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Plan Commission Meeting Minutes 2018

Meeting Minutes

01-03-2018 Plan Commission

January 3, 2018 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. Gregory Volk called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on January 3, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska with the following Commissioners present: Gregory Volk, Steven Kozel, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Rick Eberly, Michelle Haluska, and Michael Muenich. Absent: Michael Forbes, Jason Williams, and Kenn Kraus.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The December 6, 2017 Plan Commission Regular Meeting minutes were presented to the Commission. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve the minutes from December 6, 2017. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion carried 4 ayes to 1 abstention. Mr. Volk noted that he abstained due to not being present at the meeting.

Mr. Eberly announced that Mr. Kraus will not be in attendance because his area is expecting a severe snow storm. Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Kraus provided the letters needed to conduct the meeting. Mr. Eberly added the same thing applies to the Aldi petitioner, who would be coming from South Bend, where they are expecting 20-inches of snow.

Mr. Eberly stated that both gentlemen were advised not to risk the trip and that the items would be kept on the agenda.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. CROSSROADS MOTORPLEX – Primary Plat / Secondary Plat (Mike Gelatka and Don Torrenga)
Mr. Volk introduced the first Public Hearing for Crossroads Motorplex. Mr. Eberly advised that this is for the primary plat. Mr. Eberly advised he believed Mr. Torrenga would also ask for consideration of approving the Secondary Plat as well. There is a letter from Mr. Kraus advising that he has reviewed both plats and found them to be satisfactory.

Mr. Eberly advised, if Secondary Plat is approved, it will not be able to be signed for at least ten (10) days after tonight’s meeting.

Mr. Don Torrenga of Torrenga Engineering introduced himself and Mr. Mike Gelatka; they are here representing the Crossroads Motorplex. Mr. Torrenga stated that they are here requesting Secondary Plat Approval for the triangular property, containing 4.44 acres, located immediately east of U.S. 41 and immediately south of the railroad tracks, across U.S. 41 from Schilling Lumber. Mr. Torrenga stated the property is to be developed as a Motorplex as shown on the screen. He added they have the Primary and Secondary Plats that have been reviewed by Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly and are found to be satisfactory according to the letter from Mr. Kraus. Mr. Torrenga stated that they appear on the agenda as item number 6 on the agenda for Site Plan Approval. Mr. Torrenga then explained that there have been a few issues with the photometrics and landscaping; therefore, they would not be asking for Site Plan Approval at the time.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the improvement of the site would impact Aspen Café’s parking. Mr. Torrenga responded that it would by adding additional parking to the area.

Mr. Eberly advised that there are two waivers that are being requested: One is from the requirement for putting in a sidewalk along U.S. 41. Mr. Eberly explained that there is a sidewalk on the west side of U.S. 41 that goes over the tracks but nothing along the east side, so they are requesting a waiver from that. Mr. Eberly also stated there is a waiver from having to put curbing on U.S. 41 itself, which is INDOT’s responsibility.

Mr. Volk read Mr. Kraus letter regarding Primary Plat review dated January 2, 2018.

Mr. Eberly advised there are two fees, a Developmental Fee, which is due that evening, and a Site Plan Review Fee and that Mr. Gelatka had the option of paying for the Site Plan review that evening or wait until the meeting that it is taken up for official action. Mr. Gelatka stated that the fees for both would be paid that night.

Mr. Torrenga advised that the water main and the sewer within the site will be privately maintained. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Torrenga had a conversation about the water main materials used. Mr. Torrenga advised that he had spoken with Mr. Kraus, and they will use C-900.

Mr. Kozel stated that the sidewalk has no purpose. Mr. Eberly advised that a motion will need to be made for those waivers in order to act on the Primary Plat.

Having no further questions from the Commission, Mr. Volk opened the meeting for Public Hearing. Hearing none, Mr. Volk entertained a motion to include the waivers of the sidewalk and the curb.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant primary approval for Crossroads Motorplex waiving the sidewalks on U.S. 41, waiving the curb on U.S. 41, and to collect a development fee of $900. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Volk entertained a motion for the Secondary Plat. Mr. Kozel moved to waive the 30-day waiting period. Mr. Kennedy made the second. Motion carried by 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Volk requested a motion to defer Site Plan Approval. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to defer the Site Plan Approval to the February 2018 meeting. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion carried by 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Torrenga if he intends to appear at the January Study Session or only the Regular Meeting in February. Mr. Torrenga noted that he would be at the February regular meeting.

Mr. Kozel inquired if there was anything in the Site Plan that had raised any issues. Mr. Torrenga stated Mr. Kraus wrote a letter stating he had no issues with it and clarified the issues are with the photometric plan.

Mr. Eberly stated according to the photometric plan, there are a very few areas of the parking lot that need to be adjusted on the plan. Mr. Eberly advised that there are minor issues in the landscaping where they are deficient in the number of shrubs but have more than enough trees; some trees need to be swapped out with shrubs. Mr. Eberly added that he could not find any language in the Landscape Ordinance allowing for the flexibility of substituting trees for shrubs and that most landscape ordinances grant you the flexibility to do that.

Mr. Eberly consulted with Mr. Muenich, and he is not aware of any such language in the ordinance either. Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Torrenga that interior shrubs will need to be added and to make the minor adjustments to the plans.

Mr. Volk instructed Mr. Torrenga to take care of it and turn it into Mr. Kraus for review.

Mr. Torrenga thanked the Commission.

B. LEVIN TIRE – Primary Plat / Secondary Plat (Barry Levin and Carmen Arvia)
Mr. Volk announce the next item on the agenda is the Public Hearing for Levin Tire for Primary Plat.

Mr. Eberly stated for the record that this petitioner is prepared for tonight’s Public Hearing.

Mr. Eberly thanked Mr. Birlson for bringing up the need for the widening of 85th Avenue in front of the site at the last meeting. Mr. Eberly then advised he looked at the situation himself and found there was more room on the north side of 85th Avenue than he had thought. He added that there is room to do some widening to get close to two full lanes from the entrance of their property on 85th Avenue to U.S. 41. Mr. Eberly further advised that he spoke with Mr. Ban about the possibility of doing that, and they are willing to widen 85th Avenue to get as much stacking as possible in the westbound, right-hand turn lane.

Mr. Carmen Arvia, DVG Engineering, 1155 Troutwine Road, Crown Point, Indiana, representing Barry Levin with Levin Tire. Mr. Arvia stated they are coming in with a 3.48 acre, two-lot subdivision. He stated they came before the BZA requesting lot sizes under the two acres for the U.S. 41 Overlay District. Mr. Arvia stated everything was approved at BZA to move forward with the development of the two-lot subdivision, and they are ready to proceed.

Mr. Arvia advised that Mr. Levin is looking to develop the southern lot, Lot 1, for his automotive and tire service center. Mr. Arvia added that, at this time, they are only coming for subdivision, explaining the Site Plan for Levin Tire on Lot 1 has been removed for submittal. He further added they are providing a two-lane access road up the east side of the property.

Mr. Arvia requested a waiver to not have sidewalks along U.S. 41 as they are providing a bike lane in the rear roadway as a pedestrian access through the site and added that the large drainage ditch at U.S. 41 and 85th Avenue preclude putting a sidewalk in that area. He also stated he had spoken with Mr. Eberly regarding the widening of 85th. Based on initial calculations, they can provide at least 5-vehicle storage, possibly up to 8 vehicles, in a turn lane along 85th Avenue with a right-hand movement onto U.S. 41. Mr. Arvia stated that they do need to do further engineering on that. The intent is to design it to the maximum available space without impacting the drainage swale or ditch along 85th Avenue. Mr. Arvia added they are proposing a right-in/right-out along U.S. 41.

Mr. Arvia explained that Mr. Kraus brought to their attention that the site is currently noted as in the floodplain on the FIRM maps. As a condition of the approval, they will provide an “as built” and a Letter of Map Revision. The site, by elevation, is not in the floodplain of Bingo Lake.

Mr. Eberly noted for the members’ sake that because this issue of the widening 85th Avenue was just discussed and finalized this afternoon, he’s not sure if the plat shows enough right-of-way to do that or not. If it does not, the Secondary Plat would correct that. Mr. Arvia advised they should have ample right-of-way there to provide at least five spaces.

Mr. Volk inquired as to whether the lane would be a full-width lane from the access road all the way to U.S. 41. Mr. Arvia stated he is not sure if they could go all the way back to the access road, but it will be at least five car lengths. It would be a full-width turn lane. There is currently a wide flare to the curb line, and there is access for two or maybe three cars to pull into the striped turn. Mr. Arvia stated they would pull that back and provide more storage in that turn lane.

Mr. Eberly advised that their entrance is directly across from Kolling Road. Mr. Eberly also stated they are hoping to get as much widening as they can without impacting the ditch.

Mr. Kennedy inquired about the pedestrian crossing. Mr. Arvia stated they are putting in a pedestrian crossing and it is on the Site Plan. Mr. Kennedy inquired about an ADA ramp on the south side of 85th Avenue connecting to the east-west sidewalk. Mr. Arvia confirmed it will also be in place.

Mr. Volk advised the board that the BZA only approved the variances for Lot 1.

Mr. Arvia asked if there would be a signage requirement for the pedestrian crossing. Mr. Eberly stated it is not a requirement but that he expected the signage would be put up once the project is completed.

Mr. Muenich inquired as to whether the easement across Lot 1 would be running across Lot 2. Mr. Arvia explained that the easements will be dedicated and granted as shown across both lots. Initial discussions were that the easements would be eventually granted to the Town.

Mr. Muenich asked for clarification as to whether it is a public access point or an easement to the town. Mr. Arvia stated that at the time it is being proposed as an ingress/egress easement. He added that there was discussion of granting it to the Town, but that had not progressed.

Mr. Muenich expressed concern with how the public will get from the access point from 85th Avenue to the residential subdivisions lying to the north once the properties are tied to the properties to the north and northeast. Mr. Arvia advised that at this time there are no plans to develop Lot 2, and that is something they will have to discuss with the developer to the north.

Mr. Arvia stated it is anticipated; that they do not have a buyer for Lot 2; and Mr. Levin only wants Lot 1 for Levin Tire. He then stated they are going to grant the easement to the Town at this time on Lot 2. Mr. Muenich stated he asked to whom the easement runs because if it is a public access point, you can’t just write the easement to the Town of St. John explaining that is only an easement that runs to the Town and not the public at large. Mr. Muenich added that he believes the Plan Commission intends to use it as an access point from 85th Avenue northbound at some point.

Mr. Muenich advised that an easement is not the same as public access. Mr. Muenich added some language is going to have to be put in place to dedicate the area as a public access point to the Town.

Mr. Eberly advised that would need to be on the Secondary Plat and offered to send a letter of request to Mr. Muenich’s office to provide the appropriate language. Mr. Muenich agreed.

Mr. Kennedy asked how far the north-south access will be improved. Mr. Arvia explained there will be an east-west road off of U.S. 41 and indicated on the screen where it would end.

Mr. Volk opened the discussion of the Public Hearing to the floor. Hearing none, Mr. Volk asked if anyone in the audience had not signed up but would like to speak. Hearing none, Mr. Volk brought it back to the Commission for further questioning.

Mr. Gill asked if the ditch along 85th Avenue was in the right-of-way or on the Levin property. Mr. Arvia confirmed the ditch is in the right-of-way beyond their property line. He added the widening would not need them to change the lot size.

Mr. Volk entertained a motion from the board.

Mr. Eberly advised the motion should include the request for waiver and asked Mr. Arvia to identify the waivers once more. Mr. Arvia requested to waive sidewalks on U.S. 41 as well as the 85th right-of-way, as it is provided in the access roadway of the east side of the property. Mr. Muenich advised that it should also include resolution of the easement issue as to whom the easement runs.

Mr. Kozel moved to grant Levin Tire Primary Plat Approval, referencing the findings of facts, the waiver for the sidewalks on U.S. 41 and 85th Avenue and a resolution of the easement issue. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion carried by 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Arvia thanked the Commission.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Secondary Plat and Site Plan Approval will be on the February agenda.

C. CWS HOLDINGS – Rezoning of 5.75 Acres (Mr. Scott Zajac)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is CWS Holdings for rezoning of the 5.75 acres of the Primary Plat, Greystone West.

Mr. Eberly stated the petitioner is ready for tonight’s Public Hearing. Mr. Scott Zajac is here representing CWS Holdings, LLC.

Mr. Volk read Mr. Kraus’ letter regarding Secondary Plat Approval dated January 4, 2017.

Mr. Scott Zajac, representing CWS Holdings, requested a favorable recommendation of the Plan Commission for rezoning for the 5.75-acre parcel directly west of an existing parcel they own that is across the street from the Greystone development. He stated that the parcel of land was rezoned R-3, PUD back in December 2015. After they purchased the tract a little over a year ago, it was annexed in August, so Mr. Zajac is seeking rezoning to be consistent with what they already have approved and what is in Greystone, Unit 1.

Mr. Volk thanked Mr. Zajac and stated it had been discussed at Study Sessions. He invited any questions. Hearing none, he opened up Public Hearing for the Greystone rezoning.

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive: It’s not like I’m a stranger to you gentlemen, but I thought maybe I’d give you a little review; just so you’re up to speed what’s going on in town. Um, this year was the second highest ever building permits issued in the town of St. John. The winning year was 388 units, and that was in 2005. This year, 2017, was 358. Now, this development is going to add more duplexes and cottage homes, which is on R-3 PUDs which no longer exists in the Town ordinances. But since this was approved, it's already flying through.

You’ve heard a lot of citizens come up here and talk to you about high concentration duplexes and multi-units; 2017, there were 19 percent of everything you approved -- that’s 1 in 5, approximately -- was a multi-unit. In 2016, it was 33 percent; 1 in every 3 units you approved was a multiplex. 2015 was the worst year in St. John’s 15-year history that you have. It was 40 percent, so 4 out of every 10 units you approved in 2015 were multi-units. The Town Comprehensive Plan calls for 8 percent plus or minus. Now, does it sound to you like 40 percent, 33 percent, and 19 percent are an 8 percent following the Comprehensive Plan? I don’t think so.

In 15 years that you have the Town history, you have approved 27 percent of everything built in St. John as a multiunit. Now, when is this going to stop? Eight percent in the comprehensive plan is what you’re supposed to be following. It’s not 27 percent. When are you going to start giving the people of St. John what you proposed in the 8 percent?”

Gerry Swets, 9490 Joliet Street: A lot of what Bryan said is -- is things that were on my mind as well, so I’m not going to dwell on that. I guess the point I would like to make is, um, if you -- I -- I’d like to see we eliminate PUDs for the most part. There’s really no reason for them in many places. And the requirements that PUDs have require a lot of study, a lot of research, traffic studies, impact studies; and, um, I would just like to see us eliminate the PUD altogether.

I understand that there’s a whole subdivision of multi-family here. But I think when we go PUD, we’re allowing lots getting too small. I mean we can’t stop multi-family totally. I’m not asking for that. But I think we need to be reasonable, and we need to be reasonable in the building sizes. And as soon as you put PUD on any development, you give them the right to put postage-stamp-sized lots and build on them. So I’m just asking you to eliminate the PUD part. That’s all. Thank you.”

Mr. Volk thanked them for commenting and asked if there was anyone else that had not signed that would like to speak. Hearing none, he closed the Public Hearing.

Mr. Kozel asked how many acres has already been zoned. Mr. Zajac answered 38 acres on the west side.

Mr. Kozel asked how many total acres there are for the whole project. Mr. Zajac answered approximately 135 acres plus or minus. Mr. Zajac advised that it’s already been approved and rezoned. He added it will be a mix of both the duplex and the small single-family cottage-style home.

Mr. Kozel moved to grant a favorable recommendation for CWS Holdings for the rezoning of Greystone from R-1 to R-3 PUD. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion was granted 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Kozel moved to amend the above motion and the motion for Motorplex to include referencing the finding of facts. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion was granted 5 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW/OLD BUSINESS:

A. CROSSROADS MOTORPLEX – Site Plan Approval (Mike Gelatka and Don Torrenga)
Mr. Volk advised the item had been deferred.
B. CWS HOLDINGS – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat on Greystone West – Unit 2 (Mr. Scott Zajac)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is CWS Holdings for permission to advertise for Primary Plat on Greystone West, Unit 2.

Mr. Zajac requested permission to advertise.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Mr. Kennedy made a motion for permission to advertise for Public Hearing. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Zajac thanked the board.

C. DOLLAR TREE – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat on property located at 101st and Earl Drive (Mr. Ryan Marovich)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda was the permission to advertise for a Public Hearing for Primary Plat for property located at 101st and Earl Drive.

Mr. Ryan Marovich of DVG, 1155 Troutwine Road, Crown Point, Indiana introduced himself. Mr. Marovich requested permission to advertise for Primary Plat. Mr. Marovich stated they were at the December Study Session.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Marovich if he was seeking Secondary Plat Approval at the same meeting. Mr. Marovich responded that they would be asking for Secondary Plat Approval at that meeting.

Mr. Eberly advised that it is a two-lot subdivision known as Brooks Park Subdivision. Mr. Eberly further advised that with the development of the Dollar Tree going on the property, they are being required to plat it as a one-lot subdivision as opposed to the two lots that currently exist. Mr. Eberly added that they are following regulations and seeking a Primary Plat on one-lot subdivision.

Mr. Kennedy asked how the drainage calculations are going. Mr. Marovich stated he turned the drainage calculations to Mr. Kraus. He stated it is a challenging site due to the size of the site added believes he’s using two infiltration trenches and a small pond in the back.

Mr. Volk asked for any further questions. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve permission for Dollar Tree to advertise for Public Hearing. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Marovich thanked the board.

D. FAMILY EXPRESS – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Platting of One (1) Lot Subdivision on southwest corner of U.S. 231 and Parrish Avenue (Mr. James Wieser)
Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is Family Express for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for platting of Lot 1.

Mr. Eberly advised that this is two currently platted pieces of property that was annexed last year. Because of the development of the property, they are being required to plat the two-lot subdivision as a one-lot subdivision.

Mr. James Wieser, Family Express, stated they are requesting to be on the February Agenda for the Planning Commission for the one-lot subdivision and will also be seeking the Secondary Approval at the same time.

Mr. Volk entertained any questions. Hearing none, he requested a motion. Mr. Kennedy made a motion for permission to advertise for Family Express. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Wieser thanked the board.

E. CASTLE ROCK – PHASE 1 – Secondary Plat Approval for First Phase (Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Andy James)

Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock, Phase 1 for Secondary Plat approval for the first phase of this development.

Mr. Doug Retting, DVG, representing Andy James with Hamms Lake Development, the developer of Castle Rock. Mr. Rettig requested Final Plat Approval for Castle Rock, Phase 1. Mr. Rettig indicated to an area on the screen and stated:

  • There are 36 lots on approximately 28 acres.
  • It is all zoned R-2.
  • The infrastructure is in the ground.
  • The roads have been paved, excepting therefrom a little bit of surface asphalt for the southern portion of the site.
  • They received a letter from Mr. Kraus that everything is in order with the plat.
  • Mr. Kraus gave them a Developmental Fee and the amount of the bond required.
  • The fees were paid this afternoon.

Mr. Rettig advised he believes everything is in order for Final Plat Approval.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel moved to grant Castle Rock, Phase 1, Secondary Plat Approval. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Rettig thanked the board.

F. ALDI – Request for Site Plan Approval (Petitioner: Mr. Wayne Koch)
Mr. Volk advised the next item is the Aldi request for Site Plan Approval.

Mr. Eberly reminded the board that due to extreme weather conditions in the South Bend area, he advised the petitioner not to come. Mr. Eberly added that it is a simple addition of 1700 square feet. Mr. Eberly further advised that Mr. Kruas did not need to write a letter because they are not creating any additional impervious surface than already exists and explained it is storage for the business.

Mr. Eberly advised it was discussed at the Study Session two weeks earlier and agreed that it was a very simple consideration, so they are looking for a motion to approve the Site Plan as submitted.

Mr. Kennedy asked for confirmation that the building materials would be the same. Mr. Eberly advised it will match the existing building and that the existing structure complies with the ordinance even though the building precedes the Overlay District Ordinance.

Mr. Volk entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel moved to grant Site Plan approval for Aldi. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. The motion passed 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Eberly thanked the Plan Commission for the consideration of making the motion in the absence of the petitioner.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Volk advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Jason Williams (8521 West 86th Court):

Jason Williams, 8521 West 86th Court, St. John. Good evening, gentlemen. My primary purpose for coming up here tonight is to say thank you to all of you for putting up with me the last couple years on the bench there, as it were.

I have an opportunity to go back to school, so I'm going to take that for the next three years, MBA. I hope to be able to rejoin you at some point, God willing. Just a couple of personal thank yous.

Mike Forbes, who’s not here tonight, was the primary reason that I got involved with this. Mike was nothing but a gentleman from the first day that I contacted him when I moved into St. John. And so just a very public thank you to him, even though he's not here tonight.

Rick, I said this at BZA, I'm going to say it again. You getting us prepared for these meetings has been absolutely phenomenal in your tenure. Thank you so much for all the work that you do in putting in for preparation.

John, for keeping me company on the end of the bench. Mickey, for your fantastic work in getting the notes out. We really do appreciate that. Greg, also, for keeping me honest on our side of the bench here.

Attorneys Mike and Dave, always appreciate you guys keeping me honest when I would try to get out of line.

And last but not least, my friends on the far side of the bench, always appreciated your insight over the last couple of years. So that's it; that's all I have to say. Just a very sincere thank you to all of you guys. I really appreciated your time.

The members of the Commission thanked him for his service.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street):

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street. I -- I guess I want to pick up where I left off the last time on the PUDs. I'm assuming, and I -- I may be assuming incorrectly, but I'm assuming that you gentlemen are familiar with the requirements of our ordinances and what it takes and what's required to approve a PUD, and all the studies, the traffic studies, and all the – the -- the -- the plotting, and all the work that needs to be done, and the drawings that all need to be turned in ahead of time. I'm assuming you guys saw all that stuff before you would approve it.

And – and – and – I – I -- I know when I started coming to these meetings, those things didn't happen. And I know they started happening once Rick came, and I thank Rick. You know, like Jason said, thank Rick for -- for his preparedness in allowing you gentlemen to do your job.

Um, and whenever there is something that I don't feel comfortable with or something that I don't agree with, I'm going to let you gentlemen know that. Um, and, of course, you hold the votes; I just have a voice. So we’ll work that out together, go back and forth. Um, beginning of a new year, um, look forward to a good year with you guys. And I hope you do your work well and do your due diligence.

Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive):

“Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive. As a follow-up, um, I was under the impression that you were going to have the traffic impact study on the agenda tonight. What happened to that?”

Mr. Eberly advised it was the Study Session for this month, not the regular meeting.

Mr. Blazak: "Oh, okay, so you moved it to next -- two weeks from now?”

Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Blazak: "Okay, I thought – I thought you guys were going to vote it out tonight."

Mr. Kozak advised they had more questions on it.

Mr. Blazak: "Oh, I know you had the questions, and I thought you might have got the answers. But I wasn't sure of --"

Ms. Haluska advised that Taghi Arshami just reviewed the minutes and that those were just completed and there are still some numerical items missing that he is waiting for Denny Cobb to get him.

Mr. Eberly advised there are some things to be worked out at the Study Session. He also advised the soonest it could be on the Plan Commission’s agenda for action would be the February meeting. Mr. Eberly added that he wasn’t anticipating that and explained that, due to publication requirements, it would likely be at least March.

Mr. Blazak: “Time keeps wasting. We had 358 units built in St. John last year, 2017. And that's money gone that we're not going to see, because there's a six-month waiting period for this. And the six months are going to tick-tock right through the busy season.

Mr. Kozel responded that it has to be right.

Mr. Blazak: “No, no! I understand the position. But I’m just -- you know – we’ve got to stay on top of this. We’re looking at an $81 million we’re short already. We’re short $11 million currently. That’s $92 million that we don’t have.

And the longer we screw around with this, and until it gets taken up and passed and approved and the fees start coming in, we’ve got no chance. We’ve already put $260 grand into this. We’ve got to get our $260,000 back before $1 goes towards any projects. So we’ve got to get after this. Thank you.”

Mr. Volk inquired if anyone else had requested to speak. Ms. Haluska advised him there was no one else. Hearing none, Mr. Volk closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Volk entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(With no further business before the board, Mr. Volk adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

01-17-2018 Plan Commission

January 17, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT BOB BIRLSON RICK EBERLY, BUILDING & PLANNING DIRECTOR
JOHN KENNEDY JON GILL KENN KRAUS, ENGINEER
GREG VOLK STEVE KOZEL  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 17, 2018 Plan Commission Study Session to order at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Alyssa Gallegos took roll call with the following Plan Commission members present: Michael Forbes, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Jon Gil, Bob Birlson, and John Kennedy. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present. Town Engineer Kenn Kraus was present.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. Family Express-site plan and platting discussion
Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Jim Wieser is here representing Family Express.

Mr. Wieser thanked the Plan Commission. He noted that they were here several weeks ago asking the Plan Commission to allow them to proceed with a Public Hearing in February, which was granted. At that same time, they had an opportunity to present their plan, so the Plan Commission has had it before them. More importantly, Mr. Wieser has had discussions with the engineers, Doug and Kevin. Their engineers have submitted information to Mr. Kraus, and Mr. Kraus has responded back. There is dialogue between them, and Mr. Wieser thinks that they are working diligently to make sure that the engineering is appropriate; whether that be the sanitary, the storm detention, also the water main, “accel” and “decel” lanes.

As we know, this project is going to be located on the southwest corner of 231 and Parrish. They intend and hope that they will be before the BZA on Monday evening. That is an issue because of the overlay districts. There are several variances that they need to seek, and they need to have those matters resolved and approved prior to coming before the Plan Commission. They are scheduled to have their Public Hearing before the Plan Commission on February 7th, and after his discussions with Mr. Kraus, that they will have all outstanding engineering issues resolved before they come for the Public Hearing on February 7th.

Mr. Wieser just wanted to brief the commission, as well as make that information available to the Public.

Mr. Wieser said that Doug Homeier is here from McMAHON Associates and Scott Jones is here from Family Express. They are happy to respond to any questions or concerns that the board, Mr. Eberly, or Mr. Kraus might have.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions.

Mr. Kennedy told Mr. Wieser that he may have misread the site plan. He took the rear of the lot to be concrete, but he now has been told that it is landscaping. Mr. Kennedy asked if Mr. Wieser is then proposing no sidewalks for that side. Mr. Wieser said that they will be, at the Plan Commission meeting on February 7th, seeking a waiver for sidewalks and a curb, because of the location and the lack of those public improvements anywhere else in that area; particularly on 231.

Mr. Kennedy said that his concern is if they don’t start requiring developers to put those in then we will never have sidewalks in. Pedestrian access is important to him in this community. He has seen people walking on the street. He is trying to avoid that. He understands that we would be potentially requiring them to put in a sidewalk to nowhere, but, in the future, that area is going to develop. If we don’t start requiring developers to put in sidewalks people won’t have anywhere to walk if they want to go to Mr. Wieser’s convenience store. He understands that there is the substation and the bridge. If the road is ever widened that bridge is going to be extended. There is a potential future for a pedestrian underpass under that roadway. Mr. Kennedy’s concern is if we don’t start requiring developers to put in sidewalks we will never have sidewalks, especially along Parrish north and south. He understands that it is a sidewalk to nowhere, but we must start requiring developers to put sidewalks in or people will be walking on the streets. Mr. Wieser said that he appreciates Mr. Kennedy’s comment, and that his reputation precedes him. He understands and appreciates where he is coming from. They will have discussions with Mr. Kraus and some internal discussions, but it is currently their thought that they will be seeking a waiver. Mr. Kennedy said that he appreciates any consideration.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there has been any status updates INDOT regarding the traffic impact from right in and right out on 231. Mr. Jones or Mr. Homeier began to explain that they met with John McFadden, and he said that’s what we wanted, was the right in and the right out. Anybody that would be coming west bound on 231 would then be able to turn south on Parrish, because of the new left turn lane there. Then come in and have access to the gas station or convenience store complex through the Parrish Avenue entrance. So, it was determined that he wanted a right in and right out there to the proximity of Parrish.

Mr. Kennedy asked if we are having a dedicated left lane going east bound and west bound on 231, a through lane, and a dedicated right going east bound. Mr. Eberly said that is the plan for the intersection. Mr. Wieser confirmed that is their plan. Mr. Eberly said that FIRST GROUP is doing the design on that. Mr. Kennedy asked what the road configuration is going to be north and south on Parrish. Is it a dedicated left? Mr. Kraus said that there will be left turn lanes on Parrish. Mr. Kennedy asked if there will also be a through lane. Mr. Kraus said yes. Mr. Kennedy confirmed that there will then be no dedicated right. Mr. Kraus said confirmed that is correct. Mr. Eberly noted that this development will precede the improvement of that intersection. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Forbes if we know what the actual timetable is for that intersection improvement and stoplight. Recently, Mr. Kil said to Mr. Eberly that he doesn’t anticipate that happening in 2018. It is more likely a 2019 project. We will be improving Parrish from 231 to Joliet this year, but the intersection improvement itself with the stoplight isn’t anticipated until 2019, as far as Mr. Eberly knows.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Wieser that he will see him at the Public Hearing. Mr. Wieser thanked the Commission.

B. Dollar Tree-site plan and platting discussion
Mr. Eberly introduced Mr. Ryan Marovich from DVG, representing Dollar Tree.

Mr. Marovich said that he is here before the plan commission today with the site plan, and for the primary platting discussion. He has been here for the past couple of months seeking quite a few variances. They were here earlier this month requesting permission to advertise. He has been working with the architects and engineers for Dollar Tree. Nothing much has changed. They did tweak the site. He has been in contact with Mr. Kraus and have addressed the initial review.

Mr. Marovich asked for any questions.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if there are enough handicap parking spots. Mr. Kraus confirmed, yes. Mr. Kozel said that you need one per 24. Mr. Kraus said that you need one per 25.

Mr. Kennedy asked about drainage. Mr. Marovich said that he thinks so. Mr. Kraus said that drainage was difficult, but he thinks they have a plan. Mr. Kennedy noted that Mr. Marovich went through a zoning variance for landscaping. He asked if the trenches affect that in any way. Mr. Marovich said that it does not. He explained that he had to creatively place the trees, but because of the width of the trenches there was enough room. Mr. Kennedy asked if there was any negative impact to the drainage, the pond, or anything like that. Mr. Kraus said no. He has split his drainage up into three areas, and it goes to three different inlets. So, he divided it up pretty good; plus, he’s restricted the flow off the site from each of those three different areas.

Mr. Birlson said that Mr. Marovich had mentioned once about drainage, a trickling into the soil, and he wanted to know if he was still doing that. Mr. Marovich said that was called an infiltration trench, but the bottom is a perforated pipe. So, like any pond there would be some infiltration, and the perforated pipe would be connected. There would be two of them; in the northwest and southwest corner into a structure. Then, it would flow into the existing storm system. So, the majority would flow into it, but there probably would be a normal amount of infiltration for the soil.

Mr. Kraus explained that because it goes through a gravel pact it gets a little treatment too. So, it’s being cleaned before it gets dumped into the system. Mr. Birlson thought that he was looking to drain the site into existing ground. Mr. Marovich said no. Mr. Kraus said that isn’t going to work. Mr. Birlson said not in St. John clay.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Marovich if they are going to be doing primary and secondary at this meeting. Mr. Marovich said that is correct. Mr. Eberly noted to the Commission that this applies to Family Express, as well. They will be seeking primary and secondary plat at their meeting. Also, to keep in mind that if the secondary plat is approved, they must wait a minimum of ten days before you can sign the plat, after it is approved. With fairly simple one lot commercial subdivisions, that is a common request to have both approvals in the same meeting. Mr. Kennedy asked if they could still go through with the plat if they don’t know if the access is right in or right out on 231, because INDOT would have to qualify that it’s going to be a right in and right out. Mr. Eberly said that it is a right in and right out. Mr. Kraus said that the plat has nothing to do with site plan. So, you can do the primary and secondary plat and get approval. You can do the site plan approval too, and if INDOT changes their mind or that driveway gets changed they can come back here for amendment.

Mr. Eberly referred to Mr. Wieser’s earlier comment and said that if Family Express is not able to come before the BZA this month the only matter that will come before the Plan Commission on February 7th will be the primary plat. They can still do primary plat without the things they need at the BZA level, but they can’t do site plan without the variances that they’re requesting. Mr. Marovich has already been before the BZA.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none.

C. The Gates of St. John 4E-secondary plat
Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Jonathon Lotton was here tonight representing both of The Gates of St. John items. Mr. Eberly shared with Mr. Forbes that him and Mr. Kraus discussed the 4E-secondary plat. There isn’t going to be a need for a development fee, a letter of credit, or bond, because that was taken care of with 4D. This is virtually across the street from 4D.

Mr. Lotton stated that they are seeking secondary plat for six lots for 23 additions in Pod 4. Mr. Eberly told the Commission that they are still well within their unit count for Unit 4-Pod 4. They are well below the maximum they are permitted to have in terms of habitable dwellings in that unit.

Mr. Forbes noted that he sees no changes from the preliminary plat. Mr. Lotton confirmed there are no changes from the preliminary plat.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none.

D. The Gates of St. John – replat of part of Pod 7B
Mr. Eberly told Mr. Forbes that they just received this today, and that Mr. Kraus has not had a chance to see it. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Kraus have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow where they are going to go through an extensive review of all the items on the agenda this evening. That will be the first time Mr. Kraus will have looked at this.

Mr. Eberly projected the unit on the screen.

Mr. Lotton referenced the drawing on the screen. He said that they are taking the north street in 7 and turning it into a cul-de-sac. It used to loop around. They are kind of separating those homes from the homes to the south. It is deleting a little through road, which is why they are seeking a new primary. Mr. Birlson asked if this was north of 231 and east of the main entrance. Mr. Lotton said yes and that is just south of Sterling Gate; just south of anything that is currently developed over there. Mr. Birlson asked for their reasoning. Mr. Lotton said that it is to create separation between the homes on that street and the next street. Mr. Birlson asked if they gain a lot. Mr. Lotton said that if they do gain a lot they will lose a lot somewhere else. Mr. Kennedy asked if the Fire Department would like something like that. Mr. Eberly told Mr. Kennedy that he received it today and hasn’t had a chance to share it with the Fire Department. Typically, the Fire Department and Public works aren’t crazy about cul-de-sacs. People like to live on them, but those entities are not. They haven’t had a chance to weigh in yet. Mr. Forbes asked how big the cul-de sac is. Mr. Lotton said it is about 1100 ft. Mr. Forbes asked if the max is 800 ft. Several commission members agreed that it is 400 ft. Mr. Eberly told the Commission that this is part of the PUD. He said that Mr. Lotton is already aware that since this is a re-plat there will need to be a Public Hearing for primary plat. He asked Mr. Lotton if he is asking for permission to advertise at the next meeting. Mr. Lotton said that’s correct. Mr. Gil asked if the top of the cul-de-sac on the projected image is Silver Maple Cove. Mr. Lotton said yes, that is where a few of the homes already are.

Mr. Forbes asked for any initial thoughts. Mr. Gil asked Mr. Eberly for the previous plat to compare. Mr. Kennedy noted that the area was previously a horseshoe. Mr. Eberly projected an image of the previous plat for comparison and pointed out the area that will become a cul-de-sac. Mr. Birlson asked what the blank spot was going to be during primary. He said it was going to be an empty greenspace park. Similar to what’s throughout the rest of the gates; an island. Someone asked if there was a detention basin in that space. Mr. Lotton said there was never a detention basin in that one. The island with the detention was in 4.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Mr. Birlson said that he likes this version better. Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Eberly to send the new plat to the Commission. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Eberly to also send them the original.

Mr. Forbes said that he believes at this moment nobody is ready to authorize a Public Hearing on this. He told Mr. Lotton that he will have to go to the next study session. Nobody disagreed.

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Eberly could also send the members the notes from the meeting between Mr. Eberly and Mr. Kraus that is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none. The members said they need to look over it.

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Lotton that we will see him at the February study session. Mr. Lotton said ok.

E. Coyne Animal Hospital-site plan discussion
Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Russ Pozen is here from DVG representing this project. Mr. Eberly noted that this has already been platted. It’s already come before the BZA for variances. They are coming before us for site plan. There are a couple of things that were not discussed before which he believes is the landscape plan, and the photometric plan. Those are being worked on. They have received plans, but they are being tweaked right now. This just needs site plan approval now. It is on the February 7th agenda for site plan approval. That is not a Public Hearing. Site plan does not require Public Hearing, but it does require public action.

Mr. Pozen said that the site has been submitted to Mr. Eberly and Mr. Kraus, and they are currently addressing comments. They have addressed all the site engineering comments. Mr. Kraus still must review. They have some very minor things left of the landscaping portion. The landscaping architect is in the process of updating those and should have no problem providing what was stated in Mr. Eberly’s requirements.

Mr. Pozen asked Mr. Eberly to project the site plan. He introduced Mr. Mike Mathis who is here with him tonight and is the architect of record for Lennon Group. He will have a little bit more discussion about the architect itself.

Mr. Pozen asked Mr. Eberly to please pull up sheet C-103 of the new site plan. He said that they are within about two acres of the site. They meet the ADA requirement for parking. He said there are some interesting features he wanted the commission to be aware of. On the east side where there is dark black and on the left they are providing a retaining wall. The site falls 13 feet, so they are working hard to keep everything the way need it for slopes, and not have a retaining wall. There is an existing detention basin that was provided for the entire subdivision. Mr. Pozen did the calcs and verified that the pond is adequately sized and has a little extra for the development. That includes the fully developed site. Mr. Pozen said that along Route 41 they are not showing a sidewalk. They will be requesting a sidewalk waiver at the February 7th meeting. He said that he would like to hear some comments about that.

Another interesting item is they will request to put their monument sign within the detention and utility easement area. It would sort of be within the setback. He believes that is not a variance, it is just coming in front of the board and requesting approval from the Board. He asked Mr. Eberly if that’s correct. Mr. Eberly confirmed that they don’t need a variance for the monument sign if it meets the size requirements, which he believes it did.

Mr. Pozen said that Mr. Mathis will now express some items about the building. Mr. Eberly projected the elevations for Mr. Mathis.

Mr. Mathis introduced himself and stated he is from Linden Group Architects. He thanked the commission for seeing this project today. He said that the projected item is really the same renderings that was approved. The building has not changed for the most part. They reduced the height; a foot here and a foot there, but the masses and everything pretty much read the same way. The building is defined along 41 by vertical composite metal component that is going to have signage for the building facing to the west. They have a window-opening that is cut in and views into the lobby. There is another metal frame with curtain wall glazing and wood cladding that accents that. Around the south side they also have the glazing, wood cladding, and same thing around the entrance way. Between the two masses, the front and the rear mass they have a stone clad portion of the building that connects the two. It then goes back to the metal cladding, and then there is rock face block veneer that wraps around the face of the building. As facing 41 there is stone, metal cladding, wood cladding, glazing, and then the entrance element. Facing south from the parking lot there are similar components all around the building. There is a canopy over the staff entrance and masonry that wraps around.

As they further develop their signage package they elected to go with the grade monument sign out front. So, per code, they are only allowed one building sign. They will be removing the south facing side and go with just the west facing sign toward Rt. 41.

Mr. Mathis said that he is happy to answer any further questions. Mr. Volk asked if this will be the same building that is out on Broadway in Crown Point. Mr. Mathis said that is a different design, similar materials, and same owner. Many Commission members said that building in Crown Point is beautiful.

Mr. Kozel asked what the materials in the rear are. Mr. Mathis said that it is a burnished concrete block. It is a masonry concrete block product. He would be happy to bring samples in. It is not like a normal cinder block. It’s a decorative product; a cast product.

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Mathis and Mr. Pozen to be very aware of the neighbors when they are doing their photometric plan. Make sure that the light doesn’t affect them at all. Mr. Pozen said that the photometric plan has been submitted recently. Mr. Eberly hasn’t had a chance to look at this. Mr. Pozen believes that it meets all the requirements. It does not spill over into the right-away or to the public property at all. Mr. Forbes said to make sure that there is no straight glare or anything that illuminates and shines on their houses. Mr. Eberly said that he is sure they are using all cut off fixtures, as required in the code. He hasn’t had a chance to look at it. Mr. Forbes asked if they are going to have wall packs on the east side. Mr. Mathis pointed out the east elevation and said they are putting two wall packs. They can do the zero cut off fixtures so there is nothing pointing towards residential property. It is pointing straight down. He doesn’t believe its included with this submittal, but they can include cut sheets of the fixtures with the next submittal. Mr. Eberly said yes, they will need those.

Mr. Volk asked if we need a vegetative buffer between the zones. Mr. Eberly pointed to the area on the projection where they have one. Mr. Volk said he knows part of the wall is there. Mr. Eberly said that area is a 40 ft landscape buffer area. They got a variance to reduce the buffer from 45 ft to 40 ft, but that is still a significant greenspace buffer of about 40 ft. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Pozen to point out where the retaining wall is located. Mr. Pozen said that it is within the 40 ft buffer. Mr. Birlson said that may be about 20 feet off the property line. Mr. Pozen said that the retaining wall is strategically placed, because this is a significant upstream area; steep and high. He wanted to make sure that he had ample space for the upstream water to pour onto the site and get collected in not only a storm structure but a swale, so that the water isn’t coming and banging on the foundation. That would detrimental to this beautiful building. Mr. Eberly pointing out the detaining wall. Mr. Pozen said that wall it is more like a decorative landscape wall. It’s like a versa lock and is about 2 feet high.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Mr. Kennedy said that he would like to ask about sidewalks and if there is a consideration to put in sidewalks. We must start looking at pedestrian access. Mr. Pozen said that is dually noted. They figured that it being Rt 41 it is heavily traveled. Mr. Kennedy said that he understands, but if people are walking he would rather have them off the road, and there’s no frontage road.

There were no other questions.

F. Levin Tire-continued site plan discussion
Mr. Carmen Arvia from DVG is here to represent the Levin Tire project.

Mr. Arvia said that they are coming to the board to discuss secondary plat approval. Some issues have come up in the last 36-48 hours, as they have been in discussion with Mr. Eberly. Something that came up in the primary plat meeting was the language for the right of way easement along the east side of their property. They were providing what was to eventually be a public street. They revised their plat based on a discussion with Mr. Eberly, yesterday, to dedicate it as right of way and not as an easement. As such, the site went down from 1.56 acres to 1.29 acres. The site plan has not changed. The one consideration they need is a waiver of the 60 ft right of way setback. They are providing 15 feet for a rear yard setback, but because the plat has changed from an easement for the road to a right of way the site would be undevelopable if they provide a 60-foot setback of the right of way.

The other consideration would be, they are providing a bike lane in their previous submissions of the roadway so, a waiver for providing a sidewalk, as they are already providing a public pedestrian access; the bike lane. Mr. Forbes asked if the bike lane is being laid as part of the road and then designated by a stripe. Mr. Arvia said that is correct. It is the eastern most lane striped as a crossing across 85th street and a bike lane all the way up.

The other thing to note is that the previous submission showed a lot 1 and a lot 2. As they have stated from the start the intent has been to provide Mr. Levin with lot 1 for him to provide his service center. In such, they have phased it. They are asking for a phase 1 approval for just lot 1. Lot 2 will be sub-divided at a future date.

Mr. Arvia asked Mr. Eberly if he has the plat and site plan that he sent over earlier today. Mr. Eberly pulled up the engineering plan sheet C-103, since it shows the revised property lines. Mr. Arvia said that what was previously their easement is now set as right of way it reduced the lot size on the plat. It didn’t get changed on the engineering. The lot is now 1.29 acres based on dedicating the area for the public right of way. This whole procedure is for the development of lot 1. What they are planning to develop at this time would be the right of way across lot 1, as well as the access drive off Rt. 41.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Arvia has identified that there will be two waivers. One for the width of the right of way. Normally we require a minimum of 60 foot. In this case it will be the width of the road itself; from back of curb to back of curb. Mr. Arvia noted that because of the way the eastern most property line falls all of that area would be dedicated to the right of way. There would be no way to provide any real offset for a maintenance easement without having an odd little abandoned piece of land up there. He said they are providing 10 feet off the back of curb on the western side all the way to the eastern property line. Mr. Eberly said that they must be more than 60 feet then. Mr. Arvia said that at its narrowest point not quite. Mr. Eberly said that they will need that waiver. Normally that waiver is done at primary plat approval, but we have already granted that. This issue came up subsequent to primary plat, so they will have to ask for that at secondary plat.

The other thing is that now that we are asking them to make this a publicly dedicated road they would be required to put in a sidewalk. They have a bike area as part of the paved area in any case, but they will need a waiver from the requirement of having sidewalks now that this has become a public way. That was our request that they make this a public way, and subsequent to the primary plat.

Mr. Kennedy asked if primary plat granted waivers for sidewalks on 85th and 41. Mr. Eberly said yes.

Mr. Arvia said brought up one of the issues that came up during primary plat. They are providing the requested turn lane on 85th street. When they walked it off it was approximately six cars. There is an existing drainage structure as well a power pole that constrained them for just how much they could really allow, as well as an existing drainage ditch that is up the property line. Again, they are trying to provide the town with a requested turn lane while keeping the overall construction costs at a reasonable consideration. Mr. Eberly came out to the site; they discussed and walked it. Obviously, the moving of the power poles is a major issue to undertake, so that they are not impacting the power poles and minimum impact to ditch line, as well.

Mr. Forbes said that he understands not having a need for both a bike path and a sidewalk. He asked if it is possible to move the curb up against the lane, and then move the bike path to the other side of the curb; elevate it right against the curb. Mr. Arvia asked if he means that they would provide the bike path as basically an oversized sidewalk, but have it curb protected. Mr. Forbes said it will get people out of the lane but provide both a bike path and a pedestrian walk way. Mr. Birlson said that he likes that too. Mr. Forbes said that he’s envisioning people walking in the street and there’s a curve there, and it doesn’t sit well with him. Mr. Arvia asked if a single eight-foot pedestrian access would suffice on the east side of the street. Mr. Forbes and the members all agreed. Mr. Kennedy noted that they had talked about this, but that there was a right of way issue. Now that they are granted this right of way we can do that. It would be great. Mr. Arvia asked if asphalt pavement would still be ok. Mr. Forbes said yes. There are arguments for both concrete and asphalt bikers will bike on anything. Mr. Arvia said that he wanted to verify since we were separating it from the street now.

Mr. Forbes said that he thinks it’s important to have the both lanes curve and have the walkway up and above. In that area button it right up against the curve. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue, because he doesn’t think they could build up too much speed or any kind of issues like a long straightaway would. Mr. Arvia said for site grading coming up from 85th onto the site you do come up slope. So, the concern of speed isn’t a huge issue.

Mr. Kennedy asked if it’s Meyer’s that is just north, and if they have sidewalks. Mr. Kozel said not yet; they are a few agenda items away. Mr. Kennedy asked if the rest is concrete. Mr. Birlson said that it should be concrete along there on the east side. Mr. Kennedy said they have concrete in their existing development. Mr. Eberly said they have regular sidewalks not necessarily a bike path. Mr. Kozel said that this path will get you to the area. Mr. Kennedy said we can have the bike path up until that development and then we’ll switch over. Mr. Forbes agreed that it should continue along and maybe turn into the development somehow, and then terminate into sidewalk. He doesn’t think they put it all the way through. Mr. Eberly said that Doug Arvia is here this evening. When he gets up to talk about his issue which is a couple of items down the agenda he will be able to address that for us.

Mr. Arvia said that the material can be changed later, but the grade separation has to be engineered. Mr. Kennedy said that is a matter of smooth continuity when it comes together with that development. Mr. Forbes said maybe we will have an answer here shortly.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Arvia if they are asking for secondary and site plan when they come in on February 7th. Mr. Arvia said that they will be looking for secondary and sub-division engineering at this time.

Mr. Birlson told Mr. Arvia that where he has it graded by 85th on the turn lane, he was envisioning to go farther to the east. When you have four or five cars wanting to go southbound he doesn’t think they could get around what they have there. The taper should be farther; almost to the entrance. Mr. Arvia said that there are a couple of problems they run in to. Elevation coming off 85th, coming up their proposed street. From the original plans the design changed for elevation for grade separation. There are twin five-foot box culverts, so twelve feet wide of construction. The ditch line starts to tighten up closer to the existing 85th curb line back there. The existing power poles come into play. The further back they start taking it the bigger impact they have on the existing ditch line through there. They had Mr. Eberly meet them out on site, so they can come to a happy medium of reasonable costs to be put on their development, when they are already providing access around the site and another way onto 41 while still providing the town with the request for a turn lane. Right now, you can fit 2 or 3 cars in the widened curvature that they have. They are bringing that back to definitely six cars and depending on how tight cars squeeze you can fit another car or two. Mr. Birlson added that if there are no cars wanting to turn southbound. Mr. Arvia said it depends on where they sit in the lane and how they allow traffic to pass. He reiterated that the biggest thing they are trying to do is not have to move the power pole. They are designing their guardrail to be about two feet in from that power pole. There is another power pole right at theirs, so depending on how you interplay everything is how you would have to move. Mr. Birlson asked if they stopped it on the very east by the inlet. Mr. Arvia said that there is an existing inlet there and that was there hardpoint to tie in to.

Mr. Forbes said that bump kind of forces you out a bit with the lane and then it brings you back in. If you come out of the new road onto bingo lane road there’s a curve. Mr. Arvia said if you were coming off that street onto 85th you would have to turn into the single lane of traffic on 85th, and then come back into the turn lane. Mr. Forbes said he coincidentally had a conversation with staff about this. INDOT likes that type of thing where you go out into a lane and then you must come back if you want to take a turn. If you turn immediately into a right turn lane but want to turn left you’re trapped in that lane. If you come out and then come back, you have the option. Mr. Arvia said that off their road you are turning into the standard flow of traffic onto 85th street. Mr. Forbes said then you have the option to go right or left. You’re not getting forced into a right turn lane and then wedge your way into a left turn lane. Mr. Kozel said that would cause more problems. Mr. Forbes said that little bump makes for smoother traffic transitions, and that is what INDOT looks at.

Mr. Forbes asked for any more thoughts or questions. There was none.

G. CWS Holdings LLC-discussion of primary plat submittal for 5.75 acres of land immediately west of Greystone West.
Mr. Jack Slager from Schilling Development introduced himself. He said that the agenda is a little misspoken. The last few meetings they have been talking about the 5.75 acres which they annexed and are in the process of re-zoning. So, that is being added to the original parcel. Now, they are basically talking about the entire west side of Calumet which they are calling Greystone Unit 2 or Greystone West.

They have been bringing this in front of the Plan Commission since 2012, so he apologizes for having them sit through all of these Greystone presentations.

He stated that the area he is referring to is everything west of calumet and across from the existing Greystone. They recently annexed the triangle piece of 5.75 acres, and they are continuing with the same housing products they had on the east side of Calumet. McFarland Homes is building the paired villas and Schilling Construction is building the cottage homes. All of the units have high architectural and high landscaping requirements on them. They are maintenance free; fully funded HOA which provides lawn care and snow removal on all of the units. On this side of Calumet, they made the lots slightly larger; a little more side yard and a little more rear yard than what they did in the first phase.

When they had this as part of the entire proposal they were proposing some 4-unit buildings along the west boundary. They eliminated those from the plan now. There won’t be any town homes or 4-unit buildings. That reduced their overall units by 8. They are dedicating a 45 foot right of way on Calumet for a future widening if need be. That will be landscaped and irrigated with berms like they did on the other side of Calumet. There is three acres of open space at the north end of the property. It is a wooded wetland area that they are going to preserve. It’s some of the only woods that are out there, so they want to keep it. There is also 4.3 acres on the very south end of the site. That encompasses the pipelines that go through the property. That will have the continuation of the bike path they have now from east to west. The bike path they have now in Greystone hits Calumet right at the intersection. There will be a cross walk provided and the bike path will be continuing west. It will come down the west side of the inner street and continue to the southwest corner. The nice thing about the location is the potential for the bike path to get picked up and run along either one of pipeline easements running north to south or east to west. Old railroad easements, high powerlines, and pipeline easements work well for pulling the bike paths through. The rest of that acreage will be park space. The open space gives someone the ability to potentially expand it further into a larger park if the next parcel develops someday. One thing that is happening is that Trans Canada has pipelines that runs through there. Trans Canada recently replaced pipelines through St. John over by the Gates of St. John and it made a big mess when they did that. They are slated to replace the pipe line over by Greystone in 2019, so they would not be putting that path in until they are done next year. So, that will actually be part of a future phase.

Another issue that was talked about in phase 1 was the intersection. They improved the intersection, built it up, installed all of the turn lanes as they developed unit 1. Part of the agreement with the Town was that it would become signalized at some point in the future. As they develop across the street their intention is to begin the design and implementation of signalization at that intersection such as to correlate with occupancy of the first units on the west side of the street. Probably by this fall they will have signalization at that intersection.

The build out of the entire site will be a 4-5-year period. They will be coming back with small final plats of around 30 units at a time. The first unit will be the entrance and several lots. They anticipate moving forward with small phases of 30 lots a year.

Mr. Slager said that he is open for questions. Mr. Kennedy asked if there are any plans for pedestrian along Calumet north of Greystone Drive. Mr. Slager said that they had that discussion in the beginning. They talked about it on the east side of Calumet, and because of a number of factors, probably the speed limit of Calumet, it was decided to pull the sidewalks inside the subdivision on both sides. They decided on having pedestrian access from north to south through the site, but not along the main road. That allowed them to provide landscaping and berm-ing on both sides of Calumet. That’s also why the bike path is coming in and continuing south, pointing south, looking to be continued south someday with a future development, but not directly adjacent to Calumet. At the time, it accomplished the same thing to have pedestrian access North and South, but just one block in. Mr. Kennedy asked about taking it further north up to 101st. Mr. Slager said that they could. There is a large open field north of them between Greystone and the bank, which will ultimately be developed and connected. The idea being that any development to the north and to the south could tie into their road system, their sewer and water, and ultimately funnel traffic back to the traffic signal. Basically, limiting access on Calumet avenue, so that Calumet becomes a limited access road where they can limit cars by not having a bunch of ins and outs.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Slager if he meant to say that the park would be dedicated; would that be a public park. Mr. Slager said that was the intention. Mr. Eberly said ok; he wanted to clarify.

Mr. Kennedy said that he understands the moving the sidewalk off of Calumet because there’s access to a public road, but if someone is on Calumet they would have to go all the way down to Greystone to get on the sidewalk. So is that providing access at the farthest northern point somehow if that is where we are going to move pedestrians. Try to get them access up at that point temporarily, until this development goes farther north. That would be his input. Mr. Slager asked if he is saying that he would like to see the sidewalk come out to Calumet at the northern most lot. Mr. Kennedy said that we have to plan for it. He doesn’t know how many people go up and down calumet. He has seen bikers on Calumet, and if we are trying to get them off of the road we have to pull them into Greystone sidewalk somehow. Mr. Slager said that he understands.

Mr. Forbes asked for anything more. There was none.

Mr. Slager said that they will be back in two weeks. They have advertised for Public Hearing and will be at the Public Hearing for primary plat.

H. Meyers Addition Unit 3 Block 3-discuss secondary plat submittal
Mr. Eberly introduced the aforementioned Mr. Rettig who is here tonight. Mr. Rettig said that he is from DVG, and that he is representing Mr. Dennis Meyers. He was here earlier, but he notified Mr. Rettig that he had another appointment that he would like to attend. Being that it is a study session, he figured he could handle it tonight.

They are simply adding five additional lots to his existing Meyers addition Unit 3. He has built the northerly part of the subdivision already, the access road out to the stop light at Lake Central Road and Rt. 41 has been put in, the strip malls are well underway to be totally occupied. There are five lots that they are adding to this phase called Meyers Addition Unit 3 Block 3. The loop street is complete, so you have direct traffic flow all the way around the whole loop. The next phase they will plat the remaining south end. They are not there yet so the road stops at the intersection. So, they have complete traffic access, all the utilities are complete, he finished the retention pond right before the weather turned. So, all of the improvements are in for the five lots including the retention pond, asphalt, curbs, sewer, and water.

They will still be coming back in February to ask for final plat approval for the five lots. Mr. Rettig asked Mr. Eberly if he had sent him the final plat. Mr. Eberly said that he did. Mr. Rettig said that the only minor issue is that he bought a couple of lots from Gardenia Gardens. They lots sit back where it was Gardenia Gardens, and there was a drainage easement with an existing retention basin that he eliminated. Now that retention is accommodated in the back. So, there is a drainage easement that they are going to vacate part of that easement on this record plat. They had conversations with Mr. Kil and the town attorney on how to do that. That is all accounted for on the final plat. So, they will vacate part of the drainage easement on this plate, and they will vacate the rest of it when they do the next phase.

