’ve spoken, but I would just like to say that uh,., I’m concerned about the safety. I’m sympathetic with the fact that people buy things as an investment, they wanna build on it,., um,., return their money. So, I understand that,., but I do also shares those concerns, um,., I’m on 90th, which is basically the short cut if you’re on the north end of Edgewood, to get to eastbound 93rd, you go down 90th to Tapper, and out to Columbia. So,., I feel that,., I know that on this plan there’s three exits from the subdivision, but in reality, there’s only two exits. You either go through Edgewood or you go east through Kilkenny. And,., I know,, that phase 2 is not presented here, but I feel that’s gonna impact this and so, if we’re not considering the future of the traffic, in those next subdivisions, and on 93rd and on the rest of St. John, then we’re doing a disservice to ourselves. And I know that,., I believe there was traffic study done when the White Oak development was,., approved? And I would just ask that you do traffic studies here also, to understand the impact of how many houses you put in this,., in this subdivision, and in the next phase. What impact that has on a community. Additionally I know,., it’s been brought up again, but I would just add to um,., the comments about the public parks. It seems that, uh,., the Edgewood park is being dedicated now for this new subdivision, and,., it seems like the right way to do this would be to take some of this land, dedicate to public works,., um,., a public area. So, I believe you’re gonna address that, so. Thank you.

Tony Bartolomei (8590 Tapper Street): Um,., I’m a retired policeman from Chicago Heights. And, I came out here and, in 1996. My son has a baseball game. And, I found St. John, and I told my wife, I came home after the baseball game, and I said I just found the next place we’re gonna live. This place is beautiful. And it was quiet. And, um,., I had a lot of problems back in Chicago Heights,., I had been a narcotics officer for twenty years, so I went through a lot of hell. But that another story. We spent two days,., two or three days, in a vehicle, driving around town, looking at all the empty lots. And I picked 8590 Tapper Street, backed up to this beautiful forest. Tapper Street didn’t even go past the neighbor next to me. And um,., I got to know Mr. Kennedy, who was the owner, and he was a great guy, and he said “yeah there’s gonna be a park down the street”, and my kids were little. My youngest was uh,., three. My son was gonna be uh,., sixth grader, and my daughter was gonna be a freshman at Lake Central. And um,., there was also gonna be little walking path,., was gonna go around that lake,., that’s over there behind where Mr. Kennedy used to live,., well he’s passed since, but his wife’s still there. And we were lookin’ forward to all these different things that were gonna happen and none of ‘em really happened. As you guys know. But the place is like heaven. It’s quiet. It’s,., I got great neighbors. I don’t know a lot of ‘em. But, it’s,., it’s just a great place. And, I came here for the peace and quiet and the small town feel. And, it’s pretty much gone. And put all that ,., I live right on the corner, right on the top, right above 23 there, I’m right on the end. I driveway’s gonna be like a raceway, and that scares the hell outta me, and you know,., I understand developers. I also do a lot of building now, and uh,., I just think you’re gonna wreck the town. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further comment from the audience. At this time, Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes stated to address the concerns about traffic. We have done a Thoroughfare Master Plan, that is in place. There is currently an extensive study going on about the conditions of the roads, traffic patterns, you name it and it is being studied regarding traffic. The purpose of that study is to implement an “impact fee” on developers, which will pay for road improvements in the future. So there is significant review about the road conditions in St. John.

Concerning park property, Mr. Forbes commented that the Plan Commission can not require a developer to donate park property. It is against state law, which is why we have the “Park Impact Fee”. Every developer, every lot that is sold, pays into the development fee. That fee goes into the “Park Fund”. Mr. Forbes stated that he believes there is a misunderstanding on the purpose and use of the park fund. Mr. Forbes continued that the purpose of the Park Impact Fee is to take care of all of the parks within the Town. In regards to individual park property, that changed when this developer brought in the plans, and I realize there was discussion previously about park property that would back up to the Edgewood Park. This developer proposed no inclusion into this park property and it would be illegal for this board to ask for same.

Mr. Forbes wanted to address a comment made at the podium in regards to persons “complaining”. Mr. Forbes stated that he does not take their concerns as “complaints”; he wanted those present to know that he listens, he understands, but he does not accept the fact that any one is complaining. Mr. Forbes asked if the board members had any else to add to that. Mr. Kennedy stated that for transparency, I live at 8661 Tapper Street and my name is John Kennedy, and he thanked Mr. Bartolmeo for the kind words about his father. Mr. Kennedy further stated that he appreciates all his neighbors coming out, and giving their opinions on what they would like to see in the neighborhood. Mr. Kennedy advised he has lived there thirteen years and he understands the neighborhood, and asked that they all please understand that this board appreciates their concerns and comments. Mr. Kennedy further stated that he does take exception to the comment from the podium that “our mind is made up”. Hearing what they had to say tonight means a lot to himself and the board, and he takes that to heart. Mr. Kennedy stated he appreciates them coming out tonight and he appreciates all that the community has said.

Mr. Williams wanted to clarify that our engineering analysis indicates that the area to the North will be able to handle all the drainage from Castle Rock. Mr. Kraus stated that is correct, that according to the calculations, the wetland area can hold an excess of a fifty-two acre feet. All of the drainage that goes to it now, including this subdivision, only needs less than nine, so it is well above. The water surface will rise no more than nine inches, so that existing wetland area where there is already a 48” sewer, which the storm system for this parcel will tie into, so there is no new discharges into that wetland, it all goes through an existing sewer. Mr. Kraus explained that everything from the house to the street will be picked up by storm sewers that run through that existing 48” sewer. Mr. Kraus further commented that the lots with the slopes, that water will run down the hill where a low wetland area is now, and trees will remain within 200’ from that property line. So, 200’ of trees, plus the slope, it will remain as it is right now.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus to advise the destination of the water, he wasn’t sure if that was said earlier. Mr. Kraus advised that it will go into Dyer Ditch.

Mr. Williams asked if Calumet could handle an additional 120 cars. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Williams that Calumet Avenue was actually built as a collector street and that is why it is wider than most streets, so that it can handle the traffic. Mr. Williams also stated that it is a sore spot with him in regards to the park issue, however he understands that a different developer took over the property, and he feels the pain there (previous developer passed away). Mr. Forbes noted that it was one of the first topics that was brought up concerning this subdivision.

Mr. Rettig advised that the owner, Mr. James would like to say a few words if the board has no objection.

Andy James (Castle Rock developer): I heard what the people have said, and I just need to clarify, or I feel a need to clarify some things about this subdivision. The first one is that when I received the plans for the subdivision, and when I bought the property, the area that was being talked about being developed as a park, where was nothing there for the park. I questioned, and there were lots plotted for it from the plans that I received from Mr. Kennedy. I did question as to why this part had never been,., never had homes on it, and was told that the issue was that was going to be access to the park in Edgewood, or else something, but no one ever said anything about this parcel being platted as a park. I have never seen anything like that at all. So, when that became an issue, I approached the Plan Commission with what I thought was a better alternative, and that was to give them the area in front of the water tower, to put a parking lot in there, so that the people in the neighborhood could have access to that park. And again, the primary concern of not having a walkway to the park was because it was going to have a walkway right along someone’s lot, who has a very nice house. So, our objection was to not in any way impede on that. So now this current plan of this part of the subdivision, when most of these people bought their homes there was a bigger plan in place. The plan in fact had a much higher density that what I am proposing. What I have done, is I sacrificed the numbers of lots to keep the natural look of this area. Any implication that I would be trying to get the most miles per gallon on this property, or the most lots that I could get, it’s just wrong. I tried to do this within reason, but again I am trying to maintain, by making the road turn and not going straight, by making lots bigger, so I take issue that I’m trying to squeeze as much as I can. I agree that people that live in Kilkenny Estate now, have a beautiful backdrop in the property that I own. It is with the greatest respect that I have designed, and had help with this property, so that those people can have this without minimal disturbance and still enjoy the sancity that living in this area brings. Including, leaving large tracts of woods available, so that the people could not tear all the trees out. It is being developed in such a manner as to leave as many trees as possible. Including utilization of Calumet Avenue on the east side, of not having any lots there, and again having to install a road there to have only houses on one side of the street. So, again I have done everything I can to make sure that this property gets developed in a manner that is consistent with the values and quality of life that St. john brings to so many people that have come from Illinois. I just feel that I need to address that and certainly I understand that people in Edgewood, they come down their street and it is gorgeous, it is a great neighborhood. Well, what I’m doing, is extending that opportunity to some more people. And I am not extending it to as many as I can to make as much money as I can. I am extending it to a medium of people that are going to build on these lots are going to build magnificent homes that is going to only help the value of the magnificent homes in Edgewood. And as far as traffic count, I get it, 67 does make a difference. But, I’m talking 67, we’re not talking 200, and there is already traffic. I have spent a lot of time in this subdivision, and there are times when you can sit there for ten minutes and not a car goes up or down the street. I’ve been there during all hours, it is never what I consider crowded. I’m assessing that in a fair manner. In getting out on 93rd Street, well it is trying at times, I understand that the people, and I’ve heard their voice, that the people would rather spend an extra five minutes to get home, and have it possibly take a little while to get out on 93rd, cause when their home, there’s some place where they want to stay. And I understand that. I know that there are other developments in there that have a lot of homes going in and that 93rd will be an issue, but I really feel that what I’m doing here is impacting 93rd and 85th in a way that is very responsible. I hope to be a good neighbor, and hope to have a lot of good neighbors for the people in Kilkenny Estates and hopefully they are not too burdened with the construction traffic. And, hopefully if it goes, we’ll go quick and you’ll have 67 other families that have and enjoy the quality of life that St. John offers. Thank you.

With no further comment from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Castle Rock – Preliminary Plat approval. Mr. Forbes passed the gavel to Mr. Volk. Mr. Forbes made a motion to approve Preliminary Plat approval for Castle Rock and referenced the findings of facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried by 5 ayes – 1 abstention. (Mr. Kennedy stated that although he has no financial stake in the development he will abstain. Mr. Kozel left the meeting earlier).

C. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 – Public Hearing for Re-Zoning of Parcel from C-2 to R-3 PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3, a public hearing for the rezoning from C-2 to R-3 PUD, and advised Mr. Rettig to give the room a moment to quiet down.

Mr. Doug Rettig handed out materials to the board members to review. Mr. Rettig advised he is representing Dancing Waters and Dennis Meyers who could not be here tonight.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are requesting a rezone of the subject piece of property, which is immediately south of what is called Dancing Water or Meyers Addition – Unit 3. Mr. Meyers has developed Meyers Addition for many years. They started with Unit 1, which is where the strip mall and duplexes are located behind it. We moved into Unit 2, which is the cul-de-sac at the South end of that phase. Last year we developed Meyers Addition – Block 3, which is partially developed. We will be talking about Block 3 as it is another agenda item tonight.

In preparing for the future, this is Meyers Addition – Phase 3 / Block 4. Mr. Meyers bought this property after the development of Meyers Addition – Phase 3 / Block 3, which is under constructing currently. Mr. Rettig directed the board members attention to the meeting room screen, an area that is zoned C-2, and is an unusually shaped parcel, with a majority of it being Bingo Lake. Mr. Meyers intention is to place a few buildings at the end of the street. The rezone will simply amend the current plat of Phase 3, which has already been approved, to include the parcel and subject to additional engineering. There will be no more than four (4) buildings.

Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Rettig that he owes him a rendering of the park that is going to be placed in the development. Mr. Rettig advised that it will be part of the next phase and he will be bringing it then.

With no further questions of the board Mr. Forbes opened the floor for the public hearing. As noted before, please come to the podium and state your name and address for the record.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would ask that you put a contingency on any of the rezoning for this property, uh,., that it not be used in any way as an exit to 85th Street. It’s a very narrow street. Um,., if the next piece is such that we’re gonna put a road through to 85th, I think that’s gonna be a nightmare. Um,., so I think you put a restriction on this, so there’s no exit to 85th or 41 from there, because it’s gonna be very close to the light. So, I would ask for those two restrictions, they can put a turn around in there, whatever they wanna do to get back out. But I don’t think you should allow that road, in whatever way it goes, now or in the next piece to go to 41 or 85th. Thank you.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board for any final questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Williams made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to rezone Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 4 from C-2 to R-3 PUD, and referencing the findings of facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried by 6 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 / Block 3, Secondary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 3 for Secondary Plat approval. Mr. Forbes commented that this area is directly behind the small strip mall.

Mr. Rettig advised that this parcel received Preliminary Plat approval last year. Now, they have platted Meyers Addition – Unit 3 into two blocks already. Block One being the commercial that is under construction right now. Block Two being about six to seven lots to the North of this parcel. Block Three has already gotten Preliminary Approval, and we are coming in now for the Final Plat.

Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers has installed most of the improvements. Mr. Rettig directed the attention of the board members to the meeting room screen to show where certain streets end. Mr. Rettig advised that the curbs are in to complete “the loop”, in order to have good traffic flow through the development.

Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers and he have discussed the remaining improvements, and he will be posting a Letter of Credit for the asphalt, and the finishing work on the retention pond. Mr. Rettig advised that the sewer, water mains, storm sewers are already in place. Mr. Rettig advised that they are not asking for signatures on mylars until the bonds are submitted and all the developmental fees have been paid.

Mr. Kraus reminded Mr. Rettig that he would need the construction costs for the calculation of the development fee. Mr. Rettig advised that that will be submitted to him shortly by Mr. Meyers.

Mr. Williams inquired about the timeline for the remaining improvements. Mr. Rettig advised as soon as the weather permits, as Mr. Meyers will be ready to pull permits as soon as the remaining outstanding improvements are in order.

Mr. Forbes clarified for the board members that a binder coat of asphalt will have to be installed and inspected before any building permit will be issued by the Town. Mr. Rettig stated that he will remind Mr. Meyers of that fact.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Rettig if he knew when the asphalt plants open again for the season. Mr. Rettig advised it would be soon if the weather cooperates. Mr. Williams asked if it would be better to have the petitioner come back when those improvements are completed. Mr. Rettig stated that he believes that Mr. Meyers just wants to go through the formalities and the he is not expecting you to sign the mylars until the Plan Commission is satisfied. Mr. Williams felt that since it may be eight weeks before the asphalt goes down that he would feel more comfortable with deferring this to the next meeting.

Mr. Volk made a motion to defer Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 3 to the next regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

B. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3, Amended Plat – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3 for amended Plat and permission to advertise for public hearing to consider the amended plat.

Mr. Rettig asked that this agenda item be deferred, as Mr. Meyers is not ready for this unit.

That being said, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer. Motion to defer Meyers Addition – Unit 3 amended plat, made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

C. SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Site Plan Approval Relative to Church Addition and Adding Parking Spaces (Mr. Ryan Marovich)

Mr. Forbes the next agenda item is Suncrest Christian Church for site plan action relative to addition to church and additional parking spaces.

Mr. Ryan Marovich of DVG Team, introduced himself to the board members and advised that he is representing Suncrest Church.

Mr. Marovich directed the board members attention to the meeting room screen for the site plan proposal. Mr. Marovich stated that the church is proposing amongst some internal items; changes some walls, they are adding this extended front entrance area, a new sidewalk that will be heated, and a ramp to the rear. Mr. Marovich also pointed out the dumpster and delivery area on the site plan, and then the extra parking requested.

Mr. Marovich advised that they increased the parking space size from 9’ x 20’ to 10’ x 20’, as required by ordinance, and they are now up to standard. Mr. Marovich advised that they also meet their minimum ADA requirements, and that there will be some relocation of the sanitary system involved, because they did not want to go under the building addition.

Mr. Williams clarified for the board members that Suncrest Church was an agenda item at the Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday. Mr. Williams stated that he has been attending Suncrest Christian Church and that this church has been growing very fast and will continue to do so. Mr. Williams stated that he still has a concern that cars will be back to parking on the grass very soon.

Mr. Forbes noted that there is a lot of room for the church to expand their parking lot again in the future should they wish to do so.

Mr. Marovich advised that currently it is a budgetary matter with the church; that they are doing what they can for the present. Mr. Marovich also agreed that there is more land and that he can foresee, with the growth, that some of the land will be used in the future for additional parking.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the “staggered parking” from the older 9’ x 20’ and the new 10’ x 20’ that will be placed. Mr. Marovich pointed to that portion of the topic on the meeting room screen, and noting specifics in the striping.

With no further comments or questions from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Mr.Williams made a motion to approve the Site Plan for Suncrest Christian Church as submitted. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

D. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT 3, Permission to Advertise for Rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Rose Garden – Unit 3, permission to advertise for rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD.

Mr. Rettig of DVG advised that he is representing Sublime Development, the owner of the property. Mr. Rettig advised that this is the property just South of Willow Ridge – Phase 2. Mr. Rettig advised that there are two things about this property, however, all he wants to ask for tonight is permission to advertise to rezone the northerly portion of this property from R-1 to R-2 PUD. The southerly portion will remain as R-1. Mr. Rettig advised that the handout material covers the proposed area.

Mr. Rettig advised they are asking for R-2 PUD because we have a situation where there will be 94’ wide lots, due to a “fixed line”, so instead of a 120’ wide lot; they would like to reduce it to 94’ wide. Mr. Rettig directed the board members attention to a large wetland area that also is involved in the project. Mr. Rettig advised that some of the lots are extra deep, they are all about 200’ in depth, and noted the area where some is the standard 150’ in depth.

Mr. Rettig advised they will be very close on the size, they are asking for latitude on the width, which will be slightly under. Mr. Rettig advised that they are not presenting an engineering plan tonight, as they wish to get permission to advertise for the rezone. Mr. Rettig advised they will talk more about engineering when they have the land plan and they get to that final stage.

Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Rettig that he has asked for individual lot sizes and percent to R-2. Mr. Rettig advised he was not going to present that until we have a Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Eberly commented that eight of the twenty-two lots will be below the 15,000 square foot threshold, but just 750 square below that mark. So there will be 14,250 square feet on eight of the lots. The remaining will be at 15,000 square feet or greater, however nineteen or the twenty-two lots that are shown, would be less than the 100’ width. Mr. Eberly expressed that this is not a subject for tonight’s meeting, and that he just wanted to give the planners some quick numbers.

With no further questions or comments from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to authorize permission to advertise for rezone on Rose Garden – Unit 3. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes called out for public comment. Hearing none.

ADOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

03-15-2017 Plan Commission

March 15, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Stephen Kil, Town Manager
John Kennedy Michael Muenich, Board Attorney David Austgen, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on March 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by President Michael Forbes, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gill, Bob Birlson, Steven Kozel, Mike Forbes, Gregory Volk, John Kennedy and staff present of Town Engineer Kenn Kraus, Town Manager Steve Kil and Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly. Absent: Jason Williams, Attorneys David Austgen and Michael Muenich.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. THREE SPRINGS – UNIT 3 – Continued Rezoning Discussion
Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG, introduced himself and the developer, Dave Barrick to the board members. Mr. Rettig advised they were here two weeks ago regarding Three Springs – Unit 3, which they are proposing as a PUD. We continued the public hearing in order to have more discussion tonight.

Mr. Rettig directed their attention to the meeting room screen and handout material, advising that it is a similar looking sketch, however, they did eliminate four (4) lots from the plan. This reduced their density to 1.78 units per acre, which is very consistent with R-2 type of density.

The single family homes along the lake and to the East border are now 78’ and some at 82’ wide. They increased the cul-de-sac length by about ten feet, in order to provide parking and possibly a small island with a tree, this will provide ample visitor parking.

Mr. Rettig directed their attention to the changes made, with this plan the single family homes will have an average land area of 13,436 square feet and the duplexes will be an average of 18,200 square feet. Mr. Rettig advised this brings us closer to the minimum of an R-2, while also having the hardships that exist on this parcel.

Mr. Rettig reiterated that they took out four (4) lots, decreased our density and we brought up the average lot area sizes, and they would like the board members comments before they continue three weeks from tonight.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this was the best the developer could come up with in order to make this parcel financially feasible, considering the hardships of the parcel that exist. Mr. Rettig advised he has discussed with Mr. Barrick, and this is what he feels will work for him.

Mr. Forbes discussed density and asked about the zoning of Phase 2. Mr. Rettig reminded the board that Three Springs Unit One has R-1, R-2 and R-3, and that Unit Two has R-2 and R-3. We are asking for R-2 and R-3 PUD in this phase.

Mr. Forbes inquired to the estimated values of the single family and the duplex units. Mr. Barrick advised that the average would be $350,000 - $375,000 for the single family; and $225,000 - $250,000 for one side of a duplex unit so the building would be at $450,000.00 - $500,000. Mr. Rettig stated that this is very consistent with a single family home.

Mr. Birlson inquired about the lot sizes of Lot 9 through Lot 17. Mr. Rettig advised that they vary, but they are denoted on the second page. Mr. Birlson advised that he found the numbers.

Mr. Kozel asked about the space between Lot 17 and Lot 18. Mr. Rettig advised that is a flood route that is part of Outlot L2, so whatever does not go directly into the storm sewer will be directed to that low spot area. This is in place of individual lot swales that are harder to manage, so they want to install this instead and address the matter in advance, which is the same as between Lot 1 and Lot 9, its all one big Outlot.

Mr. Birlson stated that it is better, but he thought Lots 32 through 39 would be single family also. Mr. Rettig advised it is on a slope that drains to the lake.

There was discussion on the island in the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig advised there will be two-way traffic all around, and is about twenty-five feet, and can be a good way to get “visitor spaces”. Mr. Birlson asked if this was something new having parking in the cul-de-sacs. Mr. Forbes advised they have it in Weston Ridge and it works well there.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised that they will pick this up again at the next regular Meeting in three weeks.

B. SHOPS ON 96 – Bruce Boyer Development
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Boyer Development. Mr. Bruce Boyer of Boyer Properties, Highland, Indiana, introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Boyer advised they are here to night to bring back to the table the “Shops 96 Commercial Development”.

Mr. Boyer advised that this is a 23 acre development located at 96th and Route 41. He directed their attention to page 2 of their packet, that it basically shows the boundaries of the property. It includes everything on the East side of U.S. 41 from Al’s Body Shop, North, to the South side of the St. John Pool Center, and this goes all the way back to the railroad tracks.

Mr. Boyer advised that there are 4 existing buildings on the property that will be razed. Mr. Boyer advised that they plan on extending 96th Avenue through the property. The existing storm water detention on the property will be moved to the rear of this development. The zoning is a “hodge-podge” mix of small PUD and commercial zoning.

Mr. Boyer advised that their intent is to clean that all up under one Commercial Planned Unit Development for the entire parcel of land.

Mr. Boyer advised the next page shows the extension of 96th through the property, and shows improvements along U.S. 41, plans for widening there along with a new traffic signal. Mr. Boyer advised that they are dedicating the land of 1.75 acres for street, and setting aside of about 2.25 acres for the retention pond.

Mr. Boyer advised that the next page shows what is designated as their Phase One Construction, which will be at the rear of the property, a Light Industrial combination-type building. The Northeast corner of 96th and U.S. 41 will be a single story multi-tenant commercial building, and at the far South side will be a single story-single tenant commercial building. That is really our Phase One Construction, which they will start immediately as they do all the site work and relocation of the detention pond, and while the improvement of 96th are going in.

Mr. Boyer advised the next page shows the Site Plan of the “completed development”. Mr. Boyer advised they are looking for about 33,000 square feet in Phase One, and the total project when completed will be approximately 174,000 square feet. Along with the improvements of 96th, they will be taking a frontage road behind the Outlots that will continue South and connect with the existing road known as Earl Drive, that runs through the commercial area South all the way through the Ravenswood Development. Mr. Boyer advised that this will take a lot of traffic off of U.S. 41, and keep on the frontage road and servicing all that commercial area.

Mr. Boyer advised the next drawing shows the front elevation of our first multi-tenant building, showing the West and East elevation, and that is the first of two buildings that they are proposing. Mr. Boyer advised there will be two buildings, very similar, sitting on the North side of 96th in the development. The next drawing shows the one-story single-tenant commercial building that will sit at the far South side of the property along U.S. 41. Mr. Boyer advised they are also planning two Outlots that will be North of that location, so there will be a series of three Outlots, three free-standing buildings right along U.S. 41, between 96th and our southern boundary.

Mr. Boyer advised the next drawing shows the multi-tenant commercial building at the rear of the property. He advised that it will be a larger building, taller and a little-bit more of a “flex building” for various uses.

Mr. Boyer advised that the next page shows the Phase Two Building on Lot Two, which is the other multi-tenant building on the North side of 96th. The last page in your packet shows the entire Site Plan, the division of the lots.

Mr. Boyer advised that they will be coming back and looking for a Commercial Planned Unit Development for the entire parcel, with the designation of these lots, the designation of the detention pond and of course the dedication of the road for 96th.

Mr. Boyer advised that he and his staff have been working with INDOT to address the traffic problems. There has been a traffic study done. Mr. Boyer advised that INDOT has approved the traffic signal at U.S. 41 and 96th on the present layout and they are ready to proceed.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Holderan, the District Engineer of INDOT has approved the installation of the signalization pursuant to this plan. Mr. Kennedy asked if there was going to be a raised median. Mr. Boyer advised that has not been finalized and does not have those details yet, at this time. Mr. Kil advised that when they actually get to the engineering done, that a complete set of plans will be presented to the planners.

Mr. Boyer advised they are getting into their engineering work to get ahead of this for the PUD zoning.

Mr. Kennedy inquired if this was in the Overlay District. Mr. Eberly advised that it is, however, it will be a Commercial Planned Unit Development, which would override the Overlay District, if you approve it as a PUD.

Mr. Boyer advised that a lot of that information will be in their next package when they come back to the next Plan Commission meeting.

Mr. Birlson stated that he just wanted to bring up to the Commissioners, on the very end of 96th Place where its dead-end, the property owner remonstrated, and I don’t know if you guys read that, but, but remonstrated on um, a round-about on Joliet; and the Thiel’s don’t wanna sell their property, so that kinda concerns me that Phase One with the building right there, if we’re gonna bring 96th to Joliet, and we don’t have access on the property owner; how do you put it in. Except, sliding 96th closer, you know, to the railroad tracks, on this development site. Which would be where your building would be at, and the commercial building would have to be moved to the South. I just wanted the Commissioners to be aware of that.

Mr. Volk asked if Mr. Boyer secured the purchase of the old car wash. Mr. Boyer advised that it is under contract.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the white building that bumps out on the drawing. Mr. Boyer advised that is Al’s Auto Body, and they are including the land behind that business, as they will be dedicating a portion of their land for the extension of the southern road, and thus they will include their property as part of our Planned Unit Development.

With no further questions from the board members, Mr. Boyer advised that he will be at the next Regular Meeting to request permission for public hearing on the zoning change. Mr. Boyer thanks the board for their time.

C. MIKE GELATKA – Property North of Aspen Café.
Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is Mike Gelatka, in regards to the property north of Aspen Cafe.

Mr. Mike Gelatka introduced himself to the board members and handed out some hard copy materials for their review. Mr. Gelatka advised that his family owns the entrance to Aspen Café and the property North, which is an odd triangle shaped property. Mr. Gelatka advised that they purchased the property at the time to do some retail, however the location, traffic and other issues have made the property difficult to development.

Mr. Gelatka was seeking some direction from the Plan Commission on some thoughts he has to proposing “Vehicle Condos”. Mr. Gelatka advised that he has looked at a facility called “Iron Gate Auto Condos” in Naperville, Illinois. He advised that he discussed this at length with Mr. Kil and was hoping to get some feedback from the board members of whether to pursue engineering and an architect for a similar project.

The facility is for the high-end auto enthusiasts, a lot of them being collectors that buy space for their vehicles. Mr. Gelatka advised that it in some instances ends up being an auto country club, with charity events and interaction with the automotive investors.

Mr. Gelatka advised that the facility in Naperville has a weekend a month where they network and have an event called “Chrome and Coffee”. This facility would provide a gated campus for the elements of avid private collectors of luxury vehicles and exotic cars. The concept of the car condo would be a complex that brings auto fanatics an area to mingle and store collections.

Mr. Gelatka was advised by both Mr. Kil and Mr. Eberly to bring the concept to the Plan Commission in order to get some feedback on whether this idea is worth pursuing.

Mr. Kennedy advised that he has heard of these places, but they usually go with some sort of track. Mr. Gelatka is hoping that the fact that this sits just off of U.S. 41, that anyone wishes to just cruise out along would be attracted and willing to just go south on U.S. 41. Mr. Gelatka also advised that our parcel would just be smaller version of some of these auto condos, as they are working with approximately 5 acres. Mr. Gelatka also believes that the uniqueness of this concept would also bring some commercial investment, where they can have VIP parties or charitable events.

Mr. Kil advised that several things come to mind, such as having a sea of doors facing U.S. 41, so they would have to have the garage doors to the rear. However, they could make the front facing U.S. 41 look like a retail building with windows and an entrance.

Mr. Kozel asked what is the anticipated volume for this type of venture, how many visitors, how many people do you expect to buy the units. Mr. Gelatka will have to get with an architect once he gets a feel if this would be something to pursue. General discussion ensued with the developer and the planners, as to traffic and visitor parking should there be events held there.

Mr. Forbes commented that they are not familiar with this concept as yet, noting that it could be used as a private museum where there would be low volume, however if there are some that would treat it as an executive suite where an annual charity event is held, it would be large volume, but only for one or two days.

Mr. Forbes further advised that he is actually considering driving out to Naperville to see how this business operates. Mr. Forbes suggested that the board become a little better familiar and have Mr. Gelatka come back to another study session, once they have more information. Mr. Forbes suggested some tentative sketching on his own; to contemplate what he thinks might be good there.

Mr. Gelatka reminded the board that they can look on line, but he thinks it is the first Saturday of each month that they have the Chrome and Coffee event for them to look at. Mr. Gelatka thanked the board members for their time.

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 4 B
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John – Unit 4B. Mr. John Lotton came to the podium and introduced himself.

Mr. Lotton stated that he will be presenting a new Primary Plat for Gates – Unit 4B, which will be age restricted single family residences. Mr. Lotton advised that the first phase is basically what is inside of what is being platted right now. Mr. Lotton stated that changes were made due to some adjustments on the detention, and we changed the round-about into just a straight through at the North end.

Mr. Birlson inquired about the North-South road in the East side. Mr. Lotton advised that is Cline Avenue. Mr. Lotton advised that this is where Ron McFarland is building currently on Cline Avenue. Mr. Lotton advised it would be the same product, but it would be age-restricted single family.

Mr. Kennedy asked for a definition of age-restricted. Mr. Lotton advised it would be for fifty-five years of age and older.

Mr. Lotton advised he would have to get a Primary Plat, and noted that all the improvements are installed, as they were completed when they did Unit 4A, done last Fall.

Mr. Eberly asked if this reflects the changes or is this the current plat. Mr. Lotton advised that this reflects the changes, and he will be coming to the meeting in April to ask permission to advertise for public hearing at that time.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Lotton that the board will see him at the next meeting.

E. GATES OF ST. JOHN – 10 L
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John – Unit 10 L. Mr. John Lotton came to the podium and introduced himself.

Mr. Lotton advised that Gates – 10 L, is a re-plat of 10K and another age-restricted single family in this Pod. Mr. Lotton advises that this goes over to this duplex area that we have in since last Fall. This is the area that I advertised for duplexes and then removed.

Mr. Lotton directed their attention to the meeting room screen to show Four (4) duplex lot platted, and that the whole street would be changed to age-restricted single family to the other end.

Mr. Birlson asked what is the average widths of the lots. Mr. Lotton advised that the widths on those lots are all either 61’ or 57’. Mr. Lotton advised that the 61’ wide would be a 3-car garage, and the 57’ wide would be the standard unit. This would eliminate the four duplex lots at the North end that were just recently platted.

Mr. Gill asked about the lot with the bold line, is that Lot A for 10K,., he was looking for a reference point. Mr. Lotton advised that he platted six (6) duplex lots the last time, and while we were just finishing, it was suggested that we just do the whole street so it is uniform.

Mr. Kraus and Mr. Gill looked up previous plats and noted that “A” and “F” would remain as duplex lots. Mr. Lotton advised that these units would all be in the area of $330,000 to $340,000 range, all brick.

Mr. Kil stated for clarification that Mr. Lotton is asking to remove four duplex lots and replace them with four (4) age-restricted single family lots. Mr. Lotton advised that there will be five (5) of the age-restricted units where there were eight (8) duplex units.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Lotton if there is anything that is being varied was not already approved, other than removing the duplexes, are the remainder of the lots previously approved. Mr. Lotton advised that the ones previously approved are the standard eighty-footers that we presented when we originally did the planned unit development.

Mr. Kennedy advised he is not familiar with the area and asked what is to the North. Mr. Lotton advised that to the North is single family, and to the South is McFarland’s original multi-family project. Mr. Lotton advised that there are 2 -3 – and 4 unit buildings to the south.

Mr. Forbes asked if the thought is to transition between the areas. Mr. Lotton advised yes, and that the open area he would more than likely come back at a later date and add more of those same unit, or try to get duplexes there, so that you are going from full multi-family into duplexes, and then into the age-restricted single family.

Mr. Eberly noted that the zoning does not need to change, because it is currently R-2 and R-3 PUD, and single family is allowed in those districts. Therefore, his request for permission to advertise public hearing will be for a re-platting of this part of the development.

Mr. Lotton also advised that the value on the homes are estimated to be $340,000, all brick structures.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised he would see Mr. Lotton at the next meeting for permission to advertise. Mr. Lotton thanked the board for their time.

F. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT 3 – Rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD.
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Rose Garden – Unit 3, rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD.

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG stepped back up to the podium. Mr. Rettig handed out some hard copy materials. He reminded that they have talked about this before. The parcel is immediately South of Willow Ridge – Phase 2. Mr. Rettig reminded that we are coming back for a public hearing to have it rezoned from R-1 to R-2 PUD. Mr. Rettig advised that they want to rezone the northerly portion of the denoted property, while the southerly portion will remain R-1, and the zone line will cut through the wetlands. Mr. Rettig advised that they will create a 15-acre parcel more/less, and all they are asking is R-2 PUD. Mr. Rettig advised that they need the R-2 PUD in this case, due to a hard lines of existing subdivision lots. They are trying to get these to about 94’ wide, but they are 200’ in depth.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will tabulate all this, because they have not gone to engineering yet. Once they receive the rezoning, they will proceed with the engineering and they will present a more detailed sketch with the numbers.

At this point we need the Plan Commissions’ recommendation for the rezoning, to go to the Town Council and then we can start the engineering.

Mr. Rettig advised it is really two projects. The North is what will be called Rose Garden Unit 3, and the separate little cul-de-sac called Sublime Estates, but we intend to develop that as a simple R-1.

Mr. Forbes asked if Willow Ridge subdivision to the North is R-2? Mr. Rettig advised that it is. Mr. Rettig also advised that there are two street stubs that we are going to be connecting to.

Mr. Forbes asked the board members for any questions. Mr. Rettig advised they are working on the legal description for the public hearing at the next meeting, which is three weeks from now.

G. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 – Rezoning Matter
Mr. Rettig advised that they already have the Plan Commissions’ favorable recommendation to the Town Council, so they will be going to the Town Council on the 23rd of this month.

Mr. Kil confirmed that it is on the agenda for that meeting. Mr. Rettig clarified that he spoke with Dennis Meyers regarding his fourth phase, or block 4, they will not be pursuing that for the next couple of months, and he realizes what needs to happen there. Mr. Meyers will be paving his road and finish the pond. We will not be in until May for the Final Plat. Therefore, they will be back sometime in May to discuss what he wants to do by the lake.

Mr. Rettig thanked the board members for their time.

H. MASTER ZONING ORDINANCE – CHAPTER 19 – amendment relative to definition of “Setback”.
Mr. Eberly advised that he sent out a memorandum to the Plan Commission members, whereas an issue came up at a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, where a petitioner was seeking a side yard variance. As it currently reads, the measurements are to be taken from the eaves or more specifically from the “farthest projection”. There is a recommendation to amend Chapter 19 of the Master Zoning Ordinance for the definition of a “setback” that would make it clear that the building foundation would be where the measurement would be taken from.

Mr. Eberly advised that the foundation is a “fixed point”, and that there has been discussion that the measurements from the eaves or the farthest projection causes too much of a variable. Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Austgen is working on the wording for that ordinance amendment at this time.

Mr. Forbes asked if this was just for the front-yard setback. Mr. Eberly advised that this would be for all setbacks: front yard, back yard, and side-yards. There was general discussion as to engineers and other communities using the foundation since it is a fixed point that does not change.

Mr. Eberly is hoping to have it ready for a public hearing soon, with a recommendation to the Town Council for adoption of an amendment Ordinance. Mr. Eberly stated that it might be possibly ready for the April regular meeting and then the Town Council at the end of April.

I. PROVIDENCE BANK – Reduction in Letter of Credit
Mr. Eberly advised that Providence Bank is seeking a reduction in their Letter of Credit from $171,000.00 to $30,000.00. This specific item will be on the April 5, 2017 Plan Commission agenda for a recommendation to the Town Council for their April meeting.

(With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:39 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

04-05-2017 Plan Commission

April 5, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on April 5, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:

Mr. Forbes took roll call. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Rick Eberly and Michael Muenich. Mr. Forbes advised that Mr. Volk had called earlier to advise that he would be absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the first order of business are the minutes of April 1, 2015 and March 1, 2017 Regular Meetings and March 15, 2017 Study Session. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions on the meeting minutes.

Mr. Birlson stated he wanted to make a motion to defer the March 15, 2017 Study Session minutes, because there were statements made by myself that are missing with regards to Item C, the Shops 96 Boyer Development. Mr. Forbes advised that they can have those minutes reviewed again. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions or concerns regarding the meeting minutes.

• March 15, 2017 Study Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to defer the minutes. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

• April 1, 2015 Plan Commission Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve the minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

• March 1, 2017 Plan Commission Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve the minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE III – Continued Public Hearing for Re-Zone from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD (Mr. Dave Barrick and Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item is Three Springs – Phase 3, a continued Public Hearing requesting a zone change from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD.

Statement from Board Attorney Michael Muenich:

Mr. President, if I may. (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Muenich). I would recommend at this point that the Plan Commission dismiss the application by Three Springs for R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. While there is an R-2 PUD, your Zoning Ordinance does not provide for an R-3 PUD, there is no such classification. (Mr. Forbes: So you’re saying that there’s improper notification). Not a notification, you don’t have the classification, it just doesn’t exist, it’s not a matter of notice, notice has been issued, but there is no such classification that can be created. So my recommendation is that you dismiss it, and terminate the Public Hearing. (Mr. Williams: Does that create problems for us with other,., I think we have one other R-3 PUD that is going on currently). You have an R-2 PUD that’s pending. (Mr. Williams: Across the street from Lake Central). (Mr. Eberly: You are referring to the Meyer’s). (Mr. Williams: Isn’t that an R-3 PUD as well?). If it is my recommendation is exactly the same, it does not exist. (Mr. Williams: So, how do we deal with situations where we would like to allow the developer to construct in such a way that that is not consistent with our R-3 code). You would have to have variances from the various,., the BZA would have,., (Mr. Williams: So that is BZA work). Yes, sir. (Mr. Forbes: So any,., you’re saying that current PUD zoning,., the two units that we’re in discussion with need to be terminated). I haven’t seen Mr. Meyers. If Mr. Meyer’s is a request for a PUD 3 zoning, it does not exist, it would have to be terminated and dismissed in the same fashion. (Mr. Forbes: Historically, things that have been done, in the past, this is not affected by that). It is not affected because those items have passed through without a remonstrance directed to that classification, and / or the final approval being appealed under the terms under the Subdivision Control Ordinance and/or Zoning Ordinances, and State Statutes governing same. It’s um,., you can,., you can’t raise defects after the process is approved. And I’m not telling you it was “correct”. I’m saying it’s done, it was not remonstrated against. It’s past the appeal period. That one is over with. This one is not at that stage, and., I guess I can’t,., I don’t believe I had anything to do with any of those other ones, I do have something to do obviously with the Meyer’s one, but I haven’t addressed it yet. But, I’m governed by what the four corners of the Ordinance says, and you simply don’t have that classification in your Ordinance, it doesn’t exist. (Mr. Forbes: I’m just still trying to wrap my head around this. So,., okay. It would be very easy for someone to remonstrate against this one now with this knowledge). I gather, they could easily remonstrate and their remonstrance would be valid. (Mr. Forbes: A valid remonstrance). Absolutely. My point is, is that you can’t have an “application” for,., in my opinion, you can’t file an application for a non-existent classification. So, that,., that’s the reason I’m suggesting it be dismissed, rather than proceed through the public hearing and go away. You would be holding a Public Hearing on a classification that doesn’t exist,., uh,., to put in a context of a lawyer filing a lawsuit if it does not meet the requirements of the law, those are generally addressed with a dismissal procedure, or a dismissal motion. There’s not a verdict or a judgment for the defendant or the plaintiff. If it’s not legally sufficient, it’s dismissible, and that’s what we have here. It’s not legally sufficient, you do not have that classification. (Mr. Williams: So they can still,., they can still propose this Site Plan, but they’re in the wrong forum). They are in the wrong forum. I, uh, they,., their procedure if they choose to proceed. The R-2 does have a PUD classification, subject to Chapter 9, and it’s elements “A” through “L”, whatever it is that’s at the back,., what’s at the back of that section. They can file for an R-3 classification, if they would choose to do that. AND, they would have to seek variances to the extent that they are going to digress from the strict requirements from the R-3 zoning classification. (Mr. Williams: At the BZA). At the BZA level, yes sir. (Mr. David Cervan: I represent Barrick Builder your honor, or uh, Mr. Forbes, and Barrick. My name is David Cervan. I’m an attorney. My address is 9013 Indianapolis Boulevard in Highland. I live in Munster, 8419 Baring Avenue in Munster. I know Mr. Muenich, we go back a long way, it’s probably been twenty years since I last saw him and I respect him immensely. We talked on the phone today and he told me about um,., his interpretation. And after I talked to him, I looked at your ordinances and pulled them out, and I went back and I looked at your minutes, and I respectfully disagree with his position with respect to the authority of you all to uh,., entertain this petition. I think it is within your ordinance and at the very least, I would like you to um,., perhaps have the lawyers look it over after you hear what I am about to say. First of all, my client, Mr. Barrick has been here “numerous” times. He’s made nine (9) revisions to his plans. He spent thousands of dollars on this. He was told by representatives of the Town, that in order to get this development done, as proposed to you, that he should go the P.U.D. process. I mean, he ,., he followed what he was told. This was before lawyers were involved. And he had every right to believe that, because prior to him, you entertained similar requests and passed them. I’ve been told Greystone, Mill Creek, Gates of St. John,., so after I talked to Mr. Muenich, I went online and started looking at the minutes from your past meetings and I came across one February 3rd of last year; Gates of St. John,., it was specifically a request,., uh,., zone change from R-1 PUD Single Family to R-3 PUD Duplex. It was voted on and approved unanimously, um,., counsel was at the meeting. You did it again on April 6, 2016 it came before you. With respect to Greystone, Mr. Forbes read a letter, this is from the minutes on the Greystone. “The subdivision project includes approximately 84 R-2 PUD residential lots, 36 R-3 PUD residential lots and one (1) C-1 PUD lot”. And then in July of last year,., July 6, 2016 ,., I apologize for this,., this is in connection with a um,., a proposal by Boyer Commercial Center ,., um,., uh,., to rezone from C-2 and Industrial to C-2 PUD. Now if you pull out your ordinance; I agree with Mr. Muenich that Chapter 5, which talks about Residential Districts,., talks about an R-C 1 PUD District. It talks about an R-2 PUD District. It is silent as to a PUD District for R-3. It also talks in Chapter 6 about your Commercial Districts, General Commercial C-1, which is the one that I just talked about from Boyer,., there’s no PUD designation there. C-2, no PUD designation there. C-3, no PUD designation there. C-4, no PUD designation there. Throughout the Ordinance with respect to the classifications of the properties, of the Districts, the only two (2) were a PUD as specifically mentioned is R-1 and R-2. So what,., so what I believe you should do, is go from Chapters 5 and 6 and go to Chapter 9 which is the PUD ordinance. And the PUD Ordinance, talks about just the PUD District. It doesn’t say anything about R-1, R-2, R-3 or C-1 or C-2 or anything,., anything like that. It’s says that “provisions are included in this Chapter to permit the establishment of areas in which diverse uses may be brought together as a compatible and unified plan of development, which shall be in the interest of the general welfare of the public. The PUD,., it doesn’t say anything about R-1, R-2, R-3, C-1,., the PUD must provide for an efficient use of land resulting in an economical network of streets, utilities and public facilities. The PUD must demonstrate a quality of design, including architectural styles, building relationships and enhance the esthetics. The PUD shall demonstrate a creative approach,., and then at the very end, the last sentence within the purpose, the very first paragraph of the ordinance under Chapter 9, “a PUD shall be permitted by the Plan Commission”, so it doesn’t designate PUD R-1, PUD R-2, PUD R-3, or C-1, which you’ve allowed in the past. It just talks about a PUD, meaning overall the District can be classified as a PUD. If you read further in Chapter 9,., and I am sorry that I have to ,., I wish I had a “flow chart”,., but it talks about Residential Standards. And it talks about the Zoning Districts and it says “the Land Uses allowed in a Residential PUD, shall be those permitted uses for the District as listed in Table,., in the Table in Chapter 3. So, the ordinance says “Residential PUD, those things that are permissible in a Residential PUD, are those things in Chapter 3 in the Schedule. If you go to Chapter 3, you go to the Section E, which shows the schedule, and you look at the schedule, and you look at the Residential Classifications, it includes Single-Family,., it includes R-1, R-2, R-3. So, under your Ordinance, your PUD Ordinance – Chapter 9, under the Section D, the Residential Standards. If you go to this section, anything within Residential Uses, which includes R-3, is covered by the ordinance, by the PUD Ordinance. So, even though one section of the ordinance references PUD, you know, R-1 and R-2, and not R-3, this takes care of the oversight or problem there. It also takes care of it with respect to the “C” classifications, which you have done also. Because as I pointed out before, the “C” provides no PUD C classifications provide no PUD either in the in the text of Chapter 5 or 6 I guess it is. So I guess the long and the short of it is, you,., I can’t believe that if this was improper, and you’ve done it, I don’t know how many times,., I mean I just found three (3) of them from the last year. You,., you,., those people just can’t just slide under the rug and day “well, sorry,., nobody remonstrated”, you’re telling me from the beginning, tonight,., we,., nobody’s remonstrating against it, but we don’t have the right to do it. Well, if it’s,., if it’s um,., invalid, illegal, then how could these people have gotten away with it as well, and why should they get a pass, when “my guy”, whose been nine (9) times, thousands of dollars,., I know he’s not,., you know uh ,., Schilling, or he’s not the Olthof, he’s not the big guy in Town,., he’s getting). (Mr. Forbes: That has nothing to do with anything, and I think you owe us an apology for that). (Mr. Cervan: I apologize for that, but I’m just saying uh,., that the Ordinance permits what we are attempting to do, just as it has in the past, and I would at least ask the Board to consider the arguments and have Counsel take another look at it in light of what I’ve said. Because I can’t believe that you can just out-right dismiss it in light of your ordinances). (Mr. Forbes: Mr. Muenich?). I’ll agree with him to a certain extent. The problem is the qualifying language under Section D – 1, on Page 4 of Chapter 9 of the Ordinance. “The Land Uses allowed in a Residential PUD shall be those permitted uses for the District listed on the Use Table in Chapter 3, Section E”. Section E, if you look at it, it’s the little table up at the front. The Use Districts that they show, RC-1 and RC-2, are there. They exist. There’s no RC-3. Doesn’t exist. Now, I understand what his argument is about commercial standards, and I haven’t addressed that issue yet. I’ve only looked at the residential issue. I only can tell you, that there is no PUD, and if you look back in Chapter 3,., you have a specific classification for ,., give me one minute ,., Chapter 5, Page 2, nope Page 3 probably,., not that right either,., you have a specific classification called an RC-2 PUD District. It’s at Chapter 5, Page 4. And it gives the purposes and the permitted uses and the administration for that classification. Similarly, you have one for RC-1 that is found at ,., Page 1, with an RC-1 PUD District, Section A, Section B, Section C; now I presume those have been set out for a specific reason that they’re allowed. I have not found anything that makes reference to an RC-3 PUD, it simply doesn’t exist. Now whether that applies to Commercial Standards and Light Industrial Standards, and supplementary regulations, I haven’t addressed yet, because I’ve got to do that visive the Boyer Project, and I’m working on that, getting,., you got that on your agenda for pu,.,., authorization to publish. And I’m gonna have to review that issue. I can only tell you in regards to the residential matter, it doesn’t exist. You can’t make something R-3 that is not there. And R-3 PUD excuse me. It’s not there. (Mr. Forbes: Your recommendation to dismiss the application still stands). Yes sir. Mr. Cervan has his rights, I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t, he can do whatever he thinks he can do. That’s my opinion, and my charge as I understand it, is to give my legal opinions on this document. And my opinion is it doesn’t exist and you can’t approve it. Now, if you want to defer it that’s fine, I have no problem in deferring it ,., [noises from the audience, Mr. Forbes asked them to stop] That’s your decision and within your discretion, and maybe Mr. Cervan can convince me and maybe he can’t, I can’t answer that question at this point without sitting down with him and doing some research. But based upon what I’ve read within the framework of the Ordinance, you can’t create a classification out of whole air. That’s,., you just can’t do it. If,., I would agree with his argument fully, by the way, if there was not a designation of RC-1 and RC-2. But because there is a specificity in those two (2) residential classifications, there isn’t any specificity in the other classifications, but there is a specificity are an RC-1 and an RC-2. So to me, that tells me if RC-3 wasn’t created that it’s not intended. He’s correct, there are no PUD classifications for any of the Commercial, there’s no PUD classifications for any of the Industrial. So that appears to me to be a totally different question, but whoever,., a previous Town Council adopted this ordinance, which made a specific classification for certain Residential, they didn’t do it for Commercial. So there’s a distinct difference. My assumption is, is if you created and RC-1 and an RC-2, if the Town Council was going to create an RC-3, I would have seen it, and I don’t. (Mr. Forbes: That was prior to us getting this opinion. We have never, before tonight, we have never heard this opinion). (Mr. Cervan: I understand that, but ,., but the minutes reflect that every time that it’s application similar to my clients’ come up, legal counsel’s been present).

Mr. Kozel stated the he believes the matter should be deferred, and this way it will give them time to talk, and if it is something that we have to remove, we can do it at the next meeting.

Mr. Muenich (again): That’s your prerogative.

Mr. Kennedy stated that in just approving R-3 PUD(s), we should at least give the attorneys some time to review and get a planning director to figure this out. That’s my concern. We’ve discussed,., (someone asked Mr. Kennedy to turn his microphone on),.,. Mr. Forbes asked if he was leaning towards a deferral. Mr. Kennedy stated that two months ago we approved a R-3 PUD,.,

[Shouting from the audience to speak up – Mr. Forbes banged the gavel to command order]

Mr. Kennedy repeated that since we have previously approved, within two months ago, another PUD 3, and I don’t know how long you have to review this opinion, since it was just today, I think there needs to be more time to confirm that there is no PUD 3. Mr. Kennedy asked if there was no PUD 3?, and this was just determined today?.

Mr. Muenich advised that this has been done over the past seven (7) days. Mr. Kennedy still wanted time to review it then.

Mr. Forbes advised that the previous approvals were based on another opinion, and we now have a new opinion that this is not allowed. Mr. Forbes advised that we seem to be caught in the middle and he knows the Zoning Ordinance, but this interpretation is new to me, again this was just brought to my attention today.

Mr. Eberly commented that for the edification of the Plan Commission and the audience; if you were to make the motion to dismiss this, the Petitioner, or one (1) of the options the Petitioner has is to come back for another Public Hearing. Re-advertise, re-notification with a different plan as well for this same property. So, I just want the public to know that if this is dismissed, it doesn’t mean that there’s not an opportunity for Mr. Barrick to come back with a different plan and another Public Hearing at some point in time.

Mr. Williams asked if he has to come back with a different plan?

Mr. Muenich advised that he would have to come back with a new set of applications, and the plan could be the same. The way it is carved up from zoning districts would be different. The area he has designated as “multi-family”, he would have to be zoned as R-3, straight R-3, and the areas where he has single family he can do an RC-2, which is permissible under the ordinance if he meets the standards of Chapter 9. If he chooses to reapply under a “3”, then by the time he gets to a subdivision plat, he would have to secure variances for those items that do not meet the strict standards of the R-3 classification,., in front of the BZA. So he can still do what he wants to do, he just can’t do it the way he’s trying to zone it is my point.

Mr. Forbes advised that there are two (2) choices for the Plan Commission: We dismiss the application in it’s entirety, or we defer this and allow the attorneys to have more discussion on it. And I don’t know what “that” is going to pan out, but at the end of the day, those are our options.

Mr. Williams asked if either way, isn’t it the same affect?. Mr. Forbes advised that “No, because if we defer, this Public hearing, this plan, all of this would continue at some point.

Mr. Muenich continued that if ultimately if you defer it, you are ultimately gonna have to make the decision that you “can” or “can’t” do it. There’s a predicate to vote to continuing the Public Hearing. You’re either gonna continue with the Public Hearings; determine that you can create an R-3 PUD, continue with the public hearing, or dismiss one of the two, that is gonna be you’re ultimate decision, if you choose to have us discuss it, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that.

Mr. Williams stated that, so defer implies that there is yet to be consensus on the legal definition on R-3 PUD, and dismissal indicates that we have reached a decision, there is no R-3 PUD and they need to re-submit.

Mr. Muenich: That is an accurate statement,., that’s an accurate assessment / analysis of the problem,., (Mr. Williams: So they need to zone to a PUD and bring the BZA with the R-3 pieces). (Mr. Forbes: If he doesn’t comply with the R-3). Mr. Muenich: That is a layman’s analysis of what I am telling you, yes sir.

Mr. Kozel commented that the R-3 would have to be approved also. Mr. Muenich advised that the R-3 would have to be approved too.

Mr. Williams asked: Then the variances from the R-3 Ordinance, would have,.,

(Mr. Cervan: Under you interpretation, Mike’s, or Mr. Muenich’s, the,., they would have to go for a variance on the R-3, and we come to you for the zoning, and we would need the variance from the BZA for the R-3).

Mr. Rettig advised that they came to the Plan Commission requesting variances for the same projects, a couple of years ago.

Mr. Williams stated that he wants to establish new information tonight. Mr. Forbes commented that they are starting fresh here Doug (Rettig). Mr. Williams stated that we just want to remind you that we were here and tried the variance process.

(Mr. Forbes: Constantly reminding us of what has been done historically, is not helping the situation).

Mr. Rettig stated that all he is saying that they have tried the variance process, and we were told to bring it back as a PUD. I just want to remind you.

Mr. Williams stated that this is new information, and it is as painful a process, as it is for you. Mr. Forbes agreed to that statement.

Mr. Forbes at this time stated to the Plan Commission that you have been made aware of the information and he will entertain a motion.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to defer the agenda item of Three Springs – Unit 3, for one (1), and let the attorneys talk, so that we have a better understanding as to what has happened here tonight. Mr. Forbes called for a second on the motion, calling twice. Hearing none, motion fails.

Mr. Williams made a motion to dismiss the agenda Item of Three Springs – Unit 3, based on the advice of Attorney Muenich. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. 6 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes announced that therefore there will be no Three Springs – Unit 3 Public Hearing this evening.

B. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT THREE - Public Hearing for Rezone from R-1 to R-2 PUD (Mr. Mike Graniczy and Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden – Unit Three.