Mr. Rettig said that these are duplexes. He pointed out what street will connect to Levin’s street. In the Meyers addition Unit 3 they have sidewalks on one side. That is what was approved. This is a PUD. At the time they got this approval there was sidewalks on one side of the street all the way to 85th Avenue, so there will be connectivity to the Levin site. He can’t remember what side they decided they would put the sidewalks in. Mr. Gil told him that it is in the center; 13, 16, 15, 14 and out lot B. Mr. Kennedy said that is consistent with what the Levin site does. Mr. Forbes asked if lots 8,9, and 10 were originally parts of this lot. Mr. Rettig said that they were part of Meyers addition Unit 3, but they are doing it in phases. He pointed out block 1 and then said that block 2 was commercial. He pointed out blocks 3 and said that what we have in front of us is block 4. Mr. Meyers also owns the property to the south, so they are entertaining combining these into the next block. He is still undecided about that. Mr. Gill asked if the next block the one that he was talking about putting the 4-unit ones on before. Mr. Forbes added they were going to be against the lake. Mr. Rettig said that is along the lake, that is correct. Mr. Meyers is undecided if he is going to put in the two lots next. He said that he could only put in about 4 buildings per year, and we’re giving him five lots. So, he doesn’t want to get too far ahead.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig if he wanted to ask for permission to advertise for Lantz development for February 7th. Mr. Rettig said yes. They do intend to be here for the Plan Commission meeting in February, to request permission to advertise for the Lantz subdivision on Cline Avenue. They are working on engineering for that. It is the same land plan that they submitted before for the rezone and so forth. So, they also plan to be here in February to request permission to advertise for that as well.

I. Walden crossing –Proposed Olthof project at Cline and 93rd.
Mr. Eberly introduced Mr. Joe Lenehan who is here from Olthoff development to talk to the commission about Walden Clearing.

Mr. Lenehan said that he is happy to be here tonight to talk through some concepts about a new community they are proposing for St. John. He said that he is going to run them through the proposal. He has some information about a conceptual site plan, some product, and some ideas they have for the community.

The location of the project property is 80 acres. 40 acres lie on the north side of 93rd avenue and 40 acres lie on the south side of 93rd avenue. This is immediately west of Cline Avenue. The property is mostly farm. There are some natural areas on the property. Most of us know the homestead that lies on the south. The existing zoning of the property is open zoning, which he thinks is a placeholder zoning that the Town used when they did the east side annexation. He thinks that annexation took place in or around 2007. He lives in grouse point on the right. As part of that east side annexation there was a good deal of farm ground that was annexed at that time and was zoned open space. He thinks the town sort of laid out their plan for the area. He showed the existing zoning and then the comprehensive plan; the future land use plan. They laid out their future vision for the 80 acres of the property. On the future land use plan they are showing residential zoning for the property, so Olthoff is proposing a residential community in this property.

Mr. Lenehan said that their first step would be to rezone the property. The idea that they have is to propose a Planned Unit Development for the property. He is well aware that a Planned Unit Development is not looked on favorably right now in the town, but he wants to talk through some of their ideas. They see a Planned Unit Development as a really effective tool for planning a new community. They work in lots of different municipalities, and for some of those municipalities a Planned Unit Development is the only way to plan development. They think it is nice, because you can take the existing zoning Ordinance that is there, and it provides you the flexibility to make additional commitments. You can be creative with the planning and things like that. It allows a give and take. It allows them to make additional architectural or development plan commitments, and in return they get relief from certain things.

Mr. Lenehan said that he would like to now walk the commission through some of their commitments for the community. He was looking at the comprehensive plan today, and it does acknowledge the usefulness of a Planned Unit Development; when done well, because it provides us the ability to regulate the development. We can produce some really high-quality development that way. Mr. Lenehan projected their site plan that they have drafted and said that he believes Mr. Eberly sent out copies as well. This particular plan they are showing 112 home sites. The density here is kept pretty low at 1.4 units per acre. This plan has 28 acres of open space, which is about 35% of the land on this conceptual plan. They have parks spread throughout the community, and some natural areas and nature preserves that they plan to preserve. They are looking forward to providing amenities like playgrounds, passive park meaning a sitting area where pedestrians that pass throughout the community can come to a point; a gathering point. He also envisions trails along the open spaces as well. Since it is a topic of conversation, he wanted to note that they do plan to provide pedestrian access along 93rd and Cline. He also wanted to note that they need to have access on either side of 93rd, so they have aligned their entrances on the north and south side of 93rd. As well as, aligned the Cline Avenue entrance with the existing entrance into Tiburon. They know that they are going to have to do some traffic improvements on the areas, particularly at the intersections. There is going to be a need for additional lanes at the intersection of Cline Avenue and 93rd, so they are anticipating that. It would be their understanding that as they are working through this development plan they would need to provide some things there.

They are also looking at preserving some of the existing trees on the site. There are some trees along the borders that they would do their very best to preserve and they are usually able to do that. As well as the existing fence furrow that is the farm field. There are some trees through there that they will try to preserve many if not all of those. They are also proposing some extensive landscape buffering along all sides of the property; along the road-ways, but also adjacent to existing development. What they envision is three tiers of plantings; pine trees, mix deciduous trees to provide the high cover. When these trees are planted they are not the largest at that time, so they also provide some shrubs and planters at the lower level. Additionally, they will provide some berming where they can. Berming can provide a nice screening for the roadways as well as for the adjacent uses.

Mr. Lenehan reiterated that 1.4 unit per acre is the max density that they see for a site like this. He shared a comparison of what the development is like compared to what they are proposing. He said that they are looking at much less density. The community to the west, Sierra Point, is 1.75 units per acre. The community to the east, is 1.95 units per acre.

Mr. Lenehan shared some of the commitments they are proposing and said that these are some things that they are willing to put into writing and make a part of any ordinance or zoning commitment that would be put in place as they worked through this. On the architectural side of things, they would like to bring in a new series of single family homes. It is all single family residential that they are proposing here. Mr. Lenehan introduced the series of homes that they are proposing here is the “Inspire Collection”. He will share some pictures of some homes that they have built along with some renderings and some elevations. This is a series of homes that they are currently building in Westville and Noblesville, Indiana.

The minimum square footages that they are proposing here would start at 1903 square foot, and they would range with options all the way up to 3500 square feet. They would make a commitment to install premium vinyl siding on these homes which provides a really nice color palette. You get deeper, richer color palettes with the premium products. They discussed this proposal with residents, and another item that they thought was important was for the homes on the south, west, and east of the property so where they are bordering the areas facing the roadways, which are called double frontage lots, as well as where they are bordering the existing development to the west. They would consider putting an additional breakfast/morning or sunroom on the rear of the home to break up the elevation of the home a little bit and provides some architectural interest. They would also commit to installing 6-inch mirrortek trims around the windows on all the sides and rears of the homes.

On the development plan, the land plan side, they would be committing to no more than 1.4 units per acre. He shared the acreage and percentage for open space that they are committing to. They would put plans in place in the ordinance that would show exactly what’s proposed for the parks that he talked about earlier on the site plan. By the time they got to this point, he is sure that they can work with our town engineers to determine what lanes need to be put in at the intersections, and they would put those plans into writing. They can provide drawings for the landscape buffers, and those would be part of the commitments.

Another part of their planned unit development is on the south side of 93rd they would like to develop those lots and sell them to a couple of custom design home builders. Mr. Lenehan has reached out to a couple of custom home builders and they said that they would be interested. Olthoff homes would build the inspire collection homes on the North side of 93rd and they would bring in some custom home builders on the south side which would provide value to the community.

Mr. Lenehan was thinking through a couple of items for the re-zone, and the comprehensive plan notes that St. John wants to encourage the development of single family residential homes. That is what they are doing here, and that was targeted on the future land-use plan as well. The development to the west and the east was also developed as single family residential. The land to the south is vacant currently and targeted on the comprehensive plan to be single family residential. They are proposing a density that is right in line with the other developments.

Mr. Lenehan believes that the town would agree that this is the most desirable use; not commercial use. After looking at the property values of the adjacent properties Mr. Lenehan is confident that the average closing prices in Walden Clearing would be well above the property values of the surrounding properties. He can provide that data at a public hearing. The comprehensive plan calls for growth to happen adjacent to existing growth. That is what is here. That is the sensible plan for how you would see properties develop. The utilities are there. It’s the next development next to existing development,

So, they think that they meet the standard for responsible development growth.

The topic of roadways is important in Town right now, so as they develop this property they will help to improve those situations.

Mr. Lenehan presented the homes and showed some of the elevations for the proposed homes. He noted that the structure for the Inspire Series has about five plans; a ranch and four two-stories. There are square footage options available, and they like to provide options for people for extended garages and two car garages, as well as designer kitchens in the homes, morning rooms/sunrooms, so that people can customize their home the way they want it and build that value in the home.

He showed the Reunion home with an arts and crafts style which is noted by the clip corners and gable ends. They are trying to build in really strong architectural styles. The shutters also go along with the arts and crafts style.

Mr. Lenehan showed the Huntington, which is a prairie style ranch. The prairie style is noted by the horizontal bandings of materials and the way the materials get layered. You will also see varying degrees of masonry.

Mr. Lenehan showed the Preston next, which he said is the largest. It is a craftsman style home. Typically noted by the tapered columns and cultured stones. They will almost always break up the siding materials. There is layering of materials and shed roof dormers.

Next, Mr. Lenehan showed the Dover which is one of their French country style homes. On French country style homes there are varying types of masonry, and a very dramatic entry-way. There is masonry and stone up to the second floor. There is vertical band board siding on the French country, where the craftsman kind of mixes in the shake siding.

He showed the Preston again, but this time in prairie style. There are varying levels of masonry.

He showed the Huntington in a craftsman style. There is shake siding and the gable ends with trim detail. There are tapered columns and cultured stone.

He showed a Sonoma in the prairie style. In the prairie style you typically see overhangs, especially on the front facing.

He showed a colonial, which is a more traditional style of architecture. He explained that on the colonial you will typically see a round column on the front porch. Masonry up until the second floor, and more traditional style shutters.

He showed the Sonoma in the craftsman style with cultured stone, and a strong architectural style with the tapered columns all the way up to the gables.

Mr. Lenehan showed a photograph of the French country home, so the board can get a visual of how all of the materials come together.

He showed more photographs of some of the interiors. These are just some of the stylings they are doing on the inside. They give people plenty of options to customize and build their home the way they see it.

He showed a dining room with wainscoting and some trim details. There are columns which provide a dramatic entry. There are tray ceilings. When you come in the door you’ll see what they call a flex room space. In the picture its set up as a sitting room. It has the wainscoting and dramatic columns which frame the entrance to that room. There are tray ceilings. Some people use it as a sitting room, or you can use it as a home office.

He showed a photo of a bathroom that they have. He believes the photo is from a Sonoma, but they have this kind of setup available in each of the homes. He showed a picture from the back of one of the homes in the living room into the kitchen. It shows an open floor plan which is really popular at this point in time. He showed a picture of the same kitchen from the dining room and noted the breakfast bar area and layered tapered cabinets. There are also backsplash tiles layered in with the inlays.

He showed a photograph of Shelton Cove which is one of the communities where they are building these in Indianapolis. He showed this picture to display the style of entrance marker, because of the tapered columns and the timber look.

Again, they would be making commitments like these. The specific playgrounds that they would be using they would make it a part of the Planned Unit Development proposal and they would put that on drawings.

He showed a photograph of the berm with three trees that they built. He noted that they are a little more mature, so you can see the level of privacy over time you get with just pine trees. What they are doing now is spreading that out a little bit more and planting deciduous trees, so earlier on you are getting more coverage with the different layers. He showed how you can create little planting islands.

Mr. Lenehan said that Olthoff homes builds really quality homes. They have a great warranty, and a really regimented process where they go through and do really quality inspections on the home. They walk the home and invite people to walk the home with them. They go out to third party customer service companies and they always rate very high. They take it very seriously and internalize the feedback.

Mr. Lenehan briefed again the commitments that they are planning to make with the Planned Unit Development proposal. They would like to bring in the new inspire collection with the square footages that were discussed. The written commitments on the materials; the vinyl siding and the additional floor plans options that they would put on the rear of the homes, along the exterior and the window trims. The low density being at 1.4 units per acre with the open space and all the other items that they would put in as written commitments on rezone for this property.

Mr. Lenehan stated that he is open for any questions.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Lenehan for lot sizes. He told Mr. Volk that the minimum lot size they are proposing is 80 X 150. Many of the lots would be larger than that, as they work to finalize the development plan that would be the absolute minimum that you would see. They would go up from there. What they are trying to do with the Planned Unit Development proposal is show that you can have reasonable density in a project and make other types of commitments. There are other ways to build value; larger lots, architectural commitments, and other types of commitments in the development plan. Mr. Lenehan lives on 12000 sq. foot lot here in town, and when he is half way done mowing his lawn, he is done mowing it. A 12,000 sq. foot lot is a really big lot. He has a great yard for his three boys and they have plenty of space. They feel like that’s a really great size lot and that they can build upon that to build value in the community other ways.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Lenehan if he included the natural preserve area in his calculation when he found the density of 1.4 units per acre. Mr. Lenehan said that he did. Mr. Kennedy asked if that natural preserve area is developable or is it wetland. Mr. Lenehan said that if you wanted to develop all 80 acres you would have to get permits for wetlands and things like that. He included all open spaces in all of the developments that he’s done, he thinks that there should be those little areas in a community. Mr. Kennedy said that he would like to see the density excluding all the areas that are non-developable due to permit issues and things like that. Mr. Lenehan said that he could look that up.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they need an 80 X 150 to build those types of houses, or could they do that on a 100 X 150. Could he build the same houses if the lot were bigger? Mr. Lenehan said yes. Mr. Kennedy thanked Mr. Lenehan for addressing the pedestrian access.

Mr. Lenehan said that he wanted to re-address the previous item. The houses that they are building fit really nicely on an 80 X 150, so they will still fit. The additional commitments that they are making above and beyond what the ordinance requires is a part of the whole proposal. So, they would definitely fit (on the 100 X150), but they are looking to make additional commitments on the architectural side and the other commitments in exchange for that. Mr. Kennedy said that he loves the pocket park idea. He has seen that elsewhere, and he understands the value of land. He appreciates that.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Lenehan if it is his intention to ask for permission to advertise at the February 7th meeting. He also asked the members if they would like to see this another time at a study session before they do something like that. Mr. Forbes said that it would automatically end up there if they ask for permission at the February meeting they would be back in the February study session.

Mr. Lenehan said that it was interesting getting feedback here tonight, and that he can be ready to request to advertise at the February 7th meeting. Mr. Eberly said yes if that is ok with the Plan Commission.

Mr. Kennedy said that his concern is that there are existing residents to the west, that he already has properties of 100 foot wide lots. He asked if there would be any consideration from the developers on the properties on the property line to make those 100 X 150 and make the internal lots a smaller size. His concern is that we will have neighbors to the west that will potentially have two neighbors based on an 80 X 150. He understands that Olthoff would be putting a heavy berm in there, but potentially they will start to tear up to have two neighbors on their backyard. Mr. Volk noted that they are not really putting a berm in there they are just layering trees. Mr. Lenehan said that the berm would be along the roadways. They can do some earth and shaping in that area but in order to get the drainage right and making sure that they are collecting their water, which they will do, there wouldn’t be a ton of berming on the west border. He understands the question and said that is definitely something he can take a look at. Mr. Kennedy explained that the consideration would be that north, south, east and west those properties would be at least 100 X 150. He knows that they have to consider this. He is just throwing out suggestions.

The other item Mr. Kennedy has is the pedestrian along 93rd and Cline. Other developments they want to bring people inside, within the neighborhood. He has seen where the pedestrian path is on the exterior of the property. It’s bumped a couple feet off, and it’s a pedestrian path. That would be envision of a pedestrian path; meandering along Cline or one side of 93rd, that we start making commitment to have some sort of pedestrian path; an 8-foot bike path off the roadway. Mr. Lenehan said that he is very open to this, but what he was going to propose is along the south side of 93rd he recalls that there is a sidewalk pretty close there. So, he doesn’t know if it goes all the way to the edge, he thinks it may. So, they were planning on having a pedestrian access all the way along the south side of 93rd. It might make some sense to do something similar to what Greystone is doing having internal access and continuing access all the way along where there aren’t any sidewalks. Mr. Kennedy said that Greystone is going to have to potentially take privately owned property and turn it into a sidewalk. He is talking about taking it out of the subdivision. So, it feels like it’s not just for the people in the subdivision, it’s for the whole community.

Mr. Lenehan said that since the whole east side is redeveloped there is no road access that is ever going to come in there. So, it made sense to him that anyone walking along would be coming from that particular area. He said he is very open to it. On the south side of the road, certainly a path from west to east. So, that when the properties to the east get developed it can be continued.

Mr. Eberly told Mr. Lenehan that he is correct. There is a sidewalk that comes to his west property line on the south side of 93rd. Mr. Lenehan noted that it goes across Walden Clearing. He asked if there is a break there. Mr. Volk said that it goes all the way up the end of the property line. He said it makes the most sense to have the strongest connection where there is existing infrastructure. Mr. Eberly said that there is not a sidewalk coming from Sierra Point to his property on the north side of 93rd, but there on the south. Mr. Lenehan said that they will be able to cross right over especially as the connectivity grows.

Mr. Kennedy noted that they required Castle Rock to put a parking lot at their park. So, if people wanted to come visit it. He understands this park is potentially more for the subdivisions, but there is a park on the corner of 93rd and Cline. So, if people wanted to access the park. Mr. Lenehan said that he was looking at more of a neighborhood park. Mr. Forbes noted that the park in Castle Rock is quite a bit larger. Mr. Kennedy said that is true, and it is also multi-subdivision. Mr. Forbes said that these are small pocket parks. Mr. Forbes said he didn’t want to say a tot lot, because they are bigger than that. Mr. Lenehan said that he thinks that they are. He pictures a tot lot as a one homesite kind of site.

Mr. Volk asked if there is any access to the nature preserve on the south end. Mr. Lenehan said the plan shows heavy trees there, but they would be putting access through there. It would be on the east side of what’s shown as home site 96. Mr. Volk said that the lots on the south side are not all rectangle, some are irregular, but he wanted to know if those are proposed as 80 X 150. Mr. Lenehan said that the P.U.D they will proposed would be set up for a minimum. After talking to the developers, he knows that he will probably already have to widen some of those. What is shown he sees as being the absolute maximum. Mr. Volk said the lot sizes on the south side of 93rd in Mallard where he lives are 150 wide by 150 deep. They are squares. That is why there is so much room between the homes. He said that was given a variance from an R-1. The 20,000 square feet would have been a 100 by 200. That would have been a narrow strip of land, so they went 150 wide by 150 deep to get to 20,000. That is why that was done like that.

Mr. Forbes brought up the improvements on Cline and 93rd that Mr. Lenehan mentioned. He said that they do have some recommendations from our traffic engineer, and he is sure that Mr. Lenehan could get access to those. Mr. Lenehan said that he plans on doing that. The movements that are needed there are kind of obvious. It is a matter of scaling it. Mr. Forbes said that on the south side Mr. Lenehan only owns half of the Cline Avenue road. Mr. Lenehan said that is correct, and that they would dedicate it. Mr. Forbes clarified that they don’t own the property to east. Mr. Lenehan said that they do not. Mr. Birlson asked if St. John is looking to extend Cline Avenue south. Mr. Forbes said that there is talk about it throughout the years, but nothing has really happened yet. Mr. Volk said that there are a lot of wetlands and poor soil. Somebody said not if possible. Mr. Volk noted that it is very costly.

Mr. Eberly said that he will project the county GIS that shows the wetland and the A zone. The wetland is the cross-hatch property, the blue on the projection is A zone, flood zone. That was what Mr. Lenehan was referring to. If you try and develop the south half of the south half of this development, you can develop in the A zone you just have to go 2 feet above the base flood elevation. The wetland is a different issue. You would have to do some mitigation to do any development there. Mr. Lenehan says that he likes the way of preserving it. Mr. Eberly said that Cline Avenue would go right through that A zone and wetland if they were to try and extend. As Mr. Forbes said it is not impossible. It was done on 77th Avenue in Schererville. So, it can be done, but it is an expensive proposition.

Mr. Birlson referred back to the lot sizes. He said that Mr. Kennedy brought up the perimeter lots that touch the existing lots and making them 100 X 150. Mr. Birlson would like to take it a step further and have all the lots be 100 X 150. When you drive through new subdivisions and see the house on the lot that is 80 feet. It looks like a lot of house squeezed on a small lot, and to him it doesn’t look right. He said that judging by the scale on the plan they look like 100-foot-wide lots. Mr. Lenehan said that they are, and that in Sierra Point they are 100-foot-wide lots. He said that he understands the request. In his neighborhood there are 82 or 83 lots and it was designed for 100 feet wide minimum. He thinks that the streetscape looks pretty nice, but he understands the concern of Mr. Birlson. Mr. Volk said that is a concern of his as well. He likes the configuration of the streets and lots, but he would like to see the larger/wider lots.

Mr. Eberly projected the lots that Mr. Volk was talking about at 147 feet deep wide in Mallard Landing. Mr. Volk told Mr. Lenehan that he knows he has some hardships with the wetlands, but he went into this knowing that. He said that he likes the buffers they put along the streets.

Mr. Lenehan said that he will take a look at some of those things and plan to be here in February to request to advertise. He asked if that is a Public Hearing. Mr. Forbes confirmed that is a Public Hearing. He asked if he could have a few minutes in workshop-style session to update the commission on some of the changes that may have been made. Mr. Forbes said that they usually talk before, and he will be able to address any questions that came up before.

J. Road Impact Fee-continued discussion
Mr. Eberly introduced Taghi Arshami from the Arsh Group. They are a planning firm that is doing the Road Impact Fee. Last meeting he was here he gave a brief overview of the process and the fee. The board had a couple questions, so he wanted to update us today with where we were and answer those questions. As, well as any questions we may have today.

Mr. Arshami said that the report is now complete; it wasn’t the last time he was here. We have received the final copy and final comments from the staff, including Mr. Eberly. They have delivered the final report to the town attorney. Mr. Austgen is currently reviewing the legal aspects of it. As soon as that review is complete they expect to distribute it to everybody. That is where they are now.

Last meeting they received a couple of questions. He believes one was from Mr. Birlson that was related to the communities in Indiana that do have Road Impact Fees; how they have done, and what was their previous Road Impact Fee. They had to do some research, because some of them went back ten years ago. The report that he distributed shows the communities. The impact fee shown from these communities are what is effective today. The prior years are what it was prior to the current impact fee. That was to the best that they could determine what were the rates. All of them did increase their fee from the prior five years to the current five years, some substantially. He wanted to report that to the board for what it’s worth. Mr. Birlson thanked him.

Mr. Arshami said that there was also a question about the population. He didn’t have the final numbers, but they did go and get the 2016 population of these communities for our comparison. Those are all compared to the Town of St. John.

Mr. Arshami said that he is happy to answer any questions, otherwise they are just waiting for legal review at the moment.

Mr. Kennedy stated that Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield. He asked if Mr. Arshami knew if their cost per trip when they had their study done was done with 100%. What was the percentage they started out with? Mr. Arshami said that he can’t remember for all of them exactly what they did. All of the numbers that they have are only for one EDU for single family homes. That is what the ITE rates are based on. They naturally change based on the land use. All of these communities have always used a ratio of the 100%. None of them have charged the 100% fee. Mr. Eberly said that we don’t know what they adopted then. Mr. Arshami said that some of them we do know. For example, Westfield had a graduated rate of some percentage. Mr. Eberly said that we don’t know what the percentages are. Mr. Arshami said that at this point he doesn’t know. They do have some information indicating what those percentages were at the time the ordinance was passed. Mr. Kennedy shared that when he thinks of graduated rates he is thinking that they said we are starting at 10% and then increasing 2% annually, because you can’t change it over a five-year review period. Mr. Arshami said that is correct. Mr. Kennedy said that the town could potentially say that we are going to start at “X” and every year we are going to go “X +” , then at the five year we do a review of that. Then we could adjust at that five-year period. Mr. Arshami confirmed that it is effective for five years. After that you have to redo a study. Mr. Kennedy said that if hypothetically another impact fee comes off after three years, you can’t change it at that three-year mark. Mr. Arshami said that you would have to do a new study.

Mr. Forbes said that he is hearing a couple of different things. He stated for clarification that if we set the fee, just to use a number say we set a fee of one dollar. For five years the fee is one dollar per EDU. Mr. Arshami said that is correct, unless we do a new study within the five years, or after the five years. Mr. Forbes asked then at any time, in order to change the dollar amount, a study has to be done.

Mr. Kennedy said that we can then say year 1 and year 2 is one dollar, year 3 is five dollars etc. Mr. Forbes said he doesn’t believe so. Mr. Arshami said yes, we can do that. It is common practice.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Arshami if any of these municipalities have any other road funding mechanisms besides the impact fee. Mr. Arshami said that he believes Fishers that has a bridge fee. They charge around $22.50 per EDU. Mr. Kennedy asked if any of them have a municipal wheel tax. Mr. Arshami said that they may. They did not search for that.

Mr. Kennedy said that he understands the dilemma; we have developers in here. If we charged 100% fee, that would be $5,000. 10% was recommended by the experts, even though the impact study committee did 7%. That is only 10% of $81,000,000, which is the future impact of traffic issues we have; there is $11,000,000 currently. Indiana is a very low tax state. We pay 1% of our property taxes. He believes the town of St. John has been Fiduciary Stewards with the money. We are hindered with the ability to match either Federal Grants or NIRPC dollars. That is why the state of Indiana has provided referendums, impact fees, and two years ago they passed the municipal wheel tax; for communities to invest in their communities. If we want to developers to continue to invest in our community, and we set them to a high standard. Mr. Kennedy said that he has lived in St. John for 15 years and he still rides those roads. We are asking future residents to pay for the road improvements that the developments are impacting, while Mr. Kennedy said he continues to ride on the roads every day and his wife does too. The municipal wheel tax is $25.00 per plated car. That would provide this town with revenue to improve. After 18 months on this board one of the biggest things he has been hearing from residents is that as development continues we have infrastructure issues. If we don’t address it now, it is never going to turn around.

Mr. Kennedy stated that his consideration for the commission to think is that when and if they do make a recommendation to the Town Council for a road impact fee, we put it in a contingency that they should consider a wheel tax. That would provide revenue to address existing issues that we currently have, which Mr. Arshami placed at $11,000,000. Mr. Arshami said that is correct. That is existing deficiency. He said that he understands that not everyone can afford that, but for his family that is $50.00 a year. He doesn’t know every family’s financial situation, but he believes that if we are going to improve our community we need to start addressing it now. He thinks that when we make the recommendation to the town council we should have a serious consideration to implement a municipal wheel tax to address that $11,000,000 for residents that are currently driving on our roadways. It can start addressing traffic issues. It can provide the town with money to match any crossroads money that the state gives. It would provide us the money to match any Federal dollars or dollars we get from NIRPC. Communities are having a hard time coming up with that revenue, and we are missing out on potentially 80 cents on a dollar of somebody else’s money to improve our community. Municipalities don’t have the money. We are a low tax state. We pay 1% on property tax. The state is providing opportunities for towns and municipalities to find other revenue sources. He knows the tax word is a bad word to say, but we are not getting any smaller. The issues are not going away. With all this development it’s great that people want to come here, but we need to start investing in ourselves. Mr. Volk said that he agrees with that.

Mr. Kozel said that is something to consider; if they are going to take that tax that they implemented in the Gates on the sewers. That is going to be gone in a year or two. Mr. Eberly told him 2024. Mr. Birlson asked how much that is. Mr. Eberly said that it is currently over $2,000 per new construction permit. That is just the single-family rate. The commercial rate is much higher than that; 1 EDU or ERU is $2,307.30 as of march, so it is back $18.00. So, it is right at $2,300 per ERU.

Mr. Birlson asked if we know who is purchasing these new homes. Is it mainly Indiana residents? Is it residents from Illinois? Mr. Eberly said that he doubts it. Historically, you can go back to the 80’s. Back in the 80’s when Mr. Eberly was here for the first time, the influx of new residential housing permits was being built about 60-70% for incoming Illinois residents. Mr. Birlson said that Mr. Kennedy is right. We only have one chance to collect a fee from new homes. If Illinois residents are coming to Indiana because of the taxes as one reason; every year is significantly higher than Indiana residents. That is every year they have a tax fee. This is a one-time fee, so he is looking at a significantly higher cost than what is being proposed just for that reason. Another reason, it would take 29,000 homes to make up the $11,000,000 that we are deficient right now, at 371 per. Mr. Kennedy said that can address our existing issues. Mr. Birlson said that he understands that. He didn’t even figure in the $80,000,000, because the $11,000,000 is 29,000 homes. Mr. Eberly said that it is more than 7 times that.

Mr. Kennedy shared that he doesn’t want to take credit for that. He attended an Impact Committee meeting and a gentleman spoke about how we need a comprehensive plan to address these infrastructure issues. So, in his career he knows about the wheel tax. Other communities, he believes Valpo, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Crown Point all have it. They are using that money to either pave, sidewalks and they are investing in their communities. So, that is why he thought it was a good time to do a comprehensive approach to our infrastructure issues.

Mr. Eberly said that would likely raise $400,000 or more per year in St. John. Mr. Birlson asked if that is for the wheel tax at $25.00 per vehicle. Mr. Kennedy said that we can adjust it. It is a maximum of $25.00 per registered/plated vehicle. So, if you have anything with an Indiana plate. Motorcycles are $12.50, and that is everything. If you have a plated boat or trailer you pay a fee. He doesn’t know what that fee is, and trucks might be a larger dollar amount.

Mr. Arshami said that in terms of process, once this review is done the town attorney or plan commission attorney will do a resolution that we will have to approve and make a recommendation to the Council based on that resolution. The council then has to hold a Public Hearing and have an ordinance passed. Mr. Eberly said that the Plan Commission will have to hold the public hearing, and the recommendation goes to the Council. The Impact fee becomes effective six months after the passing of that ordinance. Mr. Eberly said that at this point we don’t have a public hearing, we have to wait to hear from the Town Attorney as to when we should set the public hearing. Mr. Eberly said that he doesn’t anticipate it happening in February. Mr. Forbes said that he doesn’t think the attorney is anywhere near having it drafted; March maybe. So, within the next couple weeks we should have direction from the attorney. Potentially, at our February meeting we can request that the public be hearing be held in March.

Mr. Forbes said that he is not sure if Mr. Arshami needs to come back or not, but we will have another chance to discuss this at the February study session. He thinks that they can talk amongst themselves unless there are some questions that come up; they can relay them.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Eberly if he got the $400,000 based on another community. Mr. Eberly said that he did a quick calculation based on roughly 8,000 residential lots in this community, and if every household had two cars that is 16,000 cars times $25.00 apiece. That is $400,000.00 per year. That is just two cars. He forgot about the fact that it is every plate; motorcycles, trucks, etc. Mr. Eberly said that is probably a conservative number. Dyer implemented this after Mr. Eberly retired and he believes he heard that they are raising around a half of a million dollars in Dyer, and St. John is now bigger than Dyer.

Mr. Slager asked if he can make a comment on the discussion that we have been having. Mr. Forbes said that it would be best if he waited for the public hearing. He still needs collection details on this.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that the Plan Commission study session is adjourned.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

01-25-2018 Joint Plan Commission,Town Council,Economic Development Committee

JANUARY 25, 2018 JOINT SPECIAL MEETING OF: PLAN COMMISSION, TOWN COUNCIL & EDC Meeting Minutes

ECOMONIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

NICK GEORGIOU KELLY STOMING WILLIAM KEITH
JOHN DEYOUNG RICHARD SETLAK GINA FEZLER

ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION

MICHAEL FORBES RICK EBERLY JON GILL
GREG VOLK JOHN KENNEDY  
STEVE KOZEL BOB BIRLSON  

ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN BETH HERNANDEZ STEVE KIL
MICHAEL FORBES MARK BARENIE  
STEVE HASTINGS GREG VOLK  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Georgiou called the January 25, 2018 Joint Plan Commission, Town Council, and Economic Development Committee study session to order at 6:01 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following Town Council members present: Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Greg Volk, Steve Hastings. The following Plan Commission members were present: John Kennedy, Bob Birlson. The following EDC members were present: Nick Georgiou, Richard Setlak, John DeYoung, Gina Fezler, and Kelly Stoming. Mr. William Keith was absent. Town Manager Steve Kil was present. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present.

PRESENTATION BY MARK GIANOPULOS FROM METROSTUDY on the 2017 St. John IN OPPORTUNITY ANALYSIS STUDY:

Mr. Georgiou stated that this meeting was called at the recommendation of the Economic Development Committee. This is the follow up document and the update of the Opportunity Analysis Study that was originally in 2014. Since the evolution of the town, the demographics, etc. it was recommended that it be updated. It was recommended to be adopted by the Town Council in October 2017. It’s an 88-page document and is a companion document to the Comprehensive Master Plan. There are a lot of comparable recommendations that are complementary to the master plan. In particular it focuses on the commercial needs and residential needs. It makes recommendations in both of those areas.

Mr. Georgiou said that he was going to turn it over to Mark Gianopulos from Metrostudy. He led the matter on both of those versions. They put together an agenda of some of the key points that they wanted to cover. All members should have gotten a shortened version of the 88-page document, which has the executive summary and recommendations which make it a little easier.

A. Overview and Executive Summary
Mr. Gianopulos said that we are going to start with the executive summary. He said that we will go through the overview and then follow the executive summary. He will be flipping back and forth to different parts of the study to point out different facets of it that support the executive summary.

Mr. Gianopulos said that he was explaining to Mr. Eberly that if you lived anywhere in the Chicagoland MSA the one place you would want to live is Lake County, IN, because everything here seems to be going in the right direction comparatively. That is really what the data points too. So, it’s just a matter of how we handle it.

As of the end of the second quarter of 2017, there were 1,000 units started. It has gone up quite a bit since then. In the fourth quarter it was 1,300 starts, annually, over the previous four quarters. So, over the course of 2017 we have 1,300 housing starts; both attached and detached within Lake County. It continues to grow. As of the 2nd quarter it is up 22%, and as of the 4th quarter it is up 26%.

Mr. Gianopulos projected a chart of a yearly housing start data; historically for Lake County. From the top to bottom it’s over 2,500 housing starts; back to 2004, 2005, and 2006 before it went like the rest of the country when they pulled back. So, that’s where we are now, 1,200-1,300 housing starts.

One thing that we want to look at is median price for new homes in Lake County. It is down year over year to $290,000.00. That is the price for a new single family detached home. Attached units were down also, but only about 1% to $173,000.00 So, pricing has been relatively flat, which is good.

Next, we’ll go into the volume and the supply of the Vacant and Developed Lots (VDL), lots that are currently on the ground waiting to be built on. Within Lake County the volume and supply has been declining since 2009. For equilibrium they look at keeping between 24 and 30 months. Right now, we are at 27 months’ supply of vacant developed lots. Those existing lots that are currently on the ground in Lake County. It’s down to 25 months in the 4th quarter. For the purposes of the study it’s at 27.4 months. That is a total of 6,378 lots. So, that gives an idea of total lots, historically speaking.

Mr. Gianopulos showed a chart that goes back to the 2000’s. The month’s supply is in red and the total lots are the gray bars. We can clearly see us dropping down since coming out of the recession. What they are worried about is the supply of lots. It’s imperative that we stay between 24 and 30 months if we want to continue to grow. If we start pulling back on lot supply that is when you start to see a lot of inflation, land supply goes up significantly; a lot of costs associated with development start to balloon. So, we really want to stay between 24 and 30 months. That is where we are right now. So, they recommend staying there as long as we can.

B. Review of 2017 Opportunity Analysis Study and Changes from 2014 Study.
Mr. Gianopulos said that one of the things that they also look for is the retail; the supply and demand opportunity gap, which is the fifth point in the study. He was talking to Mr. Kil before and there are three various aspects of the study they would like to compare it to. They wanted to compare it to what was going on in 2014. There are three various aspects that they found that were a little different than the 2014 study and interesting.
C. Commercial & Retail Needs and Opportunities within a 3 and 5-mile radius.
The retail opportunity gap for a 3-mile radius around the center town is $248 million. It’s $280 million within the 5-mile radius. The retail opportunity gap is the difference between what the data forecasts what the sales are and what the actual sales are based on tax receipts that are received from the IRS. When you go through and purchase, stores typically report their earning and incomes and that’s what they pay tax on. That is how they get the demand side. The supply side is forecasted, and the demand side is through the government.

Mr. Gianopulos handed additional material that explains methodology. It gives a more specific walkthrough of how they come up with the sales data. He said that we will go to page 55 and go through the 3-mile radius retail store opportunity gap between the demand and supply in 2017. In the bottom its $248,000,000.00. In the upper half it could be 10 million and greater opportunity gap for retail gap and opportunity sales. Those are what the government says, as far as the data, are the needed or potential sales within the 3-mile radius. We have the same thing for the 5-mile radius. It is $280,000,000.00. Those are the areas where they look and say this is where we need additional sales. If they don’t get additional sales they go outside of that 5-mile radius. It gives an idea of those retail sections where the data is underserved. If we don’t have it locally they will go outside of that 5-mile radius.

Mr. Gianopulos referenced the map that was in the handouts. The map is from Costar. It shows vacancy rates for new construction. The green dots give an idea of where the corridors are for Lake County; 41 is a major corridor and 30 is a major corridor; both of those two and certainly coming out of Merrillville. That is where a majority of the retail is already. There is a larger twelve lane road feeding into that retail section. So, the two things that they found is traffic has changed a bit compared to what they did 4 years ago. It is explained on page 77. What they found is that vehicle traffic slowed in some areas and increased in some areas. It is very different than what they had thought. On Sheffield road they put in the numbers that it was in 2014. That is AADT (annual average daily traffic). That is cars passed by on an average day in an average year. In the 2014 study it was 2,400 on Sheffield road. Now, 4 years later, it is over 10,000. That is significant. All the way through the west there is a significant difference from where we were. 93rd on the west side is currently at 6,300 and it was at 4,200. 101st street was at 1,800 and now it is at 12,000. That is a significant change within that 4-year period of time. These numbers are according to INDOT. Mr. Gianopulos said that these numbers change a lot of what they were thinking. Going down on 41, numbers declined just a tad. Originally it was 32,000 and now it is closer to 28,000. So, down 41 it seems to have pulled back a bit, and on the west side it has really picked up immensely. Also, it is a little less on Cline.

  1. Impact of Shops on 96 Project

    Back in 2014 they originally identified the need for retail, but they anticipate with the Shoppes at 96th place that retail will meet the needs of the local community. Certainly, for the next 5-6 years. After that we will need to look at the rooftop count and traffic counts. So, that is one of the findings they come up with in the executive summary. They believe that the new Shops of 96th will meet the retail needs going forward. Mr. Eberly asked how we would calculate that. He asked if it would be the number of rooftops per square foot of commercial. Mr. Gianopulos said that rooftops is part of it, but it is more tax revenue based. They lean heavily on the BLS and the data from the county and the government on tax revenue, sales, and forecasting.

    The issue too is the vacancy factor and rents. They have identified the specific areas that they think on pages 65-66. Mr. Gianopulos said that over 1 million square feet of retail space has entered the market within the last 8 years in the Lake County area. That is an average of 125,000 square feet of retail each year. Most of it was going along Highways 41, in the Merrillville market, and Highway 30. In 2010 the asking rate was $13 per square foot and it is currently $12.31. It has been a slow migration a little lower. It hasn’t grown at all, but we have absorbed the square footage which is good. They have included a five-year forecast going forward, which is from Costar, so this does present the data that it will continue to grow.

    We are also looking at the vacancy rate. It was 7.4 in 2010 and 7.3 currently or in 2017. Vacancy rate is declining just a bit, but in the industry but to fully compensate for tenants coming and tenants leaving, we use 3% for full occupancy. That is considered fully occupied. We are close, but there are other areas in the Chicago market that have double digit vacancies. It’s still a growing market, but a lot of what they depend on is vacancy rates. Mr. Kil pointed out that those numbers are for Lake County. They are not for St. John. The average prices are not the average price at rt. 41 or rt. 30. That is an average square foot price for Lake County everywhere. Mr. Gianopulos said that there are different types of retail levels also. Mr. Kil said that we have rt. 41 as our primary retail corridor, and then some at 231. So, it is a little confusing when you look at this and see the low square footage pricing, but it’s not just St. John it is all of Lake County. Mr. Gianopulos said that they don’t have that kind of data just for St. John. Mr. Kil said that he knows that. Mr. Kil said that we consider ourselves important, so he can’t believe that they don’t.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that this an average for all of retail, but there are different types of retail. Lifestyle centers are going to be up there at $17 per square foot, where a regional mall, general mall, strip mall type of things will generally be $11 per square foot. So, this is again an average within Lake County.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that one thing he can tell us about St. John is that traffic declined. That was one of the concerns that they had. It is far more difficult to get more retail in if your traffic is trending lower. That is just the way the commercial market goes. The Shops at 96th has their foot in the ground, and they are great. They should build anything they can within that area there. Mr. Kil clarified that Mr. Gianopulos is saying that we can handle a couple hundred thousand square foot of retail given that the Shops of 96th is around 200,000 square feet. Mr. Kil added that we are a moving target and that we are growing quite a bit. It is hard to say that is enough for now, because as we keep growing we should add more. The demand will be there. Mr. Gianopulos said that he would give it 4 or 5 years. Then, we could see where the traffic counts are and see where the rooftop counts are.

D. Residential Needs and Opportunities
  1. Demographics impact and highest needs

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he has demographic information. He said that one of the reasons people use Metrostudy is to get a handle on demographics. For any high growth area, census is not going to do a very good job at grabbing all of the households. Mr. Gianopulos referenced page 13 in the Metrostudy. He explained that this shows that from 2010-2017 we have declined, and household count has gone down by 5,000 households. Their data has physically verified 4,900 new homes that have been built in the Lake County area since 2010. So, they have verified 4,900 new homes and census is telling us that it has declined. That means that either someone is doing mass demolition on homes, or we have thousands of vacant homes. Neither of which is true. A lot of their clients are big box stores, because they want to get rough counts to compensate for those high-volume areas, and census can’t account for those areas because the growth is beyond normality. Here within the Lake County area there is a compensating factor that totally eludes the census, because they don’t understand the concept of people coming over from the Illinois border. That is not worked into their agenda. They have no idea how to account for those numbers. Metrostudy did a migration trail, but that was part of 2014. Those aren’t current at all. You can’t get current migration numbers. Usually they are about 2 ½-3 years old. Mr. Gianopulos said that census is not keeping up and that is one of the things that he wanted to point out. So, we have 4,996 new houses that we added in Lake County since 2010. We know that the data is certainly off when it comes to census and demographic.

    Mr. Gianopulos moved onto page 7. This is the residential development. The largest single cohort were units priced from $200,000-$250,000 and comprised about 33% of all the home starts in Lake County within an 18-month supply. That is great. We have 33% of all our developments within that certain price band, but they only have an 18-month supply. That is very low. A lot of what we build in Lake County is in that price range. St. John is much higher than that. Less than 5% of all the development that is currently going on in Lake County in the last five years is age targeted; catering to the seniors.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he wanted to point out the age groups on page 12-13. The reason the box is there on page 13 is that it points out the age groups that are growing. This is telling us that any age groups below 65 years of age is declining in Lake County, Indiana. Everything above 65 is growing. The median age went from 53-54, which is significant in a 7-year period. That is telling us that the population is aging. We have people that live here now. If we don’t provide housing for them they will go somewhere else. Mr. Gianopulos and Mr. Kil talked about is the process of how much attached housing and detached housing you should have within a municipality. It really depends on where the municipality is in the life cycle and the gentrification cycle. Mr. Gianopulos said that when a municipality first starts off you will typically only see single family detached housing. As it grows and matures you will start seeing it go out 10 miles and 15 miles. No one has that room in Illinois, so you start getting higher density that starts to come in after a certain amount of time. So, it’s deciding what percentage works for what. In Lake County, St. John is the premier municipality.

E. Residential Comparative Municipalities
  1. 5 communities chosen for comparison

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he will share a comparison he did of five different municipalities. Mr. Georgiou said that he is going to interject for everyone that is not on the EDC. At the request of Mr. Barenie and the Town Council input, in the 2014 study there was no housing or demographic comparison for comparable towns. That was a specific request to include that in the 2017 study. Mr. Georgiou said that we have that in the handouts on page 17-18. We asked Metrostudy to specifically provide us with what they call a Comp-town or better household income, average median housing price, and analysis of attached, detached, etc.

    Mr. Gianopulos thanked Mr. Georgiou. He showed the charts with the top comparable municipalities. They wanted to make sure that they had a couple from Indiana even though we are in the Chicagoland MSA, so they included 3 from the Chicago MSA and two from Indiana to keep relevance. The two from Indiana were Fishers and Carmel. Mr. Gianopulos pointed out on the chart that the median age, cost of living index, and median population. He said that the difference in dates between the data is simply the databases that were available when they were looking. So, depending on the type of information we are looking for there are different age groups that come along with that. The more detailed the data the more latent it is. The median income is displayed for Barrington, Fishers, Carmel, Frankfort and Geneva. Barrington is a northwest suburb. It basically started as a horse-town and stables. It turned into Barrington, South Barrington, Barrington Hills and Barrington Lakes all around it. It is landlocked. Carmel is also landlocked, but Fishers has room to grow. Frankfort has room. Geneva is along the fox river valley. It is on the west side of Fox River. It is a western suburb. St. John has the lowest median income comparative, but the other areas have been well established for some time.

  2. Percentage of detached to attached comparison.

    Mr. Gianopulos referred to the rental data. He said that the rentals are compared to the median home price. In St. John, rental communities are at 2%. Mr. Gianopulos said that he isn’t sure if we have any attached rentals. He said that normally rentals are thought about as apartment buildings, but it’s just as much renting a single-family house. Mr. Kil told him that we don’t have anything over 4 units in the town. It is not an assisted living facility. Mr. Gianopulos said that you can get an idea of the percentage of rental compared to the rest of the housing stock. He referred to the data that shows municipal acreage, total housing units, detached vs attached housing, and multi-family units; which is at zero. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Gianopulos to expound on the zero multi-family units. Mr. Kil said that everybody in this community considers a structure a multi-family unit if it is not one house. Everybody that comes to the meetings views that as a multi-family unit. If it is a duplex they consider it a multi-family unit. Mr. Kil said that this threw him for a loop and he called Mr. Gianopulos about it. Mr. Gianopulos said that they use the census bureau’s definition of a multi-family unit. If you look at permits, whenever you are watching WGN or whatever you are watching, when they talk about multi-family housing permits it is referring to 5 units or more in a single structure. So, it could be Willis Tower, or it could be a 5 or 6-unit housing project, owner occupied. What they use as an indicator for it is 5 or more units in any single structure. Duplexes would not be a multi-family. A townhome could be depending on its built. Mr. Kil stated that we have nothing over 4 units, so we have zero multi-family units. Mr. Gianopulos said that is correct. They use the census bureau’s numbers for that data, and that is how they come to that.

    Mr. Gianopulos referred to the numbers on the right-hand side that show the amount of housing starts that they have identified for each of those municipalities between 2015 through the 2nd quarter of 2017. In Barrington, up until 5 years ago, it was a mandatory five acre lots. They don’t have a lot attached housing either, but it is also really built out. Fishers is still growing. Carmel has a lot of lots remaining, but they are still landlocked. Frankfort and Geneva are a little bit more flexible. Mr. Gianopulos asked if anyone had any questions on any of that data.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that what they are suggesting within the St. John market is age targeting. That is something we haven’t done much of, and the demographics show that is the way that its moving. Mr. Gianopulos said that he would guess that single family homes are a negative on our budget. They typically are, because they don’t generate that much in tax revenue. Mr. Kil said that they certainly require the most services. Mr. Gianopulos said that the tax revenue for a single family detached typically doesn’t cover the expense side. That is normal in most municipalities. If you start getting into a little bit higher density with age targeted, you don’t have that strain on the school system. You avoid a lot of the potential expense side, but you get the revenue side.

    One of the things that Metrostudy looked is age targeted, maintenance free. There are three different segments of it. Zero lot, which is a detached age targeted environment. They are called patio homes. They have a much smaller footprint and is a fully maintenance free type environment. So, for households who want a detached home as opposed to a duplex or a townhome. So, those are the three types of residential. The first move-up, the targets that are low in lots right now. Those are $250-$350,000. Those existing homeowners who want to move up either from outside the area or from within. Mr. Kil said that our influx from Illinois is keeping our home prices at a premium. Mr. Gianopulos said that he talks to a lot of builders and 50% of people that come into their homes are either working in Illinois or coming from. So, we are in a premium area. We are able to take advantage, because we have one of the highest revenues of values on homes and they like that. Mr. Kil pointed out that was mentioned in the study. It mentioned that it was because of what is going on in Illinois. Mr. Gianopulos said that our tax base is within 3-4%. He said that is insane when you think about 4%. He sees paying $20,000 in taxes on a $500,000 home. They don’t get anything more than we do in Indiana, so he doesn’t know where it goes.

    Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Gianopulos if they have done any studies based on the tax reform. A state like Illinois is going to be limited on tax deductions. That is going to make a huge difference, because it is going to add on to real estate properties over there, so if they can’t deduct all that real estate tax and income tax they are going to say “oh, another reason to get out of here”. Mr. Gianopulos said that he talked to a guy that said Trump just made up his mind for him. He is signing a contract tonight with one of St. John’s home builders for that exact reason. Mr. Barenie said that his point is that it is going to go nothing but up. Mr. Gianopulos said that is for sure. Our biggest stressor is going to be infrastructure. The more detached homes we have, the more that is going to work against us. We already have the lots, so we can’t do anything about that. In addition to what we have; age targeted density would alleviate at least any revenue issues we have for sure.

    Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Gianopulos if by age targeted he is talking about a development with covenants that you must be 55 and older to live there, or product that is just likely to bring empty nesters. Mr. Gianopulos said that his understanding is that Indiana doesn’t allow for discrimination based on age. So, we couldn’t say you can’t come in here unless you are 55 or older. That is his understanding of the law. If we can Mr. Gianopulos would recommend limiting it. If we can’t, he would say master down, maintenance free, etc. Mr. Georgiou said that to clarify, at many meetings there has been several commentaries on what percentage should be attached and detached. For a statistical basis Mr. Georgiou found that based on the 2015 numbers, St. John has a 16% attached vs detached through 2017 when the numbers were a little over 17.5%, as Mr. Gianopulos commented earlier about the maturing of the community. It is stated somewhere in the study that states it as 18% attached vs. detached.

  3. Recommendation for St. John detached to attached percentage.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that goes back to the life cycle that he was talking about before and the premium area that we are in. There isn’t a specific ratio that we should be at. It changes the older the municipality gets, especially if we are landlocked. If we are limited on land we don’t necessarily want our constituents to live 10 miles away. If you are not limited on land you still want to create that community. Mr. Georgiou said that another piece, which is why he thinks the Town Council asked for a comparison, is if you look at percentages the highest of those attached to detached is about 28%. That is where we talk about a maturing community and that percentage tends to go up a little. Mr. Gianopulos said that is one of the reasons they put that in there, so we can get an idea of what other municipalities are doing. Fishers and Carmel are both premium types within their area, and he would put St. John in an even higher place than that, because we are so much higher than all contiguous municipalities. No one else in Lake County has what St. John has value wise. Carmel and Fishers, they do. They are in the same area. So, that is a premium.

  4. Impact of continued growth on this percentage.

    To answer the question of what it should be you have to look at the maturation, what is contiguous, and what are our values. Mr. Kil said that he had asked Mr. Gianopulos where he came up with the numbers 82/18. Mr. Gianopulos explained that to come up with those numbers. Mr. Kil clarified that Mr. Gianopulos is saying that we should have 82% single family detached. Mr. Gianopulos said at this stage for sure. In about ten years it should probably be at a higher percentage of attached. The older we get, another ten years down the road. In order to keep the growth, we will have to out or we will have to go up. That is the gentrification cycle; older homes will get torn down to build new ones. Mr. Kil said that we do have the luxury of having vacant property around us. That affords us the availability to annex, which we do often. Mr. Gianopulos said there are the school districts too. We always fight that battle of the school districts. Mr. Kil said that he has heard that before.

    Mr. Gianopulos asked if there were any other questions. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Georgiou if Mr. Gianopulos covered all the topics he had for him.

    Mr. Georgiou referenced the 3 and 5-mile radius retail section that is in the full version of the study. He said that what he thinks is interesting is how Mr. Gianopulos said that the Shops on 96th will be filling up the need. In the full report, on page 60, it lists the Top 10 in retail; number one is general merchandise stores, followed by gasoline stations with convenience stores, health and personal care, misc. store retailers, electronics & appliance, motor vehicle dealers, clothing stores, restaurants. Those are the top 10 in the 5-mile radius, and it doesn’t change much for the 3-mile radius. He said that some things decrease, but there isn’t much change. Mr. Gianopulos said that there is just a greater amount, about $10,000,000.

F. Suggested Growth and Land Use

Mr. Kil clarified that these areas are what Mr. Gianopulos is suggesting that we focus on. Mr. Gianopulos said that a lifestyle center is what we need, because we are a premium area in a premium location. The double-edge sword that we are dealing with now is that we are not trending higher in traffic, as he thought we would be with the increase in housing. Infrastructure might be a part of that. An absolute need is a premium lifestyle center for this area. Mr. Kil said that we did our Traffic Analysis. We hired an engineering firm to study this entire area. We do have that data, and it does trend differently. Just as Mr. Gianopulos stated that he cannot rely on census data, it is hard for us to rely on all this other data unless we do it ourselves. The census data does not reflect what is happening in this area. Mr. Kil told Mr. Gianopulos that the one thing his traffic study did show is that the traffic is booming to the west. Mr. Kil said that everybody is going that way to go to Illinois, and then they are coming home. So, that doesn’t surprise him. Mr. Gianopulos said that it doesn’t make any sense that the heart of Rt. 41 and 93rd is declining. Mr. Kil said that our data is showing differently. Mr. Gianopulos said that was the one thing that didn’t make sense.

Mr. Gianopulos noted that we all hear about the need for more restaurants in town. In the 3-mile radius “food & beverage” move into the top 5 of the worst shortages.

Mr. Gianopulos said that an advantage that we have is the traffic coming from the north on Rt. 41 that won’t go out east into the Merrillville area. So, we can grab that traffic before they go out east, because it is a longer drive for them.

Mr. Gianopulos asked if there was anything else.

Questions and Answers session by Town Council, Plan Commission, and EDC

Mr. Georgiou said that he thinks we covered most of it. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Barenie if he sees anything we missed.

Mr. Gianopulos read a definition from Costar, “The definition of a Life Style center is an upscale specialty retail main street concept shopping center. An open center, typically without anchors”. Mr. Gianopulos added that it is anything right around 300,000 square feet. So, we do have room to grow.

Mr. Georgiou said that the data is growing. St. John is growing and changing significantly. This is a three-year update, and obviously the census is coming up in 2020. Mr. Georgiou asked Mr. Gianopulos if that would be a good target opportunity to look at this again. Mr. Gianopulos told him that 2021, when the census data becomes available, will be a good time to look at this again. That would be another four years.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Georgiou stated that since this is a study session there is no Public Comment. Mr. Georgiou said that he will now entertain a motion to adjourn from the EDC members. “So Moved,” from Mr. Barenie. Ms. Stoming seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---5. Nays---0.

(The meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

02-07-2018 Plan Commission

February 7, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT BOB BIRLSON RICK EBERLY, BUILDING & PLANNING DIRECTOR
JOHN KENNEDY STEVE FLORES KENN KRAUS, ENGINEER
GREG VOLK STEVE KOZEL MICHAEL MUENICH, ATTORNEY
PAUL PANCZUK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Volk called the February 7, 2018 Plan Commission Study Session to order at 7:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Alyssa Gallegos took roll call with the following Plan Commission members present: John Kennedy, Paul Panczuk, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Steve Flores, and Bob Birlson. Michael Forbes was absent. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present. Town Engineer Kenn Kraus was present.

Marilyn Hrnjak swore-in the following members to the Plan Commission: Steve Flores and Paul Panczuk.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: January 17th, 2018 Study Session

Mr. Volk stated that he would now make a motion to approve meeting minutes from the regular meeting and the Plan Commission Study Session. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve the Study Session minutes from January 17th, 2018. Mr. Birlson seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

PRESIDENT
Mr. Volk asked the Plan Commission members if they would like to defer the vote for President and Vice President appointment, since Mr. Forbes is not present. Mr. Kennedy made a motion for Mr. Forbes to remain President of the Plan Commission. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.
VICE PRESIDENT
Mr. Birlson made a motion to nominate Mr. Kennedy as Vice President. Mr. Panczuk seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Mr. Kennedy nominated Mr. Volk. Mr. Birlson seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.
APPOINTMENT OF RECORDING SECRETARY
Mr. Kennedy nominated Ms. Alyssa Gallegos as Recording Secretary. Mr. Birlson seconded the nomination.
APPOINTMENT OF A PLAN COMMISSION MEMBER TO BZA
Mr. Eberly explained that the appointee to the BZA must be a citizen member of the Plan Commission. He noted that Mr. Kennedy is already appointed to the BZA. He is the Town Council appointment to the BZA. Mr. Paul Panczuk was selected as the Plan Commission/BZA appointee.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2017-0024 DOLLAR TREE-Public hearing for the primary plat of a one lot subdivision at 101st and Earl Dr. Petitioner will be seeking secondary plat approval at this same meeting with the understanding that the secondary plat cannot be signed until at least 10 days after the date of this meeting is approved.
Mr. Eberly introduced Mr. Ryan Marovich the DVG representative. Mr. Eberly stated that all items have been satisfied for this Public Hearing. Mr. Marovich began his presentation for approval of primary plat for the Dollar Tree; the DT St. John Subdivision Brooks Park subdivision. It will combine lots two and three into a one acre lot. Mr. Marovich stated that they are also asking for a sidewalk waiver. He said that the Dollar Tree representative Corey could not make it tonight. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Kraus has reviewed the primary plat and it meets his approval. This is the replatting of two commercial lots into one commercial lot for the purpose of the development of Dollar Tree. The petitioner is also seeking secondary plat. Mr. Kraus has also approved secondary plat. They are on the agenda under old business for site plan action. We will pick up site plan at that time. Mr. Eberly said that we cannot sign the secondary plat (if approved) until 10 days after tonight’s meeting. Mr. Volk asked about Mr. Eberly’s letter. Mr. Eberly said that it was regarding the site plan.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions and opened the floor for Public Hearing for Dollar Tree.

Joe Hero 11723 S Oakridge Drive

Mr. Hero questioned the primary and secondary approval on the agenda. He stated that we need a presentation to the audience showing all of the improvements are in for the primary plat before we even consider a secondary plat. Giving both approvals at the same time is not very smart until you know the facts. He asked that we please adjust procedures.

Mr. Volk asked for any further Public comment. Hearing none Mr. Volk closed the public hearing.

Mr. Panczuk asked to address Mr. Hero’s comment, and address Mr. Eberly on the decision they are making tonight. He asked for clarification that the decision they are making tonight is simply the combining of two lots into one. He also asked if both of these lots are already improved. Mr. Eberly said that is correct. Mr. Marovich has also designed some additional detention on this site. Also, the waiver of sidewalks. He noted that there are no sidewalks in the Ravenswood Business Center development. Mr. Volk asked for any other comments.

Mr. Volk stated that he would now entertain a motion for a primary plat with the waiver to put in sidewalks. Mr. Kennedy stated that he would make a motion to approve primary plat with the approval to waive sidewalks. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Volk moved onto secondary plat approval. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve secondary plat approval. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Ms. Hrnjak asked the appointees for their signed copies of the oaths.

B. 2017-0030 FAMILY EXPRESS-Public hearing for the primary plat of a one lot subdivision at the southwest corner of US 231 and Parrish Avenue.
Mr. Volk Eberly stated to Mr. Volk that this item has met all the needs to appear before the Plan Commission tonight for a Public Hearing. He stated that we have a letter of approval from Mr. Kenn Kraus relative to this primary plat review.

Mr. Weiser introduced himself. He said that he is an attorney in Schererville and that his offices are at 429 W. Lincoln highway. He is here to represent Family Express.

Mr. Weiser said that they are only speaking tonight in regard to creating a one lot subdivision by combining two lots; lots 19 and 20 of Pond’s addition. That are only seeking primary plat approval this evening. They will be ready in the March meeting for secondary approval and site plan. They were ready for the BZA in January, but due to our situation that was pushed back. They are asking for waiver for just sidewalk; no longer the curbing. Family express will also include a convenience store, fuel station, carwash, and a pet wash. Mr. Weiser said that he and Mr. Kraus believe that they meet all of the requirements and standards of the subdivision control ordinance. He noted that Scott Jones from Family Express here this evening to also answer any questions. Mr. Weiser said that he did want to comment on their request for a sidewalk waiver. When they were planning the development and design they partnered with First group who is doing the traffic analysis specifically on 231 for the Town’s traffic study. That plan did not include sidewalks whatsoever. In consistency with that plan and consistency of the area. They believe the sidewalks are not necessary there. A waiver of sidewalks was an appropriate request to make. There will be curbs on 109th in accel and decal lane, and Parrish as well.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions from board members.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Jim Weiser about the northwest corner that looks like its tapering down. It looks like 35 feet down to 109th, plus an additional 11 feet. He asked if that is a significant amount for future improvements. Mr. Eberly said that the plans reflect the First Group engineering construction plans for the intersection improvement. Mr. Birlson confirmed that is how they proposed it to be. Mr. Eberly said that we won’t be doing this until 2019. Mr. Kraus confirmed that is correct.

Mr. Kennedy said that he appreciates Mr. Weiser addressing the sidewalks to nowhere. He wanted to confirm that Mr. Weiser is asking for a waiver of sidewalks on 109th and Parrish. Mr. Weiser said yes. Mr. Kennedy asked his reasoning for why they are asking for a waiver on 231. Mr. Kennedy said that if we keep on allowing waivers on future developments they are never going to be put in. Mr. Birlson said that he agrees with Mr. Kennedy. There should be sidewalks.

Mr. Volk said that he agrees with the comments and that he would like to see the sidewalks on both sides. Mr. Birlson said that there may be sidewalks there in the future, we just don’t know. Mr. Paul Panczuk said that both 109th and Parrish need sidewalks. There is a whole lot happening on the south of Parrish in the future. Mr. Paul Panzack said that he can’t grant a waiver at this time. Mr. Birlson said that he sees kids walking on Joliet Street quite a bit. No one ever thought that we would need them there by industrial park, but now we need them. Mr. Panczuk said that someone made a comment about not having sidewalks along highways, but INDOT usually puts sidewalks in when they do improvements. He doesn’t love the idea of people walking on a sidewalk right next to a state highway, but he really doesn’t love the idea of people walking along a state highway.

Mr. Weiser said that he will wait until after public comment to make a comment on the sidewalks.

Mr. Volk opened the floor to the Public Hearing.

Bruce Gibbons 10910 Parrish Avenue

Mr. Gibbons stated that his property is the property adjacent to the Family Express property. Mr. Gibbons confirmed with the board that this meeting isn’t to approve any of the site plans, because he objects to the fact that there is no privacy fencing between any of the properties. There are residential properties all around.

Mr. Eberly told Mr. Gibbons that will be the subject of the Board of Zoning appeals meeting on February 26th meeting. They will be seeking a variance from that requirement at that meeting. That was set to happen at the January 22nd meeting, but we could not hold the meeting as we didn’t have quorum. That is why the site plan is being pushed back to the March meeting. We have to wait and see what the BZA does, because that could change their site plan quite a bit.

Mr. Gibson said that he has no further questions. That was his only concern. Mr. Volk thanked Mr. Gibson.

Joe Hero 11723 S Oakridge Drive

Mr. Hero came up to speak regarding the Family Express. He said that we are on the right track with the sidewalk thing. In the past people have granted waivers, but we are growing, so we need sidewalks. Also we are going to need to widen the roads. Parrish is going to end up being too narrow. The petitioners need to add another lane on the side of the road and all of the other developers need to do the same. We are also going to need to widen 231. If we put in the utilities too close to the road it will be more expensive later to relocate the utilities. Every time a piece of property goes down on Parrish we need to require an easement that they need to add a lane. If the expansion of the roadway is not included in this on both sides we should require that they do that.

Mr. Eberly clarified that a lane is being added on the west side of Parrish.

Mr. Volk asked for further Public Comment.

Darryl Schweitzer 9705 W 109th Ave

Mr. Schweitzer asked as a clarification the improvements to 231 which include an eastbound right hand turn lane on the east side of 231 will not be expected. Mr. Eberly said that is happening if and when the Family Express is developed. Mr. Eberly explained the improvements happening in 2019. That will be a stop light signalization project done by the town. Mr. Eberly said that it will be an eastbound dedicated left hand turn lane at Parrish, a through lane, and a right turn land going south on Parrish. Westbound on 109th will be the same thing. We will have a left hand turn lane, a through lane, and a right hand turn lane turning northbound on Parrish. Mr. Kraus said that it is still being designed right now with First Group. Mr. Schweitzer said that he is one lot over and he is worried about the water flow. It flows from north to south. The lot east of NIPSCO floods onto NIPSCO which carries over onto his property and onto the lot to the south. He wants a guarantee that with the 2 ½ acres of asphalt there won’t be additional flooding. He understands there is a retention pond that will drain underneath the road into the ditch on the north side. Mr. Kraus said that the entire two lots won’t be covered more like 1/3 will be covered with impervious surfaces or the detention basin. Any rainfall from the lot or that collects on the lot will be captured and will be released into the detention basin, and then released into the culvert under 231 and go to the northwest and get into West Creek eventually.

Mr. Eberly explained on the projection. They direct all of their pond water and then take it by pipe to northeast corner where it releases under 231. Mr. Kraus said that there is an existing 15 inch culvert there right now that they are going to utilize. Mr. Schweitzer asked how the water is going to get into the retention pond. Mr. Kraus said that there is a collection system of inlets and pipes that will collect the water and take it to the detention basin. Mr. Kraus noted that they are not here for site plan approval. He is still getting revisions as he is making comments to the engineer. The plan is to capture all of the water on the site, put it into the detention basin, release it through a 2 year grate through a 15 inch culvert, and eventually it goes through a 5 inch diameter hole to get to the 15 inch culvert pipe. So, everything that falls has to go through that 5 inch hole to get out of there. Mr. Schweitzer said that is going to overflow the retention pond. Mr. Kraus told him that the retention pond is rated for a 100 year storm.

Mr. Volk told Mr. Schweitzer that any further questions on this will be addressed when they discuss the site plan.

Mr. Volk closed the public hearing and asked for any comments from the board members.

Mr. Weiser came back up to address the sidewalks. He said that on behalf of his client they will concede that they will put in a sidewalk on Parrish, but he strongly disagrees with a sidewalk on 109th. As Mr. Schweitzer said they are right next to the NIPSCO substation. There will never be a sidewalk there. He can see the future expansion on Parrish, so he understands the need for a sidewalk there. He said that a sidewalk on 109th will have no utilitarian purpose at all. It won’t be utilized by anyone utilizing there facility, or anyone in Town because it will go 60 feet and end. It will always end. It will never be extended. They will install the sidewalk on Parrish and make it a part of their plan when they come back for site plan consideration in March. They believe that a request for a sidewalk waiver on 109th is very valid.

Mr. Volk asked for any comments based on Mr. Weiser’s comments. Hearing none he stated that he would now entertain a motion. Mr. Muenich said that we need to either address the waiver first. We either grant the waiver or we do not.

Mr. Panczuk said that we are very near what is a supposed to a highly developed area in our comprehensive plan and that has been his guiding light. He said that there is room in front of the NIPSCO substation to put a bike path there. Mr. Panczuk said that there needs to be a sidewalk there.

Mr. Volk said that we need to decide if we are going to deny their request for partial sidewalk. Mr. Muenich said that we just need to approve or deny the waiver for 109th. Mr. Kozel said that being the first one is not always easy.

Mr. Kennedy said that Mr. Weiser made a valid argument. They have a bridge and a viaduct 100 yards away, and there are no sidewalks there currently. Mr. Eberly showed the property from an aerial photo on Google Earth.

Mr. Kennedy asked if it would affect the site adversely if they put a sidewalk in. Mr. Scott Jones said that it would affect the drainage on the site based on the First Group design. He is not sure how adversely it would affect the site they will have to wait and see to what degree that is. Mr. Kennedy said that we understand his opinion on pedestrian access and he understands that Mr. Weiser makes a valid point about access along that area. As we continue to grow it is important that we set a standard high enough, so that there are no more future waivers based on common sense. This is a major thoroughfare that goes east and west. It needs to be safe for future pedestrians and for future developments.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to deny the sidewalk waiver for both 109th and Parrish Avenue. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Volk addressed the primary plat. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve primary plat for Family Express. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

C. 2018-0002 CWS HOLDINGS LLC-Public hearing for primary plat action for Greystone Unit 2 Petitioner: Jack Slager
Mr. Volk introduced Mr. Jack Slager from Schilling Development representing CWS Holdings. Mr. Eberly stated that this petitioner is prepared for Public Hearing. Mr. Slager said that they are here tonight requesting primary plat approval for Unit 2, which is the entire west side of Calumet Avenue. It is across the street from Greystone Unit 1. This is 46 acres on the west site of Calumet Avenue. It has been zoned R3 PUD. The majority of the zoning was approved back in 2014. They recently added a five acre piece that was also rezoned to the R3 PUD. The homes that are built here will be cottage homes and paired villas. They will be built by the same builders they worked with in Unit 1, McFarland Homes and Schilling Construction. The site also contains one commercial lot that is slated for one office type building. They put heavy landscaping and architecture construction requirements on their builders. No maintenance; residents will pay monthly dues for lawn care and snow removal. There is a strong covenants on the subdivision about what they can do; no fences etc. There is a fully funded HOA that takes care of the properties. The town homes have been removed and there will now be only two products, the town homes and the paired villas. The lots in unit 2 are slightly larger than unit 1 giving additional side yard and rear yard allowances. They have a park figured in on large out lot D. That is a five acre parcel that is going to be a park. There is a small commercial out lot at the entrance. They are planning a traffic signal at the intersection Greystone drive and Calumet Avenue. They will pay for and install a traffic signal and will be installed before any occupancy of any units in unit 2. They are looking at some time before this coming Fall for that.

Although, they are requesting primary plat approval for the entire 46 acres, they will come back requesting approvals for final plat approvals of small sections of about 30 lots a year. So, this will be about a 3-4 year build out on this project. He said that one of the reasons they originally requested the PUD designation with the R3 is the fact that out of our zoning code under the R3 zoning ordinance it says number of buildings per lot, except in the case of a planned unit development, no more than one principal detached residential building shall be located on a residential lot. So, some of the larger lots have two cottage homes side by side. They will share a driveway, which minimizes the driveways entering onto the street. There will be two buildings on one lot, and two buildings on the other lot. They will face each other, and share a common driveway, similar to what they did in Unit 1.

Mr. Slager said that he wanted to share a few statements from the Opportunity Analysis study that St. John just recently had completed by Metrostudy, “St. John has an excellent opportunity as an upscale municipality to provide senior housing for the aging higher income earning population allowing them to stay connected to friends and family in a low maintenance living environment”. Mr. Slager did a survey of the builders and it showed that roughly 40% of residents that are buying units in Greystone are St. John residents who want to stay in the community but want a maintenance free environment.

Mr. Volk asked the board for any questions.

Mr. Kennedy said that his concern is that there is a north south roadway that connects east west corridors there is a development already approved with no sidewalks on a major development. There is no access at this time on the primary plat, and it’s the same scenario of a sidewalk to nowhere. With future development, there needs to be connectivity within the Town.

Mr. Panczuk said that there are two schools located to the South. They might want to ride a bike or walk there. There needs to be a sidewalk on Calumet Avenue. There already is some commercial on 101st to the North. Residents on the east side would want to cross over to Greystone drive and take the sidewalk up and go to a future commercial development. Mr. Panczuk said that it would bring a value added to the residents.

Mr. Muenich said that Emerald Crossing to the west that has a 60 foot right away that t’s in just to the west of lots 202 and 203. There doesn’t appear to be any connection way out of Greystone. He doesn’t know that the roadway out of the subdivision to the north, through Providence Bank subdivision is a designated right of way, and he doesn’t know if it connects to the bank’s subdivision. That leaves the only other access point out of the subdivision to the south, with a single entrance at Greystone. If that right of way exists; that’s the way that it is drawn at Emerald Crossing it would be appropriate for the Plan Commission to require a connecting road to that entrance into Emerald Crossing to provide traffic circulation through all of those subdivisions to the west.

Mr. Kraus said that he has had Manhart take a look at that, and he hasn’t gotten back to him yet. He said that on the county website that it is a lot. Someone said that it is actually an out lot. Mr. Slager said that the latest conversation he had with the developers of Emerald Crossing was that they did not intend to bring a road out on the east side of the property line, which is why they did not include any connectivity. Originally, they were going to connect the two, but their latest version does not show a roadway connecting to the east. Mr. Muenich said that it is the perfect size for a roadway. It matches up the 60 foot right of way to the west. Mr. Muenich said that if it is an out lot it doesn’t look to be marketable compared to the other sizes of the lots, so he is not sure what the purpose of the out lot is. Mr. Muenich said that he does not usually involve himself, but he is concerned with the traffic circulation.

Mr. Eberly clarified with Mr. Slager that he is saying it is an actual buildable lot, and that Mr. Rettig is saying that it is an out lot. Mr. Slager said that section has not been platted yet. Mr. Muenich said that nothing is platted, but the County can come in a require them to connect that road. Mr. Birlson said that it sounds like St. John needs to take the lead on providing access to Emerald crossing. Lots 201,202,203 they are 60 feet. Mr. Slager said that if Emerald Crossing would agree to a road stub they would agree to tie into it. Mr. Eberly said that this is the time to make that known. They should identify 201 or 202, whichever one it is, as a sub-street to Emerald Crossing. Mr. Volk asked which lot 202 or 203 lines up to that sub-street. Mr. Birlson said that it looks like neither of them. It looks like they might need to take both. Mr. Slager said that one of them would have to tweak their lot lines. Mr. Birlson said maybe make the street second from the north the road that goes through. Mr. Eberly said that if we make that connection it should help both developments. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Slager if he is willing to commit to that. Mr. Slager said that he not opposed to that. They have time, they will be coming back with smaller final plats starting at the entrance and moving north to west. By the time they get to the west it will be a year or two down the road, and they might be at that point before Mr. Slager’s group is.

Mr. Muenich said that a motion to approve a final plat with a connection point to be determined into Emerald Crossing consistent with good engineering practice is appropriate. He said that just seems to be the best connection point, since it will create a four way stop. Mr. Volk said that he agrees he just doesn’t know what kind of par we have with Emerald Crossing. Mr. Panczuk said that he saw that somewhere online today. Mr. Muenich said that as Mr. Slager said it has not been platted yet. He thinks it needs to be brought to the attention of Emerald Crossing and the Lake County Plan Commission. As it is now it belongs to the Lake County division. We need to request Lake County to make that revision for an opening if we are creating that stub-street out.

Mr. Volk asked for any other questions or comments.

Mr. Panczuk asked about the park that is currently a pipeline and if that would be improvements there. Mr. Slager said that they would like to have some improvement there, a shelter or something. Maybe not a playground, because this type of development doesn’t really call for that. He said if the farm to the south gets developed that parcel could be developed into a larger park. That was their intention of putting it on the property line. Mr. Panczuk asked if he currently owns the land to the south. Mr. Slager does not. He said that they have an east to west pipeline bike trail planned with a corridor at that point.

Mr. Volk asked about the sidewalks. Mr. Kozel said let’s hear let the people speak. Mr. Volk opened the Public Hearing for CWS Holdings.

Gerry Swets 9490 Joliet Street

Before four of these members were on this commission, this was approved as an R3 PUD. That was a point in time when our Ordinances didn’t allow for R3 PUD’s. We have since had some rulings saying you can go ahead and do PUD’s wherever you want. Chapter nine of the zoning ordinance has pretty specific requirements for PUD’s. Surveys of the property, property drawings, contours, etc. all of this is supposed to be submitted before the approval. Another section (B3) states that the approval should be effective for 12 months. They can apply for extensions, but they have to come back to the Plan Commission. Mr. Swets doesn’t believe that the plan commission hasn’t looked at that or knew that was part of it. He doesn’t think all of the improvements were done, so he is going to speak against this approval tonight.

Bryan Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive

Mr. Blazak has come before the Plan Commission as well as the Town Council. An R3 PUD was approved and it didn’t even exist. Mr. Muenich brought this up a few months back. They wrote a letter to an attorney in Indianapolis, and they wrote back and said we could do whatever we want. Mr. Blazak said that if you look at these drawings and you look at Greystone overall, the 60 foot lots and the high density. People want to have big lots and lots of room. Developers will say all day that people want small homes and small lots. They should be living somewhere else and not St. John. This is high density. These places are on top of each other. Fires with strong winds will burn rows of those cottage homes to the ground. Mr. Blazak requested that this be the last venture we see with high density.

Joe Hero 11723 S Oakridge Drive

Mr. Hero said that what we are hearing is that things are half baked. Many people are coming in with primary approval. Once they get primary approval, secondary approval has to comply with the primary approval. We don’t have a print that shows what we want to have for primary approval. Roads are an issue. We don’t have those details to go off of when they come back for secondary plat. Additionally, the R3 PUD is based on the opinion from some lawyer. He was here the day Mr. Muenich raised the issue of weather the R3 PUD applies. He suggests that we get the opinion of a judge. Mr. Hero said that the plan commission has to look forward in their planning. This zoning isn’t going to apply to everything. We have control over ordinances and the Town Council does. We don’t have Judaification that says the R3 is rezoning. What if people buy all of these houses and a judge judicates that the zoning that is incorrect. What would that do to the property values? Calumet Avenue, somebody needs to pay for the lanes. It should be the developer. The impact fee will never catch up with needs to be done on the main thoroughfares going through their subdivisions or adjacent to their subdivisions. He objects to this until the Commission does their homework. He said the Town Council needs to do away with the PUD thing that supposedly applies to everything. Nothing but traveling problems all over now. It is going to cost too much in the future. He said that the Commission have backbone tonight. He complements the Plan Commission tonight on great discussion. They are not catering to every guy who comes up here and granting waivers. He asked that they do their homework, and put this on the backburner until you get these issues resolved.

Mr. Volk stated that he would now close the public portion.

Mr. Slager said that we are not here to request zoning tonight, they are here to request primary plat approval. The R3 PUD was granted a couple of years ago. They recommended the R3 PUD, because they have two buildings on one lot. Other than that they meet the R3 Ordinance. All of the engineering has been submitted and approved by Mr. Kraus over the last couple of months.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this requires a waiver. Mr. Muenich said that they unless they request a waiver of sidewalks and curbs along Calumet Avenue, they are required. Mr. Slager said that they are willing to install sidewalks along Calumet, but they are requesting a waiver for curbs on Calumet. He said that the sidewalks would be located on the right of way. He asked for some leeway about where they put the sidewalks. They are also asking to dedicate for a huge right of way for when they eventually widen Calumet. They dedicated 45 feet on each side for the widening of Calumet. If they put the sidewalk adjacent to the right of way line it would be on top of the landscaping berm, as it is now. Mr. Slager said they are asking for some leeway to make it look like it fits with the landscaping. Mr. Eberly said that it only has to be within a public right of way. Mr. Slager asked for leeway for where they place it, because it will be 30 feet off of the road if they place it in a right of way. Mr. Kozel asked for 3 feet wider and make it a bike path. He said he prefers not to do that. If they have to put it in they would like a 5 foot sidewalk.

Mr. Volk said that the details are not required tonight we just have to require sidewalks and approve a waiver from curbs on Calumet, and act on primary plat.

Mr. Paul Panczuk said that he wanted to comment on the R3 PUD. He knows it was recently approved and exactly as someone stated, it didn’t exist. Mr. Muenich said that there is a second opinion that over rules his opinion. Mr. Panczuk said that he would like clarification on the R3 PUD. He doesn’t care for the density in this development. The two buildings on one lot. Everything is pushed to the limit. Mr. Slager projected the zoning ordinance for R3. They do meet all of the requirements of the straight R3 zoning, the effect is really based on the shared driveways. They were trying to get creative, so that there are not 30 driveways on one street. A change in zoning would not affect the density or the amount of lots. It would change the layout of the lots.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the concern is of the second access point. Mr. Muenich said that area has not been platted by the county. If the Town goes to the County and requests that they make that connection, generally they will usually make that request. Generally, it comes better from the Town than the developer. If we are going that direction, we should grant primary plat approval conditioned upon extending and creating that stub-street to connect to Emerald Crossing. Mr. Kennedy asked if he is saying that the connectivity will happen and there won’t be a gap. Mr. Eberly said that we are putting this one at bay, so that Emerald Crossing would be made to eventually accept the stub street. He will reach out to the county and make sure that Emerald Crossing accepts the stub street if we require the development of the stub-street. Mr. Kennedy said that if they don’t agree and this primary plat is contingent on that what would happen. He suggests that we work through the County, because they can work on the developers the same way we do. Mr. Kennedy asked what would happen if the County doesn’t agree to force the developer for that street. Mr. Muenich said that there is a number of alternatives. He said that he is comfortable assuming that the County will make it happen if we bring it to the County. Mr. Slager said that it would take a few years before they get to that area. Mr. Muenich said that we can accept this primary plat under good engineering practice.

Mr. Volk stated they are requesting waiver of curbs on Calumet. They are also requesting approval of primary plat. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve the waiver for curbs. Mr. Kozel seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Volk stated that the stub street will be a part of the primary plat motion. Mr. Kennedy made the motion to approve primary plat contingent on good engineering practice to provide an alternative access to the Emerald Crossing. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Mr. Paul Panczuk voted nay. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/1). Ayes---5. Nays---1.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

D. 2017-0024 DOLLAR TREE-SITE PLAN ACTION for property located at 101st and Earl Dr. Petitioner: Ryan Maravich DVG Team
Mr. Ryan Marovich who is here to discuss Dollar Tree. He is from DVG, 115 Trout Line Road Crown Point Indiana. They are requesting site plan approval for the Dollar Tree site located on Earl Drive in Brooks Park Subdivision. All of the engineering has been met. They are providing detention, as stated on the primary plat. This was two platted lots that were combined into one. They have had all of the utilities and improvements, but they needed to provide additional detention. The landscaping now fits the requirements. Mr. Maravich said that he is happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Kennedy noted that they have a very detailed landscaping plan. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Maravich if there was any adverse impact based on that. Mr. Marovich said there are not any adverse impacts. Mr. Kennedy confirmed that everything discussed on the site plan before the BZA is included. Mr. Marovich said that it amounted to about 3 more trees added, and some more shrubs. Mr. Kenn said it is a forest. Mr. Maravich said that it is a unique site for being so small. It is draining to three different ponds. There is a restriction of two infiltration basins, and a dry bottom pond on the southeast corner. They are each going to different ponds for the adjacent developments. Mr. Kennedy asked about the turning radius for the trucks. Mr. Maravich confirmed that is correct, and said that Dollar Tree did an analysis themselves. They have one of the most thorough preliminary site plan processes he’s seen.

Mr. Eberly said that there is a letter from Mr. Kraus indicating that the plan is satisfactory. Mr. Eberly agrees to the same. There was some tweaking that needed to be done to the photometric plan and landscaping plan, but that has all been changed and is in compliance. It went through the BZA, and is ready for site plan approval today.

Mr. Volk stated that hearing no further questions he would now entertain a motion. Mr. Kennedy motioned to approve the proposed site plan for the Dollar Tree property. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

E. 2017-0027 CROSSROAD MOTORPLEX-Site plan action relative to property located immediately north of Aspen Café. Petitioner: Mike Gelatka/Don Torrenga
Mr. Eberly said that this has been in front of the Plan Commission previously. It has received primary and secondary plat approvals. It is ready for site plan approval today. There were minor tweaks that it had to make to the light plan and landscape plan. Those have been made and it is ready for approval tonight, based on Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly’s review.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions. There were none.

Mr. Volk stated that he would now entertain a motion. Mr. Kozel moved that we grant site plan approval for the Crossroad Motorplex. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

F. 2017-0031 LEVIN TIRE-SECONDARY PLAT relative to the property located at the northeast corner of US 41 and 85th Avenue Petitioner: Barry Levin/Carmen Arvia
Mr.Eberly stated that Mr. Arvila is here to represent Levin Tire with a request for Secondary Plat approval for lot one of the St. John Levin Tire Subdivision.

Mr. Arvila stated that as discussed in the past it is the intention of the project to move forward with Mr. Levin’s Goodyear Tire Service Center on lot one. As a result of the past workshops and the primary plat they have dedicated the eastern portion of the lot for a proposed shell drive right of way with the condition of the future Shell Drive as phase two, when lot two comes around for approval. They are requesting waivers for sidewalks on 41, sidewalk on 85th street, and sidewalk on the proposed shell drive with bike path in lieu of.

Mr. Kennedy said that there was discussion on taking the east side of the frontage road and potentially making that a raised curb with a sidewalk. Mr. Arvila said that they are providing a bike path. The original plans came before the Commission with it as part of the right of way. They are proposing a curb along the right of way. The bike path has now been separated 3 feet behind the curb line, as requested. They are connecting into the sidewalk on the east side of Kolling, and providing the bike path along the backside of their property. There is an existing draining ditch along 85th and Rt. 41 that hinders putting a sidewalk out there. They are trying to bring pedestrian traffic up the back side of the property. They want it to connect in to the residential subdivision to the north eventually, with phase two and lot two.

They need to request the waiver for the right of way to be 60 feet, due to the nature of the rear property line they have to pinch it to where a couple portions are under 60 feet. As a result of a preliminary request they are providing a widening of 85th street for a turn lane.

Mr. Arvila said they are requesting a waiver of sidewalk on 41, 85th, proposed shell drive with bike path in lieu of, and a waiver of 60 feet turn lane. Mr. Kennedy asked if we have are going to go from concrete sidewalk to asphalt bike path connectivity. Since, Meyers development to the north is concrete sidewalk. The board said that is correct.

Mr. Volk said that three of the requested waivers pertain to sidewalks. Mr. Birlson asked if we are talking about site plan approval also. Mr. Eberly said that will come later. Mr. Birlson said that determination will come with the siteplan. Mr. Arvila told Mr. Birlson that the lighting will come with the proposed site plan.

Mr. Birlson said that he is going to push the issue of widening the turn lane and making it longer. If they have to move the utility poles and make the lane wider than they have to move the utility poles. That is a small change to move those utility poles and widen that road to the east.

Mr. Arvila explained the concern of people coming off of shell drive and getting into the southbound turn lane, if they bring that lane all the way to Shell Drive and create almost two lanes there, they will be pinching people coming off of shell drive trying to make a left turn onto 41. The other issue is the double box culvert they will have to pinch the width of the ditch where a culvert would not be able to go in for proper drainage. The culvert is sized accordingly to the 56 acres that are to the south.

Mr. Birlson asked to explain the Shell Drive pinch. Mr. Arvila explained that if you are on shell drive to make a right onto 85th to make an eventual left onto 41 going south the preferred method that was discussed is that this way there is only a single lane of traffic. So, that the person is not trying to cross multiple lanes of traffic to get into the lane. If they start to bring the turn lane all the way back, and with the drainage issue as well, we are creating the possibility of two lines of traffic for the person making a right off of Shell Drive to get pinched from trying to make the left onto 41. They are merging into one lane of traffic that then splits, versus trying to cross over two lanes of traffic. Mr. Birlson said that for cars that are a little further east it is one lane of traffic. Then, it turns into two lanes; a turn lane and a lane that can go straight west or go south. Mr. Kozel said that they have to get into the turn lane. Mr. Birlson said they will talk about it at site plan. Mr. Arvila said that if they extend that and widen 85th street the existing ground countours would now allow them to put in a taller culvert they need a wider culvert which would be pushed out further in the ditch. Mr. Birlson said so what, they can reshape the ditch anyway they want. Mr. Arvila said if they bring it to the north they would be bringing it onto the property. They have already gone to the BZA regarding the size of the building. The building is already undersized. That would impact the ability of the property. Mr. Volk said that he agrees but he could see where that is going to be a big problem. Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Eberly to please send him the engineering plans. Mr. Arvila said that this plan was determined as the best trade-off between the Town and the developer.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the terminology for Shell Drive has been determined. Mr. Muenich said that it is dedicated as right of way and that he believes he gave an opinion letter. Mr. Eberly said that the request for the waiver for the width of that right of way does become an issue now. Before it was an egress-ingress easement and the width was irrelevant, and now it is a right of way. We asked them to dedicate it as a public road and there is not enough room to meet the ordinance. Mr. Arvila said that they are pinching down to just under 50 feet. They are providing enough room for the two lane right of way and the bike path, but not enough room for the 60 feet.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve the waiver of sidewalks along 41, 85th, Shell Drive with bike path in lieu of, and waiver for the reduction of 60 foot right of way. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Mr. Birlson opposed. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/1). Ayes---5. Nays---1.

Mr. Volk addressed the approval of secondary plat. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Levin Tire secondary plat approval. Mr. Kennedy seconded. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

G. 2017-0003 DENNIS MEYERS-MEYERS ADDTION UNIT 3 BLOCK 3 Secondary plat action for a multi family residential development located immediately east of the Speedway Gas Station Petitioner: Dennis Meyers/Doug Rettig
Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Rettig is here for secondary plat approval. Mr. Rettig said that this is the third block of Unit 3. The projection shows all of unit 3. Block 1 of Unit 3 is the commercial buildings that are built on the north side of Lake Central Drive. Meyer’s Addition Unit 3-Block 2 are the existing duplexes that are on the north half of this site. The south portion of the loop street with 5 additional duplex lots is what they are requesting approval for tonight. The street is completely in, built, and paved. All of the improvements are in. Sidewalks are planned for one side of Shell Drive for connectivity with the Levin property. They are requesting final plat approval for 5 new duplex lots.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions. Mr. Eberly said that there is a letter from Mr. Kraus indicating that he reviewed the plat and he finds it to be satisfactory. He agrees that all of the infrastructure has been installed and that there is no need for a developer’s fee or an irrevocable letter of credit for this phase. Mr. Kraus stated that there was a revised letter, and that there is a developer’s fee. Mr. Eberly said that he does not have a revised letter. Mr. Kraus stated that the developer’s fee is $5,232.96. That is based on 2% of construction cost for improvements on this particular Block 3. Mr. Eberly said the motion needs to be subject to the payment of that fee.

Mr. Volk said that he would now entertain a motion. Mr. Kennedy made a motion for secondary plat approval with the understanding that the developer will pay the developer’s fee of $5,232.96. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

H. 2018-0003 COYNE ANIMAL HOSPITAL-Site plan action for the facility to be located on the northeast corner of US41 and US 231 Petitioner: Russ Pozen DVG
Mr. Russ Pozen is here tonight requesting site plan action. They have made tweaks to the landscaping and photometric plan. Those are now compliant and there are letters from Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly stating that they are in compliance. They are going to seek a variance on signage with the BZA. The building sign is compliant, but there is a requirement for a variance for monument and for total signage. They are coming in at 113 feet and the ordinance states 100 feet maximum. They have gone through a review and believe that they are in compliance. They will be seeking a variance for that issue. They have a waiver for sidewalks on US 41. They don’t think it is necessary to provide pedestrian access. Also, along 41 and proceeding north there doesn’t seem to be a spot where sidewalks would be put in. The INDOT plan for near the shrine is a proposed shoulder and ditch. Mr. Pozen said that Mike Mathis,the lead architect, is here. Mr. Eberly projected the landscape drawing. It has gone to the BZA previously for a couple of variances, which have been approved. There was a slight reduction of the landscape buffer. Aside from the signage variance, it is ready for site plan action subject to the waiver request. Mr. Eberly projected the renderings. Mr. Pozen said that Mike Mathis showed samples of the materials, as requested in the Plan Commission Study Session.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the ordinance would require them to put a sidewalk along the Private drive or if the waiver is just necessary for Rt. 41. Mr. Volk asked for any questions. He asked if their fees are paid. Mr. Paul Panzczack and Mr. Kennedy disagreed with granting a waiver for sidewalks. Mr. Mathis asked if the waiver is disapproved will they still be able to get site plan approval. He was told yes.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to deny the sidewalk waiver on Rt. 41. Mr. Birlson seconded that motion. Sidewalks are required. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Paul Panczuk made a motion approve the animal hospital site plan. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

I. NORTHPOINT UNIT 5-Request for release of existing performance bond to be replaced with a reduced performance bond and a letter of warrantee. Will need motion to recommend new bond to Town Council for acceptance
Mr. Eberly stated that there is a letter from Mr. Kraus indicating that he agrees with the reduction to the letter of credit. The ramp work is accounted for and would still be included. Mr. Eberly has a copy of the bond that he received this afternoon and it has the maintenance agreement. The action tonight is to approve the reduction to the letter of credit and make a recommendation to the Town Council for acceptance of same. Mr. Volk asked for any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Volk stated that he would now entertain a motion to release existing bond and replace it with a reduced bond. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to recommend the same to the Town Council. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion.The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

J. LANTZ DEVELOPMENT-PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING-Petitioner will be seeking to advertise for a public hearing on March 7,2018 for primary plat action Petitioner: Doug Rettig
Mr. Eberly introduced Mr. Doug Rettig as the representative from Lantz development. This project was recently rezoned. It is east of the phase 3 of North Point subdivision. Mr. Rettig stated that they are hoping to have a public hearing a month from now. Everything is consistent to what they proposed in the site plan. They are asking for permission to advertise at the public hearing.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions or comments. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve permission to advertise for Lantz development. Mr. Kozel seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

K. WALDEN CLEARING PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING FOR MARCH 7,2018 Petitioner: Joe Lenehan Olthof Homes. This is a request for a rezoning of 40 acres at the northwest corner of 93rd and Cline as well as 40 acres on the southwest corner of 93rd and Cline from Open Space to R2 Single Family Residential
Mr. Eberly stated that Walden Clearing is requesting permission to advertise for public hearing in March. Joe Lenehan stated that he was here at study session. He said that they would like to amend the previous plan and request R2 zoning. He will be prepared to make a presentation with the R2 zoning at that time.

Mr. Volk said that there was a significant reduction in lots. The original plan had 80 lots on the north side of 93rd.

Mr. Kennedy asked if he has considered a decal lane. Mr. Lenehan said that will required. Mr. Kennedy confirmed that the density is 1.1 overall density and asked if that includes the natural preserves. He asked if that number considers the entire 80 acres. Mr. Lenehan said that he would put together a presentation for some of the new members. Mr. Volk said that the landscaping and buffers look about the same. Mr. Lenehan said that the street configuration changed on the south side coming off of Mallard. Mr. Lenehan said that it is very similar but that they did some configuration. Mr. Lenehan said that the property will go all the way to the right. Mr. Eberly said that the original drawing is projected and the connection into Mallard is very similar.

Mr. Volk noted that Mr. Lenehan is here for permission to advertise.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there is an option to turn the intersection between 93rd and Cline into a round about. Mr. Lenehan said that they don’t own all four corners yet, but it is possible to leave that open. They can set it up with what they can control. That is no problem. The right of way is what he is looking for, so that they don’t end up with a house there. Mr. Kennedy asked what the west properties are zoned. Mr. Lenehan said they are R2. The south is R1. Mr. Panczuk asked why that portion is all R2 and not R1. Mr. Lenehan said that the lots are matching up or exceeding the east and the west properties. The square footage matches. Mr. Volk noted that he tried to match the south side lots to Mallard. Mr. Lenehan said that they have a curve, so they have some pie shape lots. Mr. Kennedy asked about the houses. Mr. Lenehan said that he doesn’t see the houses changing much. Mr. Lenehan said that he will show some product at the next meeting. Mr. Panczuk said that the area south of Cline might be better to do R1. The whole eastern side of town is turning into R2 land and it looks a little unbalanced. Mr. Volk stated that this is for permission to advertise for public hearing only on March 7th. Mr. Lenehan said that they will be back two weeks from the Study Session with a presentation and some changes to south side lots.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to grant permission to advertise for a public hearing. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

L. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4E-SECONDARY PLAT APPROVAL Petitioner: John Lotton/Jonathan Lotton
There was no representative present for The Gates of St. John.

Mr. Eberly stated that there is a letter stating that they are sufficient with letters of credit and development fees, since they have all been paid on the previous unit, which is just across the street. They are in compliance.

Mr. Volk asked for any questions. There were none.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant The Gates of St. John Unit 4E secondary plat approval. Mr. Flores seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Volk opened the floor for Public Comment.

Patti Byers 9111 Cline Avenue Crown Point

Ms. Byers stated that she read in the paper that the County is talking about having the Towns annex the territories that are unincorporated. She asked if anybody has heard of that. Mr. Eberly said that he has heard of it. He was at a meeting about a week ago, and there was a presentation made on the County’s comprehensive plan. Mr. Eberly said that the county would love to see the Towns pick up the islands that exist in between the communities. There is an island in town between Christopher and Jacobson. The issue that was brought up at the meeting was that none of the towns are interested in hostile annexations. The process has become too difficult. That will not happen unless someone comes forward and asks for an annexation. The towns are not interested in hostile annexation they are looking for friendly annexations. The County is looking for it for reasons such as it is a long way for the County to come out from their facility and plow those areas in between Christopher and Jacobson. It would help the County if we took those properties in, but because of how difficult a hostile annexation is, that will not happen. Mr. Birlson asked if they are on well and septic. Ms. Byers said yes. Mr. Eberly said that there is a sanitary sewer that used to go down there. Ms. Byers said that was changed. Mr. Volk said that there are at least eight that go down there. Mr. Birlson said that we need more. Ms. Byers thanked the Plan Commission.

Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street

Mr. Swets said that in the interest of time he would just like to say welcome to the new gentlemen on the Plan Commission for this year. He thanks them for their courage to make difficult decisions, and he challenges them to continue to do so.

Joe Hero 11723 S Oakridge Drive

Mr. Hero thanked the plan commission for showing some backbone tonight with the sidewalks and all of the other issues. He thinks that the Commission needs to be a plan for we need to get done this year. One thing we need to address is the PUD’s. There needs to be an ordinance that doesn’t allow at-will for the R3’s and all of that. Everytime a subdivision comes in we need to make them add a lane on each side of the road they are developing. The impact fee is a joke. They need to up it from what the committee recommended. When they did the Levin thing what is going to happen when people turn onto 41 just north of 85th. Look at how the traffic jams up there. Is it put onto contingency that there are no left turns onto Rt. 41 there? The other issue is what Mr. Birlson brought up is that 85th needs to be widened. Mr. Hero said that just because somebody gives an easement or dedicated right of way, that doesn’t cover the cost of roadway improvements. The impact fee is pittance. We need to set an agenda of what we want to get done this year. Number.1 2. 3. Make a plan and an agenda. Mr. Hero said that he sees common sense appointed on the Commission. The Coyne Animal Hospital - where is the access going to be? Rt. 41, only if you’re coming from Cedar Lake. Highway 231? Only if you’re coming from Crown Point. We need frontage roads. The sidewalks is appreciated, but the roadways need to be addressed next.

Mr. Volk asked for further Public Comment. There was none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Volk stated that he would not make a motion to adjourn. A motion was made by Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:37 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

02-21-2018 Plan Commission

February 21, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT BOB BIRLSON RICK EBERLY, BUILDING & PLANNING DIRECTOR
JOHN KENNEDY, VICE PRESIDENT STEVE FLORES KENN KRAUS, ENGINEER
GREG VOLK STEVE KOZEL MICHAEL MUENICH, ATTORNEY
PAUL PANCZUK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the February 21, 2018 Plan Commission Study Session to order at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Alyssa Gallegos took roll call with the following Plan Commission members present: Michael Forbes, John Kennedy, Paul Panczuk, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Steve Flores, and Bob Birlson. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present. Town Engineer Kenn Kraus was present.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. The Gates of St. John Unit 17-Church site plan discussion and primary plat
Mr. Eberly introduced Bryan VanRyn. The site plan is projected. There is an original plan from 2016. Mr. VanRyn said that the plan they are projecting is going to stay the same. The church is going to be about 12,000 sq. feet, holding about 2,000 occupants. There will be additional future expansion. There would be classroom additions if all goes well. There will be a sanctuary, a couple classrooms, utilities and a kitchen. They bought this lot about 3 years ago. Mr. VanRyn projected the elevations on the screen. He said that they are compliant with the town’s landscaping and photometric plan. Mr. Eberly had given them a few comments on the landscaping.

There is a copy of the original plan. The parking on the old plan was in front of the church. They decided to wrap the parking around the property. The property is shifted to the west and further to the north. Don Torrenga advised that it was originally platted by V3. They will need to re-advertise for primary plat.

Mr. Forbes said that he doesn’t see why it needs to be platted. The plat that was presented to the Plan Commission was the same boundaries, but 50 feet further to the south. The members suggested that the entrance needs to line up with Sagebrook. Mr. Torrenga said that the GIS shows the correct plat. Mr. Forbes asked if everything to the north, and around the side and back is a drainage easement. Mr. Torrenga said that it is going to be a pond.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Mr. Kennedy asked about the photometric issues that were discussed. Mr. Torrenga said that the lights were a little bit too low. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. The members handed out a revised plan that is the same as what is shown on the GIS map. Mr. Eberly said that the situation as we have it is that we are ready for site approval but we have no primary plat. We can do primary plat, site plan, and secondary plat approval as long as we follow the no signature process.

Mr. Volk asked about the 50 feet that it was moved. Mr. Torrenga said that it was approved for something else. Mr. Forbes said that he recalls the entrance and the street lining up and that is where the movement was occurring. The plan that they presented last year was different because it was adjusted 50 feet, now it is back to what it was originally platted for.

Mr. Forbes noted that the drainage has not been done yet, but there is plenty of space for that to be built. Mr. Forbes said that it will be waterfall-ish drainage. It is basically being moved back to what it was planned for originally.

Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification that their roadway is going to line up with the entrance of Sagebrook.

Mr. Forbes stated that they will come in and ask for permission to advertise. They will have another study session March 21st.

B. The Gates of St. John Pod 4F- petition will be seeking secondary plat at the March 7th meeting
Mr. Forbes said that they are seeking secondary plat. Mr. Eberly stated that this is for five lots. Don Torrenga is speaking for this item, as well. We previously approved pod 4E. The pond has not been constructed yet. The entire out lot is a pond. These are five lots that are maintaining the same alphabetical order as the rest of the pods. The engineering has been looked at by Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Forbes asked for clarification that these four units are not connected. Mr. Forbes confirmed if all of the letters of credit are in. Mr. Kraus told Mr. Torrenga that he will need to know the cost of infrastructure. Mr. Torrenga said that it is not available yet. Mr. Forbes said that he believes some of this development is covered by a blanket bond.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none. He stated that this will be on the next agenda.

C. The Gates of St. John 7B potential replat
Mr. Eberly said that this was discussed at the last study session. This was turning two roads into a cul-de-sac. This gets rid of 10 lots and replaces it with 10 lots. Mr. Forbes said he believes the idea is just to create a cul-de-sac for a little more privacy. Mr. Kraus noted that the cul-de-sac is longer than accepted by ordinance. Mr. Eberly said that they will need to request a waiver at primary plat approval. Mr. Eberly said that this will be on the April agenda for public hearing.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the theory is for having a certain length of a cul-de-sac. Mr. Birlson said that he would guess it is for fire safety. Mr. Flores said that if there is a fire several trucks need to pull in, and also pull out. It could get bottle necked if it is too narrow or short. Mr. Kennedy said that it looks like it has a nice drive. Mr. Panczuk said that the radius looks larger also. Mr. Forbes said that if the green-scape is too big it may need to reduced. He noted that there would be fire hydrants at both ends of the cul-de-sac. He believes the concern of the town was dead end water-mains. He thinks that we have eliminated most of those. Mr. Panczuk asked how much the projected plan is over the ordinance . Mr. Eberly said that 400 feet is our max. Mr. Torrenga said that this is close to 900 feet. Mr. Panczuk said that he would like to get a fire opinion on it. Mr. Eberly said that he will get Chief Willman’s opinion before the next meeting. Mr. Panczuk said disregarding the greenscape the right turn looks tight. They asked Mr. Kraus and Mr. Torrenga run the auto-curve.

Mr. Forbes asked if we are comfortable granting permission to advertise.

D. The Gates of St. John Unit 10M – petitioner will be seeking secondary plat of this pod in the March 7th meeting.
Mr. Bill Robinson came up to speak. He stated that this plat mirrors exactly the primary plat for 10M. The improvements will not be completed, so they will be bonding for the total when it is ready, plus 30%. They have spoken to Mr. Kraus. Mr. Kraus said that he will have the letter written, now that he’s got all of the information.

Mr. Forbes asked for any question. There were none. He stated that they will be put on the agenda.

E. Suncrest Christian Church-potential rezoning of land that they own on the east side of Parrish and south of the existing church. That rezoning would be from R1 Single-Family to R2 Single-Family.
Mr. Torrenga came up to speak and said that this will be in combination with the potential re-platting that is owned by BLB St. John. They will be connecting to Iris Drive. Northeast will be the detention. The church currently has some detention.

There will be a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet. Mr. Torrenga said that there is Outlot A which is south east and outlot B which is north east.

Mr. Forbes noted that this backs up to the Huseman property. Pod 13 was approved without the connection to Iris drive, so there will have to be some minor adjustments to Pod 13. Mr. Birlson said that he will have to disagree that homeowner’s are looking for larger lots and smaller houses, as Mr. Torrenga is presenting. Mr. Panczuk said there is a lot of R2 he would like to see a mix of R1 and R2. The rear yards are too small. This is too dense.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other thoughts. He said looking at this, it’s a mix of different size lots. There is a lot of character in this subdivision. It doesn’t look like they are on top of each other. The lots are spacious to the west and a little more spread out to the east. Mr. Kozel asked if the lots on White Jasmine belong to the church; the 85 foot wide lot. Those lots that are 85 foot wide lots have $500,000-$600,000 houses on those 85 foot lots. It’s a nice area. The commission asked Mr. Torrenga if there was any concern of the entrance being on and off of Parrish. Mr. Kennedy asked if we could require the driveway be off of the further side. Mr. Torrenga said that we can’t do that here because there is a median in the middle. The Commission said that the driveway on lots 1 and 43 need to be as far away from the entrance as possible. They asked if lot A is potentially drainage. Mr. Torrenga said that it is a pond. Mr. Forbes said that he is not sure what the decision is here. Do we want to see if the developers can move things around a bit? Mr. Forbes said that he does think that seeing the changes sometimes changes opinions.

Mr. Volk said that he would like to see the lots wider or deeper. Mr. Eberly said that whether this is R1 or R2 doesn’t affect the width or length of the lots. The request we have is a rezoning request. There will be tweaks to this whether it goes R1 or R2. He would hate to see this shut down because of the drawing we are looking at right now.

Mr. Birlson asked if there have been any other layouts, and if there was one with larger lots. There is only 140 depth to line up with Iris Drive. Mr. Eberly said that is why he is showing a 30 foot front yard line. Ordinance states 40 feet rear yard, but allows for a floating front yard. Mr. Kennedy asked who owns the property to the south. Mr. Forbes said it is the Huseman family. There is potentially gas lines, power lines, and wetlands. Mr. Torrenga said that he believes it is a farm. The request is for permission to advertise at the March 7th meeting to request a rezone.

Mr. Kennedy said that he would like to see this line up with Iris drive with the lots are the way they are.,

Mr. Forbes said that they will put it on the agenda. There will be an opportunity for another study session before the Public Hearing. Mr. Panczuk said that commenting on Rick’s statement that the R2 zones are still too tight. Mr. Kozel asked to get the sizing for adjacent lots in the Northgate. Mr. Eberly said that he will provide those to the commission members for a comparison.

F. Mill Creek Unit 3-release of letter of credit
Mr. Forbes stated that they are asking for a reduction in letter of credit. The cost that he has listed is incorrect. The actual, entire bond for Mill Creek, $224,309.80. For this item, Mill Creek Phase 3 the request is to release the bond entirely. Everything in Phase 3 is already all done. This is just administrative. Mr. Birlson asked if Public Works checked all the bolts, the boxes, and if everything has been checked so that they can get on. Mr. Kraus said that the asbuilts are all in.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions there were none.

G. Mill Creek Unit 4-reduction of letter of credit
Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or concerns about the reduction in letter of credit for Mill Creek Unit 4. There were none.
H. Meadowgate 11B-reduction of letter of credit
Mr. Kraus stated that the surface asphalt has been placed, and that we can remove that item from being covered by the bond. That is somewhere in the neighborhood of $14-15,000 reduction in the bond.
I. Silver Leaf Phase 2E – reduction of letter of credit
Mr. Forbes stated that this is a reduction of letter of credit to the amount of $86,214.86. He asked for any questions. There were no questions.
J. Family Express – continued site plan and secondary plat discussion
Mr. Doug Homeier of McMahon, and Scott Jones were here for Family Express. Mr. Eberly said that everything is just about where we need it. There was a discussion of sidewalks which they have added to the site plan. They will work in conjunction with First Group, our engineering firm who is doing the intersection, and will work with them about the placement of the sidewalks.

They are coming before the Board of Zoning Appeals for several variance requests. There are photometric and landscaping issues. So, they will be seeking variances at that time. Mr. Eberly said that an engineer from First Group confirmed that he will be working with Mr. Homeier about where they are placing the sidewalks. They might not be right up to the drive like we prefer, but there is plenty of landscape. They are going to put in the 5 foot solid screen along the property neighboring residents, so they will be withdrawing that variance request.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the porkchop will be depressed when they put in the sidewalk. It was confirmed that the porkchop will be wide enough. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

K. Three Springs Unit 3-a new development plan will be discussed relative to this unit
Mr. Eberly said that this development plan is a significant change from what we saw at the last meeting. There are now 42 lots proposed. Mr. Rettig will be working with Mr. David Barick.

Mr. Rettig said that this is the new development plan for Phase 3. They have been before us multiple times with this phase. They have had multiple different plans. They have pipelines cutting through the middle of the property, so they don’t have many ways to get in and out of there. There are railroad tracks where they can’t connect, and there is a farm on the south and east sides of the property. They have chosen to design a loop street and stub it to the east. When it was annexed it was annexed as R1; Three Springs phase two was rezoned as R2,R3, and R1’s. That is what they are asking for in this phase 3. They are asking for R1, R2, and R3. They would like to come back in March to advertise for a rezone. They are rezoning the strip in blue to R2. The other portion to R3. All of the lots are 100 feet wide. The R1 lots are deeper at 200 feet.

Mr. Forbes said that this board has had a lot of discussion on this. To him it looks like it is consistent with the requests. Albeit the different membership, but it is in alignment with what was requested.

Mr. Rettig said that it is a single-family project. The cottage homes are out the window. The cul-de-sac is gone. Mr. Kozel said that it is big improvements.

Mr. Panczuk said that the south properties have a pipeline easement at the south of it, and what if they want to put a pool in. There should be full size lots to the south.

The easements that might be a hard sell. Mr. Forbes said that street has been bounced around. Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Panczuk if he is proposing the idea of not having lots on both sides of the street. Mr. Panczuk said that he would suggest moving that street a little to the north, have some greenspace, and make those full size lots. Mr. Birlson asked if they have always had houses on both sides of the street. Mr. Rettig said that was not in the last plan. That was after conversations with Mr. Kil and the builder. Mr. Kennedy asked for the previous lot count. He said that he would appreciate seeing the old version. He said that before, it was the cottage homes, so it was a little more affordable. The duplexes are very close. He asked if it is because of the drainage. Mr. Rettig said that the duplexes are necessary since they are next to the railroad. The developer really wants to build more duplexes.

Mr. Kennedy said that it would be nice to see what they had before in numbers. Mr. Birlson asked for the distance between the ATT easement and the south property line. Mr. Rettig said that they went with the 20 foot rear yard. Mr. Panczuk noted that this started as an R1. He said that he is going to support Mr. Kennedy. Lots number 47 and 32 are up for question. The others make sense being adjacent to the tracks. 42 being on the lake that should be where premium homes would be. Mr. Barick said that the buzzing from the powerlines is loud. The single family homes are further away from the tracks. Mr. Forbes noted that this was zoned as R1 at time of annexation. It wasn’t a public hearing to zone it that way. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

He stated that they would like to come back in March to request permission to advertise.

L. Lantz Development-continued discussion in preparation for primary plat public hearing
Mr. Rettig was here tonight representing Lantz Development. This is also known as Morning Crest. It is a 35 lot subdivision zoned R2. It is an exisiting stub-street connecting from North Point. They want to discuss the drawings here, and they can discuss drainage too. He said that as far as drainage, there is going to be a water shed cutting the development in half. All of the water will go to the north, discharging into two outlots. It is pretty clean and simple.