Statement from Board Attorney Michael Muenich:

Mr. President, my duty again. (Mr. Forbes: Yes sir). This is an application No. RC-2 PUD, which is an approved classification, and which you can do. The difficulty is, is that the applicant is not yet complied with the provisions of Chapter 9 (D), which is the one that requires elements “A” through “L”; I think it’s D-1 if my memory is right. It is Chapter 9, Page 2, B.2, which starts with “A” and runs through “L”, and gives a lengthy list of elements that have to be submitted with the application. Under B-6, there are special “findings” that have to be made for a PUD application, over and above what the normal findings are that you routinely due with every other matter that you do. Under D-1, which has certain Bulk requirements; which I am advised that needs,., I have talked with Mr. Eberly about that. Then under G-4, there requires a contract between the Town and the PUD,., excuse me, “and” the Developer, that has to be approved at the time, and we obviously have,., or we do not have that document. Um,., there are a host of items that have to be met, I presume Mr. Rettig can meet those,., maybe I shouldn’t be presuming. I presume he can meet those in time, but this matter can be deferred and salvaged, unlike the other classification, because this classification does exist. It’s just that the application as it’s been submitted, and has been brought before you, has items that are missing from it. So it can be deferred if you choose to do so, so that the application can be brought into compliance.

Mr. Forbes asked the Petitioner if he has been informed about this. Mr. Doug Rettig advised that he was informed of this today. Mr. Forbes further asked Mr. Rettig if he can accomplish this within thirty (30) days. Mr. Rettig advised that the could.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that in this case, the deferral of the Public Hearing until they are in compliance with the application.

(Mr. Muenich continued): As it stands right now, you couldn’t prove it. I,., you don’t,., those conditions haven’t been met, especially the conditions for the Developmental Contract and the other items that are contained within Chapter 9,., um,., so under this, those deficiencies can be cured. And, if he can do ‘em in thirty days, I have absolutely no problem with that. That’s an allowable procedure, its within the framework of the ordinance. (Mr. Forbes: Your recommendation is to just defer it for now?, Not even,., not nothing). Well, the problem is you can’t have a valid remonstrance unless,., unless these elements are present for public discussion, I don’t know how you’re going to discuss ‘em. (Mr. Kennedy: Does there need to be a re-advertisement for Public hearing). No ,., no. (Mr. Eberly: This would go to your April Study Session for further discussion, and then to your May 3rd meeting for continued, uh,., or to open the Public Hearing, I guess). By way of analogy Mr. Kennedy, if somebody submitted a subdivision application with a hundred lots in it, and two of ‘em didn’t meet the hundred foot width requirement; you could modify that during the course of the process so that it conformed at the end of the process. (Mr. Williams: Attorney Muenich, can I,., can we walk through one example where um,., I’m just reading through these six myself here, um,., I’m struggling to understand,.,). B.6 is the “findings”. (Mr. Williams: Yeah,., yeah I just need to kinda walk through one concrete example of where we are not kinda meeting the Town Code here). Lot at,., instead of doing that,., Mr. Williams, if you go back to Page 2,., it actually starts on Page 1, there is a B-2 PU Development Plan, that says shall include the following information. And then on the next page it starts with “A” through “L”. Those are the items that have to come in with the application. I know he has a survey. Uh,., I presume he has the Site Plan, um,., floor plans, etcetera,., landscaping plans, construction sequence, site grading,., I don’t know,., Doug do you have site grading on yet? (Mr. Rettig: Not yet). Um,., exterior elevations, renderings, signage is uh,., no big deal, a lighting plan, a list of covenants. You simply don’t have those, and there is no way for you to review them and approve something that is not in existence. (Mr. Williams: Yes,., I was scanning through it and struggling to find the exact examples, but thank you for that). (Mr. Eberly: Is it appropriate Mr. Muenich then, to announce at this point that the Petitioner has met all the advertising,.,). Oh yes, he’s met the advertising requirement, we don’t have a problem with that, he has a barefaced application. He just hasn’t got the final elements to the application. I am not proposing that he re-advertise, re-notice,., that’s in place. Uh, what he needs to do is meet the requirements of Chapter 9. (Mr. Eberly: But the Plan Commission needs to know that he did properly advertise and provide notice in order to even defer this). Mr. Eberly and I had the discussion about this. In the future, I can pretty well assure you, it’s not gonna happen again, because he’s not gonna take an application that doesn’t have these elements. I’m not trying to punish anybody here today. I’m just trying to bring everybody in compliance. I’m assured by Mr. Eberly when the next person walks in with an application for something, if it isn’t in here, it isn’t making it to this Board. (Mr. Rettig: Can I ask a quick question. This has come up on every PUD we’ve ever done. Especially these residential ones. They ask for in Section B.2, Floor Plans, Sections and Heights for buildings to be constructed in a current phase. We don’t know what we’re building on each lot. These are unique single-family homes). That is an inherent problem with the ordinance the way its,., (Mr. Rettig: Exactly. That’s fine for apartment buildings, where you know what you are building up front. You’re basically asking us to do “full engineering” for the subdivision, before we can even get our zone change). (Mr. Williams: Are all of the homes going to be custom blueprint?).

(Mr. Rettig: Yes. That’s why it makes it tricky to follow, to the letter,.,). I haven’t dug into this yet, because this just, to me has popped up over the past seven (7) days. My initial thought is, through the covenants that are required under “L”, that they specify minimum square footage. That they specify exterior materials. That they specify the number of stories. That you can go through a whole host of items through the “restrictive covenants”, that limit what the structures are going to look like from an appeals standpoint, but yet not hinder the custom developer from changing the floorplan around. That’s the only thing, to me, that becomes a problem. I think. I gotta think on it a little more, but that’s the way I initially thought it could be addressed. I have seen,., and I agree with Mr. Rettig, this Ordinance is directed more to somebody more like Poulte Homes, that buys eighty acres, has four (4) models,., “A”, “B” and “C”, and it’s any color you want as long as it’s got, you know,., as long it’s black, to duplicate Henry Ford. This is not conducive, and it’s a real problem for residential PUD’s. I’m not gonna say it’s not. I think there’s ways that we can address it with restrictions through the restrictive covenants. (Mr. Williams: Interested in hearing your final opinion on that when you reach it. So, unless anybody has anything to add, with extensive and excessive apologies to everybody gathered here, I would like to recommend,., make a motion to defer uh,., the recommendation of Rose Garden – Unit 3, uh,., to zoning change from R-1 to R-2 PUD).

Mr. Forbes advised that that there is a motion by Mr. Williams, and asked if there is a second. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

OLD / NEW BUSINESS:

A. SHOPS 96 BOYER DEVELOPMENT – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing on Rezone from C-2 U.S. 41 Overlay District to Commercial PUD (Mr. Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised that under New Business we have Shops 96 – Boyer Development Project, permission to advertise for Public Hearing to rezone property in the 9600 block of U.S. 41, from C-2 U.S. 41 Overlay District to Commercial PUD. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Muenich if he is going to have to change this language or are we okay with this.

Mr. Muenich advised that he does not have a current problem with that, I’m still reviewing what Mr. Cervan brought up about these classifications, and I think this is okay. What I am doing, as I discussed with you before the meeting. With your permission, I am going to go through these Sections of the Ordinance and create with Mr. Eberly an outline of the various elements, so that when we get to the Public Hearing, we know that all the sections of the ordinance have been complied with, and I want to give that notices out within the next seven (7) days, so that we all; Plan Commission, Town Council, Mr. Rettig, Mr. Boyer know what we’re dealing with, and what has to be met. And if it’s not been met, we’re not getting’ there that night. And my preference is, is that this be submitted, processed cleanly on one night, through one public hearing, and then we move on.

Mr. Williams asked if it would be his recommendation for Mr. Boyer to not take out the advertisement until you have reached that opinion. Mr. Muenich advised that he does not have to advertise until ten (10) days prior to the Public Hearing, and I did tell Mr. Boyer today that he was going to have to meet these requirements. I am going to give him enough,., by Monday or Tuesday, hopefully not later, I am going to give that outline to everybody as to what I think has to be done to make this thing work. And, my opinion on the Commercial PUD.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Eberly if they were talking about extending the number of days. Mr. Muenich interjected for our revised rules, yes. To Mr. Williams question, Mr. Eberly advised that was at the BZA level and we’re not there yet.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that simply a motion to authorize a Public hearing. Mr. Muenich “interjected” that “keeping in mind, they he may not elect not to advertise for the May whatever,., I mean once you given permission to advertise, he doesn’t have to advertise for the next meeting. He can advertise for a June meeting if he chooses to do so. That’s gonna be his decision, but I want to make sure that when he does place the advertisement, that we have all the ducks lined up and we’re ready to go, subject to what you review and your ultimate decisions on approval or disapproval. Mr. Kennedy inquired if the recommendation be on some contingent review of the ordinance, that it meets,. Mr. Muenich advised that he does not have a problem with that, I am not sure I can render that opinion by Monday or Tuesday,., I can give you the outline of what I think has to be done to qualify as a PUD. I’m fairly comfortable, because the way the Ordinance is structured, and I know it sound duplicitous, but I don’t have any other choice. I can have the opinion on the Commercial PUD ready to go by the night of the “work study session”. I can have the outline of the other items ready to go by Monday or Tuesday. If you choose to make it contingent upon that, I don’t have a problem with that.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would prefer that we “not” put a contingency on it, because it is pretty obvious that Mr. Muenich is paying very close attention to this now. And the application, when it does come in, when it comes to us, at the next public hearing, we will be in order. And we will just have to rely on the legal services for that. So, again I don’t want to place contingencies on things unless we absolutely have to.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he had this conversation with Mr. Muenich today. Mr. Boyer advised that they have, and he is correct that we would like to continue to ask permission, request permission to advertise and appear at a future Plan Commission meeting for the Public Hearing on the Shops 96 Commercial Development, as a Commercial PUD. Mr. Boyer continued that they understand that there has been some questions that have been raised, and we believe that by the next Study Session, which we intend to present our entire package, the PUD package, that we will have those items worked out. Frankly if we’re not, if we’re not there, then we won’t advertise and we’ll wait for the next meeting.

Mr. Muenich stated that can be worked best at your work study session, everybody,., he can either say he is ready to advertise or I’m not, and you can either agree with him or not.

Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Muenich that authorization for a Public Hearing has to be given in a Regular Meeting, you cannot do it at a study session. Mr. Muenich agreed, that you can not do it in a study session.

Mr. Forbes stated that he is comfortable with getting and moving forward with the portion of it. Mr. Boyer stated that we might be defining when we are going to. Mr. Forbes advised that has occurred before, where we have experienced that. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions from the board members.

Mr. Forbes then entertained a motion to Authorize Public Hearing for the Boyer Project on U.S. 41. Mr. Kozel made the motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing to rezone the property at 9600 block of U.S. 41 from C-2 to Commercial PUD. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy.

Motion carried by 5 ayes – 1 abstention (Mr. Williams).

B. PROVIDENCE BANK – Request for Reduction of Letter of Credit
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Providence Bank for a request for a reduction of their Letter of Credit.

Mr. Forbes called upon Town Engineer Kenn Kraus. Mr. Kraus advised that Providence Bank has asked for a reduction in their Letter of Credit. They were hoping to have this done before winter hit, they really only have to put in the asphalt for the “right turn” lane. And because they were not able to get that done by the time that the asphalt plants closed, they have to keep up with soil-erosion control practices and they haven’t submitted an as-built drawing yet. So, it is a significant reduction as the current letter of credit is in the amount of $171,302.45; and the new value would be $30,212.60 to cover the remaining items I just mentioned.

Mr. Williams asked what the original amount was supposed to cover. Mr. Kraus advised that was to cover all the public improvements that they have on the project, so that would include turn lanes, the culverts under Calumet Avenue, sidewalks, detention, and the whole gambit of public improvements. Mr. Williams asked if some of those have been satisfied. Mr. Kraus advised that all have been satisfied, except for the asphalt on the “right turn lane”.

Mr. Forbes advised that this would be a recommendation to the Town Council for the reduction of the Letter of Credit and asked the board members for a motion.

Mr. Kennedy made the motion to give a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for Providence Bank reduction of letter of credit to the amount of $30,212.60. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 4 B – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Re-Platting of Unit 4 B.
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Gates of St. John – Unit 4 B, permission to advertise for public hearing for the replatting of the Unit 4 B.

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies introduced himself to the board members, and advised he is here tonight to request permission to advertise for a public hearing for the re-platting of Unit 4 B in the Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes reminded the board members that this was discussed at the last Study Session and we will have the opportunity to discuss it again at a study session on April 19th, and asked if there were any objections to authorizing the public hearing on this matter.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing for the Gates of St. John – Unit 4B. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 1 abstention (Mr. Williams).

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 L – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Re-Platting of Unit 10 L.
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Gates of St. John – Unit 10 L, permission to advertise for public hearing for the replatting of the Unit 10 L.

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies again advised he is here tonight to request permission to advertise for a public hearing for the re-platting of Unit 10 L in the Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes stated again, we have had discussion at the last Study Session and we will have the opportunity to discuss it again at our next study session, and entertained a motion to authorize a public hearing.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing for the Gates of St. John – Unit 10 L. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 1 abstention (Mr. Williams).

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised that he would be opening the floor to public comment, and reminded those wishing to speak to please come up to the podium and state your name and address for the record.

Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I would like to ask you guys to just stop approving PUD’s. Uh,., we don’t need to continue to, um,., have developers putting lots on small homes, small lots sizes, small homes, uh,., which is pretty much is what PUD’s allow for. You guys can control this. We need to stop allowing, uh,., builders on entire developments to build smaller than what our code is. The code is not a guideline; it’s a minimum standard for what building should be in this town. And my ,., and I challenged at the last council meeting, um ,., the Councilmen to come to this meeting to see what kind of stuff was being presented, but um,., they uh,., evidently don’t care. Don’t care what I say. They already know what I’m gonna say,., as was commented earlier. Um,., but,., um,., the developer in Three Springs putting cottage homes on lake front, um,., just not a good idea, but it’s not as bad as in Gates 10 L, uh,., where their gonna propose single family cottage homes on 57 by 140 foot lots. Or in Gates Addition 4B, where they’re looking at 52 by 130 foot lots. This is commin’ to you guys for approval down the line. And its gonna come to you for a study session, and I’m gonna ask you guys, please make them stay within the guidelines of the ordinances. Row houses might be cute in some areas of the country, but not for St. John. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): We’ve been coming to these meetings for a long time and what we heard tonight from Mr. Muenich is that previous subdivisions didn’t comply with what his interpretation of the ordinance was. And as I look at who the members of this Plan Commission are,., you see Mr. Forbes, Mr. Volk who is not here,., and we see all the duplexes goin’ in, all the way the re-zoning is going. It confirms in my mind that this Plan Commission under the leadership of Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk, don’t know what they’re doing. We would now,., we allowed all these people here that came for a public hearing, that was snubbed tonight,., because of the issue of whether the thing was complied with, with the ordinance. To me that shows gross,., incompetence in my opinion. For those reasons, I’d like Mr. Forbes to resign as Town Council member and as a member of this Plan Commission. We cannot have a Plan Commission that does not know how interpret its own ordinance. And him as a member of the Town Council, who makes the ordinances, all we’ve seen tonight is snubbing of public comments, ., of people came here to remonstrate at a public hearing, and you shut that down. And because you don’t know what your ordinance reads, because of all the confusion and the things that have had in the past, I would like Mr. Forbes to resign. Thank you.

Mary Theree Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): I’m confused why we’re taking more on when my subdivision still hasn’t been paved. Been waiting now. Haven’t got the final grade. It looks like its gonna splinter, and we have the busses going up and down, all day. So, I think we need to take care of what we have, before we take on any more. Thank you gentlemen.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): And I would like to say just a few things very quickly. Number one, I would like to echo a little bit of what Mr. Hero said, and that is that if the lawyer was here earlier, has any merit to what he said, and he’s asking basically how did this slide under the fence for other people. How did it slide under the fence? (Mr. Forbes: Nothing slid under the fence). Nothing slid under the fence? So then you’re calling him a liar. (Mr. Forbes: No, I didn’t say that. You are as aware as I am of the “new” interpretation). Yeah,., yes. But I would have to agree with Mr. Hero that I believe that, um,., what we have here is,., is incompetence. And that’s what I would have to say. And the other thing I would have to say is, I’ve been here a long, long time, I think most people know that. And I see this Town be evolving. And what I mean when I say that it is very simple. I see smaller lots. I see less protection for people who are living here currently, to keep the property values up. And I see building without the responsibility of aiding anything to the infrastructure. And I’d like to know, what makes all this business so important to you guys. We do not have to be a town of 30,000 in ten years. I think this all needs to be backed up a bit and taken a better look at. And that’s my opinion. And I would say the same thing about the spot,., the stoplight at 96th. All that does is makes the owner of that property’s property worth more. When we been,., trying to get a stops,., stoplight at Joliet Street for twenty years, and I know what you’re gonna tell me, it hasn’t been okayed, by the uh,., by the State. But you have made no effort to get it okayed by the State. In fact I believe you probably encouraged them not to,., not to uh,., give their blessing to it. I’m done. That’s all I have to say.

Oscar Vera (9475 Highland Court): I’m new to St. John, we have only been here a little over a year. Our builder was Sublime Homes, he built us a very nice home, very good quality. While we wish his company to do well and great. But we have concern over their changing of the zoning behind our lot. Our little house backs up to the lots that they’re going to be reduced in size by,., to 150 over 95 I think it is. I think that is what they are asking you for. Back there is wetlands and there’s many trees. Many infrastructure and wildlife. We moved here. We had the choice to move into Dyer, or Munster,., closer to our family. We chose St. John because of it’s openness, wilderness and the size of the lots. I keep hearing from everywhere,., I’ve seen,., and I think I’m representing everybody from the Willow Ridge “current phases”. We’ve had a big e-mail chain going around for the last two weeks. Nobody is happy about this. The houses,., those houses, if they’re allowed, their houses are gonna be backed up right up against our back yard, because of the size of the lot. Especially if their gonna be anywhere close to 3,000 square foot size house. Their patio is gonna be right against our back,., it’s gonna be right against the thirty foot easement or whatever. We’re basically gonna be living together, and even if it’s not a row house, it’s gonna be like a row house, cause we’re gonna be so close together. Um,., I um, what,., I wish the board to preserve the integrity of the Town, the openness, the wildlife, also the ,., our subdivision right now is not connected to the main roads. It’s not a connected throughway. The plans I’ve seen recently, they do not have a straight line to the 93rd, but they do have a jog into the old subdivision into 93rd. So you move over one block. So this opens us up for a throughway as well. Um,., there are a lot of other things, as far as, drainage,., there are drainage problems. And if you’re gonna use the current wetlands, and join in there, it’s gonna destroy any wildlife that’s there, with all the run-off from the new subdivision, grass, fertilizations and all kinds of other things. Um,., I um,., I wish his company well, we respect him, he’s great, but we just,., this size reduction and change of zone is not good for St. John or Willow Ridge. And I think I represent a lot of the folks in Willow Ridge and that’s all I wanted to say to you folks. Please take that into consideration.

Kathryn Wilson (9621 East Oakridge Drive): Fortunately my neighborhood isn’t one of those that’s being affected by all the new construction and developing that’s going on. I’m in one of the older areas, Homestead. And,.,uh,., but I can see. I started coming to these meetings, less than a year ago. And mostly my interest was seeing what was going on in the town. And I’m hearing all these people where their concerns about the number of variances that are constantly going through. You’re changing zoning for,., developments that have been in process for some time, and I don’t know if you’re trying to finish up what land is left. What the reasons are for it. But I can understand the concern for reducing the lot sizes, changing them to multiple family units. But we need to consider the increase in the number of residents, and the effects that has on the current residents. You know, theres,., this last gentleman mentioned the water drainage. There’s the schools, you know, I mean traffic. There’s just so many things. You know, I,., I um,., I made a comment here that maybe if the developers would put some,, give something back to the community in the way of a park or a nature bike-walk, something along that way. But, basically we need to look at the traffic. (humpf) Do we really need all these new homes? I’m just kinda curious, I mean I know development is good and it’s a fact of life. But what is the turnover rate on older homes, are there very many on the market? Are they being sold or is it just new construction that’s being sold? How many of the homes in this development aren’t even ready for sale, they’re just in various stages of development. . (humpf) I’m not in a neighborhood that’s affected. I’m not even a St. John native. And I know a lot of people here, you know, comment how long they’ve been in the town and that’s one reason why they don’t like the changes. I’m one of those Illinois people. (Mr. Forbes: You are going to have to wrap it up, you have about 15 seconds left). Oh, I’m a just a little over that, but why he looked in this area, he liked the quality of the schools. They’re ratings have dropped. You’ve looked at the value of the house and taxes, a big yard for his family. In the Comprehensive Plan, you., (Mr. Forbes: Ma’am, I’m very sorry, I’m going to have to cut you off, I’m,.,). Can I make one more comment?, About cottage homes?, And age-restricted? I come from Plainfield, and I lived in a senior age-restricted community. It was in Plainfield. And we had trouble when we went,., oh, I shouldn’t say trouble,,., there was a lot of work getting the home, because the value of the homes in Plainfield were reducing so drastically in value because of all of the defaults and foreclosures, we don’t want to see that happening here, you know,., if you get too many people coming in and they,., now this isn’t what I want, and they move out. (Mr. Forbes: Thank you ma’am). I do thank you for your time.

Chrystal Vera (9475 Highland Court): I’m a Chicago, Illinois transplant, new to St. John area, but I grew up in Porter County in Chesterton. Um, and so my request woule be that, I understand that the previous application was incomplete, so this,., that issue for Rose Gardens will be revisited, the re-zoning. Um,., I’m requesting that there should be some announcement made for the residents. I know that you said that it does not need to be made again, that the builder has fulfilled his obligation, but I think the Town Council needs to fulfill their obligation to the residents since they accepted an application that was incomplete. To notify us of the next meeting so all of us can make the effort to attend.

Mr. Forbes advised that if it is scheduled now to be on the next meeting. Mr. Eberly advised that May 3rd is the continued Public hearing, and you will also see them on April 19th at a Study Session, I would anticipate. So, two weeks from tonight, and then four weeks from tonight.

Mr. Forbes commented: If they can meet all their requirements, they will be here May 3rd to have the Public hearing.

Chrystal Vera (continued): Thank you very much. And may I also say I just I think you guys have a great job ahead of you in terms of balancing growth, as well as preserving the small town feel. And that is a delicate job, but I do implore you to look at not just new development, but like everyone has said about preserving the yard space, lot space, community, the small town feel, as well as, allowing for growth in terms of getting revenue for us to continue to maintain our school systems. So I implore you to kind of, and I know you’re going to, to look at the entire picture, and not just look at it as just purely a re-zoning, but how that affects everything in the future in terms of education and what-not. Thank you.

Timothy Bushay (9505 Highland Court): Um, my comment turn also reference also to be for the Rose Garden Unit 3. Um,., we also lived here about three years in this town. And the reason that we purchased the house was because of the larger size lots, and um,., one of our biggest things is we wanted privacy, and obviously the privacy now will go away because we’ll have homes behind us and again that was the reason we purchased that home cause we could’ve also purchased on the lake, across the street. But we wanted complete privacy, which there are woods and trees and things like that, so, we also would like to see St. John stay with the integrity of the R-1 zoning. And uh,., you know, that’s why we moved here, I think that’s why a lot of people moved here, and uh,., I’m with the first guy that spoke, I don’t remember his name, but,., you know,., the zoning,., the variances have to stop, I mean in order to,., to have the larger lots and,., and you know,., to stay with the St. John them as far as, you know,.,having the bigger lots and uh,., having the privacy, and uh,.,you know, I urge you guys to uh,., not, not let them do the variances and uh,., I know they’re building quality homes, I get that. We don’t have a problem with that, but also if the lots are shortened from 150 to 200 feet deep, how much of a quality home you gonna build on a 95 foot wide lot and 150 foot deep. So, huh,., I don’t agree with it, I think that uh,., you know, that St. John should,., should stick with ,., and I believe it was recommended by them at one of their meetings, that they do stay with those,., you know, those 100 by 200 lots, and uh,., but uh,., that’s it. Thank you.

Dave Barrick (434 Brighton Woods, Dyer, Indiana): You are the only person on this whole board up here that was here from day one, when we started building and developing in this town. Which was approximately, I think twelve years ago. You are the only one. Everyone else has been changed, come and go. And I resent the comment made by Joe Hero, saying that you should resign. You changed a lot of things. You stopped us from doing some of our plans, you made us change our plans. You did your job that you were hired to do. Now you’re the President, you even stayed long enough to become the President. So I really resent, him getting up here, making a comment, and people are applauding, when you are like one of the original founding fathers’ here. I here to testify that (commotion in the audience, Mr. Forbes banged the gavel to bring order).

Oh, here it is, this was what I’m talking about. You changed my plans many times. You had the first phase, the second phase, much bigger than this third phase, and you were the one that was instrumental in changing the plans. And maybe cutting the density down. Which I’m sure you did. So, I have to sit here and I have to listen this and this applauding that’s going on, it infuriates me. So that is my comment. My question is, in light of what my attorney aired here tonight, and you’re attorney is here listening to, and I think he was sort of open to my attorney communicating with him, and maybe get to the bottom of that ordinance for the confusion. I think we should at least spend, granted a chance for my attorney to discuss it with him, and then it’s tabled for another thirty days, to clear that ordinance up. Because I thought my attorney brought up some very valid points, that you guys were within your rights. You were within the ordinance to make the decisions, in the past that you made. My questions is, why didn’t you defer us? Why did you just cut us off?, why do you think that we got deferred, why didn’t you give us a chance, considering how much time and money I’ve put into this. And I did have an attorney that did a lot of research, so, why couldn’t we at least have a chance for my attorney to discuss it with your attorney,., you got two, I have one. And then maybe come to some common ground on that ordinance. Because obviously there is some difficulty in that ordinance. But it is the same ordinance that I faced twelve years ago, for my other two phases. That’s my question, why couldn’t we have a chance to talk about it. (Mr. Forbes: I need to let you have your comment time, and I will answer your question, if there is anything else you want answered, you have about twenty seconds to talk). I got a lot, but I need more than twenty seconds. I guess I’m done.

Mr. Forbes stated that the only thing that he will say is that I do appreciate the argument that you’re attorney brought up. Your attorney is fighting for you. I personally, I have to rely on our attorney, his interpretation and the direction that he gives us. That is why I personally voted to dismiss the application. I have to rely on our attorney.

Mr. Williams wanted to add that it is functionally it is a bit of a technicality, because we are not cutting off the project. We didn’t decline it. We just dismissed the current application that needs to be resubmitted in a different form to different bodies. Mr. Barrick stated that he is going to have to do the public hearing and everything over again.

Mr. Forbes stated that he is sorry, however, we cannot get into a discussion here. I would suggest that your attorney contact our attorney, have some kind of a conversation, come back to the Study Session and we will figure out, if or how this project moves forward.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any more Public Comment. Hearing none Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn.

ADOURNMENT:

Mr. Williams made a motion to adjourn. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

04-19-2017 Plan Commission

April 19, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
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 April 19, 2017 at 7:03 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gill, Bob Birlson, Steven Kozel, Mike Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jason Williams, and John Kennedy. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent: David Austgen, Town Attorney, and Michael Muenich, Board Attorney.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. GREYSTONE – UNIT 1 BLOCK 2 – Secondary Plat Action
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Greystone Unit 1, Block 2. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval

Mr. Jack Slager, CWS Holdings, Developer for Greystone, stated that they would be seeking Secondary Plat approval for Unit 1, Block 2 of Greystone, which is east of Calumet Avenue and contains duplexes, cottage homes, and single-family lots. They received primary approval of Unit 1 in April of 2016; Unit 1 Block 1 received Final Plat approval in August of 2016; and they are now seeking Final Plat approval for Block 2 of Unit 1.

Mr. Slager advised that the infrastructure was installed over the winter, and they are in the process of installing the streets now. They would like to come back in two weeks for Final Plat approval.

Mr. Williams asked if this was a Planned Unit Development. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative. Mr. Williams stated that they would like to have ordered lists for PUDs on how each item varies from the ordinances.

Mr. Forbes advised that the board would request those for new PUDs; this is Secondary Plat and is administerial.

Mr. Slager stated that it is good information to know for the future.

Mr. Forbes explained that Secondary Plat approval is done after infrastructure is installed where the Town Engineer and Building Commissioner review everything and say everything is ready to go per the plan that was already approved during Primary Plat approval so they can go out and start building the actual units.

Mr. Williams stated that he would like to circle back as they get older PUDs to have a list for his reference.

Mr. Birlson asked if Block 2 completes the PUD on the east side and if there is any additional property. Mr. Slager responded that this will complete the northern half of the east side, which is the multifamily portion; and there is a substantial section south of this section that are single-family lots, which will have multiple final plat segments that will be addressed individually. Mr. Slager stated that there are about 80 single-family lots that will be done, approximately 25 to 30 lots at a time.

Mr. Gill asked if Lot 93 is a single-family lot. Mr. Slager responded that it would be a single cottage home, so essentially it is a single-family lot.

B. MIKE GELATKA – Continued discussion of AUTO CONDO development proposal
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is the Auto Condo proposal from Mike Gelatka for the property that is just north of Aspen Café.

Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Gelatka was not present.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had driven out to Iron Gates and viewed the establishment and that he has brought back some brochures if anyone wanted to look at them. He was able to go into some of the condo units, drive around, and see everything. It is very interesting and popular. They are building more units because they are filling up so quickly.

Mr. Forbes further stated that there are currently six buildings with ten units in each building. They are building two new buildings at this time, and there is room for four more buildings. They are also building a retail center out in front of it. When he visited, it was very busy with approximately 20 to 25 units open. The people were in their condos or areas. The impact to the area was low even though the car condo was busy.

Mr. Forbes noted that they do have a car show once a month; and on that day, it is crazy. The car show is very popular. Mr. Forbes equated it to Crown Point where they will close down the square for their car show. They would not tell him what the units cost. There is a condo association agreement.

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Gelatka had been in a few years earlier to propose a walkable retail center in the same area, which the Plan Commission liked; however, he couldn’t get a light there, so it went by the wayside.

Mr. Williams stated that he had missed the meeting where this was proposed and asked what the purpose of the facility is and if it is a private club. Mr. Forbes responded that it has a club feel to it. Each garage is a separate condo.

Mr. Williams asked if this is for car enthusiasts who don’t want to keep their collectable cars at home in their own garage. Mr. Forbes responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes stated that when he was there, he got the feeling that it was a community. He further stated that he was invited into several of the car condos and was amazed at what he saw while he was there.

Mr. Forbes stated that the impact something like this could have on the community could be beneficial.

Mr. Kennedy likened it to having a boat in a marina, except it is cars in a garage.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Forbes if anyone was working on vehicles or had them up on a lift while he was there. Mr. Forbes confirmed the same and stated that they are allowed to work on their own cars, but a business can’t be run out of the car condo.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to see what Mr. Gelatka comes up with.

Mr. Birlson asked if Iron Gate is in a light industrial area. Mr. Forbes responded that it is in a heavy corporate area with a lot of glass and metal buildings. It is a tough area to compare to anywhere because of the amount of corporate space.

Mr. Forbes advised that Naperville imposed a number of restrictions. If there is an interest in proceeding, Mr. Forbes will email the minutes from the meetings where Iron Gates presented to Naperville.

Mr. Williams stated that he is not opposed to hearing more. Other members concurred. Mr. Forbes stated that he would pass on the information.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 11B – Secondary Plat Action
Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is the Gates of St. John Unit 11B; this is Meadow Gates – Unit 11.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall, Olthof Homes, stated that he is here for the continuation of Gates Units 11 and 12. It is actually Unit 11B, which is the southeast corner of Pod 11. They are proposing 17 single-family homes, and they are here seeking Secondary Plat approval. Mr. Recktenwall advised that the utilities were installed over the winter and that they are working on the roads now.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any modifications from the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Recktenwall confirmed there were no modifications.

Mr. Williams asked where Olthof has existing homes in the area. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they have homes just to the north of location in Unit 11A. Mr. Recktenwall noted that this is the northeast corner of The Gates.

Mr. Williams asked what models will be built. Mr. Recktenwall responded that it is their Signature Series.

Mr. Eberly asked if all the improvements are in or if they will be doing a Letter of Credit. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they would be doing a Letter of Credit for the roadwork; the utilities are in the ground, inspected, and approved already.

Mr. Kraus advised that he will need an engineer’s estimate of cost prior to the meeting to finish the infrastructure for base, curbs, and asphalt; and the soil erosion control and As-Built drawings should be included. Mr. Recktenwall agreed to send those items to Mr. Kraus.

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 4 B – Discussion of May 3rd Public Hearing
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 4B. The petitioner is here for discussion regarding the replatting of this unit, which is scheduled for Public Hearing at the May 3, 2017 meeting.

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies, representing John Lotton, introduced himself to the board and stated that Unit 4B is a continuation in Pod 4. They are extending to the north, tying into 105th; extending south; and tying into the detention pond area and a portion of Cline Avenue. Mr. Strickland advised that this is all consistent with what was done in Unit 4A.

Mr. Strickland directed the board’s attention to the north half of the unit and noted that there are parcels on both sides of Juniper and three parcels down below that.

Mr. Eberly asked what the purpose of needing to re-plat 4B was. Mr. Strickland responded that there was a slight change to the lot lines; however, all the engineering and grading are the same. Mr. Strickland commented that the product will be consistent the zoning and ordinance agreement that was reached in 2005-2006.

Mr. Eberly advised that it would not need to be replatted with the slight modifications as minor changes to a Primary Plat are allowed for a Secondary Plat; however, Mr. Kraus would need an opportunity to review the changes.

Mr. Lotton stated that the Primary Plat is required. The three lots on the right-hand side are located where it was previously all pond in there. It is all zoned R-3. Since it was re-engineered and some water was moved around, they don’t need as much detention in there, so the detention was moved elsewhere and three lots were added.

Mr. Eberly advised that since they are gaining three lots, they would need a Public Hearing for Primary Plat.

Mr. Kennedy asked where the three new lots are. Mr. Lotton indicated where the lots were on the viewing screen in the room. Mr. Kennedy asked the size of the lots. Mr. Lotton responded that they are 65 by 125 and 79 by 125 feet.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Strickland if the lots at the bottom where on the original drawing. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative and stated that the lot lines were shifted a little bit to fit the product of the builder that is intending to build there. Mr. Lotton explained that an additional 5 feet were added to the depth of each lot, which is now 130 feet in depth.

Mr. Eberly noted that they were given permission to advertise for Public Hearing two weeks ago.

E. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10L – Discussion of May 3rd Public Hearing
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Gates of St. John – Unit 10L, which is scheduled for a Public Hearing on May 3, 2017.

Mr. Strickland stated that this unit is of single-family lots, running east and west, just south of Unit 10.

Mr. Strickland advised this is a re-plat of the Primary Plat. They reshaped the lots to meet the product for the builder building in that area; as a result, they have gained a few lots, which is the reason for the re-plat at this time.

Mr. Eberly advised the board that it would remain a single-family product, gaining about seven units. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Kil and he met with John Lotton to make sure that we were not getting near that 1,450 maximum unit count for the Gates of St. John, per the annexation agreement. Mr. Lotton stated that he felt that, overall, they would only be about 1,430.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the development just to the north has single-family units. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative. Mr. Lotton stated that they are R-2 PUD single-family units. Mr. Kennedy asked if the lots to the south of that are the duplexes. Mr. Lotton confirmed the same.

Mr. Lotton stated that Mr. Kil recommend that the lots be changed from 57 feet wide to 61.5 feet wide. They originally had 20 units there, and now they have 27 single-family, all brick units starting in the $330,000 range.

Mr. Kennedy asked what size the side lots are. Mr. Lotton responded they are 7 feet wide as it is going to be age-restricted community and fits the product better.

Mr. Kennedy asked for the average size of the homes. Mr. Lotton replied that the units would be around 2000 square feet, with a full basement, and some will have fully finished basements.

F. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Newly Annexed Property – Discussion of Request for Permission to Advertise for Rezone
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Lantz Development for potential re-zoning of land from R-1 to R-2 PUD on the west side of Cline Avenue and north of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Doug Rettig, DVG Team, representing Lantz Development, advised that John Lantz and Brian Lantz are here tonight with him to discuss this project. Mr. Rettig advised that this property was recently annexed into the Town as R-1; and they are proposing to rezone the property and would like to appear for permission to advertise.

Mr. Rettig stated they would like to go with an R-2, which has a minimum lot size of 100 by 150; and every lot meets that requirement.

Mr. Rettig noted a unique piece of property that requires some latitude because of the pipeline that cuts through it and the L-shaped cul-de-sac, which exceeds the maximum allowable length of a cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig stated that it is not a zoning issue; it is a developmental issue, which would require a waiver from the Subdivision Control Ordinance.

Mr. Rettig advised that if the board members agree, they would request the waiver during subdivision approval process. Mr. Rettig pointed out a lot that is 110 feet wide for additional right-of-way dedication for Cline Avenue and because of a pipeline. Mr. Rettig noted two lots that are only 107.5 feet wide, but they are only 140 feet deep, due to the constraint of an existing home. Mr. Rettig advised that they could come in as a straight R-2 zoning if the Plan Commission is agreeable to the longer cul-de-sac.

Mr. Kozel asked what the length of the cul-de-sac that is being proposed is. Mr. Eberly responded that it is 882 feet in length.

Mr. Rettig noted that the maximum allowable length for a cul-de-sac is 400 feet; he then pointed out one section of the L-shaped road, which is 505 feet in length, and stated that it could be named a different street. Mr. Rettig asked if that segment is the cul-de-sac or if the entire length is the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Kozel asked what is to the south of the property. Mr. Rettig responded that it is a county subdivision, with well and septic, that has been there for many years.

Mr. Rettig showed the planners the property in relation to North Point, an existing street-stub coming out of North Point, Phase 3, and noted where they would have to tie-in there and where they would have to connect to Cline Avenue.

Mr. Eberly read the definition of “cul-de-sac” for clarification and stated that he believes that the definition makes the east-west street the only part of that road that is a cul-de-sac.

Mr. Williams stated that one couldn’t exit the north-south section without turning around.

Mr. Rettig advised that the plan meets the 65-foot radius for a right-of-way and 50-foot back of curb radius. Mr. Rettig suggested that they could give a different street name for the north-south and the east-west segments of the road, which would define what the cul-de-sac is; however, is that still 105 feet longer than what the Subdivision Control Ordinance allows.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Rettig if he was aware that Olthof told the people who built houses on Lot 71 and 72 that the road was never going to go through. Mr. Rettig stated that it does not make any sense to him.

Mr. Forbes stated that he requested that the stub be placed in there when North Point came in with the intention of future expansion. Mr. Williams and Mr. Rettig both stated that Olthof Homes didn’t do Phase 3. Mr. Forbes advised anyone who buys a lot on a street that’s a stubbed street to assume it’s going through some day.

Mr. Eberly clarified that the maximum length for a cul-de-sac is 400 feet; it is a Subdivision Control Ordinance issue and can be handled with a waiver at the Primary Plat approval stage.

Mr. Rettig advised that with that being said, they will probably come back with a request for permission to advertise for a straight R-2 subdivision; and with some engineering work, it will meet all the criteria and have a cleaner submittal for review without a PUD.

Mr. Eberly advised that there are some lots that do not have the 150 feet depth, but the width more than makes up the difference, so they have the 15,000 square feet minimum.

Mr. Forbes noted that North Point, Sierra Pointe, and Tiberon are all zoned R-2. Mr. Williams commented that everything east of Marquette Street and north of 93rd Avenue is zoned R-2.

Mr. Volk asked if the lots from 28-32 are 150 feet deep. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Rettig noted the several retention areas and a watershed line which runs through the middle of the property, plus there is an existing culvert, which will be discussed further when they get into the engineering. Mr. Rettig pointed out a home in Huckleberg’s Addition and explained that there is a culvert that runs under the driveway and a swale that runs through the back of the property that continue through the properties to the north, which are all deep one-lot subdivisions.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have an odd-shaped outlot because they will have two watersheds and further advised that, when they get into the engineering, there is a possibility of pushing certain lots down, which he will discuss with Mr. Kraus for his opinion on what would be best.

Mr. Rettig reviewed the topography and the watershed lines shown. Mr. Rettig stated that they would likely put a storm sewer in the rear lot of North Point as there is ditch a couple of lots down.

Mr. Volk asked how much the right-of-way is for Lot 1 and Lot 36 that border Cline Avenue. Mr. Rettig advised that they would be adding additional right-of-way. Right now the right-of-way is 30 feet, but an additional 10 feet will be added to make it 40 feet wide, which is consistent with some of the other plats in that area.

Mr. Williams stated that he dislikes adding more traffic on Cline Avenue because it is a narrow road; does not have shoulders; and when you run into trouble, you run into serious trouble on that road. Mr. Rettig stated that there would be no driveways going out onto Cline Avenue. Mr. Williams stated that he understands; however, it still adds more traffic on Cline Avenue.

Mr. Forbes inquired if they would be including an accel/decel lane for Cline Avenue. Mr. Rettig confirmed the same.

Mr. Kraus asked if curbs and sidewalks would be required on Cline Avenue. Multiple members responded that there aren’t any now. Mr. Kraus stated that he doesn’t mind the sidewalks, but curbs tend to mess up the drainage.

Discussion ensued regarding interior curbs and sidewalks on Cline Avenue where it was mentioned that they would not connect to anything and would serve no purpose. Mr. Forbes advised that this would be another waiver needed at the subdivision platting level.

Mr. Kennedy expressed his opinion on connectivity with sidewalks and continuing that concept throughout the Town and stated that it has to start somewhere.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Rettig if he and the owners thought about making the development R-1, with the pipeline and all the other issues. Mr. Rettig advised that they have not.

G. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT 3 – Rezoning Matter
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 3.

Mr. Eberly advised that the new sketch plan Mr. Rettig has for this phase incorporates many of the suggestions that were made at a previous meeting to reduce the number of lots that would be deficient in one manner or another from a standard R-2 development.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Rettig made the three corner lots a little narrower. They are over 15,000 square feet; however, they will not be 120 feet in width, which is normally required. The change allowed all the interior lots meet the 100-foot width minimum and reduced the number of non-compliant lots from 19 lots to 10 lots, out of 22 lots. On the east side, they want to preserve the seven proposed lots, which would be 94 feet wide and almost 200 feet in depth.

Mr. Rettig advised that they did finish the survey in the area, so that they have better information and numbers on how big the lots will actually end up being. The bottom part of the project is zoned R-1 and the cul-de-sac will be called “Sublime Estates.” They may need to seek a waiver due to the length of the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Rettig stated that they were seeking an R-2 PUD two weeks ago for the northerly portion, which was deferred. There has been discussion as to whether they should call it an RC-2 PUD, per Chapter 9, because of the conservation area and the very large wetland area. Mr. Rettig advised that he is seeking clarification on that, so that they can finish their drawings.

Mr. Rettig noted that the street pattern is very much the same. They put a curve in instead of a hard right angle, which makes it flow better.

Mr. Rettig stated that the two corner lots got a little smaller at 105 feet in width. The rest are at 94 feet wide but are 200 feet deep. Mr. Rettig advised that, at Mr. Kil’s suggestion, they went to a 50-foot right-of-way for the streets to help preserve the wetland. Mr. Rettig advised they kept a portion here of it at 60 feet, to tie into existing 60-foot right-of-way, and narrowed it down.

Mr. Eberly stated that Lots 21 and 22 would be 100-foot wide lots as well.

Mr. Kennedy asked how they are addressing the wetlands’ if they are banking or mitigating on site. Mr. Rettig responded that they are banking, which is preferred for small sites.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are connecting to existing street stubs and that the utilities are existing because of the existing subdivisions in the area.

Mr. Eberly advised that he believes that it is appropriate to seek the RC-2 PUD, since there are sensitive wetland areas. The residential conservation PUD was established to recognize and preserve sensitive land areas of this nature. Mr. Rettig concurred and stated that he believes that they qualify for that designation.

Mr. Kraus asked if they would be asking for RC-1 zoning on the “Sublime Estates” portion. Mr. Eberly advised that is not going to be a PUD and that it will be straight R-1 zoning.

Mr. Rettig did not know if the engineering would be done for both the north and south phases at the same time since they are two separate projects.

Mr. Rettig stated that the wetlands have been delineated; however, they will have to plot some conservation easements. He is still have some issues with trying to get enough storm water detention. They have not gotten into engineering yet, but they do envision a detention basin at the north side.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if he still anticipating in coming to the May 3 meeting for continued Public Hearing, or would he prefer to defer to the June meeting. Mr. Rettig replied that they would still want to try for May 3, 2017.

Mr. Rettig stated that there are about nine items in the PUD Ordinance that Mr. Muenich asked them to address; however, the way the PUD Ordinance is worded, it does not really pertain to single-family subdivisions. It asks for a landscape plan, and those are not usually done for single-family subdivisions. It asks for a lighting plan; streetlights are being installed. It asks for a signage plan; and they usually just put in a couple of simple monument signs at the entrances. All of those are easy and that can be talked through. The developer will be providing brochures of typical homes that he built to address the issue of floorplans and renderings. The survey and the topography are done. Other than asking for some latitude on landscaping and signage, this can be discussed with the Plan Commission at the next meeting.

Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Rettig what will be needed at the Primary Plat approval and at the zoning stages. Mr. Rettig stated that he would address them item by item, when the time comes, to make sure that they are in compliance without getting full engineering done.

Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification about lot sizes and changing the width and depth. Mr. Eberly stated that if the lots remained 150 feet deep, they would need to be about 140 feet wide to get to 20,000 square feet.

Mr. Williams asked if this was the appropriate time to ask for a list. Mr. Forbes stated it is and that it is a breakdown of what does not follow the ordinances on the entire project.

Mr. Forbes asked the members if there were any further questions or comments.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

05-03-2017 Plan Commission

May 3, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on May 3, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Gregory Volk. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Kenn Kraus, and Michael Muenich.

Absent: Michael Forbes.

Mr. Volk declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes for April 5, 2017 Regular Meeting and asked for any questions or comments on the same. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the April 5, 2017 Minutes by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays and 1 abstention by Mr. Volk due to absence from that meeting.

Mr. Volk advised that next they will address the minutes for the March 15, 2017 and April 19 Study Sessions and asked for any questions or comments on the same.

Motion to approve the March 15, 2017 Study Session Minutes by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Motion to defer the April 19, 2017 Study Session Minutes by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Continued Public Hearing – (Petitioner: Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)

Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 3 for a continued Public Hearing for a request to rezone this property from R-1 to RC-2 PUD.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is a continued Public Hearing, that all items are in order, and that this petition may proceed.

Mr. Eberly also advised that there was a publication of a Public Hearing mailed out regarding Gates of St. John 10L; however, there was a defect in the notice; so that will not be heard tonight.

Mr. Doug Rettig, DVG, stated that he is representing Sublime Development and Mike Graniczny, the developer, who is also here this evening. They are here to request rezoning of the property they are calling Rose Garden Addition Phase 3. This property is just south of Willow Ridge Unit 2 and will connect to the existing street stubs in Willow Ridge, Rose Garden, and Cottonwood Estates. They received a deferral at the April 5, 2017 meeting, so they are back this evening to request RC-2 PUD rezoning. They are requesting that zoning due to a large wetland area on the property. There is conservation area that they will have to leave untouched. As a result, lots cannot be put on both sides of the street creating a hardship.

Mr. Rettig noted that they meet the R-2 requirements with a couple of exceptions. The lots on the western portion of the project are extra deep, but they could only get to 94 feet in width. The corner lots are squeezed a little bit as well, the ordinance requires 120-foot corner lots; however, the corner lots range from 105 to 108 feet. It was suggested that we consider 50-foot road rights-of-way as opposed to 60-foot rights-of-way, so they are transitioning to that, which is a Subdivision Control Ordinance issue.

Mr. Eberly advised that the items A through L in Chapter 9 were satisfied. There were some things that Mr. Rettig asked for leniency from as they don’t apply to a residential PUD; one was the construction schedule.

Mr. Williams stated that he is looking for a list of items that make this a PUD. Mr. Eberly responded that those were the items Mr. Rettig just mentioned, the lot widths, and that was covered in the meeting summary as well. Mr. Rettig stated that he tried to summarize it as best as he could.

Mr. Williams asked if the summarization will be part of the documentation for approval. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

(A copy of the list, as emailed, is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2017-05-03 PC.)

Mr. Kennedy asked if the wetlands affect the seven lots on the east side of Willow Lane. Mr. Rettig responded that the only wetland impact is for Willow Lane itself. They will have to mitigate in order to put the street in.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they could reduce one lot size and have 110-foot frontage on the others. Mr. Rettig stated that they could; however, they are requesting a waiver on that.

Mr. Kozel asked if all the lots meet the minimum of 15,000 square feet. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative and stated that the square footage of each lot is listed on the drawing.

Mr. Rettig stated that it is possible that they will lose Lot 22 when they get into the engineering.

Mr. Volk asked for any further question or comment.

Mr. Rettig asked to make another comment first and advised that Mr. Graniczny came in a couple of years ago and replatted the east portion of this property to R-2, and that the Zoning Ordinance was recorded incorrectly with the wrong legal description, so the east portion does have the R-2 zoning. Since the ordinance was recorded incorrectly, it was easier just to start over.

Mr. Muenich stated, for clarity, those lots that he’s identified are currently zoned R-2. The ordinance doesn’t have to be recorded, it’s merely in the Town’s records. This is a request to change it all to RC-2. If you do not approve that, the section that Mr. Rettig outlined is subject to him seeing the ordinance and its process through the Town Council. It would still be zoned R-2, and that would not change.

Discussion ensued. Mr. Eberly advised that the R-2 Mr. Rettig is referring to had Public Hearing and was approved by the Plan Commission; however, the legal description accompanying that ordinance described a different parcel of land that is a single lot on 93rd Avenue. Both parcels had the same address, and someone entered the wrong legal description into the ordinances that got approved.

Mr. Eberly advised that the intent was to rezone that parcel of land; however, it is his opinion that it is still zoned R-1 as the wrong legal description was attached to the rezoning ordinance.

Mr. Muenich advised that if the rezoning to RC-2 PUD is granted, the other is moot. If it isn’t approved, we will have to examine to see whether that east side is R-2 or if it remains R-1.

Mr. Rettig stated that his point is that those lots were approved at 94 feet on the frontage before, and they have not changed that.

Mr. Volk opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): If I just could get some clarification, Mr. Muenich, are we going R2-C PUD or just R2-C?

(Mr. Eberly responded that it is RC-2 PUD.)

But it is a PUD.

(Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.)

Okay. Cause he didn’t say the PUD part, and that’s – that’s the part I would like to remonstrate against. I – I don’t have an issue with most of that drawing as far as what I would speak against. I understand there’s a couple of problems with the corners that they’re a little bit narrower. That’s when exceptions can be made, when you’ve got one or two lots that just don’t fit. That’s a good time for an exception, but to take seven lots, just to shrink them down to 94 feet or 96 feet – I’m sorry – just so you – that you need to have the PUD, I think is – is – is a waste of time.

I would like to ask you gentlemen to keep it according to zoning and make it just an R-2 – R-2 – RC-2, whatever. It doesn’t need the PUD. Just take those seven lots on the side and make them the required, the minimum 100 feet wide. Um, and then we’re all along – everything’s good with the zoning. So that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

Timothy Busha (9505 Highland Court): I’m kind of in front of those houses there, the first four – first three. Um, first question I have is, is – at the last meeting, I spoke with Mike afterwards, and Mike said that they only had – they are – the original approval they had was for R-1 zoning. So if the R-2 zoning didn’t go through, they could always fall back to the – the R-1 zone. Um, that’s what I thought.

I’ve never been notified – and I just talked to Ken – he’s never been notified of – of those first seven homes over there of any, uh, R-2 zoning meeting or anything to do with that. Um, so I would like to know when that was and – and, you know, none of us were contacted about the – the R-2 – RC-2 zoning or even R-2 zoning on those homes; so we missed that somewhere along the line. But, um, you know, I – I’d like to, in keeping with the integrity of the homes in Willow Ridge subdivision, to keep the lots as, you know, 100 by 200, just as they are and stick with the R-1 zoning.

If he already had approval for that, then – then make a drawing where the – and make everything fit where the – you know, we want to keep it R-1 zoning. We don’t want the – the RC-2, the zoning. So, but we would like to know, you know, we – we were never contacted on that first – those first seven homes, so –

(Mr. Rettig addressed that issue and stated that his home was just beyond the 300 feet area that the assessor told them they had to abide by for notification, and this was done three years ago.)

So therefore, we weren’t notified. So are you saying – are you saying that you are approved? You were approved; is that right? What you told me last time? You’re approved for the R-1 zoning?

(Mr. Rettig and members of the Plan Commission clarified that it is approved at R-2. Mr. Rettig explained the area that was rezoned.)

I’m – I’m with Mr. Swets. Um, I also think that, you know, why try to cram those lots in? Why make an exception for that? You know – you know, keep with the integrity of – of the properties and – and make them do the 100-foot lots. I mean, that’s you – you know, that gives everybody a little bit more space and keeps things spread out and it makes St. John look – look great, you know. It look – looks better than these tiny lots and these – these tiny homes in a subdivision that Mike is already building some nice quality homes in. And, uh, you know, keeping with the – the lot sizes and stuff, it just makes everything look a lot nicer.

So no, I – we don’t want them to rezone it. We want them, you know, we want the lots to be 100 by 200. So that’s all I have.

Mr. Birlson asked if lots 16 through 12 are part of the zoning change from R-1 to RC-2 PUD. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative. Mr. Birlson asked why Mr. Busha was not notified. Mr. Rettig stated that Parcel 3 was the only parcel being rezoned at that time, and he was just outside of the mailing area for that project.

Chrystal Vera (9475 Highland Court): I’m actually on the lots that are currently in the R-1, facing the lots that are currently R-1 that you’re trying to change in the top part; and I strongly am opposed to changing it. That affects my home value. It affects – just like others have said – the integrity of the entire area. We’re going to start to look like West Lakes in Munster, crammed in like sardines; and it’s going to take away from the uniqueness of St. John that separates us across the country from these other subdivisions. And I’m not understanding, um, why we’re going from 100 by 200 for these tiny little lots to cram in an extra home.

Um, to me, the integrity of the subdivision and the quality of the homes – which Mike has built our home. He does incredible work, quality construction, and I have no beef with that. I’m not understanding why we want to switch it to 100 by 200 to – for the sake of adding an extra home or two but overall will decrease our home value because people are going to come and look at what they’re looking into; and our lot will have, potentially, three to four homes bordering it. That’s not why I bought my home to have three or four homes bordering it. That’s what happened to my sister in West Lakes. So if I wanted that, I would have purchased a home in Munster.

So I – I strongly object to it. I don’t understand what can be gained from changing it from 100 to 200. I have yet to hear a compelling argument – this is my second time here – from what the board – of what the compelling reasoning would be that would benefit us as homeowners or the town to change the lot sizes from 100 by 200 to smaller. So I – I’m in objection to that. I think it should stay 100 by 200 cause I don’t see a compelling evidence to suggest otherwise.

(A woman in the audience asked if they could hear a response to that. Mr. Volk advised that response would be made after public has finished commenting.)