Mr. Rettig asked about the cul-de-sac variance. Morning Crest Court is a placeholder for now. They are deciding if it should be one street or two streets. Mr. Forbes asked if there was any opinion. Mr. Panczuk said that it should be one street. Mr. Flores asked where the 87th Avenue is in conjunction to the 87th Ave on the east side of Calumet Avenue. From a first responder stand point is the intersection at 87th Avenue and Calumet Avenue he is concerned about. Turning off of 87th Avenue on the east side is a pain during rush hour. People are constantly trying to get in and out of there. Mr. Flores said that at 89th there has been some recent accidents there. He is concerned about people getting in and out of there.

Mr. Rettig said that they are going to do an accel and decel lane. Mr. Kennedy asked for the minimum of a decel lane. Mr. Eberly said it is based on the speed. Mr. Kraus said that decel lane is based on the speed limit of the street you are coming off of.

Mr. Kennedy said that there was also concern about drainage. Mr. Rettig said that they did the best they could, but they do meet the ordinance. Mr. Eberly said that they gave 40 feet; a full lane for decel.

Mr. Kraus said that for drainage, they have two detention ponds, two watersheds, and they are restricting to a 6 inch restrictor at both locations. One is 6.45”. Mr. Rettig said that he wants them both to be 6. Mr. Panczuk asked about sidewalks along Cline. There’s a development to the south that they just required to put sidewalks in. There is going to be a need for them. Mr. Kennedy asked if they are requesting a waiver for curb and gutter along Cline. Mr. Birlson said that there is going to be a lot of traffic going in and out. He would like to see a left hand turn lane. Mr. Birlson said to move the lane south bound. There isn’t enough length north/south. Mr. Rettig said that they are considering a stop sign there.

Mr. Birlson said that will be slowing down the road. Mr. Flores said that there will definitely be people in Northpoint using that to get to Cline instead of going to 93rd. Most traffic is going to turn north. Mr. Panczuk said that he would like to see a generous decel lane going north. He stated that we respectfully request that they put a sidewalk in. Mr. Kraus said that the sidewalks are usually put in by the homeowners. All Plan Commissioners said that it needs to be shown on the plans.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

M. Walden Clearing-continued discussion in preparation for the rezoning public hearing on March 7th.
Mr. Lenehan from Olthof Homes came to speak about Walden Clearing. He stated that everything that is in the zoning commitment is in the presentation. He stated that he would like to go through the presentation he went through last time for any new members. He has made some changes.

Mr. Lenehan shared that the project location is on Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue. He put together a zoning commitment that they are proposing. These are their own commitments. He said that they also meet the requirements of the zoning.

The land for the proposed development is currently zoned open space, which he believes is for the reasoning of the farmers maintaining tax levels. He now has a revised site plan which shows 91 home sites. Density is at 1.14 units per acre with 30% of land preserved in open space. There will be 3 parks and trails.

Mr. Lenehan has added some more information about the density due to the previous requests. There was gross density before, and Mr. Lenehan is now presenting the density without the wetlands and natural areas included. The density is 1.39 without the wetlands included.

He stated that as another commitment all of the homes on the north side of 93rd would include a breakfast, morning, or sunroom on the rear of the homes of the west, south, and east border.

There are architectural commitments and development plan commitments, as well. Some of the custom homes will be built by Sublime Homes. These are going to be single family detached. The sublime homes will be in the $500,000-$600,000 range. Olthof’s homes will be $300,000-$400,000k house. They believe the development plans align with the comprehensive plan.

Mr. Lenehan said that he wanted to address the question of why they want R2 zoning. It is because he really likes the sizing of the lots. He thinks a lot size of 15,000 square feet is a really great lot size. He thinks that it makes for a really beautiful community. Mr. Kennedy asked for dimensions on the lots. He calls it the Williams Rules; they need to see dimensions and numbers. Mr. Lenehan said that he will bring it to the Public Hearing, and distribute it ahead of time. These plans are going to have to be tweaked a little bit.

Mr. Kennedy said that this will be our 3rd cul-de-sac that will need a waiver tonight. They understand people like cul-de-sacs, but we are seeing a lot of waivers for cul-de-sacs. We need to get more information from Mr. Eberly, who is working with staff.

Mr. Panczuk said that he would like to see a mix of R1 and R2. We do need Williams Rules. We need to see numbers. 93rd and Cline is a huge traffic concern. 93rd is going to be the new east/west expressway. He would also like to see a right of way.

Mr. Lenehan said that driving through Sierra Pointe and Bramblewood; they are not R1 size lots and they are very nice neighborhoods. Mr. Birlson asked what Mr. Lenehan is proposing to improve at the corner of 93rd. Mr. Lenehan said accel and decel lanes on both sides of the road, and if it calls for it they will need turn lanes in both direction. He has to do the same thing for Cline and is suspecting we will need the right and left turn lanes.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the subdivision to the north of 93rd is zoned? He was told it is R2 and to the south it is zoned R1. Tiburon is zoned R2, and Grouse Point is zoned R2. The lot sizes are smaller given that it is county property, so there are varying lot sizes. Mr. Kennedy asked about connectivity to the North. Mr. Lenehan said that he would consider doing that; squaring that property off might add more lots. Mr. Kennedy said that he wants what the residents wants. Mr. Eberly said that there is a road stubbed to the east of Mr. Lenehan’s proposed property. Mr. Eberly said that from a land plan perspective the connectivity makes sense. Mr. Kennedy asked if it would be recommended at lots 41 and 40, but Mr. Eberly said that it doesn’t matter as long as it stubs. Mr. Lenehan said that he would align to where it is potentially connecting to the back side, and far enough away so you can set up a tier of lots on the west side of the property. He said that putting a stub out you can sometimes get more lots. Mr. Lenehan said that he will draw that up for site plan.

Mr. Kozel asked for a better definition of the improvements. He asked if we can define a certain percentage of brick etc. Are the driveways going to be concrete or a certain amount of blacktop etc.

Mr. Panczuk said that we might have discussed this about Cline south, but is there consideration to leave a right of way in case the town would need that? Also, just for clarification do the updated density numbers still include the detentions?

Mr. Forbes asked for any more questions. There were none. Mr. Lenehan said he will have some more details for the next study session.

N. Levin Tire-continued site plan discussion
Mr. Carmen Arvila is here tonight for subdivision approval for lot one of the Levin Tire property. The purpose is to get lot one approved for Mr. Levin to put up the Levin Tire store. They have received all of their BZA variances. There was a request for a few additional trees. There has been some questions with the subdivision work that he would like to discuss.

Mr. Forbes said that he missed the discussion last time. Mr. Birlson said that the widening of 85th is still a concern of his. He knows that the state is saying going around and crossing over the lane makes more sense, but moving some utility poles and moving the lane over. If you can’t get to the left lane when you pull out then you will be driving around to get into the west lane.

Mr. Arvila said that they are providing an improvement to the existing turn lane. Mr. Birlson said that he doesn’t think it is long enough, it needs to go past the Levin driveway and even past that. Mr. Forbes said that when you come out of Bingo lake road you are coming out and going around, if you can’t get out into the left lane. If there is a solid dedicated right lane, you can’t get into the turn lane going left. They want that flow to go out and come back around. Mr. Forbes said why would someone pull out in a lane if you can’t get in the lane you want to get into to. Mr. Birlson said that he is concerned about people coming out on 85th. They will be in front of the entrance blocking the entrance because they are waiting to turn. Mr. Arvila said that cars will have the option of going east on 85th out of the frontage road.

Mr. Kennedy said that it will be a shortcut. At certain times of day it will be a headache; the Kolling road trying to go east towards the railroad tracks. When school is letting in an out, traffic will back up to the light. Mr. Panzack said that he has two different traffic concerns. He would agree with the punch it all the way through, but if you want to go northbound onto 41 you would be waiting. As long as there is enough stack area, if people want to go north they are going to turn in and use the frontage road. That is what it is for. The item Mr. Flores brought up. This is going to connect to Kolling. How many people are going to connect through the neighborhood. Mr. Forbes asked what road goes east west on the north part. Mr. Arvilla said that it is shared driveway easements. They are putting in the entire road and the entire drainage infrastructure. It is shown on the existing conditions as full road, full sewer. The students will have the temptation to cut around the lot. It is consistent with the speeds and the type of the road Rt 41 is. Someone asked about the porkchop and if it will be wide enough. Mr. Kraus said he has seen people stuck on porkschops. Mr. Forbes said that he has seen people parked on the Walgreens porkchop.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. Mr. Eberly said that there will be another opportunity for study session. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now make a motion to adjourn. A motion was made by Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

03-07-2018 Plan Commission

March 7, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT BOB BIRLSON RICK EBERLY, BUILDING & PLANNING DIRECTOR
JOHN KENNEDY STEVE FLORES KENN KRAUS, TOWN ENGINEER
GREGORY VOLK PAUL PANCZUK STEVE KOZEL

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the March 7, 2018 Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Alyssa Gallegos took roll call with the following Plan Commission members present: Michael Forbes, Paul Panczuk, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Steve Flores, and Bob Birlson. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present. Town Engineer Kenn Kraus was present. John Kennedy was absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Plan Commission Regular Meeting Feb 7, 2018
Plan Commission Study Session Feb 21, 2018

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now request a motion to approve meeting minutes from the February Plan Commission Regular Meeting and Study Session. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none. Mr. Panczuk noted that his name was spelled incorrectly throughout the minutes. Mr. Eberly said that would be corrected. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the meeting minutes. Mr. Flores seconded the approval. Mr. Forbes abstained from the February 7th meeting minutes, as he was absent. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0/1) Ayes---5. Nays---0. Abstain---1.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2017-0028 MORNING CREST- Public hearing for the primary plat of this single-family development located in the 8800 block of Cline Avenue. Petitioner: Doug Rettig DVG
Doug Rettig introduced himself, and said that he is representing Lantz Development Corporation. John and Bryan Lantz are also present. Mr. Rettig said that since this is the Public Hearing they had put out all of the public letters, and the two newspaper ads in a timely manner. The new deadline is now 15 days before the Public Hearing takes place. So, the letters went out to the Post Tribune and the Times newspaper. The proof came out, and they approved the proof. They were told that the ad would run on February 15th, which is more than enough time. They are usually sent the proof of publication automatically, so they tried to track it down. The Post Tribune then admitted that they forgot to run their ad. He does have a letter from the Post Tribune apologizing, and saying that it was their fault. Mr. Eberly said that himself and Mr. Forbes have a copy of that letter. He said that the petitioner now needs to request that the Plan Commission waive the requirement for proof of publication in the Post Tribune only. In all other aspects they are compliant for this meeting. Mr. Rettig asked if it would be the Plan Commission’s courtesy to waive the second newspaper ad.

Mr. Forbes stated that we have a request in front of the board to waive the second ad publication in the Post Tribune. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or discussions. Mr. Volk asked if it meets state statue. Mr. Eberly shared that he spoke with Attorney Austgen about this. He said that with the written evidence from the Post Tribune it would be fine for the Plan Commission to grant the waiver.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to waive the Post Tribune public notice. Mr. Volk made that motion. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Rettig thanked the Plan Commission and continued with the Public Hearing. He explained that Morning Crest is a single family subdivision on the west side of Cline Avenue. It is east of North Point. They are north of an existing subdivision. In terms of the sanitary sewer, it will all flow back to North Point. There are existing detention basins. There is a watershed break-line through the middle of the site, which is the reason there are two.

There is going to be a small discharge pipe and essentially they are building a berm. There will be some modifications on the addressing. Mr. Kraus has sent a letter indicating his approval.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none. Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. They found the site plan of Morning Crest to be in compliance. The developmental fee has not been calculated at this time, but it will be 2% of the total costs.

Mr. Forbes stated that this is a Public Hearing, and that he will now open the floor for Public Hearing.

Dan DeYoung 8720 Cline Avenue

Mr. DeYoung lives two properties north of this subdivision. He sees drainage on the property. He projected a photo of the rear of his property to the south. This water didn’t flow through previously until the subdivision to the west was put in. The water that would flow naturally to the farm property has now been rerouted, and flows through the back of his property. He projected a photo of the surveyor’s plan. The drainage is going east and west it used to flow out to the west but once subdivision put in it now flows to the rear of his property. A previously approved subdivision created this problem and another development will continue that flow. He projected a photo of flooding from 2014. When the detention pond gets full it spills over. He projected a photo of trees that have fallen due to soil pollution. He showed a picture of his septic field. The water started flowing this way when North Point was put in. This is creating issues with water quality now. He noted that there is a basin that is proposed in the middle of the subdivision. Mr. DeYoung also projected a photo of the pipelines for Outlot A. The pipeline is 150 ft north of there. He has already touched the pipeline that is how shallow it is. He thinks that if the pipes are going to cross we need to verify rather than the contractor.

Cathi DeYoung 8720 Cline Avenue

Ms. DeYoung asked that they please put in planters. She said that all of the properties have well water. Mr. (Rettig) Lantz said they will be utilizing the ditch, she said that is not it a ditch. It was small from the start, but it has eroded due to all of the water flows.

Mr. Forbes stated he was going to bring it back to the board.

Paul said that regarding the sidewalk waiver, he thought that they had worked it out at the study session that it would be a short stub. Mr. Kozel asked if Mr. Rettig had anything more to say about the water flow. Mr. Birlson said that this natural swale is east. Mr. Rettig said that it is both. It’s grass,it’s not ditch. There is probably a tile in there, and it is probably not working too well. It is small you can probably jump across it. Mr.Rettig said that when they build a subdivision they work with what is there. Mr. Rettig said that they are not going to let their drainage go unrestricted outside of their property. Mr. Volk asked about the gas pipe. Mr. Rettig said that it is there and it is shallow. They won’t start construction until the pipelines come out and look. They are crossing over it. When they go on top of the pipeline they will put a concrete saddle to protect the separate pipes. Mr. Volk asked about the five properties in regards to the swale and what the screen is like. Mr. Rettig said A. 2017-0028 MORNING CREST- Public hearing for the primary plat of this single-family development located in the 8800 block of Cline Avenue. Petitioner: Doug Rettig DVG

Doug Rettig introduced himself, and said that he is representing Lantz Development Corporation. John and Bryan Lantz are also present. Mr. Rettig said that since this is the Public Hearing they had put out all of the public letters, and the two newspaper ads in a timely manner. The new deadline is now 15 days before the Public Hearing takes place. So, the letters went out to the Post Tribune and the Times newspaper. The proof came out, and they approved the proof. They were told that the ad would run on February 15th, which is more than enough time. They are usually sent the proof of publication automatically, so they tried to track it down. The Post Tribune then admitted that they forgot to run their ad. He does have a letter from the Post Tribune apologizing, and saying that it was their fault. Mr. Eberly said that himself and Mr. Forbes have a copy of that letter. He said that the petitioner now needs to request that the Plan Commission waive the requirement for proof of publication in the Post Tribune only. In all other aspects they are compliant for this meeting. Mr. Rettig asked if it would be the Plan Commission’s courtesy to waive the second newspaper ad.

Mr. Forbes stated that we have a request in front of the board to waive the second ad publication in the Post Tribune. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or discussions. Mr. Volk asked if it meets state statue. Mr. Eberly shared that he spoke with Attorney Austgen about this. He said that with the written evidence from the Post Tribune it would be fine for the Plan Commission to grant the waiver.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to waive the Post Tribune public notice. Mr. Volk made that motion. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Rettig thanked the Plan Commission and continued with the Public Hearing. He explained that Morning Crest is a single family subdivision on the west side of Cline Avenue. It is east of North Point. They are north of an existing subdivision. In terms of the sanitary sewer, it will all flow back to North Point. There are existing detention basins. There is a watershed break-line through the middle of the site, which is the reason there are two.

There is going to be a small discharge pipe and essentially they are building a berm. There will be some modifications on the addressing. Mr. Kraus has sent a letter indicating his approval.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. There were none. Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. They found the site plan of Morning Crest to be in compliance. The developmental fee has not been calculated at this time, but it will be 2% of the total costs.

Mr. Forbes stated that this is a Public Hearing, and that he will now open the floor for Public Hearing.

Dan DeYoung 8720 Cline Avenue

Mr. DeYoung lives two properties north of this subdivision. He sees drainage on the property. He projected a photo of the rear of his property to the south. This water didn’t flow through previously until the subdivision to the west was put in. The water that would flow naturally to the farm property has now been rerouted, and flows through the back of his property. He projected a photo of the surveyor’s plan. The drainage is going east and west it used to flow out to the west but once subdivision put in it now flows to the rear of his property. A previously approved subdivision created this problem and another development will continue that flow. He projected a photo of flooding from 2014. When the detention pond gets full it spills over. He projected a photo of trees that have fallen due to soil pollution. He showed a picture of his septic field. The water started flowing this way when North Point was put in. This is creating issues with water quality now. He noted that there is a basin that is proposed in the middle of the subdivision. Mr. DeYoung also projected a photo of the pipelines for Outlot A. The pipeline is 150 ft north of there. He has already touched the pipeline that is how shallow it is. He thinks that if the pipes are going to cross we need to verify rather than the contractor.

Cathi DeYoung 8720 Cline Avenue

Ms. DeYoung asked that they please put in planters. She said that all of the properties have well water. Mr. (Rettig) Lantz said they will be utilizing the ditch, she said that is not it a ditch. It was small from the start, but it has eroded due to all of the water flows.

Mr. Forbes stated he was going to bring it back to the board.

Paul said that regarding the sidewalk waiver, he thought that they had worked it out at the study session that it would be a short stub. Mr. Kozel asked if Mr. Rettig had anything more to say about the water flow. Mr. Birlson said that this natural swale is east. Mr. Rettig said that it is both. It’s grass,it’s not ditch. There is probably a tile in there, and it is probably not working too well. It is small you can probably jump across it. Mr.Rettig said that when they build a subdivision they work with what is there. Mr. Rettig said that they are not going to let their drainage go unrestricted outside of their property. Mr. Volk asked about the gas pipe. Mr. Rettig said that it is there and it is shallow. They won’t start construction until the pipelines come out and look. They are crossing over it. When they go on top of the pipeline they will put a concrete saddle to protect the separate pipes. Mr. Volk asked about the five properties in regards to the swale and what the screen is like. Mr. Rettig said that they haven’t planned anything. The screen will be the individual property lines. They could landscape them . Mr. Rettig said that they are building a berm. There is not much. Mr. Lantz said that he doesn’t mind putting a few trees, but he doesn’t want a tree line. He said they are only talking about the five lots. He is not going to run a solid row. There is a pole barn or a big building. They showed a property with a big pole barn. Mr. Volk asked about the area from the east side . Mr. Lantz said that they would be willing, but it would depend what they worked out. Mr. Panczuk asked which specific lots we are asking for. It was confirmed lots 29-31.

Mr. Forbes stated that we will now entertain a motion for the request for a waiver for the sidewalks across Cline Avenue. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to deny the waiver. The motion to deny was seconded by Mr. Birlson. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0) Ayes---5. Nays---1.

There is another waiver requested for the curbs along Cline Avenue. Mr. Rettig explained that they are putting in some curbs, but not the whole length. They are also adding in a lane, and have to move some power poles. The waiver is for the area along lot 35 and part of lot one. Mr. Forbes stated he would now entertain a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion that we grant a waiver of the curbs. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Forbes said that we could handle the renaming of the street on secondary plat. Mr. Kraus said that this situation happened in Greystone. The council will also have to approve. The North Point approved plat says 87th, but they agree it should be 88th. Mr. Eberly said they would have to request a correction of plat.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion for preliminary plat approval. Mr. Kozel made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0) Ayes---6. Nays---0.

B. 2018-0004 WALDEN CLEARING- Public hearing for the rezoning of 80 acres of land at the northwest and southwest corners of 93rd and Cline Avenues from Open Space to R-2 single-family residential
Mr. Eberly stated that all items are in order for this public hearing to proceed. Mr. Lenehan came up to speak for the Walden Clearing Public Hearing. Mr. Eberly stated that there have been some plan changes based on the staff meeting between the Police Department, Fire Department, IT Department, Town Manager, and Building and Planning.

Mr. Lenehan introduced Walden Clearing, and noted that this proposed development all lies west of Cline Avenue. They first approached the town two or three months ago, and they are here today requesting an R2 rezoning. They are offering commitments that go above and beyond R2 zoning. The property is currently zoned open space. There was a large annexation on the east side of town. It was zoned then as open space. However, the comprehensive plan shows it zoned as residential. So, they believe that they are compliant in this proposal. The plan now has 90 homesites, which is the third proposed number of lots. They extended a road connection, and they updated the cul-de-sac length. It is now in compliance with the ordinance. They have also created a right of way for a future round about. They will have to work with the traffic engineer and get that designed. They removed the nature preserves for purposes of their density calculation, and have new density numbers. Mr. Lenehan projected their proposed commitments.

Mr. Lenehan projected pictures of different home styles they are proposing. He explained that on the south side of the property Sublime will be building 10 styles of homes. They would be in the $500-$600,000 range. He displayed lifestyle photos. He projected an example of a landscape buffer. The picture shows only pine trees, but they would add deciduous trees to provide more screening.

Overall, they are trying to provide value in different areas, and they don’t necessarily think that more grass is always more value. This is an R2 proposal. Mr. Lenehan said that they have a warranty and quality standards.

Mr. Volk said that there was a comparison out there of the R1 and R2 site plans, and with the R1 the amenities would no longer be included. If we were to deny R2, how many R1 lots would we be able to fit in? It was also an item in the zoning commitment that they will be putting sidewalks in on both sides of 93rd and on Cline. Mr. Panczuk said that Mr. Lenehan mentioned a park with park equipment. He asked when the one at the northernmost park will have equipment. Since it would be later on, Paul said that at this point those areas are just greenspace.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Bryan Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive

Mr. Blazak showed a sheet that Olthof passed out to all the neighbors adjacent to the proposed development. If he doesn’t get R2 he isn’t going to do anything in terms of the additional commitments. If somebody is going to buy lots on the south side of 93rd and it is going to be a $500-600,000 house, why can’t it be R1? Mr. Blazak showed this sheet to two people and they said that Olthof is threatening them. Silverleaf is in the $240-250 range, and he wants a builder to build south of 93rd with $500-600,000. Basically, in August realtor magazine which is a national publications. Buyers want bigger yards over bigger homes. They did a national survey of 1,000 buyers in the millennial and younger buyer range. They said that distance between homes is more important to them. Non millennials agree on it even more. Demand is going to be for more external yard space and less square footage.

Rick Yarbrough 9231 Mallard Lane

He has been coming to the meeting since the inception. He saw the R2 PUD, and the negotiations that have been made. He lives on Mallard Lane on an R2 lot that lines up to the corn field. So, the development would be to the east of him. He has seen the changes Mr. Lenehan has proposed, and he is personally ok with it. He just wants to make sure that his property value is maintained. He said that if he follows through with the commitments he does not have a problem with it. He would like to see the plats, and make sure that they are not taking in any more water.

Vanessa Merkle 9221 Mallard Lane

Vanessa said that Mr. Lenehan came to their house to talk about the proposal with herself, and the neighboring homes. In regards to the R2’s, as long as it is equivalent to what they have she is ok with it. One of her concerns is the water drainage. She has taken some videos of how the water drains on her property currently. It’s a natural drainage, so they are concerned that if the houses are built it might change the water flow.

Jerome Shallon 12095 S Oakridge Drive

He lives on the other side of 41, so this doesn’t directly affect him. The right lane cuts east. He would like to see how they are leaving room for roads whether it’s development, easements etc. He doesn’t know how a round-about is going to look at 93rd and Cline. The town should have a master plan where they want sidewalks, curbs, etc. for where the roads are going to go, before the development begins.

Gerry Swets 9490 Joliet Street

He likes the idea of R1 lots on the other side of town. Everything on our side of town has been zoned R2. He is the head of the Homeowners Association, so he has discussed this. He likes the R1 lots along the south side. The idea of threatening to build cheaper houses. It seems funny to threaten to build lower quality homes when you’re a home builder. Just in case the Olthof threat was true. There does need to be additional lanes built now, not after the development. The roads need to meet the current needs, as well as, the future developments.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else that wanted to speak.

Tom Webb 9123 Mallard Lane

He asked if there are any restrictions on the similarity of house designs. Say, every couple houses can’t be the same designs. Mr. Forbes said that there is an anti- monotony ordinance. He understands that in their inspire collection there are several different styles, but there is little variability between the housing and the floor plans. They were given the same bill of goods, but it ended up all being the same. There is really little difference. Mr. Forbes stated that will come during preliminary plat.

Mr. Webb asked why on the north of 93rd some houses are being provided with breakfast nooks, and one side is being provided with trees. They committed to a vegetative buffer, but is there is any plan for anything additional. Mr. Eberly said that there are a line of trees out there. Mr. Flores stated that there is an existing tree line there.

William Olleris 9027 Mallard Lane

Mr. Olleris said that he has put in an investment in Northpoint. The plan is that there was going to be upscale homes. They have been building the same homes for 10 years. He is scared of his investment now. He would like to stay. He has great neighbors. From the looks of their office it looks great. Mr. Olleris asked why don’t they build nice houses like they used to in St. John? He has been here 10 years, and he thinks that Olthof needs to stop building in Indiana.

Mike Budak HOA President of Tiburon 9155 Morris Place

Mr. Budak spoke to the HOA, and they are worried about bypassing traffic on 93rd and Cline. For them, that means an increase of traffic cutting through to Blaine. This happens mostly, due to the lack of stop signs in Tiburon. There are no stop signs from 92nd through the roads to Blaine. So, they are asking for an increase in stop signs. Mr. Forbes said that he can forward the request to the Police Chief. Mr. Budak reiterated that there are no stop signs from the entrance of Lee to 92nd. Additionally,because of the natural water flow all of the draining goes south. The detention ponds can’t hold any more water. They need a drainage plan. They are on a town well they want to make sure that they won’t lost water pressure.

Larry Ensko 9241 Mallard lane

His property will back up to this subdivision. They are concerned with drainage. The farm field fills up with water. Additionally, he did feel threatened with the letter. He wants to know will Olthof actually come through? He was told that the commitment will be with the zoning property.

Jeff Kount 9400 W. 90th Lane in Willow Ridge

He wanted to reinforce the importance of some traffic comments around 93rd. He would like property designated for lane improvement in the future if they are not doing it in alignment with the development. There is going to be more and more traffic especially with the development of Luer’s Tree Farm. Put in the traffic lanes now. He thinks we are being very short sighted.

Cathy Wilson 9621 E Oakridge

She wanted to reinforce the traffic situation all over town. When these properties are being developed is when we should start this. She does feel that for Mr. Rettig that there is always a water issue. Going down 93rd she feels bad for the owner of the house when you come around the second curb. He has a pond in his front yard about 90% of the year. She is worried about the water issues. She asked if there is an ordinance that states the size of the house and the size of the lot. Mr. Forbes said that there are lots of ordinances that address the lot coverage. It addresses minimum house size for different lot sizes. There are building lines on each side of the lots, and the house can only go up to those lines. Depending on the subdivision some of those have floating building lines. The back is 40 ft rear yard setback. She said she thinks that still leaves plenty of room for the house on the lots.

Greg Johnson 9311 Mallard Lane

His property backs up to the new subdivision. His wife and him got information from the development. He didn’t feel threatened by the request for R2. He agrees with the commentators about the traffic particularly at 93rd and Cline.

Joan McInery 9405 W 90th Lane Willow Ridge

She is very concerned about traffic on 93rd and Cline Avenue. With the middle school there is safety issue pulling out of the school, and on the subdivision. That would be bringing approximately 180-300 cars through there. Additionally, she feels like it is a one way street communication. All of the Public Speakers are coming up and speaking to them. When will the Plan Commission have an opportunity to speak to the residents? Mr. Forbes said that the board speaks in the Preliminary Plat. That is when traffic will be addressed. She asked for the specific date. Mr. Forbes said that Mr. Lenehan is working with the Traffic Engineer now. This will be based on the recommendation of the Traffic Engineer. Can they see the infrastructure or future plans for infrastructure before we can say that we support the 90 houses. Or do we know that we have 90 houses and then we present it to the Town Engineer to figure out how we can support the traffic. There is an issue of public safety with having a school there. We are making this town very densely populated with one lane roads in each direction.

Mr. Forbes stated that he will now bring it back to the board.

Mr. Lenehan said that he mentioned earlier in his presentation that their whole intention was to create dialogue around this future project. They try to meet with people and go door to door. They tried to show that there is multiple ways for planning this. He stated that he regrets if anyone did feel threatened. They put in writing exactly what is being proposed. He has worked for Olthof homes a long time. He doesn’t own it he just works there and he lives in an Olthof home.

Part of the comprehensive plan is the thoroughfare plan, so they have those sets put in. They don’t need a site plan to do rezoning, but it is just nice to have. It is the Town’s Engineer that they will be working with. He also wanted to mention that the water will be going east into Tiburon. They will have a discharge to the Beaver Dam ditch.

Mr. Birlson said that at a previous meeting it was in his commitments that at a minimum they will have accel and decel lanes at the entrance of Cline Ave off of 93rd. He assumes other things will be needed. Mr. Birlson said such as turn lanes.

Mr. Panczuk said that he would like to cover a few things. He said that the handout was informational, but it did come as a threat. If they were R1, the lot owners would have much more greenspace, and the owners would have more greenspace between them and the lot.

Mr. Panczuk said that he does like some of what they are doing here. They are following the comprehensive plan of having a mix of R1 and R2 zoning. Lately, there is a lack of R1 housing that has been approved in town. The mix has gone from 81% R1 to 43% R1, so we are slipping downhill. Going forward he would like to see much more of an even mix. He thinks the entire south side should be all R1 to fit with the future development on the south side.

Mr. Forbes said that he thinks that he has addressed that the intention was not to threaten, and he thinks that it is wrong for Mr. Panczuk to keep hammering. Mr. Panczuk said that if they approve it R2 they can potentially come back with a different site plan. Mr. Lenehan said that he has no intent of changing one thing on the site plan; provided everything on the engineering goes well. He did try to do some of the work on his end before bringing it before the board. Mr. Panczuk said that this is only zoning right now. He is really looking at adjacent zoning, he is looking for a mix from developers. Every time we do an R2 we are adding 25% more traffic than if we were to do an R1.

Mr. Birlson suggested R2 on the north and R1 on the south. Mr. Kozel said that the minimum size house can be built on both an R1 and R2 lot. Mr. Flores asked that if he was going to affect anything, or if anything changes with the zoning from R2 to R1. Mr. Lenehan said that he would like to move forward with it the way it is here. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

Mr. Forbes stated that this a recommendation for the rezoning of this property. Mr. Kozel made a motion that we grant a favorable recommendation. Mr. Volk seconded. Mr. Birlson and Mr. Panczuk voted against the favorable recommendation. The motion for a favorable recommendation to the Town Council was carried (4/2). Ayes---4. Nays---2.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

C. MILL CREEK UNIT 3-Release of letter of credit
Mr. Forbes stated that all of the sewers, water mains, and streets have been constructed. The bond may be released and replaced with a maintenance bond.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now make a motion to accept the release of the letter of credit. A motion was made by Mr. Flores. The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

D. MILL CREEK UNIT 4-Reduction of Letter of Credit
Mr. Forbes stated that he has received a letter from Mr. Kraus. Public works has verified the streets. The bond may be released, and be replaced with a new bond. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to accept the reduction in the letter of credit. Mr. Volk made a motion to accept. The motion seconded by Mr. Panczuk. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.
E. SILVER LEAF 2E-Reduction of Letter of Credit
Mr. Forbes stated that Public Works has confirmed that all of the watermains and streets have been constructed. The current bond may be released, and be replaced with a new bond. Mr. Forbes stated that he would now request a motion to accept the reduction in letter of credit. Mr. Birlson made a motion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Flores. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.
F. 2017-0030 FAMILY EXPRESS-Petitioner: Jim Wieser/Doug Hohmeir/Scott Jones-Petitioner is seeking site plan approval as well as secondary plat approval of a Family Express Facility at the southwest corner of US 231 and Parrish
Jim Weiser attorney from Schererville is here to represent Family Express.They were granted primary plat approval at the last meeting, and they are here tonight for secondary plat approval, as well as, site plan approval. They are located on the southwest corner of Parrish and 231. They have provided all of the development fees. They still need to supply the letter of credit and surety bond. If they are granted secondary plat they ask that it be accepted without being signed by the President and secretary. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Mr. Panzcuk noted that the last link of sidewalk is not presented; south of Parrish, south of the property. The sidewalk should be extended to the south property line. Mr. Birlson asked about drainage. Mr. Kraus explained the drainage. Mr. Volk asked about the landscaping on the south end. Mr. Eberly stated that they withdrew their variance for landscaping in that area.

Mr. Forbes stated that we have Mr. Kraus’ letter of acceptance. The plan appears to be satisfactory. The public improvements have not been installed. There’s a possibility that the pavement on Parrish won’t be the same as the 231 pavement. What they lose in materials they are going to gain in labor. The layment of the different layers will take two projects. 231 is subject to INDOT standards where Parrish is not. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions addressing secondary plat. Mr. Kozel made a motion that we grant secondary plat approval. Paul seconded the motion. Mr. Kozel added an addendum that we receive a letter of credit. Mr. Panzcuk seconded the motion with the addendum.

Mr. Forbes asked for questions on site plan approval. Mr. Kozel stated that he makes a motion to grant site plan approval. Paul seconded. Mr. Kraus stated that this is subject to the letter of credit. Mr. Eberly restated that the site plan approval is contingent on recordation of secondary plat, which is contingent on the letter of credit or surety bond.

G. 2018-0006 THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3-Petitioner: Doug Rettig representing Dave Barick-Petitioner is seeking Permission to Advertise for a rezoning from R1 to a combination of R1, R2, and R3
Doug Rettig is representing three springs development and David Barick. They are asking for permission to advertise for a Public Hearing for rezoning, at the next meeting. The rezoning is from just R1 to R1,R2, and some R3. Most of the lots will be R1. They took out the cul-de-sac for green space, because of the pipelines. Mr. Eberly projected the zoning plan, so that the public can see that it is consistent with what has been done throughout the rest of the development.
H. 2017-0031 LEVIN TIRE-Petitioner: Carmen Arvia representing Barry Levin-Petitioner is seeking site plan approval for his Tire and Auto store at US41 and W. 85th Ave.
Mr. Arvia is here tonight seeking site plan approval. Mr. Eberly stated the final plat has changed, due to the acceptance of certain variances. The condition of the photometric plan is that they will provide a street lamp at the driveway of Shell Drive and the Levin Tire property.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Mr. Birlson said that he doesn’t think the turn lane is long enough. It should back up at least to the entrance of Shell Drive. Mr. Levin noted that they are providing traffic flow through their property to Rt 41. There was a comment from the Commission that you don’t pull out onto the road until you have access. That is typical all the way down Rt 41; from 85th all the way down to Kolling School.

Mr. Forbes stated that they have reviewed the site plan. He read Mr. Kraus’ letter. There is a bond for the existing subdivision.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion for site plan approval. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Mr. Birlson opposed. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/1). Ayes---5. Nays---1.

I. SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH-Petitioner: Don Torrenga-petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing for the potential rezoning of land they own immediately south of their church. This would be a rezoning from R1 single-family to R2 single-family
Mr. Torrenga is here tonight requesting a rezone from R1 single family to R2. Based upon what was discussed at the study session they made some changes. In this plan they did not get rid of the center of the cul-de-sac although that is what is happening.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now request a motion for permission to advertise for a public hearing. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant permission to advertise. Mr. Flores seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

J. 2018-0005 THE GATES OF ST.JOHN POD 17-REDEEMER CHURCH-Petitioner: Bryan VanRyn representing the church petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing for primary plat approval of this pod.
Mr. Torrenga is here tonight representing this property. Mr. Torrenga said that he hopes Mr. Kraus understands that the site plan is still being worked on. The driveway will line up to what is currently Sagebrook. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to grant permission to advertise for a public hearing for primary plat approval. Mr. Flores made a motion. Mr. Panzcuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.
K. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4F-Petitioner:John Lotton-Petitioner is seeking secondary plat approval of POD 4F
Mr. Torrenga is representing Jon Lotton. An estimate for cost of improvements was forwarded to Mr. Kraus. Mr. Forbes asked for a letter of credit. He read Mr. Kraus’ letter. Mr. Torrenga noted that the developer asks that signature be withheld until public improvements are completed. Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant secondary plat approval and the withholding of signatures. Mr. Flores seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.
L. THE GATES OF ST.JOHN POD 7B-Petitioner: John Lotton-Petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for a new primary plat for this pod due to some proposed changes to the original primary plat.
Mr. Torrenga is representing petitioner Jon Lotton. They are seeking permission to advertise. Mr. Torrenga said that a drawing was forwarded to Mr. Eberly. As discussed at the study session, they saw that there were issues with fire trucks and anything similar to that fitting in the cul-de-sac. The changes with the radius did not change any of the lots, except for the corner lot, because the radius is enlarged. They received an email that the road needs to change names. Since they are separate roads now they should have separate names. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to grant permission to advertise. Mr. Kozel made a motion. Mr. Panzcuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

Mr. Eberly noted that at the staff meeting, in regards to the length of the cul-de-sac, the concern was that the island be removed in its entirety regardless of the radius. Mr. Forbes said that this one in particular is so big that he actually does think there should be some greenspace. Mr. Birlson asked if they were concerned with multiple firetrucks. Mr. Eberly said that the length wasn’t a concern for the fire chief. He was concerned with having enough fire hydrants. Mr. Birlson asked if this water main would be looped. Mr. Kozel said that we have to come up with a length for these, so that they don’t keep growing. Mr. Eberly said that if the length isn’t a concern, he does think that the 400 feet seems awful short. Mr. Kozel said that they didn’t want them to get in the 900 to the 1000 ft. Mr. Kraus said that the length is measured to the end of the cul-de-sac so it’s actually 300 ft. Mr. Panczuk said that he does like the idea of green space, but he worries about the car parking.

M. THE GATES OF ST.JOHN POD 10M-Petitioner: John Lotton-Petitioner is seeking secondary plat of this single family section of pod 10
Bill Robinson is here tonight with Cal Atlantic, and they are requesting secondary plat of this single family section of Pod 10. Mr. Robinson said that they are proposing 81 lots on 31.89 acres. Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter that states that he finds this plan to be satisfactory. There is an additional request to withhold signatures until they provide letter of credit or bonds. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions Mr. Kozel moved that we grant secondary plat approval and that we withhold signatures. The motion was seconded by Mr. Flores. The motion was carried by voice vote (6/0). Ayes---6. Nays---0.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Joan McInery 9405 w 90th lane

Ms. McInery had one follow up question. She asked if the traffic report is public record. Mr. Eberly said that it is public record, and it can be found in the Building and Planning Office.

Patti Byers 9111 Cline Avenue

Ms. Byers asked if the property the church owns now is taxable to the Town, since it is owned by the church. Mr. Forbes said that they are rezoning it now, so that they can develop and sell it. It is taxed based on its use. It will be taxable for the residents once it is developed.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now request a motion to adjourn. A motion was made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. Motion passed 6-0.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:28 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

03-21-2018 Plan Commission

March 21, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT BOB BIRLSON RICK EBERLY, BUILDING & PLANNING DIRECTOR
JOHN KENNEDY STEVE FLORES KENN KRAUS, ENGINEER
GREG VOLK STEVE KOZEL  
PAUL PANCZUK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the March 21, 2018 Plan Commission Study Session to order at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Recording Secretary, Alyssa Gallegos took roll call with the following Plan Commission members present: Michael Forbes, John Kennedy, Paul Panczuk, Steve Kozel, Steve Flores, and Bob Birlson. Mr. Greg Volk was absent. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present. Town Engineer Kenn Kraus was present.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. The Gates of St. John Unit 17-Church site plan discussion and primary plat
Mr. Torrenga explained their situation of the advertisement with the Post Tribune coming out a day late, and therefore they missed the deadline by one day. He is speaking now in regards to Redeemer church. The church itself was originally placed 50 feet from the edge of the property. Under Mr. Lotton’s modification they recommend putting the church back another 50 feet, and therefore they needed to update the parking around the rear of the building. Mr. Eberly said that this is ready to go from a site plan perspective.

Mr. Forbes stated that we will address the acceptance for a public hearing for this at the public hearing.

B. The Gates of St. John 7B potential re-plat
Mr. Torrenga is also representing this item tonight. Based on the discussion at the last meeting, they reduced the size of the island in the street. They did a computer simulated drive-through with Fire Trucks and cars parked on the street, and they did a fire truck turn around. Mr. Kennedy asked if that was the Town’s largest engine. It was not, because we will not need the ladder truck for this, which is the Town’s largest engine. He believed that the Fire Chief’s preference was no island. Mr. Forbes said that he believes this situation is ok. Mr. Flores explained that they recently purchased a new truck, and it has a flat bed. With that, they usually prefer no island. Mr. Forbes said that we are currently looking at an old drawing. Mr. Kennedy asked if there will be roll curb. Mr. Kraus said that is the standard in the town now. Mr. Birlson asked who will maintain that greenspace. Mr. Eberly said that it would be property of the town, so we would maintain it. Mr. Forbes asked about the current maintenance of the lawn in the Gates. He said that it should be the responsibility of the POA. Mr. Forbes explained that he lives across from an area like this, and it is upkept, but not as closely as if someone were mowing their own lawn. Mr. Torrenga said that he would bring that back to Mr. Lotton. Mr. Kraus asked if that has to be an outlot then. Mr. Forbes said he thinks it would be. He said he doesn’t think there are many areas in the Gates that are maintained by the town. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.
C. Suncrest Christian Church Residential Development proposal-continued discussion
Mr. Eberly explained that this is actually already zoned R2. So, the only area they need to proceed with is the primary plat. Mr. Torrenga explained the work that they already did, and displayed that their site road will line up with 100th Avenue on the other side of Parrish. Mr. Birlson said that they also talked about decreasing the island. The greenery will be gone in the middle of that cul-de-sac. Mr. Kennedy asked if there is a requirement for lot 43 to have their driveway on a certain side of the lot. Mr. Birlson said that is correct, because otherwise they will have to make a u-turn. Mr. Torrenga said that he doesn’t know how to incorporate that into the site plan. Mr. Eberly said that they will enforce that within the building permit. Mr. Kennedy asked if that how it is usually addressed. Mr. Eberly said that we could put a note on the primary and the secondary plat that the driveway has to be on the furthest east side. Mr. Birlson asked if the 400 lots are not built in to this plat. Mr. Torrenga said that they are not subdivided, yet, but they are platted as part of the Gates. He explained that lot 30 actually overlaps another lot. Mr. Forbes asked if the plat will have to be redone. Mr. Torrenga said he assumes so. Mr. Kennedy asked if we will have accel and decel on Parrish, and if we will have road right of way. Mr. Panzcuk asked if we will have any kind of signage in the island. Mr. Torrenga said he believes that would be distracting, but that he will find out. Mr. Eberly said that if that is proposed, it needs to be proposed as part of primary plat. Mr. Kennedy asked for any other questions. There were none.
D. Rose Garden Unit 3-potential amendment to the PUD to allow one more lot on the south side of 91st Avenue
Doug Rettig is representing Sublime for Rose Garden phase 3. They are here to talk about the lower left corner of the drawing projected. They ended up getting a different consultant about the wetlands, and following that the wetlands moved. They realized that they could get another lot there now. So, they slid the retention pond back about 30 feet. Mr. Forbes asked if that affected the storage capacity of the pond. Mr. Rettig said no, but they will have to move one of the lots. Mike from Sublime said that they did have that lot there early on. They ended up moving and cutting the one lot for the retention pond, so basically they are back where they started. Mr. Rettig said that the way they are going to do that is by amending the PUD, and will start back at primary plat. Mr. Birlson asked about the sidewalks, and how it looks like they come in. Mr. Rettig explained that they pull the sidewalks in a bit to preserve some of the wetlands. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.
E. THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3- a new development plan will be discussed relative to this unit
Mr. Rettig said that they have been presenting this rezone for Three Springs for several meetings in a row now. They have advertised and met those requirements. Mr. Rettig explained that the blue area they would like to rezone to R2, they would like to rezone the red area to R1. The whole center is R1, because that is what it was zoned. The lots along the lake want to be R2 zoning. Mr. Birlson asked about the distance between the two pipeline easements. Mr. Panzcuk said that he has two questions. He referenced lot 42 and 37 that are R3, but they don’t seem to need to be R3, because they are not that close to the tracks. Mr. Panzcuk said that he doesn’t agree with the pipeline easements. They are right down the center of the lots. It is going to be 10-20 foot from someone’s wall. If the lot passes and changes owners, and there is miscommunication someone could go out back and drill for a deck. Mr. Rettig said that he had a site plan that displayed what Mr. Panzcuk is suggesting is speaking of. That was a tough sell too. Mr. Kil got involved when the site plan had a street over this lot with houses on either side, and he even made a suggestion for something like this. Mr. Rettig asked if the plan they are looking at has 67 lots. Mr. Kraus said that it does not. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Birlson said that the earliest one did have a cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig said that he will share the earliest version of this site plan. Mr. Kraus shared a paper copy of the earliest version of site plan. Mr. Kennedy asked if that could be shared among the members, so they can look at what it was before. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.
F. Arcadia Center-Sophia Panagakis-site plan discussion relative to her proposed retail center at 10083 Wicker Ave
Michael Stanula is here tonight. He is the architect for the Arcadia Center and Sophia Panagakis. In the last meeting, it was discussed that they remove the furthest south entrance and add some landscaping. It was also suggested that they add two bike racks. That increased their landscaping and impervious land. Last meeting there was also discussion for drainage. He gave Mr. Kraus a copy of their drainage plan, since Mr. Kraus had not yet received the plan. Mr. Kraus stated that the Ravenswood subdivision has their own storm sewer system for the whole subdivision. All the Arcadia center would need to do is take their own drainage.

Mr. Stanula said that there was a discussion with Mr. Eberly about photometrics. He handed the photometric plan to Mr. Eberly. He said that they will be using all LED lighting, but nothing too bright. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions.

Mr. Eberly stated that this has already been platted, it has gone through the BZA for variances, and all that is left is the site plan, which is what we are looking at now. Mr. Kraus asked about the pipelines. Mr. Stanula said that it is on the east side. Mr. Forbes said that is Earl Drive. Mr. Kennedy asked if Mr. Stanula is proposing a drive through on lot 1. He said yes. Mr. Kennedy asked if that will fit two cars. Mr. Stanula said that it would be tight for two cars. They have area around the back for parking. Mr. Kozel asked how they are going to receive deliveries. Mr. Birlson asked if they would back out, or if they would back towards the west. The Plan Commission members asked if people can get back to the north side of the building. Mr. Stanula said that he was the architect on the Ravenswood Plaza, and it is almost the exact same dimensions. He said that if they have to get in line to get out , then they have to get in line to get out. Mr. Birlson said that it might help if he extended the loading dock all the way to the north side of the building. It might help the radius. Mr. Stanula said that they could do that, but it would increase the impervious area and decrease the landscaping. The Plan commission and Mr. Stanula agreed on extending the length.

Mr. Kraus asked if they have auto tracking software. The Plan Commission members would like to see if you could get a long box truck, a semi, a big van delivery truck around that turn. Mr. Panzcuk said that if there is a drive-through, anyone coming off of the frontage road would immediately get stuck trying to get into the parking lot for any of the businesses. Mr. Forbes said we have addressed the problem for a truck going around there, but if it is a drive through there is automatically going to be a build-up. Mr. Stanula said that if he was able to reduce the 5 foot landscape they could make it 24 feet and that could be two lanes. Mr. Eberly said that if they are not putting a drive-through on the south end they could move the building and reduce that drive through. Mr. Forbes said that if that is the case they need to reduce the size of the building.

Mr. Stanula asked if they could have a reduction in the landscaping, since they agreed to two bike racks. Mr. Kennedy said that he believes the bike rack was a fair deal, since that was due to their granting of a waiver of sidewalks. Mr. Flores said that a lot of the employees from the building to the north, park in the back of the building. Mr. Eberly said that there will need to be a sign back there that says no parking. Mr. Birlson said that he thinks there needs to be 24 feet driveways. Mr. Kennedy said that if the south end is only one way out. Mr. Birlson said that on the south end there is going to be another window. Mr. Eberly said that there cannot be a drive up window on both sides of this building. Mr. Kraus clarified that this is the south of lot 1, and Sophia was speaking about lot 4. Mr. Stanula asked if the driveways can be 19 feet if there are no drive-throughs. Mr. Forbes said that we need to plan for the drive-throughs. Mr. Stanula stated that the north and south need to have 24 feet, and the east needs to have a 9 foot increase. Mr. Stanula said that the landscaping on that original plan is a lot different than the landscaping requirements on this drawing. Mr. Kennedy said as a safety concern that they need to have 24 feet. Mr. Eberly explained that the Plan Commission is suggesting carrying the loading dock at the south all of the way to the north. Mr. Panzcuk suggested to mark the loading zone. Mr. Eberly said that this will be on the April 4th agenda for site plan approval, if the photometric plans are sufficient.

G. Shops 96th- Bruce Boyer-review of the project and its rezoning request. Permission to advertise was granted to them last spring
Mr. Boyer said that it has been almost a year since they last came, but they are ready to move forward with Shops at 96. This development takes on everything from the St. John pool building all the way to the tracks. It is about 23 acres. All of the existing buildings will be demolished. There will be an extension of 96th avenue, and eventually an extension to Joliet street. There will be a multi-tenant building north of the extension of 96th avenue. They are going to build the second building first in order to relocate the Malt Brothers building, immediately following the demolition of all of the buildings. Mr. Boyer went through all of the drawings in the packet. The buildings are preliminary. They will be all brick and will be similar to shops in Schererville and shops in Munster. They have approvals from INDOT for the Rt 41 impact.

Mr. Eberly said that the Plan Commission has already granted permission to advertise. Mr. Kennedy asked if he will have to delineate the detention pond. Mr. Boyer said that they are relocating the detention pond. Mr. Panzcuk said that we are just in the rezone plan. Mr. Eberly asked if Mr. Boyer would want to be here for the April 18th study session. Mr. Birlson asked if St. John doesn’t obtain that property for the street to be built, and we have a building built, how will we access Joliet Street. Mr. Eberly said that Mr. Boyer may have mentioned that his planned frontage road will extend all the way to 97th near McDonald’s. Mr. Panzcuk said that this is ahead of this step, but looking at this plan to the north, has there been any discussion of keeping it open to continue north? Mr. Panzcuk asked if we can extend the frontage road further to the north. Mr. Forbes pointed out the area that they planned for extension. Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. There were none.

H. Road Impact Fee
Mr. Taghi Arshami was here to discuss the Road Impact Fee report. He explained that his handout is a synopsis of the process they go through for Road Impact Fee analysis. This is a process which allows us to collect additional funds for the development and infrastructure. Mr. Arshami said that St. John currently has an impact fee, and it is called a Park impact fee.

Mr. Arshami explained that the road impact fees are collected and used for growth. It is not for deficiencies in the town. Current residents don’t have to bear this cost. It is for future developments. It is a lengthy process, and it was December when they came back. Once this is approved, it will have to go to the Town Council for approval. Mr. Arshami explained that this is calculated by trip rates, which are the number of trips generated for additional growth. They evaluated the town and calculated what the land use is, what type of future development will occur, based on the current developments and current zones. The determination was that the total number of units will be 9,181 units. 1 EDU is one developed single family home, or a certain square footage. What is listed in the analysis as future growth is potential growth. It is not absolute growth.

A single family home will have to pay $5,000+ if we calculate to the full recovery cost, but if that recovery cost is applied it could result in negative growth in development. The Town manager and Impact Fee Advisory committee struggled with this. Mr. Arshami said that they have discovered 700 different land uses that can be used to calculate the fee. They have determined a 7% rate would be the working rate. This rate would stay in place for five years. That is the duration of a rate. The analysis can be updated, and then the rate change, but the plan needs to be updated before the rate is changed. It is expensive for the plan to be updated. If this plan is approved by the Council we can generate over 1 million dollars over the next 5 years, if there is 350 + housing units built.

Planning for land acquisition, and general planning will have to be implemented over the next couple of years. Mr. Arshami said that he is happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Flores asked if the fee is annually. Mr. Arshami and Mr. Eberly said that it is a one-time fee on the building permit. Mr. Panzcuk asked if the 7% flat rate can be changed for commercial or residential. He thinks that more of the burden should be placed on the residential level than commercial. Mr. Arshami said that it is calculated for many different factors. For example, McDonald’s has 28 times factor more than a single residential home. The more auto oriented the development they will have to pay higher fees. Mr. Panzcuk said that we are not trying to drive people from other towns to our Stracks and our Target. We are trying to serve our residents. Mr. Panzcuk said it would be nice to put that on the people that are running over here, and then complaining about the roads. Mr. Arshami said that they don’t look at individual uses. Take a shopping center with multiple uses; a shopping center would be less, because people make one trip to get a haircut, get something to eat, etc. When the rate is determined, the reliefs are there.

Mr. Forbes said that at the end of the day, whatever the rate is has to be the same for residential, commercial, industrial. Mr. Panzcuk said that it could be a little higher for residential, but he doesn’t like that it impacts commercial. To pay for the study it’s a couple of years. Mr. Birlson said that what he is saying is that the rate needs to be significantly higher. Mr. Kozel said that our building permits are already the highest because of the sewer impact fee that is going on right now. Mr. Kozel said that we can make a recommendation to the Council to go higher. Mr. Panzcuk said that people want to be here. They are coming over from Illinois, and they are not going worry about paying a little more, because they are saving so much. We do need to have good roads.

Mr. Flores asked if the fee is readdressed in 5 years. Mr. Panzcuk said by then we will be pretty built out. Mr. Arshami said that we need to address that there is a deficiency, and that indicates that there is need for the impact fee. Mr. Arshami said that other communities have used this to match grants, and they are really utilizing the dollars.

Mr. Panzcuk said that this town seriously needs a wheel tax. Mr. Birlson said that the town infrastructure needs to keep up with development. Mr. Kennedy asked about the graduated rate. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Arshami said that would need to be implemented now. Mr. Arshami noted that however this is set up it will go into effect 6 months after adoption by the Town Council.

Mr. Eberly said that we will hold a public hearing for it, to recommend it for Town Council approval. Mr. Panzcuk asked about current percentages of comparable towns. Mr. Arshami said that it was different for each. None of them had 100% recovery; many did have the graduated rate. Most of them had the differentiation between the first year and the last year. Mr. Birlson explained that it is about 10X the EDU to the cost per trip. So, for us it was be closer to 60 or 70 per EDU. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions for Mr. Arshami. There were none. Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Arshami for speaking.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now adjourn the meeting.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos

04-04-2018 Plan Commission

April 4, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Gregory Volk, Secretary Paul Panczuk Steve Kozel

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on April 4, 2018, 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, Paul Panczuk, Gregory Volk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, and Michael Forbes.

Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director; Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the March 7, 2018, regular meeting minutes and asked for questions or comments on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries with 6 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 abstention by Mr. Kennedy, due to being absent at that meeting.

Mr. Forbes advised that the next set of minutes are the March 21, 2018, Study Session meeting minutes and asked for questions or comments on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to approve by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries with 6 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 abstention by Mr. Volk.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2018-0005 THREE SPRINGS UNIT 3 – Potential Rezoning – (Dave Barick – Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Three Springs, Unit 3, for the potential rezoning of this unit from R-1 to a combination of R-1 single-family, R-2 single-family, and R-3 duplexes.

Mr. Eberly advised all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Mr. Rettig with DVG stated he is here representing Dave Barick, Barick Builders, the developer of Three Springs. He further stated they are here to rezone Three Springs Phase 3, which lies just south of Phase 2, more particularly just south of the lake. The property was annexed several years ago and they would like to rezone part of the property to R-2, part of it to R-3, and the majority of it will stay R-1.

They are keeping the R-1 sized lots on the lake, which was also done in Phase 2 and up to the north in Phase 1. They would like to rezone approximately 6 lots along the railroad tracks to R-3. The pipelines are cutting through the property, and they have the high-tension tower lines across the south end of the property. It is a tough site due to the shape of the unit and it is cut up. Mr. Rettig referred to the drawing and stated they are requesting for the blue area to be changed to R-2, the red area to be changed to R-3, and the balance of the property to remain R-1.

Mr. Rettig stated it was presented prior as a rezone to a PUD. At that time, they were bringing in a 67-unit plan; however, the plans have been changed. This plan is 48 units, which is a significant loss from the original plan. Mr. Rettig stated that he would be happy to answer any questions anyone may have.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to the public for Public Hearing.

Wayne Cain (9817 Allison Lane): I’ve been at that residence now for a little over ten years. And I just received a couple of days ago, um, from the Treasurer of Lake County of Indiana, my tax record. And the assessment is fair market value of my home. And after living there for ten years, my home is worth less today than it was when I purchased it ten years ago. And I’m concerned about this, um, subdivision going in, variance affecting it even further.