Oscar Vera (9475 Highland Court): So I was doing a lot of research into this; and I found out that our pond currently overflows, and flows into the wetlands. So my questioning is, here, is why can’t we leave these as R-1 as they are? And lot 16 through 12, why can’t we push that road and hug the wetlands, not encroach on the wetlands, but hug the wetlands? Then this way in the overflow, would go into the wetlands that are here.

Now, those wetlands – and from – I’ve spoke to Sublime – they’ve been willing, from my understanding, to make those as a pond. Why can’t we have this look like Lake Hills? Lake Hills has these bridges with these ponds on both sides. Um, we – that would help the town; that would help Willow Ridge; that would help everyone; and that would also help the builder, I think, because we would still keep our lot sizes. Push the road down, um, and – and I think it would help everybody on that section, in at least this area, folks I know would be much happier if we could retain that R-1 200-foot depth. And I see that empty corner there, and it’s not affecting anything, currently, as far as wetlands go.

Right. Now, I understand that there is one – they want to put some drainage there; but if it – if the two ponds are connected – or actually wetland and pond – are connected – right now you have a few inches to a foot of water in the wetlands or less. So if you have them connected, you won’t need that runoff drain in that left corner there. You – you would have plenty of space as long as you dug out and – and – and made it appropriated as ponds.

Now, I understand your changing that would change the zone, but that’s just a compromise in order to keep the integrity of subdivisions and the size of the lots. Um, so everybody that I’ve talked to in the association – I’ve sent twenty emails on this in our association with about twenty-five to thirty-five people. They’re all against this zone changing. The zone changing I’m most concerned about is up in that corner, obviously, because I live there, but also because that is also still considered almost like part of our subdivision.

Um, the other area, I understand there’s been some – you have to figure out what happened previously; and that’s a different story. But my most concern is that left corner; and so I – I want to try and keep that integrity of the – of the 200-foot depth. Thank you.

Mr. Eberly explained that R-1 zoning does not automatically make the lots 200 feet deep. R-1 lots must be a minimum of 20,000 square feet in size; so if they’re 100 feet wide, they would have to be 200 feet in depth; however, the lots could be 140 feet wide by 150 feet deep, or any combination of width and depth that is equal to 20,000 square feet.

Mr. Vera: Correct, but they also, that – that won’t – from a financial standpoint, the builder’s not going to want to make this lot wider and shorter.

Mr. Eberly stated that he doesn’t want anyone to be under the wrong impression that R-1 lots are automatically 200 feet deep.

Mr. Volk stated that there was a question about why we would want to make this an R-2 subdivision and advised that the board has not made it an R-2 as there has not been a decision made yet.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Volk if he had closed Public Hearing. Mr. Volk responded that he had not and stated the he would close it now and answer public questions.

A woman in the audience stated that she did not put her name on the list and asked if she could speak. Mr. Volk stated that he would reopen Public Hearing.

Mary Ryan (9050 Willow Lane): And I’m in that top right corner where, um, Lot 30, where the four lots will be bordering my one lot; and I, too, oppose going to an R-2 because that will be four lots. And they’re only at the 150 depth, which I understand it doesn't have to be 200, but that’s only the 15,000 square-foot area. Um, that’s four houses against ours. And also in regards to Mr. Rettig, and I never received anything about rezoning to the R-2 or the PUD.

We are R-2 zoning where we are/live; but Frank Buck, the developer there, he chose to keep the lots at the 200 by 100 just to keep the – the quality there for St. John versus the quantity, and to have that, you know, that’s why it’s called the best little secret in St. John. It’s kept up with the awe of St. John, and I think doing that, we’re going to lose it, so I oppose going to the R-2.

Scott Hallet (9020 Willow Lane): And, uh, I have a question that, um, for some reason, you said that on the corner lot over there that it was going to be a hardship for you for you for some reason. Could you explain that to me?

(Mr. Rettig responded that he did not recall saying that.)

Uh, right on the edge, you said it was going to be a hardship for you.

(Mr. Rettig indicated a specific area and asked if that was the area he was referring to.)

Yeah.

(Mr. Rettig stated that they have to try and preserve and protect the wetlands while still trying to maintain 100-foot lots. The corner lot is required to be 120 feet per the ordinance, so they are asking that the corner lots be permitted to be less than 120 feet.)

Oh, okay. I understand that. So who owns that property? Who owns all that property right there?

(Mr. Rettig responded that it is Sublime and the original owner, Mr. Elder.)

Okay. So you did your due diligence when you purchased the property before you bought it? I mean, I’m not – I’m not a builder; I’m not an excavator; but I’ve been in business for over 40 years. And I’m sure that you’ve done due diligence on the property and what you could build and what you couldn’t build;correct? So did you realize that when you purchased the property that it would be a hardship or no?

(Mr. Rettig responded that he believes so.)

You did know it was a hardship?

(Mr. Rettig responded that they knew there was a lot of wetlands, which is the hardship.”)

Okay. But you knew that before you bought the property; correct?

(Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.)

Okay. But now you’re trying to rezone it again even though you knew what it was going to be like? You knew this prior before you bought the property? I’m just asking.

(Mr. Graniczny stated that there are about 8 acres of wetlands.)

Okay.

(Mr. Rettig stated that they are just trying to make the best of the situation.)

Oh, I get that. But you knew that before you bought the property. The wetlands weren’t put in after you bought the property; it was already there.

(Mr. Graniczny stated that they were there.)

Okay. So you knew that when you bought the property. So you’re trying to take a chance on rezoning then so you can get another one house in or two houses? Just a rough guess.

(Mr. Rettig responded that it is two.)

You’re trying to get two houses in, so –

(Mr. Rettig made an inaudible statement.)

Right, but you knew that before you bought the property. You knew you weren’t going to put any in there.

(Mr. Rettig stated that it isn’t a fair statement because they didn’t have the wetlands delineated at that time.)

All right. So basically, it just boils down to money then? Right? Trying to get another house, two houses in.

(Mr. Williams broke in and said, “With all apologies, sir, can we have your public comment? This is not intended to be like a Q&A session.” Mr. Volk stated that it was time to bring the matter back to the board.)

Sorry. Sorry. Okay. So that’s all I have to say. I just needed some clarification whether the wetlands were there before he bought it or after he bought it. Thank you.

Mr. Volk asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Volk stated that he had started to address a question as to why we would entertain a request like this and explained why petitioners are allowed to bring their petitions forward.

Mr. Kozel advised that everything comes into town zoned as R-1; however, zoning can be changed, and this meets the criteria.

Mr. Eberly advised that it isn’t for this board to make the case that this should be approved; the developer to make the case for what he’s requesting. The board decides whether or not it’s going to grant it or not. Mr. Eberly stated that the question was posed to the board as though this was the board’s idea. It is not the board’s idea or petition. A landowner has the right to come here and ask for whatever they want to ask for. The Plan Commission is required to allow them to do that and to conduct a Public Hearing and make a decision on it.

Mr. Eberly further advised that in the case of a rezoning, the Plan Commission holds a Public Hearing and makes a recommendation to the Town Council. The Town Council makes the ultimate decision, and they can concur with the recommendation or go the other way. Mr. Eberly explained that they, as individual property owners, have a right to come here and ask for certain things; and we can’t just simply tell you no, you can’t come here.

Mr. Rettig stated that if the wetlands weren’t there, the property would have 10 or 12 more lots. Willow Ridge is zoned R-2; it is not R-1. Mr. Rettig stated that the gentlemen brought up the vacant land here (indicating). It is their intention to use that for stormwater detention for the project.

Mr. Rettig noted that they might be able to store their water in the wetlands, if they ask for a waiver on the stormwater ordinance when they get into engineering; however, it isn’t shown that way because he is unsure if they can do that.

Mr. Volk asked for any further questions or comments from the board.

Mr. Eberly advised the board that any motion made will be for a recommendation to the Town Council. Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification of how the error of the lots previously rezoned to R-2 should be handled. Mr. Muenich advised that the whole parcel is being requested to be rezoned to RC-2 PUD classification which is different than R-2 and would supersede all previous rezoning. Mr. Muenich advised that if the rezoning is denied, the west side will stay as R-1 and the east side will need to be looked into.

Mr. Eberly advised that if they do not get the RC-2 PUD, they would have to request a variance for a waiver from the lot width’s on the previously rezoned parcels from the BZA.

Mr. Volk stated that if there are no further questions or comments, he would entertain a motion to make a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. GREYSTONE – UNIT 1 BLOCK 2 – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Jack Slager)
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is Greystone Unit 1, Block 2. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Volk stated that Mr. Kraus has reviewed the Secondary Plat and the developer has paid the Developmental Fee and provided the necessary Letter of Credit for completion of the improvements.

Mr. Jack Slager, CWS Holdings, Developer for Greystone, stated this is the final north section of duplexes and cottage homes that are being built. All the infrastructure is in place except for the final coat of asphalt, which will be done later this year. The Secondary Plat matches the Primary Plat with the exception of a couple of small tweaks with easements and the additional dedication for Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Slager reviewed their R-3 PUD zoning with Mr. Williams as a follow up to the request he had made at the April Study Session. He stated that they wanted to create a unique development that is similar to Weston Ridge. They have had numerous requests for what was developed in Weston Ridge. That design has been well-received and used numerous times throughout the town; however, it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the zoning ordinances.

Mr. Slager read section K of the Zoning Ordinance for R-3 which sets forth that the number of buildings per lot does not allow more than one principal residential detached building except in a planned unit development. The PUD allows them to have two homes with a shared driveway on a single lot.

Mr. Slager advised that 40 to 50 percent of their sales have been to current St. John empty nesters wishing to downsize and stay in St. John.

Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Slager for the information.

Hearing no further questions or comments from the board, Mr. Volk entertained a motion.

Motion to grant Greystone Unit 1, Block 2 Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Eberly stated that he sees some puzzled looks from the public present and advised them that this matter, or any of the rest of the items on the agenda, are not Public Hearing matters.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 11B – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Ed Recktenwall, Olthof Homes)

Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is the Gates of St. John Unit 11B, which is also known as Meadow Gates Unit 11, for Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Volk stated that Mr. Kraus has reviewed and approved this Secondary Plat. The developer has paid the Developmental Fee.

Mr. Eberly advised that the developer has provided a Surety Bond.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall, Olthof Homes, stated that this is a continuation of The Gates of St. John, Unit 11B. There are 17 single-family lots. All the utilities are in place, and they are working on getting the road and remaining infrastructure in.

Mr. Williams stated that he isn’t sure if this is the appropriate time to mention this, but Olthof Homes has had some issues; and he is wondering if they are resolved. Mr. Eberly stated that the issues still linger, but not particular to this project. Mr. Williams started to list some of the issues. Mr. Eberly summarized that it has to do with erosion control and MS4 issues.

Hearing no further questions or comments from the board, Mr. Volk entertained a motion.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Unit 11B, a.k.a. Meadow Gate Unit 11, Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Williams.

C. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing – (Petitioner: John and Brian Lantz/Doug Rettig)

Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is Lantz Development for Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing, for a rezone of recently annexed property on Cline Avenue, north of 93rd Avenue, from R-1 to R-2 Single Family.

(Mr. Muenich left the meeting early due to a prior commitment.)

Mr. Eberly stated that this was annexed in, per our regulations, as R-1. The developer is requesting a standard R-2 zoning for this development.

Mr. Doug Rettig stated that it will have 37 lots with one existing home and 36 new lots, as the existing home will be platted as a lot on the plat. They are requesting the R-2 zone change primarily because that is what is already there. North Point is zoned R-2. They have come up with a layout that seems to fit the topography, which will carry the stub in North Point out to Cline Avenue for the benefit of the community. The pipeline that runs through the property makes for some unusual layout work.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are here to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing for the rezoning of this property.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if it is granted, does he wish to appear at the June 7th meeting for Public Hearing and the May 17th Study Session meeting, Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the petitioner is just seeking rezoning from R-1 to R-2 and not an R-2 PUD. Mr. Eberly confirmed the same.

Mr. Rettig stated that they had discussed PUD; however, he reworked the plan and a PUD designation is no longer needed.

Mr. Kennedy stated that some lots appear to be less than the 100-foot requirement. Mr. Rettig responded that all of the lots meet the R-2 requirements. The lots meet the 15,000 square-foot minimum and exceed the 100 feet at the building line.

Mr. Rettig stated that the subdivision to the south of this property is in unincorporated Lake County and has well and septic.

Mr. Volk stated that the setback line from Cline Avenue for Lot 1 and Lot 36 concerns him with how close to Cline Avenue it is, especially compared to some of the older homes around it. Mr. Rettig stated that they have to get through the zoning stage first. Mr. Volk stated that he just wanted to bring it up.

Hearing no further questions or comments from the board, Mr. Volk entertained a motion.

Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Lantz Development for rezoning of the annexed property on Cline Avenue north of 93rd Avenue from R-1 to R-2 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Volk opened the floor for Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): My comments tonight were going to thank Mr. Eberly for his – and the board, for that matter, for their attention to detail. I’ve seen some significant improvements in the way that you’re questioning and handling some of the things. So, but then after our approval of the PUD, I – I need to add to that because, gentlemen, I’m looking at the ordinance, and – and I suppose I will probably direct this to Mr. Eberly; but I’m looking at Chapter 9 of the Zoning Ordinance. And in section B, B.1 it says the owner and developer of the land shall apply in writing to the Plan Commission and shall submit ten copies of the PUD development plan as described in B.2 of this chapter. Now, B.2 goes specifically about what is required, the developmental plan. And it – it’s even as – as silly as 12-inch trunk trees have to be plotted. It requires a site plan that includes floor plans, sections, heights for buildings. So my question is, has that all been submitted?

(Mr. Eberly responded that it has.)

And so that’s all been done?

(Mr. Eberly stated that it has been done and has been distributed to the Plan Commission members.)

Okay. Then I guess I don’t have any questions or concerns with it other than I am, I mean, I am unhappy with your decision to approve it, um, but I do want to thank you for the detail that you are now requiring. Now, I just ask the board, in the future, to try to eliminate PUDs. Keep them as exceptions.

There is really not a reason for a PUD requirement on that plot that you just approved. All you had to do was eliminate one lot, make it 105 or 110 feet wide, and it would have been an R-2. It would have been fine. It did not require PUDs. I just don’t think we need to have that, and I’d like to keep larger lot sizes in the Town of St. John. Thank you, gentlemen.

Mr. Volk asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, he closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Volk entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Volk adjourned the meeting at 8:07 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

05-03-2017 Plan Commission Exhibit.pdf
05-17-2017 Plan Commission

May 17, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
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. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on May 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Gregory Volk, Steven Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Mike Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent:

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. BRUCE BOYER – Commercial PUD Proposal – Shops 96 – (Petitioner: Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Bruce Boyer, commercial PUD proposal for Shops 96.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if he had anything to report on this matter. Mr. Rettig responded that Mr. Boyer did not ask him to present tonight and that he assumed that Mr. Boyer would be here.

Mr. Eberly reminded the board that they have already granted permission to advertise for this project, and he is anticipated to advertise for the June 7, 2017 meeting at this point. If that is not Mr. Boyer’s intention, he will let them know.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4B – Proposed Replatting of this Unit – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 4B regarding a proposed replatting of this unit.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Tony Strickland is here representing Mr. Lotton.

Mr. Tony Strickland stated that they are here for any further discussion on this petition. Mr. Eberly asked if the primary reason for replatting this unit was for moving lot lines. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly advised that they have already received permission to advertise and are on the June 7, 2017 Agenda for Public Hearing for Primary Plat on Unit 4B.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. None was had.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 10L – Proposed Replatting of this Unit – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 10L regarding proposed replatting of this unit.

Mr. Tony Strickland stated that this is the same scenario as Unit 4B. They have already received permission to advertise, and he is here to answer any questions.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Strickland to refresh his memory as to what is being done at this location. Mr. Strickland responded that they rearranged some lots. They made them slightly smaller to fit the builder’s product and gained extra lots.

Mr. Williams asked if these are cottage homes or single-family homes. Mr. Eberly responded that they are single-family detached homes on smaller lots than originally proposed. The density is being kept under the original density of 1450 approved for The Gates in its entirety. Approximately 7 lots were gained in this particular unit. Originally, there were 20 lots and now there are 27 lots.

Mr. Williams asked what the lot widths are. Mr. Eberly responded that they are 61.5 feet wide; they were originally 80 feet.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is concerned about the changes after the Primary Plat was already approved at 80 feet, and he would prefer that it stay at 80-foot wide lots.

Mr. Williams asked if there are other factors for The Gates that play into the replatting. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Williams to specify what he is looking for. Mr. Williams specified that he wants the number of units and the density.

Mr. Forbes advised that the number of units will not change. The maximum density is a set number, and Mr. Lotton knows what the number is and that he cannot go over that number. Mr. Forbes further advised that the product that is selling has changed.

Mr. Strickland concurred.

Mr. Birlson asked if this is a PUD. Mr. Eberly responded that the entirety of The Gates of St. John is a PUD.

Mr. Birlson stated that that is the problem with a PUD: We had a plan then, all of a sudden, we’re changing it again.

Mr. Eberly advised that it is up to the Plan Commission to decide whether or not to accept the change.

Mr. Kennedy asked if single-family homes are requested to change to duplexes, if the duplexes count as two units. Mr. Forbes responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kozel asked if this will be an age-restricted unit. Mr. Strickland confirmed the same.

Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification of the size change and the setbacks. Mr. Lotton stated that the side-yard setbacks are 7 feet. The previous side-yard setbacks were 8 feet. The unit size and the value of the unit are going to be the same. They will be 100 percent brick units.

Mr. Lotton stated that they are the age-restricted homes with maintained yards. The builder is the same builder that’s building the duplexes next door. Everything to the south of that is multifamily 2, 3 and 4-unit buildings.

Mr. Birlson asked what the square footage will be. Mr. Lotton stated that he thinks they are approximately 1900 to 2000 square feet. Mr. Birlson asked what it was before. Mr. Lotton replied that it was 1800 previously.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is a price point for these units. Mr. Lotton replied that these units will probably be in the $340,000 price range.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further comments or questions on this petition. None was had.

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN 7B – Proposed Rezoning from Single Family to Duplex Lots – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 7B regarding a proposed rezoning of this unit from single-family lots to duplex lots.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Lotton if this is immediately east of Park Place. Mr. Lotton replied that it is between Park Place and Cline Avenue.

Mr. Tony Strickland stated that they would like to change the zoning for the area that is shaded, which is called Primary Plat Unit 7. This is already platted, and they would like to change the zoning to cottage homes and/or multifamily homes. Unit 17, down in the corner, is already slotted for business on the first floor, office space on the second floor, and condos on the third and fourth floor. They want to change that and drop the condominiums out of there.

Mr. Lotton stated that it is just a straight C-2. Mr. Lotton stated that they want to drop the 77 units in there (indicating), wipe the condominiums out of there, and convert the R-1 into R-3 duplex, not 4-unit buildings.

Mr. Forbes asked if they are taking the 77 units from Unit 17 and putting them into Unit 7B. Mr. Lotton responded in the affirmative.

Discussion ensued regarding the 77 condominium units, which were part of the annexation agreement.

Mr. Kennedy asked how the 77 units will be fit into Unit 7B. Mr. Lotton stated that the roads will stay the same. They will take out all the existing lots and adjust it to fit what is currently proposed plus the 77 additional lots. The lot widths will range from 90 feet wide to 120 feet wide.

Mr. Williams asked if it is fair to ask that the Plan Commission be able see a drawing of the new proposed layout before approving the rezoning. Mr. Eberly responded that it is very fair to ask that and stated that they are just seeking permission to advertise at the next meeting, so the Plan Commission will see a layout of their proposal before rendering a decision.

Mr. Forbes stated that, if he is not mistaken, this discussion is to test the waters. Mr. Lotton stated that he is here to see if it is worth pursuing, if not, he will build the condominiums

Mr. Eberly asked if the lots would be proposed as standard R-3 lots even though it is a PUD. Mr. Lotton confirmed the same.

Mr. Kennedy asked what they are currently zoned. Mr. Lotton replied R-1 PUD.

Mr. Williams stated that regardless of which way it goes, the town is going to have a significant slice of property that is unlike anything else in the town. He further stated that he would like to see a re-review of what the total in The Gates was, what currently is, and what is going to be. He is wondering if there will be another move of a massive number of units from one section of The Gates to another.

Mr. Lotton stated that they are, basically, at about the final design of the project. Moving the product over here, this will be the last product change in The Gates; there is no more real estate.

Mr. Birlson asked what the zoning is for Unit 17. Mr. Lotton responded it is R-4 PUD.

Mr. Forbes asked for confirmation that R-3 is being proposed for Unit 7. Mr. Lotton responded that it would be R-3 duplex.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are ramifications for the Town if The Gates does not get to the 1450 proposed units. Mr. Forbes stated that he didn’t believe so.

Mr. Lotton stated that he is going to get as close as he can. If it falls really short, he will build it as platted and move on.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is leaning towards the condominiums and leaving Unit 7 as all single-family lots because it wouldn’t be the only mountain out there.

Mr. Williams stated that the density in Unit 17 and the R-4 is unprecedented in the region. Mr. Gill stated that there is something similar over in Schererville.

Mr. Williams reiterated the drawings he wants to see: Unit 7 redrawn for R-3, and a zoomed-out rendering of what The Gates will look like in its entirety and how it will all fit together.

Mr. Eberly asked if they wish to attend another Study Session before asking for permission to advertise. Mr. Lotton responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly advised that this matter will be on the June 21, 2017 Study Session.

E. THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3 – New Development Plan for a combination of R-2 Single-family Lots and R-3 Duplex Lots
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Three Springs Unit 3 relative to a new development plan for a combination of R-2 single-family lots and R-3 duplex lots.

Mr. Eberly advised that the R-3 lots are being proposed as standard R-3 lots and the R-2 lots will be presented as RC-2 PUD, which is the Conservation District PUD.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG, representing Dave Barick, stated that the Plan Commission has seen this plan, or variations thereof, over the last several months. They had presented a plan a few months ago where the rezoning to R-3 PUD was frowned upon. They have changed things up a bit.

The street pattern is, basically, the same. This proposal is to rezone from R-1 to RC-2 PUD for Lots 1-24. They will be conventional single-family lots with a minimum width of 82 feet. The balance of the lots are being proposed as straight R-3 zoning. They all meet the size and width requirements.

Mr. Rettig stated that the changes included making certain lots deeper, to meet the area requirements; removing an outlot; and removing a cul-de-sac due to sloping. They will be doing some grade changes on the deeper lots to make them look more conventional.

Mr. Rettig asked what the final decision of the R-3 PUD issue is that Mr. Muenich raised a couple months ago. Mr. Forbes responded that he has not received a written legal opinion on that yet.

Mr. Eberly asked if all the roads are standard 60-foot rights-of-way. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Birlson asked what the reason is for the PUD on the RC-2. Mr. Rettig replied that they need that for lots less than 100 feet wide, and the RC-2 PUD allows for lot widths as narrow as 80 feet.

Mr. Williams stated that the Plan Commission would like to see a list of where we are varying from Town Ordinances since this is a PUD.

Mr. Eberly advised that they have to get through rezoning first.

Mr. Rettig stated that it is very simple, they are only asking for the PUD for a waiver from the minimum lot width. Mr. Williams stated that he would like a list of each lot that varies from the ordinance. Mr. Rettig stated that all the lot areas are included on the last page of the handout provided.

Mr. Rettig advised that the average lot size is over the minimum of 15,000 square feet.

Mr. Rettig stated that they would like to come back to the next regular meeting and request permission to advertise for Public Hearing.

Mr. Eberly stated that the RC-2 PUD minimum rear-yard setback is 40 feet and asked Mr. Rettig if they will be meeting that requirement. Mr. Rettig responded that the rear-yard setback will be 25 feet as part of the RC-2 PUD. He stated that he would tabulate that as well.

Mr. Rettig noted that they are requesting 24 single-family lots and 14 duplex lots for a total of 52 units on 38 lots.

Mr. Williams stated that he believes Lots 30-38, along the high-tension lines, could be single-family lots.

Mr. Kennedy requested that Mr. Rettig calculate the impact of the infrastructure on the town north of Outlot A going from the R-1 to the requested zoning. Mr. Rettig stated that he would have to estimate that based on the area. Right now, he would guess it is four additional lots.

Mr. Eberly advised that there are currently six lots north of Outlot A that meet or exceed 20,000 square feet. Mr. Rettig stated that one of them is a bit narrower, so it is more likely five lots.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments. None was had.

F. NORTH POINT UNIT 5 – Secondary Plat
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is North Point Unit 5 relative to their Secondary Plat.

Mr. Eberly advised that this would be the completion of North Point, which Olthof Homes took over from the original developer. It is zoned R-2 single-family.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes stated that this unit contains 31 lots east of Marquette and south of 85th Street. It would be extending Drake Drive and tying into 87th.

Mr. Williams asked if construction traffic could be restricted to only enter from 87th as they have had significant issues with buses not being able to get around the subdivision because of contractors stacked up in front of houses that are being worked on.

Mr. Eberly stated that the difficulty is more of a maneuverability there. It may not be possible to get a concrete truck in and out of there on 87th without driving through anywhere else. The request is understandable; however, they are likely going to have to go down Drake Drive and out 86th. They have to get over to Teal as well.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the main access could be 87th; however, they will have to come down Teal.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Town has been speaking with the builders about this, and asked Mr. Williams to let him know if things aren’t improving.

Mr. Forbes asked if the roads are in. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they are currently working on the infrastructure. They are installing water main at this time, the roads are not quite in yet, but they should be in within the next 60 days. They will be bonding the remainder of the infrastructure prior to the meeting.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Kraus would need information from them for that. Mr. Kraus explained the process he follows to arrive at his recommendation for the Letter of Credit.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Performance Letter of Credit that a developer puts up is good for one year; after which time, they will put up a maintenance bond to cover the cost of the infrastructure installations that is good for two years. They also pay for the energy cost of the streetlights for two years as well.

Mr. Birlson asked if we check the work after it is completed. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

G. MILL CREEK PHASE 3 – Secondary Plat
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Mill Creek Phase 3 relative to their Secondary Plat.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall stated that they are requesting Secondary Plat approval for Mill Creek Phase 3. This is a continuation of Mill Creek, which was approved in 2014. This phase will have 9 paired-cottage homes/duplex units and 15 single-family units.

Mr. Recktenwall advised that the infrastructure is being worked on and that Mr. Kraus will be provided with a construction cost estimate in order for them to receive a Performance Letter of Credit and be ready for approval in two weeks.

Mr. Eberly asked for confirmation that the paired-cottage homes are to the north, on Lots 13-17 and 31-34, and that the single-family homes are on the lots to the south. Mr. Recktenwall responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. None was had.

H. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Proposed Rezoning from R-1 to R-2
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Lantz Development for a proposed rezoning for R-1 to R-2.

Mr. Eberly advised that the petitioner would be asking for permission to advertise for Public Hearing regarding their rezoning from R-1 to R-2 at the June 7 meeting.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that John and Brian Lantz are here tonight as well. Mr. Rettig presented the members with a drawing and stated that they are going to be requesting permission to advertise at the June 7 meeting for rezoning from R-1 to R-2 zoning.

Mr. Rettig stated that the sketch he provided is very similar to the one that was presented when they received their annexation. The plan will extend 87th Avenue in North Point to Cline Avenue. The existing home will remain as is and be platted as a lot in the subdivision.

Mr. Eberly advised that a couple of waivers were discussed the last time this petitioner was in. One is the cul-de-sac length, which is a waiver requested at Primary Plat from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Rettig asked what the maximum length for a cul-de-sac is. Mr. Eberly replied that it is 400 feet.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are at 500 and change, so they are a little over the maximum.

Mr. Eberly asked if they are also seeking a waiver for the installation of sidewalks on Cline Avenue. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly advised that the waivers are not part of the rezoning stage.

Mr. Williams asked if Lot 34 is 100 feet at the building line. Mr. Rettig stated that there is a curve there and that those lots are wider than 100 feet. The seven lots with the curves in them are only 140 feet deep, but they are extra wide to meet the area requirement.

Mr. Kennedy asked why they are requesting R-2. Mr. Rettig responded that North Point is R-2. That is what is in the area, and they are trying to be consistent with what is in the area.

Mr. Kennedy is concerned that anything else that comes in there will also request R-2. Mr. Rettig stated that everything to the north and south of this property is already developed.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is consideration of an accel/decel lane on Cline Avenue and a consideration for something on the east side for left turning vehicles. Mr. Rettig stated that they typically address that at the subdivision stage. They are happy to do it on their side of the road; as far as the east side of the road, they will have to see if there is any easement provided for that.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he knows they are going to ask for a sidewalk waiver; however, if we don’t put them in, people will never have sidewalks on Cline Avenue. Mr. Forbes responded that the problem is that much of that surrounding area on Cline Avenue is not in town.

Mr. Volk stated that Lots 1 and 36 are close to Cline Avenue and asked if they have considered changing those lots so they are not so close to Cline Avenue. Mr. Rettig stated that they are extra wide at 120 feet, so there will be a conventional 30-foot building line; but they may be able to push that further to the west a bit beyond the building line.

Mr. Volk stated that they will be discussing the decel lane in the future. Mr. Rettig stated that they have ample room for that as they are dedicating additional right-of-way on Cline Avenue.

Mr. Williams asked if they are going to have a monument sign. Mr. Rettig responded that they would be asking for a monument sign.

Mr. Eberly asked if the subdivision has a name yet. Mr. Rettig stated that it does not.

Mr. Eberly advised that they are on the June 7 meeting agenda for permission to advertise for Public Hearing.

I. DRAFT RULES AND REGULATIONS and DISCUSSION OF ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS – To Compliment Revised BZA Rules and Regulations
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the Draft Rules and Regulations and discussion of Zoning Ordinance amendments necessary to compliment the revised BZA Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Eberly advised that the proposed ordinance that Attorney Austgen drafted along with the resolution that the Plan Commission would need to adopt making changes to Zoning Ordinance Chapter 18 § 10.D are in their meeting packets.

Mr. Eberly further advised that Attorney Austgen has prepared the ordinance, the resolution, the notice of public hearing, and the certification that the Plan Commission would need to consider. Mr. Eberly stated that, if it is the Plan Commission’s preference, it could be placed on the June 7 meeting agenda for Public Hearing. Currently, there is a conflict with Chapter 18 § 10.D and the newly adopted BZA Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Forbes stated that this just extends the time required for public notice. Mr. Eberly expounded that it increases it from 10 days to 15 days for all forms of public notice.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the notice to the neighbors has to be certified. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative. Mr. Eberly stated that notice to the neighbors must be done via certified mail, return-receipt requested.

Mr. Eberly advised that he would advertise for Public Hearing on June 7, 2017 and put it on the meeting agenda.

J. DISCUSS PARKING REGULATIONS – Pertaining to the Parking and Storage of Boats, Campers, RVs, etc.
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is to discuss parking regulations as they pertain to the parking and storage of boats, campers, and RVs.

Mr. Volk advised that he asked that this be added to the agenda. It pertains to the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 12, § G. He has heard complaints from people around town that adjacent property owners are storing their boats and campers on the drives.

Mr. Volk stated that in June of 2015, seasonal parking was allowed.

Mr. Forbes stated that, prior to that, parking was only allowed for up to four days.

Mr. Volk stated that the ordinance was amended to allow for parking of boats and campers on driveways from April through September. The concern is the length of time for parking on driveways or the ability to park there at all. He is wondering if the Plan Commission has any thoughts on changing this.

Mr. Williams asked to what. Mr. Volk responded to go back to no parking on the driveways. The ordinance does allow for parking year-round on a concrete pad behind the building line.

Mr. Eberly stated that as he understands the ordinance, as currently written, it allows these types of vehicles to be parked there only from April through September; and from October through March, a total ban is in effect that no parking of these vehicles are allowed on residential property other than in an enclosed structure.

Mr. Birlson asked where the proposed amended ordinance is. Mr. Eberly responded that there isn’t one. Mr. Volk asked to have a conversation about it.

Mr. Volk stated that he thought the provision just prior to this allowed a couple of months. Multiple members responded that it was only a couple of days

Mr. Eberly advised that the problem with that is that it is nearly impossible for Code Enforcement to determine whether a vehicle had been there for four days, specifically; so the April through September is perfect because there are solid deadlines.

Mr. Volk stated that from an enforcement aspect, it is better. However, there are still folks who don’t want to see a boat or camper parked in a neighbor’s driveway for six months out of the year.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Volk if he is asking the Plan Commission to consider going back to a complete ban. Mr. Volk responded that he thinks so, and he would like to hear their thoughts on that.

Mr. Kozel stated that there were so many complaints the other way.

Mr. Eberly advised that the ordinance discussion would start here, the Plan Commission would make a recommendation to the Town Council, and the Town Council would make the final decision on the matter.

Mr. Volk asked the members to put some thought into it for discussion at the next Study Session.

Mr. Forbes asked them to drive around town and be aware of what is parked where, and we will pick this discussion back up next month.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:18 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

06-07-2017 Plan Commission

June 7, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on June 7, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Mr. Forbes with the following members present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Kenn Kraus, and Michael Muenich.

Absent: Gregory Volk.

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes for the May 3, 2017 Regular Meeting and the May 17, 2017 Study Session and asked for motion to defer.

Motion to defer the minutes by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Public Hearing – (Petitioner: John and Brian Lantz/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Lantz Development for Public Hearing to rezone a parcel of land on the west side of Cline Avenue and north of 93rd Avenue from R-1 Single-family to R-2 Single-family. The petitioners are John and Brian Lantz; Doug Rettig with DVG is representing them.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for all three petitioners’ Public Hearings this evening.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is representing John and Brian Lantz of Lantz Development regarding property located west of Cline Avenue, north of 93rd Avenue, and east of North Point Phase 3.

The property is a roughly 21-acre parcel that was recently annexed into the Town as R-1, and they are requesting to rezone to R-2, which is what North Point and Sierra Pointe are zoned.

Mr. Rettig noted that Mr. Kennedy asked him at the May Study Session the difference in the number of lots from R-1 to R-2. He did calculations on it. They are getting 37 lots with R-2 including the existing home; with R-1, they would have had 31 or 32 lots. Mr. Rettig commented that due to the existing stub coming out of North Point and the dimension of the property 200-foot deep lots won’t work.

Mr. Rettig stated that they would be servicing the property with the utilities from North Point sanitary and water.

Mr. Forbes asked if anything has changed from the drawings that were submitted at the Study Session. Mr. Rettig responded in the negative.

Mr. Eberly stated that they will have one entrance/exit off of Cline Avenue and one connecting to North Point. Mr. Rettig concurred.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing for this petition.

Peg Lenehan (8815 Mallard): I had a couple of concerns. The first one would be the water. Um, has it been approved through –

(Ms. Lenehan was asked to step closer to the microphone.)

Okay. I’m concerned about the water, um, where it’s going to drain to? Is – first of all, has it been approved by the county or whoever it is that has to approve it for how you’re going to take care of it? And is it going into the current retention pond, or are they going to have one of their own?

(Mr. Forbes advised her that this topic is part of preliminary plat approval, not rezoning. Mr. Forbes further advised that we are aware of the rise and fall of the waters there, and that it will be addressed prior to preliminary plat approval.)

Okay. Because the retention pond that is at the end of our street to the north, um, we did have a – a really heavy rain the first year that we moved here, which was two and a half years ago, and it was – it was full up. I couldn’t believe how much water went in there. So if we had a rain like that again, and the water from this new subdivision went in there, then the folks down at the end of Mallard are going to have a problem.

Um, second thing I was concerned about was, obviously, those of us who bought our lots there and paid a lot premium was because we thought we were going to have this beautiful open space behind there. And I – I get that it’s been purchased and we’re not going have that. Um, but we certainly want to have as much open space as we can. So R-2 puts more houses in there than R-1. We would like to see larger lots where we have more space to see through.

We’re on Lot 70, if you have your little note there. Um, the house to the north and the house to the south are – the way I look at it – are the only three that have a lot that backs up completely to our property line. And I was just wondering if there was any way to offset those so we, at least when we’re sitting in the backyard, could look between houses on a – especially if it was R-1 and the lots were larger, rather than looking straight into the house that’s behind us. So that was a concern.

I mean we’re losing – we’re losing our beautiful view. We get that, but we’re just hoping that there’s something that can be done to make it a little bit better. Um, and if not, if there’s a possibility for our houses that are there before it turns onto the cul-de-sac, maybe, could have a berm if – if they can’t do anything and the lots are going to literally back up to our property line if they couldn’t put a berm in there with some trees or something. I mean, we bought the lots for the view, and now we’re going to lose it. So that was it. I just wanted to –

Debbie Drapac (8180 West 89th Place): I’m in the Meadows Manor. And our property backs up to the subdivision, so I’ve got like 500-foot frontage, 400 – somewhere in there – so I’m going to have all these houses lined up behind me. Um, first of all, I’m worried about drainage because the retention pond down at the end of our property is owned by our neighbor, so it’s – it’s a private retention. They – they pay tax on it.

And we’re worried about, you know, drainage as far as flooding our retention, um, flooding my backyard. I don’t know if there’s going to – we have easement behind us. I don't know if on the other side – you know, so I’m wondering if he’s going to put any type of a buffer along there, um, to sort of distinguish the subdivisions cause I’ve – we’ve got this big lot, and I’m going to have all these, uh, houses behind us, which is, you know, that’s the way it is. But I don’t want their backyards to – my side yard to become their backyards.

So, you know, that’s probably one of my biggest concerns. And, you know, if they could stay R-1 zoning, that’s really what I want. Um, so that’s basically, you know, my concern because we do, we have this open – we don’t have a real deep lot, but we have a very wide lot. And, you know, we’re going to – we’re going to – all these homes behind us, and their backyards are just going to butt right back up to our – our side property. And I – you know, and like I said, as far as drainage goes, my concern is to make sure that our – well, it’s not my retention. It’s my neighbor’s retention. But make sure that, you know, that is still intact and they’re not draining into our retention.

(Mr. Forbes told her that we have very strict rules about that, and it will be reviewed at the appropriate time.)

Okay. Do you think, if that’s easement behind there, do you think they’ll probably put storm sewers back there, or will the storm sewers be in the front?

(Mr. Forbes replied that it depends on the engineering review.)

Okay. All righty. Okay. Thank you.

Patty Byars (9111 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): I have – I would like to know, what is the size of a R-1 single and a R-2 single?

(Mr. Forbes told her that an R-1 is 20,000 square feet and R-2 is 15,000 square feet.)

Okay. Will the cut from Cline Avenue into the subdivision be across from 8909 Cline Avenue?

(Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn’t know where exactly it will come out as those addresses are not on the drawing that was provided to the Plan Commission.)

What will the setback be for the subdivision from Cline Avenue?

(Mr. Forbes advised Ms. Byars that those are engineering questions for preliminary plat.)

Well, haven’t they presented a plat, of some sort, telling you how far it’s going to be for the first house back from Cline Avenue?

(Mr. Eberly advised Ms. Byars that the typical setback is 20 feet. Lot 1 and Lot 36 will not access Cline Avenue; their homes and driveways will front on the interior road. They have a 30-foot side-yard setback along Cline Avenue; however, there is a 40-foot right-of-way dedication, so they will be about 45 feet or better off the curb.)

Well, the reason I’m wondering is when Tiburon went in – you were familiar with that – there was a problem with the setback there. And I know that they are set quite a ways back from the actual street.

(Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Rettig has proposed a larger corner setback than normal on those side yards.)

Okay. Um, but the reason I’m concerned is because all the homes on the east side of Cline Avenue, north and south of Cline Avenue, they all have at – at least an acre or more. And he said something about making com – the same as the rest of the community. Well, having lots that are much, much smaller there is not going to make it the same as the community that’s already there.

(Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Rettig was comparing to other lots that are already in St. John.)

So the people who live there that are not part of you –

(Mr. Forbes stated that he was not comparing them to those lots, which are larger because they are on septic. Those larger lots are larger because of the needs for septic fields. These houses will be on sewer, so that need for the larger lots is not there.)

Okay. Okay. Thank you.

(Mr. Forbes added that he is comparing to existing homes in North Point and Sierra Pointe.)

When he was talking about, uh, there would be, um, a street going in from Cline and out from Cline. It would be just one cut on Cline?

(Mr. Forbes stated that it would be one, two-lane road off of Cline Avenue, which will weave through this subdivision and into North Point.)

Yeah. Well, I’m looking at it. I’m really confused as to where that is.

(Mr. Eberly displayed the drawing on the screen and indicated where the entrance is.)

Does it come in right there?

(Mr. Eberly indicated where the entrance comes in again for Ms. Byars.)

Okay.

(Mr. Rettig indicated areas on the screen and explained what was what.)

Okay. Is there some way that I can get a copy of that?

(Mr. Forbes provided Ms. Byars with a copy of the rendering.)

Thanks, Mike. I can study it better on here. Thank you.

Steve Winarski (8843 Mallard Lane): Lot 66, North Point. I bought my lot ten years ago, been living here nine. Built my house. I was told nobody would build back there. Okay. I got that retention pond back behind me, then there’s a 9-acre hay field. My biggest concern is drainage. Okay. Uh, I have four signatures of some of the neighbors live down the street. They couldn’t make it here today, but they’re, kind of, opposed to it.

I mean I understand it’s this gentlemen’s property; he could do whatever he wants. But I’m opposed to this R-2 instead of R-1. Uh, you’re not going to be building duplexes or townhomes there; correct?

(Mr. Forbes replied that it is all single-family homes.)

Well, I understand that; but to me, it just seems like a – a point of greed. I’d rather just keep it R-1. Let’s keep it spaced out. I don’t want people cramming up behind me. Okay. I mean – my other concern is increased traffic from Cline Avenue coming onto Mallard Lane. Okay. When Olthof put the third phase in, we got some people coming in there racing through the neighborhood. We got a lot of small children there; and that, kind of, bothers me if they’re going to be zipping through Cline Avenue coming through our subdivision. Okay. Um, like I says, I don’t – I don’t understand what the big deal is with it. Um, I mean, I don't know why he didn’t try to take Phase 3 of North Point or buy off Parrish Avenue and develop there. There’s plenty of cornfields over there.

But another thing I got a concern about, too, is this town is growing big time. Let’s look at Wicker Avenue. You pull out of Welch’s, and you can’t even turn north onto Wicker Avenue. You got to go around to 93rd because of increased traffic. Okay. We keep building St. John. It’s a great thing. But you know what, we got to think about things here: the high school, increased people, and everything else.

I don’t want to sit here and come back in two or three years that we need another referendum, or we’re going to be putting trailers back up over there at the high school again. That’s something for you people to think about. It’s great the town’s growing, but you know what, the whole thing was when this housing market was going, that was the tri-town area. Nobody thought about that. And all of a sudden, bam, you hit everybody up with a referendum. Let’s think about this, gentlemen. Okay. All this housing going on, you guys are losing farm fields, greenspace, enough’s enough. You know what I mean?

It’s agreed between political and contractors. Let’s draw the line here. Okay, gentlemen? I mean, I’m just saying. My biggest concern is – is this retention pond behind my house and the drainage. You know what I mean? Secondly of all, like I said, the increased traffic from Cline Avenue coming into our subdivision. Let’s think about this. Do you guys – you guys don’t live there. Correct? I live there. Okay. There’s other families that live there; young kids that live there. Does this gentlemen live there? Okay. That’s my whole point. Thank you.

Jane Lambeth (8909 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): My primary question was where the cut is going to be onto Cline. And I believe I can tell from the – the diagram that it will be somewhat north of me. But I do have other concerns that I would like to talk about. I, um, am concerned about the traffic on Cline Avenue. It’s – it’s sometimes dangerous. Right now, you can’t – you can’t ride a bike on Cline, really, if you value your life. And um, there’s no place to walk right now, so it’s going to be worse with traffic. And um, I certainly would prefer the R-1 homes, bigger lots. That’s all. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, in the meetings past, we’ve talked about concerns of traffic on Cline Avenue. I’ve heard that tonight. Um, and traffic seems to be a common echo every time that we hear there’s a development coming in for approval, uh, that and reduced lot sizes and also increased density. I’ve heard it before, so I don’t necessarily need to tell you all again what happens when you increase the density and all the things and problems that it creates. Um, but a lot of times, it doesn’t seem to help when we do, do it.

Um, and I know you’re tired of hearing the same thing; and I, kind of, get tired of telling you the same thing. But you know, it’s important. It’s important to us to talk about police, fire protection, emergency services, and things like that. Um, but I’d like to speak against this petition for rezoning to R-2. Um, there’s no need for it from a property point of view: There’s no advantage to the Town of St. John for that, and there’s no benefit for the neighboring residents. And it doesn't fit the profile of the homes that are along Cline Avenue.

Um, and – and we’ve heard that from others. You talk about six, uh, Mr. Williams wanted to know the difference in the homes between one and two, and so six homes; there is the difference. Well, that’s twelve cars in and twelve cars out at the end and the beginning of every day. So, I mean, that will increase traffic. So what I would like is I would like to see this board declare a moratorium on all requests and variances that include reduced lot sizes. Until this Town can adequately develop the infrastructure and roads to handle what it has now, let alone adding to it, um, I don’t think you should approve any rezoning.

Let’s keep everything R-1. Let’s start to rebuild the reputation that St. John has, and has had in the past, for large lots, beautiful homes, and let’s help stabilize the home values. And that’s all. Thank you.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court): I don’t believe you realize that the people of St. John are tired of asking for R-1 homes. R, R-1 lots, that’s what we want. And if we have to ask for a referendum in the next election to show our dismay, then that’s what we’ll have to do.

But also, we’ve been waiting for the, uh, for the Road Impact Fee to be initiated, and I have not heard about a Road Impact Fee for the last six months.

(Mr. Forbes stated that the Road Impact Fee has nothing to do with this Public Hearing and asked Mr. Wolf if he has any comments on this subdivision.)

On the subdivision, yes. We would like R-1 lots in the subdivision. And impact fees do have a lot to do with subdivisions because we are not getting money for roads to be built to accommodate developers and their – their homes they’re building. Thank you.

Bob Protsman (9100 Teal Place): I was the second house in the subdivision there, uh, in Phase 2, uh, when we were pretty much lied to about how the grandeur of Phase 3 was going to occur, uh, all the big houses in that, uh, and you know, I – I don’t want anymore, uh, surprises. Let’s just say it like that. I – I – I’m for, uh, only keeping it in, uh, zone 1 and not zone 2. My biggest thing, it goes back to his traffic thing. I just – if you could help me out real quick, who patrols or who – who maintains, uh, Cline Avenue at that, uh, exit point? Is that a county road at that point?

(Mr. Forbes responded in the affirmative.)

It is county; so has county done a traffic study on, um, the – how many vehicles will be going in and out there and their traffic impact on county – on – on Cline Avenue? Would they need to be able to?

(Mr. Forbes responded in the negative to the previous two questions.)

No, they just say that you could do whatever you want.

(Mr. Forbes replied that the road cut is in the Town of St. John and that he believes we are responsible for half of Cline Avenue the length of the subdivision.)

Okay. So have you done, uh, uh, or, a traffic impact study on how many vehicles will be going in and out, cutting through?

(Mr. Forbes responded not for this small of a subdivision.)

So you can consider it small; but the traffic, you would have to agree, on Cline Avenue is fairly large for the town. It’s not – it’s not in comparison to Indianapolis or Wicker. Okay. But it is one of – uh, a major thoroughfare north and south. Would you not agree?

(Mr. Forbes agreed.)

Okay. So adding on R-2 housing into that section from R-1 and increasing, exponentially, the cars, all right. So if you double the cars for, let’s say if you go from R-2 to R-1, or whatever, uh, you’re – you’re increasing that much more with – without any tangible information from you guys. You’re going to say it’s just fine; thank you. But my autistic kid who runs across the street, who doesn’t get – when that kid decides he’s going to cut from Cline Avenue over to Marquette, all right, because it’s a new shortcut, I don’t like that.

I want input from you folks. I want you guys to do exactly what you’re meant to do, which is really look into things and see how it’s going to impact the – the – the rest of the – the people that are already living there. All right. You say it’s tangible to everything that’s been in the area. It’s not. Just like – just like, uh, Olcott is not what we were given or told it was going to be. Okay. $500,000 homes, it didn’t happen.

So, again, work – work a little harder. Do what I – what our neighbors are asking you to do. Mr. Swets was impeccable on telling you that roads are in this town, you know, a problem. And so R-1, please. Thank you.

Dan DeYoung (8720 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): Okay. So you have a copy of the letter I dropped off. So since you may not have had enough time to read it, I would like to read it if I can here. Hopefully, uh, my older eyes can read it well. So, uh, the first part is just introducing who I am and where I live. So I live at 8720 Cline, which is, um, roughly about 165 feet north of the subdivision that, uh, they’re discussing at 8802 Cline.

Um, I guess the first question I have here, uh, which is in the first paragraph of this letter, um, this property was annexed into, uh, St. John. Um, is there a legal requirement as far as notification of neighbors around the property when property is annexed?

(Mr. Forbes and Mr. Muenich responded in the negative and clarified that it only needs published in the newspapers.)

Just in the newspapers; no, uh, notification for neighbors?

(Mr. Forbes responded that is correct.)

Okay. I’m, kind of, surprised at that. But, uh, um, so – cause I didn’t know it was annexed until – actually, one of my neighbors told me just after I got the invitation for this meeting. So, uh, I’m kind of surprised that St. John doesn't want to let their neighbors know that they’re taking people over.

(Mr. Forbes advised that the petitioner complied with all the legal requirements of the annexation; and no one was trying to hide anything.)

Okay. I – I know it’s legal, and you know, you have to put (inaudible) in obscure newspapers that, uh, no one reads anymore anyhow. Um, okay, so that’s beyond the point. Next one, uh, density. Um, so, uh the R-1s – I’ll read what I have here.

Um, the R-1 zoning, um, is annexed or is more in line with the size of properties along Cline Avenue. Now, you’ve already explained here – I mentioned that, you know, the – the properties along Cline Avenue are on septic, as are we; um, but that’s not the reason we have large properties. We bought properties here cause we like a little bit more space around our homes. Um, so property along Cline Avenue range from 1-plus acres to 10 acres. I happen to have 7 acres there. Um, and my neighbors have, also, 3 and 5 acres; and there’s 10 on the other side of it.

Um, the much smaller R-2 zoning is not consistent with the neighbor – neighboring properties. Now, granted, he mentioned North Point as half the – uh, the R-2 zoning. But that’s not a neighboring property to this. The properties along Cline are neighboring properties. This is all butting up to Cline properties, not with North Point. Um, as you can see on the, uh, map, there’s only five lots butting up to, uh, North Point out of the 30, uh, 37 lots. Um, and I’m an architect. I’m also a civil engineer, and, uh, I’d be willing to volunteer my time to Land Technology, uh, or – or to Doug, whichever company he’s with. But, uh, to help him design lots at R-1. I know we can do it.

Uh, it’s not a hardship. It’s just a financial thing for the developer wanting to make as much money as they can out of it. But it is possible to do R-1. I can do it; and, uh, I’m willing to volunteer my time towards that, if that’s needed. Um, let’s see. Next here, um, um, and also, (inaudible) on that point, too.

Um, I really think – I mean you guys really do need to do your job to do a traffic study. And it’s a small subdivision; but every morning I pull out, my wife pulls out, um, kids pull out; so my property alone probably has four cars pulling out of one property. And that’s a bunch of times over the course of the day; and coming back home, the same thing. But pulling out is more the difficult part.

You have 37 lots; 37 lots of, let’s say, two-three cars pulling out every single morning. I have problems pulling out as it is now cause all the kids are going to school up Cline Avenue. There’s all the people from all the subdivisions you approved south of us, um, are going up Cline Avenue to Lake Central. This is going to continue to add more and more volume. Um, the fewer lots, as Gerry Swets mentioned, will reduce the amount of volume on Cline Avenue, at least by that percentage.

If it’s, uh, let’s see, we had – if it’s 6 lots less, you know, that could be, potentially, 24 cars less waiting just right before school starts, cause everyone leaves just, you know, 15 minutes before school starts. So I’m asking that you continue to keep that R-1 and not change it to R-2 for the traffic volume on Cline Avenue, as I have experienced it. I live there, have lived there for 14 years; I know what the volume is like. It’s not easy.

So, um, next, um, uh, we’re also very concerned about – and this goes with future, but also has to do with the volume of the property here. Uh, we’re also very concerned about the potential drainage plan for the subdivision. Uh, we anticipate that the proposed detention pond at the northwest corner of this property will drain into the storm sewers in the subdivision just west of it, which is North Point. Uh, this sub – this North Point subdivision drains into the detention pond at the northwest corner, um, of the North Point subdivision, which subsequently drains into my property.

Um, um, this North Point detention pond, in the about ten years that’s been there, has overflowed its basins at least twice I know of, may have been three times. Um, when it overflows its – its, uh – the banks here, uh, there’s a spillway, and then it just used – uh, erosion to my ditch, my property. I’ve already lost – in the last couple of years, I’ve lost two trees along this ditch, cause the ditch meanders on my property. And, uh, the, uh, as it meanders, the trees are falling down. These are 80-100-year-old trees that, uh, the – the ditch has now eroded away, which is just recently that this has happened. It wasn’t this way before.

So, um, so – and I anticipate, based on the plan that is shown here, he’s got the detention pond shown along the northwest corner. My property, if you look at the top left of this drawing here, um, I assume he’s draining out to the west, which is, like, where it says 87th Avenue – on the other side, Kenn. Um, and then it’s going to go through North Point and then to – the detention pond is in the top left corner there. Um, and then my property is – it goes around there into North Point, Kenn.

(Mr. Rettig pointed out their property on the screen.)

So I – I know Doug already has a plan for where he’s draining it. And I know it’s not the purpose of this meeting, um, but I want to bring it up at this point in time so you guys can think about it as you look at the volume of this property. Um, uh, let’s see. I’ll continue reading on. Uh, the North joint – North Point detention pond was inadequately designed to handle this North Point subdivision only, so; uh, this was designed for North Point, not for any additional water to be flowing into it.

Um, um, uh, let’s see. If it – it was designed for 100-year flood; however, it’s overflowed twice in ten years, so it’s not even making a 5-year flood. Um, any additional volume will further, uh, erode our property is not acceptable to us. Uh, I would like the county surveyor to study the drainage of this proposed subdivision before approval and how to make – and how to appropriately control it. Since the detention pond in North Point cannot be ex – uh, expanded, perhaps, the – the ditch at the rear of my property could be, uh, protected with riprap or something to keep that from further eroding away as a result of this subdivision.

Um, um, so that’s everything that was written about in the letter. Um, I am concerned about the volume again, uh, but I appreciate your considering that. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I’d like to remonstrate against reducing lot sizes. I’d like to remonstrate against reducing the zoning the lot sizes. And I incorporate all the refer – by reference, all the people that have spoke before me against rezoning. Uh, so I won’t rehash all that.

I have to ask this board, simply, what is going on in this town? We keep coming back, time and time again, where people want to reduce the lot sizes, reduce the lot sizes. We have an ordinance. People came here relying on that ordinance, and what happens is every time you reduce the lot size anywhere in this town, you reduce the value of neighboring property owners because you’re changing the character of the neighborhood. And I have to ask – I’ll ask five times, if you want, what is going on in this town?

Why do developers get their way every time in these reductions in lot sizes? It’s not normal, in my opinion, that anybody that wants to come in here can do this. I got to look at this Plan Commission and say, what is going on here? So for those reasons, I – I suspect that either you have the wrong attitude or something else maybe driving this. So for those reasons, I remonstrate against reducing the lot sizes. Thank you.

Robert and Kathleen Burrink (8730 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): (Robert) We own the property directly to the north of the subdivision that’s being proposed: and I would just like to say flat out, I also would recommend R-1. It’s disappointing enough that North Point is obviously R-2, when we assumed that all the properties that were being built in the original subdivision to the south of that were relatively nice, large homes. Might have had some bylaws written about the structures and the type of quality home. So it’s already disappointing to see what’s going in. I’ve – I’ve met or talked with the developer, and I understand it’s going to be a higher quality home that’s going into this subdivision. But I think to keep with the standard of the area and why we bought what we bought and how we’ve improved it, uh, I think R-1 is the only way to stay, flat out.

Traffic does concern me. I think you definitely need to do a traffic study. The only – the only benefit –

Kathleen Burrink: Can I say one thing? I went to the Lake County. There have been 38 accidents from Bingo Lake Road to 93rd. I don’t know the exact name of that road. But 38 accidents. There was one that was deadly in front of our house.

Mr. Burrink: And about the only thing I can say is that having an entrance, you know, 90-100 feet south of my driveway might possibly slow traffic down because people are driving down Cline Avenue doing 60 miles an hour on a regular basis.

Mrs. Burrink: And racing their motorcycles constantly.

Mr. Burrink: And I’m also a biker, but it’s just crazy, cause there’s hills on that road, if you look at the incline. And there’s cars cause that’s such a fast approach coming over that hill. Right about at the end of my driveway is the peak. Um, another issue that needs to be addressed with the – with the County is that we already – as Dan my neighbor to the north said – from North Point, we already have an excessive drainage problem. And we’ve gone to that developer to no avail. We have gone to the County, and we have all the information we need to identify to the Town. But we have, I mean, two Mays ago, we had 18 inches of rain. And I would seriously love to see the topology report and the size of this detention pond that’s going to go immediately to the south of my home to take on such a capacity. We’ve had more rain in the last 5 years than we’ve had in the last 20 years to the level of 18 inches two – two Mays ago.

Mrs. Burrink: I had to – we’ve been there 13 years. I’ve always had a garden in the back. We’ve had to put sod or grass seed over our garden because we can no longer have a garden back there because of the flooding that’s coming from the drainage of the North Point subdivision. When we brought the County out – we have all the information from the County. I have video footage, and I have all the paperwork from Steve Kil, um, to verify that the way that Olthof came in, he had initials that said this had to be abided by, and because that subdivision, that section, um, those developers, and so forth, went bankrupt.

Olthof bought it from the bank. He did not follow the plans according to what was agreed by Steve Kil. And also our neighbor Dan that was at the original meeting of that subdivision; and one of the things that was stated by Dan DeYoung was what about that drainage. He said it before that subdivision was supposed to be – was granted permission to be created or established. Now my whole backyard, as of even this week, I got my – my zero turn lawnmower caught back there because the rain is still going there. When I called Mr. Olthof regarding that drainage, he said we’ll give you money to buy – plant one tree in there. That should do it. And he thought that was gracious and enough to offer.

(Mr. Forbes tried to speak.)

So now we have that detention pond. Is that going to be a retention pond or a detention pond, the new one that will be – that is being proposed for this new subdivision?

(Mr. Forbes responded that they are usually detention ponds.)

Because the one that’s a detention pond overflows. It’s overflowed in Dan DeYoung’s yard. It’s overflowed in ours. The drainage that’s going on right now, I have complete video footage of how it drains into our yard, which the neighbor that had sold this gentlemen this property, Helen, she even said for all the years that she’d lived there, we never had that flow until North Point came in.

So our pr – what we -- I don’t have a problem as much with the subdivision being built other than I would like R-1. Also, I would like you to come and see or someone meet with me to show you the video and the Lake County, um –

Mr. Burrink: Topology report.

Mrs. Burrnink: Yep. To show you that that was not done properly. So now we’re worried that now we’re going to get another subdivision in there that you guys are going to approve, and the gentlemen that I’ve met that does the subdivision seems very, um, gracious in trying to work with us. He’s been very good to try and work with us, and – and we appreciate that.

But that is our main concern, traffic, since there’s been 38 accidents. And I found this out two years ago, so I don’t know how many – one death in front of our house. Then you have all this drainage behind us because this – Mr. Olthof bought that from the bank and did not follow those plans; and now you’re going to put another detention pond that we’ve been getting rain like no other that – where’s that going to go? Is it going to go in Dan’s creek that’s already eroding his property?

Mr. Burrink: Or our backyard?

Mrs. Burrink: Is it going to – going in our backyard where we’re going to have a nice swamp that we already have because North Point never, when Olthof went and did his, uh, took over that – that – that – he never followed the rules. He was supposed to go to Steve Kil. He has initials on that plan when he had a meeting; and I had those – I have those plans. It stated that he was going to check with the neighbors to agree that, that we agreed on how he was going to do it. And he never checked with me, and I don't believe he checked with Mr. DeYoung either.

(Mr. Forbes advised that this is the first time that we’re hearing of this. Mr. Forbes tried to speak further; however, he was over talked.)

Well, the reason why is because you have these two subdivisions that are going to be conjoined.

(Mr. Forbes again stated that this is the first that the Plan Commission is hearing this and that we would look into all the drainage.)

Mr. Burrink: Well, the retention versus detention is a huge issue because the detention that exists isn’t big enough.

Mrs. Burrink: And it overflows.

Mr. Burrink: And every ounce of water from the top of those – center of those homes on that subdivision in North Point behind us totally overwhelms the swale that was built there; and we have 8 inches of water in our backyard, as does Dan, at every major rainfall.

Mrs. Burrink: Which we never had until that subdivision was done.

Mr. Burrink: The back 25 yards of my lawn is a washout swamp for three to four weeks after every major rain; so I want to know that there’s a – an extremely good study done to where all that water’s going. In the topology reports that existed, I was given by the County – and the County came and had a meeting with us – clearly identify that North Point is disrupting the natural topology that the earth, the land was supposed to do. Even though the homes were built, it’s messed up.

(Mr. Forbes stated that we will look into the North Point issue.)

Mr. Burrink: Yep. It’s got to stall everything cause it’s a mess.

(Mr. Forbes advised that the drainage hasn’t been completely engineered for this subdivision yet. We are only talking about the zoning.)

Mr. Burrink: Well, I understand. But the keyword there is “drainage”; there’s nowhere to drain it.

Mrs. Burrink: Exactly.

Mr. Burrink: The detention pond that exists isn’t good enough for what it is supposed to do in the first place. It needs to be retention.

(Mr. Forbes stated that he understands their concerns; and when we get to the engineering part of this subdivision, whether it is R-1 or R-2, we will look very closely at the drainage.)

Mr. Burrink: It needs to be R-1. R-2 in North Point is already a disgrace to this town.

Mrs. Burrink: Yep. Thank you.

Jacob Triezenberg (8808 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): With the subdivision going in, my backyard backs up to that. I’ve had to bring in forty truckloads of dirt because I flood. If all those houses went in, I would flood all the time.

(Mr. Forbes reiterated that the engineering has not been done yet and asked the gentlemen if he has any comments about the zoning.)

I understand. The other thing is I’m also on septic. Would you be willing to put me on – go to your city sewer then? Because if I’m flooding all the time, my septic doesn't work. If I only have 2 acres, I don’t have anywhere to put my septic field. I have a 2-acre plot right now; and if I keep flowing, my septic don’t work; therefore, my toilets back up.

(Mr. Forbes stated that he understands that and stated that the gentlemen is talking about engineering instead of zoning. Mr. Forbes then asked him if it is a correct statement that he is opposed to the zoning.)

Correct.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak regarding this Public Hearing. A member of the public tried to speak again and had an outburst when denied a second round at the podium for this matter.

Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board and asked the board members for any final comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding rezoning Lantz Development.

Motion to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for Lantz Development for rezoning from R-1 to R-2. Seconded by Mr. Birlson.

Roll-call Vote:

Mr. Kennedy Aye
Mr. Williams Nay
Mr. Kozel Nay
Mr. Birlson Aye
Mr. Gill Aye
Mr. Forbes Nay

Motion results in a tie vote.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Muenich to advise on what action should be taken due to the tie vote. Mr. Muenich stated that he had never had this happen before, but he believes it is a no recommendation to the Town Council unless an agreement can be reached on another vote.

Mr. Forbes asked if any of the board members would change their position on this matter if another motion were to be made. Hearing no response, he declared that this will go to the Town Council as a no recommendation from the Plan Commission.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4B – Public Hearing for Replatting – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 4B for Public Hearing for the replatting of this unit.

Mr. Tony Strickland with V3 Companies stated that he is here on behalf of John Lotton seeking Primary Plat approval for The Gates of St. John Unit 4B.

Mr. Forbes asked if the only changes being made are to some lot lines. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative and stated that they are only changing the lot lines to better fit a product.

Mr. Kennedy requested that Mr. Strickland indicate on the viewing screen how the lot lines are changing. Mr. Strickland complied, showed the new lot lines, and stated that all the lots are larger.

Mr. Eberly stated that he believes that Mr. Strickland had explained in a prior meeting that the reason the lots could be increased was due to the fact that the detention pond didn’t need to be as large as originally proposed. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing for this petition.

Mr. Eberly advised that this project remains a single-family section of The Gates.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I – I guess my question is, is these lots that have been resized, have they been resized larger of have they been resized smaller?

(Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Strickland had just mentioned that they are slightly larger.)

Okay. Okay. I – I’m sorry I didn’t hear that. Um, so, yeah, I – I think we still need to look at – as far as this approval goes, I – I like larger size lots; but our lots are still too small. Um, I know you can’t do anything about this, but I’m looking at the dimensions that are on here; and it’s, um, from what I’m looking at on the drawing, it’s, um, 8 parcel – or 8 lots on 1.51 acres, which is 5.2 lots per acre. Um, that is not St. John, gentlemen, I’m sorry. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I guess, basically, um, you look at this development – you look at a lot of these developments and, basically, the comments are the same. Look at the size of the lots. This may be approved as is; but originally, this should have never been approved. Basically, what you’re hearing tonight is simply a matter of the residents of St. John are getting tired of small lots; so, therefore, I think that some of the comments that were made earlier about the fact that you had better start paying attention to what the residents of St. John want, not what the developers want, and it’s about time that the Planning Commission and the Town Council paid attention to what’s going on in town and what the residents are telling you. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak on this petition. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Williams stated that he wants to reiterate a previous comment that the Plan Commission should be looking at The Gates as a whole and not as individual proposals.

Mr. Kozel stated that these already have houses on them. The ones that you don’t see, there’s already units there; so all this is doing is just bringing it in compliance.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Strickland if Lots 958 and 959 are one lot prior to this replatting. Mr. Strickland stated that is correct and that it was facing 105th Avenue previously. Mr. Birlson asked if that will be a single-family home. Mr. Strickland responded that there will be two single-family homes there.

Mr. Birlson asked what it was previously. Mr. Forbes advised that it was previously one single-family home that had an outlet to 105th.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding The Gates of St. John Unit 4B.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Unit 4B the replatting of this unit, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Birlson and 1 abstention by Mr. Williams.

Mr. Strickland asked for a suspension of the rules and ask for Secondary Plat approval, if possible.

Mr. Forbes asked if all the infrastructure is in. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes advised the board that this is not uncommon and asked if anyone has an issue with this request. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to suspend the rules regarding the time requirement between preliminary and secondary plat approval.

Motion by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion fails 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Birlson and 1 abstention by Mr. Williams.

Mr. Eberly advised that a unanimous approval is required to suspend the rules.

Mr. Forbes advised that they will have to come back for Secondary Plat on July 5, 2017.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 10L – Public Hearing for Replatting – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 10L for Public Hearing for the replatting of this unit.

Mr. Tony Strickland stated that they are seeking primary approval for The Gates of St. John Unit 10L, and he is happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Strickland if these are cottage homes. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the frontage size for these lots were initially. Mr. Strickland stated he does not recall the frontage, but they were larger. Mr. Eberly responded that they were originally 80 feet wide.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing for this petition.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I – I’ve said this already, so I really don’t need to go into it any further, but Lots 12 through 21, 61.5 feet wide by 140 feet; Lots 39-54, 61.5 feet by 140 feet; um, that’s – that’s just totally ridiculous. You’re looking at, according to the drawing that I saw, uh, that’s called 5.59 buildable acres; and with 27, um, properties on that; that comes to 4.83 units per acre; 4.83 units per acre. I have nothing more to say. This is ridiculous. I hope you do not pass this. I’d like to see it keep the original size that it was zoned for. Thank you.

John Tritschler (9265 West 106th Avenue): I, basically, would be having a lot that is due north of the proposed diagram there, if you will. Um, my whole – I mean when we moved into our home, we were told it was going to be single-family homes, certain, you know, dimensions, um, trying to keep up the property values. Um, the thing that I don’t want to have see happen is when I look out my backyard, to see that. And I thought St. John was a little bit above building things of that nature; and I’m, kind of, disappointed. That’s all I have to say.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I would like to thank you all for being here and volunteering for the most thankless job in government. And as our representatives, I appreciate you listening to us and, uh, hearing what we have to say. And everything I think we’ve heard so far has not been personal, but there’s a lot of concern in the community about what’s happening. We moved in here shortly, um, in January; and when we moved in, we had expectations. We – you could say they’re from a realtor, they’re from a map, they’re from a diagram; but somehow, the community had established and expectation.

And what I see happening is the remarkable ease with which developers can come in and change plans that you folks have set up. And, of course, there’s a profit motive for them; but from my perspective, we came to this community because of what we seen and what we heard. And it just seems like there’s an obligation on the part of the community, yourselves, to protect what you say. And if you’re going to say, hey, I can build version one; but nah, let’s – let’s do version two or version three. And – and – and just to come in and change after people make investment decisions, move into a community with the understanding that they are going to get one type of community, one type of culture, one type of – of feeling and a sense of feeling.

And to think that you’re sitting here and saying, I’ve got to somehow go back to my representatives and fight for what I’ve been told was established. In good faith, you folks established certain parameters; and if a – a – a developer – and I’m sure they’re all good people. I bought from one. I’m sure they’re all good people; but if they wanted to set a policy up and get a certain size lot, they should have come to you originally. But to come after the fact and use option B because it’s more convenient or more profitable for them and puts us in lurch because we now have property that – that was said before, it loses value. And it going to draw the traffic and the water, and all these things, they’re all real things.

But underlying it all is a commitment. And I heard it before, “If you want your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” I would like to keep these rules the way they are. And – and – and – and – and to go back and have confidence in my city, in my new city, my new representatives that you’re going to stand up and fight for us, who came to the community in the first place. And to willy-nilly change this just doesn't seem right. And, um, I come from a world where there’s a right and a wrong; and to me, the attempt to change this is wrong. And – and – and that’s where I come from. We live in an area, uh, you tell me you’re going to go from R-1 to R-2, from 20,000 to 15,000. That’s a 25 percent reduction.

I happen to live, fortunate enough to live on one of the retention ponds. That means, to me, that that home is going to be 25 percent closer to the water. Okay. I purchased a home because I had expectations. And I’m counting on this board to hold up those expectations that they approved before and to keep us whole with a, um, R-1 rating. And if – if a developer wants an R-2 or a commercial or whatever other kind of rating he wants, there’s enough property for him to go do that.

But the developer, himself, made a commitment to the community, and he published that commitment. And you can look at the history and record and the signatures and everything that was done to establish something in a certain way. And to come back later is just not right. Again, I appreciate you guys being – I’ve been in your position, you can’t win; but I appreciate you anyway.

Mr. Eberly advised that while Mr. Blase approaches the podium to speak, he is passing out a letter of remonstrance that he received during the afternoon relative to this unit in The Gates.

Brian Blase (9295 West 106th Avenue): My property is just to the north of this, uh, proposed, uh, change; and I – I guess I can’t add anything more to what the three gentlemen before me said. Um, when we bought our lot, we expected, uh – our expectation was that we’d have homes and lot sizes similar to what we have right now. And to drop down to 61.5 feet of frontage, um, I just feel it’s totally ridiculous. It – it certainly is not reflective of – of what’s going on, on 106th Avenue; so that’s basically what I had to say, sir. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I guess, uh, there’s not much you can add to what’s been said to you other than you, uh, approved 80 foot, so rezoning doesn't exist on this. However, what the gentlemen have said before me is simple. The expectation when they approved these 80-foot lots was that they’re 80 foot. Now they come back and they add seven lots, which is meaning one thing, they want to make more money, period. But 80 feet down to 61.5 is crazy.

Now, the next thing, somebody will come in, he’ll – the developer will come in and he’ll go, well, the lots all over here are 61.5, so why don’t we do this section 61.5 cause it’s just like this section. And that’s what’s happening to this town. Developers are coming in; you’re giving them permission to downsize. They’re downsizing; and as they’re downsizing, the next developer comes and goes, well that development is 80 foot, so I’m going to do 80, and then I’m going to get it approved at 80, and then I’m going to come back in two years, and I’m going to turn it into 60. And then they come in and they go, well, you know – prove this, 60. And then it goes down to 50. Where does it stop? This is not Chicago.

You’re going to start putting sidewalks in between these houses? That’s how ridiculous it’s becoming. We didn’t move to St. John, and you’ve heard people who are here, brand new residents haven’t been here a year, and already, they’re disappointed by what’s going on in this town. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes read a remonstrance letter from Joel Zandstra as follows:

“I strongly oppose the changes Mr. Lotton is proposing to section 10L in The Gates of St. John. Residents who built their homes in Cyprus Gate, part of section 10L, were provided a plan for the subdivision along with the covenants prior to purchasing lots that showed their Gate would be comprised solely of single-family homes with a minimum square footage of 2200 square feet for a ranch and 2600 square feet for a higher than 1 story.

The covenants also specifically call out anti-monotony. The purpose of anti-monotony code is to preserve the visually pleasing character planned for The Gates of St. John. In doing so, it promotes individuality of homes and enhances property values. How does the developer later come back and want to change the plan, size of lots, and character of the houses, which thereby reduces our property value? I purchased my home and chose my lot based on the subdivision design and layout I was shown along with specific covenants in place for Cypress Gate or section 10L.

The proposal now shows much smaller lot sizes behind my home along with a different type of home. The cost of these homes would be significantly less than the cost of the rest of the homes already built in Cypress Gate, which devalues my home and my neighbors’ homes. Who benefits from this change? The developer is the only one benefitting from this, not the residents in The Gates of St. John.

Adding units to a specific space adds more vehicles, increases density, and provides less green space, all reducing property values. The new section is targeting baby boomers who will die off in the next 15 to 25 years, leaving behind small lots with age restrictions. Who will be able to afford these and want them? What happens then? I ask you to please deny this request for making any changes to section 10L. Mr. Zandstra.”

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I’d like to incorporate all the previous comments that have been made at this hearing and the previous hearing against reducing lot sizes in whatever text you want to call it, rezoning or just within the same zoning, making them smaller.

We know that money is the motive for the developers. My question is, what is the motive of the Plan Commission members that approve this kind of stuff? Where do you get your inspiration? What the words were said tonight is called detrimental reliance. People have invested their life savings; and detrimentally relied on the zoning, the size of the lots within the zoning, and the character of the neighborhood.

When you downsize lots, you take away the value of the other guy’s house who has previously invested there. And my question is simply this, what would be the motive? We know the motive of developers: We sell more lots, we make more money. What is the individual motive of a Plan Commission member when they vote to reduce lot sizes? What is that motive? What inspires them to vote that way? What inspires them to be a rubber stamp to do these things time and time again? That is my question to this Plan Commission. And for all those reasons, I remonstrate against changing the lot sizes. Thank you.

Charles Magerski (10351 Silver Maple Drive): I don’t really have anything further to add as all the comments have been made. I just, you know, agree with all of it. I just basically just wanted to come up and echo the comments earlier.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Birlson stated that at a previous meeting he had stated that this is why he doesn't like a PUD. It was approved with 80-foot wide lots, and now the developer wants to come back and add seven more lots, which he disagrees with strongly.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Forbes if Mr. Lotton would still be under his number of units. Mr. Forbes responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Strickland what the impact is for additional lots with this change. Mr. Strickland replied that it is seven.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Strickland what the total number of units so far is. Mr. Forbes advised that the total internal count is being done. Mr. Strickland responded that they have not tallied them up at this point.

Mr. Forbes stated that this will likely be addressed at a Study Session, and the number breakdown will show existing units, unbuilt units, and an overall of what was proposed.

Mr. Williams stated that, as he said earlier, this needs to be looked at in totality and not in pieces.

Discussion ensued regarding unit numbers.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any further discussion on this unit. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding replatting of Unit 10L.

Motion to deny replatting of The Gates of St. John Unit 10L, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays and 1 abstention by Mr. Williams.

D. ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Public Hearing for Amending Chapters 18D, 10 and 19 to be Consistent with the New BZA Rules and Regulations
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Public Hearing regarding Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Chapters 18D.10, and Chapter 19, which need amended to be consistent with new BZA Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Forbes requested confirmation that the change to the ordinance is to allow more time for notification of Public Hearings and to include the Zoning Administrator job description in the ordinance. Mr. Muenich confirmed the same.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this also requires certified mail receipts. Mr. Eberly responded that this will make it clear that the personal notice must be by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Mr. Eberly advised that this increases the notice date from ten days to fifteen days, defines Zoning Administrator, and eliminates the ability to hand deliver notices.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing on this matter.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I think fifteen days’ notice for a change in the neighborhood is not sufficient. I think the notice, both notices should require thirty-day notices. Somebody can be on vacation for fifteen days. Somebody can be out of town. Somebody could not drive by where a sign is required. I think the proposed thing should be increased, time wise, to thirty days each for both. That’s, in my opinion, fair to the homeowners whose property will be affected. Fifteen days is not sufficient. Thank you.

John Homolka (9227 West 103rd Place): I moved to the sunny side of town. I used to live on the cold side of town, right off of Olcott and 105th. Mike, when they put in your subdivision, and when they put in Weston Ridge, I don’t know what’s changed. I don’t know the laws, but I did get a letter from the Town stating that there was going to be a zoning, a plat, everything. So I was notified like thirty days way – by, you know, letter. So when did it change? Because nobody reads the newspaper but me and a few other older people here, you know. The younger people, come on. I mean the laws have to change to reflect your community. So I think a letter wouldn’t be too much to ask, I mean, when you have rezoning. When people buy a house they should be made aware.

(Mr. Forbes stated that folks are notified by letter when they are within 300 feet of the project. The letter cannot be hand delivered any more, but must be a certified letter, which is the green card; and the time of notice is being increased from ten days to fifteen days.)

By letter; okay.

(Mr. Eberly advised that this is in relation to the BZA, which is applicable to a Special Exception or Use Variance or a Developmental Standards Variance. The Plan Commission change is pending.)

Okay. I just wanted to make clear on that. Thanks.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak on this matter. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding the Zoning Ordinance Amendment and advised that this would be a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the Zoning Ordinance Chapters 18D.10 and Chapter 19 Amendments by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3 – Permission To Advertise for Rezoning from R-1 to RC-2 PUD and R-3 (Petitioner: Dave Barick/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Three Springs Unit 3. The petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing for rezoning from R-1 to RC-2 PUD and R-3.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that they are seeking permission to advertise for rezoning this property on July 5, 2017. This is a tough piece of property due to the tower lines, the pipelines, the railroad, and it is an odd-shaped parcel.

Mr. Williams stated that he does not see the need for Lots 30-38 to be zoned R-3; but he likes this plan much better than what was previously presented.

Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. Barick would prefer to do the duplexes due to the challenges on the property: Homes can only be built on one side of the street, and there is a very large open area that is unable to be developed. The proposed density is only 1.5 units per acre, so it is not a high-density project.

Mr. Birlson stated that he concurs with Mr. Williams and would like to see Lots 30-38 be made single-family units.

Mr. Forbes asked, since this can be discussed at the June Study Session, are they comfortable with giving permission to advertise for a Public Hearing. Multiple members responded in the affirmative. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Motion to grant permission to advertise by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

B. MILL CREEK UNIT 3 – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Mill Creek Unit 3 regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Todd Olthof of Olthof homes stated that he is here regarding the final plat of Mill Creek Phase 3. The Developmental Fee and Performance Bond have been submitted. Curbs will be installed this week, and paving is expected to be done by the end of next week.

Mr. Eberly advised that the bond has been posted and the Developmental Fees have been paid.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $ 8,955.40. Most of the public improvements have not been completely installed. A Letter of Credit should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $224,309.08 to ensure the improvements will be installed. Mr. Forbes confirmed that both fees have been paid.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for Mill Creek Unit 3.

Motion to grant Mill Creek Unit 3 Secondary Plat approval, referencing Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Williams.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $224,309.80.

Motion by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

C. NORTH POINT UNIT 5 – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is North Point Unit 5 regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $10,597.40. Most of the public improvements have not been completely installed. A Letter of Credit should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $312,532 to ensure the improvements will be installed.

Mr. Todd Olthof of Olthof Homes stated that the Developmental Fee and the bond for this project have been paid. Mr. Eberly concurred.

Mr. Olthof stated that they will finish the utilities this week and the fine grading of the asphalt next week. Mr. Olthof noted that the comments from the Study Session were heard and that they will make 87th the construction access; furthermore, they are working with the contractors to have them park on one side of the street.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding North Point Unit 5 Secondary Plat.

Motion to grant North Point Unit 5 Secondary Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Williams.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $312,532.

Motion by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

D. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 2 – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 2 regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee has been paid, and all improvements have been installed.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that they are requesting final plat approval on Rose Garden Phase 2, which is a one-lot subdivision, Lot 11. The lot is roughly 1.5 acres for one single-family home. Mr. Rettig advised that this site is ready for construction.

Mr. Kraus advised that the plat that he reviewed was prepared by John Bullock, who has retired; and this plat is prepared by Kevin Krull; therefore, if the Plan Commission does approve this, he would request a chance to go through the clerical portion to make sure all of the check-list items are taken care of.

Mr. Rettig confirmed that Mr. Kraus is correct that Mr. Bullock retired, and he has sent the new plat to Mr. Kraus. Mr. Kraus stated that he is in receipt of the same but has not had a chance to review it as yet.

Mr. Forbes asked the members if anyone had an issue with giving approval pending the engineer’s review. None was had.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Rose Garden Unit 2 Secondary Plat.

Motion to grant Rose Garden Unit 2 Secondary Plat approval pending the engineer’s review, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will bring in the mylars as soon as Mr. Kraus is satisfied.

Mr. Rettig asked for permission to advertise for Rose Garden Phase 3 for next month as well. It was not on the agenda tonight, but he is asking if the board is okay with it, he does have a sketch plan, which has been discussed over the last several months. They are almost done with engineering and are ready to present it.

Mr. Eberly advised that this could be done by motion. Mr. Eberly further advised that this is slated on the agenda for the June Study Session.

Mr. Forbes asked if the board was comfortable authorizing permission to advertise for Rose Garden Unit 3. Members of the board concurred.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Rose Garden Unit 3 for permission to advertise for Public Hearing.

Motion to grant Rose Garden Unit 3 permission to advertise by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Ed Everett (10133 White Oak Avenue): The other day, uh, I got this in the mail. It was for the, uh, bike path that you guys want to put in in the gap.

(Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Everett that it is not the Plan Commission’s purview.)

I understand that. But what I’m asking you for is, uh, if you could just give me a timeline of – of what, uh – when you plan on starting this.

(Mr. Forbes stated that there is not timeline right now as we are waiting for responses from that letter. Mr. Forbes advised that he call the Town Manager.)

I tried that back, uh, uh, over – almost a year and a half ago, and his secretary, or whoever it was would not allow me to talk to him; so that’s why I’m here. I wanted to get an answer from you guys.

(Mr. Forbes advised him that the project has nothing to do with the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes stated that he has just gotten that letter and that he should call the Town Manager because he is waiting for those calls.)

Okay.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I come up here a lot and try to influence you to make decisions and complain a lot about the decisions that you make; and – and gentlemen, early tonight, I want to thank you for your service. And – and, you know, I need to do that as well because I do appreciate the time that you put into this; and I know that you take it seriously. Um, just don’t always agree with the way I do, that’s the problem. So for the guys this evening that – that – that did, um, you know, vote the way that I was – was hoping you would vote on the R-2 lots, I thank you. Uh, for the guys that didn’t, I – I – I’m kind of – I’m – I really am disappointed.

Uh, but, uh, I – I would like to just bring up one more thing that I said earlier, and I’d like to see this board declare a moratorium on anything and any requests for lot sizes and reductions, whether it’s from R-1 to R-2 or PUDs. And – and until this town can build adequate infrastructure and build roads and handle the roads to the traffic that we have, I – I don’t think we should be approving any other, uh, additions.

So I’m going to ask you again to just keep everything R-1, um, as – as when they’re brought in. And again, just start to rebuild the reputation that St. John has had over the years for its property and its property values; and let’s keep the town, um, growing in the right way. Thank you.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court): Uh, again, the impact of, uh, schools – someone mentioned schools, elementary schools, the high school – the roads are very important. And, you know, it boggles my mind that my church, Suncrest Christian, was denied a 1-foot variance for parking from ten – from 9 foot to 10 foot. And you’re giving these, uh, developers 30 and 40 feet, uh, making them less, uh, sized lots. Um, you know, the – the final vote is going to be our vote come – become – uh, you can vote all you want to now, but our final vote is, uh, the final vote. Thank you.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): I have a couple things I’d like to say. I look at this Plan Commission and I see, I’m certain, seven different personalities. Okay. But I see three personalities up there – only two tonight – uh, and that would be Mr. Kozel, Mr. Forbes, and Mr. Volk, that are really the hanging judges for the future of this town. And what I mean when I say that is, Mr. Forbes, I believe, if 20 by 30 foot lots were brought in front of you for approval, you’d probably make an emotion – a motion to approve them; and it would be a race between Mr. Volk and Mr. Kozel to second it. You need to – oh, funny again. I’m funny again. Good. Chuckle it up, “Chuckles”. Okay. Next –

(Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Parada may have noticed that he had voted against the 60-foot wide lots.)

You don’t do that often enough, Mr. Forbes; you don’t do that often enough. Another thing here, uh, large attendance. Take a good look at how many people are here. We are not happy with the way that things are going. The rest of you guys on the Plan Commission, I truly commend you for what you do. I see that you put thought in the way you vote. And – and I, along with everyone else – I’m sure – that’s here appreciate that. Okay.

Next, 67, 160-foot lots come before you, and you’re even considering it? What is wrong with you? Honestly, what is wrong with you? What are you trying to do to the town we love? Next, R-3 gets approved in the past with no definition even for an R-3. And you’re probably continue – and you’re probably thinking of bringing it before the zoning board of appeals and trying to make that possible to make R-3 available, even though it’s not right now.

Another thing, these people that are being just deluged with theses duplexes in the – in their developments. The real truth is I’m not even against duplexes as long as it’s not a bait-and-switch situation and the infrastructure pro – supports it. I’m not even – I’m not even against that. They’re not coming to my neighborhood. But I am a member of St. John, and I don’t have a problem with that as long as it doesn’t create a traffic hazard.

Uh, another thing is responsibly build, period. (Mr. Parada was given a 30-second warning.) Yes, I’m aware of that. Period. And what I mean when I say responsible building, this doesn't always come under the heading of law; it comes under the head – the heading of ethics and just morality.

And that’s another thing, ethics. Nobody here is held responsible for ethics; because 13 years ago, with it – when an ethics law was tried to be passed in a code, it never happened. Thirteen later – 13 years later, we don’t – we still don’t have it. And I sat here one meeting –

(Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Parada his time was up.)

– and I sat here at one meeting –

(Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Parada to indicate his time was up.)

– when the Circle K was trying to be passed –

(Mr. Forbes again thanked Mr. Parada.)

– and Mr. Kil sat here for –

(Mr. Forbes again thanked Mr. Parada.)

– half the time and tried solve all their engineering problems.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I think giving developers the green light with Letter of Credit for final approval when the infrastructure isn’t complete, relying on a Letter of Credit puts the Town at risk. Economies change; things change. Letters of credit have not worked sometimes in the past. It makes no sense, to me, that you give final approval and – without the final construction, the roads, the infrastructure being done. It makes no sense. People then can go sell lots when there’s no complete infrastructure.

What does that do to the guy that’s buying the lot if the infrastructure isn’t complete and it’s waiting on a Letter of Credit to make the completion. I – I think you should see if that’s even legal. You got your Mr. Attorney here today. Ask him if you can sell lots with final approval based on Letter of Credit without the infrastructure being completed, without the plat being completed, as far as what you’ve done. I think you put the buyers at risk when you rely on a Letter of Credit to perform that. And I thank you.

Dan DeYoung (8720 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): Thanks again, by the way, those of you that, uh, voted against the, uh, uh, Lantz Development. Uh, my question is different like that, uh, actually. I was here for that, uh, presentation; however, subsequent since, I saw the secondary approval for Olthof subdivision, and I guess I’m asking for your – your help on this one. I wasn’t aware that was going up. And – and not that I need to, I’m beyond the 300 feet away, or whatever notification.

But, um, as I mentioned previously, that subdivision, North Point drains through my property; and the detention pond that handles all that area, which includes the area that you just gave secondary approval to, uh, drains into that same detention pond. Uh, that detention pond has flooded over, uh, like I said before, at least twice, um; and, uh, it continues to deteriorate the ditch on my property.

You guys gave original North Point approval, they did some riprap just a short distance after the, um, overflow for the detention pond. But, uh, it’s really not enough; and I – I’m losing trees. It’s continuing to erode. That ditch is getting deeper; it’s getting wider. It’s continuing to snake around my property, so I’m losing my property due to the development, uh, that’s behind me. Um, I’m not sure we can do – you gave secondary approval; I wasn’t aware of it, uh, since, again, I don’t read the newspaper, um, or at least the ones that you advertise in.

But, um, uh, I’m asking for your consideration on trying to do something, whether it’s another detention pond in that piece of land that you just gave approval to, uh, to further slow down the water, cause this is going to add a huge more volume, or otherwise, I’ll be calling you every time it does flow over to try to, uh, alleviate the problem that the subdivision has created to my property and is further deteriorating my property.

(Mr. Forbes stated that he will make sure that there is a review of the North Point subdivision and how the Lantz Development may affect that.)

Okay. Right. I appreciate that. Um, you know, currently the property is just vacant land that soaks in a lot, you know, a lot of the water. Once you get those hard roofs in there and the streets in there, the water just exponentially increases in speed to my property and floods over that detention pond. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, he closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 9:04 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

06-21-2017 Plan Commission

June 21, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on June 21, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Volk with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Steven Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Gregory Volk. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent: Mike Forbes

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3 – Discussion of New Development Proposal Which Includes RC-2 PUD and R-3 Lots
Mr. Volk advised that the first item on the agenda is Three Springs Unit 3 discussion of new development proposal, which includes RC-2 PUD and R-3 lots.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is here representing Dave Barick, Three Springs Development. Three Springs Unit 3 is on the schedule in two weeks to rezone the property, which was annexed in as R-1. They are proposing a combination of RC-2 PUD and R-3 zoning. Lots 1 through 24 is proposed as RC-2 PUD; and Lots 25 through 38 is proposed as R-3.

Mr. Rettig stated that he provided a summary of the size of the lots, the minimum widths, and the various setbacks. Mr. Rettig advised that the RC-2 PUD allows for lots as small as 80 feet wide; and their smallest lots are 82 feet in width. The lot depth is generally in the 150-foot range. Mr. Rettig stated that they are substandard on some of the lot widths and some of the lot areas, which is why they are asking for the RC-2 PUD. The lot areas average out to be more than the 15,000 square feet, overall, as required in the R-2 zone. Their average lot size is 15,291; however, some smaller lots are in the 11,550 range.

Mr. Rettig advised that he has provided the deviations from R-2 to RC-2 as Mr. Williams had requested. As far as the R-3 zoning, they meet the ordinance. Mr. Rettig stated that they would like to reduce the rear-yard setback from 40 feet to 25 feet, which would be consistent with the R-3 zoning.

Mr. Rettig advised that there was a cul-de-sac in an earlier rendering, which was removed, that allowed some of the lots to be larger. They have a lot of slope from north to south, and that will help with transition grading for those lots.

Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Rettig for the list breakdown and asked him if there are any other variances that are being sought off of a straight R-2. Mr. Rettig responded that they have one corner lot that is not 120 feet wide, Lot 17, which is 100 feet wide.

Mr. Eberly stated that if the Plan Commission grants the request for the 25-foot rear-yard setback in the RC-2, he would like that to be platted. Mr. Rettig agreed to do the same.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have done the legal notices, and they are on schedule for the July Public Hearing.

Mr. Williams asked if the board wanted to discuss the R-3 lots as there was a pointed conversation about it at the last meeting. Mr. Birlson stated that he had agreed with Mr. Williams that R-3 is okay along the railroad tracks but not on the other lots. Mr. Volk concurred.

Mr. Kozel stated that he does not have a problem with it. Mr. Gill concurred.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he would like to see the R-3 only south of the open space.

Discussion ensued about where the members feel R-3 is acceptable and unacceptable.

Mr. Eberly advised that this on the agenda for Public Hearing on July 5, 2017.

B. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Regarding Primary Plat
Mr. Volk advised that the next item is Rose Garden Unit 3 regarding Primary Plat.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is here representing Sublime Development for Rose Garden Phase 3. They are scheduled to appear on July 5 for Primary Plat and have submitted their engineering drawings to Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Rettig stated that they have received RC-2 PUD zoning for this property, which is located south of Willow Ridge. They have an existing street stub on the west side to Parrish Avenue and one on the east side to Willow Lane, and they will be connecting to those.

Mr. Rettig commented that there is a large wetland area that causes one of the hardships for this property. Mr. Rettig stated that they are having some issues with the sanitary sewer because it is very shallow, which will force them to pump certain lots into the sanitary sewer in the backyard. The whole east side is able to be gravity sewer using the existing sewer in the back. Mr. Rettig noted that they are going to add a rear-yard drain in one of the lots on Willow Ridge because the property is not draining properly. There is an existing run back there, and they are going to drop a new drain on top of that run to help.

Mr. Rettig stated that they will be putting in two small retention ponds. They are leaving the wetlands intact, but proposing mitigating any wetlands that are on the lots.

Mr. Rettig discussed the extension of Willow Lane to 92nd Place and stated that wetland goes to the property line of an existing home in Cottonwood Estates. Since the property is a wetland, putting the road extension in will be problematic, from an engineering perspective. The ground is not good, so he would like the Plan Commission to consider not making that connection and end the street with a cul-de-sac.

Mr. Birlson asked if soil borings have been done. Mr. Rettig responded in the negative.

Mr. Rettig stated that he knows and appreciates the connectivity desire in the community. The developer will be happy to shore things up and put in a cul-de-sac. There is another connection into Lancer Estates. Mr. Birlson stated that the soil borings need to be done, and then you'll know what you're dealing with.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are putting in a 30-inch culvert to handle the flood routing from Willow Ridge. Outlot A will, pretty much, be left in its natural stage. There will be a culvert underneath the road to continue that flow.

Mr. Volk asked where the cul-de-sac would be. Mr. Rettig responded that it would be an offset cul-de-sac right next to Lot 1.

Mr. Eberly asked if they intend to dead end the water main or loop it back. Mr. Rettig responded that he thinks they can connect the water main with directional boring.

Mr. Kraus asked if the sidewalks would still go in. Mr. Rettig stated that it is up to the Town.

Mr. Rettig asked for input on putting in the cul-de-sac instead a through street.

Mr. Kozel asked if the cul-de-sac would allow for a snowplow turnaround. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Williams asked what he would do if he didn't connect to 92nd. Mr. Rettig responded that he would leave it the way it is.

Mr. Kozel stated that if it's not going to work feasibly, there will be a lot of problems with the road. Mr. Eberly stated that we'd inherit those problems. Mr. Rettig stated that it will be expensive to build and, in the long run, may not do what you want it to do.

Mr. Birlson and Mr. Williams asked Mr. Rettig to get the soil borings done first before making the final decision about the road. Mr. Kraus stated Outlot A is another area that needs to be checked. Mr. Rettig agreed to do the soil borings.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Mr. Rettig moved the lot south of Lots 20 and 21. Mr. Rettig stated that they took out two lots south of Lots 20 and 21, and they added one in another area, so they are down one lot.

Mr. Williams asked for a list of what's different in the PUD. Mr. Rettig stated that he has that list and handed out the same.

Mr. Rettig noted that all lots meet or exceed the 15,000-square-foot minimum. Lots 1 through 7 are 94 feet wide instead of 100. They have three corner lots that are less than 120 feet, the smallest being 105 feet. They are proposing to have no sidewalks in front of the outlots. All of the lots will have sidewalks; but because of the wetland areas, the outlots will not. The rights-of-way have been reduced to 50 feet instead of 60 feet. The streets are still the standard size. Lots 17 and 11 have a small wetland impact. Lot 17 is still over 20,000 square feet; and Lot 11 has 3 percent of the lot area impacted.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the sidewalk by lot 17 will have an accessibility ramp. Mr. Rettig responded that they can do that, but there will be driveways within feet of those ends of sidewalks, so it may not be necessary. However, if a depressed curb is necessary, they can do that.

Mr. Kozel stated that it is usually only done at corners. Mr. Williams stated that, if it ends, it should be returned somewhere. Mr. Rettig stated that he would revisit it and work it out with Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have done all the notice requirements and are prepared for Public Hearing on July 5.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN 7B – Proposed Rezoning from Single Family to Duplex Lots

Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 7B for proposed rezoning of this unit from single-family lots to duplex lots.

Mr. Tony Strickland with V3 Companies, on behalf of John Lotton, stated that they are here to revisit a discussion that was started at the May Study Session regarding rezoning for the remainder of Pod 7 in The Gates of St. John.

Mr. Strickland asked Mr. Eberly to show the rendering of the entirety of the Gates of St. John and explained the same to the Plan Commission because Mr. Williams requested the information in a previous meeting.

Mr. Strickland stated that they would like to take another section of The Gates over on Park Place, where they were slated to put in 77 units, and move those units over to Pod 7 and reconfigure that unit to multifamily.

Mr. Williams asked if the drawing on the screen is what is current. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Williams stated that he would also like to see what was originally planned. Mr. Eberly stated that a drawing of that is in his packet for the meeting. Page 2 of that handout lists each pod, the style of home that was to be built, the number of acres, what it was zoned, and how many lots and units per pod. Mr. Eberly further stated that it totals up to 1450.

Mr. Strickland stated that he believes that is straight out of the Zoning Agreement. Mr. Eberly stated that it is out of the Zoning Commitment and the Annexation Agreement.

Mr. Eberly stated that the third page is a compilation of the proposed counts or the actual counts to be approved. He further stated that no pod of The Gates exceeds the number of allowable units per the Annexation Agreement or the Zoning Commitment.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Muenich's position on The Gates is that it is not only limited to 1450 in total, but is limited to the number of units per pod, which is fine so far. What we're talking about here tonight is getting rid of 77 units in 17A, which is fine; however, in Mr. Muenich's opinion adding those 77 units to 7B is problematic because of the Zoning Commitment and Annexation Agreement.

Mr. Eberly stated that the final page of the handout comes from the Zoning Commitment and Annexation Agreement states that "Development shall be generally consistent with the Development Plan prepared by the Linden Lenet Land design drawn by V3 dated August 18, 2005." Mr. Eberly further stated that he sent that information to Mr. Muenich this afternoon but has not heard back from him yet. Mr. Eberly stated that his question to Mr. Muenich was if this language gives the Plan Commission the flexibility to allow some interchange between pods as long as the total of 1450 is not exceeded.

Mr. Eberly stated that when this was discussed two weeks ago, some of the members liked the idea of getting rid of the condominiums and adding those 77 units to Pod 7B and others felt that we should just go with the plan as is.

Mr. Williams stated that if Mr. Muenich is right, that forces the condominium position. Mr. Eberly stated that it can still be resolved, but he isn't sure that Mr. Lotton will want to go to the trouble it would take to do that.

Mr. Eberly stated that he would prefer to wait until the legal opinion is given by Mr. Muenich or Mr. Austgen.

Mr. Williams stated that he didn't think the Plan Commission could revise this agreement. Mr. Eberly advised that if the petitioner requests it, the Plan Commission can do an entirely new PUD and make a recommendation to the Town Council that could be approved or denied by the Town Council.

Mr. Williams asked if the Plan Commission can call special meetings. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Williams stated that perhaps they could have a special meeting where they approve the remainder of The Gates in its entirety. Mr. Volk stated that it would be best to wait and hear the legal opinion first.

Mr. Birlson asked if it did swap, the count could be 182 duplexes. Mr. Eberly stated it would not necessarily be all duplexes.

Mr. Strickland stated that if you take the 107 units and add the 77 units, it gives you 184 units.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Forbes expressed his opinion at the last meeting that he would like to see those 77 condominium units go away and transfer that unit count over into Pod 7B.

Mr. Williams stated that we don't know how to deal with a commercial 4-story tower like that in St. John. No police, no fire, we have no training for anything like that anywhere in the town. So if we're going to take something like that on, we're going to have to retrain our emergency responders on how to deal with a structure of that size and density. Mr. Williams stated that it is something we need to be mindful of if that becomes a reality.

Mr. Eberly stated that we do have the equipment to handle it and that Mr. Gill could respond to that because he is a volunteer fireman.

Mr. Gill advised that this wouldn't really be a whole lot different than the retirement home, which has a little bit more needy people in it. It has three stories and is pretty dense with all the units. Mr. Gill further advised that they have a 4-story training site on Industrial Drive and a 105-foot aerial truck with a basket.

Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Gill for that information.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is ample parking if the condominiums were to be built because it doesn't look to be enough parking.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Lotton what he has planned for that. Mr. Lotton responded that they aren't planning anything until these meetings are done.

Mr. Eberly told Mr. Kennedy that he can't answer his question, but he agrees that it doesn't appear to have enough parking for that many units.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the surrounding areas are zoned. Mr. Gill responded that Silver Maple and Golden Arch are R-2. Mr. Strickland responded that 7A is R-2 PUD and Unit 4 is R-3 PUD.

Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Strickland that they are slated to be on the July 5 agenda to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4C – Proposed Replatting
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 4C regarding proposed replatting of this unit.

Mr. Tony Strickland with V3 Companies, on behalf of John Lotton, stated that they are here to discuss the proposed Unit 4C. The rendering provided is possibly the last change they're going to make to Unit 4. This would be a continuation of the single-family cottage homes. They are requesting the proposed replatting due to the change in lot size.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the change is. Mr. Strickland responded that the change is going from 60-foot wide lots to 52-foot wide lots.

Mr. Kennedy asked how many more lots that yields. Mr. Lotton responded that it is seven more lots.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the change is just due to the type of product. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative and commented that it is to continue the product that is in Units 4A and 4B.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Units 4A and 4B are 60-feet wide. Mr. Strickland responded that they are currently 52-feet wide.

Mr. Strickland advised that this change would not exceed the proposed count for Pod 4 in total.

Mr. Eberly stated that according to approved plats for Pod 4, he has a unit count of 21; and the maximum allowed is 126, so they still have 105 units to go.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Strickland if they will be seeking permission to advertise at the July 5 meeting. Mr. Strickland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Volk asked if there were any further questions. None were had.

E. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4B – Requesting Secondary Plat Approval
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Unit 4B.

Mr. Eberly advised that it is just a reminder that they will be appearing before us at the July 5 meeting for Secondary Plat. The Primary replat was approved at the last meeting.

F. THE PRESERVES – Requesting Secondary Plat Approval of Unit 2
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is The Preserves requesting secondary plat approval for Unit 2.

Mr. Jack Slager with Schilling Development stated that they are planning to come back in two weeks for final plat approval of The Preserve, Unit 2. A little over a year ago, they did the Primary Plat for all of the Preserve. Unit 1 is under construction, and they are now coming in for Final Plat approval for Unit 2, which will consist of 52 lots on 43 acres. It is a mix of 80-foot wide lots, 90-foot wide lots, and 150-foot wide lots with about 12 acres of outlots for open space, retention, and wooded areas. This phase will include the platting of the remainder of White Oak Avenue down to 101st, the platting of right-of-way for 101st Avenue from White Oak over to the ditch, Bull Run Creek, where it crosses at the bridge. As part of the improvements of Phase 2, they did the re-improvement of the intersection of White Oak Avenue and 101st Avenue.

Mr. Eberly displayed a drawing of the area on the viewing screen in the room. Mr. Slager indicated various areas and described what they were. The lots come down into the cul-de-sac. There is a conservation easement where all the trees are being preserved. They have a large outlot that has recently been replanted with a wetland mix that's going to grow into a natural flowering wetland area. They continued the bike path from Unit 1 down to the intersection and installed a crosswalk.

Mr. Kennedy asked if utility poles were being moved. Mr. Slager responded that the poles have NIPSCO power running through them but are owned by AT&T, which complicates things. They have agreed to move three poles farther away from the road and straighten them out, but that has been in the works for several months already.

Mr. Williams asked who pays for that. Mr. Slager responded that in this case AT&T does.

Mr. Birlson asked if they had lowered White Oak Avenue at their entrance. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative. Mr. Slager noted that, when they installed their entrance, it become apparent there was a line-of-sight issue; so they got with the engineers and drafted a plan to rectify that and did the same.

Mr. Slager stated that the water line for Unit 1 tapped off of Rosewood, which is single fed off of an 8-inch line through the back, and they have a 12-inch water main through Phase 2, which runs down a lot line, down along the north side of 101st, and then bored under the creek and ties into a 12-inch water main, so there is now a 12-inch pipe that loops through Rosewood and ties into the Town's water system.

Mr. Eberly asked if they will be ready for the July 5 meeting and if they will be doing a bond. Mr. Slager responded that they will be ready; and he has spoken with Mr. Kraus about the bond. They've turned in the dollar numbers for the infrastructure, and Mr. Kraus will get them the fee that needs to be paid, which will be paid by the July 5 meeting.

Mr. Slager stated that the sewer work is done. Next week, they will be starting on the roadwork, which will be close to being completed during the week of July 5 when they come to the meeting. They will probably do a bond or letter of credit for the final coat of asphalt.

Mr. Slager stated that there was no substantial changes other than the easements, which were discussed a few weeks ago. On the primary plat, they showed side-yard easements on every lot to ensure there were easements everywhere there needed to be easements. It would become problematic when people were coming in for building permits with side-load garages. The Town doesn't want them on easements.

Mr. Eberly confirmed that no driveways can be on easements.

Mr. Slager advised that they went back through the plan to see where the easements were really needed and restricted those easements to only lots that absolutely had something in them and got rid of the rest.

Mr. Williams asked about the counts in Unit 1. Mr. Slager responded that there are about 20 under construction, 3 that are occupied, and 7 lots still available for sale.

F. DISCUSS PARKING REGULATIONS – Pertaining to the Parking and Storage of Boats, Campers, RVs, etc.

Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is to discuss parking regulations as they relate to parking and storage of boats, trailers, campers, RVs, etc.

Mr. Volk stated that he had brought this up at the last Study Session. About a year and a half ago, we amended the Parking Ordinance to allow owners of boats, campers, trailers, RVs, or whatever to park seasonally on their driveways.

Mr. Eberly stated that it is basically six months.

Mr. Volk stated that he has had several people complain about that and believes it should go back to the way it was. He further stated that his thoughts on it is anyone that buys a boat or a trailer realizes the fact that they're going to have to store it someplace. The Parking Ordinance does allow parking on a hard surface beyond the building line, which can be done year around. Parking on the driveway is only seasonal.

Mr. Volk stated that there has been some interest in retracting it. The original version allowed parking roughly 48 hours before and 48 hours after you used the vehicle for loading, unloading, and cleaning before putting it into storage.

Mr. Kozel explained that the reason it was changed was because there were folks who would go for frequent 2- or 3-day trips, and it was difficult to find the time to keep putting in and taking it out of storage.

Mr. Eberly advised that page 2, under G3," Trailers" begins what is being discussed. It is primarily G3 and G6, but it does still apply to G4, G5, G7, and G8. The ordinance allows for driveway parking from April through September in residential zoning districts.

Mr. Volk stated that when we only allow 48 hours before and after, the question becomes how to enforce that.

Mr. Eberly stated that enforcement is a nightmare that way and that the six months is easy to enforce. Mr. Kozel concurred.

Mr. Kozel stated that the 48 hours was so hard to enforce and there were so many complaints and tickets written.

Mr. Eberly stated it is difficult to monitor how long a vehicle is in a specific place. It could be moved for a day or two and then be back; additionally, there are a multitude of vehicles in this town.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they are allowed to park an RV or trailer in the side yard in December on a hard surface. Mr. Eberly responded that it has to be gone by October 1.

Discussion ensued about what could or could not be parked year-round in a side yard.

Mr. Volk stated that if he owned a boat, RV, or camper, he would appreciate having seasonal parking; however, for the neighbors who don't, they may not have the same feeling towards that vehicle being parked there all during the nice summer months. They don't want to look at it but are stuck doing so because of the ordinance.

Mr. Williams stated that he likes the building line language. If it's behind the building line, there is a clear line of sight; but if there is an RV or camper there or something all season, it's like a fence.

Mr. Volk stated that the neighbors shouldn't be stuck looking at a large RV all summer. Mr. Kozel stated that there is still the matter of how to police something like that.

Mr. Kozel stated that we only have one code enforcement officer, and it would be very difficult to keep track of that.

Mr. Williams asked what neighboring communities are doing. Mr. Eberly stated that Dyer has no restriction on time. It has to be parked in the driveway. It can't be in the street or overhang the sidewalk. It must be parked on a paved surface in the rear yard. Mr. Eberly noted that Dyer has setback requirements for side and rear property lines.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Eberly to see what Schererville's rules on this are. Mr. Eberly agreed to look into it.

Mr. Volk stated that he believes the reason that it addresses use of the side yard is because there are no alleys in St. John. Some of the newer homes, it is hard to find that kind of room in the side yard.

Mr. Williams stated that issue of what is enforceable should not be ignored. Mr. Eberly concurred.

Mr. Williams further stated that it sounds like what we had before was unenforceable. Mr. Eberly stated that the code enforcement officer does not have time to enforce the shorter time allotment.

Mr. Eberly commented that it is his opinion that we either leave it alone or we outlaw them, period. He stated that he is not advocating that; however, for code enforcement purposes, the way it is now is the easiest to enforce. To ask the code enforcement officer to enforce 48 hours is not going to happen, there is not enough time to do that.

Mr. Eberly stated that the rear-yard language is a little confusing and read what it said. He further stated that to him is sounds like a vehicle can be parked on a driveway that extends into the rear yard, but he was told that an RV can't park there.

Mr. Eberly noted that he likes the seasonal parking for the ease of enforcement.

Mr. Eberly asked if the Plan Commission wanted this to be on the July 5 agenda or the next Study Session. Mr. Volk responded that he knows Mr. Forbes has thoughts on this and that it would be best to defer to the next Study Session.

Mr. Eberly advised that he would get the information from Schererville.

Mr. Volk stated that when they were considering this the last time, they had looked into how some other communities were implementing and enforcing rules on this, and there was a lot of variance between the communities they researched.

Mr. Volk advised that they would carry this over to the next Study Session and do some research in between.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Volk adjourned the meeting at 8:28 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

07-05-2017 Plan Commission

July 5, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on July 5, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, Gregory Volk, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Kenn Kraus, and Michael Muenich.

Absent: John Kennedy.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes for the May 3, 2017 and June 7, 2017 Regular Meetings and the May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017 Study Sessions and asked for motion to defer.