It’s – it’s a shame that after ten years, I – my house is worth less. And that’s with improvements, putting in the, um, landscaping and – and making improvements to my house, and it’s worth less today. And I just didn’t want – and I know Mr. Barick isn’t concerned about my investment. And he’s here, as he stated the last time, to make money. And at my closing costs, I looked at my paperwork, and he made $60,000 off my one house. And he’s not worried about me. Like I’m not worried about him; he’s making plenty of money. And I feel it’s up to the board here to keep everything in check and balances for us individuals. Thank you.

Sherri Hammermeister (10215 West 99th Avenue): I’m very much opposed to the Phase 3 new, uh, design. It seems to me the developer only makes a few changes each time he presents his new plan and gets turned down. So I’m hoping this plan gets turned down too.

I’ve called the ANR Pipeline and talked with a man named Jim. He states that there are a lot of restrictions when buying a lot on a pipeline. Most developers don’t even mention this in a disclosure when selling those lots. Buyers beware that you cannot build anything on the pipeline, such as a pool, shed, or trees. Also, fences need to be at least 5 feet away from the pipeline. And then, also, once most of those homes are built in this Phase 3, they dig that pipeline up and build larger and harder pipe to accommodate all those homes.

This pipeline has high-pressure gas, 850 pounds per square inch. If someone were to dig without knowing the pipeline is there, it could explode. And I would probably feel it across the lake, cause I live across the lake. Um, um, I also, um, Vector Pipeline has a larger pipeline that goes through, and it also has the high-pressure gas. That one is actually closer to the homes, the lots where the homes would actually be. So if they were real close, um, to the homes, that wouldn’t be built. I don’t know how that would happen.

Um, the plans that are dated 8-15-17 shows a total of 39 buildings. The new plan that’s dated 2-15, this one, which is only 6 months later, instead of the one-year ordinance, the developer is supposed to get to come back and present the board to rezone. So I’m not sure why we’re even discussing this now. Anyway, on the plan of the 2-15, the one that shows now, has 4 – 42 buildings. So where are the bigger lots if there was now more buildings than before on 8-15?

I do like the plan of 8-15 where there were no lots sold on the pipeline. So if you can look back at that one and see that there’s R-1s on there, those lots, 18-22, could still be the villas by the tracks. I believe those would be fine. But the – all the rest should be R-1s. Um, I just think that this is a concern seeing the Vector Pipeline is right close to where he would be digging to put, um, homes on. Thank you.

Mary Jo Biscan (10201 99th Avenue): In regard to the rezoning of Three Springs Phase 3, I’m like Sherri, I’m a bit surprised to be here again just barely nine months after the Plan Commission voted a “no recommendation” for the rezoning of the previous Phase 3 plans. I thought it had to be at least a year to come before the board again. But here we are.

Although I’m happy to see that the lots around the pond are remaining R-1 lots, those behind them should also follow the R-1 zoning, which, um, but I do agree with the exception of those along the railroad tracks. Uh, the location of the remaining lots may not be ideal, but what would play in their favor would be the R-1 size where the homeowners would have the ability, which I’m not – maybe, I’m doubting this now – to put in a pool. Maybe that still wouldn’t be possible, but at least it would give them a little bit more of a safety space because of the, uh, underground piping.

Once again, remind you that our town is known for the R-1-sized lots. That is what St. John offers as opposed to the surrounding areas. We don’t have the charming downtown and courthouse or the extended shopping and restaurant options to offer as some of our neighboring towns have.

But we seem to be heading for our crowded subdivisions and traffic and road nightmares that will surely drive prospective buyers as well as existing homeowners, I think, away. So please honor the foresight of those that initiated the R-1 lots as St. John’s zoning requirement. That is what sets us apart from the rest. It’s our quality, not quantity. Please take this into consideration when making recommendation. Thank you.

Gretchen Sutherland (10075 Springlake Road): My house is the lot just next to the proposed phase. Um, my lot is, I believe, three-quarters or two-thirds of an acre. So my lot is very large. And the proposed lot next to my lot, I believe, is R-2. Um, my wish would be that the lot next to mine, and those lots adjacent, would be R-1.

Um, I do not have any objection to the lots along the railroad track being the duplexes or the, uh, paired villas. I understand the reason for that. Um, I didn’t hear fellow neighbors speak about the concerns about the pipeline and the high-tension power lines today. And in the past, however, to the east of us and to the west of us there are many, um, high-valued homes that are right along those high-tension power lines and, uh, pipelines. And that does not seem to be a deterrent.

Um, I am concerned about my home value. I currently have my home up for sale wishing to relocate elsewhere in St. John. And the feedback that I get from potential homebuyers is, is that they do not like what has been proposed next to our subdivision; and, therefore, they are hesitant to purchase. And several of them have purchased in Crown Point as a result. Um, that’s documented feedback from potential homebuyers, and that affects not only myself but other members of our neighborhood.

Um, I do agree with what my other neighbors have objected to. Again, I have a beautiful home that was belt – built by Dave Barick. And I am very grateful for the home that I do have and what I have been able to do for my family in that home. Um, I do not doubt the fact that he can build high-quality housing of a good value on lots that are of a respectable size for the Town of St. John. Thank you.

Grant Luff (10080 Springlake Road): And my house is the last one, right now, on the lake. And I would like to keep those nice, big lots like that all the way around the whole area, because I think it brings up value to everybody’s home. So I just would like to see R-1. If you have to sneak some R-2 in the back by the – by the tracks, I would – probably wouldn’t be so against that. But the R-3, I’m very against. I don’t think it should be in there. We have enough of those when you first come in off of Hart. We don’t need anymore, so that’s pretty much what I got to say. Thank you

Emily Swets (9943 Wisteria Lane): I’m just here as a fairly new resident of Three Springs. Um, just concerned about the value of the home that I have just built. Um, one of the reasons why I was drawn to this subdivision is because of the lot sizes. Um, we did look in Renaissance and The Gates of St. John. And honestly, Three Springs, the sizes of the lots was a huge seller for me. I love the fact that I didn’t feel like I was closed in. And I feel like if that changes, that could possibly hurt potential buyers wanting to come into the subdivision as well as hurting my home value, and that’s why I’m here today. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, um, when you develop a parcel and you begin to sell homes, um, in a phase, like a Phase 2 and then you share with the homeowners what their neighborhood is going to look like, when it’s done, around the lake, don’t be surprised if they’re angry and upset when they find out that you plan to make significant changes. That’s what the residents in Three Springs have been dealing with. And they’ve been dealing with it since November of 2016.

The fact that they are still here, or actually here again, should give you an indication of how serious they want to protect their neighborhood and their investments. Changes like putting up twice as many homes on the same amount of property or put up homes on 57-foot-wide lots right across the lake, a few houses down from 100-foot-wide lots, or, you know, that type of thing, those are the things that they’ve had to deal with. In other words, just changing their neighborhood, um, after you’ve sold the people homes, um, just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And, gentlemen, as a Council, committee, you are tasked with trying to decide what to allow so that land developers can do what they need to do without injury to – to them, but also without injury to the homeowners. I know that Mr. Barick is in business to make money, and he builds really nice houses. And I also realize that this is a challenging piece of property to develop it because of the railroad, the pipelines, the power lines; but Mr. Barick knew that when he bought this piece of property. In fact, at one of these meetings, he was sharing that he got such a good deal on it because of that, so you just can’t shake your moneybag and cry poor at the same time, which seems to be what he’s doing.

Um, it’s a nice lake. Waterfront homes, I think, are becoming a very valuable commodity. If you look at development — the development that will be right to the east of that, there’s also upon there, and if you start approving smaller R-2 lots on the back end of this development, it will influence the development of the value of those next properties as well.

If you look at the homeowners and – and what would the duplexes and R-2-sized lots do? Well, it would lower the average selling price of home in their development. It would increase the population density in their area; increase traffic; increase the need for the required resources: water, sewer, garbage, police and fire, schools. And the traffic flow continues, then, that goes along with it. So what will it do for the Town?

Well, it would give you the same increases with the responsibilities, but no added benefit. Smaller lots and smaller homes means lower home values, which means lower tax base. We have seen this property planned with large, single lot family homes in the south end, and then duplexes on the south end. Now we’ve got R-2 on the south end, cottage-style homes on the lake with 57-foot-wide lots. That’s what it started out with, uh, duplexes along there. Um, and Mr. Barick just has not listened to the lot of suggestions of this Commission.

In fact, at one of the first Study Sessions, it was suggested to put R-1 south of the pipeline. And that 78-foot lots and lakefront wouldn’t work. But he came back the first time with no significant changes. Well, he’s had to make some changes now because it wasn’t approved. And he still wants this, that many duplexes on the west side, even when two of them are on lakefront. You know, I mean, you talked about, you know, the Commission talked about approving the duplexes along the tracks; but when you start incringing on the lakefront, uh, I think that’s going too far.

So what’s left? Where are the parks in this development? I mean you give R-3s, you give R-2s, and what – what is the – what are the – what does the neighborhood get back? Uh, there’s no parks in Phase 1. There’s no parks in Phase 2. I don’t see any park here. Now, there’s going to be some green space because of pipelines and things like that, but that’s just easement. There’s no playground.

Um, the Town Council’s already voted down this rezoning once. Uh, and don’t ask them to do it again. Just, you know, um, come with a negative recommendation and just deny the request from Mr. Barick. And don’t re-engineer it for him. You don’t need to do that. Just vote “no.” No for the residents of Three Springs who expected R-1 zoning.

Um, Mr. Forbes, in fact, at one of the meetings, you stated that whatever gets approved here will most likely continue east and south. Uh, Mr. Kozel, you stated that it might be ten years before that develops, and you just don’t know what it’s going to be. But you’re the Plan Commission. That’s your job, to plan and also to hold everything to their plans. I just don’t see any benefit in this plan for the neighbors or the Town, and I ask you to deny this request for rezoning. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I – I’ve heard good things said about Mr. Barick. And this is not about him personally. But as we look at the whole town, we can’t have people who buy and invest their whole life savings in a house, worry about its value being depreciated by rezoning. And that – that’s the fundamental thing of everything in this town.

People rely on the zoning when they buy into a subdivision. That protects the value of their house. They know what they’re getting into, and that’s why they make the purchase, and that’s why they come here. If you have a revolving door here, where you can come in periodically and try and rezone and rezone, you hurt the property values of the people who detrimentally relied when they bought their house. For that reason, I remonstrate against this.

The other issue I see here, I see no attorney sitting at this Plan Commission. I think you need attorney’s advice. I read part of the other Barnes and Thornburg thing. And I see words in there like “seems” and “appears” and other things. I think you need to have your own attorney, write your own opinion on your Zoning Ordinance on how many times you can come before this board. Because the reason you set a time limit on how many times you can come before this board is so you don’t wear the people out who have legitimate complaints that they – they can’t keep coming back with the same complaint over and over again.

You wear them out, and – and that is why the Zoning Ordinance had in there a time limit on when you can come in and – and do these petitions. Everybody gets a fair bite, but it’s not fair to the people that live there if they got to come back here, very randomly, rezone, rezone, we change this, and we change that. I think the fact that you don’t have an attorney here, put yourself at risk. It puts the Town at risk. But it all comes down to property values, protecting the people that already invested their life savings.

A lot of people will be paying that mortgage off 25 years, 30 years, whatever they got. And for you to come in there, what you’re doing is taking money out of their pocket. If you reduce the size of these lots and the property values, they get directly affected. And you have a responsibility. You took an oath to get on this Plan Commission. You have a duty to protect the property values of the people in this town. And for that reason, I think you should reject this multiple coming back and rezoning.

Mr. Barick has a right to do this. You have a right to be objective and to see what the impact is on both parties. And for those reasons, I remonstrate against this multiple, repeat – I call it offense – of trying to come back often and often and wear everybody out and reject the public comment that comes when people are en masse the first time. And the second time, the crowd diminishes.

But it’s all about property values. And I think every time you do this, you’re reducing the property values of everybody in town, primarily those in the neighborhood. And for those reasons, I think you should reject this proposal. Thank you.

Jeff Gard (10005 West 99th Avenue): First of all, when I bought my lot from Mr. Barick, through Mr. Consier, his real estate person, he told me it was going to remain R-1 and be single-family homes back there. Secondly, at the last meeting, Mr. Rettig said that there was R-2 lots in Phase 2. To my knowledge, I don’t even know of any. There might be one. So why are we going to give them a variance to put R-2s back there? I don’t understand that. And the third thing is, I forgot. Anyways, I’m not good at this public stuff. Um, I can’t remember. Thank you.

Mr. Rettig stated he would like to clarify a few things. Three Springs Phase 1 is zoned R-1, R-2, and R-3. Three Springs Phase 2 is zoned about 90 percent R-2. There’s no R-1 zoning in Phase 2. Some of the lots are R-1 sized because the Plan Commission asked for them, the ones on the lake. There’s also R-3 in Phase 2, so these lots are all 100-foot wide. They’re all very consistent with Phase 1 and Phase 2. There will not be any smaller lots than are in Phase 1 or Phase 2. All lots will be 100-foot wide, including the duplexes. Home values should be consistent as well.

Mr. Barick stated he is sitting there listening to what he considers fake news. And the first person to get up here said he made $60,000 on his house. He lives in a quad. Mr. Barick knows what that house costs built. He stated he hasn’t made $60,000 on a house in his entire career. He funds houses with his own money, so it may appear on the statement that he made a $150,000 profit on the house. However, he has to pay himself back. The bottom line is that was a false statement and is making him look bad. Mr. Barick stated he did not make $60,000 on any of those houses, and wanted to clear that up.

Mr. Barick stated that Gerry Swets gets up here and mentions 57-foot-wide lots. There is not a single lot there that is 57 foot. Maybe initially when they were doing the cottage homes, yes. Not now. They are all 100 foot or somewhat bigger. To talk about the parks isn’t right as they are here to discuss zoning, not the layout, not infrastructure. He resents those comments.

Mr. Barick stated the last person that was up there, he is building right next to the gentleman’s house right now, and they caught him doing something bad in the wetlands.

Mr. Forbes stated let’s not.

Mr. Barick protested and stated the people seem to be mad at him for that, but he caught the gentleman doing that. He said it was their job to stop that stuff. Mr. Barick also stated the man was never told that was going to be all R-1 lots over there. He bought a lot there in the recession from us. He may have asked around the lake, but none of the lake lots are R-1 lots.

Mr. Barick stated he doesn’t think they are doing anything that will depreciate any of the property values. Nobody lost money on their homes during the recession. All of the houses were sold at fair values, not inflated values. He doesn’t understand why people from outside the neighborhood come in and rile these people up and tell them all these false things.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anybody who has not spoken that would like to speak.

Karen Gard (10005 99th Avenue): I am the wife of Jeffrey Gard. One of the things I would like to say is what he forgot to say is when Doug came up here and said that these property values should remain the same, I – I’m saying that that’s just – no way is that true. I sat here last month and listened to him talk to all of you. And I think you asked him, um, you know, well, how will you sell those lots if people can’t put pools or sheds or fences or whatever? And he very clearly said, oh, those, all those lots will reflect that by – in price.

What does that mean? That means those property values will be much lower than any of the other property values in that neighborhood. That, to me, I am – I said – speaks volumes. I’d also like to address Mr. Barick saying that my husband was just angry at him. You know what, yes, they did go back and forth. Partly because he thought Jeff was doing something down by the water, taking some weeds out and stuff that he wasn’t supposed to do. Mr. Barick did – did the very same thing. He actually took power equipment all the way down to the shore. We even have that on – on – we recorded. He was not supposed to do any of that.

You know what, none of that has anything to do with what’s going on here. Did we buy our lot during the recession time? No, we bought our lot in 2015. We bought it from his realtor. His realtor was very clear that everything else that was going to be done in our subdivision was going to be R-1. He never even said anything about any more duplexes. So what he is saying is absolutely, positively, not true. I’ve sat here for the last how many meetings?

I don’t know anybody that insulted Mr. Barick. Nobody said anything, anything bad about him. As a matter of fact, I heard a bunch of people saying good things about him, deserved or not. The bottom line is, is there is no way what he’s planning on building is not going to bring our property values down. They even admitted that by saying those lots would re – be reflecting that in – in – by price.

Everyone that would have to buy any of those lots would know you’re on a pipeline. You have – you have power lines there. There’s so much you can’t do. You know you can’t have a pool; you can’t have a fence; you can’t do any of those things because of – because of what’s on that land. I don’t even understand why you have to build, then, on that land. Yeah, make it a park. Make it a park where you can’t actually do the building. This, to me, this whole thing doesn’t make sense.

And also, also one last thing: If – If you do have a rule that says once it’s presented and voted down by you and it shouldn’t be presented again for a whole year, why – why do we keep going through this? Wh – I mean, this is all, I think, 9 months later. And how many more times has it presented in those 9 months? Doesn’t make sense to me. Thank you.

Cliff Ganser (10311 99th Avenue): I live in Three Springs as well. Gentlemen, let’s keep this a desirable, uh, bedroom community, you know. I mean, aren’t we in some magazine or something like that, top 100 towns or something? The way I see this town going now with all these cottage homes, duplex, you know, all this, I – I just feel like we’re not going to make that list any more, you know.

That’s why I moved to St. John, because it seemed like it – it was different than the surrounding towns, okay. Now, you take a look at a town like Munster, and then you got Highland, and you got, you know, the surrounding towns. Munster stands out as a – as a desirable, uh, you know, home values stay up. And that’s how I viewed St. John. You know, people, you know, more and more people I talk to are starting to go to Crown Point, and this and that. You know why; because this is happening here.

He’s just – the developing, yeah, you got to develop the land. I get it, you know. Builders got to make money. Developers make money. But, you know, you guys are the board. Let’s keep this a town that is desirable and holds property values, you know, a bedroom-type community. I mean, isn’t that how you guys view this town? That’s all I have to say.

Mr. Forbes again asked if there was anybody who has not spoken that would to speak. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes stated the last time this was here, it got shut down. The Public Hearing got shot down because of the attorney; correct?

Mr. Eberly stated it was a “no recommendation” to the Town Council at 3 ayes to 3 nays with 6 members present. Mr. Eberly stated that it had been mentioned that this matter should be rejected and stopped here; however, by law, the Plan Commission does not have the authority to do that. The Plan Commission may make a “no recommendation,” a “favorable recommendation,” or an “unfavorable recommendation” to the Town Council. The final approval or denial can only be made at the Town Council level on a request for rezoning.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further discussion from the board.

Mr. Flores asked how the timeline works. Mr. Eberly advised when a matter is rejected, it has to wait one year before it comes back before the Plan Commission; however, the attorney had advised on a previous matter that if there is a significant change in a project, it can come back before a year has passed. He further stated “significant” was not defined and is applicable to all future projects, presumably.

Mr. Birlson stated the rule doesn’t say anything about change or significant change. It just says if it gets denied, you have to wait a year. Mr. Eberly stated Mr. Birlson is correct.

Mr. Flores asked if it should not have been here then. Mr. Kozel stated there was significant change. Mr. Birlson stated that the rule doesn’t say anything about change.

Mr. Forbes stated the attorney’s review of this says that it can come back if they make a significant change. The purpose of the one-year rule is to prevent a developer from returning immediately with the same plan. This development has had significant change to it and is not the same plan. It is in the same area, but it is a different plan.

Mr. Rettig stated they are even asking for a different zone. RC-2 PUD was being requested, and that has been changed to R-2 and R-3, which is a different application.

Mr. Flores stated, from the public safety aspect, he is not comfortable with lots being on top of those pipelines. Mr. Forbes advised the pipeline is something we deal with in this town, and there are subdivisions where houses back up to the pipeline and other subdivisions where houses back up to the pumping plant.

Mr. Panczuk stated backing up to a pipeline and maybe taking out 10 feet or 20 feet of a person’s yard; however, when it literally takes half of the lot, it is only an R-1 lot on paper. Mr. Panczuk is concerned about safety. Mr. Panczuk stated that if Phase 3 was zoned R-1 when the people bought homes in Phase 2 and is changed after Phase 2 is built, it doesn’t sit well with him.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had been on the Plan Commission since Phase 1 came in, and there has never been a minute when Mr. Barick stated that that would stay R-1. Mr. Panczuk stated that he isn’t disputing that, but if a potential buyer went to the Town Hall and asked what the property next to a lot is zoned, they would be told it is R-1.

Mr. Kozel stated that when we do building and planning, we have to do it for everybody and not just say that an R-1 lot is going to fit everyone or everyone’s style, everyone coming to town can afford an R-1 lot or wants an R-1 lot. We have different classes of people, we also have people of different ages. And a lot of the retired people do not want the larger lots now, but they want to stay in town.

Mr. Forbes asked for any final comments on the matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion for either a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation, or no recommendation to the Town Council regarding the rezoning.

Motion to grant favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the rezoning of Three Springs Addition, Phase 3 for R-1, R-2, and R-3 by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Volk.

Vote by roll call:
Mr. Kennedy Nay
Mr. Panczuk Nay
Mr. Volk Aye
Mr. Kozel Aye
Mr. Birlson Nay
Mr. Flores Nay

Motion fails 4 nays to 2 ayes. Mr. Forbes asked if there was another recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion for an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council on the rezoning of Three Springs Addition, Phase 3 by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Birlson.

Vote by roll call:
Mr. Kennedy Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Volk Nay
Mr. Kozel Nay
Mr. Birlson Aye
Mr. Flores Aye

Motion carries 4 ayes to 2 nays.

(The preceding roll-call votes were taken by Mr. Forbes; hence, he did not vote.)

B. 2018-006 THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 17 – REDEEMER CHURCH – Primary Plat Approval – (Bryn VanRyn – Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 17, Redeemer Church. This is a Public Hearing for Primary Plat Approval of this 1-lot commercial subdivision along with Site Plan action. The petitioner is Bryn VanRyn.

Mr. Torrenga stated the Mr. VanRyn isn’t here. Mr. Torrenga stated that they had an error with the advertisement. It was one-day late going into the newspapers. All of the green cards went out properly. The sign was placed properly and the question is whether or not this Public Hearing can be heard this evening.

Mr. Forbes stated that it has been in the newspaper for 14 days, and 15 days is required.

Mr. Torrenga stated that it made 15 days in one paper and only 14 days in the other paper.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any further discussion from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to waive the rules regarding the publication for this Public Hearing.

Motion to waive the rules for the 15-day on the one newspapers by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries unanimously.

Mr. Eberly stated all other items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Mr. Torrenga with Torrenga Engineering stated that he is here representing Redeemer United Reformed Church and Mr. VanRyn is the architect they are working for, and he was unable to make it this evening. They are asking for subdivision approval for 1 lot so Redeemer can build a church. It is in The Gates of St. John on Park Place. The lot is across the street from Sagebrook. There is nothing to the north, south, or east.

Mr. Eberly advised there is a letter in the packet from Mr. Kraus regarding the plat.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. The project includes 4.4 acres for one lot with associated infrastructure and facilities. The plan is dated February 21, 2018, and revised March 29, 2018 are satisfactory. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan has not yet been determined, and the fee will be determined at the time of review.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions for the petitioner. Hearing none, he opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I have no remonstrance against them doing their project. But what I do object to is this Plan Commission waving a legal notice. The legal notice is a statutory requirement. It’s to bring people here to the meeting. You do not have the authority to waive the legal notice. Your authority goes to what the Zoning Ordinance says and those sort of things. But you cannot waive the statutory requirement, even for a church. I have no objection to the church doing this.

The proper way to do this is have them re-advertise and go through and follow the Statutes of the State of Indiana. I think you put the church in jeopardy when you allow them to do this, because anybody can say the – the Public Hearing was not proper. And all it takes is re-advertising and getting it approved, because I’m sure you’re all going to be in favor of this. But I think you don’t want the church to be in a position where somebody can say they violated the Statute of Indiana requiring the proper legal notice. Thank you.

Mr. Eberly advised the board is not waiving a statutory requirement, you are waving your rule. The statute provides that notice must be given. It is up to the municipality to determine how that notice will be given. Your former rule said ten (10) days. You changed it to fifteen (15) days. This is a Plan Commission rule that you are waving not a statutory regulation.

Mr. Eberly further advised that there was publication in the newspapers, one of which was 15 days in advance in accordance with the rule; the other paper missed your rule by one day.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone else wished to speak. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes for any further discussion from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Preliminary Plat for Redeemer United Reformed Church.

Motion to approve Primary Plat approval for Redeemer United Reformed Church referencing the Findings of Fact. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries unanimously.

(A brief return to Item A, Three Springs Unit 3 was had.)

Mr. Forbes advised that the Findings of Fact needs to also be addressed for Three Springs and asked that Mr. Panczuk amend his motion for Three Springs Addition, Phase 3 to reference the Findings of Fact.

Mr. Panczuk amended his motion for an unfavorable recommendation to include referencing the Findings of Fact. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Birlson if he accepts that amendment and second that motion. Mr. Birlson stated he does.

Mr. Forbes advised that, strictly addressing the Findings of Fact, there is a motion and a second on the floor and asked for a vote solely for the inclusion of the Findings of Fact. Motion carries unanimously.

(Item B, The Gates of St. John Pod 17 matter was resumed.)

Mr. Forbes asked if Site Plan needs to be addressed. Mr. Eberly stated that Site Plan cannot be approved until the Secondary Plat is approved.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Torrenga if they will be presenting their Secondary Plat in May. Mr. Torrenga stated that they intend on submitting it as soon as possible.

Mr. Eberly stated that the Plan Commission will do Secondary Plat and Site Plan together at the same meeting.

Mr. Kraus stated that there are a couple of unique things about the Site Plan approval. There is a grading to reroute some swales around the property, which involves working on Mr. Lotton’s property. So we will need a letter from him granting permission for that work to be done on his property before approval can be given from the Plan Commission for the Site Plan.

Mr. Kraus informed Mr. Torrenga that for the Secondary Plat, he will need to be notified of the cost of the sanitary sewer. He believes that is the only public improvement that you are making, and if it is not over $45,000, the minimum fee of $900 will be charged. Mr. Torrenga stated that the sanitary sewer will be less than $45,000.

C. 2018-0010 THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 7B - Replatting of a Portion of Pod 7B – (John Lotton – Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Pod 7B. This is a Public Hearing for the replatting of a portion of Pod 7B. The Petitioner is John Lotton for this single-family attached section of The Gates of St. John.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed; however, the plat was received this afternoon and Mr. Kraus had some issues relative to the plat, so this may not be ready for an approval tonight.

Mr. Kraus stated that the items they didn’t get are how the original infrastructure that was planned has been changed and a lot of clerical checklist items for a plat that needs to be addressed. Mr. Torrenga stated that they will address those.

Mr. Torrenga stated that they have had discussion regarding the cul-de-sac, the lots themselves. There really hasn’t been any change since the last time he was in.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments for the petitioner. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to the public for Public Hearing on this matter.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone form the public would like to speak. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Panczuk stated that there was discussion about the center island becoming an outlot and asked if anything advanced on that. Mr. Torrenga stated that he spoke with Mr. Lotton regarding that. There is a homeowners association that does cut the center of Park Place, anything else that is necessary within The Gates of St. John, and they will be taking care of it also.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer at the request of our Town Engineer. Motion to defer by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries unanimously.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

D. 2017-0007 SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat for a Single-family Development at Parrish and 100th Avenues
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Suncrest Christian Church for permission to advertise for Public Hearing on Preliminary Plat for a single-family development at Parrish and 100th Avenues.

Mr. Forbes stated that they have had some discussion on the matter, and will have an opportunity to discuss it at the next Study Session and entertained a motion to authorize Public Hearing.

Motion to authorize Public Hearing for Sunrise Christian Church subdivision by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries unanimously.

E. 2019-0008 ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for an Amendment to its PUD Plat to Allow an Additional Single-family Lot
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden, Unit 3, for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for an amendment to its PUD Plat to allow one additional single-family lot to the plat.

Mr. Forbes stated that they will be able to address this at the Study Session if there are any concerns and entertained a motion to authorize Public Hearing.

Motion to authorize Public Hearing by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries unanimously.

F. 2018-0009 ARCADIA CENTER 10083 WICKER AVENUE – Site Plan Action for This One-Lot, Multi-tenant Commercial Development – (Sophia Panagakis – Mike Stanula)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Arcadia Center, 10083 Wicker Avenue. This is Site Plan action for a one-lot, multi-tenant commercial development. The petitioner is Mike Stanula.

Mr. Eberly stated that there are some items missing, so he recommends that this be deferred to a future meeting.

Mr. Forbes stated that he is okay with deferring the matter and addressing questions at our Study Session. Mr. Birlson stated he has a question regarding the drawing: He though the bump outs were going to be eliminated and do just straight curb.

Mr. Eberly informed Mr. Birlson that he does not have the latest drawing.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer this matter. Motion to defer by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I was just speaking with Mr. Barick. And – and – and – and – and the comments that he made about, um, some of the statements that I made that were misleading and false, and so I apologized to him if they were misleading. And I would like to do the same thing to this Commission that if the sizes or dimensions or some of those things that I said, if they’re inaccurate, I apologize for that. And – and – and I would like to thank this Commission for their work. Um, I did have one other point. I don’t recall it now. I guess it’ll wait for next month. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I think you’re at risk. I think you have to get an attorney to give you legal advice. You can’t rely on your other gentlemen to tell you what opinions have been given by other attorneys. That’s all like hearsay on hearsay. I think you need to have an attorney present to give you advice on these things. On whether the notice is correct or not, whether the one-year thing is correct or not. You need to have the attorney present. You can’t have a layperson giving you legal advice. And I think you should hire an attorney or get the Town Council to hire an attorney so that you’re properly represented here. You can’t operate the way you been doing here today. You’re at risk for doing that. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes stated for the record that those legal opinions did not come from Mr. Eberly. Mr. Eberly stated that was correct and there was a written correspondence from Mr. Austgen allowing a petitioner to come back in less than a year’s time.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I have a, more of a question than a comment. Um, I’ve been attending a couple meetings. And I’m – I’m looking for some sort of, uh, confidence level that the infrastructure process, uh, to help our roads and our situation around are under control. Is there anywhere I can go to look at a map or a diagram or a – a, um, progress report on what is scheduled and when it’s scheduled?

Traffic, if you go out at the right time and your retired and you go out around 10 o’clock or at 2 o’clock, it’s really fine. But if you go out at 8 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon, it’s really tough around here. And I know there’s work underway, but I just don’t know what it is or who’s doing it or who’s responsible. Could you give me any guidance?

Mr. Forbes stated that there are documents available. If you want to go and talk to the Town Manager, he can give you that information.

That does not come thorough the, uh, Planning Commission?

Mr. Forbes stated that we have a lot of information available to us. The whole town has been reviewed by First Group Engineering. It’s a very comprehensive study that is also available if you make a Public Information Request. It is really technical data as far as traffic movement.

I’m not looking for technical. I’m just looking where – where –where are the roads going to get better.

Mr. Forbes stated every year the Town Council does road repair, and that list is done on a yearly basis. Projects are done every year. Mr. Forbes stated that list should become available soon. Mr. Forbes stated that many developers make improvements as they put in their developments.

Just silly little things. I was behind a – a trailer truck going down the -- the street, and I got to tell you, you can’t see a – a light hanging overhead when you’re driving behind a trailer truck. I look at, um, a – a – you – you know the spots. Joliet and 41. I mean these are dangerous sections. I mean crowded is one thing. Dangerous is another. But, um, I’ll contact the city manager. Thank you.

Joan McInerney (9405 West 90th Lane): So for the, um, Three Springs, so the recommendation that you put forward, the unfavorable recommendation, that – will that be reviewed at the Council meeting tomorrow?

Mr. Forbes stated that it most likely would be reviewed at the end of the month. Mr. Eberly stated that it will be April 26th.

Okay, great. Thank you very much.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Second by Birlson. Motion carries unanimously.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:14 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

04-18-2018 Plan Commission

April 18, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Gregory Volk, Secretary Steve Kozel  
Paul Panczuk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on April 18, 2018, at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following members present: John Kennedy, Paul Panczuk, Greg Volk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director, Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent:

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. 2018-0007 SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH Residential Development Proposal Continued Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Suncrest Christian Church, the continued discussion of a residential development proposal.

Mr. Don Torrenga with Torrenga Engineering stated they have submitted all the plans to Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly. Suncrest Christian Church is on Parrish Avenue. It is 43 single-family, R-2-sized lots. The sanitary, sewer, water main, and storm sewer are already there. They are putting in a storm retention pond in Outlot B. Outlot A is simply an open area that will be dedicated to either the homeowners association or the Town; he’s not sure which one it is at this time. There are some low areas in there, and they were afraid that it might cause a problem, so they do not wish to develop that area. Mr. Torrenga asked for any questions and stated he would be happy to answer them.

Mr. Forbes asked if Outlot B will be green space. Mr. Torrenga answered in the affirmative. Mr. Forbes stated that we’ve had the discussion about maintenance and care for areas like that, so it is my suggestion that that go to the homeowners association. Mr. Torrenga stated he believes that was the intention anyway.

Mr. Forbes stated there has been discussion on the length of cul-de-sacs. Mr. Torrenga stated they will be asking for a waiver on the length of the cul-de-sac as it does exceed the ordinance requirement of 400 feet.

Mr. Forbes stated that we’ve heard from our public safety officials that they don’t have an issue with the length of the cul-de-sac and asked the board for their thoughts or comments on it.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Fire Chief recommend that we have an ordinance that has 5 hydrants every 600 feet. Mr. Forbes stated he wanted to make sure there were hydrants down the length of the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Birlson asked if the water main would be looped and not be a dead end on the cul-de-sac. Mr. Torrenga stated he showed it as a dead end; however, the intention is to loop it, and that it will be reflected on the plans. Mr. Birlson asked what the radius is. Mr. Torrenga stated it is 60 feet to the outside of the curbs. Mr. Eberly stated that it is 65 feet.

Mr. Torrenga stated the curbing is 100 feet in diameter.

Mr. Kennedy stated his entrance is lining up directly across from 100th Avenue and asked if that was correct. Mr. Torrenga stated the median across the street is not as wide as this median; however the center lines do line up.

Mr. Torrenga stated that Mr. Eberly notified him that on the Primary Plat that the driveways for Lots 1 and 43 need to be as far east as possible and that he will be correcting that.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were no access easements to Parrish Avenue. Mr. Torrenga stated that that is on the plat, it’s a one-foot strip, almost like a spike strip, with no access directly onto Parrish Avenue.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had. Mr. Forbes asked when we are having Public Hearing on this. Mr. Eberly stated that Public Hearing would be done on May 2, 2018.

Mr. Panczuk asked about sidewalks along Parrish Avenue and stated that we are requiring that of Family Express directly to the south, and asked if that is something that should be depicted at this point. Mr. Eberly stated that they are not asking for a waiver at this point, so they would be required on Lots 1 and 43. Mr. Eberly further stated that he wouldn’t expect them to be across the outlots. Mr. Panczuk stated that he would like the sidewalks to be run across those as well to cover the length of the development.

Mr. Birlson stated that he would think we would want it to go from property line to property line. Mr. Eberly stated that is the best case scenario.

Mr. Kennedy asked if a sidewalk is required to be put on Outlot B without a waiver. Mr. Kraus stated that it would still be required. Mr. Torrenga stated it is not on the plan, so that will have to be added.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further discussion. None was had.

B. 2018-0005 THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 17 – Church Secondary Plat and Site Plan Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 17 for the church Secondary Plat and Site Plan discussion.

Mr. Torrenga advised that this is the subdivided lot that had been previously subdivided and is being re-subdivided 50 feet north from where it was originally platted. It is currently vacant property. The intention is to put a church on it. The storm water detention for this will be handled in the proposed pond to the north. The construction of that pond will be contiguous with the construction of the church. A sanitary sewer is being put in along Park Place to service the property. They will be tapping into a water main that already exists.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions or comments on this matter. Mr. Kraus stated there was a contingency on the Site Plan approval that we get a letter from the adjacent property owner, Mr. Lotton, to be able to work on his property because there are ditches that have to be moved and grading work to be done off of their property, and he has received that letter this afternoon granting permission.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the ditches are regulated ditches that need approval through the Lake County Drainage Board. Mr. Kraus advised that their jurisdiction stops at Joliet Street.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions. None were had.

C. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4G – Secondary Plat
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Pod 4G, Secondary Plat.

Mr. Torrenga stated that this is a continuation of the Pod 4, Unit 4 of The Gates of St. John. All the engineering has been submitted. This property is the remaining portion of Pod 4 that has not been platted. Everything else around the outlot pond has already been platted.

Mr. Forbes asked if there have been any changes from the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Torrenga responded that there were no changes.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments from the board. Mr. Kraus stated that he doesn’t believe any of the improvements are in yet, so a letter of credit or a surety bond will have to be issued for the improvements.

Mr. Torrenga asked if they had sent the computations for that letter of credit. Mr. Kraus stated that he has received it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there will need to be a letter of credit for the church. Mr. Kraus stated that the only public improvement for the church is the sanitary sewer, and they have a $900 Developmental Fee.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments. None were had.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 7B – Continued Discussion Regarding the Potential Replatting of This Pod
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Pod 7B. This is a replatting of this unit. There has been extensive discussion about the cul-de-sac and the turning radiuses.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions or comments. Mr. Eberly advised that this matter is a continued public hearing.

Mr. Torrenga stated that they had had the Public Hearing, but the engineering portion was not yet submitted; and that has now been submitted to Mr. Kraus and Mr. Eberly.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus for a status update on that. Mr. Kraus stated he had just received the engineering plans and has not had a chance to look at them closely as yet. However, he did see that all the lots are covered as far as services for sewer and water and it looks like there is enough drainage on there because the detention basin that goes around the Redeemer Church is in between where this pod is, and all of the cul-de-sacs and streets are dumping into that detention basin.

Mr. Kraus further stated that he hasn’t had the chance to check the sizes, but everything looks good on a first look.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the reconfigured lots meet all the requirements in the subdivision for size. Mr. Forbes stated that it is a PUD. Mr. Eberly stated they do meet the requirements.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

E. WALDEN CLEARING – Begin Discussing Primary Plat Action for Proposed Single-family Development at Cline and 93rd Avenues / Request to Advertise for Primary Plat Public Hearing at the May 2, 2018 Meeting
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Walden Clearing for beginning discussion on Preliminary Plat for a proposed single-family development at Cline and 93rd Avenues. The petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing at the May 2, 2018, meeting.

Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes stated they are looking to continue on with the approval process for Walden Clearing. They are looking to request permission to do Public Hearing in two weeks. The plan hasn’t changed from the approval that was given at the Town Council meeting. It is still 90 homes, 64 on the north side of 93rd Avenue and 26 on the south side of 93rd Avenue. He further stated he would be happy to answer any questions.

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

Multiple members asked if the drawing provided is the most recent one. Mr. Forbes asked about the issue at Lot 57. Mr. Recktenwall stated there is a street that goes east-west there now. Mr. Forbes asked if the length of the cul-de-sac is no longer an issue. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it is no longer an issue.

Mr. Eberly showed the appropriate drawing on the screen for the board. Mr. Kraus stated that the sidewalks come parallel to 93rd Avenue until they get to Thoreau Drive and then they turn into the subdivision. And across the street, the same thing happened. There are no crosswalks to either go across the road on the north or the south side of 93rd, and there are no sidewalks that cross 93rd. The same thing happens on the street that comes out at Cline Avenue. There is a future roundabout at Cline and 93rd planned, and he is not sure what to do with the sidewalks there.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the intention was to provide sidewalks on all frontages and not to direct traffic across 93rd Avenue. Mr. Kraus stated that there is a safety issue here that he is concerned about with getting across 93rd Avenue, but he doesn’t see one getting across Thoreau.

Mr. Eberly advised that in the traffic study that Denny Cobb did, he saw that as well. Mr. Cobb made a comment that the sidewalks should be extended on Thoreau Drive where it intersects with 92nd going into Tiburon; however, the sidewalks on Tiburon don’t come out to Cline Avenue either. Mr. Kraus stated they come to Cline, and then they 45 to the middle of the street and stop. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Cobb had picked up on that and mentioned that those sidewalks should be extended towards Cline and 93rd Avenues complete with an ADA ramp.

Mr. Forbes stated the drawing he is looking at does show those sidewalks. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they are showing sidewalks all across their frontage, but it doesn’t show ADA ramps heading north or south across 93rd Avenue. Mr. Kraus stated none are shown across Thoreau.

Mr. Eberly showed where the sidewalk ended and states that it does not go out to the radius like it should. It does go along the frontage of Cline Avenue. The sidewalk coming out of Tiburon does not extend to the curb either.

Mr. Kraus stated that he wanted to bring it up to the Plan Commissioners that there is no sidewalk shown crossing the street now. Mr. Kraus further stated that he doesn’t have a problem with it not crossing Cline or 93rd Avenues because of how busy they are. The interior streets should continue to get to the other side of the street to continue on the sidewalk that parallels Cline and 93rd Avenues. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they can add those ramps.

Mr. Kennedy asked what about 93rd and Cline Avenues. Mr. Kraus stated at 93rd and Cline Avenues, they show on the south side, the sidewalk going all the way to the edge of their property and ending there. Even though they have a right-of-way cut out for a future roundabout, the sidewalk just went straight across. On the northeast corner of Cline and 93rd Avenues, they show it going around the circumference of that circle where the future roundabout is. There is no receiving sidewalk on the Tiburon side of Cline at 93rd for it to connect to. Mr. Kraus just wanted to bring it to the Plan Commission’s attention how it is being laid out right now.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he thinks there should be a sidewalk on Thoreau as well and that it should be striped. Mr. Forbes stated those two intersections should be extended; however, Cline and 93rd, he is okay with that not going as a full sidewalk intersection and to let it curve so everybody stays on the one side of Cline because there is nothing on the Tiburon side. Mr. Kozel stated that could be adapted later, if need be.

Mr. Kraus stated that on Tiburon, the street is called 92nd, but it has a different name, Thoreau, on the other side. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they could change the name if necessary. Mr. Forbes stated that since they line up, it should be the same street name.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Forbes to explain what he was saying about the sidewalk at 93rd and Cline Avenues and if there would be an access point going across 93rd where Lot 87 currently is. Mr. Forbes stated that that stretch of sidewalk could go either way; however, to keep people out of that intersection, perhaps it should not. Mr. Kozel stated that if people are going to cross, they are going to cross; but to provide them the opportunity to do it is like a suicide mission in his opinion.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there is a stop sign there. Mr. Forbes stated that there is a stop sign there. Mr. Panczuk stated that folks are going to cross at that stop sign whether or not there is a crosswalk. Mr. Birlson stated that it should be put in, especially with a stop sign. Mr. Forbes stated that that would allow them to walk south across 93rd Avenue, and he then asked if it would go either east or west from there. Mr. Birlson stated that he wouldn’t have it go east or west. Mr. Panczuk stated that he doesn’t think it should either.

Mr. Birlson stated he doesn’t think you can provide a sidewalk ramp and not have another sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Mr. Kraus stated that that is correct. Mr. Panczuk asked if you can have the sidewalk and just not have the ramp. Mr. Birlson stated that the sidewalk couldn’t be provided going to the street, but it could have a 90-degree turn. Mr. Kraus stated that he doesn’t know if the sidewalks on the opposite side of the street meet the pavement, if they are ramps, or if there is a curb. Mr. Kennedy responded it is a curb and actually stops 3 feet before the curb on the north side; however, the one on the south side has a ramp.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that he doesn’t think they can cross Cline Avenue. Mr. Forbes stated that basically they can only do the crossing at 93rd Avenue. Mr. Birlson stated you can’t go east or west on Cline Avenue, but you can go north and south on Cline Avenue and across 93rd Avenue. Mr. Panczuk stated that folks are going to make that maneuver. Mr. Eberly stated that as Mr. Birlson and Mr. Kraus explained, we cannot install sidewalks crossing a road without receiving sidewalk ramps on the other side.

Mr. Forbes stated that this is something that has to be addressed at the Town level. Tiburon was a Lake County approved subdivision and did not come through the Plan Commission, so that is why it is like that. Mr. Kraus stated next to those sidewalks, there is a drainage turnout. If you put the sidewalk across that, it will require culvert pipes as well.

Mr. Birlson asked if we are looking at extending Cline Avenue to the south. Mr. Eberly stated they are providing a 50-foot right-of-way for the west half. Mr. Forbes added if the property to the east develops, that is when we will look at extension.

Mr. Flores asked if by Lots 86 and 87 a turnaround needs to be provided there. Mr. Forbes stated that there are subdivisions where the road just ends. There may be stone put down, but that can become problematic as well. Mr. Eberly stated that since we have the right-of-way there, we could put stone in there for a turnaround. It wouldn’t be a bubble; it would be a hammerhead. Mr. Forbes stated there is a problem with that: In The Gates of St. John, there was a turnaround, and everybody used it; but then they started complaining that the turnaround was in such poor shape.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Eberly if he has the full-scale prints for this development showing sidewalk dimensions and radiuses. Mr. Eberly stated he has the electronic drawings and showed the same on the screen. Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Eberly if he could send those when the developer shows the changes for the sidewalks. Mr. Eberly said it is a huge file, but he will send it.

Mr. Recktenwall stated they could send a couple of sheets. Mr. Birlson asked that they show the lot sizes and where the sidewalks are. Mr. Kraus stated that the utility plan would probably be the best one as you can see the sewers and water lines as well as the sidewalks. Mr. Recktenwall asked for clarification that Mr. Birlson asked for lot sizes. Mr. Birlson stated that he had.

Mr. Volk asked if there are any details on the decel/accel lanes, curbing lanes, or things like that. Mr. Eberly stated that the traffic study has been submitted, and they need to put in accel and decel lanes on Cline Avenue and on 93rd Avenue, but they do not need right-turn lanes or left-turn lanes for this development. Mr. Birlson stated that that surprises him. Mr. Eberly stated that this development can only be held accountable for the improvements that are needed for the impact of the development only and not for the total buildout of the Town.

Mr. Birlson asked if we can push for more. Mr. Eberly explained that there isn’t a recapture fee for roads, so he isn’t sure how we could credit them for putting in improvements that are needed because of Town-wide development. Mr. Kraus stated that the way he understands it is set up is that if someone is on 93rd Avenue and wants to make a left turn, the decel and accel lanes will be used as a passing blister. Mr. Eberly stated that they are granting sufficient right-of-way for the future improvements you are talking about.

Mr. Panczuk stated that it will be like Cline Avenue and US 231 where people will be waiting to turn left, and they are turning left because the development is there. It isn’t a marked turn lane, and people use it like a turn lane, it makes an unsafe situation. Mr. Panczuk further stated that it would be nice to address it somehow at this point instead of just putting a blister there.

Mr. Forbes stated that we have to rely on what Mr. Cobb is saying. Mr. Panczuk stated that he feels it would be prudent for the Town to try and come up with the difference and make that improvement, because it doesn’t seem safe. Mr. Birlson stated that you see other developments with turn lanes provided. Mr. Panczuk stated he would rather have a marked turn lane rather than accel/decel lanes. Mr. Eberly stated it could be explored.

Mr. Volk stated that he wouldn’t want to see the through lanes jog over. There are heavy trucks going through there and doesn’t feel a bubble would work. It works in front of Clark because of being almost 5-lanes wide. Mr. Birlson stated it would have to be long enough that it isn’t a sharp curve. Mr. Panczuk stated that it should have enough room for two cars to stack. Mr. Kozel asked what if there are more than two cars stacked then.

Mr. Eberly stated that he has a meeting in the morning with Denny Cobb, so he will address this with him and get his input. Mr. Recktenwall stated that he would also confer with Mr. Cobb.

Mr. Panczuk asked who is in charge of all the green space. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it will be maintained by the homeowners association. Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Recktenwall if the Site Plan he is bringing to the public meeting will show which park is going to have equipment or what kind of equipment is going to be presented. Mr. Recktenwall stated that there will be an area shown and designated as a playground area. It may not be the exact layout, but it is planned for Outlot A on the north subdivision, and there will be walking trails, and whatnot, throughout the rest of the outlots.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

F. GREYSTONE UNIT 2 BLOCK 1 – Secondary Plat Submittal
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Greystone, Unit 2, Block 1, regarding Secondary Plat.

Mr. Jack Slager with Schilling Development stated that they will be coming to the May 2nd meeting to request Final Plat approval for Unit 2, Block 1 of Greystone. This is the first portion being platted on the west side of Calumet Avenue. Primary Plat approval was received a few months back for the entire west side of Calumet Avenue. They are now coming back in phases with chunks of lots at a time.

Mr. Slager stated that Unit 2, Block 1 contains 15 duplex lots, 4 cottage-home lots, and one commercial lot at the corner. It follows the original plans. They are currently in the process of putting in the improvements. They have Mr. Kraus’ letter, and they will do a surety bond for whatever is still needing improved at the time of Final Plat and will pay the Developmental Fee prior to the next meeting. They will be signalizing the intersection and have signed the contract with Hawk Enterprises, who will be doing the signalizing. It will have buttons for pedestrian crossings across Calumet Avenue at the bike path and also across Greystone Drive.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Slager if they discussed when that signal will become active. Mr. Slager stated that the original agreement was that it would be active prior to occupancy of anything on the west side of Calumet Avenue. By their estimation, they have instructed Hawk Enterprises to order supplies and have that signal active by September 1, 2018.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the board. None were had.

G. ROSE GARDEN UNIT 3 – Discussion Relative to the Possible Amendment of the PUD to Allow One More Lot to be Added to the Primary Plat
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden, Unit 3, regarding a discussion on the possible amendment of the PUD to allow one more lot to be added to the Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG is present representing Sublime Development, the developer of Rose Garden. Mr. Retting showed the lot they would like to add and stated because it is PUD, they need to amend the Primary Plat approval.

Mr. Rettig stated that their advertising is in place for the May 2nd Public Hearing to amend the PUD Primary Plat for Rose Garden, Phase 3. The purpose of that is to add the requested lot. He stated that they will also be asking for Final Plat approval for Rose Garden, Phase 3. So they will be asking for Primary Plat to add one lot, ask you to waive the rules, and go for Final Plat approval. It would be primary and secondary approval for the one lot and secondary approval for the whole subdivision. Improvements are going in, the curbs were installed earlier today, and asphalt should go in next week. All other improvements have already been installed.

Mr. Rettig stated that their goal is to have everything approved on May 2nd and have the mylars signed ten days later. The developer already has folks who are ready to start building.

Mr. Forbes asked for any comments or questions from the board.

Mr. Kennedy asked if this is an R-2 PUD. Mr. Rettig confirmed that it is. Mr. Kennedy asked if the lot requested meets the 15,000 square feet. Mr. Rettig stated that it does. Mr. Rettig added for clarification that there was extra room there. There was a wetland issue, the wetland consultant gave the wetland delineation line, they surveyed the points in, and the wetland line moved significantly. They are taking a bit of land from one lot and adding it to the lot they are adding, and both lots will be in excess of what is required for R-2 lot sizing.

Mr. Birlson asked if he is wanting to do all the lots, Lots 1-21, on Secondary Plat. Mr. Eberly stated it will actually be 22 lots. Mr. Rettig stated the subdivision will have 22 lots, but they are only doing Secondary Platting on Block 1. They are stopping improvements between Lots 2 and 3 because they have not received wetland approval to finish the road to the south.

Mr. Birlson asked if the US Army Corps of Engineers is going to allow them to extend that road. Mr. Rettig stated that they have said no at this time. Mr. Birlson then asked if it should be platted with a dead-end road at the south end of Lot 3. Mr. Rettig stated the reason they’re not going to plat Lots 1 and 2 is if they can’t get the permit, they are prepared to come back and amend it again and put in a cul-de-sac.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

H. ARCADIA CENTER – Continued Site Plan Discussion for this Commercial Lot at 10083 Wicker Avenue
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Arcadia Center, the continued Site Plan discussion for a commercial development at 10083 Wicker Avenue.

Mr. Matt Zurbriggen with Abonmarche Consultants stated that he is here representing Sophia Panagakis and the Arcadia Center for continued Site Discussion. This is for Lot 13 of the Ravenwood Business Center. It is 1.93 acres and they are proposing a 14-unit commercial building with the initial phase containing only the first northern four units. They are proposing an entrance off of Earl Drive on the east and one on 101st Place to the south. The storm water is going to be sheet drained to the east and the west of the building and tie into the existing storm structure on the southwest part of the property and exit to the south. The two entrances will be installed with the first phase with the northern half of the parking lot, and the second phase will be installed at a later date.

Mr. Eberly stated that when we last met on this project, it was being held up due to the drainage plan and the photometric plan. They have submitted the photometric plan, and they are spot on with that. The only thing left is Mr. Kraus needs to address the drainage plan. This is scheduled for the May 2nd meeting for Site Plan approval if the drainage plan is satisfactory. Mr. Zurbriggen stated they just submitted that plan yesterday. Mr. Kraus stated he has the plans, he’s looked at them, but he has not reviewed them.

Mr. Forbes stated it looks like the back has been cleaned up as discussed. Mr. Flores asked if the drive-thru area was widened. Mr. Panczuk stated it looks like 21.9 feet on both sides, and he believes we were looking for 24 feet. Mr. Eberly stated that when he spoke to the architect about it, he said that he would like to plan one of two things: either a 10-foot drive-thru lane, which leaves 12 feet for a drive around, or the possibility of having a commitment that there be no drive-thru on either end of the building. The preference is to provide for a 10-foot drive-thru for each end of the building with a 12-foot lane going around.

Mr. Panczuk asked if that will be a one-way traffic flow. Mr. Zurbriggen stated if it is going to be a drive-thru, it would have to be. Mr. Eberly stated if someone enters off of Earl Drive, they could only go north. Mr. Panczuk asked how the drive-thru would work on the south end of the building. Mr. Forbes stated one would have to zip over pretty quickly if they came in off of 101st in order to hit the drive-thru properly, which could be problematic.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Plan Commission could require one-way circulation on the south and east side of the building. Mr. Eberly stated that they could. Mr. Birlson asked if it would be striped that way. Mr. Eberly stated that the developer would be required to stripe it that way in signage.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the change to the dimension of the back of the building affect the landscaping that was approved through the BZA. Mr. Eberly stated that that was discussed with the architect at the last meeting, and there was some give and take there. Through Site Plan approval, the Plan Commission can grant a lesser landscaping requirement. It can either go before the BZA or the Plan Commission, which can accept the change to the landscaping through the Site Plan process. Mr. Eberly further stated that if we need more pavement, we’re going to have to give somewhere on landscaping.

Mr. Kennedy asked if it was ever brought up to reduce the building size as opposed to reducing the landscaping. Mr. Kozel stated that it was. Mr. Eberly also stated that it was. Mr. Kennedy asked if they reduced the square footage of the building. Multiple members said no. Mr. Forbes stated that it appears that they reduced the landscaping.

Mr. Panczuk stated that we need hard numbers on that, and he is concerned with whether or not to allow a drive-thru on the south end. Mr. Forbes stated it would almost have to be a single window more towards the rear of the building, that way the car could get into the lane and more acclimated to the building. Mr. Panczuk stated that it might work with clockwise flow. Mr. Kraus said it would have to be one of those where you would have to pay and pick up from the same window. Mr. Birlson asked if it would be an issue when there is more than one or two cars at the window and it starts to back up or come out on 101st. Mr. Forbes stated that that could be a problem, also, as there is no stacking.

Mr. Forbes stated another problem is 101st has a median, so you will go in, go around the median, swerve back into the entrance for 101st, and then try and turn to go to a drive-thru on the side of a building. Mr. Eberly stated that the plan is to shorten the median there. Mr. Flores stated that the window will have to be towards the back of the building to be able to get to it, as was stated earlier. Mr. Eberly stated that, in practicality, it may be that a business with a drive-thru just doesn’t work there. They won’t go there if they don’t think it’s going to work.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Aurelio’s in Cedar Lake has a drive-thru on the back of the building, and it is a pick-up window. It is tight, but the window is actually on the back of the building. Mr. Volk stated that they can’t do that here because the 90-degree turn there is quite tight. Mr. Kozel stated there will be back doors on those buildings and people walking in and out of them. Mr. Panczuk stated that it seems the only solution is that a drive-thru is all right on the north side of the building only and not allow one on the south side, which will allow for safe traffic movement, especially since we don’t know what the end-user is going to be.

Mr. Kozel stated that it could be shortened up just a bit to get it in. Mr. Forbes stated that that is another option to take one unit out, which leaves more room to make the turn and dedicate an area for the drive-thru. Mr. Kennedy stated he is excited about this development and wants to work with this developer; however, it seem like the only one that is giving is the Town with reduced landscaping. Mr. Kennedy stated it would be nice to see some consideration on the reduction of square footage to meet some of these safety concerns. Mr. Panczuk stated that he thinks that a reduction in square footage is what it would take to get a second drive-thru.

Mr. Eberly asked if the Plan Commission is asking that there be a commitment that there be either no drive-thru on the south end of the building or a reduction of the square footage of the building to accomplish greater pavement width. Mr. Birlson stated that he is not sure if it would help to just reduce the building if that would help with the drive-thru issue. Mr. Kennedy stated it wouldn’t help the east side; but it would help the north and south side with turning radiuses.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is concerned with the stacking. If you get more than one or two cars, there is no where to put them on the south side. Mr. Panczuk stated that he doesn’t think it is safe for us to approve one on the south side at all; there are just too many issues. Mr. Flores stated that if you take that south unit out and stick a drive-thru there, it is still problematic. Mr. Forbes stated that you may gain an extra car in stacking but it would still be blocking the circulation around the building.

Mr. Forbes stated that based on the layout, a drive-thru window on the south side is beyond problematic. Mr. Panczuk stated it was made possible on the north side, so that is progress from where it was.

Mr. Kraus asked if there were any issues or waivers about sidewalks in this development. Mr. Panczuk stated that in lieu of sidewalks, they were going to provide two bicycle racks at their location as the frontage road may be striped with a bike path in the future.

Mr. Forbes asked why there was no connection between this subdivision and the one to the north of it. Mr. Eberly stated that the owner of the property to the north did not want the connection.

Mr. Kozel asked how soon the other units will be constructed since there are only 4 units that are being proposed to start with. Mr. Zurbriggen stated that they do not have a specific date at this time. Mr. Kozel asked if they will have enough of the same type of material stockpiled to complete the building. Mr. Zurbriggen stated that that is the plan. Mr. Eberly advised that the south wall will be a finished wall and not just a block wall anticipating future expansion.

Mr. Panczuk stated that when it was at the BZA, it was discussed about it having similar materials all the way around. Mr. Kozel stated that they just need to be sure to have enough to complete the building.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

I. SCHILLING CONSTRUCTION – Potential Combination of Commercial and Residential Development on the East Side of Calumet Avenue Just South of 101st Avenue
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Schilling Construction for a potential combination of commercial and residential development on the east side of Calumet Avenue just south of 101st Avenue.

Mr. Torrenga stated that this is a 20-acre parcel. It is very difficult to develop because there are a number of easements that run through the south half of it. It is located on the east side of Calumet Avenue, south of 101st. There is a partial development subdivided to the north and a development to the south. They are proposing is 20 lots, of which Lots 1 and 20 would be commercial, C-2 designation. The rest of the lots are zoned R-1.

Mr. Torrenga stated that Lot 1 has a proposed plan on there for a Dunkin’ Donuts. The Patels are here this evening. They are the owners of Dunkin’ Donuts, and the people developing the proposed property.

What they have done with the layout is they have tied Blue Sky Drive in on the north side and the cul-de-sac. On the south side is Red Rock Place, which dead ends. They have a second idea of throwing a cul-de-sac in there so that Red Rock Place does not dead end. There is a large portion of this property on the south side of the electric and pipeline easements, a Chicago District Electric Generating Corporation easement, which is unusable because you can’t get to it. That is where the cul-de-sac would be. It runs the length of the property. The lots that are on the main street would all go all the way back to that south property line except for a couple in the middle, Lots 14-16, where there is a proposed drainage and detention easement.

Mr. Eberly stated that he believes there is some merit to bringing Red Rock Place into this development. It doesn’t have to necessarily be taken straight to the road, which would eliminate an entire residential lot. Red Rock could be done in a 90 to become a private drive getting over to the main road to give people from Greystone a chance to get into the commercial lots without having to go out onto Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Torrenga apologized that the lot numbers are not on this drawing and stated that Dunkin’ Donuts is proposed on Lot 1, and Lot 20 is the other proposed commercial lot. Mr. Eberly stated the rest of the lots will all be R-1 and are all at least 20,000 square feet. They are all 100 feet wide, and the corner lots are 120 feet wide like they’re supposed to be. This property is a little similar to the Three Springs situation where there is a lot of easement on residential property. They have 160 feet of lot depth before you get to the easement, so they would still have approximately 16,000 square feet of buildable area.

Mr. Forbes stated that in regards to Red Rock, when the development came in, he anticipated that this would develop commercial and is why he wanted that road there so that the people would have access to whatever commercial is there and didn’t have to go out to Calumet Avenue to access it. This is basically a frontage road system. It is a residential street, but he does have an issue with people having to hopscotch onto a busy thoroughfare to jump into and out of a commercial development. Mr. Forbes stated that, in his opinion, there has to be a connection to the commercial property with Red Rock. He would like to see the same connection continue north to the undeveloped/unowned portion that would be the corner of 101st and Calumet Avenues. Mr. Eberly agreed with Mr. Forbes.

Mr. Eberly stated if you brought Red Rock Place due north and brought it in here, they’d lose this residential lot. There is room on the commercial lot, so the drive wouldn’t destroy the ability to develop that.

Mr. Torrenga asked if it would be a full public right-of-way. Mr. Eberly stated not in his vision; he is talking about doing a 90-degree turn from Red Rock Place into this property and then from there north, it would be a private drive. Mr. Torrenga stated that he thinks that would work.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he agrees and asked if it would be possible to make it align better. Mr. Torrenga stated the extra 30 feet that is on Lot 1 is by ordinance for a landscaping buffer between commercial and residential properties. Mr. Forbes stated that he thought it is a 40-foot landscaping buffer requirement. Mr. Eberly stated that he though that as well. Mr. Torrenga stated that he thought he had read that it was 30 feet. Mr. Eberly stated that he would verify the correct footage.

Mr. Birlson asked if Red Rock Place is Greystone. Mr. Eberly confirmed that it is Greystone. Mr. Panczuk stated that all the folks in Greystone could take that way and potentially even walk or bike there a lot safer than by using Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Forbes stated that the bike trail out of The Preserve dead ends at this property and there is a small section on this property that is needed to connect to Saddle Creek. He asked if they would look into that. Mr. Torrenga stated that he could and that he doesn’t know where it is. Mr. Forbes stated that it is in the southeast corner. Mr. Eberly stated that they have talked about that, but he had not had a chance to speak to Mr. Torrenga about it.

Mr. Eberly stated he has spoken with Mr. Patel about continuing the bike path all the way through this either through the easement or south of the easement. Mr. Torrenga stated from the contours that you can see that’s the low area back there. Mr. Forbes stated that if that bike path goes in and there’s connection to Saddle Creek, there could be a good number of people going to Dunkin’ Donuts via that route.

Mr. Torrenga stated that if that goes in, they may have to shorten the lots because he doesn’t think that anyone would want to have a public bike trail through their backyard. However, they could still meet the R-1 designation. Mr. Eberly stated that they could easily meet that.

Mr. Forbes asked what kind of commercial would be on the second lot as there is only a small area of use for the commercial on that lot. Mr. Torrenga stated that there is an optional drawing in which a duplex lot would be put there. Mr. Eberly showed the sketch and stated that this was the idea of putting in a cul-de-sac and a duplex lot as part of Greystone. Mr. Eberly stated that he is not in favor of that personally.

Mr. Forbes stated that an alternative to that could be to put Red Rock straight through and allow the two duplex units so the value isn’t lost from the long residential lot. Mr. Kozel asked if they could be put in sideways. Mr. Birlson stated that he could probably shorten the lot east of Lot 20 to continue Red Rock to the north.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Torrenga if the property just has two towers for the overhead. Mr. Torrenga answered in the affirmative. Mr. Eberly stated that we have to be careful of those.

Mr. Forbes stated that the duplexes are consistent with what’s already built there and gets the road through in a cleaner fashion.

Mr. Forbes asked about a connection to the north. Mr. Eberly stated he envisioned it being made through the Dunkin’ Donuts property. Mr. Forbes stated if they were to do the duplexes, they are still gaining. Mr. Eberly stated it would be trading two lots for two lots the way Mr. Forbes has described it. Mr. Forbes stated you are getting four units for two lots; and depending on the value of the duplexes, it could potentially work out to their benefit. Mr. Eberly stated that that would create a straight shot to Red Rock Place and more of a landscape buffer opportunity.

Mr. Eberly stated that they are likely looking at one more Study Session on this before it goes for any kind of permission to advertise. Mr. Forbes advised the petitioners that there is a lot of information out there from the meeting, so digest that and get back to us. Mr. Forbes stated that he knows that duplexes can be controversial. Mr. Panczuk stated that everything on Red Rock is currently duplexes and it would be uniform and there would be a significant buffer with the easements to separate the R-1 lots from that.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any more questions or comments from the board. None were had.

J. 85th AVENUE STRIPING – This relates to the Levin Project
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is 85th Avenue striping.

Mr. Eberly stated that this is all his idea and that if they don’t like it, please let him know. He stated that he was out on 85th Avenue for a different reason a few weeks back. And looking at the traffic pattern there, he realized that we’ve got two eastbound lanes on 85th Avenue. There is a dedicated right-hand turn lane all the way through from US 41 to the residential development here (indicating on the screen) and a through lane as well. The concerns we’ve had is there is a tremendous stacking issue for early morning traffic: parents taking their children to school, teenagers driving to school, and there is no stacking ability.

If cars are stacked in the left-hand turn lane, the people wanting to turn right can’t get up to the intersection to turn. With Levin, we were going to have them widen 85th Avenue back to the storm inlet in the curb. However, if we restripe 85th Avenue, we could gain two lanes westbound and one lane eastbound. It seems as if there is not enough demand going eastbound at this location to have two lanes. This would allow for two lanes of westbound stacking by changing the striping. Mr. Eberly stated that he asked and Mr. Cobb did the drawing for him.

Mr. Eberly stated this would save $30,000 to $40,000 of road work to get this little bit of widening done. Mr. Eberly has spoken with Mr. Kil about it, and he suggested to bring it before the Plan Commission as you would be expecting to see improvements on the north side of 85th Avenue when Levin comes in.

Mr. Birlson stated that what Mr. Eberly is proposing will definitely help with moving traffic westbound. Mr. Eberly stated he believes it may also help prevent people from using the frontage road that Levin is going to put in as a cut-through to go northbound and that Levin is willing to foot the cost of the restriping. The sooner it is done before the first snowfall, the better; that way folks can get used to the new traffic pattern.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had spoken with Mr. Kil after Mr. Eberly had and has been observing the traffic there as he drives past it eastbound in the mornings, and that would have no affect on the traffic going eastbound through there and that it would be a benefit for traffic going westbound.

Mr. Eberly stated that he doesn’t believe it requires any action to be taken. If the Plan Commission is comfortable with this, we can get with DVG, Levin’s engineers, and have them draw up the plans and get in touch with a striping contractor to put in. Mr. Cobb has offered his assistance in creating the plan as well.

Mr. Birlson stated that if we require Levin to put in the turn lane up to the inlet, it wouldn’t have done any good because it wouldn’t be back far enough to get to the turn lane due to stacking beyond that point.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he likes it, and this is similar to what he was suggesting for Walden Clearing. It is less money and more effective.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments. None were had.

K. ROAD IMPACT FEE – Continued Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is a continued discussion of the Road Impact Fee.

Mr. Forbes stated that he did not ask Taghi Arshami to come back as he didn’t believe anyone had any questions as to how the calculation is made.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he has been giving the Road Impact Fee a lot of thought, and he would like to get this going as quickly as possible. He further stated that he thought of a new concept since we’ve been struggling with how to keep the cost down for commercial developments as residential could absorb the cost more. Mr. Panczuk has researched it and the concept of commercial developments, which usually do road infrastructure improvements, could be given credit for improvements that they put in. The locations in Indiana we are benchmarking against are doing just that.

Mr. Eberly stated that the provision for credit is in the plan and that Mr. Arshami had stated previously that a credit for improvements option is available. Mr. Forbes stated that credit option could be applied to residential as well if they put a road improvement in.

Mr. Eberly stated that they should keep in mind that the impact fee is paid on the permit by whoever takes out the permit. Mr. Eberly stated that at 7 percent, it is only $371 on a residential permit. Mr. Birlson stated that that doesn’t even come close to our deficiencies.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he thinks that is how the other communities that are imposing the fee are charging much higher rates and they are utilizing that tool of issuing credit. Mr. Panczuk stated he thinks 7 percent is way to low and that 20 percent is better; however, he doesn’t want to kill commercial development.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Eberly if he has been present throughout the whole process. Mr. Eberly stated that the Road Impact Fee started before he got here but that he has been present for quite a bit of it.

Mr. Panczuk asked if someone like Mr. Eberly or Mr. Kil could contact these other towns and see what they have run into. Mr. Eberly stated that he believes Mr. Arshami has done that, but he personally hasn’t. Mr. Forbes stated that that information may already be in existence and it may be at the Advisory Committee level. He further stated that he will contact Mr. Kil and discuss the same with him.

Mr. Birlson stated that the residential fee could be significantly higher than 7 percent. Mr. Panczuk stated that the folks coming from Illinois are recouping that cost with the savings of property taxes alone. Mr. Panczuk stated that Noblesville, Westfield, and Fishers have all cut their teeth on this and are still growing. Mr. Forbes stated that their permit fees are no where near the cost of St. John’s permit fees.

Mr. Birlson stated that he would like to see the rate at 80 percent or 90 percent.

Mr. Eberly stated that the sheets in their packets show the rates at various percentages. The Road Impact Fee at 20 percent on a residential permit adds $1062, and on a development like Shops 96, it would be almost $600,000.

Mr. Birlson stated that usually a developer pays quite a bit less for improvements than the Town would if it did the work, so they would probably opt on doing the work themselves and get the credit. Mr. Panczuk stated if there is a remainder they would owe that to the Town.

Mr. Birlson asked if the Road Impact Fee were imposed at this time and Walden Clearing was to develop and we said we want turn lanes and decel/accel lanes, if that could be applied as credit. Mr. Eberly stated the plan does provide for that.

Mr. Birlson asked if we would contract that out for the turn lanes and do those improvements once we collected enough fees. Mr. Eberly stated that that is the idea behind the Road Impact Fee. Mr. Forbes stated that the idea for right now is to use the money collected as the matching funds for a Community Crossings Grant.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would like to see this fast-tracked as much as possible.

Mr. Birlson stated that the other municipalities, the cost per trip compared to their impact fee was about ten times the difference. If you take our cost per trip and multiply it by ten, you’re at the 100 percent level.

Mr. Flores asked if there is an anticipated implementation date. Mr. Eberly stated that the soonest we could have a Public Hearing is June 6, 2018. It will likely be more like the July 11, 2018 meeting. Mr. Forbes stated that that is a good estimate.

Mr. Eberly stated that the Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the Town Council, and the Town Council makes the final decision. If you do this July 11th, the Town Council will likely address it July 26th, and if it is approved, it is another 6 months before it takes effect.

Mr. Forbes stated that there are a couple projects on the list that he personally would never approve. He cannot imagine 93rd Avenue being 4 lanes through the length of St. John, which is one of the projects that is suggested. That project is included in the calculated dollar amount. It would move traffic, but it would also draw more traffic into St. John, and that traffic would be moving faster. It would not be conducive to what we want in our town to keep the bedroom community feel.

Mr. Birlson stated that it seems like we are struggling to get turn lanes and accel/decel lanes. We are struggling to get them for Walden Clearing. Mr. Forbes stated that typically when we get those kind of things, it is a trade-off for the rezoning. When the developer wants something from us, we have the opportunity to say we want something done and ask them to do it.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he thought that was on the diagram. Mr. Birlson stated that he did too. Mr. Forbes stated that it wasn’t for the R-2. Mr. Eberly stated that that was not for the straight R-2; that was for the PUD.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he thought they said they were going to do all that. Mr. Eberly stated that most of those commitments remain the same, but Mr. Forbes is specifically talking about the road improvements for Cline Avenue and/or 93rd Avenue. If the density of the place is increased by 50 percent, then they have more ability to do road improvements that you might want them to do; however, it is done at the zoning stage. Mr. Forbes stated that during the rezoning process is when we have leverage.

Mr. Panczuk stated that getting this Road Impact Fee is going to give us a new leverage, too, that we could exercise in such a situation. Mr. Panczuk further stated that he agrees with Mr. Forbes about 93rd Avenue becoming 4 lanes; however, a properly executed turning lane solution or 3 lane solution can be effective. Mr. Birlson stated that lanes with shoulders or paved shoulders would be good.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he has seen were some communities are taking a 4-lane road down to a 3-lane road with a center turn lane and a bike trail. Mr. Forbes stated that he had just read an article where they are narrowing the roads back down and incorporating the bike trails in order to slow the traffic down. The article states that 4-lane roads actually induce a demand for traffic and allow faster travel with a greater volume of cars.

Mr. Forbes stated that if 93rd Avenue were to be made into a 4-lane road, it means taking a lot of houses. Mr. Forbes further stated that there are projects like this that will likely never be done, but those numbers are added into the mix and included in the total deficiencies; and the project number is high because it includes the projects that will never be done.

Mr. Forbes stated The Preserve is a perfect example of the tradeoff he spoke of; they are putting in the entire intersection of 93rd and White Oak Avenues less the traffic light.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there is a go-to guy in St. John for road improvement for the Complete Streets Program. Mr. Eberly stated that Steve Kil does that, but the streets have to qualify for that program by meeting specific criteria to get federal funds. Mr. Forbes stated that there is a road-rating system in place to decide which roads are going to be done.

Mr. Eberly asked if this should be on the next Study Session agenda. Mr. Forbes stated that that would be a good idea, they can get the information, and then discuss it further.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

05-02-2018 Plan Commission

May 2, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk John Kennedy

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on May 2, 2018 at 7:02 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Mr. Forbes with the following members present: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, Gregory Volk, and Michael Forbes

Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director

Absent: Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer the approval of the minutes. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to defer the Plan Commission April 4, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes and the Plan Commission April 18, 2008 Study Session Meeting Minutes. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion carried 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2018-0008 ROSE GARDEN 3 – Public Hearing for the Amendment of the PUD Primary Plat of Rose Garden Unit 3/Secondary Plat Approval – (Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden Unit 3, a Public Hearing for an amendment of the PUD Preliminary Plat for the purpose of adding a single, additional lot to the subdivision.

Mr. Eberly advised all items are in order for this petitioner to proceed for the Public Hearing.

Mr. Rettig with DVG, representing Sublime Development, the developer of Rose Garden, stated they are amending the original PUD that had been previously approved. The purpose of the amendment is to add Lot 22. They are able to add that lot because the wetland delineation was redone at the developer’s request and got more favorable. They have eliminated two lots and moved the detention pond and are back to request permission to add the referenced lot.

Mr. Forbes asked if the lot that is being added is part of the former lot. Mr. Rettig stated there was a lot at 150 feet wide, and there are folks interested in the lots so they switched things up where one lot is 115 feet wide on one lot and 135 feet wide on the other, and there is 250 feet to work with. The lot they are adding is over 20,000 square feet, and the other lot is just under 20,000 square feet.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Rettig if the potential buyers will be able to put in a house without a setback variance. Mr. Rettig responded they are able to work with the flood zone without a problem. He added they could do letters of map amendment if necessary.

Mr. Forbes referenced the last Study Session’s conversation about the extension of the road where it would connect into the subdivision, and asked if they have applied to the Army Corps of Engineers for the permit yet. Mr. Rettig responded that their wetland consultant, Ellen Raimondi with Gary R. Weber Associates, met with Paul Leffler of the Army Corps of Engineers and then read the following letter from Ms. Raimondi:

“The road extension south from the proposed Rose Garden development to West 92nd Place was discussed during a field meeting with Paul Leffler from the US Army Corps of Engineers and summaries in a follow-up email October 17, 2017. Generally, Mr. Leffler considers the wetland impact that would result from the road extension unnecessary. If the extension were to be pursued, an Alternatives Analysis would need to be conducted. The AA, or alternative analysis, is intended to document that there are no alternative layouts that would avoid impacts. Basically, a permit cannot be issued if a practical alternative exists that would minimize impacts to the wetlands. It just so happens that the current Rose Garden layout is the practical alternative. The project purpose, need, cost, and logistics are still met with the proposed road layout. Since we have already demonstrated the development works without further wetland impacts, the US Army Corps of Engineers may not issue a permit for the road extension.”

Mr. Rettig stated they are aware of it and have not applied for the permit because they are not confident they will get it. Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Leffler said they don’t have a formal application to approve or deny, but Mr. Leffler did advise the developer that it would be challenging to put the road through there.

Mr. Forbes stated he based his opinion for the rezoning on the road going through. Mr. Rettig responded that they originally they said they would put it in. That was before the wetland delineation was done. They had no idea about the soil conditions or wetland issues that they had.

Mr. Birlson asked if that should have been done before they came to the Plan Commission. Mr. Rettig said the delineation was done; however, the permit was not. Mr. Birlson asked if the line is on the plat. Mr. Rettig responded it is not but was on the preliminary drawings. Mr. Rettig explained wetland lines can change, so they are on the engineering drawings because they are subject to change, and the recorded plat is forever.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions from the board. Hearing none, he opened the Public Hearing.

Mary Ryan (9050 Willow Lane): I am on Lot 9050 Willow Lane, so I will have four houses bordering my side lot. And I don’t have a problem with the building and construction going on. However, they did decrease those lots to 150 feet, so the backyard will be – I guess what Rick had explained to me at like 40 feet from my home there. And I would only hope that St. John would not do that to another homeowner to make it so intrusive of their privacy audibly, visually. I mean I am going to have two houses in my front yard, two houses in my backyard. If they would pull in, my privacy is completely gone. I sat out yesterday; and I just looked and the dirt is like from here to closer than the flags (demonstrating). And four houses will go up along that south border. My other concern, my other statement is like—um, what, I don’t know – I have no recourse here. I don’t know if I need to put trees up along there. I did talk to Luers, and he’s coming out Saturday. Maybe that we can do for privacy. I don’t know if St. John has any other idea that I can do. I did not find one other configuration in the whole area – I’ve been here 25 years – in the other areas that have that happening to one landowner. Any comments?

Mr. Forbes responded other than the fact that it is already platted; with the exception of the one lot, this has already received Preliminary Plat. Where she is located will not change with the proposed amendment. Ms. Ryan said, “I know that. Yeah”

Mr. Eberly asked if her lot goes back farther than the drawing shows. He is showing the majority of three lots that abut her property. Ms. Ryan responded, “I think we’re 320 feet.”

Mr. Eberly explained that the same number of houses would still abut her property regardless of R-1 or R-2 zoning because they only have to be 100 feet wide. Mr. Eberly stated he believes she has a 10-foot side yard setback. Ms. Ryan said, “Yes, it’s 10 foot. We – Rick read it today.”

Mr. Eberly stated that her property could be as close as 50 feet to the foundation of a neighboring home. Mr. Kennedy asked if it would be the same if it were zoned R-1. Mr. Eberly stated R-1 lots could be deeper. Mr. Kennedy asked about the number of lots. Mr. Eberly stated the number of lots would still be the same because they are 100-foot wide lots. The rear yard setback is the same in R-1 as it is in R-2 at 40 feet; however, with the added depth of an R-1 lot, there is a greater chance of being farther separated.

Ms. Ryan said, “And in the R-1, which it was originally, it would have been less houses because they would have been 200 by –“

Mr. Eberly stated they would have been the same width though, and the lots would have still been 100 feet wide and been the same number of lots butting up against her property regardless of whether they are R-1 or R-2 because they only have to be 100 feet wide.

Ms. Ryan asked, “By how much deep?” Mr. Eberly stated if they are 100 feet wide, then they would be 200 feet deep. Ms. Ryan said, “Right. Right 100x200 instead of 100x150. Yeah, so we lost that in the previous meeting. So my only concern is what I – I mean the reason I’m even here is to say, ‘You know, watch if that happens to anybody else. It’s just such an infringement on privacy.’ It really is. One home, I don’t know if any of you have one home with four people on your backyard. And if they put a deck and a pool, you’re talking 10 feet from where you are.”

Mr. Eberly said there is a 25-foot drainage and utility easement on the lots so they couldn’t get any closer than 25 feet even with a pool or deck, but a fence could go on the property line which would be the only thing that could be in that 25-foot easement.

Ms. Ryan asked, “So they cannot have – okay, 25 feet from my property line to what?” Mr. Eberly responded 25 feet into their property line, and the only thing that can be there is green space, a garden or a fence can go in that area, but there are no structures allowed.

Ms. Ryan said, “No pool, no decks, no nothing. Okay, okay. And then also, one other thing is what are the hours of building because the house across the street is going up; and I just wonder, what are the hours that building can be going on?” Mr. Eberly stated they cannot build between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Ms. Ryan asked, “And what about weekends?” Mr. Forbes stated it is 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Ms. Ryan said, “I am one voice to 28, so I know it probably doesn’t matter to any of you, but – however, if it does happen to someone else, I would hope that, maybe, you would look at that, you know. I’ve been in St. John forever and it just seems a little infringement of privacy, and I would hope you would care. Thank you.”

Kelly Glista (9330 West 92nd Place): I live at 9330 West 92nd Place, which is at the very corner where that Willow Lane extension, proposed extension, whatever you want to call it, is slated on this drawing to be. I came today just to get a status update because my family has been in limbo by having a dead-end street. And having been able to enjoy the privacy and the quiet and the wildlife of having that yard. And now we are constantly under threat of having all of that gone by way of a street, by construction equipment, drainage, sewer, water main, all of that stuff, running right next to our house. I need to know – and I came today to find out if there’s been any update, if that’s going to become a cul-de-sac, if, in fact, there is going to be a road put through. I am not here to pressure anybody into making that decision today. I just want to let you know that I have three dogs and a small child, and there are small children on our block that love to play up and down that street. We need to know if we have to start fencing our yards, protecting our pets in the ways that are going to be very, very expensive. And it’s going to be an incredible inconvenience. I mean it’s already got most of us on edge already. And we just want to know – we would like to see a decision made soon. Um, I can attest to watching all of the water that builds up every time a core sample is done, and anytime any kind of truck turns around at the end of our block and sinks in the mud, that ground is too unstable. I’m concerned about my foundation being compromised when a road goes through by the way of all the disruption in the – in the – in the earth and everything. So like Ms. Ryan, I would like to just make sure that you’re all being considerate of not just the – you know, the things that have been done before in previous meetings and things like that – but actually considering the existing homeowners that are there and the impact that it’s going to take on our properties as well. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone would like to comment that did not sign up.

Mike Graniczny, Sublime Homes: I just want to, on Mary’s statement, I do plan on meeting with her husband tomorrow to discuss about planting trees along the south side of her house. I have no problem doing that. That’s actually in favor, I think, of both sides. So I just wanted to let you guys know. So thanks.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other Public Comment. Hearing none, the matter was returned to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if there were any thoughts or comments.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’ letter regarding this property into the record.

“This will be a review of the Preliminary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments: This amendment will add one lot to the plat of subdivision that originally included 21 RC-2 PUD residential lots, two outlot streets, and associated facilities and utilities on 16.649 acres. We have completed our review and find the engineering revisions to accommodate the new lot to be satisfactory.”

Mr. Forbes stated he would personally prefer that we defer this until we have a discussion about the extension of that road.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Rose Garden Unit 3. Mr. Volk made a motion to defer. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Rettig asked for clarification before jumping into the next agenda item. He stated they are also on the agenda for Block 1. He asked if they remove that lot, would they be able to move forward with platting Block 1. Mr. Forbes stated he would have the same concern not knowing what the status is of that road. Mr. Rettig replied he understood.

Mr. Rettig reported the curbs are in, utilities are in, and asphalt is in; so the phase is complete other than the south end.

Mr. Forbes asked what the thoughts are on Secondary Plat. Mr. Rettig stated it was all on the agenda together, so that’s why he had to clarify it. Mr. Eberly asked what Block 1 would be identified as and if it would not have Lots 1 and 2 nor Lot 22. Mr. Rettig stated that would be correct.

Mr. Rettig stated if they had gotten Primary Plat for the amended PUD, then this plat wouldn’t be Block 1. Mr. Eberly advised there is a letter from Kenn Kraus in the packet regarding Secondary Plat, but he didn’t see the plat without Lots 1, 2, and 22. Mr. Eberly further advised that Mr. Kraus was approving the entire plat. Mr. Rettig assured he would not bring in mylars until Mr. Kraus was comfortable with the plat.

Mr. Eberly stated they could start pulling building permits if they approve the Secondary Plat for a portion of the project. Mr. Rettig stated even if only for a dozen lots, he just doesn’t want to see the project stalled. Mr. Eberly asked if they could do the lots on the north side of 91st, Lots 8-16 as Block 1. Mr. Graniczny already has customers for some of the lots.

Mr. Flores asked what would happen if they can’t put that road through. Mr. Rettig stated they would have to amend the PUD again. If the wetland permit is denied, they would come back and amend it again and put a cul-de-sac and terminate the road with a cul-de-sac. There would have to be some minor engineering modifications for the detention pond.

Mr. Rettig added he knows there is an issue with the turning of traffic and would be willing to put in a more permanent turnaround if they end up doing the cul-de-sac. Mr. Kennedy asked if the PUD was approved contingent on a road going through. Mr. Forbes stated it was part of the plan and is in part why he approved it was for that connection.

Mr. Panczuk asked if they can’t build a road by Lots 1 and 2, how they can build a cul-de-sac. Mr. Rettig said they can build the road there. The problem is the wetland line and the poor soils there, but the area in front of Lots 1 and 2 is good.

Mr. Rettig stated one way or the other, they want the aforementioned lots whether they have to bite the bullet and get a wetland permit or put a cul-de-sac and a turnaround in. He further stated they just wanted to get Phase 1 approved to keep the project moving. Mr. Birlson asked if they could put in the cul-de-sac and keep Lots 1 and 2. Mr. Rettig confirmed they could, but they would have to modify the pond a little bit.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would have rather the approval from the Army Corps of Engineers had been applied for and know if the answer is a yes or no. Mr. Rettig said the problem with that is they wouldn’t have been able to start the project. The permit would have been complicated so much, so they chose to exclude it and get the permit. The idea is to minimize impact on the wetlands, and the only wetland impact they have is a small bit and was permitted easily since it was such a small disturbance. It was necessary to make the connection, and they didn’t even have to do a mitigation plan.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they were denied the cul-de-sac would they be required to put the road in. Mr. Forbes stated probably not. Mr. Forbes stated there should be a conversation between the Town, the developer, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Everyone needs to be in the room at the same time so that everyone is hearing the same thing. If the Army Corps of Engineers won’t let the road be put in, it can’t be put in.

Mr. Kennedy asked if that conversation could be done in the next thirty days before the next meeting. Mr. Rettig stated that he could likely make that work and added that Paul Leffler is a very busy gentleman but could probably accommodate that.

Mr. Rettig added he is not trying to change anyone’s mind on the deferral, but wants to make sure everyone is on the same page. Mr. Eberly stated he thought the Secondary Plat that they wanted approval of tonight would be presented. Mr. Rettig said this is it. Mr. Eberly further stated the board was told before that the dividing line would be between Lots 3 and 2, so Lots 1 and 2 would not be part of the Secondary Plat. Mr. Eberly stated that Lot 22 was in jeopardy. Mr. Rettig added they assumed Lot 22 would get Primary Plat approval and is why they presented the final plat the way they did.

Mr. Eberly advised that if the board is willing to accept a Secondary Plat approval for everything except Lots 1, 2, and 22, he will provide that drawing to Mr. Kraus after the meeting. Mr. Eberly further advised that Mr. Kraus has already approved the whole plat that is in front of the board and doesn’t believe there would be an issue eliminating those three lots.

Mr. Kozel stated Lots 1, 2, and 22 could be left off and have it re-platted if it is all right with Mr. Kraus and go ahead and approve it. He further stated there was mention of potential trouble with the area from the outset.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to approve Secondary Plat excluding Lots 1, 2, and 22. Motion to approve the Secondary Plat omitting Lots 1, 2, and 22 by Mr. Kozel contingent upon approval, including the Developmental Fee, by Mr. Kraus. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 4 ayes to 3 nays.

B. 2018-0010 THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 7B – Continued Public Hearing for the Replatting of a Portion of Pod 7B – (John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 7B, a continued Public Hearing for the replatting of a portion of Pod 7B.

Mr. Torrenga, representing BLB St. John, LLC, stated unit 7B is a replatting of an area of what was originally Unit 7, a horseshoe-shaped area. The horseshoe was eliminated. It was turned into a cul-de-sac, and they made ten lots on the south street, which is Mahogany Terrace. The Public Hearing from the last meeting was continued because the engineering to service the ten lots had not been submitted to Mr. Kraus. That has now been submitted.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’ letter regarding this property into the record.

“The project will include the replatting of ten lots. I’ve reconfigured the streets so that there is no connection between them with one street ending in a cul-de-sac. We have reviewed the plans showing the revisions of the engineering system and find all the lots will be served by the new design. The Primary Plat is lacking several clerical items such as addresses, current zoning notation, names of adjacent owners, etc.”

Mr. Torrenga stated those have all been added and given to Mr. Eberly. The only adjacent owner is BLB; there are no other owners. Mr. Forbes asked if the Developmental Fee was not established. Mr. Eberly stated that is correct and advised the clerical corrections were made today; however, Mr. Kraus is not here to review those corrections.

Mr. Birlson asked what the pie-shaped area is. Mr. Torrenga stated that is going to be part of the detention area. Mr. Flores asked if Mahogany Terrace and Mahogany Court street names are going to stay that way and what the addresses would be. Mr. Torrenga said that the addresses on Mahogany Terrace are in the 900s, same as the ones on Mahogany Court, and there might be duplication. Mr. Kozel stated that presents a problem. Mr. Flores stated he would like to see those have different names. Mr. Torrenga stated they will change Mahogany Court and Mahogany Terrace will stay the same.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any more questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to waive the cul-de-sac length restriction by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Preliminary Plat to include the Findings of Fact. Motion for approval of replatting of a portion of Pod 7B referencing the Findings of Fact and contingent upon a name change of Mahogany Court by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

C. 2018-0007 SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH – Public Hearing for the Primary Plat for a Single-Family Development at Parrish Avenue and 100th Avenue – (Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Suncrest Christian Church’s Public Hearing for a Preliminary Plat for a single-family development at Parrish Avenue and 100th Avenue.

Mr. Torrenga, representing Suncrest Christian Church, stated this is a 43-lot, R-2 residential subdivision located on property that Suncrest Christian Church owns immediately south of the church. Mr. Torrenga stated the cul-de-sac on this property will require a waiver for the length of the cul-de-sac. The utilities connections have been reviewed by Mr. Kraus.

Mr. Forbes read the letter from Mr. Kraus.

“This project includes 43, R-2 lots and two outlots on 23.76 acres with associated infrastructure and facilities. We have reviewed the plans dated April 16, 2018 and revised April 24, 2018 for several sheets and find them to be satisfactory. Note that portions of the subdivision are dependent upon future facilities, sanitary, sewer, and water main being built in The Gates Unit 13 immediately to the east. The Developmental Fee has not been established. The storm water prevention plan has not been reviewed. The fee for this will be determined at the time of review.”

Mr. Forbes asked for questions and comments from the board.

Mr. Kozel stated the same street has both 100th Avenue and Zinnia Court as the street names. Mr. Torrenga stated Zinnia Court was changed to 100th Avenue at Mr. Kraus’ request.

Mr. Eberly advised that he had a conversation regarding the plat concerning the sidewalk. It was discussed at the last study session that there would likely be a sidewalk all along the frontage of Parrish Avenue including both outlots. The discussion centered around the fact that the property immediately south of this property has a number of challenges from a developmental standpoint and is unlikely to be developed for quite some time because of power lines and gas line easements. The suggestion was made that instead of running the sidewalk along the frontage of Outlot A that that length of sidewalk be added to beyond Outlot B up to 99th where Pod 14 is; and when the Town does the Parrish project this year, the sidewalk could be added up to Joliet Street and have that connectivity. Mr. Eberly further advised there is already a sidewalk connection to that property to the south via Amberley Way.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the economic or developmental challenges that the site might incur could be explained. Mr. Torrenga said there is an easement, approximately 150-feet wide, that runs through there. There are two, possibly three, gas lines and power lines, plus there is a wetland issue with that property.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the outlots are required. Mr. Eberly stated that would normally be required. They are suggesting instead of putting it there that it be put off property. It is actually a longer length of sidewalk they would be putting in than if they were to put it in front of Outlot A.

Mr. Torrenga stated while the sidewalk could be put in going to the south, no developer will ever buy the property to the south because nothing can be done with it. Mr. Panczuk stated there was already a waiver given, and now they are asking for a different waiver to put in the original sidewalk they have the waiver for. Mr. Torrenga stated he didn’t represent Suncrest on that, so he doesn’t know.

Mr. Eberly stated if the sidewalk is left to be done by the developer, for the Suncrest Christian addition, in the future, the Town would be in the position of having to put in more sidewalk than it would if you accepted the developer’s proposal. The Town would be putting in the sidewalk from Outlot B to 99th.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing comments.

Ronna Reznik (9971 Wisteria Lane): So I am actually right inside Three Springs, that way. So is there only one way in and out of here right there at?

Mr. Forbes stated you can go into The Gates.

“Okay. So you can go out the back way; otherwise, everybody’s going to dump onto Parrish. Right? It just seems so busy. I mean it’s already getting so busy, I just don’t know – cause like I said, I’m, kind of, right there. So that’s it; you can either go that way or out the back? That’s the only options. Okay. And then again, the same old question, why R-2 not the bigger R-1?”

Mr. Eberly stated it was already zoned that way. They originally applied for rezoning from R-1 to R-2. But when it was annexed, it was annexed as R-2.

“Okay. Just the, you know, same old, same old traffic issue is the biggest thing that I see. And is that, um – is that Lake Central or is that, um?”

That would be Lake Central.

“Is that Hanover?”

Mr. Eberly stated everything north of 101st.

“Because I know part of The Gates is Lake Central on the other side of Suncrest, but I’m assuming it’s Lake Central.”

Mr. Forbes stated most of The Gates is Hanover, but there is a very small section that is Lake Central.

“Uh-uh, where Phase 3 in Three Springs wants to go is the break, all the way down there. Okay. All right. Thank you.”

Mr. Forbes called for any further public comment. Hearing none, he returned the matter to the board.

Mr. Birlson asked if there are turn lanes on Parrish Avenue. Mr. Torrenga stated there are decel and accel lanes.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for the waiver on the length of the cul-de-sac. Motion to approve a waiver for the length of the cul-de-sac requirement by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for the partial waiver of sidewalks. Motion to approve the waiver of sidewalk along Outlot A in favor of the extension north of Outlot B to 99th Place by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Preliminary Plat for Suncrest Christian Church including a Findings of Fact reference. Motion to grant Primary Plat approval for Suncrest Christian Church referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 17 – Secondary Plat Action and Site Plan Action for a One-Lot Commercial Subdivision of Redeemer Church – (Bryan Van Ryn / Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 17 for Secondary Plat action as well as Site Plan action for a one-lot commercial subdivision, and this is the location of the Redeemer United Reformed Church.

Mr. Torrenga is here with the architect, Bryan Van Ryn. The property was originally platted but not recorded, and then it was moved 50 feet farther north. The utilities, everything is there; there needs to be an extension of the sanitary sewer. Immediately to the north of the Redeemer Church is the same pond as discussed earlier in The Gates of St. John Unit 7B. The pond has not been constructed, but it is going to be built at the same time as Redeemer Church because Redeemer Church needs a considerable amount of the clay in order to build the church up high enough as the property is currently low.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Developmental Fee has been paid.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’ letter regarding this property into the record.

“Subdivision project includes one residential lot on 4.4 acres on which a church will be built. We have reviewed the plat and find it to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $900. As a condition of the Site Plan approval a letter from the adjacent property owner granting this development permission to work on his property. This letter has been received and attached hereto.”

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Lotton’s letter regarding this property into the record.

“I give permission for Redeemer United Church and it’s contractors to work on my property adjacent to their building site.”

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion granting approval for Secondary Plat. Motion to grant Secondary Plat approval for The Gates of St. John Pod 17 for Redeemer Church referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes opened the discussion regarding the Site Plan.

Mr. Eberly advised everything is in order and ready for approval.

Mr. Forbes asked for any discussion on Site Plan approval. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion granting Site Plan approval. Motion to approve the Site Plan for Redeemer Church by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

E. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 4G – Secondary Plat Approval – (John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 4G. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval of this portion of The Gates of St. John. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any changes from the Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Torrenga stated there was not and that this is the final portion of Unit 4.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for Unit 4G. Motion to grant Secondary Plat approval for Pod 4G for The Gates of St. John referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

F. GREYSTONE UNIT 2 BLOCK 1 – Secondary Plat Approval – (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that next on the agenda is Greystone Unit 2, Block 1. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Slager with Schilling Development representing CWS Holdings, the developer for Greystone, is requesting secondary approval for Unit 2, Block 1. This is the first portion going across west of Calumet Avenue. It consists of 15 paired villa lots, 4 cottage home lot, and a commercial lot at the corner of Greystone Drive and Calumet Avenue. He further stated it follows the previously approved Primary Plat.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’ letter regarding this property into the record.

“The subdivision project includes 19 R-3 PUD lots and one C-1 PUD lot on 10.544 acres and associated facilities. We have reviewed the plat and find it to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $20,245.28. None of the public improvements have been installed. A Letter of Credit should be submitted to the Town in the amount of $1,113,490.40 to ensure the improvements will be installed or a surety bond in the amount of $1,315,943.20.”

Mr. Forbes asked if the Developmental Fee had been paid. Mr. Slager responded it has not, but it will be paid in the next week. Mr. Slager added they will work on the Letter of Credit and pay the Developmental Fee before asking for the mylars to be signed and recorded. Mr. Slager stated he will work with Mr. Eberly the following week to get the Letter of Credit done.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for Greystone Unit 2, Block 1. Motion to approve Secondary Plat of Greystone Unit 2, Block 1 referencing the Findings of Fact withholding signatures until we receive the Developmental Fee and the Letter of Credit by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to make a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit once it is delivered in the amount of $1,113,490.40. Motion by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

G. WALDEN CLEARING – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing for Primary Plat – (Ed Recktenwall Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Walden Clearing. The petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for Public Hearing. This is the development at Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue.

Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes representing the project, stated they are here requesting permission to advertise for Primary Plat for the June 6th meeting. Last study session, there was questions regarding sidewalk connectivity and turning lanes on 93rd Avenue. A pedestrian network plan has been submitted to the staff. It shows the sidewalk ramp crossings across the entrances. It shows the crossing on Cline Avenue across 92nd. They are in the process of looking at additional lane improvements on 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kennedy asked who the traffic engineer is. Mr. Recktenwall stated it is Denny Cobb with First Group Engineering.

Mr. Forbes stated that he proposed at the last Town Council meeting that a sidewalk project be done in the Tiburon subdivision.to match 92nd so it goes with extensions in your project, which are not there. You should probably incorporate them because the Town’s project might move forward pretty quickly.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there will be sidewalk connections across 93rd Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall stated they do not have an issue doing that, but he doesn’t personally remember having that discussion. Mr. Kennedy stated he would like to see them at the intersection if possible.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize Public Hearing. Motion to approve permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Walden Clearing by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

H. 2018-0009 ARCADIA CENTER – Site Plan Action for a One-lot Subdivision Located at 10083 Wicker Avenue – (Sophia Panagakis)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Arcadia Center Site Plan action. This is at 10083 Wicker Avenue.

Matt Zurbriggen from Abonmarche is here representing Sophia Panagakis for the Arcadia Center. The property is Lot 13 in Ravenwood Business Center which is 1.93 acres with a proposed 14-suite commercial building. Only four units will be built initially. It will be phased, and half of the parking lot will be installed initially.

One of the main issues the last time that came up was no drive-thru on the south side. He has spoken with Sophia, and they are okay with not having a drive-thru on the south side. Mr. Kraus spoke with them and had a couple of comments that they cleared up with him including parking calculations, a benchmark, the drawing stamp and sign. They would like to request a waiver for sidewalks.

Mr. Eberly advised that was done at the BZA, and they put in two bike racks in lieu of the sidewalks.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they considered reducing the footprint of the building to get the 24 feet on each side so they could get the drive-thru on both ends of the building. Mr. Zurbriggen stated Ms. Panagakis is not interested in making the building smaller.

Mr. Eberly stated it is one-way around the building. If there is a drive-thru on the north side, a 10-foot drive through lane and an 11-foot passing lane. Some street lanes are 11 feet, so 21 feet should certainly be enough for a drive-thru and a pass-around lane.

Mr. Forbes mentioned the possibility of shifting the building down 3-feet and narrowing the south lane to 18-feet wide, which would give a few extra feet at the north end to ensure a large truck can pass if somebody is in the drive through. Mr. Zurbriggen stated they can take a look at the grading to see if that works.

Mr. Panczuk had the same thought; however, if someone pulls in behind a person who parks there to drop someone off or whatever, they could be stuck there until the first vehicle moves. Mr. Panczuk stated because it is one-way it should be a safe passage and feels 21 feet is enough.

Mr. Eberly stated the board can choose to implement the restriction of no drive-thru on the south side of the building. Mr. Kozel stated if there is a restriction on it, when they do put the end building up, they will know the traffic pattern by then and may decide to shrink it a foot or two; and we can always work again with the restriction. Mr. Forbes asked for clarification if he is saying no drive-thru on the south end. Mr. Kozel stated no drive-thru on the south end as the restriction can always be revisited.

Mr. Panczuk asked if he heard correctly and only half of the parking lot would be done at first. Mr. Zurbriggen stated the entrance will be put in and connect the northern half. The drainage and everything will be installed. The western half of the sidewalk will be installed. Mr. Zurbriggen explained if someone comes in off of 101st, they would be able to drive north and half of it would be installed, so you could park in the northern half of it.

Mr. Birlson asked how people get out if they go on the north side of the building if there is only one lane. Mr. Zurbriggen stated the pavement will be installed all around the building. Mr. Birlson asked if it will be wide enough. Mr. Zurbriggen stated it would because it is 24 feet.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion to grant Site Plan approval for Arcadia Center with no drive-thru on the south side by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 1 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mary Ryan (9050 Willow Lane): (Ms. Ryan had spoken earlier and had left the meeting already.)

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Pass.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I congratulate you folks for being here every day. There’s a well-balanced conflict between the community, the developers, and you folks trying to arbitrate what’s happening. And I commend you for standing up for the citizens and certainly to help the developers come to our city and grow together. However, tonight, I think you guys were snowed.

I started coming to these meetings probably six months ago, and we talked about a road on Rose Garden. Today, you reversed a decision based on some incomplete knowledge because a developer didn’t do his homework. There comes a time when the developer has to stand up and get the job done. And – and – and to just say well, we’ll just work with the developer because he’s a good guy or we don’t want to cost him any money. Those are good things. And they really are things that I would like to do too.

I don’t want to penalize anybody. But when people come in front of this board, this Commission, they should have their homework done. And it seems to me that tonight the homework wasn’t done, and you guys cut some slack where, as a resident, I think was inappropriate that there was homework to be done.

You’ve talked about the street for so long, you still don’t know what’s happening, you made a – you encouraged a building on an incomplete diagram, incomplete plot. You don’t know what the consequences are. And I would encourage you going forward to make sure these developers do their homework. They’ve had time.

And, uh, it’s appropriate that you, as our representatives, make sure that they come to you with ready-to-go programs and not slough off their assignments and come up with half-complete, you know, give-me-a-break, kind of, sob stories. But again, I appreciate you being here every week and arbitrating between us. Thanks.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment. Hearing none, he closed the same.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Volk.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:49 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

05-16-2018 Plan Commission

May 16, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on May 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Paul Panczuk, Steve Kozel, Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, and John Kennedy. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director, Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer. Absent: None.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT THREE – Continued Discussion of Primary Plat Amendment and the Potential Extension of Willow Lane to 92nd Place (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item under New/Old Business is Rose Garden, Unit Three. Mr. Eberly stated he does not see Doug Rettig or Mike Graniczny in the audience. He stated they had a teleconference with a gentleman from the Army Corps of Engineers about the section of the road that is questionable as to whether the connection can be made to 92nd or not. Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Rettig is gathering information on a fabric that might be able to be used in lieu of excavation.

They have a preliminary estimate to excavate the bad soils in the area of $250,000, which does not include filling it in and constructing the road. They are looking at an alternative of fabric and stone. Paul Leffler is the gentleman from the Army Corps of Engineers, and he did say that if it’s possible to avoid intrusion into the wetlands, that is the Army Corps of Engineers’ preference. Mr. Leffler did not say it could not be done.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mike Graniczny has arrived. Mr. Graniczny stated that Doug Rettig met with the Army Corps’ engineer today. Mr. Graniczny added Mr. Leffler is designing something; however, he is not sure when he will have that but that it should be before the June 6 meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked if, in an effort to move forward and get approval on the new lot, Mr. Graniczny will leave 5 lots in the subdivision in Unit Two. Mr. Graniczny responded in the affirmative. Mr. Eberly added that it’s the lots on the east side of Willow Lane.

On June 6, Mr. Graniczny will ask for the amended Primary Plat approval and Secondary Plat approval of Lots 6-22 while trying to work through the issue with the road. Mr. Eberly advised that at the last meeting the Secondary Plat was approved for all but Lots 1, 2, and 22. What is being asked is that the approval be amended to have the Secondary Plat approval for Lots 6-22 in addition to the amended Primary Plat.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or question. None were had.

B. SCHILLING CONSTRUCTION – Continued Discussion of the Dunkin Donuts Project on Calumet Avenue (Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Schilling Construction, a continued discussion relative to the Dunkin Donuts project on Calumet Avenue. Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Don Torrenga is here to represent this project.

Mr. Torrenga stated modifications were made after the last meeting. They have taken Red Rock Place and run that up to the road, which had previously been a dead end cul-de-sac. Red Rock will be a full road over the easement. Mr. Torrenga advised the size of the Dunkin Donuts has been reduced giving them the 40-foot green strip and a 24-foot wide ingress/egress that would allow access to the commercial property to the north, if it is ever developed.

Mr. Torrenga is asking for three different zonings: Lots 2-18 would all be single-family residential; Lots 1 and 19 would be commercial lots; and Lots 20 and 21, the two lots south of the easement, would be duplexes. He advised they have added the bike trail as requested.

Mr. Eberly asked for clarification that Lots 2-18 would remain R-1 zoning. Mr. Torrenga stated they would and that those lots meet the R-1 requirement.

Mr. Birlson asked what the 40-foot strip of land west of Lot 2 is. Mr. Torrenga stated it is part of Lot 1 and is the 40-foot landscaping separation between a commercial lot and a single-family residential lot.

Mr. Panczuk asked about pushing the road through to the north. Mr. Torrenga stated that the 20-foot ingress/egress easement across Lot 1 is to get to that northern part, which is what the clients hope would be approved. Mr. Forbes stated it creates a jog in the road. He added that he had previously mentioned if Lot 2 and the lot where the road was were taken out, they would still be ahead by gaining the duplex lots. Mr. Torrenga stated he doesn’t know the value of those; however, he had been told by Derek of Schilling Construction that they do not come out ahead and that the residential lots are worth more than the duplex lots.

Mr. Pritchett of Schilling Construction stated the two factors being considered are the duplexes would not bring in the same residual by losing R-1 zoned lots and that they are being asked for roughly 700 feet of city streets. The offset cost of putting in curbs, street lights, drainage, and everything for that 700 feet is detrimental to having a cul-de-sac at the end of that road as it causes extra cost for the entire development. Mr. Pritchett added that the idea was to bring up the full city street and only lose one lot instead of losing an entire lot to the north. He further stated it would still have a public access/private drive that wouldn’t require street lamps and extra curbs and that would be maintained through the Dunkin Donuts property.

Mr. Birlson asked if they could jog Red Rock Place over to the west to line up. Mr. Pritchett said they would lose the potential of the proposed commercial. He added it is already too tight now.

Mr. Torrenga stated it could be done, but it would create a hardship. He stated another option would be to move the 24-foot ingress/egress road all the way to Lot 2 and have the landscape area begin after the ingress/egress road making Lot 2 butt up against the road.

Mr. Eberly advised there may be another solution. If Red Rock were to run straight through to the north, through the west part of Lot 2, the 40-foot buffer would not be necessary because the road would be between the commercial property and the residential property, which is a gain of 40 feet there. If you can make it work, the width requirement may be able to be waived for Lot 6, making it a standard 100 foot instead of 120. The 20,000 square foot requirement would still be met. Mr. Torrenga said it would be closer; however, the way they line up would still be offset.

Mr. Forbes asked about the reduction of the Dunkin Donuts’ size. Mr. Torrenga said it was reduced down to what the smallest building is that they could put in. Instead of it being a combination building with rental space, it will be strictly a Dunkin Donuts.

Mr. Eberly advised that he believes the road can come straight through to the next parcel without losing any lots with a 50-foot right-of-way north of the road, picking up 20 feet from Lot 6 and eliminating 40 feet from the buffer. Mr. Torrenga responded they will look at it.

Mr. Torrenga stated they are willing to look at it. He will take it back and talk with the clients. He assumes what they will be asking for at the next meeting, if the requirements are met, would be for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for July.

Mr. Forbes advised a brief discussion could be held at the meeting to see if it fits and move forward from there.

Mr. Pritchett asked if they do the requested changes, will those changes be granted so they can go to the BZA. Mr. Eberly advised that would allow them to come to the June 6th meeting to seek permission to advertise for the July Public Hearing. Mr. Forbes added if they come in with documentation that this will work to the next regular meeting, they will give them authorization to publish for a Public Hearing. After that, they would come back a month later for the Public Hearing, request your waivers, and go from there.

Mr. Torrenga asked if they would need to go in front of the BZA. Mr. Eberly stated the waivers would be from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the depth is before the utility easements on Lots 18-12. Mr. Torrenga stated it ranges between 159.71 feet to about 165 feet.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

C. CASBONI ADDITION – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Casboni)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Casboni Addition, an initial discussion relative to the possible development of several acres on the east side of White Oak Avenue roughly 3/4 of a mile south of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Eberly advised he does not have an electronic copy of the drawing as Mr. Casboni just brought it in. Mr. Eberly stated Mr. Casboni is proposing three residential lots on the east side of White Oak, south of 93rd Avenue. They are all in excess of 1 acre and would be R-1 lots. Mr. Eberly stated there is 450 feet of frontage on White Oak, so each lot is going to be roughly 150 feet wide. Mr. Casboni stated the lots will be 1-acre lots, about 293 feet in depth, located at 9541 White Oak Avenue which is to the north of his property.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Casboni the lot width. Mr. Casboni responded approximately 149 feet wide. Mr. Casboni added they would be estate lots, R-1.

Mr. Volk asked if they would be individual driveways right off of White Oak. Mr. Casboni responded it will be three driveways.

Mr. Eberly asked if the property displayed on the screen was his property. Mr. Casboni responded that it was and added that it is 38 acres total. Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Kraus that he will need some calculations to determine whether any detention would be required or if the pond is sufficient. Mr. Kraus stated his initial feeling is the pond is big enough for runoff of any impervious surfaces added to the lots; however, he will verify that with calculations.

Mr. Casboni stated they have donated 1324 feet of their property for a $1 donation for a sanitary/sewer line on his property that runs on the north fence line. He added they have all the utilities there as well: the gas line and the waterline are on White Oak, the power lines are in the back, and the sanitary line is on his property.

Mr. Eberly stated that it looks like the property naturally falls off to the east down to the pond. Mr. Casboni stated that it does.

Mr. Eberly advised that he believes it is currently zoned as Open Space and will need to be rezoned to R-1. Mr. Casboni stated it is Open Space. Mr. Eberly stated he will need permission for rezoning from Open Space to R-1.

Mr. Forbes asked if the engineering information will be forthcoming. Mr. Kraus advised the only things that need to be on the drawing are some storm-sewer calculations to prove that the pond is big enough to handle the extra runoff for the three proposed houses, the sanitary/sewer extension, and the water extension to serve those three lots. Once that is shown on a plan and they get final grades for floor elevations, there shouldn’t be much more to this one.

Mr. Forbes stated it seems fairly simple and advised Mr. Casboni he needs to come into the next meeting and request a Public Hearing for rezoning. At the next Study Session, Mr. Kraus should have the information; you will have your zoning Public Hearing; and then you may be ready to publish for plat Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

D. THE GATES of ST. JOHN POD 6D – Request for Reduction of Letter of Credit from $594,458.80 to $173,152.34
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Pod 6D request for a reduction of Letter of Credit from $594,458.80 to $173,152.34.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Kraus has an updated request, and it is for an amount that is quite a bit less. Mr. Kraus stated there was an area of the original submittal where things weren’t adding up right. The new bond should be in the amount of $102,224.71.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions or comments. None were had.