Motion to defer the minutes by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3 – Public Hearing for Rezoning from R-1 to RC-2 PUD and R-3 – (Petitioner: Dave Barick/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Three Springs, Unit 3; this is a Public Hearing for rezoning from R-1 to RC-2 PUD and R-3. The petitioner is Dave Barick.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for the petitioner to proceed with Public Hearing.

Mr. David Cerven stated that he is an attorney representing Three Springs. Mr. Cerven stated that Mr. Dave Barick and Mr. Doug Rettig, of DVG, are also here tonight and available to answer any questions.

Mr. Cerven advised that this has been before the board numerous times with numerous changes. Units 1 and 2 are approved and have duplexes and single-family homes, and Mr. Barick is asking to put duplexes and single-family homes in this unit as well.

Mr. Cerven stated that he was here before when Mr. Barick was asking for an R-3 PUD, and counsel for the board, at that time, brought up that the Zoning Ordinance didn’t permit that; however, there are other developments that have received the R-3. He further advised that he disagrees with that interpretation.

Mr. Cerven stated that, rather than going to court, Mr. Barick went back to the drawing board; and what he has submitted to the Plan Commission now is R-3 duplexes; which he reduced from 22 to 14. He is not asking for any variances on those duplexes.

Mr. Cerven reviewed the hardships of the property: the railroad tracks to the west, power lines to the south; and in front of the power lines, there is an easement for gas. They are proposing to put the duplexes by the railroad tracks and the power lines. Due to the easements there, duplexes make more sense and is similar to where the duplexes are located in Phase 1.

Mr. Cerven stated that they are proposing the single-family homes be RC-2 PUD and be positioned by the lake and in the center of the property.

Mr. Cerven reviewed the RC-2 PUD of the Zoning Ordinance and stated that in this situation there is about 34 acres of property, and almost 14 acres of that 34 acres will be open space. He further stated that the lot sizes have increased from 62-feet wide to 82-feet wide.

Mr. Cerven stated that this property is very limited as to what can be developed on it due to the various hardships of the land and is likely going to attract newlyweds and empty nesters. He further stated that it will not impair the peacefulness of the surrounding neighborhood, will not be detrimental to the value of the surrounding neighborhood, and will be visibly pleasing. He added that it will not impose a hardship or burden on public services and will not increase police, fire, or schools.

Mr. Cerven stated that they respectfully request that the Plan Commission approve the plan as proposed.

Mr. Williams asked if the duplexes were going to be age restricted. Mr. Cerven responded that they would not be age restricted, but that is who is likely to live there.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Grant Luff (10080 Springlake Road): And I’m here just to say I would like to see everything left as R-1. I think R-2 and R-3 is going to – it’s going to mess the area up down there. I mean, right now, if he starts building there, my – my backyard floods in heavy rains cause he never took the storm sewer far enough out. And when we get heavy rains, my backyard, you can see it – it’s a swamp. So if he starts building more up there, I might lose more of my yard, and that. I’m worried about that, and, uh, I just don’t want to see the traffic.

I mean, I spent – like I said, I spent a lot of money to live in this town. I mean I could have went down to Cedar Lake. It’s growing. A lot of places are growing, but I picked this town because I thought it was beautiful. And I just, by myself, would just like to see it stay as beautiful, and that. So it’s pretty much what I just got to say. Thank you.

Paul Schulz (10103 West 99th Avenue): I just hope you guys aren’t led astray by a hired lawyer to tell you guys what kind of people are going to be moving into these homes. Um, this is our subdivision; we’ve been living there for years. There’s one road in and out, and there is no way for all of this traffic or anything else to get through except for the one road. He’s not acquired the other road out to Parrish of – of – that anyone knows about; so all this traffic is going to be sent through our R-1 subdivision, and you guys are giving him a variance to do another subdivision. It just – it makes no sense to me how you can let this happen. Thank you.

Mary Jo Biscan (10201 West 99th Avenue): And I just wanted to say, once again, that I’d like to remonstrate against this proposal. I believe our property values will be negatively affected by the multiage of multifamily homes; and we did rely on the existing Zoning Ordinance to be upheld as we were all originally told by our builders when we built in Three Springs. The doubling of families will cause an excess of traffic, as well as safety concerns, due to the limited access to our subdivision.

And you’ve heard us many times as we have voiced our opinions at this – various town meetings, and St. John has always been known for its large lots, which has set it apart from the other nearby towns. So please don’t let the legacy of this board be that you were the ones that led St. John to mediocrity by allowing these changes to the Zoning Ordinance. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I’ve repeatedly stood here, and I’ve smoke – spoke against smaller lot sizes, multi-units, duplexes, and cottage homes. One of the items that I have repeatedly said over and over and over again is the serious traffic problems that are going to be created by putting in all of this higher dense building, such as duplexes. Um, I was to the traffic impact meeting – I brought this up at the Town Council last week, and I’ll bring it to your attention in case you weren’t aware, gentlemen. The independent engineers who are working with the Town of St. John to figure out what their traffic problems are came to a conclusion that if St. John does not build one more unit of any nature for the next five years, our traffic will turn to an F status, basically across the town, in five years.

Their estimated minimum cost to start fixing our traffic problems here in St. John – and it’s a matter of record in the Clerk’s office – the PowerPoint presentation starts at, minimum, $80 million. Now, I defy anybody sitting up there right now to tell me where St. John is going to get $80 million, minimum, to start fixing the traffic problems caused by higher density and all these cars coming in. The engineer’s guestimate that this number could reach as high as $120 million, and that is at today’s costs. The engineer said, as time goes on, that $80 to $120 million is going to climb. Now, do we have that kind of money? Are we going to be able to tax these people? No. So what are we going to have? We’re going to have a town with an F status. Intersections and roads that are totally too full, and they’re going to be screwed for everybody.

This developer has no hardship. It didn’t – it existed exactly as it is right now when he bought this property, so he knew what he was getting. He also has told the people that he built for – and I personally talked to several of them – he said he was going to keep it R-1. Now he turns around and wants to change it all; and that’s not right. So, therefore, these duplexes at the end, or this other side, the next developer that comes along is going to say, oh, well, there’s duplexes here, so I want to build duplexes here. And when does it end? When are we going to start looking at the $80 million minimum price tag that’s being put on higher-density homes in St. John?

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street): Been a while since I’ve been here, but you all have heard the same from me. Uh, I’m against any rezoning from R-1 to any lesser status, and they’re considerably lesser. Um, the petitioner was fully aware of the issues with the easements, uh, when the purch – uh, when they purchased the property.

Um, the petitioner, tonight, the way they talked as – as if they were giving a gift to the community by leaving that green space intact, well, anyone who owns that property has no choice but to leave it intact. So, um, in lieu of being able to build on that, he seems to want to make things denser in what remains and increase, again, the traffic woes and other impacts on the infrastructure of our town. Um, there’s nothing to prevent R-1 from being built there. It’s not a hardship. The hardships or the easement were with the property already. Um, don’t think it needs to be rezoned.

And, uh, and one other thing I’d like to reiterate is I specifically picked St. John for their, um, due diligence in – in standing by their R-1 zoning and the 100 by 200 lots. Uh, been here seven years now, and, uh, it’s scaring the daylights out of me how many developers are beating down the door trying to, uh, turn St. John into Schererville and Dyer. And I just moved out of Schererville, and I don’t want to have to move again. Thank you.

Sue Furtek (10015 Springlake Road): I am against the rezoning, um, of this area of lands. I live on – obviously, I live on Springlake Road. All this traffic is going to come down my block because he does not have the right-of-way to make the street that he talks about. And I live on an R-2 lot. I’m 100 by 150, so it – it’s not that I’m against a R-2, because I feel like I have enough space, because I did come from Dyer. And I was on a very – I was on a 75 by 130, and everybody was stacked on top of each other. And we chose Mr. Barick’s subdivision because I like the flow, the big open lots.

And what he’s doing in the back here, I – I can’t see the continuity along the lake. All the lots along the lake are 100 by 200. So why all the sudden, once you turn the corner, he’s shortening those up? And I – an 82 – 82 wide, that’s not going to match what has gone all the way around the lake. And I, in terms of all the duplexes on that back row, I’m going to agree with everyone else’s saying that that’s only going to open up more multifamily housing. And another thing to think about, those lots back there – I’m on 100 by 150, and this is exactly what those are. And put in your head looking at my lot, there’s going to be two driveways there with the living space. I can’t – I stand in front of my house, and I can’t even imagine what that’s going to look like, that you’re going to put two separate residences connected together on a 100-foot-wide lot.

He complains that, oh, people are here. They’re complaining. They already live in a duplex. But he doesn’t understand the duplexes in the front of the subdivision have much wider lots; and I think that’s the point he’s missing. Those are more – they’re more luxurious; they’re bigger; and they’re not stacked on top of one another. And those duplexes were there when I purchased my lot in Phase 2, so I’m not against duplexes, but not in this type of capacity.

So I – I honestly believe if he wants – I think it should still be 100 by 200 around that lake, and everything else is an R-2, 100 by 150, and no duplexes unless you want to put them along the tracks, cause I know that’s what St. John likes to do cause they feel like you can’t sell that along the railroad tracks. That’s fine, but there’s – I just don’t agree with anything he's doing. And if what he said about the giving a gift of green space, bring those lake lots out farther. Don’t put anything in the middle, and then that’s a gift of green space.

Ronna Reznik (9971 Wisteria Lane): I agree with all the people who have spoken, uh, before me; but mostly, um, just want to reiterate that what’s allowed for one is going to be expected by the next. So as soon as we keep saying yes and yes and yes, the people behind him are going to expect it.

Um, I also have a letter from another resident that I would like to read, if that’s possible. Um, I’m not sure if you got it in an email from Gretchen Sutherland or not. Okay. Okay. This is from Gretchen. She is 10075 Springlake Road.

“Dear Plan Commission Members, Good evening. My name is Gretchen Sutherland; and I reside at 10075 Springlake Road. My house is located on Lot 107 on the edge of the proposed Phase 3. I am unable to attend this evening’s meeting due to a work conflict. I appreciate your consideration. I want to begin by asking the Planning Commission to deny the rezoning request based on the Indiana Code Developmental Standards Variance criteria.

Criteria one, ‘The approval will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community.’ A risk is posed due to emergency responders having limited access to the neighborhood because his plan includes only one access point on Springlake Road.

Criteria number two, ‘The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner.’ The adjacent property values will be adversely impacted. Property values will be reduced, thus reducing tax revenue even though there will be an increase in the need for emergency and Town services: fire, police, sewer, garbage, snow removal, etc.

Criteria number three, ‘The strict application of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of the property.’ While the parcel is not of the same quality as Phase 1 and 2, there is nothing that poses practical difficulties. Mr. Barick can build a single-family home of the same size on the lots of similar sizes.

These three criteria clearly show that the variance is to be denied. There is no doubt that is going to continue to grow and that Mr. Barick will build within Phase 3 of the Three Springs subdivision. Mr. Barick’s revised plan still includes duplexes along the high-tension lines. His plan should only include duplexes along the railroad. Those lots by the high-tension power lines should be single-family homes; other single-family homes exist along the high-tension lines throughout subdivisions in St. John.

I spoke to Mr. Barick today and expressed that I do like that the cottage homes were removed and that there are single-family homes included. I also discussed with him that I do not agree with the duplexes by the high-tension lines, and I think the lot sizes should be larger. Our current lot sizes are approximately 27,000 square feet with home values between $300,000 and $450,000. The revised plan includes small lot sizes and homes of lower property values.

I would like to address the statement Mr. Barick made at the last Public Hearing. At the previous meeting, Mr. Barick implied that I and others were dishonest about the information we were provided when buying our homes. I stated that Mr. Barick assured me that Phase 3 would be single-family homes like ours. Mr. Barick rebutted that he could not have known he was going to develop the property he refers to as the “ugly duckling” because it was not yet developed. That statement in itself makes no sense. I assure you that he did, in fact, make this statement to me prior to the purchase as we also spoke about whether or not the lot my home would be built on was located in the Lake Central School Corporation in the same conversation.

Both concerns were determining factors in which development I chose to build a home. I recently researched the property transfer of this parcel. Mr. Barick was very well aware of his plans for the property because he was the owner of the parcel containing my property and the ugly duckling in 2007. Finally, at the previous meeting, Mr. Barick stated that we were saying that townhome people are bad people. My opposition has nothing to do with judging other people and only with the impact on our property values and maintaining the standard of building in our community. Thank you for considering my input. Please deny the rezoning proposal of Three Springs Phase 3. What is approved for rezoning will set precedence for future developments in our town. Gretchen Sutherland.”

Gina Eustace (10070 Springlake Road): I would just like to echo, um, all the words of my friends and my neighbors that we don’t want all of these duplexes moved into our R-1 neighborhood. Um, you know, all of us moved – not all of us – a lot of us moved to this neighborhood because we were told it was going to be zoned R-1. And then the – the new, um, development would just be a continuation of what was already there. Um, we ask that you just keep it the way it is, you know. We don’t have any problem with townhome people, um, like Gretchen said; but we just ask that the community remain the way that it was when we moved here, when we chose to build our – our houses and raise our families here. And that’s it. Thank you.

Chris Cook (9829 West 100th Place): I just wanted to echo, uh, everything that everybody said here. Um, I – I – I even believe in compromise. I just – that just doesn't feel like compromise to me. Um, and I think all of you are up there because you – you were voted in by constituents, by people here. Um, and I don’t see anybody here saying what a great plan this is or how much they desire this. And I think that – that if you’re truly doing the will of the people here, um, that you’ll listen to all the voices here. So I – I hope you’re listening to all of us and taking us all very seriously. And thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Having no one else come forward, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes stated that he was on the Plan Commission when Mr. Barick came in with the original Phase 1; and even throughout Phase 1 and Phase 2, Phase 3 was being discussed. The discussion was consistent with what was being done in Phase 1 and Phase 2 and would be rezoned.

Mr. Forbes stated that it is not a prerequisite that duplexes can only be built along railroad tracks and personally feels that the notion of that is a little biased. There are duplexes in Hunters Run, Lake Hills, and The Gates, which are nowhere near the railroad tracks. He further stated that the duplexes that are built in St. John are not cheap duplexes.

Mr. Forbes advised the public that they had just heard a little bit of information that was given out at the Road Impact Fee meeting about the $80 million to $120 million cost that’s heading our way. This is a pie-in-the-sky, utopian dream for all of our road improvements. It is a requirement of the Impact Fee that we assess existing and future development of this Town. The Road Impact Fee has a lifespan of five years; however, that does not mean that everything that is listed in the proposed road improvement needs to be done in those five years.

Mr. Forbes advised that the Plan Commission, as they work through the developments coming in, require roads to be put in which takes items off of the $80 million list.

Mr. Birlson stated that he doesn't have anything against duplexes, but when there are large quantities or tracts of land that are duplexes, it upsets him. Mr. Birlson further stated that he and Mr. Williams both have said that duplexes along the tracks are fine, but that they don’t want them anywhere else in this project and don’t want to set a precedence for the land that will develop to the areas surrounding the property to have an abundance of duplexes.

Mr. Williams stated that he has seen many single-family homes built along the high-tension power lines and doesn’t believe that these need to be duplexes here. Mr. Forbes rebutted that those single-family homes back up to the power lines. Mr. Williams stated that was a fair point and he doesn't know where the power lines are in proximity to the houses on this drawing. Mr. Forbes responded that the lines are right behind the houses, and there are gas lines right in front of the houses

Discussion ensued regarding the gas-line easements, power lines, and the railroad tracks.

Mr. Cerven stated that, when it’s developed, the property that’s next to Parrish will connect Three Springs to Parrish Avenue, and he doesn't see the traffic concerns that were mentioned.

Mr. Williams asked about drainage. Mr. Kraus responded that drainage isn’t discussed at this stage.

Mr. Barick stated that they had drains going down to the lake for drainage, and the US Army Corps of Engineers made him remove them because they cannot be installed in the wetland. That is why the drains stop short all the way around the lake, so the water sheets out to the lake.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion, which will be a recommendation to the Town Council and should include the Findings of Fact.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for Three Springs Unit 3 rezoning from R-1 to RC-2 PUD and R-3, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Hearing no second, Mr. Forbes passed the gavel and seconded the motion. Mr. Volk advised that there is a motion and a second on the table and called for a voice vote. Motion ties 3 ayes to 3 nays.

Having some question about the voice vote, a roll call vote was had.

Mr. Gill Aye
Mr. Birlson Nay
Mr. Kozel Aye
Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Volk Nay
Mr. Williams Nay

Motion ties again. Mr. Forbes advised that this is what happened the last time and no recommendation will be sent to the Town Council.

Mr. Muenich stated that after the meeting, he went back and read the statute and advised that the Plan Commission has the power to approve, disapprove, or make no recommendation. If it is the board’s firm position that there will not be a 4-2 vote to carry, he recommends that the board make a motion to send “no recommendation” to the Town Council and process it in that fashion.

Mr. Muenich advised that if the board chooses not to do that, it is still his opinion that it’s going to go to the Town Council; but we would have a clearer record at the Plan Commission level.

Still having the gavel, Mr. Volk entertained a motion to make a “no recommendation” to the Town Council for this rezoning.

Motion to make no recommendation to the Town Council for the rezoning of Three Springs Unit 3, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Gill. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion ties 3 ayes to 3 nays.

Mr. Muenich stated that his position is the same as it was the last time: That it goes to the Town Council with no recommendation based upon the fact that a majority vote cannot be reached, as required by the statute.

Mr. Volk passed the gavel back to Mr. Forbes.

B. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Public Hearing for Primary Platting of this RC-2 PUD Subdivision – (Petitioner: Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 3; this is a Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat. They are requesting RC-2 PUD subdivision. The petitioner is Mike Graniczny represented by Mr. Rettig.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for the petitioner to proceed with Public Hearing. He further advised that this is for Primary Plat and that zoning has already been decided.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee has not been established at this time and will be based on 2 percent of the construction costs of the public improvements as supplied by the developer or certified estimate by the developer’s engineer. Stormwater Sewer Prevention Plan is include in the project plans but has not been reviewed at this time and will be determined at the time of review.

Mr. Rettig with DVG stated that they are proposing connecting both the east and west side of Willow Ridge with a new street and are here to request Primary Plat approval for the 21 lots located in this RC-2 zoned project. They are leaving the waterway in place in the outlot for drainage and doing some mitigation to clean up a couple of lots. All the lots exceed 15,000 square feet. There are seven lots that are 94 feet wide, but they are extra deep.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are asking for waivers for lot width for seven lots; the street rights-of-way to be 50 feet wide, and three corner lots to be less than 120 feet wide.

Mr. Eberly stated that the lot sizes and the lack of width are handled by the PUD Zoning. The waivers are the street right-of-way, reducing from 60 feet to 50 feet, and the sidewalks. On the plan, the sidewalks do not go throughout the development: There is a gap on the south side of 91st Place, and there are no sidewalks proposed along the west side of Willow Lane from 91st Place to the south.

Mr. Rettig stated that they have two detention basins. One handles drainage from one area before discharging to the wetland and the small one handles the watershed on the west side before discharging to the wetland. There will be a culvert under 91st Place to carry the water to the large wetland that drains to the west under Parrish Avenue.

Mr. Rettig stated that they have had the soil borings done and he received the report about 4 p.m., so he didn’t get to look it over thoroughly; however, from what he read, his suspicions were correct. The soil boring on the edge of the wetland is indicating very bad soil. There were four soil borings done. Two of them were good, one not great, and one that showed 11 feet of unsuitable material.

Mr. Rettig read the following from the K&S Engineers, Inc., report:

“However, where weak organic and marl deposits are present, such as was encountered in the upper 11.0 feet at boring SB-3, construction of the roadway in this area would be problematic. The easiest method of dealing with these weak deposits, if feasible, would be to move the roadway away from this area.”

Mr. Rettig stated that it is not recommended by the soil scientists to put that road through. Marl is a weird soil that is a chalky and liquid-like substance. Mr. Rettig stated that it shouldn’t be built on, and over-excavating that much land presents difficulties. It would be problematic to build and maintain, and they would prefer to put a cul-de-sac at the end of the road.

Mr. Birlson asked how far the water edge goes to the east in that wetland. Mr. Rettig indicated that the wetland delineation line goes to Lot 3 in Cottonwood Estates. Mr. Rettig commented that the line is very visible.

Mr. Rettig stated that, while the engineering is complete and has been submitted to and approved by Mr. Kraus, they would request that the Plan Commission consider allowing the change to make that a cul-de-sac just north of the wetland line.

Mr. Rettig explained that nothing will change with the lots and they are simply asking to not make the connection to 92nd Place.

Mr. Birlson asked what is beneath the marl. Mr. Rettig stated that there is sandy silty clay and then clayey silt to 15 feet, which is the depth that where the borings stop.

Mr. Williams asked who would be responsible for making the stub in Cottonwood a cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig stated that sublime owns the property, and there is a 60-foot sliver that goes to 93rd Avenue that Mr. Graniczny would be willing to deed to the Town if that would help; however, that is a separate matter.

Discussion ensued.

Mr. Eberly advised that they may need to ask for a waiver for the length of the cul-de-sac in Rose Garden and asked if it would exceed 400 feet. Mr. Rettig stated that he thinks it is just under 400 feet and that he could make it less than 400 feet.

Mr. Eberly stated that he is a fan of connectivity; however, he drove to the end of 92nd Place and looked at the wetland grove that is right up against the property on the northeast corner of Cottonwood Estates, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Mr. Rettig stated that they didn’t know how bad the wetlands were until they had the borings done.

Mr. Eberly stated that his concerns are not for the developer; his concerns are for the Town’s costs to maintain the road in perpetuity.

Mr. Birlson stated that there are ways to work to overcome the bad soil. Mr. Rettig stated that it is cost prohibitive for a project of this size.

Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Rettig if he sees any problem putting a cul-de-sac in. Mr. Rettig responded that he does not; but they could hit some pockets of bad soil and will have to deal with it.

Mr. Gill asked if they will be doing any limestone or Portland stabilization in the project. Mr. Rettig responded that the report didn’t say that, but they will look at it further. Mr. Rettig added that typically when they hit soft spots, they over-dig it and put stone in there; however, if limestone stabilization is needed, they would consider that as well.

Mr. Williams asked if the SWPPP not being reviewed yet will cause drainage issues. Mr. Kraus responded that the drainage is fine.

Mr. Kraus explained that the SWPPP is for soil erosion control and typically is reviewed after the subdivision is approved and moving forward to construction.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Kraus to explain what is reviewed when. Mr. Kraus stated that the engineering plans, as far as sewer, water, storm, and roads, all of those things have been reviewed. What wasn’t reviewed was the soil erosion control plan, which is the silt fences and inlet protection that they do when a project is under construction. Mr. Kraus noted that it has not been reviewed yet because this plan has not been approved.

Mr. Birlson asked if a sewer is being put in on Willow Lane west of Cottonwood Estates. Mr. Rettig responded that they won’t be putting sanitary sewer in there; and if they do not put in the road extension, Mr. Rettig wouldn’t recommend putting in the water main connection. It is looped already. Mr. Rettig commented that Cottonwood Estates has a storm sewer that drains into the wetland.

Mr. Rettig advised that if the cul-de-sac is favored by the Plan Commission, any motion tonight would need to be made contingent upon Mr. Kraus’ review of the new plan. Another option is gaining a 10-foot easement of a current property owner to allow them to put that water main in.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for their thoughts about the cul-de-sac or connection.

Mr. Birlson stated that he would prefer to see the road go through and the water main connected.

Mr. Forbes stated that, after the Public Hearing, the Plan Commission can defer this and talk about it in more detail at the Study Session after Mr. Kraus has had time to review it.

Mr. Williams stated that he doesn't want to put a future burden on the tax payers to consistently repair that road that’s going to connect.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Tony Donnelly (9331 West 92nd Place): I’m actually on the bottom of the street of Cottonwood Estates, right where it says Cottonwood Estates on that bottom there. Uh, I know the neighbor that gentlemen spoke of there. Uh, a couple concerns: I know that – I see this has changed a little bit. I don’t have too much I can do about it; but what I am concerned with – if somebody could explain it to me – is the – I know in – in some of Sublime’s web sites, they showed – we talked about, uh, putting a – a lake, a retention pond or some sort – like a lake similar to the one that’s in the development, uh, Willow Ridge’s there. Is that still –

(Mr. Graniczny stated that it is just showing the wetlands.)

Oh, so it’s not going to be an actual – they’re going to leave that so that –

(Mr. Graniczny stated that it is a rendering only.)

They showed an actual, like a lake drawn out. I – I get that. Yeah, they actually on – on Sublime’s web site, so that’s – so is there any plans to do anything with that wetland? Just leave it be?

(Mr. Rettig stated that they are going to leave it alone.)

Okay. And one of the things – Okay. So, um, last but not least, we were here last meeting, here. I met with the other – I don’t know if it was you that was with him, but, uh, I believe it was the, uh, manager. You actually – we talked about – I’m the one who mows that, next to me and him. We both mow this. We – yeah. And then we were talking about possibly deeding it to us, uh, as opposed to the Town. Uh, I know the Town doesn't want to have to take care of that extra stuff that they would have to take care of. But –

(Mr. Rettig asked if they were maintaining it.)

Yeah, we’re already maintaining it, so I didn’t know if that was something. So are they still going to put a – a walking path around this? Is that still in the – in the – nothing like that. Um, that’s – all right. That’s pretty much – that’s pretty much my question was that – was what we talked about; so thank you.

Guy Blessing (9345 West 90th Lane): Much of the business that I was looking for, or against, I should say, has already been determined, so, um, considering the zoning and the R-2 PUD, um, which were many concerns that the same people of Three Springs were having. But, um, my – several questions on this concerning the findings required from your Commission to approve this, um, this planned development.

Um, under part Bravo 6, B6 of the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 9, um, it lists 13 of those, uh, findings that are required through the Planning Commission after determining, uh, whether all those requirements have been satisfied, only then will there be a, um, a Zoning Ordinance granted, which, to me, seems like, uh, that was a little backwards. Uh, it seems to me that all these findings that were required are still not in place; and, um, so it’s beyond me that – that you guys can make a decision without those findings in place, um, concerning the re – the rezoning.

And one of those being, um, natural features such as streams, wetlands, woodlands, topographic features, geologic features, and scenic vistas are preserved and protected. So my biggest question is on the volume, uh, going into the – into Outlot A there, into the wetlands, and the cul-de-sac or – I’m sorry – the culvert which connects the two, being one, being our lake and the wetlands. And, um, as – has the engineering study been specifically done on that volume of water? And also what concerns me is that any other water from this development being funneled into our lake through the sewer or the – the storm drain runoff, which is highly unlikely and, I believe, illegal.

(Mr. Forbes stated that the water doesn’t flow that way; it flows out of your lake into that wetland.)

I get that. But we’re – we were just talking about the sewers, on the east side here, and the sewer system, and where that was going to go. And the water main, obviously, is going to go – that you’d like to tie the main water into that, which is really, uh, irrelevant concerning the, you know, the runoff as far as the water main goes. However, um, that’s my biggest concern, because when our lake was designed, it was specifically designed with those limitations, um, there. And I believe it’s on record with the – with the – the Commission and the Town on what can go into that lake and how much needs to come out.

(Mr. Forbes reiterated that the water is not flowing in that direction and stated that no changes would impact that flow.)

Not yet.

(Mr. Forbes stated that the stormwater will go into the two detention areas and then feed into the wetland.)

Right. Yeah. Yeah, I understand that that’s the way it’s supposed to work. I’m just wondering, and – and I’d like to know if the – if the engineering has been determined that it will work that way.

(Mr. Kraus responded in the affirmative.)

And that’s all on record? Okay. And, um, the only other, um, issue that I was, um, going to bring to – to the board, basically, is, um, um, is not relevant at this point because of the – the rezoning has already happened. So all I was going to, um, bring to the board’s attention was that these rezoning issues, much like the Three Springs, seems to me, aren’t being determined by the law of the ordinance. They’re being determined by opinion. And I’d just like to throw that out there because you still haven’t determined the Three Springs.

And what I mean by that is that, um, right – right in – in the – the ordinance itself, uh, uh, and to the purpose, as – as the – as the lawyer that was here earlier had – had, uh, read, basically, was that, um, you – the purpose of that rezoning with a PUD is that that land can’t be used in any other way under the original zoning. And that – that being said, that’s – that’s the only real determining factor that people should be looking at is why was this allowed to happen when it was already zoned R-1 and you can still use it as R-1. When the – the statute states that there’s no other reason to rezone that as a R-2 PUD without the, you know, without – without the – the reasoning that that property can no – in no way be used as it was under the original zoning.

So that’s my point, and, uh, I understand that in our case it’s – it’s a little late. I had other points also, too, that also concern the law of – of the ordinance. But it – it is frustrating to listen to and to watch what they’re going to go through, you know, when – if we followed the letter of this zoning law, neither one of these cases would be sitting here. Thanks for your time.

Peter Pachacz (9435 Highland Court): I live just north of the proposed development. I mean, I wasn’t here for the previous rezoning discussion, but I think if you look at the lots, it’s kind of silly that we have four houses directly north of the new development and then you’re putting five directly south of it. It just seems very densely, um, built. I mean, I don't know, I think you have to ask who benefits. I’d say really only the builder benefits. I don't think the public is going to benefit by this plan. You’re going to – I mean, the builder builds nice houses, but they’re just going to be tightly packed, and I don’t think they’re really going to fit. I mean, you’re going to have 500, 600, $700,000 homes, kind of, packed in like sardines. Thanks.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Having no one else come forward, he closed Public Hearing, brought the matter back to the board, and entertained a motion to defer.

Motion to defer by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE PRESERVE UNIT 2 – Secondary Plat Approval – (Petitioner: Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Preserve, Unit 2, for Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Volk read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, on behalf of Mr. Forbes. The letter of review finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $25,505.36, which has already been paid. All the public improvements have not been installed. The developer will install all the infrastructure prior to having the plat signed, with the exception of the surface asphalt for the roads. A Letter of Credit to cover that cost and for As-Built Drawings should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $71,399.68.

Mr. Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated that they are here tonight requesting Secondary Plat approval for The Preserve, Phase 2. Primary Plat approval was received in February of 2016 for the entire development. Phase 1 received Secondary Plat approval in September of 2016, and now they are here for Phase 2.

Mr. Slager advised that the roads should be completed in about a week; however, they will hold off on the final surface coat until the fall, because it can get beat up from all the construction going on; so they will submit a Letter of Credit for that. The plan follows the original design, which contains 52 lots.

Mr. Kozel asked if the policy on the asphalt was changed where the developers had to do final coat. Mr. Forbes stated that it wasn’t changed to mandate that. Mr. Volk stated that they used to have to wait until a certain percentage of buildout was done. Mr. Kozel concurred and stated that, because we were having situations where it wasn’t always being completed, we were going to have them do it all at once. Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn't know if that change was ever made, but that issue arises a lot.

Mr. Slager stated that they did to that in Phase 1; however, the utility companies have a tendency to cut open the freshly paved roads with all the boring they are doing; and it is frustrating to see nicely paved roads get chewed up and cut up.

Mr. Gill asked if the final surface would be completed before winter. Mr. Slager stated that it would either be fall or spring. He would prefer sooner rather than later, but he would like all the construction to be completed first.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to include the Findings of Fact.

Motion to grant The Preserve, Unit 2, Secondary Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

B. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4B – Secondary Plat Approval – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 4B regarding Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Volk read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, on behalf of Mr. Forbes. The letter of review finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $900. All the public improvements that serve this Unit were included in the previously approved Unit 4A.

Mr. Tony Strickland, V3 Companies, representing John Lotton, stated that they are here tonight seeking Secondary Plat approval. He advised that he has a check for the Developmental Fee for submission this evening and gave the same to Mr. Eberly.

Mr. Birlson stated that Lots 959 and 958 were approved as one lot, and now it’s two; Lots 1014 through 1016 were 80-foot lots and are now 52-foot lots; when is it going to stop? How small are they going to go?

Mr. Williams asked if this was replatted.

Mr. Forbes advised that we have already granted Primary Plat on this project.

Mr. Birlson stated that this is the second time. Mr. Forbes responded it was the same one. Mr. Birlson stated that he just wanted to be heard again.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat, referencing the Findings of Fact, for The Gates of St. John Unit 4B

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John, Unit 4B, Secondary Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 4 ayes to 2 nays by Mr. Birlson and Mr. Volk.

C. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4C – Permission to Advertise for Replatting – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 4C, regarding permission to advertise for the replatting of this unit.

Mr. Tony Strickland, V3 Companies, representing John Lotton, stated that they are here to request permission to advertise for the replatting of The Gates of St. John, Unit 4C.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding this permission to advertise request.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John, Unit 4C permission to advertise by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 7B – Permission to Advertise for Rezoning from R-2 PUD to R-3 Duplex (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John. Unit 7B regarding permission to advertise for rezoning from R-2 PUD to R-3 Duplex.

Mr. Tony Strickland, V3 Companies, representing John Lotton, stated that they are here to request permission to advertise for the rezoning of The Gates of St. John, Unit 7B.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding this permission to advertise request.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John, Unit 7B, permission to advertise by Mr. Kozel. Hearing no second, Mr. Forbes passed the gavel and seconded the motion. Mr. Volk advised that there is a motion and a second on the table and called for a voice vote. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Birlson.

E. PROVIDENCE BANK – Release of the Balance of the Letter of Credit – (Petitioner: Phil Mulder)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Providence Bank requesting a release of the balance of the Letter of Credit.

Mr. Volk read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, on behalf of Mr. Forbes. The letter of review states the work for the project is complete and that the As-Built Drawings that need to be provided are being prepared by Manhard Consulting, LTD. The recommendation of Mr. Kraus is that the current Letter of Credit of $30,212.60 be released.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion, which will be a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to release the Letter of Credit by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I, uh, moved into St. John in January. I am really involved in national politics. I’ve never really been involved in local politics, but this is my second meeting, and I’m just aghast at the conflict in this community between the developers and the residents. It just seems you guys have a very difficult decision. I’m sitting here saying how in the world can developers come in and change their mind, and the people got to come in and act as a counterweight and a balance to offset.

And I – I – I truly don’t understand where the city’s going, what the city’s trying to achieve. We moved in because we expected a solid community. We moved into The Gates. They’ve got some very stringent, um, requirements in our – in our particular Gate. We like that. The requirements keep the neighborhood the way you see it. What you see when you walk in, if you like it, preserve it. If you don’t, please don’t move in. But we’re there, and I’m looking at some of these things and I’m saying this is crazy. You’re creating – not you guys; you’re judges. Between the developers and the community, the – the – it just seems like it’s not right. And the community’s got to arm itself to counterweight the – the influence of the developers.

And I don’t know where you’re going, um. I told you before, I lived on a 30-foot lot, 30 by 125. I was happy. I don’t want to live on 30. I – I don’t want to see – we moved here because we expected what we were told was going to come to fruition. You guys made a statement on zoning, and to go back and readdress the zonings for somewhat arbitrary reasons to benefit builders and developers on the backs of the citizenry is really one sided. From our perspective, it’s wrong. And – and – and I see this. The one gentlemen says, if I believe what he said, if there’s a zoning and you can’t have – it can’t be implemented, there’s no reason why it should be changed. (Mr. DeVito was given a 30-second warning.)

I don’t have to – to – you guys understand, more than me, the conflict that exists in this community. And I think you should be proactive and do something about it rather than have constant meetings where you’re going to have conflict between the residents and the board. We’re all good people. We all have a sense of judgment and a sense of right and wrong. And I appreciate you guys being here, but please be careful. Thank you.

Mike Fryzel (10358 Red Oak): In The Gates of St. John. Um, I’m going to talk about the parking and the RVs. I’m going to bring that up, but real quick here, um, I’m the 7B in The Gates proposal for that. Uh, it was said at the Study Session that it may be illegal to do that by Mr. Muenich.

(Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Muenich was not at the Study Session.)

It was brought up at the Study Session what Mr. Muenich had previously stated. So I – I obviously – is that portion clear that now we can go ahead and advertise for this change in the zoning?

(Mr. Forbes responded that it is up for discussion.)

Oh, so we – we’re going to advertise this not even knowing if it’s legal to make this change yet? So we already approved advertising this, but we don’t even know if it’s legal to do this yet? Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse a little bit? No answers?

(Mr. Forbes responded that it is up for discussion.)

Okay. So what you’re saying is we’re not clear yet, if it’s legal or not. I mean that’s fine. I’m fine with it.

(Mr. Forbes responded that he’s saying he doesn't agree with the opinion.)

We have one lawyer here, that’s – okay. All right; that’s fine. But the thing is Mike Muenich was the one who wrote that. When the annexation was done, he was the author of it with Mr. Lotton, but he now works for Dave Austgen’s firm. Not working for him; he works within that firm. And that was brought up at the last one also, to bring Mr. Austgen in and get his opinion on it. But Mr. Austgen represents Mr. Lotton now. He’s allowed to do that again. When I was here, he wasn’t allowed to do that. So that’s it. I just wanted to hit – now, I’m going to compliment you guys on the RVs and the boats.

Greg, you brought up at the last – you were at the Study Session – I think the last two – you guys talked. Um, the reason that was put in the order, that ordinance was put in place, mainly everybody was questioning what, you know, with the parking in the driveway, parking on the side of the yard, the reason they were put in the side yard was because in the driveways, when you had a big RV or you had a boat sitting there, the concern by most of the residents were little kids with their little Big Wheels driving down the sidewalk or people walking where a resident next to that boat or that trailer sitting in the driveway cannot see that kid on that sidewalk. And if that resident backs out and that kid’s behind him because they couldn’t see because the boat – that was one of the big reasons why that was put there.

I mean it doesn't – most people in town don’t own RVs or boats. I’ve had three boats, two big RVs, and I put them – I put them in storage; I didn’t put them on my front lawn. We have setbacks on houses, 30-foot setback for a resident off the street; but then we allow them to put portable, mobile, you know, residence in the driveway for six months out of the year.

So I want to compliment you guys. I know you’re looking into that. Everybody appreciates that. I mean around town, it does look bad when you see that in the driveway. And I don’t care if it is for six months. (Mr. Fryzel was given a 30-second warning.)

Rick said that that’s hard for the Animal Control – Code Enforcement to try and regulate that. Well, you can regulate it. I mean, she wrote a total of 24 tickets last year when it comes to the – those regulations, building regulations, 24 all year. Multiple ones to the same resident for grass, you know, weeds, high weeds, stuff like that, so we’re not getting any code enforcement. But she does have a part-timer now that should be able to help her out, so we should be able to enforce that.

(Mr. Eberly stated that what he had said that he would prefer to abolish it or leave it alone, but not put a 48-hour time limit on it.)

(Mr. Forbes stated that it would be discussed at the Study Session again.)

Okay. Thank you.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:43 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

07-19-2017 Plan Commission

July 19, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Volk called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on July 19, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Volk with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Gregory Volk, Steven Kozel, Bob Birlson, and Jon Gill. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent: Michael Forbes.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Primary Plat Continued Discussion
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is a continued discussion for Primary Plat submittal.

Mr. Williams wanted it noted for the record that there is no Town Attorney present. Mr. Volk advised that we don’t have counsel present for Study Sessions.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG, representing Sublime Development, stated that Mr. Graniczny is here with him this evening. The engineering is pretty well complete; however, they had an issue arise with part of Willow Lane that would connect to 92nd Place in Cottonwood Estates. They had the wetlands delineated, and the wetlands go right to the property lines of Lot 3 in Cottonwood Estates. The soil borings showed very bad soil, and they would like to discuss an alternate plan for an offset cul-de-sac.

Mr. Rettig stated that he and Mr. Graniczny have been discussing the possibility of putting a hammerhead in at the dead end in Cottonwood Estates, but there isn’t enough room for a cul-de-sac. There is a dead-end water main in that area as well, and they are willing to connect that and loop the water main.

Mr. Rettig stated that Rose Garden, Phase 3, has two points of entry to the north, so there is adequate traffic flow.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the wetland affects the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig responded that it does affect the cul-de-sac minimally.

Mr. Kozel asked how many soil borings were done. Mr. Rettig responded that they did four borings thus far. Mr. Kozel asked what the results were. Mr. Rettig identified areas on the map and stated the condition of those areas; two were good, one not so great, and one was really bad and showed 11 feet of unsuitable material.

Mr. Kozel asked if any borings were done between the areas that were good and that which was really bad. Mr. Rettig responded in the negative. Mr. Kozel asked if they plan to do any. Mr. Rettig responded that they would be doing more and noted that the results follow the topography.

Mr. Birlson asked if anyone from the Town has given an opinion on whether or not they want that road to go through for plow-truck movement. Mr. Rettig stated that they could make it better with a paved turnaround.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are wetland issues in that area. Mr. Rettig responded that it is marginal.

Mr. Birlson asked if the soil scientists could do another boring a little farther south. Mr. Graniczny responded that they went as far south as they could with the equipment.

Mr. Rettig commented that, if the Plan Commission agrees to the cul-de-sac, they would need to revise their engineering and get those revised drawings to Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Williams stated that Mr. Forbes has strong feelings about that road being connected, which he conveyed in an email earlier in the day.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Kil’s opinion is that the road should be connected. He stated that he did not see Mr. Forbes’ email but thinks it is appropriate to go ahead and read it.

Mr. Williams read Mr. Forbes’ email as follows:

“If you please keep in mind that Sublime group agreed to install the connection to 92nd and install a sidewalk from their project to 93rd Avenue and Shafer Drive as part of the discussions during the rezoning of the property, I base my report of the rezoning in part on these items, both safety benefits to the town. These connections were discussed during both of the rezoning petitions for this property; and until Primary Plat, no issues were brought up to the Commission. It is unfortunate that there is additional costs associated with this project; but the developer’s engineer should have investigated the area before making these commitments and it should not have been dropped on us during Public Hearing.”

Mr. Volk stated that the developer had previously committed to installing sidewalks to get the zoning from this development to Schafer. Mr. Williams concurred.

Mr. Williams noted that Mr. Forbes’ email stated that they should install the connection to 92nd Place and install sidewalks from their project to 93rd Avenue and Schafer Drive, as part of the discussion during the rezoning of the property. Mr. Rettig responded that that was part of the original rezoning and that it was not brought up for the new rezoning.

Mr. Graniczny stated that it was dismissed in the new plan and that, since the last meeting, he purchased the land to the west of this project and will make that connection.

Mr. Rettig stated that they were under the impression that the sidewalk to 93rd Avenue and Shafer was not part of the new rezone. That was discussed early on, but not in the rezoning they just did. Mr. Birlson responded that there has been discussion of a sidewalk to 93rd Avenue since he’s been on the board.

Mr. Williams stated that it would have been good to have minutes from recent meetings to validate this, and he has heard it discussed as well. Mr. Eberly stated that he’s heard it discussed, and he has only been here for seven months.

Mr. Rettig stated that it was discussed, but it was discussed that they had agreed to that previously. Mr. Williams responded that the support of the zoning change from R-1 to RC-2 PUD was based on the inclusion of the sidewalks as part of the package deal.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if Mr. Graniczny owns the land from 92nd Place to 93rd Avenue. Mr. Rettig responded that he owns a 60-foot sliver of land that runs to 93rd Avenue. Mr. Eberly stated that it was his understanding that there would be a sidewalk in there.

Mr. Volk stated that he would like to see the street connect to 92nd Place instead of turning that into a cul-de-sac. Mr. Eberly responded that he is a big proponent of connectivity; however, he is concerned with the cost of continued maintenance of that road.

Mr. Kozel stated that he requested additional soil borings for more evidence so the Town doesn’t inherit something that will cost more to take care of. Mr. Birlson felt that someone from the Town should be on site the whole time inspecting the construction of the road.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Rettig is wanting feedback from the Plan Commission as to whether the cul-de-sac is acceptable or if they want Willow Lane to connect to 92nd Place. Mr. Eberly stated that we could give him some sort of straw vote, albeit unofficial.

Mr. Williams stated that he is like Mr. Kozel and wants more data so we know what we are up against before making a decision. Mr. Volk concurred.

Mr. Eberly stated that they are on the agenda for August 2, 2017 and advised that, unless Mr. Rettig can get something to the board that can be disseminated before the next meeting, he feels like they will need another Study Session.

Mr. Graniczny asked if he could have a mini-digger out there and see if your guy can come out and inspect it while they dig to stake the locations. Mr. Kozel responded that we are not engineers.

Mr. Graniczny stated that he would have a soil engineer come out. He further stated that the reason he is asking is that the last time he had the soil borings done it cost $5,000. Mr. Rettig added that getting the rig out there is the expensive part.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Gill if it would be more appropriate to have someone from Public Works go out. Mr. Gill responded that he and Bob Davis usually handle the proof rolling, and stuff like that, for the roads. Mr. Eberly stated that, if Mr. Gill is comfortable in that role, he doesn't have a problem with it. Mr. Gill responded that this is a different animal than a proof roll.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Kraus how he feels about being present for something like that. Mr. Kraus responded that if there is going to be a soil scientist out there, he would be the one that we would defer to.

Mr. Eberly asked the Plan Commission if they are comfortable with doing the requested process over another soil boring process. Mr. Volk stated that he is okay with doing the alternative process and asked the board for their opinions. The board members concurred.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he agrees with connectivity. Mr. Rettig stated that they wouldn’t argue the sidewalk if that is how the Plan Commission feels.

Mr. Williams asked if they have drawings and measurements for the monument sign. Mr. Graniczny stated that they have provided a photo, but he isn’t sure if the measurements are in that email. Mr. Williams asked that it be included as part of the review for the Public Hearing.

Mr. Eberly stated that the Subdivision Control Ordinance says that the Plan Commission shall review monument signs, subdivision entry signs, and yay or nay them.

B. GREYSTONE UNIT 1 BLOCK 3 – Secondary Plat
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3, regarding Secondary Plat.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Scott Zajac is here representing Schilling Development on behalf of Mr. Jack Slager.

Mr. Zajac stated that they would be seeking Secondary Plat approval at the next Plan Commission meeting for Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3. He further stated that they received Primary Plat approval for Greystone, Unit 1 in June 2016; Final Plat approval on Unit 1, Block 1 in August 2016, and Unit 1, Block 2 in May 2017; and they are hoping to get approval for Unit 1, Block 3 in a couple of weeks.

Mr. Zajac stated that this property has 24 single-family lots; a large detention pond, designed to cover the rest of the development, is installed, seeded, and blanketed; the infrastructure is almost complete; and there are no changes from the Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Kraus asked if the property is zoned R-2 PUD. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Williams asked if there were any infrastructure developments along Calumet Avenue as a part of this project. Mr. Zajac responded in the negative and stated that sanitary and sewer lines were run under Calumet Avenue as a part of Blocks 1 and 2.

Mr. Williams asked if there is a future block to the south. Mr. Zajac responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kraus stated that he believes the intention is to install the entire infrastructure except for the surface asphalt. He asked if they would be able to have that done in time for the next meeting. Mr. Zajac responded that they would.

Mr. Kraus stated that he has costs from Mr. Slager for the As Builts and the surface asphalt that would have to be included in the Letter of Credit. If anything is shorted on the infrastructure, signatures could be withheld until that is completed, or it can be added to the Letter of Credit.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is scheduled for the August 2 meeting.

C. EDEN’S COVE – Secondary Plat
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is Eden’s Cove regarding Secondary Plat action at the September regular meeting.

Mr. Eberly advised that there are some issues with the development. It is an R-2 single-family 9-lot development with 8 lots for homes; Lot 9 is open space where the detention pond will be.

Mr. Eberly stated that this project received Primary Plat approval in April 2016, which is only good for 12 months, so that Primary Plat approval on this project has timed out. They did receive Secondary Plat approval for what they called “Unit 1” for Lots 8 and 9. Secondary Plat approval automatically extends Primary Plat approval by another 12 months. The problem is the developer changed his mind and did not record the approved Secondary Plat within the 30 days, and still has not recorded it.

Mr. Tony Strickland advised that the pond is complete and the storm sewer connecting it to Grasselli Avenue is complete as well.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Muenich said that he would be comfortable if the Plan Commission were to allow the developer to go ahead and record the Secondary Plat that has already been approved and then come before the board in September for Secondary Plat approval on Lots 1 through 7 as Phase 2.

Mr. Kraus asked if they could come into the next Plan Commission meeting and request an extension of the Primary Plat approval. Mr. Eberly responded that it is another option.

Mr. Strickland stated that it would be preferable if they could come in for an extension in August, come back in September for Secondary Plat, and record the whole thing as one unit.

Mr. Eberly stated that he would put him on the August regular meeting to request Primary Plat extension, the August Study Session, and then the September regular meeting for Secondary Plat approval.

D. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 7B – Proposed Rezoning Continued Discussion
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John for continued discussion regarding their proposed rezoning.

Mr. Eberly stated that the developer is seeking rezoning of Unit 7B. Mr. Muenich and Mr. Austgen have not given an opinion yet, but they have told us that to rezone this property is nearly impossible. The developer is within his rights to continue down this path until he is told that he cannot do this, so he has advertised and will be here for the August 2, 2017 meeting seeking that rezoning.

Mr. Eberly reminded the board that this is about swapping 77 condominium units from Unit 17 for 77 duplex lots in Unit 7B. It is an equal swap in terms of total units, but it takes a rezoning to do that in Unit 7. If this can be rezoned, you will want to get a commitment from the developer that no condominiums will be built in Unit 17.

Mr. Eberly advised that 7B contains 107 units total and that 77 of the lots would be duplex lots.

Mr. Kozel asked if the lots along 105th would be comparable to those on Silver Maple and 105th in Golden Arch. Mr. Strickland stated that he doesn’t believe that is cut in stone yet and is something that could be contemplated during the design phase.

Mr. Kozel stated that it would need some kind of buffer there because it is like going from hot to cold.

Mr. Eberly noted that the developer has not defined what lots will be duplex lots and what lots would not.

Mr. Kennedy asked about parking for the condominiums. Mr. Strickland stated that he doesn't believe that has been looked at yet.

Mr. Volk asked how tall the proposed condominiums were going to be. Mr. Strickland responded that there isn’t a set height in the agreement.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Muenich has said that there is a maximum height of 36 feet somewhere in the agreement; however, he has not seen that himself and will have to double-check that.

Mr. Volk stated that we still don’t know Mr. Muenich’s opinion on this. Mr. Eberly stated that what Mr. Muenich had said to him is that every property owner in The Gates would have to agree to the rezoning in order to rezone this property.

Mr. Birlson asked what size the lots are, on average, in Pod 7. Mr. Strickland responded that Pod 7 is currently R-2 PUD and that those lots are 90-feet and 100-feet wide.

Mr. Kennedy asked if we could get an understanding of the condominium unit sizes and the parking for Pod 17. Mr. Strickland stated that he could request that information from the developer for them. Mr. Eberly noted that the first levels of the condominium buildings are going to be for commercial use.

Mr. Strickland indicated on the viewing screen the area where the condominiums would be built in Pod 17.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Pod 17 was larger, then pieces were sold off, and now the developer is asking to move the 77 condominium units over to Pod 7. Mr. Eberly responded that the Town requested the change, not the developer.

Mr. Kozel stated that the height limitation in town is 50 feet. Mr. Gil concurred.

Mr. Birlson asked if the developer had made Pod 17 smaller on his own or if the Town asked him to do that as well. Mr. Strickland responded that he believes Lot 1419 was for the church. He further stated that Lot 1418 is also in Pod 17. Mr. Eberly concurred.

Multiple members questioned the placement of 77 condominiums, where they would fit. Mr. Eberly stated that he was saying that might be a good exercise worth pursuing and indicated on the viewing screen what the original configuration of Pod 17 looked like.

Mr. Volk stated that there were a lot of decisions made when the economy tanked, and it may have been split up that way to keep money flowing. Mr. Strickland responded that it is highly possible.

Mr. Kraus stated that commercial was allowed in 17A. Mr. Eberly responded that Unit 17 was always a combination of B-2 and R-4 PUD.

Mr. Volk stated that we are probably going to need more information. Mr. Eberly responded that the petitioners have already advertised and are going ahead with Public Hearing on August 2 and that he expects to hear Mr. Muenich or Mr. Austgen say that they don’t feel that we can do the rezoning.

Mr. Williams commented that he isn’t sure why we are going to have a Public Hearing. Mr. Eberly responded that it is a Public Hearing for rezoning Unit 7B from R-2 PUD to R-3.

E. PLAN COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is the Plan Commission’s Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Eberly advised that they have a copy of Version No. 4 of the Rules and Regulations in their packet that Dave Austgen, Mike Muenich, Rex Sherrad, and he have been going through. The purpose of the revision is mainly to bring the Plan Commission Rules and Regulations in line with the BZA Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Eberly explained the changes:

  1. Changes in Notification:
    1. To update the 10-day notification to a 15-day notification;
    2. The mailings must be done by certified mail with return receipt requested;
    3. And personal notice is no longer allowed.
  2. Agendas may be emailed to the board members instead of hand delivered or sent by US Mail.
  3. Where it used to refer to the Town Manager, it has been changed to the Building & Planning Director since there is a person in that position now.
  4. A petition for a vacation or rezoning of property has been changed to a 60-day advance notice instead of only 14 days.

Mr. Eberly stated that the increase of time for vacation of plat and rezone notice was done because it may not be heard at a Study Session prior to having action on it at a regular meeting. We prefer to hear a petition at a Study Session, then a public meeting to request permission to advertise, and then the Public Hearing, which would require 45 days.

Mr. Birlson asked if it would be possible to have a comparison of what was there before and what the new verbiage is. Mr. Eberly stated that he would disseminate a copy of his redlined copy to the members.

Mr. Eberly advised that changing the Rules and Regulations for the Plan Commission would only require Plan Commission action at a public meeting; it does not require a Public Hearing. He further advised that this would likely be on the August 2 meeting agenda for action.

F. DISCUSS PARKING REGULATIONS – Pertaining to the Parking and Storage of Boats, Campers, RVs, etc.
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is to discuss parking regulations as they pertain to the parking and storage of boats, campers, and RVs.

Mr. Eberly advised that he has checked with Schererville, Crown Point, Munster, and Dyer as to what their policies were, and he has compiled a summary of those for the members to use for reference.

The final summary states that, in four of the five communities, the vehicles are required to be parked on hard surfaces; only St. John imposes the seasonal limitation of parking of such vehicles outside of an enclosed structure. Munster and Schererville require the vehicles to be screened from the street. St. John, Schererville, and Dyer all impose a setback off of the side and/or rear property lines. Schererville is the only one that imposes a size restriction on those vehicles. He stated that he believes it is 8.5 feet in height and 20 feet in length.

Mr. Volk asked if these communities allow driveway parking. Mr. Eberly stated that Dyer and Schererville do; however, Schererville requires it to be behind the building line and screened.

Mr. Volk asked if any of them allow the parking of these vehicles to be in front of the building line. Mr. Eberly responded that Dyer does. Crown Point only specifies that they cannot be on an easement, the streets, or blocking sidewalks; other than that, they have no restrictions for them. None of the communities will allow blocking a public way, sidewalk, or a street. They all allow temporary parking on the street for loading and unloading.

Mr. Williams stated that he would be interested to know more about how Munster enforces their policies. Mr. Eberly stated that the three-day temporary parking restriction is exactly the nightmare he wants to avoid. It is what the Town used to have and was difficult to enforce. If there is a ban, he would rather see it be a total ban.

Mr. Eberly stated that it is his understanding that this request is coming from The Gates, which has its own covenants that prohibit the parking of these vehicles, and any property owner in The Gates can enforce the covenants of The Gates.