E. CCDM – Initial Site Plan for New Construction Project at 10007 Ravenwood Drive – Dental Manufacturer – (Mr. Joel Sivak)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is CCDM, an initial Site Plan discussion relative to a new construction project at 10007 Ravenwood Drive for a dental manufacturer.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Joel Sivak is here. Mr. Sivak appeared before the BZA and obtained several variances for a dental manufacturing facility. Mr. Sivak will be seeking Site Plan approval for Lot 4 of Brooks Park Addition to St. John. Mr. Eberly displayed the property’s position relative to Dollar Tree and Ravenwood Business Park. The lot is immediately adjacent to the buildings shown but is physically located in Brooks Park.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Sivak will be using the three materials as required in the Overlay District, which will be cultured stone, architectural metal panels, glass, and a standing metal-seam roof as required in the Overlay District. Mr. Eberly added the parking requirement is very minimal due to the use and will be between 9 and 12 spaces.

Mr. Forbes asked if it was just manufacturing, not retail. Mr. Sivak confirmed it is just a proposed manufacturing facility and there should be no customer traffic other than a couple of local dental labs that may stop by and pick up packages; otherwise, traffic will consist of primarily UPS and FedEx dropping off and picking up once a day. Mr. Sivak stated as of right now there are four employees. After the move, they hope to hire two to three additional employees.

Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Kraus that this lot has an odd shape. Mr. Kraus stated Brooks Park was not included in the Ravenwood detention calculations, so the same problem that required Dollar Tree to provide their own detention will be required on this lot as well. Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Sivak that his engineer will have to contact Mr. Kraus to figure out the detention for the property.

Mr. Forbes asked which variances were granted. Mr. Eberly advised the variances were building size, because it won’t be 15,000 square feet; building materials; and lot size, because the lot is not 2 acres but is only 2/3 of an acre. Mr. Eberly added that it was a legal-conforming lot at the time it was zoned. The Overly District requires three materials with a list of approved materials to choose from, which he has done. The C-2 District states you have to have a predominantly brick exterior. This is not C-2. This is Industrial in the back; but we had him ask for the variance just to cover his bases. He is complying with the US 41 Overlay District in terms of the materials. The variance is because he is not doing all brick.

Mr. Eberly advised that lighting, landscaping, and parking, which will be minimal on this lot, will need to be shown.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Sivak where the entry point to the parking lot is. Mr. Sivak stated the curb is already cut on the west side on Ravenwood right around the northwest corner of the building. Mr. Eberly showed the lot on the screen and pointed out where the cutout on the curb is located. Mr. Kennedy asked if there would be any semi traffic. Mr. Sivak responded there would not.

Mr. Sivak asked how detailed of a runoff plan he needs to provide from his surveyor. Mr. Kraus stated he will need to see a Site Plan showing impervious surface calculations for the areas and do a runoff coefficient for the site; then he will have to perform the runoff calculations and compare them to the ordinance requiring a detention basin to hold the 100-year storm and only release a 2-year storm. Mr. Kraus added that Mr. Sivak can have his surveyor give him a call and he will help him through it.

Mr. Sivak asked how soon or what he needs to do to be able to start moving dirt on the lot. Mr. Eberly advised he needs Site Plan approval, and he will have to get that from the Plan Commission before being able to move dirt. Mr. Sivak asked if June 6th would be the next opportunity if everything was ready. Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Sivak that there is a lot of information that has to be provided to Mr. Kraus prior to that. Mr. Eberly stated he feels that is a bit too soon, but the July 11th meeting would work. He added it will be scheduled for a Study Session in June and Site Plan approval in July.

Mr. Eberly showed Lot 4 and the 20-foot wide section that goes to what looks like a drainage swale. Mr. Eberly advised there is some engineering on Brooks Park that can be looked at for reference. He informed Mr. Kruas he can send it to him if he does not already have it. Mr. Kraus requested that he send it to him.

Mr. Eberly stated this matter will be on the June 20th Study Session agenda and July 11th meeting agenda, anticipating Site Plan approval. Mr. Eberly advised the Commission no Public Hearing is necessary for this project.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

F. WALDEN CLEARING – Continued Discussion of Proposed Single-Family Development on the Northwest and Southwest corners of 93rd and Cline Avenues (Mr. Ed Recktenwall)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Walden Clearing, the continued discussion of the proposed single-family development.

Mr. Eberly introduced Mr. Ed Recktenwall with Olthof Homes.

Mr. Recktenwall stated he is here to discuss Walden Clearing’s 90-lot subdivision at 93rd and Cline Avenue. He added he is here to address any questions or comments that the Plan Commission might have in anticipation of their Public Hearing.

Mr. Recktenwall stated they did get the cross-walk ramps crossing 93rd Avenue added. He further stated he has been working with Mr. Kraus regarding the engineering plans and, to the best of his knowledge, most of those items have been addressed. Mr. Kraus advised he sent the comments out but hadn’t gotten the replies back other than that they are working on it. Mr. Kraus added he had a couple of questions that came to him that he answered and stated he believes they are all on the same page.

Mr. Volk stated he is a bit concerned about the proposed landscape buffer along Cline Avenue. He is not seeing an area for it. Mr. Recktenwall responded that it will be located on the back side of the lots that are on Cline Avenue. He believes they provided a 15-foot space. There may not be an easement dedicated on the drawing. He stated that it can be added on there if necessary. Mr. Recktenwall advised they just submitted a full set of Landscape Plans that show the landscape buffer that they are intending to install.

Mr. Panczuk stated that it appears the sidewalk is right at the rear of the lots on the drawing. Mr. Recktenwall stated the buffer is going to be located inside the lot. Mr. Eberly advised the sidewalk is outside, and Mr. Recktenwall has added in the right-of-way.

Mr. Volk asked if he was using a portion of that 150-foot depth for the landscaping. Mr. Recktenwall stated there will be 15 feet outside of the building setback line within the lot that will be used as a buffer. Mr. Volk asked how close the sidewalk is going to be to Cline Avenue and what the right-of-way easement is for that. Mr. Eberly asked if they would be dedicating 40 feet or 50 feet. Mr. Recktenwall stated they are dedicating 50 feet on Cline Avenue. Mr. Eberly stated that the sidewalk would be 45 feet off of the centerline of Cline Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall concurred and added there would be 5 feet of parkway.

Mr. Eberly advised the sidewalk itself is 5-feet wide, but he doesn’t know how far the sidewalk is off of the pavement edge of Cline Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall stated the Pedestrian Plan should show that.

Mr. Volk asked if the landscaping will be inside the sidewalk. Mr. Recktenwall said that was correct. Mr. Eberly stated it is west of the sidewalk. Mr. Recktenwall said they will dedicate a landscape easement on the back. Mr. Volk asked if it would be taken from the 50-foot depth. Mr. Recktenwall stated yes and added there is a 10-foot easement there for drainage. Mr. Eberly advised the rear-yard setback is 40 feet, which leaves room for the house to be constructed. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they typically restrict the lots with the landscape buffer in their covenants and restrictions so that the HOA has the ability to go in and maintain it if necessary.

Mr. Kozel stated a no-access easement might be considered on the back of those lots so that the residents can’t put driveways out to Cline Avenue. Mr. Forbes stated that should be considered for the lots on 93rd Avenue as well. Mr. Recktenwall responded there is an outlot there.

Mr. Volk asked if it was a standard 5-foot sidewalk. Mr. Recktenwall responded all sidewalks will be 5-feet. Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Eberly if the contract that went along with the rezoning mentioned where the buffer was located. He was under the impression it was outside the 150-foot lot. Mr. Eberly stated the buffer should always have been on the private property. Mr. Birlson stated he would think that is where St. John would want it so we don’t have to maintain it. Mr. Panczuk stated he thought it would be additional space granted behind there to buffer the smaller R-2 lots depth-wise from the road. The way it is takes away from the smaller lots and makes them smaller.

Mr. Volk stated he questions the need for a sidewalk along Cline. He understands there is a big push for sidewalks and can’t argue against that, but added it is really going to go nowhere going north because that township belongs to Schererville’s water district and sanitary district. He added it is busy along there, especially during rush hour. There are sidewalks in the development that do parallel it, so he is wondering how many people would actually use that along Cline Avenue. Mr. Forbes stated he doesn’t believe the sidewalk took away from the right-of-way. Mr. Eberly advised if you get rid of the sidewalks and extend the lots another 5 feet, that will reduce the right-of-way by 5 feet; and we required him to dedicate the 50 feet, so that sidewalk is within the right-of-way.

Mr. Flores asked for some clarification on the rear lot easements along Cline Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall stated that from the property line west, the first 10 feet is utility, on top of that is another 15 feet of landscape, and there is a 40-foot rear yard setback. Mr. Eberly stated that does not impact where you can put the house.

Mr. Volk inquired if the sidewalks and landscaping on 93rd Avenue will be the same distance from the edge of the pavement. Mr. Recktenwall explained the site on 93rd Avenue actually has a common area that they are able to utilize for the buffering. Mr. Volk asked if that would be wider buffering. Mr. Recktenwall confirmed it would and said it is on the Landscape Plan.

Mr. Volk stated he is okay with 93rd Avenue, but Cline Avenue is a little disappointing to him. Mr. Panczuk asked whose responsibility the maintenance of the landscaping will be along 93rd Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall stated it will be the HOA’s responsibility. Mr. Panczuk stated he was under the impression that Cline Avenue would be under the same thing. Mr. Recktenwall stated all landscaping is going to be maintained by the HOA. In the Zoning Commitment, they were required to put a buffer along the west property line as well, which will also be maintained by the HOA.

Mr. Recktenwall stated the covenants provide restrictions against those lots, and the homeowners are not allowed to remove trees, bushes, shrubs, or things like that without the HOA’s approval. He added they will grant the easement over the top of it at the time of Final Plat, which will provide access for the HOA to get in there and make any type of maintenance repairs that might be required.

Mr. Volk asked if the existing, large trees on the lots on the south side of 93rd Avenue on Lots 69-72 will be preserved. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they are adding trees as well as trying to preserve those existing trees that are along that line.

Mr. Volk stated there are no dimensions that he can see. Mr. Recktenwall said they can provide the Landscaping Plan with more dimensions if needed. Mr. Volk responded that he would like that.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Town has anything at the points like a piano key, walk-way, or a requirement for signage so that it can be activated if someone wants to cross 93rd Avenue or Cline Avenue to alert drivers that people are attempting to cross and asked if that could be required. Mr. Flores said it should be striped. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it will be striped and that there will be crosswalk signs.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the eastern access, where Cline Avenue does not exist yet, is too close to the intersection or if it is within specifications. He asked if Cline Avenue does eventually go through if it is too close to the intersection. Mr. Forbes said he doesn’t believe there is any regulation on that and added that is an INDOT matter.

Mr. Eberly advised the drawing presumes there will be a roundabout, but it is possible that it could become a signalized intersection. Mr. Eberly stated he doesn’t know of any regulation regarding how far this road has to be from a roundabout. Mr. Kozel stated the rule of thumb for a regular intersection is 150 feet from the centerline to the centerline of the other road. This is over 200 feet from the right-of-way line, so there should be plenty of room.

Mr. Flores asked if a roundabout is going to be adequate enough to handle the traffic with the new subdivision going in as well as Luers Tree Farm, which will obviously increase the traffic flow at 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue significantly.

Mr. Eberly responded that our traffic engineer has looked at that and is well aware of the Luers Tree Farm. He looked at that as part of our Road Impact Fee research. He added the roundabout would be able to handle that kind of increased traffic. INDOT is looking at a potential of doing a multi-lane roundabout at Cline Avenue and 231 which carries a lot more traffic than 93rd Avenue will, even with Luers Farm going in.

Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Recktenwall is on the agenda for June 6th for a Public Hearing for Primary Plat.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

G. SHOPS 96 – Continued Discussion of Potential Rezoning of 21+ Acres on the East Side of US41 at 96th Avenue (Mr. Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Shops 96, a discussion relative to rezoning of the 21 plus acres.

Mr. Boyer, of Boyer Properties, stated they are here tonight to further the discussion of the Shops 96 project located on the east side of US 41 and 96th Avenue. It is the old Standard Lumber property. It includes about 21 acres of property: Four existing buildings that are coming down from Al’s Auto Body to the St. John Pool property, from US 41 to the railroad tracks.

Mr. Boyer stated that their complete planned unit development package incorporates an overview of the property. There is a draft of the ordinance, which deals with some permitted uses. The packet contains all the drawings of the Site Plan, the building elevations for the first phase, the pedestrian traffic, the walkability, some of the lighting they are proposing for along 96th Avenue plus interior lighting, and preliminary landscaping, as well as the planned signage district.

Mr. Boyer advised that there has been one slight change: Mr. Boyer stated the property to the east of the current Al’s Auto Body was originally included in the PUD, but that has been taken out. The property now stops at the north property line of Al’s Auto Body. He stated they plan on having 6 internal lots as well as 3 individual outlots along US 41. Mr. Boyer advised the total project encompasses about 150,000 square feet.

• The first drawing in the package is their Site Plan showing the development of Lot 5, which is one of the first buildings going in. Lot 2 and Outlot 1 will be done at the same time.

• The next drawing shows the connection between all the parcels as far as walkability. It is important to them that all the lots be connected, so people will be able to park in one lot and walk to any of the other parcels. Mr. Boyer added within their planned unit development, they stress and provide for shared parking among all the parcels.

• Mr. Boyer advised the next drawing is the lighting layout. It shows what is being proposed along 96th Avenue which is a feature element of the entire development. It shows the corridor effect of the lighting as well as the complimentary lighting on the interior of the parcels and the special lighting in front of each building.

• Mr. Boyer advised the next drawing shows the landscaping areas, green areas. There is not a lot of detail on the individual lots. They will come back at a Plan Commission meeting as they develop each individual lot beyond what is planned in the first phase. They typically allow for maximum building areas on the property. However, as they develop each lot, that can change a little bit, so they will bring a Site Plan back for review and approval at the appropriate time.

• Mr. Boyer stated the next drawing shows the Lot 2 building, which will be one of the first buildings to go in. It is a multi-tenant, retail building that will be an all-brick building.

• The next drawing shows the proposed, complementary building on Lot 1. It is another multi-tenant retail building. When asked if Lot 1 is Outlot 1, Mr. Boyer advised Lot 1 is not the Outlot 1 and is the lot north of 96th Avenue at US 41. Lot 2 is the building behind that.

• The next drawing shows the multi-tenant retail building on Lot 5 at the back of the property, which is where the extension of 96th Avenue is with a future connection to Joliet Street. It is an all-brick building.

• The next section gets into their planned signage district. They go into a lot of detail as to what they allow as developers and what they want to see on the buildings. There is nothing contradictory to the existing signage requirement; however, they want to be very specific within their development. He added they have the right as a landlord to approve all the signage before the Town approves anything.

• The next large drawing gets into what the signage areas are on the buildings, the anchor sign, a little bit of the entry feature, and The Shops 96 brick wall feature located at the corner of US 41 and 96th Avenue. They are proposing the possibility of two anchor signs at each entrance off of US 41.

• The next drawing shows Lot 2. He added they show permissible signage areas on the buildings and define areas where they will allow signage. The areas they will allow for signage is difficult to define; however, the tenants will have to come to the Plan Commission for sign approval after receiving the developer’s approval.

• The next drawing shows Lot 1 and the signage areas on the building. The next drawing is the same for Lot 5.

Mr. Birlson asked what the order of buildings are that will be done first. Mr. Boyer stated the first one is Lot 2. He stated they need to build Lot 2 and move Malt Brothers into that building before the building that they are currently located in can be razed for the improvements at 96th Avenue and US 41 for the traffic signal. They anticipate Lot 5 and Outlot 1 will probably be started on right away as well. He added that is the first phase that is described in their Economic Development Agreement with the Town.

Mr. Kennedy stated the pedestrian plan seems all internal. He added there are no sidewalks to the north or south of the property on Wicker Avenue. He asked if there is a way to address pedestrian needs on the exterior if people wanted to go directly north and south on that development. Mr. Boyer stated he understands the concerns. In the past, because US 41 is a non-curbed street, typically any sidewalks done will be done when that street is improved and curbs are put in along the US 41 right-of-way. He added they don’t typically place them on the highway side of a development such as this. He stated they do have the walk behind the outlots, and they anticipate extending the lots over to US 41. He further stated it can be done on either one side or both sides of 96th Avenue. He stated a sidewalk is usually not put in along a frontage road of a highway with no curb or definition of that road.

Mr. Kennedy stated people are walking north and south. We have road issues because everyone has to drive and can’t walk to various locations. He would like to try and figure an access point to start the process of getting sidewalks along US 41. Mr. Boyer stated they anticipate a connection further north through Lot 5 to Joliet Street when that is done by the Town.

Mr. Kozel asked him if they are putting in walkways to go across US 41. Mr. Boyer said they can put them in; but they are not showing it along Lot 1 as a definition. He added they can do that on Lot 1, which would be preferable to doing it on Outlot 1. He stated that he can do either one and that it can be extended it to US 41.

Mr. Panczuk stated there are two different sidewalk issues, and he is going to address them separately. On 96th Avenue, because it connects to Joliet Street and then Joliet Street connects back to all the neighborhoods, he is hoping there will be a bike trail and/or sidewalk all the way to Three Springs and The Gates, etc. Regarding the older part of town, he would like the folks to be able to walk on either side of Joliet into the development to give it more of an urban feel. You are pretty tied up into our town, and it should be very walkable.

Mr. Panczuk stated, as far as US 41, there is currently a crosswalk at 97th Place, and anyone in that development to the west and all the developments that connect to it are able to bike or walk to that crosswalk at Strack’s. It would be nice to have a continuous sidewalk from 97th Place up to Joliet. There is a sidewalk from Joliet to 93rd Avenue. As things redevelop north of you and south of Joliet that the link would be made so one could walk from 93rd without walking on the highway. People are walking along the shoulder, and he would rather they be on a sidewalk than the shoulder of the road. Since the connection is there to Joliet, it would be beneficial to put it in and maybe eventually link it south to the crosswalk at 97th.

Mr. Panczuk stated he is for sidewalks on both sides of 96th Avenue and on the one side of US 41. He added it would be different if his property was out by Alsip Nursery, but the property is tucked up near crosswalks and existing sidewalks. Mr. Panczuk further stated that, as a vision for the Plan Commission, he would like to see sidewalks from 97th Place all the way to Aspen Café. He added it would be nice to have the entire thing be walkable, and to leave this big of a piece out seems unwise.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is any thought on continuing the frontage road. The Town’s Comprehensive Plan shows that frontage road to be continued to the north, and he is not seeing that on this plan. Mr. Boyer said it is not and that he worked within the confines of their property. They have the ability, with the extension of Joliet Street, to come back into that area. He stated they met with the property owners north of their property to discuss extending their property into that property to the north. He stated there is no interest whatsoever. He added there are a number of long, deep parcels all through there. He thinks they would end up with something that doesn’t go anywhere for a very long time.

Mr. Forbes stated that it was previously discussed that the entrance to Lot 5 could potentially become an intersection and the frontage road would back door into that area if it were to ever develop. Mr. Boyer responded where they show the entrance into Lot 5 could also be an entrance going to the north and to the west.

Mr. Panczuk referenced Earl Drive and stated pushing that road through seems like the right thing to do. He feels something like that could be done without hardship to the developer and would like to explore that more. Mr. Birlson stated it is a lot of winding around. If the frontage road continued to the north, it would be easier to find. Mr. Panczuk is concerned that there is a parcel that will not be connected, and if someone is driving up Earl Drive, they will have to seek out the connection to the next development once it is made. It is a detriment to the property to the north for developmental access purposes.

Mr. Volk stated they had talked early on about jogging the frontage road a little bit between two buildings and running it north but stopping at their lot line until the property to the north develops. Mr. Boyer replied that they’ve never shown a connection to the north. Mr. Volk concurred but stated it had been discussed early on. He then asked if it would be possible to jog it between the two buildings the way you have it drawn right now. Mr. Boyer stated he doesn’t think it would be a good idea to jog something like that in that short of a distance.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Boyer if he moved the patio to the east side of Lot 2. Mr. Boyer responded that they had. He added they had preliminary discussions with some users that wanted a larger patio at that end of the building. There is a potential for a drive-up at the west end of that building. He stated he believes there is plenty of room, and they would plan on having another patio to the east of Lot 1 on that building.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the parking space sizes are proposed to be less than the ordinance requires. Mr. Boyer stated they are proposing 9x18. Mr. Panczuk stated he will go on the record to the Commission and say he is not a fan. Parking space size has been upheld at the BZA level. The type of vehicles being driven in St. John today are generally SUVs, pickup trucks, and larger vehicles. Mr. Boyer responded that the Shops on Main project in Schererville is all 9x18.

Mr. Volk asked if there are excess parking spaces with the smaller spaces. Mr. Boyer responded they have 368 spots between Lot 3 and Lot 4. It is roughly a ratio of 4 to 1000. The smaller lots are roughly 5 per 1000. Mr. Volk asked what they needed to have. Mr. Boyer said they don’t look at need when they look at a PUD; instead, they try to look at potential use and a mixture of retail, restaurant, etc. With large anchor stores, the ratios tend to come down. Mr. Boyer added they try to stay above 4 per thousand throughout the development. Mr. Volk stated he would like to see the bigger parking spaces, and that they stay within the ordinance on the number of spots needed.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

H. GREYSTONE – Request for extension of Primary Plat (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Greystone’s request for the extension of the Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Slager of Schilling Development, representing CWS Holdings, stated Greystone was at the meeting the month before and obtained approval on Unit 2. They had primary approval on Unit 1 in April of 2016. They came back and platted Block 1 in August of 2016, Block 2 in May of 2017, and Block 3, the first section of single-family residences, in August of 2017. Per the ordinance, they need to come in with another final plat by August of 2018. He stated they are not quite ready and may not be ready by August; however, the next section will be single-family lots, possibly towards the end of this year.

Mr. Slager is requesting a 6-month extension for the Primary Plat for all of Unit 1 to give them time to come in and plat more single-family lots. If granted, the extension would extend the deadline from August 2, 2018 to February 2, 2019.

A short discussion among the board was had about the propriety of an extension as some of the members had not encountered this type of request before. Mr. Forbes advised the members that it is allowable and used to happen somewhat frequently. Mr. Forbes stated that primary plats are approved for one year, and if they don’t submit final plat within a year, the approval expires. He then explained that phases have been coming in much more quickly, and the submission of a secondary plat extends the preliminary plat automatically.

Mr. Slager stated their intention is to come in every year with additional lots; however, the timing is sometimes off just a bit. He stated they may be in during September, but he didn’t want to risk expiration. He feels 6 months should be enough for them to come in with a Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

I. THE PRESERVE – Request for Secondary Plat of Unit 2A (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Preserve’s request for Secondary Plat for Unit 2A.

Mr. Slager stated The Preserve received Primary Plat approval in February of 2016. The Final Plat on Unit 1 was done in September of 2016. The Final Plat of Unit 2 was done in July of 2017. He stated there is an outlot that wasn’t ready yet when Phase 2 was platted. Mr. Slager stated that they brought sewer lines across the road while the road was closed in conjunction with the Town’s repaving and widening of 101st Avenue. The lot is now a buildable lot. Mr. Slager stated it is proposed to be a single home site on a 5-acre lot directly across from the entrance to The Estates of Wellington.

Mr. Slager stated the Town had come to them and asked them to dedicate a 55-foot right-of-way for the 101st widening project because some utility poles needed to be moved in a little bit further requiring 55 feet instead of 50 feet. He added there will be a 40-foot building line and a 75-foot legal drain along Bull Run Ditch.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions. None were had.

Mr. Slager thanked the board.

J. ROAD IMPACT FEE – Continued Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is discussion of the Road Impact Fee.

Mr. Panczuk stated he has done some homework in the last month and feels 7 percent seems low. He provided four examples of waivers or credits that were given to developments that were desired by the towns or cities based on their comprehensive plans, which they used as an incentive whenever an issue of a hardship arose. He added that they write up an EDA and give a waiver to incent development. Mr. Panczuk stated that opens a door so the fee could be raised to a more reasonable level and make more of a difference. At 7 percent, half of the proceeds would go to pay for the study alone.

Mr. Panczuk shows the 5-year projection to be $682,000 at 7 percent. He has been thinking 20 percent all along and feels that number for a single-family residence is reasonable. At 20 percent, it is a little over $1000.00 per single-family home and the 5-year total is $1.949 million. Mr. Panczuk further added if the rate is at 20 percent and you have desirable development that the Town wants and grants waivers, the residential proceeds alone is still over $1.5 million. The Town could use credit given for infrastructure to be put in or waivers as a tool to not kill desirable commercial development.

Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Arshami was looking into it.

Mr. Kennedy stated he read the statue and didn’t read anything in there about giving waivers. He discussed the matter with Mr. Panczuk and was informed that other communities in the state that have an impact fee are giving waivers.

Mr. Kennedy then reached out to a contact of his that works adjacent to one of those cities and was informed by his contact that waivers can be provided and that it is like any other incentive that a community can give, like waiving sewer fees. While it does not state that it can be done, it does not state that it cannot be done. He further stated that communities are doing it as an incentive for desirable additions to the community.

Mr. Volk asked if there is anyone just reducing them for commercial. Mr. Kennedy stated it can be done however they choose to do it. It could be a total waiver or a price reduction and is done through an Economic Development Committee.

Mr. Panczuk referenced two cases in Fishers; and in both cases, their town council did a simple EDA and waived certain fees. He added if it fits with the Comprehensive Plan and if it is a consideration for incentivizing, it can be done.

Mr. Birlson asked if waiving fees for one development but not for another would open St. John to lawsuits. Mr. Panczuk stated it happens already and it is working in other towns. He added that Fishers raised their rates and also added a bridge impact fee. Another option is a credit-given channel, such as if a developer adds roadway, credit could be given to offset their impact fee.

Mr. Panczuk stated all of the information he found is unbiased, and he feels that 20 percent is a good place to start. Mr. Panczuk asked what the consensus is of the Plan Commission. Mr. Birlson said he would like to see it at 80 percent because we’re already behind on our roads.

Mr. Kozel stated it could be raised by a percentage amount every year for the first five years. He advised to pick a number that seems reasonable and add on each year so that you’re meeting with inflation or other needs.

Mr. Forbes cautioned the members to not get into conversation committing to a percentage yet because there has to be a Public Hearing. Mr. Forbes advised everyone to take the information in, sort it out, and wait until after the Public Hearing.

Mr. Flores asked if the Plan Commission makes a recommendation to the Town Council, could the Town Council then adjust it. Mr. Forbes confirmed that is the process. Mr. Kozel asked if they could get copies of the documents Mr. Panczuk provided. Mr. Eberly stated he would send those out to the Plan Commission.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

Respectfully Submitted;

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

06-06-2018 Plan Commission

June 6, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk John Kennedy

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on June 6, 2018 at 7:02 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: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, Gregory Volk, and Michael Forbes.

Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director, Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer. Absent: None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer the approval of the minutes. Motion to defer the Plan Commission May 2, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes and the Plan Commission May 16, 2008 Study Session Minutes by Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion carried 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Mr. Forbes advised that Shops 96 has been removed from the agenda.
A. 2018-0004 WALDEN CLEARING – Public Hearing for Primary Plat – (Ed Recktenwall – Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Public Hearing for Walden Clearing for Preliminary Plat of a 90-lot, single-family R-2 subdivision at the intersection of Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue. The petitioner is Olthof Homes.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they are here to request Primary Plat action on their 90-Lot subdivision at 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue. He further stated they have been working with the Town Engineer and staff on getting approval of their Landscape Plan and engineering.

Mr. Volk asked if the landscape buffers were gone over. Mr. Eberly stated the Landscape Plan that they submitted is consistent with the Zoning Commitment that was submitted and that the board accepted. They will plant 4 deciduous trees, 4 evergreen trees, and 12 shrubs for every 100 lineal feet of buffer area along the west property line. Mr. Recktenwall stated there is existing vegetation along the west property line, so they felt it would be in the best interest to work with the existing vegetation.

Mr. Eberly stated there was no buffer required along the north property line. The buffering will be along the west, the east, along Cline Avenue, and on the south along 93rd Avenue. On the southwest 40 acres, they have to provide a buffer, which they have done in compliance with their Zoning Commitment.

Mr. Volk asked if the buffer on the south side of 93rd Avenue is also on the actual lots. Mr. Recktenwall responded that the landscape buffer resides in a common lot on the north and south side of 93rd Avenue. Mr. Volk asked if the eastern edge of Cline Avenue is the only location where the landscape buffer is in the lots themselves. Mr. Recktenwall answered in the affirmative.

Mr. Volk asked the size of the landscape buffer there. Mr. Recktenwall responded it is 20 feet. Mr. Volk asked if that goes right up to the western edge of the sidewalk. Mr. Recktenwall said the sidewalk is offset a foot and there is another 25 feet between the frontage of the sidewalk and the road pavement, which is the right-of-way.

Mr. Volk asked if street lighting had been discussed. Mr. Recktenwall responded that lighting had not been discussed yet, but they intend to provide street lights at all the major intersections. Mr. Volk asked if they had thought about using internal decorative lighting. Mr. Recktenwall stated they had discussed that internally, and they are willing to do something decorative. Mr. Volk stated he would like to see that amenity. Mr. Recktenwall stated they can do that. Mr. Volk asked if they are committing to that. Mr. Recktenwall said absolutely. Mr. Volk stated he would like to see some drawings or some pictures or something of the style. Mr. Recktenwall stated it would be a Hanover style, similar to what’s in the North Point subdivision.

Mr. Volk asked about entrance signs or monuments. Mr. Recktenwall stated they have entrance signs, and they are shown on the last page of the Landscape Plan. He further stated they are putting entrance markers on both the north and south side to define both communities. The north side will be the Estates at Walden Clearing. The south side would be The Manors at Walden Clearing, and on the east entrance of the north there would be a secondary marker.

Mr. Volk asked if on the south side where there is the wetland area; will there be an easement to get down there for the future if we wanted to put parking spots or something by Lot 76. Mr. Recktenwall said there is Outlot E that could potentially be an access point. He stated there is also potential in the southwest corner as well.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the sidewalk connection into Tiburon is included. Mr. Recktenwall said they can add them. Mr. Kraus stated there are no sidewalks coming out to Cline Avenue, just parallel with Cline Avenue. Mr. Recktenwall stated they have no issue adding the ramps. Mr. Forbes stated the Town is going to install those sidewalks; the project has already been approved.

Mr. Panczuk asked where the signage would be placed. Mr. Recktenwall responded one on the northeast corner of 93rd Avenue and Concord in the common lot, and the on the south side it would be the southwest corner in Outlot C. Mr. Panczuk asked if the dimensions of the signs would case an issue for line of sight. Mr. Recktenwall stated it would be back off the existing right-of-way and behind the sidewalks that are proposed there, so they would be outside of any sight triangle that would be required.

Mr. Panczuk stated he was disappointed about the buffer after the last meeting. He feels that throughout the process he was lead to believe the buffer was additional space behind the lots. Last month it was found out that the drawings weren’t detailed enough and the buffers on the east and west of your north subdivision are actually within the lots. Mr. Panczuk does not care for that and feels that it was poorly represented. He further stated that the Zoning Commitment is vague saying only that trees will be provided but does not mention the area where they are placed. Mr. Panczuk asked if there was any way to get the buffer outside of those lots. Mr. Recktenwall stated the only potential would be to place it inside the right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes stated he is a little uncomfortable with putting the green space in the right-of-way in the event that it would have to be ripped out in the future. It is a plus for the individual buying the house to have that at the back of the lot and not have to maintain it. In the future if an additional lane or even half of a lane, it is going to end up being a problem because the landscaping would have to be ripped out and then those residents would be upset.

Mr. Panczuk agreed with Mr. Forbes statement; however, the impression was left that there would be an additional 15 foot and that we wouldn’t have to use the right-of-way. He stated the ideal trade-off is they got smaller lots, give us 15 more feet in the Site Plan between the rear of the lot and the right-of-way to place the buffer. Mr. Volk stated he agrees with Mr. Panczuk and is also disappointed. Mr. Forbes stated they are full-sized R-2 lots, they just have landscaping in the back.

Mr. Eberly asked if the street name had been changed. Mr. Recktenwall stated it had.

Mr. Flores asked if the street signs go in as soon as the streets are put in. Mr. Forbes stated that Public Works usually installs them. Mr. Eberly stated the issue is when the signs are custom street signs where the developer puts those up instead of the Town. We are struggling to get some developers to put up those street signs. Mr. Recktenwall stated they intend to use standard street signs.

Mr. Forbes open the floor to the public for Public Hearing.

Tom Grabara: (No response when called upon to speak.)

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I, um, may have signed the wrong sheet. I wanted to say a few words about 96.

Mr. Forbes stated that is not on the agenda tonight.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, as I reviewed this plan, I – I’m concerned about the lots along Cline Avenue. I’m – I’m glad to hear that some of the other commissioners were concerned with that at all. When I saw the – the picture that was presented when the developer was requesting the R-2 zoning, um, from open land, it – there didn’t seem to be a real good reason why to give the R-2 zoning for a 100x150-foot lots.

But, you know, based on – on some threats and the – the neighbors were kind of scared, um, what they would get if they fought it. So fast forward to this meeting where not only do they get smaller lots, but now they’re trying to use a large portion of the backyard for easement and trees, landscaping. I know they promised landscaping along Cline Avenue, but their agreement did not stipulate, um, that it was going to be on property as opposed to being common property. They didn’t say it was going to be on the lots.

And that’s not common practice in this town. It might be for some of Olthof’s, but as I looked at Weston Ridge along Olcott and Rosewood along White Oak, um, The Gates along Parrish, and the high berm along Bramblewood there on 93rd, none of those are on homeowner property. They are on the association property. Um, and I think we need to continue with that. In fact, I experienced that when I had some campaign signs that got pulled because I had ‘em on the wrong property.

Um, but the rendering that I saw when they were doing their request, the PDF, if you blow it up, it’s very clear that right along Cline Avenue the whole tree line is not on personal property. It’s not there; it’s outside that personal property line. So this is what he used to get rezoning. And – and I know you guys were under – disappointed with it; and I’m glad you are. But if you look at this picture, it’s very clear that all these big trees are all outside of the property line. Um, it’s kind of misleading. In fact, it might even be deception. Um, just, I’m not happy with it.

When you look at, I think, if I remember correctly, I think these were the nice homes that were actually going to have, um, the additions on to the back, um the sunroofs – sunrooms and things like that which are going to make their houses even bigger. So by the time you take off the easements and the landscaping, the 40-foot setback from the front yard, and a normal-size house that they build, you’re going to have a 20-foot, maybe a 25-foot backyard. We just can’t have that in this town, gentlemen. I – I’m sorry, um, and for that reason, until this gets corrected, I would like you to defer this, um, or decline it. Thank you.

Vanessa Merkle (9221 Mallard Lane): I’m right behind the subdivision, or going-to-be subdivision. Um, we received this letter, just – we received a binder of all sorts of things that were going to happen to the subdivision. So to hear about this landscaping, we would really like details before this goes through because it is concerning that everything’s changing. What was presented to us is changing, and it’s not what’s being shown here today.

So, um, if you’d like to see the letter about the buffering and everything else that was sent to us, it’s just – it says it’s going to be done. And now I show up today, and it’s a little different. So I would really appreciate if you guys, maybe, thought this over again and ask for more details before going through with this.

Um, I do appreciate the discussion you guys had about the road and the sidewalks. Um, our family is relatively young. We – I have daughters that we’d like to, you know, walk into the new subdivision. And getting aside is very difficult right now to cross onto 93rd, so maybe some pedestrian something, even for the school, would be nice to, kind of, have that. It’s a – you know, it’s busy. It’s getting very busy over there, so please keep that in mind. But, um, thank you.

Mr. Birlson asked her where she lived in reference to Walden Clearing. Ms. Merkle said, “I live right – help me out.” Her husband said, “The fifth house from 93rd and Mallard Lane, fifth house north on the east side of the road.” Ms. Merkle said, “I think we’re behind Lot 86 or something like that.” Mr. Birlson thanked her for the information.

Patti Byers (9111 Cline Avenue): I am directly across from this subdivision that’s going in. What has been presented to me by “Mr. Olthof” isn’t what I’m seeing here tonight. I don’t quite understand when do they ever – before in – in these types of meetings, there’s always been in the lot sized. They would have the actually dimensions written on it and everything. And if they’re going to take this amount from the lots there on Cline Avenue, how can they still be 15,000 square feet and meet the R-2 zoning?

Mr. Forbes asked if she had anything else.

No, I just – this is what I want to know: is there any way, to me – and another thing I had a question about: They talked about an entrance and exit coming down Cline Avenue. And I ask if there is, if the utility poles were going to have to be moved. I don’t understand how they’re going to do all this with what they presented tonight. I see nothing about an entrance or exit from there on Cline Avenue. You know, the road like they’ve got going into Tiburon, when you turn on – go in. Greg, you know what I’m talking about.

Mr. Forbes stated there is an accel-decel lane.

Is there? Where is it? Because it’s directly across from my house. It’s going to – the traffic is definitely going to impact us.

Mr. Forbes stated the accel-decel lane is what is on the drawings.

It’s not what was presented to us. I can say that. I think more thought needs to be given to it before you okay it. Thank you.

Cheryl Nightlinger (9200 Mallard Lane): I live in Sierra Pointe. I agree with most of the comments that have been made here, especially about the smaller lots and easements. But one of my biggest concerns is linking all these subdivisions together with a walkway or path or bikeway. You’ve got an opportunity with many new subdivisions that you can do this to make this a more walkable, rideable town. And right now it’s too dangerous to cross 93rd to get to the other subdivisions. So it might be something you might want to look at in the future, because 93rd has a lot of kids, and they’re going to be going to that middle school over there. And they’re – you’re going to have to have some kind of traffic control there. Thank you.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): On the south half, where that road comes into what would be Cline Avenue, if it extended south that just dead ends there, there’s no way to turn around. Cause – in Rose Garden there was that issue with, or next to Rose Garden where the dump trucks or the garbage trucks and the snow plows had issues turning around. And I just was wondering, how is that going to work if Cline Avenue never goes through?

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Recktenwall if they would be doing a hammer-head turnaround there. Mr. Recktenwall stated they can do temporary a cul-de-sac. For turnarounds, they’ve done that in the past.

And another question, if the trees and the shrubs are HOA taken care of, but what if a homeowner comes and decides they don’t want trees, can they cut those down? Or what – is there a covenant in their property? You know, I – when there’s dual ownership of something like that, it – is there something that governs those landscaping areas? Or if it’s on the homeowner’s property, can they do whatever they want?

I – I just see that as being a conflict down the road if someone moves in and says they don’t like trees and don’t want to, yeah – I just – just something I thought of. Thank you.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): R-2 is consistent with the adjacent neighborhoods. Between Crossing Creek, Lake Hills, which are – some of them are even smaller lots than that, you have houses that are being generated in excess of $400,000 and $500,000. The going rate for typical on these size lots is such as that.

Relative to the buffer area I – I understand the concern about some of the members. But there’s precedence both in Crossing Creek and in Lake Hills. There are dedicated conservation areas at backs of lots, which are essentially buffer zones. There are actually lots in Crossing Creek where the lots are probably 300 foot deep -- and I know Mr. Slager’s in the back here – but where virtually about half to two-thirds of the lot is unusable. People do not hesitate to build on those. They build $400,000 and $500,000 lot – houses on there.

I think that with the going rate in the market place, R-2 lots and what you generate here and consistent with the existing neighborhoods, details aside -- I think this would be a good complement to building out that area around 93rd and Cline. Thanks.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oak Ridge Drive): You heard the issues about the small backyards. You heard the issue of the road dead ending and that they’re going to put a temporary hammer-head there. That is not how development should be done. All this does is allow them to squeeze more lots in there of a smaller size and say, “Well, they did this in Crown Point,” or “They did it somewhere else.”

You shouldn’t do it here. It affects the value of – the property values of the people on Mallard and the other surrounding areas. And they, the people here tonight, have raised enough issues that you should ask these gentlemen to go back and redraw their proposed plat. We can’t keep giving everybody – I’ll call ‘em variances – or deviate from the Town Ordinances, and say well, somebody’s building a $500,000 house in Lake Hills on a littler lot. We’re not here to diminish the value of the property in St. John.

You need to follow the ordinance. You need to get backbone. And what backbone says is tell ‘em to redraw this. Put a cul-de-sac in there where the dead end is and not a hammerhead so the fire trucks and the garbage trucks can turn around reasonably. Redraw this so it’s not sitting there as a hammerhead for the next twenty years. We’ve seen in this town where there’s been dead ends before where they end up just putting a pile of rock at the end of it and hope nobody crashes into it.

And years ago, they had a guy, he had it – hit it with his motorcycle. So I think you got to look at the ordinance. You got to protect the neighborhood property values because it’ll diminish it if you don’t follow the ordinance to the letter of the ordinance. Thank you.

Doug Merkle (9221 Mallard Lane): I was a little confused when you were talking about the twelve trees per 100 feet. Are you guys planning on using – like, I have a lot of trees on the east side of my property. So you’re not going to skip my area behind my house, or – (Mr. Recktenwall stated they will add additional trees to your area.) So there’ll still be trees behind there. All right, thank you.

Mr. Forbes returned the matter to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked if the drawing in front of them is consistent with the Zoning Agreement that was agreed to. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it is.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus if there are crosswalks with striping provided across 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue. Mr. Kraus stated there was not at this time. There are crosswalks that cross the Walden Clearing streets parallel with 93rd Avenue, and the same on Cline.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is any further questions or comments.

Mr. Eberly advised there is a waiver for curbs on Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for waiver of curbs along Cline and 93rd Avenues. Motion to grand the waiver for the curbs on Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue by Mr. Kozel. Motion fails for lack of a second.

After a short discussion, Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Recktenwall if he would like to defer this matter. Mr. Recktenwall answered in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer Walden Clearing. Motion to defer Walden Clearing by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

B. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 6D – Request for Reduction of Letter of Credit from $594,458.80 to $102,224.71
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is The Gates of St. John. Pod 6D, a request for a reduction in the Letter of Credit from $594,458.80 to $102,224.71.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to make a recommendation to the Town Council for the Letter of Credit reduction. Motion for the reduction in the Letter of Credit from $594,458.80 to $102,224.71 referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

C. 2018-0008 ROSE GARDEN 3 – Continued Discussion of the amended Primary Plat and approval of Secondary Plat for Lots 6-22 – (Mike Graniczny/Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Rose Garden, Unit 3, a continued discussion relative to the amended Preliminary Plat and a request for approval of a Secondary Plat of Lots 6-22.

Mr. Rettig with DVG stated he is representing Sublime Development and Mick Graniczny of Sublime, who is also present. He stated they are asking for an amended Primary Plat for Rose Garden Addition. The addition is one lot, Lot 22. That came up previously because the wetland delineation was originally incorrect. They had it redone by a different consultant and picked up a little more room. So instead of having one extra-wide lot, they are having two lots that are over 100-foot wide each. Only a small corner of one lot will have a little bit of wetlands on it.

Mr. Rettig stated they are also requesting Final Plat approval on what is called Block 1. The road and all improvements are in. They are holding back Lots 1-5 along the east side, which will be Block 2, while they work with the Town to resolve the connection to Schafer Drive.

Mr. Kozel asked for the area information again. Mr. Rettig stated it is a little over 200 feet of peat bog where the borings said it could be in excess of 12 feet to 14 feet of bad ground, which means putting in sheet piling before excavating the bad material and bringing in proper fill. It isn’t a huge area, but it is deep and soft.

An alternate plan is to put down a geo-fabric and a geo-grid, stone, more geo-grid and build like a rock bridge between the fabrics and then build the road on top of that. However, it will move a little bit, more so than when building on hard clay.

Mr. Kozel asked if it would be capable of carrying a plow and a school bus. Mr. Rettig stated the consultant said it will, but it will require, maybe, more ongoing maintenance on the Town’s part because it is going to be a public road. They suggested to not put in curbs because they will crack and fail. A 24-foot road would need to be considered. They will present it when they have formal design.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any more questions or comments on Phase 1. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the amended Primary Plat for Rose Garden, Unit 3. Motion to Grant Rose Garden, Unit 3, the amended Primary Plat for Lots 6-22, Block 1, be granted referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised there is a request for Secondary Plat for Phase 3, Block 1 and asked for any questions or comments.

Mr. Retting stated all the improvements are in. Mr. Kraus stated he had not had the construction costs provided to him as yet, so the Developmental Fee has not been established yet. Once that is considered and calculated, that will need to be paid before the mylars are signed.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the Secondary Plat. Motion to grant Secondary Plat approval for Lots 6-22 referencing the Findings of Fact and withholding signatures until the Developmental Fee is paid by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 1 nay.

D. 2018-0011 SCHILLING CONSTRUCTION – Permission to Advertise for Rezoning of 20 Acres of land on the east side of Calumet Avenue from R-1 to R-1, C-2, and R-3 (Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Schilling Construction for permission to advertise for rezoning 20 acres of land on the east side of Calumet Avenue just south of 101st Avenue from R-1 to a combination of R-1, R-2, and R-3.

Mr. Pritchett with Schilling Construction stated they are here to request permission to advertise for rezoning. He further stated they have provided the road from the south to the north as requested, full lane with the changes to the setbacks.

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

Mr. Kennedy asked if there were any changes other than the updates with regard to the roadway. Mr. Pritchett advised the only changes made were the ones requested. Lot 6 was the only lot with adjustments.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize advertising for Public Hearing. Motion for permission to advertise for Public Hearing by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

E. 2018-0013 CASBONI ADDITION – Permission to Advertise for Rezoning of land located on the east side of White Oak Avenue from Open Space to R-1 – (Vince Casboni)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Casboni Addition, permission to advertise for rezoning from Open Space to R-1 single family for the creation of three lots.

The petitioner did not show for the meeting. Mr. Eberly advised he had not heard from Mr. Casboni since the last meeting and asked this be removed from the agenda until he contacts us. Mr. Kraus stated there has been some discussion with Mr. Casboni’s surveyor Glen Kracht. They are still deciding how much to include in the subdivision as to whether or not they will include the large area and the homestead in the event any permits would need to be pulled for the homestead lot.

Mr. Forbes advised there seems to be discussion going on outside of the board so something is changing. He further stated that he would prefer this matter be deferred.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer. Motion to by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

F. GREYSTONE – Request for extension of Primary Plat Approval – (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Greystone, a request for extension of Primary Plat approval.

Mr. Slager with Schilling Development stated Greystone Unit 1 received primary approval two years ago. The approval has been extended by Final Plat of Block 1, Block 2, and Block 3. They are requesting a 6-month extension of the primary approval so they have time to put together another final plat for the next phase.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to grant the extension of Primary Plat approval by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

G. THE PRESERVE – Request for Secondary Plat Approval of Unit 2A – (Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is The Preserve, request for Secondary Plat approval of Unit 2A, a 5-acre single-family lot on 101st Avenue.

Mr. Slager with Schilling Development stated that they are platting one 5-acre lot, on an outlot that lies outside of the subdivision proper. All improvements are in.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any changes to the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Slager stated there was not other than extending the right-of-way from 50 feet to 55 feet that was dedicated to the Town for additional right-of-way to move the utility poles for the turn lanes.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additional comments or questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding secondary plat. Motion to grant the request for Secondary Plat approval for Unit 2A for single-family lot on 101st Avenue referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

H. 2018-0014 ROAD IMPACT FEE – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing – (Town of St. John)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is to authorize for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for the Road Impact Fee Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Road Impact Fee by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

I. 2018-0015 PARK IMPACT FEE – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing – (Town of St. John)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is to authorize for permission to advertise for Public Hearing for the Park Impact Fee.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing for the Park Impact Fee by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Public Comment.

Joe Hero (11723, South Oak Ridge Drive): You have what you call Study Sessions where the public cannot make comments. I think it’s unfair to the developers to come here, once they advertise, and then they hear public comments that nobody knew about. You should open up your Study Sessions so that everybody has an input into what’s going to happen. I think it’ll make things go smoother at these other, what you call, Regular meetings. They’re all public meetings. You can call it a Study Session, whatever it is. If you go to the County Council, they have one of those, but they let the public speak. You can get input on what resistance is going to happen from the neighborhoods, and that’ll make it better for everybody.

Number two item is this Shops of 96. The legal notices were put in the paper, okay, that there’s a public hearing tonight. The residents came here to remonstrate against it. And they find out there’s no hearing. If the legal notice was defective, that – that has none – no – nothing to do to cancel the meeting. Because what you’re doing is working for a developer and working against the remonstrators. You’re creating an unfair playing field because one of the things the remonstrator’s going to say is, “I object to this because the legal notice is defective.” And then if you shut it down for there, that defers this thing maybe a year ahead.

So you’re not playing a fair game by, in the back room, working for the developer and say, “Oh, your notice isn’t good.” Well, he’s had – he’s asked for permission to advertise. When he comes for permission to advertise, show you the legal notice. Don’t – don’t – because all you’re doing is jerking the people around who came here tonight to speak. And if you keep pushing that back, you wear out the people. And that’s a disadvantage to the citizens.

You need to get that legal notice up front; have your attorney, which I don’t see here, look at it before it’s published; and not play the game unfairly. You’re the referee. And all you’re doing is tilting the game towards a certain developer. So I would like to remonstrate against that Shops on 96 tonight because this is the Public Hearing that you advertised, as the advertisement is defective, and the thing should be denied for that reason. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I – I’d like to thank you gentlemen, first of all, for deferring that, that earlier petition. I think it’s so important that you do it the right way, you know, make sure that everything is done and the – the – the drawings are right and the sizes are right before it gets approved. And I’m just, you know, I’m glad to see that that was done. My concern is that that same issue will not happen when it comes to the Boyer development. I – I – I think that it’s a great thing that Boyer’s improving this area of town.

How beneficial it’s going to be will be determined by the tenants and how well it fits into the master plan and things like that. And I was concerned that maybe some more work needed to be done on that as well. I mean it looks like the agreement that was made pretty much prejudices or predisposes what you guys can do, I mean, and the BZA. I mean the agreement, it spells out a lot of things. And you’re not allowed to do your – do your job. But – but I think the plan has so many areas that are against, um, the objectives of our Comprehensive Plan and some of the goals as far as transportation accessibility with pedestrians and – and – and – and bicycles, um, connectivity to make the – the area, you know, accessible for the residents.

And I think the plan kind of fails in those areas. So you – you’ve got a whole another month now before this comes up, and I’d really like you to look at the sidewalk issue. I know that’s something that you like. I think we need to have those sidewalks. I went down 41 down towards Schererville, and they’ve got sidewalks down there. In fact, I saw people using ‘em. Well, we got people here in town that would like to do some walking too. And hopefully, if people can walk to those shops, they’ll actually be a little bit more successful. I’d like to see bike crossing availability too if you’re going to put that there.

Um, and then most importantly is Earl Drive. The Comprehensive Plan talks in a number of areas where frontage roads can be beneficial to this town and keep a lot of traffic off of 41. They can go from one part of the development to another part of the development without actually having to make left turns onto 41. It works for Target. It works for Aldi. And it works for, you know, Tractor Supply. And then the frontage road going all the way to – to – to Alsip Nursery, I think, is phenomenal. We need to keep it going. It needs to keep going. Pascal’s, Dairy Queen, that – that – that child care place, they all need to be able to have that frontage road.

If you got to have that thing stubbed all the way up to the St. John Pool area, it might be years before it continues. But if it’s not there, it’s not going to be able to continue, so I would ask you guys to just study that one just a little bit closer before it comes up again. Thank you.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Lane): I would like to add to what the former speaker said and thank the board. Transparency is so important. And whether it’s an accident or whatever, thank you for clearing it up. I think it’s important for those of us on this side of the podium to have the confidence in that side of the podium that you’re taking care of us and doing right by the city and the developer.

I’m one of the people who came in for the Shops 96. I’d also like to echo the frontage road. Um, I came to the shops today, Strack’s – my wife had a cake and had get – she ruined the cake. I had to go back and get – so I had to come Joliet road, come back on 41. If the frontage road had been in, you – anyone east of 41 on Joliet would just – who wanted to shop and stay off of 41 – my other option is to come down 231. The frontage road is important, and I’d like you to keep that in mind as you review this Shops 96. Thank you.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): I have to actually agree with Mr. Hero, uh, relative to his comment that the defect in the advertisement and the delay of the project for the Public Hearing for Shops on 96. Although, contrary to his position, I was prepared and have a significant amount of people to prepare remonstrances in support of Boyer, Shop on 96. This project’s been in the works for, I don’t even know, a year, year and a half, even longer. I think the majority of the residents of this town support that project. And I think it will be a great project. And it’s unfortunate that the Public Hearing could not occur tonight. Look forward to the next one. And thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Second by Panczuk. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

06-20-2018 Plan Commission

June 20, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Gregory Volk, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk  
John Kennedy    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on July 18, 2018 at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Mr. Kennedy called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:04 p.m.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Kennedy advised the next item on the agenda is new business.

Mr. Eberly advised before getting into the agenda, there are a couple of things he needs to address. Earlier this month there was a request from Olthof Homes for the release of a performance bond for North Point 5 and Meadow Gate 11B. Mr. Eberly sent that request via email to Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer, and Bob Davis of Public Works Department. Neither one had received the request.

Mr. Eberly has spoken with both Mr. Kraus and Bob Davis, and all the infrastructure is in and approved. He would like to ask that the board do one of two things. Address the North Point 5 and Meadow Gate 11 B performance bonds when the Olthof’s Walden Clearing item comes up or put the items on the July 11th agenda without any further discussion other than what was just stated.

Secondly, John Lotton is requesting that The Gates 7C be put on the July 11th agenda for Secondary Plat approval. All improvements are in. The Gates 4H is on the agenda for discussion, and Don Torrenga is present for that discussion if the board wanted to briefly discuss it at that time. Mr. Eberly does have the plat for 7C here to hand out as well as electronically if the board would like to do briefly discuss it or this item also could be added to the July11th agenda without further discussion.

Mr. Kennedy asked if it needed to be discussed in a study session before going on a regular meeting agenda. Mr. Eberly advised that is typically the way it is done. Mr. Kozel stated it is more routine. Mr. Kennedy asked if there was a deadline involved they did not make. Mr. Eberly stated there was not. He further stated that all three could be addressed at the appropriate time during the meeting tonight, or he can put them on the July 11th agenda for action without further discussion with the board’s permission.

Mr. Kennedy asked the board for any discussion or objections. The members were in agreement to add it to the July 11th Agenda without further discussion during this evening. Mr. Eberly advised that it will be put on the July 11th agenda for action.

Mr. Kraus requested that Mr. Eberly send him the Secondary Plat for The Gates 7C.

A. SHOPS 96 – Review of Development Plan – (Mr. Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Kennedy advised Shops 96 is here to review their development plan.

Mr. Boyer with Boyer properties stated they were originally scheduled for public hearing for June 6th. There was some confusion over language in the legal notice, so they elected to cancel that and re-advertise and republish for the July 11th meeting. They are here tonight to see if there are any further questions or comments regarding the project and development plan.

Mr. Kozel asked if the parking spots are going to be 9x18. Mr. Boyer stated they are. Mr. Kozel asked if that could be put on a diagonal. Mr. Boyer stated they really can’t. The problem with larger shopping centers and diagonal parking is one-way traffic tends to become a traffic issue, and it is important to have a drive aisle of at least 24 feet to make getting in and out of those spaces adequate.

Mr. Kozel asked if that couldn’t be accomplished with a diagonal parking lot. Mr. Boyer responded they have not done diagonal parking for shopping center in the last 15 years because it creates issues. Mr. Eberly advised that we allow 9x18 spaces if they are angled at anywhere from 30 degrees to 53 degrees; anything else is supposed to be a 10x20 space.

Mr. Kennedy asked if they are concerned with a lack of parking. Mr. Boyer stated not with the current layout. Mr. Kennedy asked if they went to the 10x20 space size if they would be concerned. Mr. Boyer stated they would lose about 20 percent of the parking. Mr. Kennedy asked if they have 368 parking spots in Lot 5. Mr. Eberly advised that is the combination of the Lots 3 and 4. Mr. Boyer stated there is cross-parking across all the lots and parking areas.

Mr. Birlson asked if they are either at the maximum or the minimum amount allowed. Mr. Boyer advised they are not at the minimum. It is difficult at this stage in the development to dictate what usage we are going to have, which is why there is a broad spectrum of uses permitted. They are very conscious of the mix of office and restaurant and retail use in their developments and what they allow so that they don’t have a parking issue. They use least 4 spaces per 1000 square feet across the board, and the cross-parking helps alleviate any tight areas.