Mr. Kennedy asked what dates that parking is allowed. Mr. Eberly advised that it is allowed from April 1 through September 30.

Mr. Volk stated that the question before the board is whether or not to allow it for that long of a time. Mr. Williams stated that it makes sense to leave it that way because it is enforceable.

Mr. Kozel stated that the reason we changed it to the current policy is that it was next to impossible to police and enforce the stricter restriction.

Mr. Williams stated that he likes Schererville’s and Munster’s policy of the building line being the setback to avoid obscuring a view.

Mr. Gill stated that the driveway could be extended along the side of the house provided they stay 3 feet off of the property line, and the vehicle could be snaked around the side of the house and be behind the front of the structure, which would provide a clear line of sight down the block.

Mr. Eberly stated that he likes Mr. Gill’s suggestion and the timeframes in the ordinance.

Mr. Eberly cautioned that there could be a difference between the building line and the actual structure as not everyone builds up to the building line, so it would be best to base it on the front of the structure.

Mr. Volk stated that the original question was if we wanted to keep the seasonal parking.

Discussion ensued about various yard sizes and ability, or lack thereof, to park in the side yard.

Mr. Volk asked if the Plan Commission wanted to take it up at the next Study Session. The members concurred.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Volk adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

08-02-2017 Plan Commission

August 2, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on August 2, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Kenn Kraus, and Michael Muenich.

Absent: Gregory Volk.

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes for the May 3, 2017 and June 7, 2017 Regular Meetings and the May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017 Study Sessions and asked for motion to defer.

Motion to defer the minutes by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Public Hearing for Primary Platting – (Petitioner: Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 3, continued discussion relative to Primary Plat of this RC-2 PUD subdivision.

Mr. Doug Rettig, with DVG, representing Sublime Development, stated that this project has been discussed for the last few months, and they are here requesting Primary Plat approval for Phase 3. The property contains 21 lots. Mr. Kraus has completed the engineering.

Mr. Rettig reviewed the discussion regarding the possible connection of Willow Lane to 92nd Place and stated that they would like to ask for approval on the plan that is before the board, showing the connection, so they can get the project started and continue to work in conjunction with Mr. Kraus on the road connection.

Mr. Rettig listed some possible options: fabric to reinforce the ground, sheet piling, dewatering, or over-excavation. If it becomes insurmountable, they will come back before the Plan Commission and see what else can be done.

Mr. Williams stated that he doesn't see the sidewalk going down to 93rd Avenue on the drawing. Mr. Rettig responded that the developer is agreeable to a 7-foot wide bike path from the bend shown on the south end of the drawing to 93rd Avenue. It is not on the drawings, but he has agreed to do that.

Mr. Williams asked about the monument signs. Mr. Rettig stated that there will be two monument signs, one at each end of the subdivision. Mr. Graniczny stated that he is going to get away from those due to the additional cost of the road on the south part of Willow Lane.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the sidewalk that was discussed from 91st Place by Lots 17 and 18. Mr. Rettig responded that they did discuss it and would prefer to do it per the plan.

Discussion ensued.

Mr. Eberly advised that that is one of the waivers that was requested early on, and the Plan Commission will need to act on the waiver request. The waiver is for no sidewalks between Lots 17 and 18 and on the west side of Willow Lane south of 91st Place. Mr. Eberly further advised that if the plat is accepted as is, then you are accepting the requested waivers; however, the Plan Commission could make a motion to decline the waivers as requested.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is a motion to grant the waiver for the sidewalk on the south side of 91st Place between Lots 17 and 18 and along the west side of Willow Lane south of 91st Place.

Motion to deny the waiver to remove the sidewalk between Lots 17 and 18 on the south side of 91st Place by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the sidewalk waiver request on the west side of Willow Lane south of 91st Place.

Motion to approve the waiver of the sidewalk on the west side of Willow Lane south of 91st Place by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the reduced right-of-way as drawn on the plat.

Motion to grant the waiver on the road right-of-way by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Primary Plat for Rose Garden, Unit 3, acknowledging the waivers and referencing the Findings of Fact.

Motion to grant Rose Garden, Unit 3, Primary Plat approval, recognizing the waivers that were approved, referencing the Findings of Fact, with the contingencies that the bike path be included and that there be no monument signs, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

B. GREYSTONE UNIT 1 BLOCK 3 – Secondary Plat Approval – (Petitioner: Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3, regarding Secondary Plat.

Mr. Jack Slager, representing CWS Holdings, stated that they are here tonight requesting Secondary Plat approval for Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3, which is the first 24 lots in Greystone, south of Greystone Drive.

Mr. Slager stated that they received Primary Plat approval for Greystone Unit 1 approximately two years ago. They received Final Plat approval on Unit 1, Block 1 and Unit 1 Block 2; and now they are here for Unit 1, Block 3.

Mr. Williams asked the state of the roads, sewer, and infrastructure. Mr. Kraus advised that everything is in except for the surface asphalt.

Mr. Slager advised that they are finalizing the roads; however, they will hold off on the surface coat of the asphalt and will be providing a Letter of Credit for that and the As-Built Drawings; once they finalize the roads, they will record the plats.

Mr. Eberly advised that he has the mylars and that the Developmental Fee has been paid.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $16,341.16, which has been paid. All public improvements have not been installed. The developer has informed us that all the infrastructure will be installed prior to having the plat signed with the exception of the surface asphalt for the roads. A Letter of Credit to cover that cost and for the As-Built Drawings should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $36,850.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3, referencing the Findings of Fact.

Motion to grant Greystone, Unit 1, Block 3, Secondary Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $36,850.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $36,850 by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

C. EDEN’S COVE – Secondary Plat Action in September – (Petitioner: Dave Spoolstra, Homes by Dutch Mill/Tony Strickland, V3 Companies)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Eden’s Cove, requesting to extend the Primary Plat approval for six months. They intend to seek Secondary Plat at the September 6, 2017, meeting.

Mr. Tony Strickland, with V3 Companies, stated that he is here on behalf of Dave Spoolstra for Eden’s Cove. They received Primary Plat approval and have gone beyond the one-year mark by three months; so they are here today to ask for an extension.

Mr. Strickland stated that they have been active on the site since six months after receiving Primary Plat approval; they have built the pond and installed some storm sewer.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Kraus if he has had a chance to review anything yet. Mr. Kraus stated that in the first phase the only improvements are the pond and storm sewer work.

Mr. Eberly stated that this was originally going to be set up as two phases and plat Lots 8 and 9 as Unit 1. The developer has decided against that and wants to plat it all as one, which will include the nine lots on the drawing that you see in front of you. That is why they had to come back and seek an extension of the Primary Plat. They will have to get with Mr. Kraus regarding any improvements to be made and establish the Developmental Fee.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding the extension of Primary Plat for Eden’s Cove.

Motion to grant approval to Eden’s Cove for a 6-month extension of their Primary Plat by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

D. PLAN COMMISSION RULES and REGULATIONS
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Plan Commission Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Eberly stated that the members were provided with a redlined copy of the Rules and Regulations as well as a copy of “Draft 4” which is what we are asking you to adopt. The changes made were to keep pace with the changes that were made for the Board of Zoning Appeals’ Rules and Regulations.

Mr. Eberly advised that there is resolution in their packets for action tonight should you choose to adopt these rules and regulations. He further advised that the Plan Commission has exclusive authority to adopt this resolution.

Mr. Forbes advised that they will make this Resolution PC-1-2017. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none he entertained a motion regarding Resolution No. PC-1-2017.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. PC-1-2017 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Muenich recused himself from the balance of the meeting.

E. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 10L – Secondary Plat Approval – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 10L, regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Tony Strickland, with V3 Companies, stated that he is here on behalf of John Lotton; and they are requesting Secondary Plat approval for The Gates of St. John, Unit 10L. Mr. Strickland stated that they had come before the Plan Commission about changing the Primary Plat, which was deemed unacceptable; so they have reverted back to the original, approved Primary Plat.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $1,909.17. All the public improvements have not been installed. Streets, curbs, and As-Built drawings have not been completed. A Letter of Credit to cover those costs should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $76,045.20.

Mr. Strickland stated that they would prefer to withhold signatures until the road in completed.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for The Gates of St. John, Unit 10L noting that signatures will be withheld until the streets are complete and referencing the Findings of Fact.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John, Unit 10L Secondary Plat approval, withholding signatures on the mylars until the roads are inspected and the Developmental Fee is paid, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

F. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4C – Secondary Plat Approval – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 4C, regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Tony Strickland, with V3 Companies, stated that this is similar to the aforementioned unit. They had requested a change to Primary Plat and, after a negative reception of the same by the Plan Commission, they have reverted back to the original, approved Primary Plat and are seeking Secondary Plat approval on that plan. Mr. Strickland stated that they would like to request withholding signatures until the streets are completed in this unit as well.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $5,276.15. All the public improvements have not been installed. Streets, curbs, and As-Built drawings have not been completed. A Letter of Credit to cover those costs should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $105,033.50.

Mr. Forbes advised that this would be the same as the other unit and entertained a motion.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John, Unit 4C Secondary Plat approval, withholding signatures on the mylars until the roads are inspected and the Developmental Fee is paid, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 7B – Public Hearing for Rezoning – (Petitioner: John Lotton/Tony Strickland)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Public Hearing for The Gates of St. John, Unit 7B for rezoning from R-2 PUD to R-3 Duplex.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Mr. John Lotton stated that the significant change is that any of the units on the proposed lakes or existing lakes will be left as single-family residential homes. Mr. Lotton referenced a drawing and noted what type of housing would be located where.

Mr. Forbes stated that condominiums were never proposed to be built in Lot 1419. Mr. Lotton concurred.

Mr. Lotton stated that Lots 1420 and 1421 were the only two lots that were ever discussed for condominiums. He further stated that in the original agreement, all of the condominiums could have been in one lot or the other or split in any configuration.

Mr. Forbes stated that what that means is he could come in, ask for Secondary Plat, and start building those condominiums. Mr. Lotton confirmed the same.

Mr. Lotton stated that the minimum width on the lots would be 90 feet, and the minimum lot area would be 12,000 square feet.

Mr. Kozel asked what type of units are being built as far as the multifamily. Mr. Lotton stated that it would be similar to what they have going on right now with David Spoolstra and Steve Sadowsky. Mr. Lotton added that they will not allow anything with vinyl siding from this point forward on the east side of this project.

Mr. Kennedy stated that there was discussion about height restriction at the last Study Session. Mr. Eberly responded that there was discussion about a 36-foot or a 40-foot height restriction; however, he did not see the 36-foot restriction in the agreement; and the 40-foot height restriction is from the old Zoning Ordinance that was in place when this development was approved.

Mr. Kennedy asked that since it is a PUD, would Mr. Lotton be able to have a different variance from the height restriction. Mr. Eberly responded that anything identified in this plan for this development that was in conflict with the Zoning Ordinance at the time would prevail.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the proposed condominiums would be in size and like as we are being asked to replace them with duplexes and have no concept of what the condominiums would look like. Mr. Lotton responded that they would be a minimum of 1600 square feet per unit, and he has put no time or energy into determining the building; the end user would have a lot of input on that.

Mr. Kennedy asked if he would know the height of the building. Mr. Lotton responded in the negative. Mr. Lotton added that the first floor would be all commercial, and the building would be either four or five stories tall.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Lotton to explain what housing goes where again. Mr. Lotton complied.

Mr. Williams asked if a specific drawing has been done as to how the 77 lots would fit in this unit. Mr. Lotton responded that the lot lines would be changed.

Mr. Birlson stated that there has been discussion regarding whether or not it was legal to move units from one pod to another. Mr. Eberly responded that we have no direction on that at this time.

Mr. Lotton stated that, when he has made changes like this in the past, the annexation agreement would be amended, which would be done through the Town Council.

Mr. Birlson stated that Pod 17 was almost twice as big as it is now. Mr. Lotton responded in the negative and indicated on the viewing screen what had changed. Mr. Lotton commented that the condominiums were always limited to the two lots, Lot 1420 and Lot 1421.

Mr. Birlson asked if it was written in the agreement. Mr. Lotton responded in the negative.

Mr. Forbes advised that he has been in all the meetings, and that area is his recollection.

Mr. Birlson stated that the Town Attorney had told us before that there were specific unit counts in one pod and specific unit counts of another pod. Mr. Lotton responded that he is referring to a pod and that a pod and a lot are not the same things.

Mr. Eberly explained that the 77 proposed condominiums could have been built in either lot, or any configuration up to the 77 condominiums on both lots, within Pod 17.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Good evening, gentlemen. I understand your dilemma about moving 77 units into – into a smaller area. Um, but with the questions that came up at the past meetings, um, it sounds like the legal questions that were brought up are not going to be answered; so you’re, kind of, leaving it up to the residents of – of The Gates if they wanted to take legal action or not. Um, I – I think the request, um, for the homeowners that live in The Gates of St. John, it’s an unreasonable request. Even with Silver Maple and 105th, if they’re being, you know, one row of houses is going to be the buffer between them and multifamily, uh, I – I don’t think that’s still going to fit very well when it comes to comps and the cost, or at least the valuation of what a neighborhood value of homes are going to be.

Um, I think, based on, uh, the way development has been going, I think it’s important that you keep 4B as single – large, single-family homes. Um, the people in that area depended on the zoning when they purchased those homes; and I think trying to squeeze in 70 more – 77 more residential units in that space is very unreasonable. Um, but the – what the balance of R-3, um, from single-family development, I think the way we’ve developed in this town, I think the balance between multifamily and single-family, uh, housing is already too high. Um, I think the number of multifamily units that have been approved this year, um, is – is continuing to climb, and that’s alarming.

Um, I guess the last, other question I have is that it – it seems like what you’re doing by approving, if you approve this, is you’re pretty much signing a blank check, uh, because that drawing is just too vague to understand what 7B is actually going to look like. With The Gates of St. John being an entire thing of PUD, there are specific requirements for you guys to see when it comes to a PUD, which includes lot sizes, um, the – the – the, uh, the actual development of the homes, the landscapes, the elevations. I – I don’t see any of that here; and maybe some of that has been provided. And if it has, um, then I apologize. But from what I see here, um, is – is making it very simple for you guys to just say no; and that’s what I’m asking for you to do as well. Thank you.

Joseph Giannini (8580 West 105th Avenue): We just purchased 8580 West 105th Avenue, and, uh, just basically wanted to express, we’re – we’re in the – the area where it’s the estates. Um, I do like the – the blue area. Most recently, I think it is a – a good addition, but I still think it’s going to the – the townhomes, and on top of it the – the duplexes, and on top of it, the condos are going to still devalue the estates and the rest of the neighborhood as well. Um, it would be nice to see the blue moved a little bit further back towards the red and add some more single-family in there, um, because, as Gerry just said, the duplexes and the – the multifamily is growing quickly and the – not only in St. John, but in the area as well. Obviously, they’re selling quickly too because of the price, but there is – there’s something to be said about a neighborhood with more single-family in it than – than, uh, multifamily. So just something to consider. That’s it. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I don’t know. There’s – there’s so many holes in this that, you know, you don’t even know where to start. There’s a drawing on the wall that shows no dimensions of any sort, any size, anywhere. You got a note that says 12,000 square-foot lots. So what? How many people are allowed to come in here and put this kind of garbage on the wall and people are going to sit there and go, “Oh, yeah, I’m all for that”?

This town has gone – and you’re now starting to see the backlash with all these duplexes. You’ve seen it in the Town Council meeting the last few months, and you’re going to keep seeing it. The people are getting tired of 12,000 square-foot lots, and then you’re putting duplexes on them. What kind of neighborhood does that make? You drive through these neighborhoods now – with the duplexes sitting on top of each other – you can stand there, practically, and touch the walls on two buildings.

That’s just nuts; 12,000 square foot with a duplex on it leaves no room. You put driveways in there; what are you going to have? You’re going to have driveway, driveway, driveway, driveway, on and on and on. This last year, 2016, you issued 219 residential permits; 76 of them were multiunit. That’s 35 percent, gentlemen; that’s one in three builds was a duplex. 2015, it was 40.2 percent. You had 66 units, multi-units, built with 164 residential permits issued. When is it going to end? This is not right. The citizens of this town are tired of it.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): Your attorney left before this critical part of the hearing. I – I don’t understand how you can go forward. The legal issues were raised. You have no idea what the consequences are. This is like a shell game. If you put these walnut shells here, there – who can comprehend what this presentation is even about? We can’t rely on Mr. Forbes’ memory of a – some memo or something that happened years ago. There is nothing concrete here. This is like a ghost that slips through the cracks; and who knows what you’re even voting on.

This – this is a very arbitrary and capricious presentation. You can’t understand what is even going on here. I’d like to remonstrate against the rezoning for all of those reasons. Your attorney should be here. You should be getting the proper legal advice on what can be done and what can’t be done. And keep making more duplexes in St. John deteriorates in everybody’s property value in the whole town, and especially those people close to the rezoning area.

And I don’t know how you can sit here and talk to developers without a valid print on the wall that you can understand where you can see the layout, where you can see the structural design. To me, it makes no sense. And the only way that I see this happening is that you’re all being fooled, in my opinion, because you don’t know what, even, you’re going to vote on. So for all of those reasons, I object to the rezoning. We need to have something that’s on the wall that everybody understands. We need to know what previous agreements were made, the minutes of those meetings.

We need your attorney to look at those things and give you good advice. He walked out. He’s not here anymore. I think you ought to get some sense into how you’re handling these hearings and know what you’re even voting on. What I’ve heard here tonight, I think it’s very vague; and a lot of people don’t have no understanding enough for the Public Hearing. How are they going to even comment on something like this? Thank you.

For all those reasons, I remonstrate against the rezoning. I suggest you get your attorney here and get some legal advice, get the minutes of these meetings that happened in the past, and know what you’re voting on. There’s no way you can understand what you’re voting on here tonight. Thank you.

Donald Santefort (8695 Silver Maple Cove): I guess – can I approach the – the drawing over here?

(Mr. Forbes granted him permission and instructed him to speak loudly.)

I have a big mouth, so. Okay. This is my lot right here. Okay. The park that’s supposed to be here, that doesn’t seem to ever get installed, uh, is supposed to be here; and he’s proposing that one line of homes be left alone here. Please squeeze the drawing in a bit please.

I ask you this, he’s – he’s recognizing this by saying, you know, we expected single-family homes when we look out our back window. I invite you all to come and stand in my back window. And when I sit in here, I see all of this, not just one potential row of houses. And I ask you a couple of questions: Who’s going to buy these houses when they’re facing a bunch of townhomes? And what’s going to happen to the value of those houses? And who’s going to build what kind of value houses here? And how’s that going to impact my house?

We expect – I bought this house. I built – I moved in, in March. Okay. And now, what I expect to be single-family homes of equivalent value to mine, all of a sudden, goes poof. These are (inaudible). But there’s just no answer to what they’re proposing. And I agree with the gentleman who spoke before me. This is no plan. You come in here and you draw a blue line around something; you got nothing. And if he wants to build townhomes, let him show you where he’s building them and how many there are going to be. Thank you.

Paul Schulz (10103 West 99th Avenue): I – I don’t any, um, reason or hardship that this should go through. It’s just, um, more greed on the developers. There’s no reason to change this. Amen.

Rafael Fletes (8565 West 105th Avenue): I must say, I’m getting to know some of my neighbors. And I, uh, have to say that I, um, feel exactly the same way. Uh, my first question with regards to that, uh, buffer zone, if you will – I suppose you could probably just build a wall just as well – is if I am looking at that area, um, um, I think I would probably be smart enough to know that, um, that I would not want to build there. Um, and I agree that I’ve been in my house for two years. I love it, uh; and I hope – and – and we came here with, uh, the expectation that the homes next to us, uh – uh, granted, we knew that there was the – the empty lots next to us, that they would be of equivalent value or at least similar to that.

And just the prospects of having to live, um, next to townhomes, um, is really just quite appalling to me. You know, we work hard for our money, um; and some of us, fortunately, have the option of moving if we have to. I don’t want to do it because I like St. John; and every time it seems like I’m moving a little bit further south. I like where I live, and I’d like to protect where I live as much as I possibly can.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had just been handed letters of remonstrance and read the same into the record.

Dennis and Phyllis DeVito (As read by Mr. Forbes) “At the last Plan Commission Study Session, the subject came up of rezoning and the potential of a formal request to re-class the code of the lots in Pod 7B in The Gates of St. John from its current code to R-3 PUD. My wife and I are new residents to St. John and have property adjacent to Pod 7.

We have received our required certified letter of the August 2 hearing, but the letter is quite vague to details which will be discussed. We understand that details of this request will be formalized at the scheduled Planning Commission meeting of August 2. We will be unable to attend. I would like to present a position statement.

The area in question, 7B, is generally known as Sterling Gate and, as its name implies, has been promoted as a keystone to The Gates subdivision. Various news articles speak of the select appeal this Pod would bring to the entire Gates subdivision. The public knowledge of the zoning and covenants of this, as of yet to-be-built, property at the time of our purchase was key element in our decision to purchase.

There is a complex set of covenants for The Gates, and these will, certainly, be formal legal determinations of interpretation of these covenants. From what we read in public record, Pod 7 has a clear definition home size, number of garages, and a well-defined covenants and restrictions. Any effort to change these now, more than a decade after they – first being established – promoted and advertised, by the entire community, and approved and generally thought of as a settled zoning by previous plan committees, does not serve the community well.

We have been told by real estate professionals that should the covenants of Pod 7 change, as brought up in the Plan Commission Study Session group, and that, if the restrictions are relaxed to R-3 PUD – which allow for smaller homes, minimum square footages, potential smaller lots, and even duplex homes – that the property values of the homes in my Gate, Pod 8, would decrease, perhaps significantly. In addition to rejecting the pending rezoning request plea, because of the existing covenants and zoning issues, if approved, the value of our investment in our home would decrease as a result of this action.

It does not seem right to facilitate a developer to maximize his business model and increase his business margins without some paramount public good or benefit to the citizens of St. John; and worse, to do this on the backs of the St. John residents who have purchased homes on the good faith and initial covenants of the same developer.”

Mark and Nichole VanDam (As read by Mr. Forbes): “At the last Plan Commission Study Session, the subject came up of rezoning and the potential request to re-class the code of the lots in Pod 7B of The Gates of St. John from its current code to R-3 PUD, or something similar to that. My husband and I are unable to attend the meeting but would encourage the members of the Plan Commission to not allow changes expected to be brought forth about Pod 7.”

Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Lotton stated that in regards to the comments made that he is asking for the Plan Commission to do this on his behalf to maximize profit, he was asked by the Town to get rid of the condominium buildings; and this was his offer.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would prefer to swap out duplexes for the condominiums, which were brought in with the original zoning commitment.

Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Lotton what the multifamily units are selling for. Mr. Lotton responded that they are selling in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.

Mr. Kennedy asked what latitude the Plan Commission would have over the condominiums if this were denied. Mr. Forbes stated that we have none per the annexation agreement.

Mr. Lotton stated that the annexation agreement specifically voids all other ordinances that conflict with the agreement, period.

Mr. Eberly advised that any action taken is a recommendation to the Town Council.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council, referencing Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kozel. Hearing no second forthcoming, Mr. Forbes passed the gavel to Mr. Kozel and seconded the motion.

Roll call vote:

Mr. Kennedy Nay
Mr. Williams Aye
Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Gill Nay
Mr. Birlson Nay
Mr. Kozel Aye

Motion ties.

Mr. Eberly advised that since it is a tied vote, it will go to the Town Council with no recommendation from the Plan Commission.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Kozel opened the floor for Public Comment.

(Mary Therese Robert was called but was not present in the room when called.)

Tony Donnelly (9331 West 92nd Place): I’m going back to the Rose Garden, Unit or Phase 3. Um, I’m not really sure where – where it all stands. I know there was, you know with the sidewalk variance, I saw that and – and – and what my concern is, uh, continuation of that street, Willow, all the way through to 92nd. And I’m – I’m really concerned about that. I’m not here to bash the developer by any means. I mean the – the homes that they’re proposing in our area for the subdivision are quite, I’m – I’m sure, going to be quite nice homes. I don't – I don't think that’s an issue.

But my issue that I have – and I see the developer’s gone back and taken some of the houses off because you’re building very close to – we’re – we’re on a floodplain there. It’s – it’s a wetland floodplain, so my concern is the area to the south of that last lot, uh, on Willow Lane there. And – and I live in the corner house off that, where that turn is at. And I watched them come out and test that, look at that soil; and not one scoop in, there was a pool, I mean, of that water.

I – I know residents on our street that have lived here over 30-40 years that have gone through flooding in that area from that wetland; and over the years, they’ve done certain things to alleviate that. When I first moved in here in 2007, I had water come up 15-18 feet up past where that Willow Lane would be if it was to continue south. Come up and they – they’ve changed some drainage – that I – I’ve understood – to keep that from happening. But it still comes out to that – that wetland area; and that’s my biggest concern right now is that – A) It is – it is a floodplain, and it’s a wetland.

The developer’s already taken what would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 homes off this because he can’t build on this wetland, because it’s wetland. And I don’t see the point of continuing that street, uh, further, to put that street to go through. Uh, I’m concerned with the fact that, you know, if – if developer or whoever’s going to get stuck with paying that, I mean, that’s a pretty heavy burden to begin with. And I’m, uh, concerned with what’s going to be the condition of that street in five years, ten years, when it starts to, you know, you’re building – I don’t care if you put mesh, pylons, or whatever, you know, it’s going to be – I think that’s going to be an issue down there.

That area down there floods pretty bad; and – and – and this – who’s going to take care of this street in five years if it starts to crumble and fade? You can’t go back to him. It’s going to come back on, you know, us, the taxpayers, to start doing that. So I – I – I’m concerned that if they do start digging this up, too, that it – it’s – it’s going to create more – is it going to change the way the water drains off now and start having my yard flood again like it did, you know, eight-ten years ago?

Um, I know they proposed possibly putting in a cul-de-sac at the end of that house; and they’ve talked about putting a hammerhead in off of 92nd Place. There hasn’t been a hammerhead there in, I don't know, how many years. I know there was talk that possibly it was the developer waiting to see if new – some new subdivision would come through. But I think there’s also reason, it – it’s not going to support a street. I mean, it’s – it’s – it just seems like it’s, you know, it – it – it’d be very difficult to build on that. And as far as egress and access, I don't think it’s going to help any which way by that much.

If this was in the middle of nowhere and that – putting that extension in was going to create pretty good, favorable access or egress to that area, I’d say, yeah, okay, that’s you know – but bottom line, it – it’s still a wetland; and I just don’t think it’s – I don't think it’s going to be a good idea, um, to put that in. I – I hope that you’ll, at least, you know – we – we’ve already got homes coming in. Grant it, they’re going to be nice homes, but I’d like to, at least, be able to see it and when – how – wherever this finding goes and the engineering keeps going on that you would, guys, let them at least stop that and put the – stop that street at that point there, that last home, which would be Lot No. 1.

(Mr. Kozel stated that we will have to see what the engineering shows.)

Right. Well, I know it’s been – just, they’ve been talking about it; and they say it’s pretty bad. So both the Town’s – I know Mr. Eberly was over there. He saw it when they were there digging that up. It’s – it’s going to be extremely difficult and that. Like I said, I’m just concerned of what’s going to happen if they start digging that up. What – what is it going to do? Who, you know, if they know what the eng – what’s going to happen if they do dig that up, if it’s going to create other issues and start that area flooding again. So thank you for your time.

Kelly Glista (9330 West 92nd Place): I was unable to attend the Public Hearing that was concerning, um, that extension of Willow Lane. I’m Lot No. 3 on the Cottonwood Estates, down in that corner. Uh, we live across the street from the Donnellys. Um, we also have experienced the flooding of our yard. And it took two full summers for us to build a deck on our pool, uh, because of the ground water seeping up through all of the post holes. As soon as we put the post holes in, they would fill. Now, that’s 40 feet off of our – off the back of our house.

Lot 1 is a concern to me as well. That ground is never dry where, uh, 92nd Place ends. And as Mr. Donnelly said, you know, to have a hammerhead put in there, where our street ends, there was so much, um, sinking by heavy equipment. St. John Public Works’ plows sink every winter at the end of our street. They – and there’s – I’ve got photographs showing backhoes, everybody trying to pull these plows out, um, garbage trucks, uh, UPS drivers, everybody.

The street is marked “no outlet”; people see it when they come down the street, and they know they’re going to have to back all the way up. There is no way that, where our asphalt ends, that – that a street can, then, support that. As it is now, um, there was a donation of gravel that was put down after, um – by a private organization, just to fill in the holes because their trucks were getting stuck, and – and all that kind of thing. That ground is too soft. I have video.

I watched the first core sampling done. We also, um, watched the second – well, I saw it after work, the, uh, remnants of the second core sample that they did after the last public hearing where they took six or seven additional core samples all the way through what would be the Willow Lane extension. And I went out there, and it was 11 hours later; and to step on that ground in my shoes were covered with water. And it had not rained in days.

After – after – and as I said, I have photographs also showing where that street will come through is right underneath our kitchen window and our bedroom windows. I’m not – don’t get me wrong, extending Willow Lane has a – a few benefits. For example, we have a young son. Having a sidewalk next to our house for him to be able to come through and have kids be able to walk back and forth between the neighborhoods, okay, well, that makes sense. But we’re also running into the – to the problem where, as Mr. Donnelly said, what happens when that road starts sinking?

What happens when it starts sliding into – into the marsh? It’s not going to hold. (Ms. Glista was given a 30-second warning.) Excuse me? (The warning was repeated.)

It’s going to – it’s going to fall into the marsh. That’s what I’m going to say. What’s it going to do to my property? What am I going to have to do with our property, as far as reinforcing, so that it doesn't go sliding along with it? I think it’s a bad idea. And for future consideration, I’m all for the homes there, but I would really appreciate the board’s consideration and the builder’s consideration on the impact it’s going to have on the houses that are already there. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): My comment on this Rose Garden thing is I don’t think you have the authority to come back and modify the Preliminary Plat of approval because that requires a public hearing, initially. You have bypassed people, like these, who showed up to complain what’s going on in the neighborhood. I think the primary plat of approval is void. I wish your attorney was here so that he could give you a ruling on that, because what do you normally do? You put a legal notice in, you have a public hearing.

And by you preempting those public hearings, what did you do today? You gave waivers on a preliminary plat. And the way it works is once you give preliminary plat approval, you have to give secondary approval if they comply. So I got to ask myself, what is going on up there? Where is your attorney at to tell you how this should happen? My opinion is your actions today are null and void on changing the Preliminary Plat approval.

The other question I had is, where is Mr. Volk at? We’ve seen his seat empty to create tie votes; tie votes that then shifts all the public comments without a public hearing to the Town Council. We’ve got a Plan Commission that has mysteriously, over the last critical weeks, a public discussion on public matters come up with tie votes that takes away the power of this Plan Commission and shifts it to the Town Council.

Where is Mr. Volk? Can somebody answer that? Does he get paid to be here? Does he get paid to be a Councilman? Why is that seat absent? If he can’t serve, he should be off of this Plan Commission. We should not end up with tie votes that shifts the power of this Plan Commission to the Town Council who has not been here for public hearings, has not heard the input from the people and residents of St. John. For that reason, I ask for the resignation of Mr. Volk. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes stated for the record that Mr. Volk called him before the meeting to say that he would not be in attendance this evening.

Mr. Kozel asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, he closed Public Comment.

Ms. Robert stated that she was first on the list. The board responded that she was called.

Mary Therese Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): Good evening, Mr. Forbes. You know, I don’t know why you gentlemen are hell-bent on destroying this bedroom community. The hundred-foot lots, why do we have to change that? Why are we destroying people’s lives? Just for an example, in my subdivision – Mr. Forbes, you were around in this time – why did Mr. Arzumanian leave without completing the storm sewers, and why was that the taxpayer’s burden?

(Mr. Forbes responded that it wasn’t.)

And Mr. Forbes, why hasn’t my subdivision been top coated yet? Mr. Arzumanian did not finish the storm sewers.

(Mr. Forbes responded that he did.)

No, he did not, sir.

(Unknown public participant: No, we seen the check from the Treasurer. The Town paid for it.)

Yes, they did. Thank you.

Mr. Kozel asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. No one else came forward.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Kozel entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Kozel adjourned the meeting at 8:48 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

08-16-2017 Plan Commission

August 16, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session Meeting on August 16, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus. Absent: Greg Volk and Jason Williams.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. SOPHIA PANAGAKIS – Potential Commercial Development at 101st and Earl Drive
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Sophia Panagakis regarding a potential commercial development to be located at 101st and Earl Drive.

Mr. Eberly advised that Ms. Panagakis is present; she owns the property just south of the plaza where La Quesadilla is located; and she is interested in doing a retail building on that parcel.

Mr. Eberly stated that the platted 2-acre parcel is in the US 41 Overlay District, and Ms. Panagakis wants to build multi-unit retail building in phases.

Ms. Sophia Panagakis stated that she wants build approximately a 19,000-square-foot building, but cannot afford to do it all at once and would like to start with about 6,000 square feet, put in three or four stores, rent those out, and then continue to build.

Ms. Panagakis stated that she doesn’t know if she can do the project in phases, which is why she is here tonight addressing the Plan Commission.

Mr. Eberly advised that she is not seeking rezoning or replatting, so she will only need Site Plan approval from the Plan Commission, which is a public meeting but is not required to have Public Hearing.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Kraus if there is a unified plan for drainage in the subdivision where the property is located. Mr. Kraus responded that the Ravenwood Business Center has a subdivision-wide detention system, so she would be responsible for collecting her storm water and getting it to that detention system.

Mr. Eberly advised the board that even though it is in Ravenwood, which predates the US 41 Overlay District, Ms. Panagakis’ property is located in and subject to the US 41 Overlay District.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he recalls a building being done in phases. Mr. Kraus responded that he has not worked with that in St. John; however, he has seen it done.

Mr. Kozel stated that typically, instead of the whole building being done in phases, a developer will build the whole shell so they can ensure they have all the proper materials, but they will only complete so many units at a time within the building to lease out.

Mr. Eberly stated that there is no prohibition against it, so he advised her to come to a meeting and discuss what needs to be done.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Ms. Panagakis would be requiring a drive-thru at either end or both ends of the building. Ms. Panagakis responded that she will be needing one on the north end, as of this time.

Mr. Birlson asked if she would do the entire Site Plan and parking area. Mr. Kraus advised that the Site Plan is typically done in one shot, and then they have to come up with another plan to show how much of that master plan they are going to build if they do it in phases.

Mr. Forbes asked if there will be an issue with parking for 12 units. Mr. Kraus responded that it would not be any different as it is based on the total square footage. However, if the use changes, it can be different based on the type of usage of the units.

A brief discussion regarding parking requirements ensued. Mr. Eberly advised that the parking regulation uses net square footage of the building in the calculation.

Mr. Eberly stated that they would probably want to revisit this again at the September Study Session and allow Ms. Panagakis time to work with an architect planner to refine some plans.

Mr. Eberly advised Ms. Panagakis that the Site Plan should be done in its entirety and then show how the building will be phased.

Ms. Panagakis asked if that includes the parking lot for the whole building. Mr. Eberly responded that it needs to have the parking lot, landscaping, and lighting. Mr. Eberly added that if she has her architect planner contact him, he will be happy to share all the requirements that are needed on the plan.

Mr. Forbes advised that the architect can draw the full plans and draw lines through the various phases that are to be done. Mr. Forbes further advised that it can affect the drainage.

Mr. Kraus stated that many times when buildings are built in phases, a sewer needs to be built to take the water to wherever it is meant to go. So if you start at the high end of the sewer and build that part of the building, the lower end has to go through the part that isn’t being developed yet.

Mr. Kennedy asked Ms. Panagakis if she plans to develop the lot from north to south or south to north. Ms. Panagakis responded that she will develop from north to south.

Ms. Panagakis stated that she had some inquiries about land lease for the south end of the property, so she wants to develop six units on the north end and see what happens with the south end. She further stated that she plans to start by building approximately 6000 square feet and then build out the rest of the mall.

Mr. Forbes advised her to get the information to Mr. Eberly, keep the conversation going, and that we’d see her in a month.

B. ST. JOHN CROSSING – One-lot Commercial Resubdivision at the Northeast Corner of US 41 and US 231

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is St. John Crossing regarding a one-lot commercial Resubdivision at the northeast corner of US 41 and US 231.

Mr. Jeff Ban with DVG Team stated that he is here to ask the Plan Commission to consider a resubdivision of what is currently described as Outlot C of the St. John Crossing subdivision at the northeast corner of US 41 and US 231.

Mr. Ban stated that St. John Crossing subdivision was platted in 2008 as a three-lot subdivision. He further stated that he had spoken with staff to ask why Outlot C was labeled as an unbuildable lot. The response was that there are NIPSCO easements that protruded into the guts of the lot.

Mr. Ban stated that they are here to discuss their proposed changes to that lot and call it Lot 3 of St. John Crossing First Resubdivision. They have documented that the two NIPSCO easements have been vacated as of the summer of 2008, shortly after the platting of St. John Crossing.

Mr. Ban commented that they can’t see any reason for this lot to be labeled unbuildable as the improvements are there, the replatting of the lot will not change any of the easements for access or drainage or any of the storm water management plan that was originally approved by the Town back in 2008. They would like to move forward with this parcel and put it into productive use. It had gone through Primary Plat in 2008, and they would like to come before the Plan Commission on September 6, 2017 for Secondary Plat approval if the Plan Commission sees fit to do so.

Mr. Ban noted that the lot will stay as is with the removal and identification of the vacation of the NIPSCO easements coming from the east and going southerly into the lot and removing the term “unbuildable” off of the original Outlot C.

Mr. Eberly stated that this is where Coyne Animal Hospital will locate if it gets approval from the Town Council for its Special Exception Variance and Use Variance; both received a favorable recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Forbes asked what was requested at the BZA. Mr. Eberly advised that the kennel part of the animal hospital needed a Special Exception Variance, and the animal hospital itself needed a Use Variance.

Mr. Eberly further advised that they also had two Developmental Standards Variances that were also requested and approved by the BZA. One was to shorten the landscape buffer from 40 feet to 36 feet. The second was for a building size of 11,200 square feet instead of 15,000 square feet, which is the minimum building size required in the US 41 Overlay District.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he had seen the plans. Mr. Kraus advised that he views this as a Secondary Plat approval as long as the Plan Commission is aware of all the changes that have to be made and have no opposition to any of those changes.

Mr. Forbes advised that he doesn’t see any problems with it.

Mr. Ban stated that they will be back on September 6, 2017 to ask for approval and have a Mylar ready for execution.

C. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4 – Replatting a Portion of Pod 4 – New Plat (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 4 regarding the replatting of Pod 4.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Lotton wanted to get a Secondary Plat of that property where he wanted to swap the open space with the lot that has units 1029, 1030, and 1031 on it. Mr. Eberly stated that he told him it was a simple change that wouldn’t need a re-plat. Mr. Eberly further stated that at the time, he wasn’t aware the Mr. Lotton wanted to remove the road Crabapple Cove.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Lotton would have to create slopes on the east side of Crabapple Cove; and there isn’t enough land to create the proper slopes, so he got rid of the road to use that area in conjunction with the lots that those three units sit on and create a detention on that property. He would move the units over to the open space lot, and it won’t change the unit count or lot count.

Mr. Eberly noted that Mr. Lotton was out of town and couldn’t be here tonight, but Mr. Lotton is seeking permission to advertise at the September 6, 2017 meeting.

Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Gill discussed how the lots would stay the same.

Mr. Birlson asked if this property is platted as R-3. Mr. Eberly responded that it is R-3 PUD, single-family cottage homes.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kraus discussed the possibility of the detention lot becoming a retention lot if Mr. Lotton changes it and digs it a bit deeper.

Mr. Forbes advised that the only thing we need to guaranty is the storm water because the lot count and unit counts are not changing.

Mr. Eberly stated that he doesn’t think the development needs more storm-water detention, but he found that area to be ineffective given the side slopes that we require for our detention.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 6D – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: Bill Robinson with Cal Atlantic)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 6D asking seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Bill Robinson with Cal Atlantic stated that there are no changes to what was originally approved. The property is not currently developed, so they will be putting up a Surety Bond for all improvements.

Mr. Kraus advised that he is working on the calculations and has a preliminary number but would like to wait until he has the specific number.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is on the September 6, 2017 agenda for Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Eberly stated that he will be at a conference the first week of September, and Mr. Kil, Town Manager, will be filling in for him.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:33 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

09-06-2017 Plan Commission

September 6, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
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. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on September 6, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following members present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager, on behalf of Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus. Absent: Greg Volk and Rick Eberly.

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

Mr. Forbes advised that there was an item that had been left off of the agenda for this evening’s meeting for Eden’s Cove for Secondary Plat approval. Mr. Forbes asked if anyone would be opposed to amending the agenda to include Eden’s Cove as Item E. None were opposed.

Motion to add Eden’s Cove Secondary Plat approval as Item E to today’s agenda by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes and requested a motion to defer the same.

Motion to defer by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes informed the board that Mr. Volk is not with us this evening as he is still recovering from surgery.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

None was had.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. ST. JOHN CROSSING FIRST RESUBDIVISION – Secondary Plat Action on the Resubdivision of the Plat (Petitioner: Jeff Ban with DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is St. John Crossing First Resubdivision regarding Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Jeff Ban with DVG stated that they were at the August Study Session and presented the First Resubdivision of the St. John Crossing subdivision relative to Outlot C, which was labeled unbuildable and had NIPSCO easements on it. They are correcting that to remove the word “unbuildable” and reflect the vacation of the NIPSCO easements, which were vacated after the original subdivision was platted. What was Outlot C will now be called Lot 3 of St. John Crossing First Resubdivision.

Mr. Ban stated that the 2.06-acre lot is being proposed for Coyne Animal Hospital, and they are seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $900. All public improvements are in, and a Letter of Credit is not required.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Ban to explain why the property was labeled as unbuildable and what remedies were done to make the lot a buildable lot. Mr. Ban responded that the NIPSCO easements had caused the lot to be unbuildable, and those were vacated after it was originally platted.

Mr. Kraus stated that the most recent plat has a building line extended from the east line of the 80-foot wide drainage easement all the way up to the lot line, and the address and State Plane Coordinates have been added to it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Motion to grant St. John Crossing First Resubdivision Secondary Plat approval referencing the Findings of Fact contingent upon the Developmental Fee being paid by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

B. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4 – Permission to Advertise for a New Primary Plat for a Portion of Pod 4 (Petitioner: John Lotton / Tony Strickland with V3)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 4. The petitioner is requesting permission to advertise for Public Hearing regarding a new Preliminary Plat for a portion of Pod 4.

Mr. Tony Strickland with V3 Companies stated that he is here on behalf of John Lotton. They are seeking permission to advertise for the next phase of Pod 4.

Mr. Forbes advised that this matter was discussed at the last Study Session, and they are moving the storm water detention pond to the center of the block, adjusting the location of the units, and eliminating the curved street that was proposed to be Crabapple Cove.

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Strickland that the board is still looking at the old drawing and that the new drawing was to be provided in advance of the next Study Session. Mr. Strickland responded that he has a sketch tonight and passed the same out to the members.

Mr. Forbes stated that it was said there would be no addition of units to the plan and that it was simply being rearranged. Mr. Forbes further stated that there are 22 units on this drawing and only 20 on the original. Mr. Forbes added that it should have two easements, for the pipes and for access to the center for mowing the detention area.

Mr. Forbes asked if the members were comfortable approving advertising this for Public Hearing knowing that it will be discussed at the next Study Session. The Plan Commission members responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat for The Gates of St. John Pod 4.

Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing for The Gates of St. John Pod 4 for a new Preliminary Plat by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

C. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 6D – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: Bill Robinson with Cal Atlantic)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 4D regarding Secondary Plat.

Mr. Bill Robinson with Cal Atlantic stated that they are requesting Secondary Plat approval for The Gates of St. John 6D, which is the same as the approved Primary Plat. Mr. Robinson advised that they have not installed the public improvements, so they will be submitting a bond for that, and they have already paid the Developmental Fee.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $9,562.65. All public improvements have not been installed, and a Letter of Credit should be submitted in the amount of $544,920.57.

Mr. Kraus stated that the amount is for a Letter of Credit; however, Mr. Robinson approached him before the meeting started and stated they will be giving a Surety Bond.

Mr. Kraus advised that Surety Bonds are120 percent of the construction cost and a Letter of Credit is 110 percent, so he will recalculate for the bond amount and email the same the next day.

Mr. Robinson advised that he would be dropping off the Surety Bond along with the Mylars.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John Pod 6D.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 6D Secondary Plat approval withholding signatures of the plat until the Surety Bond at 120 percent is received and referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to make a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Surety Bond.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Surety Bond at 120 percent of construction cost by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

D. MILL CREEK UNIT 2 – Release of Performance Bond and Acceptance of Warranty (Petitioner: Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Mill Creek Unit 2 regarding the release of the Performance Bond and acceptance of the Warranty.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter regarding the release of Subdivision Bond No. 1145207 in the amount of $19.360.00 that is held by the Town as surety that the public improvements will be installed and recommends the release of the same as all public improvements have been satisfactorily constructed.

Mr. Forbes advised that this would be for a recommendation to the Town Council.

Mr. Kraus stated that Mr. Eberly reported to him on the telephone that he had received a 2-year warranty for Mill Creek Unit 2.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Motion to approve acceptance of the Warranty and release of the Performance Bond by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Kozel stated that a motion is needed to send a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to approve sending a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Warranty and release Subdivision Bond No. 1145207 for Mill Creek Unit 2 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

E. EDEN’S COVE – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: David Spoolstra with Homes by Dutch Mill / Tony Strickland with V3)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Eden’s Cove for Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Tony Strickland with V3 stated that he is here on behalf of Mr. David Spoolstra, and they are here tonight to seek Secondary Plat approval for Eden’s Cove. Mr. Strickland noted that the underground work is completed and the subdivision is mostly built. They will be cutting the roads starting on Monday. Then they will do the stone, asphalt, and curb.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $7,976.82. All public improvements are not installed so an Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $154,539.00 will need to be submitted to the Town.

Mr. Forbes asked if the Developmental Fee has been paid. Mr. Strickland responded in the negative. Mr. Forbes asked if he will be submitting a Letter of Credit or if he will be requesting the withholding of signatures until the infrastructure is installed. Mr. Strickland responded the Mr. Spoolstra will be submitting a Surety Bond.

Mr. Kraus stated that he will recalculate the cost for a Surety Bond and email that tomorrow as well.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Eden’s Cove for Secondary Plat.

Motion to grant Eden’s Cove Secondary Plat approval contingent upon receipt of the Developmental Fee and the Surety Bond at 120 percent of the construction cost referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to make a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Surety Bond based on Mr. Kraus’ calculations.

Motion for a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept a Surety Bond at 120 percent of construction cost by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Good evening, gentlemen. A Road Impact Fee should be coming soon. And as I get a better understanding how that may work, um, my arguments in the past have been that the roads really need to be improved as the developers improve those properties. Um, I’m concerned that, um, they will benefit the most by the improvements to their properties, more so than a builder who’s building just a few homes. Um, so I’m asking you when this comes through, don’t penalize the small builders in – in – in allowing the developers to reap more in recapturing fees, um, because that would not be fair to the small builders in town.

Also, as building permits are issued, um, the balance of multifamily and single-family gets more and more out of balance. Single-family homes continue to sell quickly in St. John and for top dollar. So I’m asking you to keep the lot sizes large. Successful growth needs to be planned and planned in advance. So I’m asking that you follow the growth plans that were prescribed by the previous comprehensive plans in town, and, um, let’s keep the balance to single-family to multifamily, um, closer to those smaller numbers like there have been in the past. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oak Ridge Drive): I would like this Plan Commission to pass a resolution, uh, and send it to the Town Council that the impact fees be paid by the developer. The way this thing is going now, it’s – they’re going to shift it to the individual guy when he gets his building permit to build his house. You’ll never collect enough money that way to improve the roads in St. John. I think that’s one of the most critical items now is the neglect that’s been going on in St. John for road improvement. So when this comes to a head, I think this Plan Commission needs to take a stance that the developer pay the whole fee, the whole impact fee for his development when he gets approval. Uh, shifting it to waiting till a building, individual homeowner or builder gets the permit, you’ll never collect enough money in time to make any significant road improvements.

The other comment I have is simply this: Tonight, you amended the agenda. Uh, I think that is illegal, but you could ask your Town Attorney, because you’re the Plan Commission. If you can add something without putting it on the board out there and doing regular public notice, uh, that that item is coming up here, I think that’s – that’s an illegal way to proceed, uh, because then you could add anything and have it voted on instantaneously here. And that’s not the purpose of what goes on with the Plan Commission.

The other thing is, uh, when you talk to these, uh, developers and they hand you a sheet of paper, the public is entitled to see what is being talked about here, the document. If they – if it’s not on the screen, you should have a placard here, uh, that describes what – what is going on. And when you add something to the agenda like that, that means this Plan Commission has had nothing, no time ahead of time to study what they’re going to be voting on, and everything is just one, two, three without spending the proper amount of time studying it. I think these are some of the kinks that, uh, this Plan Commission is facing, has faced over time; and I think that’s why a lot of things don’t quite turn out right here in St. John in terms of development. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes noted that it has been discussed at a Study Session and was left off this agenda, which is why the agenda was properly amended.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): The last few session we had, gentlemen, things have been a little crowded in here because of the multi-units being proposed time after time after time. And I think at the last Council meeting, I brought the new statistics to the attention of the Town Council since they seem to me to need reminding when they put up the word 8 percent on the Comprehensive Plan, 8 to 10 percent isn’t 35; and that’s where it stands year-to-date for August so far this year. Thirty-five percent of every issued permit in St. John is a multi-unit. Last year, it was 40 percent. The year before, it was 38 percent. And if you go back 14 years, when the Council was still seated, it averages 27.5 percent. That isn’t anywhere near 8 percent if you do the math. So what I’m proposing to you is you start paying attention to what the Comprehensive Plan supposedly says. Because every time we go to the Council, the Council goes, it’s in the Comprehensive Plan. Well, so is the 8 percent, and nobody is following it. And it’s your responsibility because you’re approving this stuff.

And as far as what Joe said about the Road Impact Fees, I’ve been going to the meetings. And Steve will attest to it, I’ve been at every meeting that he’s been at. And these contractors come walking in and go, oh, we didn’t know anything about this, last month, at last month’s meeting, and they get everything postponed again thirty more days. This was supposed to be before the Council this month. That’s what Steve proposed, and then they blew it out of the water because the contractors need more time. They had as much time as every civilian standing in this room today. And they put it off and they screwed around, and now they’re complaining, oh, we don’t have enough time to study this. The Road Impact Fees need to get passed. We need to get some money for our roads. And if everybody keeps screwing around, it’s not going to get done. We got six more months to wait after it’s approved by this Commission. That’s six more months to wait. We’ve already built 167 single units in St. John so far, year-to-date through August. That’s $320,000 or so using $2000 as an average number. That’s money we’re never going to see. That’s money we can’t use on our roads. Thank you.

Kathryn Wilson (9621 East Oak Ridge Drive): I’m surprised you – well, I shouldn’t say I’m surprised. But, um, one of my concerns tonight was also the roads. I was thinking about this the other day. I forget where I was coming from. But being the Plan Commission, I am guessing that you’re planning for the development of the town. And when you have – I – I’m surprised how many residents buy. But if you’re trying to lure businesses to develop here and they drive down and they see there’s two-lane roads, there’s only one road that goes straight through town, there’s only one four-lane road. I’m just – I – I don’t know what to say, you know, that it – it doesn’t give a good impression. Um, I have another comment. Oh, well, back on the roads, um, I noticed at The Preserves, that they did build – did – did some work on the roads right at 101st and White Oak, so to make their area look more presentable.

I have a question about if anyone in the village reviews editorials in the newspaper or comments on Next Door regarding what the residents are concerned with going on in the town, cause I see some things in there that just kind of catch me off guard. And my last comment, at the Town Council I mentioned about the impact fee, and you told me that it was for the parks. So I went back and I looked at it, and I can see what’s going on there. Well, on Next Door there was a comment about the tree board. Is that part of the park district? I don’t know. It’s supposed to be regarding parks and planting trees and Arbor Day and landscaping and that, but I don’t know anything further.

While I’m on the subject of parks, there are 23 parks in St. John. All but three have playgrounds. All of these playgrounds are for younger children. Has anyone considered ramps – building playgrounds that are more suitable for older children, preteens, ramps for bikes and skateboards? It won’t take up a lot of room. There’s one up by the hospital on Sheffield or Hart, and, you know, it – it’s like a quarter of a lot. So I’m – my concern is to keep St. John green and not to change the “n” to a “d”. Thank you very much.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I’d like to take the time to thank the three gentlemen who voted against the rezoning of 7B. I did attend the township meeting as a result of that deferral – or not deferral, the no recommendation submission only to find out that there was a gross, um, absence of legal counsel. Subsequently, I found out there’s significant issues with the particular ordinance. They indicated it was a 700-page ordinance, had to be looked at, and, uh, for the three folks who did say no, thank you for reviewing and at least being a little concerned about the legality of what you did.

Um, I’m just shocked that you went, that this went as far as it did with as serious a legal ramifications to have two attorneys not follow through on their requested input, and you folks who didn’t – you folks who went to approve that, um, did not take any steps to find out exactly what the legalities are. It’s a complicated world. That’s my neighborhood, and I am concerned about it. I know you guys have a whole town to worry about. I’m worried about my neighborhood and my neighbors and that the proposal that’s being made will adversely affect us. So for the three gentlemen who voted no, thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment and brought the meeting back to the board.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:38 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

09-20-2017 Plan Commission

September 20, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session Meeting on September 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus. Absent: None.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4D – Secondary Plat Request (Petitioners: John Lotton / Jonathan Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 4D regarding Secondary Plat request for single-family-detached cottage homes.

Mr. Jonathon Lotton stated that he is here on behalf of John Lotton, and they are seeking Secondary Plat approval for The Gates of St. John Pod 4D. It will be three lots with four units on each lot.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he has reviewed the project. Mr. Kraus responded that he has looked at it and did not see any changes.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions or comments. Hearing none, he advised Mr. Lotton that it will be put on the October 4, 2017 agenda for approval.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Lotton if they will be installing the improvements as opposed to doing a Letter of Credit. Mr. Lotton responded in the affirmative.

B. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4 – Portion to be Re-platted (Petitioners: John Lotton / Jonathan Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 4 regarding the replatting a portion of Pod 4.

Mr. Forbes stated that they are re-platting part of Pod 4 to increase the detention pond.

Mr. Eberly advised that the proposal is to eliminate Crabapple Cove and switch the location of the open space and the lots to the south and west of Crabapple Cove. The lots will become Lots L, M, N and the outlot would be the detention pond.

Mr. Williams asked what is in the big open space south of Lot L. Mr. Lotton responded that south of Lot L will be future lots, but that is not included in this re-platting. Mr. Lotton added that they are moving the pond from the northeast corner into the middle of the houses.

Mr. Forbes advised that the section that is highlighted in yellow is more than what is being re-platted.

Mr. Eberly demonstrated the areas being re-platted on the viewing screen in the room for clarification. Mr. Eberly stated that it is a bit confusing because we are calling this a portion of Pod 4.

Mr. Eberly advised that they will be coming back for Public Hearing on this matter at the October 4, 2017 Regular Meeting.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the lot size differences are from what was originally proposed to what is currently proposed, which adds two units. Mr. Lotton responded that they are adding two units because of the efficiency of the scale of going out further and that the lots are being increased to 62 feet wide.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the difference is between what was originally proposed and what is now proposed on the storm water pond. Mr. Lotton responded that he doesn’t know the exact difference, but it is substantially larger.

Mr. John Lotton stated that there is significantly less impervious surface because the road is being removed, and the size of the detention is significantly increasing, more for esthetics than anything.

Mr. Williams asked if there will be a masonry requirement. Mr. John Lotton responded that Ron will be required to use SmartSide or hardi-board.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Eberly if the addition of the two units will not exceed the limit they have for Pod 4. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy, as well as other board members, asked if the board would be able to get the actual size differences. Mr. John Lotton stated that Kenn Kraus should have those very soon.

Mr. Forbes asked them to get the information to the board before the next meeting when they are scheduled for Public Hearing.

Mr. Eberly stated that he would forward that to the Plan Commission as soon as he receives it.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the detention pond will serve just this pod or other areas. Mr. John Lotton responded that the pond serves Pod 4.

C. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Potential Rezoning of a Parcel of Land West of Cline Avenue and North of 93rd Avenue (Petitioner: Brian Lantz / Doug Rettig, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Lantz Development for discussion regarding the possible rezoning of a parcel of land on the west side of Cline Avenue, north of 93rd Avenue from R-1 to R-2, resulting in 35 single-family lots.

Mr. Forbes advised, before the discussion is started, that Mr. Williams asked a question about the reapplication, and the Plan Commission needs to have a discussion on whether it is allowable first. Mr. Forbes further advised that there is a letter from Dave Austgen, Town Attorney, addressing that question.

(A copy of the letter from Attorney Dave Austgen is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2017-09-20 PC.)

Mr. Forbes advised that, as he reads it, it states that we can do this; however, it is discretionary for the Plan Commission to determine whether this is a new application or changed enough to allow review of the development.

Mr. Williams stated that he has heard two different themes of complaints during the Public Hearings: One was density, and the other was drainage from the neighboring subdivisions. Mr. Williams stated that he doesn’t believe that there is enough of a change or that the changes shown will solve those issues.

Mr. Williams stated that the main difference that he sees is the change in the lots that were too close to Cline Avenue, which in his view is not enough to warrant conversation.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this type of situation has happened before.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Austgen quoted our rule in his letter which specifies that once a Rezoning Petition is defeated by the Town Council, it can’t come back before you for a year; however, it doesn’t include remedies for if a plan changes enough or if there’s a significant change. He further stated that we have the our attorney’s opinion that says there is enough of a change to legally justify the Plan Commission hearing this in less than the one-year time period called for in our rules.

Mr. Eberly stated that he doesn’t believe he has ever personally encountered this; however, in Dyer, the rule has language that says “unless there is a significant change,” but the rule did not define “significant”; so it is still up to the Plan Commission to determine whether there is a significant change or not.

Mr. Eberly noted that this development plan has decreased from 37 lots to 35 lots, the average lot size exceeds R-1 minimums, and 16 of the 35 lots exceed R-1 lot sizes themselves.

Mr. Rettig stated that the other significant change is they have made 77 percent of the lots larger, and they believe that to be significant, which is why they are presenting again.

Mr. Eberly advised the members that they have a spreadsheet in their meeting packets that shows the difference in the lot sizes.

Mr. Eberly commented that it was a long-winded version to answer Mr. Kennedy’s question that he has not encountered something like this in St. John, but in Dyer there was a caveat built in the rule.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is a quantitative way to determine significant. Mr. Eberly stated that there is not. He added that 77 percent of the lots being larger could be significant; however, if you consider that only two lots were removed, it could be viewed differently. Mr. Kennedy said that is only a 5 percent difference.

Mr. Forbes said that he feels it is a significant enough change that he is ready to hear this petition and look at it as a new proposal. Mr. Forbes advised that this is a Study Session, so no action can be made tonight, however, we need to come to a consensus on whether or not to move forward with discussion on this.

Mr. Kennedy expressed that he would like more time to think about this because, until seeing the letter, he hadn’t even considered this option.

Mr. Brian Lantz asked if he is allowed to speak. Mr. Forbes granted him permission to speak.

Mr. Lantz stated that he understands the question of if there is or is not enough change; however, they have been told along the way that 20 percent is enough of a change. Considering that, 77 percent of the lots being larger is significant.

Mr. Lantz further stated that he did a sketch of the property as all R-1 lots removing the diagonal line of the pipeline and because the property from north to south is not conducive to two full streets with 200-foot depth require the two streets adjusted that and came out with the same number of lots in R-1 dimensions as they are proposing now, so the density is the same.

Mr. Lantz explained that they tried to give as many R-1 lots as they possibly could. Almost half the lots are R-1, and they are asking for a little leeway because of the pipeline and being locked into the T from the existing subdivision to the west of the parcel.

Mr. Lantz commented that, in response to Mr. Volk’s suggestion, they have eliminated two lots and moved the setbacks for the lots on Cline Avenue to get the houses farther away from the street. Mr. Lantz noted that the density they are proposing is less than the density of the subdivisions to the east and most of those to the south of the development they are proposing.

Mr. Lantz explained that he is not developing a 900-lot subdivision or a 200-lot subdivision, so losing two lots is detrimental and loosing anymore than that makes the project unprofitable. If he had to adhere to R-1 lots and went by lot square footage only, he would lose 8 lots, which means he would be selling them at cost. Mr. Lantz commented that he builds homes that sell in the price range of $400,000 to $700,000, which typically raises the value of an area.

Mr. Birlson stated that this is the first time he is seeing the letter from Mr. Austgen, and when he first received the package he wondered why it is even being considered. Mr. Birlson feels that the board needs more time to digest this and determine whether or not this is a significant enough of a change; and at this time, he is leaning towards “no”.

Mr. Kozel stated that he has no problem with it and is ready to review it.

Mr. Volk stated that he is unsure about the percentage of change; however, his main concern with the drawing was the lots along Cline Avenue which have been addressed, and he is okay with hearing it.

Mr. Gill stated that he believes there’s enough change to warrant another look.

Mr. Williams advised that he has written down four votes to hear it, so we are moving forward.

Mr. Forbes stated that Rick and he discussed the matter shortly after getting Mr. Williams’ email, and he stated that he is not happy that the letter from Dave Austgen just showed up today. Mr. Forbes further stated he is backing them all up; but there will be at least two months to figure out this letter, discuss the project, and go through the process.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this is a new application and if they are starting the process over. Mr. Forbes responded that it is a new application, so they will have to republish for Public Hearing, and we will have at least two study sessions to discuss this project.

Mr. Eberly advised that when he first heard of this, he was also informed that there was more than a 20 percent change in the plan, so it could go forward. When he spoke with the attorney, the attorney said that he never put a number to it but that there was enough of a change to go forward. Mr. Eberly added that he is not sure who came up with 20 percent, but he was told the same thing as Mr. Lantz was.

Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn’t like getting into discussions about percentages because one group will look at the 77 percent, and the other group will look at the 5 percent. The changes are more numerous than just dropping the two lots, and Mr. Forbes feels confident in moving forward with discussing it.

Mr. Forbes stated that one of the greatest concerns is the drainage and asked Mr. Rettig to address that concern. Mr. Rettig responded that they have not done any engineering yet, so they haven’t designed any retention ponds.

Mr. Rettig commented that it is his understanding that they shouldn’t even be discussing drainage for rezoning as it is taken care of at Primary Plat. Mr. Forbes stated that he understands that, but the question is a primary focus and will come up.

Mr. Rettig stated that the property is divided into two halves, east and west halves; and the entire site drains north to unincorporated Lake County through Mr. Burrink’s property. Mr. Burrink owns the property just to the north and has a culvert under his driveway and a ditch, so half of our water goes underneath his driveway into an existing ditch. The west half drains behind his barn, through a gentle swale into a ditch north of his property. All the water will go through his property, which can’t be changed.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are prepared to build a berm along the property line to contain their water and put outfall pipes with restrictors through the berm to slow down the water and retain the water on their site. The water will still go where it naturally goes to, but it will be restricted.

Mr. Rettig stated that the engineering is not done yet, but that is their plan.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he had any thought on the drainage. Mr. Kraus responded that he and Mr. Eberly had been out to Mr. Burrink’s property and walked the site in response to a drainage complaint about the North Point pond. Mr. Kraus stated that they had Olthof Homes do some tweaking of the ground that should take all of their water off of his property until they release it from the detention basin.

Mr. Kraus advised that there is a culvert in the middle of Mr. Burrink’s driveway that picks up the water from the east half of the area; and the west half runs across onto Mr. Burrink’s property. As Mr. Rettig described it, it’s really not a defined swale but a little gully that ends up in the same ditch that the North Point detention basin drains into.

Mr. Kraus stated that it may need to be restricted down even further than what our ordinances allows. We will have to take a look at the downstream systems and make sure that we’re not flooding anybody out.

Mr. Eberly noted that Olthof has completed those remediation efforts. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Burrink told Mr. Kraus and himself that what Mr. Rettig is proposing will probably solve about 95 percent of the drainage problems on his property, so he is actually looking forward to it.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus if there are restrictors in Olthof’s detention pond. Mr. Kraus responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Rettig stated that there is a well-defined ditch that the North Point pond drains into, which is on the DeYoung’s property.

Mr. Forbes stated that he understands that this isn’t typically discussed at the time of rezoning, but there is so much focus on it and it is a hot topic. Mr. Forbes further stated that we examine drainage extensively, and he isn’t sure where the drainage fell apart for North Point. However, Olthof didn’t construct that detention pond; it was Martk Construction.

Mr. Eberly stated that there have been complaints that the pond is undersized because it overflowed twice in the last ten years; however, he isn’t sure the pond is undersized because we have had two events that were greater than a 100-year rain event. In 2007 and 2008, it would have overflowed its banks.

Mr. Kraus stated that without looking into it, he would say that the design of that basin and the construction of it are fine. Mr. Kraus added that spillways are put in because we know they will overflow during certain storms.

Mr. Forbes stated that the 100-year rain event is the standard marker. Mr. Eberly, Mr. Kraus, and Mr. Rettig concurred.

Mr. Birlson asked if the velocity or the amount is the reason the ditch eroded and a tree fell over. Mr. Kraus responded that anytime water is rushing through a gully, it’s going to want to straighten out. And if you look at the ditch that North Point pond dumps into, it has a lot of curves. Further discussion ensued regarding the ditch.

Mr. Birlson requested that Mr. Rettig include two more columns on his spreadsheet, original lot width and proposed lot width. Mr. Rettig agreed to add those columns.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if he is proposing a uniform 30-foot front-yard setback throughout the project. Mr. Rettig responded that they are with the exception of the lots along Cline Avenue plus a few lots that will have a 25-foot front-yard setback on the cul-de-sacs. Mr. Eberly stated that that is allowed under the floating line for cul-de-sacs.

Mr. Forbes stated that he likes it.

Mr. Rettig stated that they have looked at North Point, Sierra Pointe, and Grouse Pointe, and all of those are in the 1.7 to 1.9 units per acre density. Lantz Development is at 1.61 units per acre with the revised plan. Mr. Rettig further stated that due to the restrictions of the shape of the property, the roadway, and the pipeline easements, 35 R-1 lots cannot be achieved.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this will be voted on to continue discussion at the next Plan Commission meeting. Mr. Forbes responded that the board decided that tonight since it is just a discretionary matter.

Mr. Eberly asked if the rights-of-way are all 60-foot rights-of-way. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the lots could be adjusted to give more property to those on the south side; his concern is that the lots to the north, east, and south are unincorporated, larger lots.

Mr. Volk stated that perhaps width could be added to those lots. Mr. Rettig responded that the only way to do that would be to remove a lot.

Mr. Kennedy, et al, asked Mr. Rettig and Mr. Lantz to consider giving an extra 10 feet to the houses on the south side of the property instead of on the north side. Mr. Rettig and Mr. Lantz agreed to look at it to see if it could be done.

Mr. Forbes asked what the right-of-way is for the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig responded that it is a 60-foot right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes asked if the only waiver they will be asking for is the length of the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig responded that they will request a waiver for the length of cul-de-sac and that they may request sidewalks for Cline Avenue. Mr. Volk stated that he doesn’t want to see sidewalks on Cline Avenue.

Mr. Kennedy said he would like to see sidewalks. Mr. Kozel stated that if they widen the streets, the sidewalks are gone.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments. None were had.

Mr. Rettig stated that they will be back in one month for further discussion.

D. SOPHIA PANAGAKIS – Potential Commercial Development at 101st and Earl Drive
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Sophia Panagakis; however, she called and is not prepared for this evening.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if he has had any discussions with her. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes stated it was odd that she mentioned a Perkins out of the blue when discussing keeping her options open on the south side of the lot, and asked if he had spoken with her about that. Mr. Eberly stated that she hasn’t mentioned any specific tenants since that meeting.

Mr. Forbes stated that he knows she wants to build this in phases, but he doesn’t want it to get to a point where she starts building and changes the plans, as he doesn’t know what effects that will have on drainage and everything else.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Kraus has instructed Ms. Panagakis to design the site and the drainage in its entirety as though she’s building it all out right now.

Mr. Kraus stated that he told Ms. Panagakis if she was going to do the building in phases that we would need to see the end treatment of the first phase and what the plan would be or what they would do with that wall if they expanded the building,.

Mr. Eberly stated that it’s not going to be a brick wall.

Mr. Forbes asked if the drainage would be applicable if she makes changes after building one or more phases and isn’t going to build the building anymore. Mr. Kraus stated that the detention for Ravenwood is already set.

Mr. Kennedy stated that she is in the US 41 Overlay District and asked if she knows that parking will have to be in the back. Mr. Eberly responded that she wants to build just like the strip mall where La Quesadilla is located, and she is aware she will need to seek a variance for parking.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions or comments. None were had.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

09-20-2017 Plan Commission Exhibit.pdf
10-04-2017 Plan Commission

October 4, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on October 4, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following members present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, and Kenn Kraus. Absent: None.

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes and requested a motion to defer the same.

Motion to defer by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised the public present that Lantz Development is not on this evening’s agenda, and it never was. Mr. Forbes then stated that it had come to his attention that some folks received a note today stating that Lantz Development would be presenting tonight, and he wanted to set the record straight at the outset of the meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4E – Replatting a Portion of Pod 4 (Petitioner: John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is a Public Hearing for The Gates of St. John Pod 4E. The petitioner is John Lotton.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Mr. Jonathan Lotton stated that he is here representing Lotton Development.

Mr. Lotton stated that they are requesting a new Primary Plat on a portion of Pod 4, which is being called Pod 4E. The pond is being moved southwest of its original location and they modified the three lots around the pond.

Mr. Forbes advised that the road was removed, the units are being moved around, and no new units were added.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Lotton if some of the lots are increasing in size due to the replatting. Mr. Lotton responded that all the lots are gaining approximately 5 feet in width.

Mr. Kennedy asked if these will be cottage units. Mr. Lotton responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plans dated September 27, 2017 and revised October 3, 2017 to be satisfactory with the exception that plan & profile drawings for the storm sewer system have not been received. The plan view of the storm sewer system was checked against the design calculations. The Developmental Fee will be calculated at 2 percent of the construction costs when that is available. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan has not been reviewed at this time and that fee will be determined at the time of review.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Having no one wishing to speak, Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

After a brief discussion with Mr. Kraus as to what he needed as a contingency on any motion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding The Gates of St. John Pod 4.

Motion to grant a favorable replatting of portion of Pod 4 for primary approval contingent upon the receipt of the plan & profile drawings, referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4D – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 4D. The petitioner is John Lotton.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $3,161.26. All public improvements have not been installed, and the developer is asking that signatures be withheld until the public improvements are constructed.

Mr. Jonathan Lotton stated that he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Williams asked if what will be built is like and kind to what is already around the area. Mr. Lotton responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes stated that this is a straight-forward motion for Secondary Plat and asked the board if they had any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for Pod 4D, referencing the Findings of Fact.

Mr. Kraus stated that there is no Letter of Credit being planned, so all infrastructure will need to be installed before the plats can be signed if they are approved.

Mr. Forbes advised the board to include that contingency to any motion that is made. Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Lotton submitted the Developmental Fee to him this evening, so that is paid.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 4D Secondary Plat approval withholding all signatures of the plat until all public improvements have been installed and referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I’m not going to take up a lot of time and a lot of three minutes. Um, but I just wanted to cover a couple things. Number one, Lantz, I expected Lantz to be on the agenda tonight. And I would just – I’m not sure what happened, but I would just encourage you to, um, not even entertain that because of the ordinances designed. It – it’s been denied; leave it sit for the year that’s required. I don’t think there were significant changes there that would even warrant bringing that forward again. As soon as you start doing that, you’re going to be inundated with secondary work to redo things that you’ve done all, uh, once before when it comes to rezoning and then more work is going to go to the Town Council. And none of you guys need extra work; you’re busy enough.

Secondly, I’d like to, also, um, ask you to just, you know, eliminate or cut down on the number of PUDs that we do. You know, the planned unit developments really don’t benefit the Town, per se. They typically just benefit the developers. And all it does is it just shrinks our lot sizes, which causes extra density and – and with the traffic issues that we have now, um, we just don’t need anymore density. Um, I – I think we need to monitor that just a little bit better, and – and that’s, kind of, a follow up to a comment that I made at the Council meeting the other night. And I know you guys weren’t there; um, but I made a comment about not following the requirements and, um, I think it sounded kind of vague. Um, so I just wanted to clarify that as that, you know, when somebody applies for a development or – or – or a PUD, um, one of the requirements is traffic studies. And – and I think you – that you guys should require really in-depth traffic studies.

Um, a perfect example would be Lantz. You think, okay, it’s just a few lots that are sitting there on Cline Avenue, but as soon as that development is in there, you got people from North Point that are going to be adding extra traffic onto Cline Avenue if they want to go north. And – and so I would just ask that you guys would require that, and – and require the traffic studies that are set up in the ordinances for us and just follow the ordinances as they’re written. That’s all. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment and brought the meeting back to the board.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:16 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

10-18-2017 Plan Commission

October 18, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session Meeting on October 18, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following Commissioners present: Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, Gregory Volk, Jason Williams, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus. Absent: John Kennedy

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. CROSSROADS MOTORPLEX – Discussion (Petitioner: Mike Gelatka)
Mr. Forbes advised that the first item on the agenda is Mike Gelatka for Crossroads Motorplex.

Mr. Mike Gelatka introduced himself to the board and explained his project. He stated that he wants to develop the property at 9125 Wicker Avenue, which is the property just north of Aspen Café. He offered to go through a full presentation of the project’s concept that he did before the EDC if the board wished for him to do so. Mr. Gelatka stated that he is providing them with the preliminary site plan.

Mr. Gelatka stated that his plan is to see what the Town would approve and then go out and market it to see if the market is there. He has been working with his engineer, Don Torrenga, and his architect, Steven Hansen, who is the same architect that designed Iron Gate Motor Condos in Naperville, Illinois, to maximize the use of the property.

Mr. Gelatka advised that Don Torrenga, Steven Hansen, and he are here to set dialogue in motion to hopefully start marketing the idea and that they are happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Gelatka stated that the same entrance that is already in place off of US 41 will be used for their entrance. They will have additional parking, which could be used by Aspen Cafe. There is a proposed wall and landscaping between the two entrances, and there will be trees between the building and US 41.

Mr. Gelatka explained the concept of car condos and special events that are typically held at car condos.

Mr. Volk asked how many units there will be when the project is fully built out. Mr. Gelatka responded that it can be customized based on client needs, so the number can change. At this time, it is proposed as 37 units in various sizes.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are balconies on the drawings. Mr. Gelatka responded in the affirmative and explained that they will have a mezzanine level that can also be personalized.

Mr. Kozel asked what materials will be used. Mr. Hansen responded that when they did the one in Naperville, they used the hardi-board siding cement board and painted it all around, installed a ribbon of stone around the bottom approximately 3 feet high, and the buildings have standing-seam metal, ribbed roofs.

Mr. Forbes advised that the property falls in the US 41 Overlay District, which requires certain materials; so if they will vary from that list of approved materials, they will need to seek variances through the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Forbes stated that he has been to the Naperville complex multiple times, and the buildings there look really nice and have a cohesive look.

Mr. Kraus stated that they said there were 37 units; however, there are only 34 parking spaces which isn’t even one per unit. Mr. Hansen responded that everybody will either park in their garage or in front of their garage.

Mr. Kraus asked if we will be counting the spaces inside as well when parking requirements are figured. Mr. Forbes stated that those who own units park in their unit. They will roll out a car in front of their unit temporarily, but there is ample space in the drives to accommodate that.

Mr. Hansen stated that part of the covenants of the condo association is that no businesses can be operated out of the condos, so there will be no employees. The spot in front of each unit is designated as the owner’s space.

Mr. Kraus stated that he isn’t sure how to calculate the required parking for a project like this, and the closest thing he can think of is a warehouse. Mr. Hansen said most building codes and ordinances don’t have guidelines for a business like this.

Discussion ensued in reference to parking and what the other car-condo locations typically do for parking when they have special events.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is only in the concept phase at this point and that it is a very unique concept. Mr. Eberly further advised that they will have to go for a Use Variance with the BZA and the Town Council, which means the Plan Commission won’t even address Site Plan approval unless and until the Use Variance itself is approved.

Mr. Eberly advised the petitioners that there will likely be other variances that they will need to request variances for; parking might be one of them. The closest thing we have in the Parking Ordinance is warehouse establishments. In that category, it requires one space per every 1000 square feet. You have roughly 50,000 square feet, so you would need 50 parking spaces, which should be able to be accommodated on the site plan.

Mr. Eberly and Mr. Gelatka discussed what variances they may need to seek.

Mr. Williams asked what happens when this becomes more popular than they imagined. Mr. Gelatka responded that he would reach out to other businesses in the community and relocate their special events to other locations. Mr. Gelatka stated that they really aren’t a retail space.

Mr. Gill asked if they would be built to suit or if they would be rough shells. Mr. Gelatka responded that they are looking to market it, get deposits, and just do the shell. He isn’t in construction, so they would probably do referrals. Mr. Gelatka stated that his intent is to get them sold before they break ground, because it is too dirty to do it piece by piece.

Mr. Forbes stated that he believes the units sold at Iron Gate are finished internally by the person who rents it. Mr. Gelatka stated that they would likely do the shell with the mezzanine and allow the consumer to finish it as they desire.

Mr. Birlson commented that there is a restriction to having garage doors visible to US 41, and there are some garage doors that are likely to be seen by travelers headed northbound on US 41. Mr. Gelatka responded that the front entrance will be something nicer.

Mr. Hansen responded that when they are done right, the garage doors are barely noticeable and that it does not resemble an industrial area. Mr. Hansen added that when the area is done, it will be a dressed-up, courtyard-type area.

Mr. Birlson asked if it would be a fenced-in property. Mr. Hansen responded that it would be fenced in because it is a controlled environment.

Mr. Forbes advised them that the next step will be to petition the BZA for their Use Variance.

B. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Potential Rezoning of 21.73 Acres West of Cline Avenue and North of 93rd Avenue (Petitioner: Brian Lantz / Doug Rettig, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that next on the agenda is Lantz Development for discussion regarding the possible rezoning of the 21.73 acres on the west side of Cline Avenue, north of 93rd Avenue from R-1 to R-2.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is here representing John and Brian Lantz regarding this proposed single-family subdivision. He stated that both John and Brian Lantz are here as well.

Mr. Rettig advised that they had presented earlier in the year and were denied the rezoning.

They made modifications to the plan and came back last month with what they feel is a viable project and were asked to come back in a month to allow the board more time to think about it.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are trying to rezone the parcel from R-1 to R-2; however, the average lot size is more in line with the R-1 lot size. Mr. Rettig added that it is the same drawing that was shared last month and that they are just here to continue the discussion.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Rettig if he brought the updated chart showing the existing lot widths. Mr. Rettig responded that he had forgotten the chart; however, he advised that they are 100-foot wide lots, which is the same size they were before as the minimum lot width is 100 feet. Mr. Rettig stated that 16 of the 35 lots actually meet the criteria for R-1.

Mr. Williams asked why lots 27 through 31 are so deep. Mr. Rettig responded that there is a drainage easement in the rear for storm water detention. Outlots A and B and the drainage easement are all integral for the storm water detention.

Mr. Volk stated that there were some questions asked the prior month, but he doesn’t remember them. Mr. Williams commented that lot depth was one of them along the southern ridge. Mr. Williams stated that they were too shallow and that it looks like he made some adjustments to them. Mr. Rettig stated that he had not changed them yet, but they are willing to do so.

Mr. Forbes noted that Jon Gill had mentioned possibly extending the lot lines another 10 feet at the meeting, but it would cause the lots that back up to North Point to be squeezed and would offset the houses against the houses in North Point. Mr. Forbes stated that he would prefer that the lot lines are even with the North Point just to keep everything clean. Mr. Eberly stated that the lots in the Lantz development back up to in R-2 lots North Point.

Mr. Forbes stated that he believes it is a good use for the parcel.

Mr. Rettig asked if there were enough changes in the Commissioners’ minds to come back and try again. Mr. Eberly responded that that question was answered in the affirmative last month. Mr. Forbes responded that he thinks everything is good there.

Mr. Rettig stated that they would like to come back in a couple of weeks to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing. Mr. Eberly advised that they will be on the agenda for November 1, 2017 for permission to advertise.

C. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 1F – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 1F for Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Tony Strickland, with V3, stated that he is here on behalf of Mr. John Lotton.

Mr. Forbes asked if this is located behind Park Place. Mr. Strickland responded that it abuts Park Place on the east side.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if all the streets are in. Mr. Kraus responded that he checked with Public Works today, and everything is in place.

Mr. Eberly asked if he has the Developmental Fee. Mr. Kraus responded that he has not calculated it yet as he had just gotten the information yesterday and has yet to calculate the Developmental Fee. Mr. Kraus advised that no Letter of Credit or Surety Bond will be required as all public improvements are in place.

Mr. Eberly asked if they are single-family attached or detached cottage homes. Mr. Strickland responded that they are 2-unit and 3-unit buildings.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any changes from the Primary Plat. Mr. Strickland responded that the plat is the same.

Mr. Eberly advised that they are on the November 1, 2017 agenda for Secondary Plat action.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

11-01-2017 Plan Commission

November 1, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on November 01, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following members present: John Kennedy, Jason Williams, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly, and Kenn Kraus. Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes and requested a motion to defer the same.

Motion to defer by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Mr. Forbes advised that there were no Public Hearings to be had.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 1F – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Pod 1F. The petitioner is John Lotton.

Mr. Eberly advised that there is a letter from Mr. Kraus approving the lot layout and Secondary Plat, the Developmental Fee has been paid, and this matter is ready for action this evening.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $1,593.28. No Letter of Credit is required as all public improvements have been installed. Mr. Forbes added that as Mr. Eberly noted, the Developmental Fee has been paid.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Lotton if he had anything to add. Mr. Lotton stated that he did not, but he would answer any questions the board may have.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for Pod 1F, referencing the Findings of Fact.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 1F Secondary Plat approval referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

B. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Petitioners: Brian Lantz / Doug Rettig, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Lantz Development. The petitioner is Brian Lantz represented by Doug Rettig with DVG. The petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for a Public Hearing to rezone 21 acres north of 93rd Avenue and west of Cline Avenue from R-1 single-family to R-2 single-family.

Mr. Forbes stated that this matter was discussed at the Study Session. Mr. Forbes advised that the board has the spreadsheet that Mr. Williams requested.

Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG stated that he is here representing Lantz Development for this project that is west of Cline Avenue and east of North Point subdivision. The Lantzes are present.

Mr. Rettig explained the spreadsheet he just handed out to the board had the original lot width column and the revised lot width column added to it to demonstrate that the lot sizes have increased.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are here tonight to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing to rezone this property from R-1 to R-2. Mr. Rettig stated that he would be happy to answer any questions the board may have.

Mr. Kennedy asked how lots 27 through 31 increased in size. Mr. Rettig responded that there was a greenbelt in the back that they are incorporating into an easement. They ran the lots back instead of just having a strip that is an outlot. Mr. Kennedy asked if the buildable dimensions of the lot are basically the same as before. Mr. Rettig responded that they are.

Mr. Birlson stated that in the Rules and Regulations of the Plan Commission, Article V – Reconsideration, on page 17 says, “The Commission shall not further consider any rezoning petition that is defeated by the Town Council for one (1) year after it is defeated.”

Mr. Forbes stated that the board has discussed this and the opinion of the attorney was that if there is a significant of enough change that it could be reheard. It is left to the discretion of this board, and it was my understanding that this board agreed that there was enough change of the development to basically make it a new proposal and, therefore, allows us to move forward. Mr. Forbes stated that he disagrees with Mr. Birlson’s interpretation of the ordinance.

Mr. Birlson stated that it doesn’t say anything about significant change in our Rules and Regulations, so he disagrees with Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes responded that this significant change basically created a new plat.

Mr. Birlson reiterated that it doesn’t say anything about significant changes in our rules. Mr. Forbes responded that it is, essentially, a new proposal in front of the board.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the authorization for advertising for a Public Hearing on this matter.

Motion to grant Lantz Development permission to advertise for Public Hearing. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 3 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, just a couple brief comments: Um, I think approving what you just did, it sets a dangerous precedence. You’re not allowed to make up your own rules as you go along. Now you’re going to have this developer spending money on advertising, spending money on letters going out to all the neighbors, just to have the Town Council vote it down again. And I think it’s – it’s – it’s ridiculous to think that the Plan Commission and the Town Council has to do all this work twice. The developer was told in the Study Session and in Public Comments that it was not a good idea. R-1 is always preferred. Um, but, um, Mr. Forbes, you tend to make up the rules as you go along, and I just don’t think that’s going to fly.

Number two, um, I know it’s Public Comment time and I – I’m going to ask if you would – maybe, an answer on a question: It’s, like, why can’t minutes get approved? Is that something I can get an answer for?

Mr. Forbes responded that he would have to contact the Clerk-Treasurer for an answer to that.

You have minutes all the way back from Mar – from, I’m sorry, from May. You got May, June, July, August, September. None of these minutes can be approved?

Mr. Forbes responded that we are well aware of the meeting minutes that are missing, and again directed him to contact the Clerk-Treasurer’s office if he has an issue with this matter.

Well, I mean, I could go to Public Access, but then that costs the Town money. They’ve got to hire an attorney every time I go to Public Access, so I was just looking for a simple answer, um, you know, why these things can’t – can’t be approved. And so – and you gave me the answer. Not what I wanted to hear, but at least I can move forward from there. And final comments, um, just if you could, in the future, no PUDs. Just eliminate PUDs unless they’re absolutely necessary, um, eliminate R-2 zoning unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’d like to really see a balance of R-1 and R-3 in this town, and I think R-2s can be eliminated, for the most part. Thank you.

Ms. Patti Byers (9111 Cline Avenue): I spoke at the other meeting against this subdivision simply because I didn’t have the information that I have now. Well, first of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Lantz for redoing the subdivision. I’ve looked it over. It is more in line with the houses that are there on Cline Avenue because he did move the others back and there’s only two now that is actually on Cline Avenue. Um, I was – I was worried about making it R-2 because I know that the 40 acres there on the corner of 93rd and Cline is directly across from my house, and I was afraid that if you agreed to give him R-2, that you would also be forced to give it to that developer when he comes in. But since then, I have learned that Sierra Pointe is also R-1 and R-2, that North Point is also R-1 and R-2, and I don’t feel that if you’ve given permission for those subdivisions to be those zones, that would be fair to stand up here and say that you shouldn’t give it to Mr. Lantz; so I’m now in favor of his subdivision.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign up. Hearing none further, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment and brought the meeting back to the board.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:12 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

11-15-2017 Plan Commission

November 15, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session Meeting on November 15, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Volk with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Gregory Volk. Staff present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus. Absent: Jason Williams and Michael Forbes.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. ROAD IMPACT FEE RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Volk advised that the first item on the agenda for discussion is the Road Impact Fee. He stated that it will be addressed last because the consultant is not here to give the presentation.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Eberly if Mr. Arshami is on his way. Mr. Eberly responded that Mr. Arshami knew he was supposed to be here and that the start time was 7 p.m.

B. LEVIN TIRE – Proposing to Construct Levin Tire at US41 and 85th Avenue (Barry Levin and Jeff Ban of DVG)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is Levin Tire, Barry Levin.

Mr. Jeff Ban of DVG stated that he is here representing Barry Levin and Levin Tire. He introduced Carmen Arvia, Project Engineer, who is working on this project for Barry Levin.

Mr. Ban stated that they have been before the Plan Commission a number of times to develop the northeast corner of US 41 and 85th Avenue to try to develop a subdivision for a new Levin Tire store. He stated that they needed a number of variances to make the project work. They obtained a Special Use Variance. There were Developmental Standards Variances that they were seeking that the BZA asked them to modify or change and come back before the BZA.

Mr. Ban advised that Mr. Levin took a step back to do research and determine if the project was going to be a viable and cost-effective project for him to move forward. They drafted a new plan and discussed the same with the staff, who encouraged them to move forward with the new plan. The site is quite narrow with restrictive boundaries, namely US 41, 85th Avenue, Bingo Lake, and the pipeline and pipeline easement. With the constraints of the property and those of the US 41 Overlay District, multiple variances are needed. Mr. Ban noted that they are on the November 27, 2017 BZA Agenda, and they hope to get those approved.

Mr. Ban commented that if those approvals are received, they will continue the process with the Plan Commission to develop a 2-lot subdivision. Lot 1 would be a Levin Tire site, which would be a 1.65-acre parcel to the south; and Lot 2 would be a 1.83-acre lot to the north, which is bisected by the high-pressure pipeline.

Mr. Ban stated that they wanted to come and present to the Plan Commission this evening and get comments on the subdivision for any changes they may need to make to come before the Plan Commission in December and present their Primary Plat. If it is acceptable in December, they will request permission to advertise for Public Hearing in January. Mr. Ban offered to answer any questions the board may have.

Mr. Kozel asked what variances they have received. Mr. Eberly advised that they have received a Special Exception Variance. Mr. Ban responded that they had not received any Developmental Standards Variances yet.

Mr. Eberly advised that the new iteration requires less variances than the original drawing. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Arvia noted the variances that are needed, which are a building-size variance, lot-size variance on both parcels, landscaping variance, parking variance, and building-signage variance for a corner lot.

Mr. Ban reviewed the site plan layout and the building layout. Mr. Eberly advised that they do maintain the access road through the property that will be an access easement. Mr. Ban commented that the access easement will have two lanes for traffic and a bike/pedestrian path.

Mr. Kennedy commented that it appears to have more parking than the Crown Point store and asked how much parking there will be at the facility. Mr. Ban responded that there will be approximately 37 parking spaces, and he commented that the Crown Point store has insufficient parking.

Mr. Kraus asked how they plan to handle the detention on the site. Mr. Ban stated that part of Bingo Lake extends to their property. They plan to do calculations and see what volume that portion of Bingo Lake will hold on their property and develop the drainage in accordance with what the Town requires.

Mr. Kraus asked if there will be any BMP. Mr. Ban responded that there will be Best Management Practice to clean storm water. They will be working with a lot of products that will need to be captured and cleaned before the water can get to the pond.

Mr. Kennedy asked how many doors will be on the east side and the south side of the building. Mr. Ban responded that there will be a total of 10 overhead doors in the building, 8 on the north side and 2 on the east side.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there will be a right-in/right-out access. Mr. Ban responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Ban advised that the building is all masonry.

Mr. Kraus asked if they will have a lighting plan and a landscape plan. Mr. Ban responded in the affirmative. Mr. Eberly advised that they do have a landscape plan.

Mr. Kraus stated that the garbage dumpster enclosure needs to match the building. Mr. Ban agreed to do that.

Mr. Volk asked where used tires will be stored until they are picked up. Mr. Levin responded that they will be stored inside the building.

Mr. Volk asked how many employees would be working on an average day. Mr. Levin responded that it would be 12 to 15 employees.

Mr. Kennedy asked whether or not there will be a curb, gutter, and sidewalk on the east side of the building. Mr. Ban stated that they are proposing to put it in the roadway and have it striped that way due to the limitations of the property.

Mr. Volk asked if the parking lot drains will have filters as well. Mr. Ban responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Arvia directed everyone’s attention to the viewing screen and explained that the store on the screen is almost a replica of what they are proposing to build.

Mr. Volk asked if there were any other questions or comments from the board. None were had.

C. MILL CREEK UNIT 4 – Secondary Plat Approval (Ed Recktenwall of Olthof Homes)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is Mill Creek Unit 4. The developer is seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes introduced himself to the board. They will be asking for Secondary Plat approval at the December meeting. Mr. Recktenwall advised that there are no changes from the Primary Plat, and they will work with Mr. Kraus to get the necessary bonding in place prior to the meeting. There will be 32 single-family homes and 9 duplex lots for 18 units.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Kraus if he has everything he needs for this project. Mr. Kraus responded that the has everything except for what Mr. Recktenwall is building now, and there was a lot of work completed since he received the schedule of work. Mr. Kraus stated that he had told Mr. Recktenwall that they would revisit it a week before the meeting to determine the Letter of Credit amount.

Mr. Eberly advised that this petition is on the December 6, 2017 Plan Commission agenda for Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Kraus stated the Developmental Fee is $25,072.19, which will not change.

Mr. Volk asked if there were any other questions or comments from the board. None were had.

D. CWS HOLDINGS LLC – Discuss Potential Rezoning of 5.75 Acres of Land That Will Become Part of Greystone West (Jack Slager of Schilling Development)
Mr. Volk advised that the next item on the agenda is CWS Holdings LLC regarding 5.75 acres of land to become part of Greystone West.

Mr. Jack Slager, Schilling Development representing CWS Holdings, stated that this is a 5.75-acre parcel of land that they acquired in the last year that is the on the far west side of the Greystone Development. They had it annexed into the Town of St. John after purchasing it, and all annexed property comes into town zoned R-1.

Mr. Slager stated that they are requesting it be rezoned from R-1 to R-3 PUD to match the remainder of the development. He further stated this segues into Item E on the agenda, which is a general discussion of what their plans are for the west side of Calumet Avenue.

E. CWS HOLDINGS LLC – General Discussion of the Final Layouts for Greystone West (Jack Slager of Schilling Development)
Mr. Slager stated that they would like to come in over the next couple of meetings and months to discuss their plans. They originally had planned to do three products on the west side of Calumet Avenue: duplexes, cottage homes, and quad-unit buildings. They have since dropped the proposed quad-units.

Mr. Slager stated that the layout is similar to what they have shown the board when they got the PUD zoning. Mr. Slager advised that, overall, the street layout is very similar with a road stubbed to the north and one to the south. There are pipelines going through and pipelines on the west side. A large open space is being provided for a park that could eventually be expanded into a larger park as the next parcel is developed. There is a small professional office lot at the entrance.

Mr. Slager stated that when they came in a few years ago, they agreed to provide a signalized intersection at Greystone and Calumet Avenue when they began to develop on the west side of Calumet Avenue. They are looking to start developing there next spring and summer, so as they begin to develop that, they will work on a signalizing that intersection.

Mr. Slager noted that they have made minor changes to the interior of the plan. They have increased some of the side yards, increased the rear yard dimensions, and they cut the planback from 160 units to 148 units. The cottage homes that are on the main road coming in will be front-facing where they will have individual driveways and would be individual lots, and there will be sections of four side-facing cottage homes that would have a shared driveway.

Mr. Slager stated that on the north end has open space, a bit of wetlands, and trees. Other than that, it is a farm field.

Mr. Slager stated that he would be happy to answer any questions on either agenda item he has addressed with them. Mr. Slager informed the board that they will be coming back in two weeks to ask for permission to advertise for rezoning.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Slager if they intend to install the traffic light prior to any occupancies on the west side. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative. Mr. Slager stated that they have already done improvements to Calumet Avenue and the intersection is ready for signalization, so as they begin to develop the first section, they will begin the signalization process. The bike path going through Greystone comes out at the intersection at Calumet Avenue, so the signal will allow for pedestrian crossing.

Mr. Slager stated that they would continue the bike path across Calumet, down, and continue it along the existing bike path there, and bring it into Emerald Crossing, which they have already discussed with those developers.

Mr. Eberly asked if the utilities are already stubbed across. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the zoning is currently in the various Greystone areas. Mr. Slager reviewed what the sections are zoned while indicating the related areas on the map shown on the viewing screen.

Mr. Kraus asked if Greystone Drive could be connected to Emerald Crossing. Mr. Slager stated that they discussed it with the developers of Emerald Crossing, and those developers do not have it in their plans and there is no stub to make a connection.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they had considered a roundabout. Mr. Slager responded that they had discussions about a roundabout; however, the traffic study showed a roundabout would not be a good option because of the traffic count differences of Calumet Avenue and Greystone Drive.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the average lot size is. Mr. Slager responded that all the lot sizes meet the minimums; however, they asked for the PUD for two reasons: One, they want to have a front yard building setback line of 25 feet instead of 40 feet; and two, they want to build more than one house per lot with the cottage homes, which are built on one lot and then are deeded out as separate parcels of land when they are purchased.

Mr. Volk asked if there were any other questions or comments from the board. None were had.

A. ROAD IMPACT FEE – continued from above.
Mr. Volk stated that this would bring us back to our Road Impact Fee discussion. Mr. Eberly stated that he doesn’t know why Mr. Arshami isn’t here. He sent a message to Mr. Kil, Town Manager, and Mr. Kil doesn’t know why he is not here.

Mr. Eberly advised that the members have a summary regarding the Road Impact Fee. The Town has been considering a Road Impact Fee for more than a year. Taghi Arshami and Denny Cobb have been working on this study as consultants.

Mr. Eberly stated that they developed what a full impact fee would be based on the current needs of the community as well as future needs based on development. They developed an impact fee for a single-family unit at $5310.41 which would be attached to a single-family home building permit. There were other levels of fees based on an anticipated trip generation from each type of residence as well as commercial development fees.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Impact Fee Advisory Committee struggled with setting the fee that high as they were concerned that it would cause development to stall. Mr. Eberly stated that we have one of the highest rates for building permits in the area already at approximately $12,000 for a single-family building permit.

Mr. Eberly stated that it would have killed commercial development. The committee recommend a rate of 7 percent of the full impact fee, which would amount to $371.73 for a single-family home building permit. Based on the current level of building permits being issued in town, it would be an annual total of $136,434.61 that we would collect in Road Impact Fees.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the cost was $81 million. Mr. Eberly stated that it would be $81 million worth of road improvements that were necessary, $11 million of that is current needs and the balance is based on future development. He further stated that approximately 90 percent of the need is predicated on anticipated future development.

Mr. Eberly gave an example using 93rd Avenue and needing to be widened throughout the community. To do that, a number of houses would have to be bought by the Town down to and including, maybe, the VFW, and possibly houses further east. That is a difficult thing for a Town Council to decide to do. There were projects like 93rd Avenue that the committee didn’t think would end up being completed.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Impact Fee Advisory Committee makes a recommendation to you, then you hold a Public Hearing on the matter. You also have the ability to alter their recommendation. However, the Town Council will have the final say on what the Road Impact Fee will be if it is imposed. The Town Council is not obligated to implement either recommendation.

Mr. Birlson did some quick calculations and stated it would take over 500 years to collect enough to pay for the total deficiencies. Mr. Kennedy stated that the Road Impact Fee can only pay for future deficiencies.

Mr. Birlson asked if it isn’t kind of all the same thing. Mr. Eberly explained the difference between current and future deficiencies.

Mr. Birlson stated that he doesn’t think that 7 percent doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Discussion ensued regarding traffic issues, price differences in communities’ building permits, and what builders would be willing to pay.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Birlson asked what fee he might recommend. Mr. Birlson responded that he didn’t know, but the numbers shocked him.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there were any minutes from the Road Impact Fee Advisory Committee meetings to see what the developers’ comfort levels are on this. Mr. Eberly stated that the developers at those meetings were residential developers, not commercial developers.

Mr. Eberly advised that there is a threshold where residential development would be stunted, depending on how much the permits increased. The big concern is commercial development. Mr. Eberly showed the per-square-foot rate for commercial development of $17.43. At that rate, the Boyer development would have to pay a fee of $3.5 million, and they wouldn’t come here.

Mr. Eberly stated that it is his recollection that our legal counsel advised us not to create a different rate for residential and commercial. At 7 percent, that would make it $1.22 per square foot for commercial development, which would be a Road Impact Fee of $244,000 for Shops 96, which is a lot more palatable.

Mr. Eberly stated that in conversation with John Lotton that Mr. Lotton said they had done something like this in Beecher, Illinois, which stopped residential development in its tracks.

Mr. Eberly commented that he doesn’t know what the threshold is, but there is a greater ability to raise residential fees than commercial fees. If you raise residential to get a significant amount of revenue, then you are likely to kill off commercial development.

Mr. Eberly invited Mr. Slager to share his concerns.

Mr. Slager stated that there were several meetings held with the board that was chosen. St. John currently has a building permit that is higher than any other town. Single-family home permits range from $12,000 to $15,000, and raising it another $5000 would put it at $20,000. Mr. Slager noted that unincorporated Lake County’s permits for homes in Emerald Crossing are approximately $3000, and that they would be competing with a $20,000 permit a block away from a $3000 permit. It will sway the buyer, kill residential development in St. John, and promote residential development in other communities.

Mr. Slager stated that we would get all the same traffic woes without the benefit of revenue from new development. The commercial development is a concern. A lot of residents want commercial development, and we don’t’ want to hinder that in any way.

Mr. Slager explained that the reason permits are so high now is there are sewer impact fees and water impact fees that will be dropping off in a few years. Mr. Eberly stated that they fall off in 2024.

Mr. Slager stated that they looked at that as possibly a recapture fee when those other fees fall off. He further stated that the percentage recommended is a starting point.

Mr. Birlson asked how much money will be dropping off the permits when those fall off. Mr. Eberly stated that the primary one Mr. Slager is speaking of is the Lotton Sewer Interceptor, which is currently about $2300 per permit for every new construction permit issued, and that fee goes up by $9 each month.

Mr. Eberly stated that the thought is to impose the Road Impact Fee when that falls off. However, that can still negatively impact commercial development.

Mr. Eberly stated that this is not ready for Public Hearing yet as there is still paperwork to be done. If and when it a Road Impact Fee is adopted by the Town Council, it would go into effect six months after the date of adoption.

Mr. Blazak commented from the audience that the study cost $260,000, which will need to be recaptured before the Town gets “dollar one.”

Mr. Eberly responded that Mr. Kil just messaged him that the consultant had it on his calendar for tomorrow night. Mr. Volk and Mr. Eberly discussed having the consultant at the next Study Session meeting.

The board members asked Mr. Eberly to send them the Road Impact Fee Advisory Committee meeting minutes. Mr. Eberly responded that he would.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

12-06-2017 Plan Commission

December 6, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on December 06, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, Bob Birlson, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Michael Muenich, Rick Eberly, and Kenn Kraus. Absent: Gregory Volk

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the meeting minutes and requested a motion to defer the meeting minutes.

Motion to defer by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Lantz Development. The petitioners are John and Brian Lantz; Doug Rettig is representing them. This is a Public Hearing for a rezoning request from R-1 to R-2 for a 21-acre development on the west side of Cline Avenue, north of 93rd Avenue and immediately east of Northpoint Subdivision.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Muenich and Mr. Eberly if the proofs of publication are in order for this Public Hearing. Mr. Eberly advised that they are not. The letters were mailed out in a timely manner, and the sign was posted on the property in a timely manner. “In a timely manner” means 15 days in advance, which is required by our rule. The notifications in the newspapers appeared 11 days prior to the meeting in one paper and 13 days prior in the other paper.

Mr. Forbes noted that the rule had changed just recently. Mr. Eberly concurred that the advanced notice requirement changed just this year.

Doug Rettig with DVG addressed the issue. He stated that it was a mix up at their office. He had instructed the administrative assistant to have it done 15 days before. She got it to the newspapers 15 days before; however, they were not published 15 days before. Mr. Rettig apologized and commented that it was their fault and asked if the board might consider a request to waive the 15-day requirement and allow this petition to be heard this evening. Mr. Rettig stated that there are folks here that come out for this meeting; however, they have no problem returning in January.

Mr. Forbes asked the members of the commission if they understood the question before them and asked for any questions, comment, or a motion. Mr. Williams stated that on the basis of not having prior offenses from the presenter, he will make a motion.

Motion to waive the 15-day newspapers notice requirement by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Gill.

Motion by roll-call vote:
Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Gill Aye
Mr. Kozel Aye
Mr. Williams Aye
Mr. Kennedy Nay
Mr. Birlson Nay

Motion carries 4 ayes to 2 nays. Mr. Forbes advised that the Public Hearing can proceed.

Mr. Rettig thanked the Planners for granting the waiver.

Mr. Forbes stated that there has been an outstanding and a long-running question about the legality of actually having this Public Hearing within one year and asked Mr. Muenich to address the issue based on the letter received.

Mr. Muenich advised that he read the letter that was signed out by their office which indicates in the concluding paragraph that you may consider the proposal to be different and, consequently, permit further consideration within one year from the denial.

Mr. Muenich stated that if he is understanding the letter correctly, that decision will be up to the discretion of the commission because you do have a rule; therefore, you would have to entertain a motion to waive the rule.

Mr. Forbes stated that they were told previously that, by the majority vote that we took to have this Public Hearing, this board was agreeing that this is a new proposal and that we move forward based on that.

Mr. Muenich stated that he presumes then, by majority vote, what you’re saying – he was not present at the other meeting – what you’re saying is you’ve already waived the rule to proceed with the Public Hearing. Mr. Forbes responded that they didn’t waive the rule. From what he is reading, the consideration is that, due to the amount of changes, this is technically a new proposal before us.

Mr. Muenich advised that, “The Plan Commission could easily consider the proposal to be different and consequently can permit further consideration within the period of one year from denial,” is the conclusory portion of the letter. Mr. Muenich reiterated “easily consider the proposal to be different and consequently can permit further consideration,” for clarity.

Mr. Forbes stated that as it is different, it is new and does not require a waiving of the rule. Mr. Muenich advised that that is what the letter says and further advised that the Plan Commission may proceed.

Mr. Rettig with DVG Team, advised that he is here tonight, along with Mr. John Lantz and Mr. Brian Lantz. They are here to present this 21.7 acre parcel on the west side of Cline Avenue for rezoning from R-1 to R-2. There will be an entrance off of Cline Avenue and connect to an existing stub in North Point, Phase 3. They are proposing a total of 35 lots.

Mr. Rettig stated that they are only here for the rezoning and not here to discuss engineering or the land plan, which will be worked out if and when they get to Primary Plat approval. A similar sketch plan was presented earlier in the year. He further stated that hey have removed lots and made most of the lot sizes larger; some lots are a bit smaller than what they were due to the geometry.

Mr. Rettig stated that all the lots are 100-feet wide; the average lot area is just over 20,000 square feet, which is very close to an R-1 type of development. Again, they are simply asking for rezoning from R-1 to R-2 for 35 lots on the 21.7 acre parcel of land. Mr. Rettig turned the floor over to Brian Lantz.

Mr. Lantz introduced himself and stated that he is the co-owner of Lantz Development. He apologized in advance for any redundancies that may arise. After the board’s initial comments and input, they made major changes and adjustments.

Mr. Lantz advised that they changed a large percentage of their drawing and layout. The density was lowered from 1.7 to 1.6. In comparison to adjoining and nearby subdivisions, they have a lower density. All of the subdivisions they have compared to are zoned R-2 and were approved by this board.

Mr. Lantz advised that on average their lots exceed R-1 requirements based upon the standards. They decreased density and eliminated two lots. They increased the lot sizes along Cline Avenue and enlarged the setbacks on those lots.

Some of the hardships they had to face are existing parcels between their development and abutting Cline Avenue, limited location for placement of their main entrance, and an existing stub to the west. They have a small acreage parcel to work with. The terrain had to be taken into consideration for the water storage, which the water will flow by gravity for runoff as well as a pipeline with an easement running through the property on a diagonal.

If they were required to keep R-1 lot sizes, they would lose approximately 27 percent of their lots with no reduction in expenses. It would render this property useless as a single-family, custom home development.

Mr. Lantz stated that they are not asking for duplexes, multifamily, cottage homes, or a PUD. They are simply requesting help with lot depths. All the lots were kept at 100 foot frontage. They are running about 100 feet short running north and south to make the property work as R-1. The property is not available; therefore, they can’t get it.

Mr. Lantz gave a recap of the changes: They made their lots bigger; on average the lots exceed R-1 square footage. They lowered their density, which is lower than all the surrounding subdivisions. They eliminated two lots. They increased the size of the lots along Cline Avenue, and they dedicated a larger building setback for those lots for safety.

Mr. Lantz noted to the board that there is a petition signed by 30 residents from surrounding subdivisions supporting the R-2 zoning, which is not typical.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they have any questions for the petitioner.

Mr. Kozel asked what the price range is for the houses. Mr. Lantz responded that the target price range is $375,000 to $550,000.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Steve Winarski (8843 Mallard Lane): I don’t have a problem with the house, the price range, or anything he wants to build; but I want to know about drainage. Have you done a traffic study here on Cline Avenue? I live right off Mallard. Them cars, they come zooming through there. We got a lot of small kids in that neighborhood, and I’ve expressed this before. Okay. Now, I understand six months or whatever timeframe it is, but come on, guys, you know. It – it – I get aggravated coming in here for this, and if a few lots is going to hurt you, by what a half million or a million dollars, whatever, I – I don’t care. Okay. What I’m saying is stock market is doing good; invest your money, dude. I ain’t got a problem with that. And you – you build nice houses; I won’t knock that.

Okay. I’m tired of seeing the stuff that is going up like Olthof, this other crappy guy going off – off of Parrish Avenue here, this Cal Homes. Okay. And then you want to sit here and you want to ridicule and – and charge this road tax, when that – that road, Parrish Avenue, from 231 to 101st is like a wash board. Why don’t you start charging these developers for putting these roads in because that’s who’s destroying the roads? All their contractors driving on them. I’m just – I’m just saying, this town is getting big. You guys are putting a chokehold on this town. We’re just getting more and more people here.

Mr. Forbes advised the remonstrator that the Town is not implementing a road tax. The Town is considering an Impact Fee on the Developers.

That – that would be a good thing, yes. I was misunderstood by it, but.

Mr. Forbes advised that a lot of people misunderstand it, and a lot of people are being misinformed. The Town is not taxing you to build the roads.

What about the – the people who buy these new homes? Are that – is that what’s going to impact?

Mr. Forbes advised that it would be part of the building permit fee.

Okay. That’s fine. But my – my – my general concern is drainage. Okay. We got that retention pond to the north – oh, I keep getting this reverb. But we got that retention pond to the north, okay, and then that other road’s, what, 87th or whatever Olthof put in. And 87th has got that dip in there, and it’s got all that water that sits in there, and we get some heavy rains. That’s the main concern is drainage. Okay. We have two –

Mr. Forbes advised that they have had several discussions about the drainage.

Okay. Two is the traffic control on Cline. You’re going to get increased coming through there, and I don’t want people coming zipping through my neighborhood with little kids there. That’s why I’m getting aggravated.

Mr. Forbes advised that he hears and understands Mr. Winarski’s points. This hearing is for rezoning and the drainage will be addressed at the time of Primary Plat. Mr. Forbes assured Mr. Winarski that he would not be impacted by the development.

Okay. I’m just saying that we – we do get some – we do get some strong rains. And I – I’ve seen that retention pond get pretty doggone full. Like I said, with Olthof putting that little road in, 87th or whatever, and it’s got that dip in there. And there’s water that sits in there. With the past few rains we’ve had, it kind of aggravates me.

Like I said, I don’t – I don’t have any problem with the style of homes they put up. I appreciate that. Okay. When you got Cal Homes and Olthof Homes coming in there and putting slap-together where they frame them up and get out of town type deals, that’s what aggravates me. Okay.

But, like I said, my concern is traffic and drainage. Okay. So I want to hear more information about that, is what I’m looking for.

Mr. Forbes advised that as far as the traffic is concerned, the Town has had a complete traffic study done and that we know where the traffic improvements need to be made.

I mean, it – it’s horrible. It’s horrible. I’ve lived here for ten years, and you can’t pull out of Welch’s onto 41. You got to go all the way around 93rd to – you know, it – it – the traffic, it’s nuts. And all developing going on here – and like I said, with the schools and everything else, you guys need to take this in consideration. You know, I don’t want to get hit here with another two years that we need to do something with the school.

Between you guys, Schererville, and Dyer, somebody needs to think about this stuff. It’s fine to – to – hey, grow as a town. But I mean, but you’re – you’re starting to put a chokehold on this town, guys. You know what I’m saying?

Mr. Forbes advised the remonstrator that the school will have referendums.

I understand that. But part of this is Plan Commission. You’re – you’re allowing these lots and stuff to be built and all these homes. All you guys are thinking about – maybe you’re thinking about tax revenue or whatever. But I don’t care what the deal is. Somebody needs to start thinking ahead here, guys. That’s what happened here in the past, nobody thought about this stuff. It was like a dormant thing, and then all of a sudden, oh, hey, we’re overcrowded.

It’s a tri-town area. We need to think about this. Everybody needs to think about it, all you guys. I mean, you’re sitting here. You’re on the Town Council and that. You represent us, the taxpayers. Okay. And I don’t care if you got, you know, a couple of your cronies up here, or whatever, on your Plan Commission. But you know what, guys, think about us. Okay. That’s all I’m asking. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I – I would like to see all lots in St. John stay as R-1. One of the benefits that St. John has had over the years is that we have large-sized lots. The Plan Commission, over the past couple of years, has done a lot of damage to the benefit that we have. And I think we need to keep that difference.

I think it will help keep our property values up and make St. John a town that has some advantages over the other neighborhood – neighboring towns when it comes to where you want to move and where you want to build your home.

As far as this tonight, I was conflicted about how to remonstrate against this petition. Um, at first I thought, well, I’m going to go with the rules because it’s against the rules that you guys just approved. Um, and you didn’t take any action to suspend the rules. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, what you did doesn’t suspend the rules. And then I had to look at the changes that were made in the plan, cause you think that significant changes can bring this back for approval. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see that in the rules. But I – so I look at it, and I – I just didn’t see the large changes.

I see it started with 37 lots, and now the modified proposal has 35 lots. So they did drop two lots. I – I have nothing – and – and let me just say this up front, I have nothing wrong with building and developing. I just want to see it done in an orderly manner. I’ve nothing against Mr. Lantz and the buildings that they build because I think they do beautiful homes as well. This has to do with density and where are we building this thing. So how do you get to the 35? Well, as I look at it, they took the six lots that are in the northeast corner, and they made four lots out of it. In fact, Lot 3 is actually smaller than it was before. So they actually took the six lots, dropped them down to four. Lot 3 is smaller, so I don’t count a smaller one as a change.

Lots 27 to 31 didn’t change. All they did is they took the detention that was there, the detention area, they divided it up and just added it to the property as a drainage easement. That’s not buildable. It doesn’t make that lot any bigger, so I don’t count that as a significant change either. So what do you have? You have four lots in the northeast corner that were enlarged. Four lots out of 35, that’s 11 percent; I don’t see that as a significant.

But then I go back to the rules, the rules that you guys just adopted this year. Page 17, Article 5, Section 5, the commission – and I quote in its entirety, “The commission should not further consider any rezoning petition that is defeated by the Town Council for one year after it is defeated.” There’s no ifs, no ands, no buts there at all. It’s just very plain, very simple.

I think to acquiesce to this petition, um, just takes additional time from everyone. Engineering, costs to – to – to the developer for rebuilding or for redrawing this thing, advertising costs in order to give notification, um, and – and I know if you take this to the Town Council, it only needs three votes to pass, and I was going to assume that two of them were going to be here tonight. But it just doesn’t make sense to try and do something that’s clearly against the rules. Let’s follow the rules, guys. In fact, if I were on this commission, I wouldn’t have even allowed it to come to – come to the agenda. Mr. Chairman, you should have just thrown it out. But obviously, you’re the one that’s pushing for this thing.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Swets if he heard the discussion before.

I – I have been to every meeting, sir, yes.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Swets if he heard the discussion the board just had prior to this Public Hearing.

I did.

Mr. Forbes thanked him for his responses.

I did. And I talked – and I heard about a vague letter, and I heard some maybes and maybe some ifs. And Mr. Muenich tried to do a good job interpreting what – he didn’t really have the information in front of him. I’m going by the rules right here. This is very plain and very simple. It doesn’t require a legal expert to determine what does this mean. Let me read it one more time. “The commission shall not further consider any rezoning petition that is defeated by the Town Council for one year after it is defeated.” Period. Gentlemen, I’m asking you just to follow your rules. That’s all. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes stated that he completely disagrees that this board or any board before it has done damage to this town.

Dan DeYoung (8720 Cline Avenue): I live two properties north of the properties that we’re talking about here. Number of things here. I would like to reiterate a few things that Gerry said. You know, Lantz had commented that there’s a lot of changes to these drawings. I compared them, and I didn’t see it. And Gerry, pretty well, did a good summary here. We had the – the four lots in front that, or the two lots that remain in the front, that was one of the minor changes. And the other thing is the detention pond, that used to be a larger detention pond creating a buffer between 8730 Cline and this property, has been eliminated and divided up into two detention ponds.

Um, I have a number of concerns here. Now, I know we’re not talking about drainage here, but drainage is an issue in this area. The last time I was here, I actually, I think, showed it to the Plan Commission as well. Um, the detention pond for the subdivision behind this has flooded over, twice already in the first ten years it was there. Mr. Lantz is planning on, probably not tying into that subdivision, but he wants to tie in using the drainage easement that’s through this subdivision there that Olthof’s doing. He wants to use that drainage easement to drain that into my ditch.

I own the property. It’s not a – it’s not a public drainage way. There’s no county requirements for that. I own it; I control that drainage pond. I really don’t want water flowing into that. I showed Lantz, um, and his dad, um, or Lantz Development, Brian and his dad, the issues – the issues I’m having with detention. So far, in the last year and a half, I’ve lost 3 trees, big oak trees, since this detention pond, from all the volume of water flowing from Olthof’s subdivision to my pond. I said the only way I even want to have this thing going through my ditch, is if, um, is if the, um, my ditch is protected. He couldn’t commit to that. He just said, well, talk to your neighbors, see and try and get them to approve it. He just walked away, kind of very arrogant actually, when he did this. Um, so – so that’s – that’s one of the issues I have here, is the drainage.

Traffic flow, I have a concern with that. Anytime when school is starting or school is getting out, there’s a large volume of people coming through Cline Avenue. It’s hard to turn onto it. We’re just going to add a lot more cars to it. Again, fewer lots, fewer cars. Each – each house, if it’s like mine, I have four cars going out in the morning, three cars maybe. But it’s a lot more lots and a lot more cars onto Cline Avenue.

It’s also setting a precedence. We know that the property at 93rd and – and – on 93rd and Cline is recently being purchased, and the developer is planning R-2 there as well. They probably haven’t come to the board yet, but we know that’s coming. We’re setting a precedence here again, more traffic again on Cline Avenue, more traffic on 93rd Street. We allow this, we’ve allowed in other subdivisions. It’s just changing everything that St. John required in this ordinance of having all subdivisions be R-1.

Um, let’s see, average lot size of the existing properties along Cline, they are all multiple acreage properties, um. This obviously would be much smaller than that. It also increases, the number of lots increases the impervious area, so I’m concerned again about drainage here. The more lots, the more road there, the more driveways and all that goes into calculations of the detention ponds.

And you’ve got this retention pond set up, one of them right next to the pipeline easement. They have setback requirements, and I don’t know if they have taken that into account on how far they can build next to that. Um, I’d be concerned, too, about how they’re getting the utilities over that gas line, the water lines and sewer lines and the like, since there – I had a lot of limitations when they did it on my property. I just have a driveway over it, and that’s it. So that’s everything I got. Thank you.

Rob Burrink (8730 Cline Avenue): I’m the five acres adjacent to the north of the whole development. Um, pretty much everything that I wanted to say has been said already. I also, too, in my front yard, currently there’s a swale that runs through very close to where that pipeline is. But there’s about three areas in my yard in the front that are like rivers when we‘ve had these most recent rainstorms. So it’s not only in the back where we have the issue.

And when Dan mentions the use of the Olthof property and whatever drainage area is committed there to get to that retention pond, there’s really nothing there. Because to solve that problem of all that water that had been coming into our property for the last few years, prior to Olthof’s putting in a brand new huge berm, I don’t believe that there’s even room to get from that proposed detention pond to that other detention pond without doing excavation and some consideration for underground work. And for that they would have to come through my property. So the water study and the evaluation really needs to be taken into major consideration. I mean, I like – I like everything. I like the subdivision. I am grateful for the 75 feet of buffer that I have between my living area and the homes.

Traffic is huge. I’ve already watched one guy die in the front of my street on Cline Avenue. Pretty gross. And I have to consider that 50 percent of everybody out of North Point is going to use that street to get to Cline if they’re going to Route 30, if they’re going to Crown Point, or if they’re going to Cedar Lake. And very few people, once you move to that side of 41, not many people go back to 41. They all use the other avenues to get out to Route 30, cause it’s the fastest way because of the 41 congestion.

There’s already been 37 accidents up and down that road since we’ve moved in, and that was public information. And I still think that you guys, um, should consider R-1. I don’t think it’s that much to ask. I don’t think I’m going to get in the way of a freight train that I’m going to have a bunch of new neighbors. But I think you really need to consider the traffic and what is going to happen with that, and then I’m also asking for consideration, to understand further, that retention pond, um, that’s right up there near that pipeline.

I don’t know if that property’s going to hold all that water and put it in that to prevent all the flow that currently comes through my front yard from that vacant 30 acres, 20 acres. So it just concerns me, you know. I just want to make sure things are done right. But I really think R-1 is the right decision.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Mr. Muenich, I don’t believe the audience heard who that letter was from that you were quoting from, but we’d appreciate it if you would get it on record. Um, Gerry was kind enough to save me a lot of speaking. The rules and regulations required by state statute, which you just have brand new as of August 2nd, I believe, 2017, Article 5, item 5 says, “The commission shall not further consider any.” I’m not a lawyer, but I’m going to try and accent it for you, cause I’m just a – a common layperson. It says “further consider any rezoning petition that is defeated by the Town Council” – notice I said “any rezoning” – “until one year after it’s defeated.”

You did not take a vote to ask these gentlemen – because I listened to the audio, since we don’t have any minutes available. I listened to the audio this afternoon to hear you sitting there going, well, don’t we consider this a new – I didn’t hear anybody answer. You just sat there and made an announcement; and then you took it upon yourself to decide this was a new development. This regulation here says “any rezoning.” This is the same rezoning petition. They’ve changed the plan 15, maybe 20 percent. And you sit there tonight and pretend like, “Oh, we – we agreed to this.” No, this commission did not vote on it. You agreed to it, and I don’t think that the people of St. John are going to be real thrilled since they came to the commission, to the Town Council meeting, and it got voted down in the Town Council no matter what you tried to pull. And now we’re back at it again four months later. I think it’s a disgrace.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Forbes if he could make a comment. Mr. Forbes gave Mr. Williams the floor.

Mr. Williams stated that when this was brought to the Plan Commission the first time, as a second revision, it was voted on and approved as a new submission by a simple majority vote.

Kathy DeYoung (8720 Cline Avenue): I would just like to, um, I think everyone was very eloquent in explaining some of these things. I appreciate Gerry’s summary of that, that you would stay according to these rules. Um, Bob Burrink explained about the drainage. Um, it isn’t only in the back, um, but it is also in the front. The front of our property, we’re one property to the north, um, of the adjacent one, um, and there’s just a river of water coming across the grass. And then in – we have a drainage ditch in the center that runs near where the gas line runs, and it’s, over the years that we’ve been there, it’s eroding and eroding with so much water going through there every time it rains.

So that, the traffic that people have mentioned, it has gotten significantly harder to turn left out of our driveway to go north on Cline. Um, we’ve got some teenage drivers, and, um, you know, it’s slick. I’ve seen a lot of cars in the ditches there. The wind blows across there, and, um, the county doesn’t salt probably as well as St. John does in town, so it is a quite a dangerous stretch of road.

Um, I appreciate the development that he does. The houses are beautiful. I would think if you’re building homes that are $500,000 homes, those people would probably appreciate having an R-1 size lot. And that could easily be absorbed into the financial analysis of this project. Um, I think it was pointed out about those lots up in the front, I did notice that there is a setback off Cline, and maybe they made those adjustments in order to accommodate that. It’s a pretty significant amount of property that Cline Avenue has as a right-of-way, for utilities or whatever. We had to move our berm back, I think it’s like 50 feet or something, so I don’t know if that was the underlying reason for changing those. Um, but not a lot has changed other than the things that Gerry and Dan, I think, pointed out, so I would hope that you, um, would stick with the R-1.

I think they’ll do beautiful homes there, but we would really like to see those little bit bigger lots. I don’t think there’s a hardship on them, um, not being able to do R-2. I think for the dollars they’ll make on homes, um, those feet in making those lots a nicer size, um, would be helpful. And I think he mentioned, too, about the subdivisions adjacent. I might point out that all of the properties along that whole stretch are 10-acre or 5-acre pieces. Um, it’s this one, this 20 acres up the middle, that’s kind of taken the continuity out of that stretch. And to try and jam that many homes in there to do the R-2, that doesn’t – it doesn’t fit with what’s around it. He pointed out the subdivisions, but I would like to point out there are a lot of very nice custom homes along there on large pieces of property, um, so I hope that you will uh, keep this R-1. Thank you.

Mr. Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): There are a lot of issues. In fact, apparently most of the issues are – weren’t relative to the specific rezoning. Although, people expressed an interest about keeping it R-1, or they complimented Mr. Lantz. So legalities aside, drainage aside, road issues aside, which I know are normally addressed during design, engineering, Plan Commission submittal, etc., etc., which I believe the Town would take care of or the Plan Commission would take care of.

I live in an R-2 subdivision. I live in an excellent R-2 subdivision, Crossing Creek, which is a Schilling Development. House values are anywhere from $375,000 to $600,000. I lived in Lake Hills, the minimum, the small lot sizes in Lake Hills, Phase 1, were 80 by 150. I realize it was a PUD, not an R-2, but most of the lots are less than an R-2. Phases 2 and 3 were 90 by 150, and you got a subdivision that’s the premiere subdivision in the Town of St. John, house values are $400,000 to a million dollars.

Mr. Lantz, I know. I don’t know him personally, but I know his subdivisions. He builds a quality subdivision, 100 by 150 dimension lot, which appears to be the minimum, and some 100 by 200. Again, those other engineering issues aside, I think that the price point that he is proposing, I think that would be a plus for the Town of St. John. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if the petition they received is in the file.

Mr. Eberly advised that he has the petition in hard copy and electronic copy should they wish to review same on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Muenich stated that it should formally be made part of the record. Mr. Muenich further stated that he believes that there has been a favorable remonstrance submitted, although he has not read it.

Mr. Eberly displayed the petition on the meeting room screen, complete with the names and addresses of the folks who signed the petition.

Mr. Eberly advised that he would like to reiterate that this is just rezoning, and if this goes to the subdivision platting stage, that is when drainage will be discussed and when there would be a second opportunity to address those issues.

Mr. Forbes noted that when Mr. Rettig first came to the podium and we first discussed the rezoning, we had a discussion about drainage because it is such a hot topic.

Patty Byars (9111 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): I have a question about this petition. One time when I took up a petition opposing annexation, every signature I had on that – that, um, I forgot what they said that is. The, um, signatures had to be verified at the County that those people actually did exist and they were at that address. Did you do that with this?

Mr. Eberly advised that it is not necessary with this type of procedure.

Mr. Muenich advised that an annexation petition for formal remonstrances on an annexation requires ultimate verification of name, address, residence, and the fact that they are the property owners. This type of petition has no such requirement.

Okay. Thank you, Mike.

Diane S. Mathews (8923 Cline Avenue): I am the one that went out and got all those signatures. I can attest to every one of those people that I talked to, and I can go back and get them, their signatures, again if you need it. Okay.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Mathews, for verification purposes, that the petition is in favor of this development.

It is definitely in favor of it. Considering what is coming down the road from other builders, you guys should be jumping at the opportunity to claim this as – in St. John. They’re quality builders. I used to own a supply house, for almost 40 years, on 41 and 30. We never got a complaint against these guys. I wasn’t selling to them; I was selling to the plumbers that were supplying them. If there had been a complaint, it would have come back to my husband and I. Not one complaint come back about their – their homes. Look at the quality of what the builder is and take it from there. Okay. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who did not sign up that wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes turned the floor over to Mr. Lantz for rebuttal.

Mr. Lantz stated that he realizes that people have expressed concerns about the drainage and detention; however, as Mr. Rettig stated at the beginning, it isn’t even supposed to be discussed at this time. He further stated that he understands that some people don’t understand the principles of engineering and stated that the principle of detention is to collect the water, hold the water, and then release it at a slow rate. He also explained that water runoff is going to flow by gravity.

Mr. Lantz stated that those folks will benefit by the development because they are going to take the water that they are receiving on their property plus some of the water that is probably coming from the south and from the west, and they are going to hold that water and slowly release it. Mr. Lantz made a reference to an hourglass which slows the passage of sand and stated that the surrounding area will benefit from our development holding that water and releasing at a slower rate. In regards to Mr. DeYoung’s statement, they don’t have any intention of tying into North Point’s detention pond.

Mr. Lantz stated that, in respects to comments regarding making the lots R-2 instead of keeping R-1, they have made every attempt to make as many of these lots at an R-1 size as possible. He further stated that statements made that someone interested in houses of the value they are proposing would only want an R-1 lot does not coincide with the current trends. Mr. Lantz added that the majority of the people he has spoken with do not want the extra maintenance of a half-acre lot.

Mr. Lantz advised that if they had the extra 100 feet to the north or south, they would not even be here right now. They would do the whole thing as an R-1 subdivision, and they have made every attempt possible to make this parcel work.

Mr. Winarski made several agitated outbursts that Mr. Forbes addressed with the gavel.

Mr. Forbes asked for any comments or questions from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council to include referencing the Findings of Fact.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for rezoning of the Lantz Development to R-2 and reference the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gil.

Motion by roll-call vote:
Mr. Gill Aye
Mr. Birlson Nay
Mr. Kozel Aye
Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Williams Nay
Mr. Kennedy Nay

Mr. Forbes advised that we have a tied vote. Motion dies 3 ayes to 3 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised that in a tie vote there will be a “No recommendation” to the Town Council.

Mr. Muenich advised that it has been done before, but he would prefer a “No recommendation” vote.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for a “No recommendation” to the Town Council on Lantz Development.

Motion to send “No recommendation” to the Town Council by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson.

Motion by roll-call vote:
Mr. Gill Aye
Mr. Birlson Aye
Mr. Kozel Aye
Mr. Forbes Nay
Mr. Williams Nay
Mr. Kennedy Nay

Roll call vote of 3 ayes and 3 nays. Motion dies 3 ayes to 3 nays. By virtue of the absence of a majority vote, a “No recommendation” will be sent to the Town Council.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

B. LEVIN TIRE and AUTO – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat (Petitioner: DVG Team Representing Barry Levin)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Levin Tire and Auto. They are seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Jeff Ban of DVG Team introduced himself, along with Carmen Arvia with DVG Team and Mr. Barry Levin of Levin Tire, to the board. Mr. Ban stated that they appeared before the Plan Commission in November to propose a two-lot subdivision totaling 3.48 acres at the northeast corner of 85th Avenue and US 41.

Mr. Ban stated that they required a number of Developmental Standard Variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals. They petitioned the BZA last week and received approval for all their variance requests with the exception of one request for a sign variance that they have withdrawn.

Mr. Ban stated that they now are able to come before the Plan Commission to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing on this two-lot subdivision containing a 1.65-acre lot for the proposed Levin Tire located on the corner and a 1.83-acre lot to the north of the first lot. Mr. Ban advised that the property is zoned commercial, and he is requesting a permission to advertise and come back in January for Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes noted that the commission will have a chance to review this again at the Study Session on December 20, 2017.

Mr. Williams commented that the Board of Zoning Appeals reviewed this project and that the plan looks outstanding, the building looks outstanding, and it is a very good looking building overall.

Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat for Levin Tire by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

C. MILL CREEK UNIT 4 – Secondary Plat Approval (Petitioner: Ed Recktenwall)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Mill Creek seeking Secondary Plat approval for Unit 4.

Mr. Recktenwall of Olthof Homes introduced himself and stated that, as noted in the petition, they are here to ask for Secondary Plat approval of Phase 4 of Mill Creek. They are wanting to add 9 duplex lots and 32 single-family lots. He stated that they have completed all of the infrastructure except for a little water tie-in and the installation of the street lights. Mr. Recktenwall advised they have worked out the bond requirement with Mr. Kraus and paid their Developmental Fee.

Mr. Forbes read the letter of Mr. Kraus advising that the plat was found to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $25,072.19. Some of the public improvements have not been installed; therefore, a Letter of Credit in the amount of $155,145.76 or a Bond in the amount of $183,354.08 should be submitted to the Town.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they submitted their bond this afternoon to Mr. Eberly. Mr. Eberly advised that the Bond and the Developmental Fee were both taken care of this afternoon.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat approval for Mill Creek, Unit 4.

Motion to grant Mill Creek, Unit 4 Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained motion to make a recommendation for the Town Council to accept the Bond in the amount of $183,354.08.

Motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the bond by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

D. CWS HOLDING LLC – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Rezoning of 5.75 Acres as part of Greystone West from R-1 to R-3 PUD (Petitioner: Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is CWS Holdings LLC, for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for rezoning of 5.75 acres of land adjacent to Greystone West, from R-1 to R-3 PUD.

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development representing CWS Holdings stated that they are here seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing at the January meeting for the rezoning of 5.75 acres on the West side of Greystone Unit 2, or Greystone West, located west of Calumet Avenue. The parcel was recently annexed into the Town of St. John. By ordinance it was annexed in as R-1, and they are asking for it to be rezoned as R-3 PUD to match the adjoining land and have a cohesive plan for all of Greystone Unit 2.

Mr. Forbes advised that the board will have the opportunity to go over this at the Study Session and asked if there are any questions at this time. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize for Public Hearing.

Motion authorize for permission to advertise for Public Hearing by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

A. CROSSROADS MOTORPLEX – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing on 4 acres (Petitioner: Mike Gelatka / Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Crossroads Motorplex, permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat of roughly 4 acres of land just north of Aspen Café. The petitioner is Mr. Mike Gelatka.

Mr. Gelatka stated that he is here today for the project they are trying to realize north of Aspen Café. He advised that they have received approval for the variances that they believe would be required at the Board of Zoning Appeals. They are here tonight seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing in January.

Mr. Forbes noted that the board will have an opportunity to review this project at the Study Session, and asked if there were any questions at this time for the petitioner. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing by Mr. Williams. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I know I come up here a lot, and Mr. Kozel you always know what I’m going say. But, um, but I thought I would change it up tonight. This is probably, this is the December meeting for the twelfth month of the year; and I just want to thank you gentlemen for the work that you do. I know we don’t always see eye-to-eye on what your decisions are, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I just want to thank you for your work and thank you for your time.

Mr. Forbes asked for any public comment that did not sign up. Hearing none further, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment and brought the meeting back to the board.

Mr. Eberly welcomed Mickey Haluska back as recording secretary, and so did the board.

Mr. Forbes stated that he wanted to discuss something that was just brought to his attention in regards to a U-Lock Storage facility petition in front of the Lake County Plan Commission that is on a parcel of land on US 231, directly across from The Gates and East of Mill Creek. Mr. Forbes further stated that this type of project is not consistent with our Comprehensive Master Plan.

Mr. Forbes advised that Lake County has their Public Hearing on this matter on December 20, 2017.

Mr. Williams asked what town that would be in. Mr. Forbes advised that it would be in unincorporated Lake County.

General discussion ensued as to the proposed project location.

Mr. Muenich stated that he thought that area was part of the 600 feet off the south side of US 231 that was annexed into the Town of St. John ten years ago. Mr. Muenich suggested that we have Mr. Kraus review the annexation legal description.

Mr. Williams concurred that it is not in alignment with our Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Eberly advised that if that property were in town, the proposed use would not be allowed in the US 231 Overlay District.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he feels we should remonstrate against this and asked if a motion would be needed to send a letter of remonstrance. Mr. Forbes answered in the affirmative.

Mr. Muenich recommended both a motion from the Plan Commission and the Town Council. If your intention is to remonstrate, the proper remonstrating body would be the Town Council.

After detailed discussion amongst the Plan Commission members, it was unanimously agreed upon to send a recommendation for remonstrance on behalf of the Plan Commission to the Town Council for this proposed project.

Motion by Mr. Kennedy to send a recommendation to the Town Council to formally remonstrate against the petition for the storage facility pending before the Lake County Plan Commission and that it is based on the zoning map currently on file. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Kraus asked the board if they would like him to check the legal description. Mr. Forbes responded in the affirmative and asked Mr. Kraus to review the annexation legal description for verification purposes.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Eberly to send him a copy of the ordinance containing the legal description. Mr. Eberly responded that he would send it to him.

Mr. Muenich advised that the legal description was done by a different engineering company and that it was not completed Mr. Kraus or himself. Mr. Muenich further advised that if it is in the town limits, the Lake County Plan Commission needs to be made aware of the fact that it is not within their jurisdiction.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:14 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

12-20-2017 Plan Commission

December 20, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Jon Gill Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Jason Williams Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Bob Birlson Michael Muenich, Board Attorney
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session Meeting on December 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following Commissioners present: John Kennedy, Gregory Volk, Steven Kozel, Bob Birlson, Jon Gill, and Michael Forbes. Staff present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Krauss. Absent: Jason Williams

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. LEVIN TIRE – Primary Plat / Secondary Plat (Barry Levin and Carmen Arvia)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Levin Tire for a discussion relative to Preliminary Plat.

Carmen Arvia with DVG Engineering stated that he is here representing Barry Levin and the Levin St. John Subdivision. Mr. Arvia stated that they appeared before the BZA in November of 2017 requesting a variance for two parcels of land in the Route 41 Overlay District. They provided Preliminary Plat information for a 2-lot subdivision at 85th and US 41 for future development and preliminary engineering: Lot 1 is a 1.65-acre parcel to the south; and Lot 2 is a 1.83-acre lot to the north. There will be an access road and easements coming off of 85th and off of US 41 to provide access to Lot 1, which will be the Future Levin Tire site.

Mr. Forbes asked if they received the variances they were seeking at the BZA. Mr. Arvia stated they received variances for the undersized lot, variances for the building size under 15,000 square feet as the proposed building is 10,200 square feet. They also received landscape, signage, and front-yard parking variances.

Mr. Kennedy stated that the variances were only for Lot 1 except for the lot size. At this time, they are only submitting for the subdivision engineering as they are still working with the architectural group on finalizing the Levin Site Plan, which will be addressed at a future meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked if the Site Plan was altered by the request for the BZA. Mr. Arvia stated that nothing has changed from the BZA plan set that came before the board previously, other than the access road now having engineered grading and utility/storm sewer. Mr. Birlson asked if the curb on 85th on the north side is having anything done to it in terms of pulling it back to the north. If you get four or five cars waiting to turn south on US 41, and it doesn’t allow any cars to turn north, because it tapers. Mr. Arvia stated that they are not doing any improvements on the 85th Street right-of-way and will only be connecting their access road on the east side of the property. Mr. Birlson stated that they might want to look into it.

Mr. Forbes stated that there is a big ditch there, and doesn’t know how much they could actually move it. Mr. Birlson asked if they could move the ditch to the north. Mr. Arvia stated that doing that would eat into their already undersized lot for the Route 41 Overlay District; the ditch is about 4 feet deep and 10 feet wide at its widest bank.

Mr. Arvia stated that 85th and US 41 is beyond their development and neither of the roads, a turn lane there doesn’t impact their property. It is a far reach for the development of Lot 1 to be doing improvements on 85th for something that doesn’t provide access to their lot.

Mr. Birlson stated that it would help traffic flow, which is always a concern in this town. Mr. Forbes stated that he understands what Mr. Birlson is saying because that is the way he drives home most nights from work. There is a pinch in the traffic there, but when the light changes, the traffic just shoots right through.

Mr. Birlson stated that more could make the pinch worse. Mr. Arvia stated that they understand that and that the future intent of the road is to connect through via the future subdivision providing another way through this area if the 85th light is becoming an issue.

Mr. Kraus asked if the requested permission to advertise. Mr. Arvia responded that they requested permission to advertise at the November meeting. Mr. Eberly stated that was not for the Plan Commission. Mr. Eberly asked if they are on the January 3, 2018 meeting for Public Hearing. Mr. Arvia stated that they had requested permission to advertise at the last meeting. Mr. Kraus said he has it in his notes.

Mr. Eberly stated that they are set for Public Hearing on January 3rd then. Mr. Arvia stated that the sign is out, the advertisements are in the paper. Mr. Kraus stated that he still does not have a plat to review. Mr. Eberly stated that he would email that plat to him in the morning.

B. DOLLAR TREE -- Site Plan and Platting of Property (Ryan Marovich, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Dollar Tree regarding Site Plan and platting of property located at 101st and Earl Drive.

Ryan Marovich of DVG Team and Cory Bronenkamp of Elcan & Associates, Inc. introduced themselves.

Mr. Marovich stated that they are here to discuss the Dollar Tree Site Plan, which comprises Lots 2 and 3 of Brooks Park. They appeared before the BZA and received multiple variances related to lot size, building size, and landscaping. They originally came before the BZA with one site plan, and it was amended based on the recommendation of the BZA.

Mr. Marovich stated that he has been discussing the drainage with both Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly. The current subdivided lots do not already have detention provided, and they are going to provide detention and combine the two subdivided lots to create a one-lot subdivision.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if they had to provide their own detention. Mr. Kraus stated that Ravenwood allows for Brooks Park subdivision lots to drain into its basins, which have ample capacity; however, they have to provide a small detention basin like Oil Exchange has.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Marovich if he will be able to put a basin on the site or if he will be installing something underground. Mr. Marovich stated that it is designed with three detention repositories: a dry pond in the southeast corner of the lot and two infiltration trenches, one in the north corner and one in the southwest corner of the lot. They also have four structures that they can tie into as well. The size of the lot made it a bit challenging, which is why they went with the infiltration basin on the west side. Mr. Kennedy asked if the drainage setup will impact the landscaping. Mr. Marovich stated he had to move a couple trees, but overall it does not impact the landscaping.

Mr. Eberly advised that this item is on the January 3, 2018 agenda for permission to advertise and will be coming back to the January Study Session.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he has everything he needs. Mr. Kraus stated that he hasn’t had a chance to look through everything he’s received from the petitioner, but he does have a packet from them.

C. ALDI – 1,734 Square-foot Addition to Existing Building (Wayne Koch)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Aldi regarding the addition of 1,734 square feet to their existing building, which will require Site Plan approval.

Mr. Eberly advised that the addition will be off the northeast corner.

Mr. Wayne Koch, IngenAE, introduced himself to the board and stated he is here along with Joe VanDenmeer regarding a small addition to northeast corner of the existing facility. The total square footage of the building will be 18,900 square feet. The property is 2.3 acres. The addition is part of a renovation of the existing facility. The store’s interior will be revamped completely with new finishes and a new layout.

They have 109 parking spaces on the site currently, 76 are required, and they will be providing 108. However, there may still be a loss of one or two spaces depending on the utility company and the relocation of the onsite electrical transformer.

The site lighting will be changed and upgraded to LEDs as well as all the lighting within the existing store and the new addition to the store.

Mr. Forbes asked him if he was given our lighting standards. Mr. Koch stated he has not, but he will be sure to get them and comply. Mr. Eberly stated that if they are going to be changing the lighting, they will need to comply with our lighting ordinance. Mr. Koch stated they are hoping to keep all the existing lighting locations as is.

Mr. Koch stated that the sales area will increase from 10,085 square feet to 10,925 square feet. They are also increasing the storage room slightly. The hours and deliveries will likely remain the same. Employees will increase.

Mr. Forbes asked if the addition will affect the delivery traffic pattern for the truck. Mr. Koch stated that it will not.

Mr. Eberly advised that this addition does not increase the impervious surface at all; therefore, there is no impact to the detention. The addition will be completed with the same materials that are already in use.

Mr. Eberly advised that photometrics are needed due to the lighting change and stated that this is the first time he’s hearing about the lighting change. Mr. Koch apologized and clarified that the light fixtures in the parking lot area are not going to change, because they will be kept the same as the Tractor Supply since they are in the same structure.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if he needs further review on this request. Mr. Kraus stated that he doesn’t believe so. Mr. Eberly stated that, with the board’s permission, this could be put on the January 3, 2018 meeting for Site Plan approval rather than coming to another Study Session and then coming to the February Plan Commission meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they are fine with allowing them to come before the Plan Commission at the January meeting. The board agreed that that is acceptable.

D. CWS HOLDINGS LLC – Discuss Potential Rezoning of 5.75 Acres of Land Immediately West of Greystone West (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is CWS Holdings LLC regarding the potential rezoning of 5.75 acres of land immediately west of Greystone.

Mr. Jack Slager, Schilling Development representing CWS Holdings, stated that this is a 5.75 acre triangle that was purchased last year from the Emerald Crossings Development.

Mr. Slager stated that the property is the on the far west side of the Greystone Development. They had it annexed into the Town of St. John. They are requesting an R-3 PUD designation to match what the rest of Greystone has already been zoned. They have advertised and done the legal notices for the January 3, 2018 Public Hearing requesting a favorable recommendation for the R-3 PUD rezoning.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this matter.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Slager to clarify the zoning of the properties surrounding that parcel of land. Mr. Slager stated that everything north, west, and south of the parcel is still unincorporated as they are just on the far west fringe of town at this point. He added that they will also be requesting for permission to advertise for their Public Hearing for platting at the February meeting.

E. CROSSROADS MOTORPLEX – Continued Site Plan and Platting Discussion (Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Crossroads Motorplex for continued Site Plan and platting discussion. This matter is scheduled for a Public Hearing in January.

Mr. Eberly confirmed it is on the January 3, 2018 agenda. The petitioner will be asking for Site Plan approval as well as Secondary Plat approval with the understanding that the Plat cannot be signed until at least ten days after that meeting. He is on the agenda for Site Plan approval. The board can chose to grant the petitioner’s request to seek Secondary Plat at that meeting.

Mr. Forbes advised that if there is a consensus to waive the rule, we will give Secondary Plat approval on the same night. Mr. Eberly stated that he believes Levin and Dollar Tree may do the same type of request.

Mr. Don Torrenga, Torrenga Engineering, stated that he is here this evening with Mike Gelatka regarding Crossroads Motorplex. They have appeared before the BZA to ask for multiple variances from the US 41 Overlay District. The property is just north of Aspen Café on the east side of US 41. They were granted variances for the 30-foot setback, building sizes, property size as there are five different buildings proposed, relief from the bike trail, and a use variance.

Mr. Torrenga stated that they have the advertising and will forward the same to Mr. Eberly tomorrow and offered to answer any questions the board may have.

Mr. Eberly informed Mr. Kraus that he would send the Site Plan and Plat to him.

Mr. Kennedy asked him if he has access to US 41 via the driveway and if it is the only access in and out of his facility. Mr. Torrenga stated there is access; and if they used the parking lot of Aspen Café, there is access to get to Thiel Street.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they need Aspen Café’s permission to use their parking lot as an access point. Mr. Gelatka stated that he has spoken with everyone around, and they have no complaints. They actually own the driveway in and out, so they have an ingress/egress with our property. He believes they have an agreement from their property over to the St. John Mall area.

Mr. Gelatka stated that he hadn’t put too much thought into it. It isn’t a retail location, so there will not be a lot of in and out traffic. US 41 should be ample access, but if they needed to say there is a second in/out access point, there is nothing he is aware of that would prevent them from using that.

Mr. Forbes stated that the layout of the property being what it is, most people have used it as an open access.

F. FAMILY EXPRESS – Site Plan and Platting Discussion (Mr. James Wieser)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Family Express regarding Site Plan and platting discussion.

Mr. Eberly advised that this property was annexed earlier this year as C-2; it is in the US 231 Overlay District. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Jim Weiser is here representing Family Express.

Mr. Weiser introduced the folks who are involved with this project. Raphael Omerza, Family Express; Scott Jones, Family Express; Doug Homeier and Kevin Coros, engineers with McMahon & Associates.

Mr. Wieser stated that Family Express is seeking to locate one of their stores at the corner of Parrish Avenue and US 231 on the southwest corner. The property is a little over 2 acres that is properly zoned, meeting the qualifications of the zoning in the Overlay District. They will be appearing in front of the BZA as well for some Developmental Variances.

Mr. Wieser stated that they are asking for feedback on the request for Site Plan and the request for subdivision. They will need to have a 1-lot subdivision. Mr. Wieser turned the floor over Mr. Homeier and Mr. Coros for a brief presentation regarding their Site Plan.

Mr. Homeier stated that it is about a 2.5 acre site presently known as Lots 19 and 20 of Pon & Co’s Highway Acres. They have been working with the Town and will be doing street improvements along Parrish Avenue and US 231. There will be a left-turn lane, a through lane, and a right-turn lane at Parrish Avenue along with a full decel lane or additional lane on Parrish Avenue. They have met with John McFadden with INDOT to go over the highway cut that is going to be on US 231 to ensure it meets their standards too. They will be dedicating the necessary right-of-way to ensure the improvements can be installed.

Mr. Homeier stated that there will be a waterline coming down Parrish Avenue and they will be using a low-pressure sewer-forced main up to the existing sewer by Centier Bank. They have 10x20 parking spots in excess of what is required. Mr. Homeier has gone over the drainage engineering with Mr. Kraus and submitted drainage calculations. They will meet or exceed the drainage ordinance for the site. The site will have a carwash and a pet wash.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Homeier to detail the improvements that they plan to make on US 231 and Parrish Avenue. Mr. Homeier stated that US 231 will be widened. Traveling eastbound, there will be a left-turn lane going north, a through lane, and a right-turn lane going south to Parrish Avenue there, so traffic flow will not be impeded. They are working with First Group Engineering regarding the intersection improvements.

Mr. Eberly showed the proposed improvements on the screen for both of the roads and stated that the intersection improvement is our improvement in conjunction with INDOT. Family Express’ responsibility is the right-turn lane from US 231 to Parrish, and they are providing the necessary right-of-way for all of the improvements.

Mr. Forbes asked if the road out onto US 231 is right-in/right-out. Mr. Homeier confirmed the same. Mr. Kennedy asked if there are going to be delineators for the right-in/right-out access. Mr. Homeier stated they will look into that.

Mr. Birlson asked what improvements are being made to Parrish Avenue. Mr. Homeier responded that they will be brining a secondary, full lane from the intersection all the way down to their entrance on Parrish so as not to impede traffic going southbound on Parrish Avenue.

Mr. Forbes asked how the pet wash works. The petitioner responded, “It’s a lot like a self-serve carwash. You go in you put your pet up there, and you wash it. And you can blow dry them.” Mr. Homeier stated that they did one in Valparaiso, and it is a big hit.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus about the detention for the property. Mr. Kraus stated that calculations were supplied and that he has spoken with Mr. Homeier and that he just needs to check the numbers to ensure everything is okay.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if they will appear before the BZA prior to the Plan Commission Public Hearing. Mr. Eberly advised that they are tentatively slated to appear before the BZA on January 22, 2018.

Mr. Eberly advised that Family Express will ask for permission to advertise on January 3, 2018 and have Public Hearing on February 7, 2018.

Mr. Forbes stated that they could potentially get to the BZA, and then there will still be another study session before the February meeting for any further discussion.

Mr. Weiser thanked the board and wished all a great holiday.

G. CASTLE ROCK – PHASE 1 – Secondary Plat Action (Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Andy James)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock, Unit 1, Secondary Plat. Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG Team is here representing Mr. Andy James, who is present. Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. James is the owner of Hamms Lake Development, the developer of Castle Rock.

Mr. Rettig stated that they had received preliminary approval several months earlier. Castle Rock Phase 1 is 36 of the 67 total lots that they have preliminary approval for. Phase 2 will be platted around summertime.

Phase 1 is connects to Kilkenny Estates in two locations and connects to Edgewood at Calumet Avenue. The street is built and improvements, curbs, and pavement are in; the only thing missing is a little bit of surface course on the asphalt. They are requesting Final Plat approval for Phase 1.

They will continue to work on infrastructure for Phase 2, which is an additional 31 lots and will complete Castle Rock, which is an R-2 subdivision. Mr. Rettig stated that he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the road leading into Tapper is 85th. Mr. Rettig responded that the north road is 85th Place and the southerly road is 87th Place.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is any concern with drainage flowing into Tapper Street due to the change in elevation. Mr. Rettig responded that he does not have the engineering drawings with him. Mr. James responded that there are two manholes there, one that was preexisting that will flow to the east, and the one they put in will flow to the west and north.

Mr. Rettig stated that 85th Place, due to the curve, they would like to come up with a unique name for the north-south portion of the road. On their preliminary drawings, they called it Maplewood Drive because there was a Maplewood farther south. He further stated that he isn’t sure they want to do that as there is no connectivity. They intend to continue Calumet Avenue to a point where they transition from an east-west street to a north-south street.

Mr. Rettig explained that Mr. James would like to use Manor House Drive for the north-south street and Fortress Court for the cul-de-sac in Phase 2. Mr. Rettig asked if they could have latitude on the numbered streets.

Mr. Forbes stated he would prefer that we stick with the numbering system for east-west streets so there is no confusion. Mr. Rettig asked if that would hold true for the future cul-de-sac as well. Mr. Forbes responded if it is an east-west street, yes; however, the others may have different opinions.

Mr. James stated that it is really unique, and he foresees the homes there being high-end and would be more fitting to have unique names. It would allow for differentiation from Kilkenny Estates. Mr. Forbes responded that he has no issue with the north-south streets. However for public safety thought and process, the east-west streets are always numbered. First responders know if they hear a number, they know they’re looking for an east-west street, and they know that north-south streets have names.

Mr. Kozel asked if the cul-de-sac is a true east-west. Mr. Rettig responded that it is a short street but would be considered an east-west street. Mr. Kozel stated that we have to be careful what courts we name; because then we’re stuck with different places in town, which can be confusing. Mr. Kozel stated that he doesn’t have a problem with the cul-de-sacs having different names, but east-west through streets, he’d like those to stay numbered. Mr. Forbes asked the board for thoughts on the name. Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Volk, and Mr. Gill stated they were fine with the name change. Mr. Forbes asked if they are okay with those two but keeping the other streets numbered. The members of the board confirmed they were.

Mr. Rettig thanked the board. He added that they will be in contact with Mr. Kraus regarding the Developmental Fee and the bond amount for a little bit of surface asphalt yet to be done.

Mr. Eberly stated that this is slated for January 3, 2018.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the houses that are going to be on South Tapper Street have any size standards. Mr. Rettig responded that those four lots will be part of Phase 2. Mr. James responded that everything in Castle Rock will be above the standards of what is required in Kilkenny.

H. ROAD IMPACT FEE
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is the Road Impact Fee discussion.

Mr. Taghi Arshami, Principal with The Arsh Group, introduced himself and stated that Arsh Group is the Town’s consultant for the Road Impact Fee.

(Note: Numbers in parentheses are actual figures or referenced item, table, or page numbers from the Plan Commission’s Handout which is attached hereto as Exhibit No. 2017-12-20 PC. The number in the general text is what Mr. Arshami physically said. Any QA or conversations during the presentation itself are offset in parentheses.)

Summary of Mr. Arshami’s presentation to the Plan Commission:

The purpose of this meeting is to brief you on the Road Impact Fee, the process, and where the Impact Fee Advisory Committee is in terms of that process. Mr. Arshami advised that a full plan is still in the works and that the Plan Commission should have a copy of that report before the Public Hearing meeting.

Mr. Arshami gave a brief history of the Road Impact Fee.

The Road Impact Fee is similar to the Park Impact Fee. The big difference is the Park Impact Fee is generated on household units and the Road Impact Fee is based on generated trips. It is much more time consuming to model transportation and transportation projections, which is why the process has taken almost ten months to finish.

Impact Fees are governed by both state and federal laws. It is considered an exaction which requires a process for development calculation and methodology.

The Plan Commission’s involvement is the relationship between the fee and how it is set up including the Comprehensive Plan and the Thoroughfare Plan. The Plan Commission would certify that the Impact Fee report, called the Road Impact Zone Plan, is in compliance with the Thoroughfare Plan and the Comprehensive Plan.

The development methodology process is a national process. They have to do two things, primarily. One is project the traffic over the next ten years, as based on the State statute, which answers what the traffic condition will be in ten years based on current development. The second is to determine existing facilities and improvements that are required including related costs.

The cost will be divided by the growth in the traffic generated by the developments, which yields a per trip cost. First the development is projected, then growth is projected, and finally a cost for the additional facilities needed are calculated.

When the process is completed, they will come before the Plan Commission for final review and approval.

The State law requires three elements: All calculations must be reasonable, proportionate, and equitable.

Projected growth, development, and associated transportation impact calculations must be considered. Their calculations are all focused on the deficiencies that are created by the growth. Inherently, there are existing deficiencies, also called current deficiencies. Current deficiencies cannot be charged in the Road Impact Fee; therefore, existing deficiencies and future growth-related deficiencies were both identified.

(Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Arshami if he had already determined what intersections and roads are currently deficient. Mr. Arshami confirmed he has and explained that due to the nature of St. John’s location and the traffic from Illinois, it was more expansive to model. They worked with NIRPC using their models in developing a model based on the current, local conditions.)

The projected growth comes from existing vacant lots, pending subdivisions, or developable subdivisions that have been approved but not yet built, are in the approval process, and available developable land for commercial and residential properties. Each parcel of land was individually reviewed and evaluated.

Those categories were put together and calculated using the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning to determine future growth. Existing subdivisions were simply added up as the lots are already specified. For commercial development, they used floor area ratio that is part of the Comprehensive Plan and a higher floor area ratio in the Overlay Districts.

All areas were added up and yielded 9,121 equivalent dwelling units (Table at item 3). An EDU, equivalent dwelling unit, is a single-family home or 1000 square feet of commercial or industrial space. All developments, in terms of costs and projections, will be divided into 9121 for the whole Town for the next ten years.

Each development creates a certain number of trips. First Group Engineering took these numbers and projected the estimated growth in trips. Over ten years, the total is 167,000 (167,355 – Table 4) additional trips generated daily from future developments.

(Mr. Kennedy asked if he does the calculations using R-3’s number of 432 and divides that by 11,485 total trips, if it would yield a per-trip per-unit total. Mr. Arshami stated that is correct. Mr. Arshami cautioned Mr. Kennedy that simple division calculation is not the process. The methodology for calculation includes other factors included in the modeling.)

We have 167,000 (167,355) additional trips; all the needed improvements were calculated and separated into existing deficiencies and projected deficiencies that are attributed to growth. The existing deficiencies add up to about $11 million ($11,289,900). The ten-year growth will generate about $81 million ($81,377,100) of facility deficiencies, which is the growth impact cost. (Table 5)

If we divide $81 million by 167,000 additional trips, that gives us $487 per trip, which is the trip cost. (Table 6)

(Mr. Forbes asked if the $81 million calculated in future development takes into account when a developer does improvements, for example, like the improvements discussed with Family Express. Mr. Arshami stated that is under those pending projects they have. They stopped calculations and bringing in new projects in September, which was the cutoff; anything that was known at that time was put into the model.

Mr. Forbes stated that when they do developments, some of the road improvements were done at the time of development by the developer. The $81 million wouldn’t take into account any future improvements that would have been requested of the developer. Mr. Arshami stated that he is correct. It is the cost of all future developments with no grants or other funding. He further stated that here will be an allowance in the full plan for adjustments to the trip cost.)

They will be providing a full-size digital version of the project which includes all the deficiencies and modeling information when it is completed; the report itself is 76 pages.

The trip cost is found by dividing the growth-related cost by the number of generated trips. For actual determination of what a single-family home is, you multiply the trip cost ($487.73) by the number of trips (10.89) that a single-family generates, which gives you the base of the impact fee. When you calculate that, it is $5310 ($5310.41). The same process could be applied to all the other types of development.

There is a table generated by the Institute of Traffic Engineers that specifically identifies the national average what the trip generation by different uses are such as various types of retail, banks, gas stations, etc. There are over 180 different uses that are identified. Those factors will be used per unit of development, which is 1000 square feet, multiplied by the 487 (487.73) to set up the base rate.

Fee Options (Table 7) provides a single-family home an EDU factor of 1, which equals $5,310 ($5,310.41). For a townhouse, it would be $3,717 ($3,717.29). A multifamily would be $955 ($955.87). This is if the fee were to be charged at 100 percent rate, which is the base rate.

(Mr. Kennedy asked if a townhouse or multifamily unit has three units total, would it be assessed one flat fee of $3700 or $3700 per unit. Mr. Arshami responded “per unit.”)

The advisory committee diligently considered how the impact fee impacts the economic situation and the developers. The St. John Impact Fee Advisory Committee felt it was important to get input from the community and had two meetings to address the development community and get input.

They were very concerned with the impact on the development community while recognizing there are $81 million in deficit that needs to be addressed. They discussed the Sewer Bond, which will end and drop off and reduce the pain of a new additional impact. That influenced them and the terms of what approach should be used.

The Impact Fee Advisory Committee recommended setting the rate at 7 percent, which means $371 per unit ($371.73, Table 8, p. 5). Based on use, we determine the ITE code. A single-family home is an ITE code of 210 which is $371.73; a duplex is $260.21; and a multifamily is $66.91 per unit.

Credit can be applied for improvements made by a developer. This doesn’t mean that they would be permitted to get credit for every curb cut. However, if there are developments that benefit the overall transportation and the Town and Plan Commission agree, credits can be awarded to reduce the fee for that development.

Based on the past 5-year trends, numbers were projected for the various types of housing and commercial developments. Based on approved subdivisions, based on the calculations, the anticipated 5-year revenue would be approximately $1.5 million, perhaps a bit more.

The fees generated doesn’t do much to address $81 million of potential growth deficiencies. However, this would allow the Town to start the process. The Sewer Bond will fall off in the first 5-year period, and if the Town continues with the impact fee, it could be increased at that time.

There are four other communities in Indiana that do have a Road Impact Fee (page 5). Fishers has a single cost of $2,257. Their cost per trip of $237.03 reflects their needs, and St. John’s is $487, so it is roughly double. Zionsville’s impact is about a quarter of St. John’s, and their fee is about $1000. Noblesville’s cost is $250, and their fee is about $2400. And Westfield is $299 per trip, and their fee is close to $2900.

All of these other communities have a lesser cost per trip than St. John, and they are charging much higher rates. During the meetings with the Impact Fee Advisory Committee, it was discussed that the building permit fees in St. John are more expensive. The other communities do have parking lots with fees, so it is difficult to compare properly. The Impact Fee Advisory Committee didn’t want to set the rate where it would become a disincentive to development in the Town.

The next step is to come in front of the Plan Commission for Public Hearing and for you to pass a resolution and accepting the compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and amending the Comprehensive Plan to approve this Zone Improvement Plan as a part of the Comprehensive Plan/Thoroughfare Plan. Then you will forward your resolution to the Town Council for their action.

Question and Answer Session

Mr. Arshami stated that he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Kozel asked what the population difference is between the other four towns and St. John. Mr. Arshami responded that a Fishers is approximately 100,000. Zionsville is much smaller, approximately 20,000-22,000. Noblesville is approximately 30,000-35,000. He stated he was unsure on Westfield.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Road Impact Fee would be considered local money that could be used for a match for grants. Mr. Arshami responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Road Impact Fee could be used for sewers or other deficiencies other than roads. Mr. Arshami responded in the negative. Mr. Arshami stated that it has to be road and transportation-related fees.

Mr. Kennedy asked if a road is reconstructed, could the fee be used to relocate the water lines and sewer lines or related utilities. Mr. Arshami stated that you can as a part of the road expansion. No money collected on the Road Impact Fee can be used for maintenance or current deficiencies.

Mr. Birlson asked if could be used to reconstruct roads. Mr. Arshami responded that the Road Impact Fee revenues must be used for capacity-related improvements.

Mr. Forbes stated it is not maintenance money. Mr. Arshami stated that using the funds for maintenance could get the Town into a lot of trouble.

Mr. Birlson asked if you widen a road and reconstruct it at the same time, can the Road Impact Fee funds be used only for what is being widened. Mr. Arshami responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly gave the following example: If you had to widen a road right now to take care of a current deficiency to three lanes, you can’t use the Road Impact Fee for that. However if the Road Impact Fee study anticipates widening it to four lanes because of future development, then you could pay for the fourth lane with the impact fee, but not the first three lanes.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the whole town is in the impact zone. Mr. Arshami responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy then asked if a development occurred on the west side of US 41, could improvements be done on the east side of US 41; in other words, does the improvement have to be contiguous to the development where the funds are collected. Mr. Arshami responded that the State requires a prioritization plan, and the improvements must be on that plan.

Mr. Kennedy asked if he and Mr. Cobb have a recommendation on where the impact fee should be. Mr. Arshami responded that taking into consideration the first couple of years of planning and the concern from the development community, they had recommended 10 percent.

Mr. Birlson asked how long the other towns had been using a Road Impact Fee. Mr. Arshami stated that Fishers has implemented the Road Impact Fee twice.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Arshami if he knows the numbers in their first five years. Mr. Arshami stated it was significant; they had about 600 housing permits.

Mr. Birlson asked if their base fee for the first five years was significantly higher than what is listed in the handout. Mr. Arshami responded that some of the communities kept the rate the same and others raised the rate minimally.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is not on the January 3, 2018 agenda for Public Hearing. February 7th would be the soonest it would be before you. You are charged with conducting the Public Hearing, and you can make a different recommendation to the Town Council than the Impact Fee Advisory Committee recommended to you. The final decision rests with the Town Council to determine what the rate will be.

Mr. Forbes stated he would like to see a little bit clearer picture of what projects have been suggested. Other members of the board stated that they would like to have that information as well. Mr. Eberly stated that those are in the full report that Mr. Arshami is preparing. Mr. Arshami stated that the full report has it, and he will get it to the Plan Commission as soon as the financial information is available.

Mr. Kozel stated that he thinks this should be on the January Study Session. Mr. Forbes stated that he believes Dave Austgen is still writing the resolutions, so we have to wait on the attorney too.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Austgen will be the one to advertise the Public Hearing for us, and February 7, 2018, would be the absolute earliest it will come to the Plan Commission for Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes stated that the board has gotten a lot of information this evening, and there will be a bit more information forthcoming; so another discussion will be held on this matter in January.

Mr. Arshami thanked the board.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:48 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission

12-20-2017 Plan Commission Exhibit.pdf
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