Mr. Eberly stated that if it were strictly a retail development, they would be required to have 376 spaces. They are slightly over parked on Lot 5 and Lot 2. There are 71 spaces on Lot 5 with 61 required, and there are 73 on Lot 2 with 70 required. They don’t show the number of spaces on Lot 1 or Outlots 1, 2, and 3. They do show the size of the buildings. Based on the size of the buildings, he knows how many spaces they need. The total for Lots 3 and 4 is 412 parking spaces planned, 545 required because it’s a planned development. If it were strictly retail, it would be 376 spaces. They are in the middle of what would be required.

Mr. Volk asked how many are on the plan. Mr. Eberly responded he believes that it is 412 total between Lots 3 and 4. Normally, that is based on 94,000 square feet. The required number of spaces is based on their square footage. For a planned shopping development, our parking requirement is very intense for the first 15,000 square feet at one space per 100 square feet. We have to have 150 spaces for the first 15,000 square feet; after that, it is one space per 200 square feet. Based on that requirement, they would have to have 545 spaces for 94,000 square feet, and they have 412. Based on only retail mix, that same 94,000 square feet would require 376 spaces.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Boyer if he had any data on the parking usage in the Shops on Main. Mr. Boyer stated they’ve never gone back and tracked utilization of a parking lot. Mr. Panczuk asked if it is the same ratio of parking. Mr. Boyer stated it is roughly the same ratio.

Mr. Eberly advised it is 376 spaces for the 94,000 square feet. They are a little over parked, and the reason is there are parking spaces behind the north side of the 70,000-square-foot building in addition to the spaces in the front of Lots 3 and 4, which brings it to 412-space total.

Mr. Kozel asked if there is adequate space for employees and customers. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Boyer if it will be employee parking on the north and east side. Mr. Boyer stated it tends to be, but there is no way to control and police where the employees park.

Mr. Eberly advised the parking ordinance requires that any commercial development have a certain amount of parking based on its net floor area. Mr. Eberly is using the gross floor area because the area is unknown for hallways and mechanical rooms and the like that the developer can deduct from the gross square footage to reduce the parking spaces. There is a definition of net floor area, and parking spaces are based on net floor area. The parking requirement would be something less than 545, but he does not know the exact number.

Mr. Boyer stated they do not tend to look at net square footage because they don’t define the use at this point. Mr. Eberly stated most communities don’t look at it from a net floor area either. They usually use a gross floor area because they do not have the net floor area to work with. Mr. Boyer stated the uses can vary; typically in most communities furniture stores are 1 space to 400 square feet rather than 4 spaces per 1000 square feet.

Mr. Birlson stated 10x20 is better because nobody wants their car dinged. If it is a windy day and the wind grabs hold of the door, it’s dinging someone else’s car. Mr. Panczuk stated if there’s any way that Mr. Boyer could reduce spaces, he would like to see that. Mr. Boyer pointed out that the parking spots here at Town Hall are 9x18.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there will be a low-screen decorative fence or landscaping as a shield for the parking on the highway side of the parking lot. Mr. Boyer stated they typically do not do fencing because it is a huge maintenance issue. They put in as much landscaping as they can to buffer parking. Mr. Panczuk requested that Mr. Boyer bring a depiction of what the landscaping shield would look like adjacent to the highway to the next meeting.

Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification if the diagrams depict where buildings will be for Lots 1 through 3 and the retail on the north end, or if they are only place markers. Mr. Boyer stated that at this stage they try to identify the maximum square footage that can go on a lot, so they do not know the exact placement or configuration. Mr. Kennedy asked if the outlots might be moved closer to US 41. Mr. Boyer stated it is possible that they could move closer to the frontage street; it depends on the use, the user, and the exact footprint of the building.

Mr. Eberly advised that it was specifically put in the language of their ordinance and their plan that they will be coming back for Site Plan approval on the various phases. Mr. Boyer stated they understand that there are unknowns at this point, and they are fine with bringing back individual Site Plans for individual lots for review at the appropriate times. Mr. Eberly advised it is in the proposed Rezoning Ordinance.

Mr. Kennedy stated he has been a big proponent of sidewalks and pedestrian access. There is a sidewalk from the southern end all the way up along 96th and potentially out to Joliet. Mr. Kennedy further stated it looks like there is a proposed island divider at that area on US 41, and he would like to see connectivity between the east side and west side of US 41 for pedestrian access. Mr. Birlson agreed and stated there needs to be sidewalks and crosswalks making the town a walkable community.

Mr. Kennedy stated First Group’s response is that the south side is the most appropriate, which would give the pedestrian an island in case they get caught in the middle of the road. Mr. Boyer stated he would not object extending sidewalks to US 41 internally from their development. The problem they have is INDOT won’t approve a crosswalk. Mr. Panczuk stated we need that crosswalk, and he would like to see what INDOT has to say. Mr. Boyer stated they went through the same issue in Schererville with Shops on Main. They looked at a crosswalk on Main Street, and at that time, INDOT stated they would never approve it. Mr. Boyer added that if someone pushes the button one time, it stopped everything for up to 90 seconds, not the 45 seconds that First Group put in their letter. Once that button is pushed on that stretch of the road between US 30 and 45th Street. in Highland, it could disrupt all those signals for up to 45 minutes; with that, INDOT said no.

The recommendation to Schererville was to put in a crosswalk bridge. Mr. Panczuk stated he would like to see what they come back with because technology has changed significantly. It is a safety concern, and someone’s life is worth 20 seconds here and there. Mr. Boyer stated he is willing to do what INDOT will allow them to do.

Mr. Panczuk stated there are sidewalks along US 41 from 93rd to Joliet Street that INDOT put in. He added if we can get sidewalks in your development, then there’s just a small segment just north of there that hopefully will be developed and connect your development all the way to 93rd Avenue. INDOT gave us a crosswalk at 93rd Ave, one at 97th Avenue, and we need this one to complete the puzzle.

Mr. Panczuk stated there is an additional sidewalk that he would like to request: On the 96th, it is extended all the way back to the edge of the property to the east on the south side. He would like to see the same thing from Lot 2 where that sidewalk would run all the way to the end of the property line. Mr. Boyer asked if he is requesting sidewalks on both sides. Mr. Panczuk stated yes on both sides, up Earl Drive and all the way across US 41 on the south side of 96th. Mr. Boyer asked if on the south side of 96th it would be taken west to US 41. Mr. Panczuk stated to US 41 and across, as well as on the north side, from Earl Drive to the edge of the property on the east. Mr. Boyer stated he would agree to that.

Mr. Eberly advised taking it across and picking it up on the west side would be our responsibility. Mr. Eberly further advised that the developer is not responsible for that because the Town is doing the intersection project. He added that Mr. Boyer only needs to bring it up to the end of his property to the right-of-way line; from there it would be our responsibility.

Mr. Flores asked what happens if INDOT will not give us permission. Mr. Eberly advised it would be dead in the water at that point. Mr. Eberly stated he did not know how quickly we could get a response from INDOT, so it may be best to just put the sidewalk in. Mr. Boyer stated he doesn’t have a problem putting the sidewalk in, and he will try to get a definitive answer on the crosswalk to US 41; however, as community, the Town would have more pull than he would.

Mr. Eberly advised that INDOT has a highway project improvement plan for US 41 from the 96th Place intersection all the way down to US 231 adding a center turn lane where there is none. It doesn’t include the intersections, but it’s a center turn lane throughout the project. Hopefully, we can get sidewalks done by INDOT when they are doing the road project.

Mr. Panczuk asked if we can find out if INDOT is really going to do it. Mr. Eberly stated he can find out if they are on the plan or not. Mr. Kil has seen the plans, but Mr. Eberly has not. However, the sidewalk in the US 41 right-of-way would have to be approved by INDOT. Even if we require a developer to put in sidewalks along US 41, if INDOT will not allow them to put in the sidewalk, then that is the final word. Mr. Eberly further stated that Mr. Boyer has said all along, if they improve US 41 and curb and gutter it, then that would be the time he’d be willing to put the sidewalk in. Mr. Boyer stated that’s typically the time when INDOT would put in the sidewalks.

Mr. Boyer stated all of Schererville is done from the bridge north except for one gap by AAA supply. INDOT curbed and guttered it, but they did not want sidewalks in front of Shops on Main and would not allow them to be put in there. Mr. Boyer added that it is difficult to do after the fact, and that there could gaps between McDonald’s and the water company.

Mr. Kozel stated he likes the idea of a bridge better. Mr. Kozel further stated that we hear about the traffic problems on US 41, and we are creating somewhat of a problem by doing this at the same time. Mr. Boyer stated he understands there is a crosswalk and pushbutton system at 97th. Mr. Kennedy stated there is button there; however, there is no access from Mr. Boyer’s property to 97th currently. Mr. Boyer stated they are willing to do as much as they can on Earl Drive. Personally, he thinks that is a better connection. Mr. Kozel stated it is a better connection and a safer connection. Mr. Panczuk stated he’s worried about teenagers who might work, won’t walk all the way down to 97th, and will just cross where they are. Mr. Panczuk added we should see if INDOT will place the sidewalks. Mr. Boyer stated they will connect Lot 1 and Lot 2.

Mr. Birlson stated it has been brought up at other meetings about extending Earl Drive to the north. In The Comprehensive Plan it talks about extending Earl Drive from 93rd all the way down to 105th. There was mention about putting it off to the side of the Shops 96 development and kind of in the northeast corner which forces drivers and shoppers to find that connection. There was discussion about site distance on the intersection there at US 41 and Earl Drive. He further stated there may be some issues, but he thinks we should follow the Comprehensive Plan as much as possible to extend that all the way up.

Mr. Boyer stated after the last meeting they met with Rick and Kenn and First Group Engineering and asked about that and was instructed to put the access points where they are. INDOT, was adamant that there would be very little access provided in the future to US 41 between 96th and 93rd. The question came up about a future intersection or future signal to the Kmart, and they were adamant that that would not happen.

Mr. Birlson stated that’s why it’s even more of an opportunity to put that frontage road in, so folks can use the frontage road and don’t have to cross out onto US 41 without a traffic light. Mr. Boyer stated if you look at the property north of theirs, it would be disrupting and cut parcels in half and destroy a lot of the land use there. Mr. Birlson stated we don’t know what will happen in the future, and it needs to be pushed to the north. Mr. Boyer stated he will have that conversation again with the staff and First Group.

Mr. Panczuk stated he has looked at it quite a bit, reviewed the report carefully, and understands the concern about the site distance. He feels Earl Drive is a better solution. Mr. Eberly brought up the GIS map to show where it would cut the property and showed where Earl Drive would continue and go up. He advised if they are talking about connecting Earl Drive to Joliet Street, they are not going to be able to do that without removing a house. Mr. Birlson stated he is not suggesting that at all.

Mr. Eberly stated Earl Drive could be brought to a cul-de-sac or be ended, but it can’t be brought out to Joliet Street anywhere other than where 96th is proposed now. For clarification, the Town is planning on connecting 96th to Joliet Street at the specified point. Mr. Eberly advised that connecting Earl Drive out to Joliet Street anywhere north of that point means taking somebody’s house to do it and showed what would be impacted on the GIS map.

Mr. Panczuk stated if it is stubbed, there is an option there. Mr. Eberly stated he understands the objective, and he hopes nobody is thinking of going out to Joliet Street from Earl Drive if it extends north.

Mr. Flores asked if they are wanting bring the road north and go back west towards US 41 to make the right. Mr. Panczuk stated it could, but right now it is being cut off, which makes it seem as if the property is being cut off from everything. Mr. Kennedy stated his concern with taking it north is that people will use private property, like either at Dairy Queen or another facility to exit. Mr. Boyer advised it would be better off to have all the traffic go out to US 41 at 96th at a traffic signal.

Mr. Kennedy referenced the stub by Lot 2 and asked Mr. Boyer if he is looking for connectivity to the north. Mr. Boyer stated First Group looked at it and requested that a stub be provided at that intersection that would channel back north towards US 41.

Mr. Flores agrees that it seems like it’s a road that goes to nowhere. Mr. Kozel stated it wouldn’t serve a purpose. Mr. Birlson stated it has been said that sidewalks are not needed on this street or that street, but you see people walking on the street because there is no sidewalk. Mr. Kozel stated it would be hard section to develop if it was cut up. Mr. Kennedy asked if there were any more questions or comments. Hearing none, he moved to the next agenda item.

Mr. Boyer thanked the board.

B. Walden Clearing – Continued Discussion for Platting the 90-Lot Single-Family Development at 93rd and Cline Avenues – (Mr. Ed Recktenwall)
Mr. Kennedy advised the next item is Walden Clearing, a continued discussion regarding the plat.

Mr. Recktenwall with Olthof Homes stated after the public hearing a couple of weeks ago, the public had input and so did the board in regards to the project and its consistencies through the zoning and primary process. Tonight, he was hoping to take a few minutes of the board’s time and run through a couple of slides on a PowerPoint to show everyone where they are coming from their project and hopefully flush out any other inconsistencies or confusion that may arise during this continued process.

Mr. Recktenwall stated this is a review in regards to their zoning commitments, the Site Plans, and some of the architectural commitments that they made. He is also going to review a little bit of the primary comments and concerns that were addressed. He would also like to talk in depth about the landscape buffer that was brought up and put into question on June 6th. And then he would like to do a quick discussion on the perimeter curb waiver that they’ve requested.

The project location is 80 acres on Cline Avenue and 93rd Avenue. Back in January 2017, they approached the board for rezoning of the property. They originally came in asking for 112 home sites at a density of 1.4 units per acre. They requested 28 acres of open space with 35 percent of the land preserved for it. Mr. Recktenwall provided an illustrated drawing showing landscaping, the lot layout, the open space in the parks, and things of that nature.

After the January meeting and through the zoning process, up through rezoning approval in March, the Site Plan was refined through the board’s comments, comments from the public, and they ended up with the current Site Plan which was approved as R-2 zoning. Within the zoning commitment for this project, there were 90 lots. The density was then dropped to 1.2 units per acre while maintaining all the open spaces, trails, and parks. They committed to adding sidewalks down 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue. In addition, they made commitments on the perimeter landscaping on 93rd Avenue on both the north and south side, the west side of their project bordering Sierra Pointe and Mallard Landings, and on the east side of Cline Avenue.

Architectural commitments were made based on the Site Plan of 90 lots. The estates, which are on the north half of 93rd Avenue, will be an Olthof development. They are adding additional architectural features all outlined in the zoning commitments that were approved with their zoning, which includes premium vinyl siding and some additional features on homes that back up to 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue and Sierra Pointe. The south side has architectural commitments as well. They are looking to parcel that out to a custom homebuilder, Sublime Homes.

After zoning and through the primary process starting in April, they submitted their engineering drawings along with landscaping plans. Most of the question and commentary was in regards to sidewalk ramps, pedestrian access, and things of that nature. The plans that were submitted on May 18, 2018 – which was prior to the June 6th public hearing and approved by the town engineer – provided the sidewalk ramps that constantly and consistently came into question. So they provided access across 93rd Avenue connecting both the north and south properties. They also provided the ramps going east towards Tiburon as requested by the Town and committed to providing decorative streetlights. He then displayed an example of the decorative streetlight that they are proposing which is a Hanover-style globe, fluted pole.

They committed to landscape buffering in their zoning commitment, which is where quite a bit of confusion has entered into this project. The landscape buffer locations included the western boundary of Sierra Pointe, the north side of 93rd Avenue on the west side of the Cline Avenue right-of-way, and the south portion of the project on the west boundary to Mallard Landings.

They stated they would provide 4 deciduous trees, 4 pine trees, and 12 shrubs per every 100 lineal feet. During the primary commentary, Mr. Eberly pointed out the existing vegetation along the western edge. The amount per 100 lineal foot was not exactly met; however, with working within the existing vegetation, they provided the correct quantity for that distance, which met the zoning commitment.

The buffers on the north half are provided in lots. They have consistently been shown that way in the engineering plans and landscaping plans that have been submitted with the Primary Plat. The illustrative plans that were submitted prior to that are for appearance sake and are not dimensionally accurate.

On their Primary Plat, they have provided a 25-foot dedicated landscape easement to handle the landscape buffers, and they also have specific language that they are looking to provide in the covenants. He had copies of that language he offered to the Commission if they wanted to see it.

Mr. Recktenwall stated a point of discussion during the public hearing was the buffering along Cline Avenue. He explained the green space is between the edge of the pavement and the edge of the sidewalk: 22.5 feet is the minimum distance on the north side of the entrance and 32 feet on the north end. They are planning on putting the landscape buffering in the 25-foot landscaped unit behind the sidewalk that was shown on the Primary Plat. On the south side of Cline Avenue the buffer is shown in the lots in a 25-foot landscape easement; there is also an additional 32 feet of green space between the edge of the pavement on Cline Avenue and the front side of the proposed sidewalk on Cline Avenue.

Mr. Recktenwall stated landscape buffers in lots is not something unusual in St. John and displayed slides of subdivisions where the landscaping buffers are in the lots, which include: Edgewood, Unit 2; Edgewood, Unit 6; The Gates of St. John, Unit 2; Grouse Pointe; Rosewood Estates, Phase 1; Saddle Creek; Schillton Hills; Silver Leaf; and Weston Ridge.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Saddle Creek is zoned R-2. Mr. Eberly stated saddle Creek is an R-2 PUD.

Mr. Birlson asked if all the lots that he is showing R-2 or R-1. Mr. Eberly stated Schillton Hills is R-1. Mr. Recktenwall stated it is a mix. Mr. Birlson asked if all the ones mentioned before were R-2. Mr. Eberly stated Grouse Pointe is an R-2; Silver Leaf is R-2 PUD. Mr. Recktenwall reiterated that Grouse Pointe is zoned R-2. Mr. Volk stated Grouse Pointe was a county subdivision when it was brought in. Mr. Volk added he doesn’t know what their R-2 standards are. Mr. Eberly stated he does not believe those meet our 15,000 square foot. Mr. Kozel stated they are close.

Mr. Recktenwall stated he would like to touch on the comments made during the primary process regarding the monuments two weeks ago. The entrance monuments for the Manors, which is on the south side of 93rd Avenue, will be put it in the southeast corner of the entrance. The north side would be in the northeast corner with additional landscaping above and beyond what was committed to in the zoning around the entrance monument signs. They are also providing a secondary entrance marker on the Cline Avenue entrance in the southwest corner. The entrance markers that are being proposed for the project are very similar manner and scale; however, there are two different signs differentiating the Manors and the Estates.

Mr. Recktenwall stated a couple weeks ago they requested the perimeter curb waiver as it was something they foresaw as pretty standard in St. John, based on approvals over the past few projects. If you look through St. John, most projects don’t have perimeter curbs; and he is assuming that’s for future changes to existing roadways. They wanted the waiver to be consistent with the rest of the communities that were approved and to provide the opportunity for future improvements to be done without any demolition issues. Mr. Recktenwall then showed a copy of the dimension Site Plan and stated all of the documents were submitted to the Town staff prior to the June 6th meeting.

Mr. Kennedy asked when the landscape plan was turned in. Mr. Recktenwall stated it was turned in after the April 16th Study Session. Mr. Eberly advised the date he received it was April 18th.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that Olthof feels like they’ve delivered a consistent message from zoning through primary. They are willing to work with the Town in anyway they can to get past some of the trepidation on Cline; they are willing to double the landscaping that was proposed, which would provide additional buffering against those homes. Mr. Eberly advised that would be within the proposed easement: They are not talking about doubling the easement; they are talking about doubling the plantings. Mr. Recktenwall stated they are more than willing to put the curb in if that is something the Commission is adamant about. Mr. Recktenwall asked for any questions and comments.

Mr. Kennedy stated we used to give waivers for sidewalks; it was a standard in St. John. Mr. Kennedy is questioning whether or not it should be the standard for curb and gutters. He stated that he does not recall it being discussed at any of the prior meetings that a waiver for curb and gutters would be requested. Mr. Birlson stated he does not remember any discussion about it either. Mr. Kennedy stated he understands it has been done in the past, but questions if it is beneficial for the future.

Mr. Kennedy stated his understanding is the landscaping plan and the preliminary plan were turned in April; however, the zoning that was approved on March 7th was based on the schematic drawing that had been provided. The concern is – and President Forbes stated it correctly when he asked if that is on us because we approved the zoning based on that picture without getting additional information – who is responsible. Questions have been brought up if we need to review that to determine if we are stuck with the decision based on the drawing.

Mr. Kennedy further stated the issue is we approved on a schematic drawing. The landscaping plans came after that, and it showed something different from what we assumed the schematic plan showed. That is where the confusion and disconnect it. Mr. Recktenwall stated he agrees.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that Olthof has heard from residents that the drawing was confusing. The landscaping on Cline Avenue is actually shown in the right-of-way and not in a common lot. He further stated that Olthof never delivered a message that they were going to put it in a common lot. And they are more than willing to put it in the right-of-way if that’s what the Town would like, but they don’t think that’s what the Town wants. Multiple members responded that the Town does not want the landscaping in the right-of-way.

Mr. Recktenwall stated he reached back out to a couple neighbors after the public hearing just to make sure that they were in fact delivering a consistent message and that the common lot term didn’t come up inadvertently. The Sierra Pointe residents that would talk to them were never under the impression that it would be put in a common lot. He added that they tried to reach out to the residents along Cline Avenue, but the residents would not engage with them.

Mr. Kozel advised whenever petitioners come up with that type of drawing, it is just a rendering or concept drawing; and they are not going to get into the exact detail until they get into the Site Plan because it is very costly. Mr. Kennedy stated that the individuals of this community, that come here, have made it clear what size lots they would like to see. He further stated a decision was made for R-2 zoning, and we’re making decisions that we don’t have up-to-date, accurate, specific information. Mr. Kozel stated it meets R-2 zoning. Mr. Kozel added, if the concern is that the lots are losing a little bit of space in back, there is a floating building line, and the houses could be moved forward a little bit to increase the footage in back.

Mr. Kennedy stated that the concern is that we are making decisions on a schematic drawings that need to be defined better for clarity. Mr. Kozel stated we were given the drawings on April 18th. Mr. Eberly stated that is correct; however, the recommendation for the rezoning was done back in March.

Mr. Kennedy stated that the landscaping plans came in after the rezoning and asked if those should be requested upfront. Mr. Eberly advised that landscaping is not a requirement of a single-family development. The landscaping is a commitment that the developer made to improve the product. Landscaping is only a requirement for commercial and industrial developments.

Mr. Volk stated the landscaping buffers were a selling point of the R-2 zoning. Mr. Eberly agreed with that. Mr. Volk stated we have to blame ourselves for not having prints with defined lot sizes on them. Mr. Recktenwall stated we did provide a dimension Site Plan that had dimensions on it. Mr. Birlson, Mr. Panczuk, and Mr. Volk all stated they never saw that. Mr. Kozel stated you wouldn’t see it at zoning.

Mr. Volk stated the definition of a buffer was used, and he personally just assumed it was the same as along 93rd Avenue where there is going to be a defined lot for the buffer all the way around the perimeter, except on the north side and the south side. He further stated that he based his decision to approve the zoning change because he thought that was a really nice amenity.

Mr. Recktenwall stated it is still a nice amenity; people are getting a landscape buffer from Cline Avenue. Mr. Volk stated it is not as wide, and he thought it would put homes further away from Cline Avenue. Mr. Kozel stated R-2 zoning was approved; then they took the concept portion, which they received the zoning for, and went to doing the Site Plan. Then that’s when we turn around and approve the Site Plan because we’ve already approved the R-2 zoning.

Mr. Kennedy stated the concern is that the R-2 zoning was approved on a 100x150 lot plus. That was the general understanding. Mr. Kozel stated that’s R-2 zoning, and they did R-2 lots. Now, how they put a buffer on, it is in the R-2 property. They did mention that they were going to put the walk back from the road line and that the rest was going to be buffer.

Mr. Kennedy stated it is his understanding that some members on the board though it was 150 feet plus additional footage based on the schematic drawing that was provided. The decision was based on a schematic drawing that gave the perception it was 150 feet deep plus, so it made the decision go to R-2 zoning more palatable since it gave a different depth size. Mr. Kozel stated he wasn’t under the impression that there was more depth; however, he has worked with them before.

Mr. Panczuk stated he was completely under that impression, and up until March 7th, by not only the green drawing, but also verbally and by the commitment that was tied to the rezoning. We could’ve pushed for R-1, and they would’ve had 200 foot lots. There would have been an additional 50 feet on the back of every lot in the subdivision. He further stated they would’ve lost 25 percent of the lots if Mr. Recktenwall would’ve brought those detailed drawings that were brought here tonight. Mr. Panczuk added some of the landscape buffers are going to be on outlots and some of them aren’t.

Mr. Panczuk stated the information should have been provided up to March 7th because decisions were made on that date, and it should’ve been clearly stated. It was clearly omitted in the commitment, and it was omitted verbally. It was just mentioned as a landscape buffer. It was never located specifically. If it would’ve been stated that the landscape buffers were going to be put on the lots, the members would have said to wait because it’s restrictive. Some people might like those lots, but in perpetuity those lots have less usable space. It would’ve been something that needed to be brought to our attention up to March 7th because the green drawing that was given to us seems to imply that it’s outside the lots.

Mr. Panczuk stated he’s reviewed the minutes and nothing was ever stated that some of these landscape buffers were to be put in the lots and others were not. He feels like what was seen since mid-May is different than what was shown up to March 7. Mr. Panczuk further stated if the zoning commitment has not been met – and by zoning commitment, that is the written commitment he has in front of him – as well as the verbal commitment and the pictorial commitment that was given to the public and to the Plan Commission, there’s a disconnect; and he isn’t comfortable moving forward with this project until the board gets an opinion on it because now we are taking R-2 lots, which gives you 25 percent more lots, and making them smaller from a usable space standpoint.

Mr. Recktenwall stated the commitments were based on the 90-lot subdivision plan and were brought to the board during the R-2 zoning. The landscaping is not part of the zoning ordinance, but it’s something they committed to. He further stated they never specifically mentioned that they would be putting the landscaping in a common lot either. Mr. Recktenwall stated it was probably never questioned of them at that point either.

Mr. Panczuk stated it wasn’t known until after the fact that some are in lots, some are not, which can hurt the homeowner as far as restriction goes. And it is in the meeting minutes where he stated if the properties were R-1, everybody would get 50 more feet on the back; that’s a great buffer. And you’re like, well, we’re going to put this landscape buffer behind there. It’s going to be great, so we said okay. It made it more palatable as a consolation prize of going R-2. There was going to be additional space on the perimeter, and now the additional space is gone.

Mr. Panczuk stated he doesn’t like those additional restrictive easements, especially when it’s being scaled down to an R-2. For public record, what he is seeing now is not what he was presented in its entirety, verbally and pictorially, up until March 7th. It’s different. He doesn’t feel this meets the spirit of the zoning commitment as it was given, and he’d like to see that rectified. Mr. Volk agreed.

Mr. Recktenwall stated they are more than willing to double the landscape along Cline Avenue. Mr. Panczuk stated it’s not the quantity of the landscaping; it’s the easement encroachment on all those lots. Mr. Recktenwall stated the landscape buffer is also included. It’s inside the rear setback, which a homeowner can’t build on anyway. Mr. Panczuk stated that you could put a shed on it. It takes a 150-foot lot and makes it only 125-foot usable. Mr. Recktenwall stated they restrict sheds in their communities as well.

Mr. Kennedy asked if an opinion is being sought. Mr. Volk stated there is not. Mr. Birlson asked if there should be. Mr. Birlson stated that part of the problem is we don’t have legal representation at the meeting. Mr. Eberly was told today that we will have an attorney here on July 11th, and we will be ready to render an opinion on this. Mr. Volk stated he has not heard anything about it.

Mr. Flores asked what would be a solution to this issue. Mr. Eberly stated we need a legal opinion. He further stated that he’s given his opinion that there’s a plat in front of them that meets our ordinance requirements, and he doesn’t think there is any other choice but to approve it. Mr. Volk says he agrees that it meets the ordinance requirements, but it does not meet what was stated during the zoning request. Mr. Eberly advised that they need to hear that one way or another from an attorney.

Mr. Birlson stated another problem or issue is getting meeting minutes. Mr. Panczuk stated for public record that we do have the meeting minutes for those meetings up to and including rezoning. Mr. Birlson asked if the board approved those minutes. Mr. Eberly stated they were approved.

Mr. Kennedy stated we will find out on July 11th what the opinion is. Mr. Volk stated they would not unless the board requests an opinion. Mr. Kennedy asked the board members if they would like to make a request for a legal opinion. The members present responded in the affirmative. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Eberly if we can make it a request for a legal opinion regarding Walden’s clearing. Mr. Eberly answered in the affirmative.

Mr. Volk says he disagrees with the landscaping buffer, but he does like the development as a whole and thinks there are some nice amenities there. If this can get straightened out, he would be 100 percent behind it.

Mr. Recktenwall thanked the board.

C. CCDM – Continued Site Plan Discussion for New Construction Project at 10007 Ravenwood Drive – Dental Manufacturer – (Mr. Joel Sivak)
Mr. Kennedy advised the next item on the agenda is CCDM, continued site discussion.

Mr. Sivak stated he just received the preliminary Site Plan from Mr. Torrenga in the last couple of days which is the first page in the packet. The remaining pages are from FBi Buildings’ final drawings that they have submitted.

Mr. Kennedy stated he noticed there are some truck bays and asked if there are any truck turning radius issues. Mr. Sivak stated they do not have any heavy trucks; they just have UPS and FedEx dropping off boxes on a daily basis. The only difference from the last time he appeared was based on the opinion of Mr. Torrenga, and they moved the building to the north side to take advantage of the higher land elevation and moved the parking to the south side. There are nine parking spaces, and they believe they meet all the requirements.

Mr. Flores asked if it is just employees so there will not be a lot of traffic in and out. Mr. Sivak stated they don’t sell anything retail. Mr. Birlson asked if the parking spaces are 10x20. Mr. Sivak stated they are 10x20 for the four spaces in the front, and 8.5x 23 for the five parallel parking spaces. Mr. Kozel asked if it is handicap accessible. Mr. Sivak stated it is not planned for; but if they are required to do so, they certainly will.

Mr. Kozel stated he thinks they should have one handicap space and make sure that the entrance is handicap accessible with the twin-plated directional ramp, that way if has to deal with anyone who is handicap, then it will already be there. Mr. Sivak stated they don’t, but for future use whether it is by them or somebody else down the road, it would be smart to do that.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are landscaping buffer plans. Mr. Sivak stated he is working on the landscaping plan with Dave at Hubinger, and Pat at KSA Lighting is working on the exterior lighting plan. Mr. Sivak said he should have all that by July 11th.

Mr. Kraus advised on the first page off to the right, there’s a dimension of 20 feet; that is a 20 foot strip that runs several hundred feet behind the lots in Ravenwood for drainage purposes. Mr. Sivak stated that is where Mr. Torrenga had recommended putting a retention area that would take care of anything. Mr. Kraus advised he spoke with Don Torrenga about that a while back.

Mr. Kraus stated normally in the lots you have under parking or very small detention areas. What he and Mr. Torrenga talked about was if we could get the water in the 20 foot strip, it could be stored there and released because it is actually part of Brooks Park and not part of Ravenwood. Every lot in Ravenwood does not have to put in a detention basin because they have one centralized basin for everyone. Brooks Park doesn’t.

Mr. Birlson asked if it’s just a strip of land with no utilities, storm sewer. Mr. Kraus stated that it is basically a drainage ditch and that is how the drainage will be handled on this particular lot.

Mr. Sivak thanked the board.

D. THE GATES of ST. JOHN – Secondary Plat Action for Unit 11C – (Jeff Yatsko)
E. THE GATES of ST. JOHN – Secondary Plat Action for Unit 12B – (Jeff Yatsko)
(Agenda items D and E were combined for discussion.)

Mr. Kennedy advised items D, Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John for Unit 11C, and item E, Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John for Unit 12B will be combined for discussion as they are on the same plat.

Jeff Yatsko with Olthof Homes stated they will be asking for Secondary Plat approval for Meadow Gate 11C and 12B at the July 11th meeting. There are 39 home sites within The Gates of St. John. It is a unique plat because there will be three signatory owners to it. There is an existing detention pond built by Lotton Development that will be brought into this plan, so Lotton Development will be an owner that will sign this plat. The soccer fields that are already developed, that are just east of Park Place, the Town of St. John currently owns them, so they will also be an owner that is on the plat. There will be three owners on this plat.

At this point, most of the improvements are already in. Mr. Yatsko stated he believes they are paving this week. They have had the plat reviewed, the bonding has been reviewed. They have the developmental fee, which will get taken care of before the meeting.

Mr. Kraus stated he wrote the letter on June 18th. He did review for the plat and calculated the developmental fee at $9277.72, which will have to be paid before the mylars can be signed. They will have to put up a Letter of Credit in the amount of $167,638.29; or if they put in a surety bond, it would have to be in the amount of $198,117.98; or they can put the improvements in. Mr. Yatsko stated he will send the schedule of values before the meeting.

Mr. Yatsko thanked the board.

F. THE GATES of ST. JOHN – Secondary Plat Action for Unit 4H – (Don Torrenga)
Mr. Kennedy advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Secondary Plat for 4H.

Don Torrenga with Torrenga Engineering stated he is here representing Lotton Development for the last portion of Unit 4H. It is an extension of Peachtree Lane, and it dead ends into cul-de-sac. The landscaping berm, which is referred to as greenbelt easement, is a horseshoe-shaped landscaping berm that has already been installed.

Mr. Kennedy asked who maintains it. Mr. Torrenga stated there is an HOA that will maintain it. Mr. Kraus stated the greenbelt is on the lots.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are any questions. Mr. Kozel asked if he was thinking of putting in 107th Place all the way through. Mr. Torrenga stated 107th Place doesn’t go all the way through. There is a road that may connect to a large church on the parcel immediately to the west. Mr. Kozel stated it would be nice instead of having to drive around 231 to Cline or up Park Place to 101st. Mr. Torrenga stated it should be able to done if the church goes in because it’s just going to be a big parking lot. Mr. Kozel stated it would be nice if it happened pretty soon.

Mr. Kraus advised he sent an email to Mr. Torrenga for a couple revisions that need to be done; he has called Public Works to make sure that everything is all done. Once he gets the construction cost information, he can figure out the developmental fee. He doesn’t believe there’s going to be a letter of credit. Mr. Eberly stated Mr. Lotton never does letters of credit. He talked to Public Works late this afternoon and the improvements are not all in there. In the past, Mr. Lotton has asked for Secondary Plat approval withholding signatures from plats until the improvements are done. Mr. Torrenga stated he believes R&R construction is putting in the improvements now but they are not all in yet. Mr. Eberly stated it is not paved yet.

Mr. Torrenga thanked the board.

G. Road Impact Fee
Mr. Kennedy advised the next item on the agenda is the Road Impact Fee for comment. Mr. Eberly advised it is on the agenda for public hearing on July 11th.

Mr. Kennedy thanked Mr. Panczuk for doing additional research to find out that you can actually waive the Road Impact Fee or give a reduced amount as an economic development incentive.

Mr. Birlson asked what will happen at the meeting. Mr. Eberly stated you need to be ready to make your recommendation to the Council. The Town Council will make their ultimate decision. The recommendation that’s coming to you from the Impact Fee Committee is seven percent of the maximum amount as calculated by the consultant. You can do whatever you want with that. You can make your own recommendation to the Town Council, and the Council can do whatever they want with it.

Mr. Panczuk asked what the current amount is that is collected for the Park Impact Fee. Mr. Eberly stated it is $1735. Mr. Panczuk stated he believes our roads are at least as important as our parks.

Mr. Kozel stated using 10 percent, just as an example, each year that could either be bumped up by 3 percent or 5 percent so that we are in line with the cost of living, and that’s something we can do and should be part of the suggestion. Mr. Eberly stated you can do that, but it has to be done at the outset.

Mr. Birlson stated he doesn’t have a problem waving if a developer puts skin in the game and does work so that we don’t have to; however, he is concerned that if they waive the fees for one development but not another development, there could be lawsuits. Mr. Kennedy stated it’s in the Council’s hand. Mr. Panczuk stated that the precedent has been set in other Indiana communities that are already doing it, and it’s working for them. Mr. Flores asked if they have specific guidelines as to what waivers are offered. Mr. Panczuk stated with their waivers if they see a development that’s desirable to meet their comprehensive plan and they need to incent the developer, they’ll waive whatever they have to waive, but it has to be tied to their comprehensive plan. And that would be an EDA function, so that would be out of our hands entirely.

Mr. Birlson stated the study cost something like $300,000; and if the rate that we is significantly low, it will take a number of years just to pay that cost off. He added that time is against us and land is against us because there is only so much land to develop. Once that is over, we can’t pick up on impact fees.

Mr. Panczuk stated he feels the next 5-year period of improving the community is the most critical because 6 years from now we may be built out. Therefore, we can’t really start out tiny. Mr. Kozel stated there are six months before it kicks in.

H. Park Impact Fee
Mr. Kennedy advised the next item on the agenda is the Park Impact Fee. He added Mr. Eberly informed us earlier that there is a Park Impact Fee Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow with a recommendation.

Mr. Kennedy requested to get the information of the study numbers as soon as he can prior to July 11. Mr. Eberly stated he expects to be able to distribute that information after the meeting in the morning. Mr. Eberly advised that the Park Impact Fee is only applied to residential permits, and the Road Impact Fee is applied to all permits. They both run for five years.

Mr. Kennedy thanked the audience for their patience and for staying for the entire meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

07-11-2018 Plan Commission

July 11, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Gregory Volk, Secretary Steve Kozel Paul Panczuk

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on July 11, 2018 at 7:03 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: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, Gregory Volk, and Michael Forbes.

Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director; Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer; Dennis Cobb, Town Traffic Engineer; Michael Muenich, Town Attorney; and Stephen Kil, Town Manager.

Absent: None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda are the minutes for the regular meetings of January 3, 2018; May 2, 2018; June 6, 2018; and the study session meetings of May 16, 2018; and June 20, 2018; and asked for questions or discussion on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Chief Kveton briefly discussed proper protocol and procedures for safe Public Hearings due to the contentious nature of some of the topics.

(All letters and petitions of remonstrance against or in support of any matter herein are made a part of this record by reference only and will be kept in the original file and not attached as exhibits.)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the Shops 96 Public Hearing for the proposed rezoning of 21 acres of land on the east side of US 41 at 96th Place. The petitioner is Bruce Boyer. The request is to rezone the land from C2 and Industrial Zoning to Shops 96 Commercial Planned Unit Development, a PUD Zoning.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for the petitioner to proceed.

Mr. Forbes turned the floor over the Mr. Boyer.

Mr. Boyer stated he has Scott Hazlett of Boyer Construction, the architect for the project, and Doug Rettig with DVG Associates, the civil engineer for the project are here with him tonight to request approval for the Shops 96 Planned Unit Development. Mr. Boyer stated the project is a 21-acre parcel of land located on the east side of US 41 at 96th Place. All the land north of Al’s Expert Body and south of the St. John Pool building and from US 41 is encompassed in the project.

Mr. Boyer stated the project includes the demolition of four existing buildings on the property. It will include approximately 150,000 square feet of new buildings. Mr. Boyer gave an overview the contents of the packet he provided to the board. Mr. Boyer stated the Development Plan encompasses three outlots; a large retail area at the back of the property; and two commercial lots north of the proposed 96th Place extension, which will run from US 41 to the rear of the property which is approximately 1.75 acres of land being donated to the Town.

Mr. Boyer gave a brief overview of all the renderings and drawings in the packet and stated that they are asking for 9x18 parking spaces. The project will be mostly retail with some restaurant use. The requested sidewalks for both sides of 96th Place have been included, and they extended the sidewalks south for a new future extension of their internal frontage road.

Mr. Boyer asked for any questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Cobbs to address the requested sidewalks on US 41. Mr. Cobb stated he had spoken to the INDOT project manager for the US 41 project and has attempted to make contact with Alan Holderread, INDOT District Traffic Engineer. INDOT has no plans to add any sidewalks to the project. INDOT informed him that any sidewalks that the US 41 project would disturb would be replaced. They asked that any sidewalks put in by the developer that it be placed where they wouldn’t have to get into it and replace it. The intersection at 96th Place will be the district traffic engineer’s call.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the Town would put in a crosswalk if INDOT approves a crosswalk at 96th Place. Mr. Cobb said it could. He further asked if there is a commitment by Boyer Development to extend sidewalks to that interchange. Mr. Cobb stated it could be coordinated to occur once the decision is made. Mr. Kil stated anything in the right-of-way would be the Town’s responsibility, and Mr. Boyer has agreed to abide by whatever INDOT allows; so if a sidewalk is allowed, he will provide sidewalk.

Mr. Boyer stated they are willing to install sidewalks on their property from the frontage road west to US 41 if INDOT agrees. He added they would like to be involved in the design of that to ensure there are no conflicts with their signage or Outlot 1’s design. Mr. Panczuk asked if that agreement includes them installing sidewalks on US 41 if INDOT allows that. Mr. Boyer responded they would.

Mr. Birlson asked how and if the wetlands on the rear of the property will be preserved. Mr. Boyer stated the property has been studied by their engineer and it is a neglected, constructed detention area that was done as part of the Standard Lumber subdivision. They are delineating any wetlands beyond that section of property now.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Boyer if he had any landscaping examples on the parking adjacent to US 41. Mr. Boyer said he did not at this time as it was just discussed at the last meeting but that it would be done as part of their design and review of the individual outlots’ designs.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions. Hearing none, he opened Public Hearing.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I have prepared a handout for the Plan Commission. Being originally developed with marginal, if any, zoning codes and after many years of neglect and falling into general disrepair, I am delighted to hear that the 23 plus acres of the proposed Shop 96 development may become a reality. While the general proposal is sound and the developer has stellar reputation in similar projects, I support the direction it’s headed. But I do have concerns to bring to the Plan council – Plan Commission; I’m sorry.

Um, I – I – I’m just going to say this. Unfortunately, timing – timely minute notes for the Town Council, minutes last posted January 25th of ’18 and the Plan Commission minutes last posted 3-1-2017 are not on the St. John website as of Sunday. And as a result of a lack of more accurate and transparent information, this document is written from what I believe to be correct and current information. Should it not be timely or inaccurate, please advise of any corrections needed.

Being aware of the need and my personal belief for the developer to earn a justifiable profit, I know the Plan Commission must make hard project choices which adhere to the Town Comprehensive Plan and to provide the greatest practical benefit for the residents, citizens, and the Town. I request the Plan Commission enhance and make the Shops 96 project better by, first, requiring the extension of Earl road from its current stub north and the end of the development for possible further extension in future years.

Two, all required number of parking spaces from day one are sized per St. John code of 10 by 20 feet. Number three, enforcing minimal curb cuts at Route 41 allowing uninterrupted traffic flow in town. Number four, review of pedestrian walkways, including access to Route 41, greenspace, and possible bike paths.

Five, as Planning Commission considers the rezoning of this project from C-2 Highway Commercial District and Industrial to a Commercial PU District, it knows that as a PUD the standard rules, regulations, restrictions, and the Comprehensive Plan and in the city, county, and state zoning laws be overridden with the conditions and declarations defining the PUD. As such, the Plan Commission has an exceptionally rigorous responsibility and duty to review the PUD, its effects on the community, and in the special cases of Shops 96 of the Route 41 Zoning Overlay. Any PUD should be used for the betterment and benefit of all involved and not become an unlicensed opportunity to avoid and skirt existing zoning requirements. And given the size of this project, it will be used as a precursor for many future projects. It is imperative that it’s done correctly.

Number six, Chapter 9, Section B.6 of the St. John Zoning Ordinance does spell out 13 very specific tasks for the Plan Commission to complete prior to the approval of any PUD project. I want to believe some of these issues have been discussed and resolved. But a quick review of this list clearly indicate that many of these tasks are not available for review. Has this work been completed? Or is it still to be done? If completed, are the findings and reports available for review?

Number seven, even more basic questions. Why is a PUD necessary? Normal rezoning would be more time-consuming and require additional effort but would be consistent with good governance and, I believe, get much better results. I generally support the prudent use of the tax incentive financing, TIF, and see – and as a city feel it’s necessary for this project. It is imperative to use these funds wisely. A review of the use of these funds does stir questions.

One, I agree some TIF funding may be required to equalize the project cost not – to not adversely saddle the developer with unique project costs to prepare the area. But this does not seem necessary to support costs typically required of items of any developer in any project, the infrastructure costs, roads, and especially retention pond.

The Town Council, Planning Commission may feel sharing of some costs is a good thing. And I would agree. But the available lists of costs and joint support seems excessive and provides a considerable advantage to the developer. I ask that this list be critically reviewed.

Number two, wetlands and what to do with them are generally the responsibility of the developer. I request a resolution of the existing wetlands to be the sole responsibility of the developer.

The Town has completed the traffic study back in 2015 for a traffic circle to access the rear of this development. We are now in mid 2018. It would seem that with all the recent changes to traffic resulting from growth, I ask the Plan Commission to review the entire planned back entrance to this development and its proposed modification to Joliet Road-Route 41 intersection.

While the proposed solution will work, have alternative access roads been reviewed? A few are offered with this note with the belief that there are other way – other better ways to accomplish the same task while considerably reducing the estimated infrastructure cost, freeing up funds for other needed improvements. I ask the Plan Commission to review and consider alternate rear project access Joliet road options to the proposed traffic circle.

A final reminder that this note strongly supports Shop 96 project, but does call on the Plan Commission to use full diligence in its review of the project detail before it approves the area for a rezone. Some areas of concern are listed here, and a reference to a checklist suggests more can and should be done on a project of such size, cost, and far-reaching effects on so many of us in the community. There may be all kinds of pressure to move this project along, but doing so without the checks and balances required of your position would be wrong.

Given all the questions raised, the work yet to be done on this project, I request the rezoning project be deferred to provide the time necessary to give all our citizens in the Town of St. John this jewel of a project in a form we can be proud to enjoy for years to come. I thank you.

Theresa Birlson has added to the packet that you have. I understand she’s on the list and will explain her part of the packet. Thank you.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I would like to commend Mr. Boyer for the beautiful development, the curb appeal that he’s presented here. He’s clearly spent time making it to look nice and inviting for our town. Um, what he’s presented looks very, very nice. The problem that I have is that the things that have not been discussed openly in the Town. Um, there’s been a lot of lack of transparency, um, on this project, particularly on the -- the joining up to Joliet Street.

And the engineering’s been done a while because my neighbors who’ve received, um, offers for their property, the surveys and the – the plans are from August of 2016. And they received these offers for their – to pur – from the Town to purchase their property two days before this Public Hearing was supposed to happen last month. And I – I just feel this lack of collaborative planning among the Town fosters a lot of ill-will between people that should be sitting down and discussing things to make this Town better. And that’s why I – I’ve helped with the folder packet that you have.

I included in there, um, Chapter 9 from the Town Ordinance. It’s the PUD, um, Purpose and the Procedures. And as someone has noted, um, that the applicant requesting PUD zoning, um, needs to make findings in section B.6. And as, um, Mr. DeVito stated, there’s – there’s 13 different items. And on this list that’s in the packet on page 3, I’ve – I’ve marked, um, the ones that I feel I haven’t been openly discussed and that should be revisited by this Plan Commission so that we can all get on board with this and make it great for the town.

Um, and it also states in – under B.6 that, um, approval or disapproval of this – this PUD plan and the zoning, the PUD zoning can only be made upon the determination of these 13 items. And I put arrows next to the letters of the things that I don’t feel have been adequately addressed. Um, the first one is letter D. It says the proposed change to a PUD Zoning should be in conformance with the general intent of the Comprehensive Plan. And in the Comprehensive Plan, um, it’s stated in goals 3 and 5 in the plan, and over a dozen times in the Comprehensive Plan, in several chapters, it talks about frontage roads and the need for frontage roads to connect from 93rd all the way to 105th Street.

And Earl Drive in this town has been an amazing thing to keep traffic off of Route 41. And Mr. Forbes, you’ve really done a great job in pursuing this. And I feel that since, especially because the Town is putting in a stoplight at 96th Avenue, that that should be available for all the businesses to the north of there. Because if Joliet Street, if we’re not allowed to turn when – when the connection is made, it’s been said that people off of Joliet Street will not be able to turn south off of Joliet to get onto Wicker. Well, that’s great if you live on Joliet or you’re already on Joliet. But what about if you’re at DQ or if you’re at – at the Hallmark store? You have that same unsafe situation to try and turn south onto 41, which we all know is next to impossible. And yet there’s still people that are going to try it.

And I feel the Town is opening themselves up to a legal battle from people who own those properties because they do not have a connection up to a stoplight. And so I feel, if nothing else, that stub should be put in there because down the road, who knows, someone might come, like Mr. Boyer, and buy up all those little parcels that are all kind of hodgepodged in there and want to continue a nice development all the way to Joliet Street. And by having that frontage road available, it will open that property value up and hopefully can take that mishmash of little tiny businesses and make it into something nice like this development will be.

Um, another thing in the Comprehensive Plan that’s stated over and over again, it’s stated in five goals in the Comprehensive Plan. Chapter 2 of the Comprehensive Plan states 12 goals, and five of those goals talk about pedestrian and bike access. And I saw my 90-year-old neighbor walking from Joliet cause he can’t drive anymore; he’s walking along the grass along 41 to go to the Hallmark store to buy his great-granddaughter a birthday card. And I just cringed when I saw him there because I thought, “Is someone going to not see him and hit him?” And I really feel that the Town needs to force the issue on the sidewalks along 41 to make this a walkable town and to be – let people utilize the crossing at 93rd, hopefully at 96th and 97th to use both sides and open up this town to more walking instead of people driving everywhere. Cause if you make it more walkable, people might think about walking instead of driving.

Another thing in the Comprehensive Plan is protecting the wetlands. And I know that’s been brought up already. And I just – just hope that the wetlands will be – if there’s any issues with those, that the financial burden of those wetlands won’t fall on the Town because in the Economic Development Agreement, this Town has put forth that they’re responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the detention pond for this development. And I don’t think it’s fair because we don’t even know what’s out there that – that the Town be on the hook for something if it’s going to cost a lot of money or if we’re going to have to find property somewhere else in town to, um, mitigate those wetlands.

Letter C on that list of the B.6 talks about that the land surrounding the proposed development should be planned in coordination with the proposed development. And that’s where this traffic circle is of issue to me. I feel this should go hand-in-hand with this Shops on 96 because the Town has signed the Economic Development Agreement agreeing to purchase the property and to make that connection to Joliet. It should be one cohesive plan so that we don’t finish Shops on 96 and then find we run into other problems and we should’ve redesigned a building in a different place.

And in your packet, there’s a little drawing showing the building to the northeast. If that could be moved further south, that – that road could be taken out to Joliet Street on Mr. Boyer’s property and not require any eminent domain of any of the citizens in this town. And letter A, the first letter on that B.6 of Findings Required states that the uses proposed will not be detrimental to the property values of the surrounding properties, and it will not impair the use or enjoyment of the surrounding properties.

Well, the three people that have been offered – made offers for their property regarding the traffic circle idea, one is the Thiel Cabinet Shop. The offer made to them for about half of their property and the entire 180 some feet of their frontage on Joliet Street would leave no frontage for that business on Joliet Street. They would not be able to do business anymore because they would not have a way to have their wood delivered to their cabinet shop. A – a 18-wheeler truck uses a delivery access to the back of their – their building which would be owned by the Town for the traffic circle. And a 18-wheeler cannot back up onto a traffic circle to make a delivery. So it would severely impair the use of their property. And they’ve been in business for 70 years in this town.

Also, my other two neighbors that have homes there, my one neighbor that – that’s next to the Thiel Cabinet Shop, his yard is a side yard. His only yard would be on this traffic circle. There would be no buffer like there is at Weston Ridge’s big nice hills with trees to block any of the traffic noise and the possible accidents. His patio and his little two-year-old grandson, who rides his bike on the patio, he’d be right – right there where these cars are zooming around a traffic circle. So to me, that impairs the use and enjoyment of his property.

And the same with Mr. Parada across the street. His house would be 24 feet from the edge of this traffic circle. In the wintertime with ice and snow, there could be, you know, a bad accident could hit his house. And even when you look at the requirements in the zoning for just setbacks for R-1 setbacks, 40 feet, 24 feet, it’s not even 25 feet for some of the smaller lots and he’s an R-1 lot. So that to me should open up the discussion for another option instead of this traffic circle because that letter A severely reduces the property values of these people and their use and enjoyment of their property.

Moving on, letter I talks about perimeter landscaping, which we talked about. A buffer zone for some of the adjoining properties, that's the same thing; and it's a safety issue. And letter B talks about any amendment to the requirements in this zoning district shall be substantial as compared to the requirements for a development that is not within the PUD zoning.

And letter L also talks about required parking spaces. This is supposed to be a premier facility; and if we allow them to be a PUD zone, we should expect that we get premier parking because people drive big vehicles in this town. And this Plan Commission denied parking spaces for a church that were not 10 by 20 because they said everyone in St. John drives big Escalades, and – and I don’t feel that we should – should give a variance for smaller parking spaces because it says they should be substantial and not just regular zoning requirements.

So in conclusion, I would like to reiterate I’m not opposed to this development. I want what is best for St. John. And rushing through this rezoning request to a PUD would cause legal, financial, and safety issues for the town. I’m asking you, the Plan Commission of our town, to slow down and take seriously your responsibility to this list of Findings Required that’s spelled out in our Town Ordinances; take the time to address each one of these, because they are all important to the optimal development of our town. And this is going to be a trial run cause this is the first of, I’m sure, many developments to come down the 41 corridor.

And if we get this right, we can really make our town a better place. So I please ask you to consider all these points. Thank you for your time and attention.

Mary Pat Burkel (10733 Maloian Drive): I’ve lived here in St. John for forty years. I have some very global concerns of – about the town officials welcoming more commercial retail development into our town for two reasons: Number one, commercial retail is dying. In 2017 alone, 5,000 retail stores closed or went bankrupt. Retail stores such as Sears, Macy’s, Penny’s, J.Crew, Payless Shoes, The Gap, and Radio Shack are just some of the 5,000 that were closed.

Number two, there are already scores of empty retail outlets along US 41, also known as Wicker Avenue. I drove along US 41 yesterday from the north end south. And these are some of the addresses of the empty storefronts on the east and the west side of US 41. If I got one of these wrong, I apologize. But here they are.

East side of US 41 going south to 231: Um, 8101 Wicker; Lake Central Plaza has two restaurant end units empty. These are all empty: 8221, 8225, 8227, 8247, 8255, 8257, 8321, 8333, 8335, 8337, and 8343. St. John Mall: 9122, 9109. Back going south: 9301, 9321, the entire first floor of the Standard Bank building and half the second floor is empty, 9500. In Ravenswood 10033.

Now go to the west side of US 41 going south: 8620-8626 one suite, 9190, the, um, abandoned Kmart site – which I fought against all through 1978, ’79, and ’80 but was overruled by the Town board – 9486, 10818, the St. John Professional Square has two empty units.

In conclusion, my question for all Town officials is why now have you decided that commercial retail is an asset to homeowners? Look around this room. I think there’s people who do not believe commercial retail is an asset.

John DeVries (9794 Hickory Lane): I just came this evening to give my full support to Mr. Boyer’s project. I think if you just drive north to his development in Schererville, you go to the development in Munster, you’ll see the quality that he intends to bring to this town that we sorely need.

This item that I read about in the paper about angle parking and whatever, I don’t understand. It seems like Strack’s, Target, everybody else has the type of parking that’s modern. Why we’re talking to him about angle parking, I don't know. Am I doing something wrong here? (Mr. Forbes informed him the microphone acts up periodically.)

The discussion this evening as far as a crosswalk, frankly, scares the heck out of me. To see kids on bicycles or walking across that street, that’s a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion. I think you really need to think that one over.

I think Mr. Boyer has got – brought quality, wants to bring quality to this town that we sorely need. He seems to have no problem filling his developments in those other two areas. And I think he’ll bring quality to this town.

I’ve known Mr. Boyer casually for a number of years. We attended the same church in Munster, Indiana, so there’s no hidden agenda here. I believe him a man of integrity, and he brings quality to this town. Thank you.

Carol Webb (11604 Upper Peninsula Place): I’m – I don’t have anything prepared. But I appreciate what Mary Pat Burkel mentioned. I think back in the ‘90s, everybody was building all these strip malls, and half of them are shut down. You know, it’s like what is the purpose of more stores. It looks like a quality development. But like this lady said, it’s going to impact other property owners.

The traffic is horrible going down – I mean every time I go south on 93rd – or south on 41, south of 93rd, trying to – if I get in the left lane, somebody’s always turning left on Joliet. It ties up traffic. When I meet my brother at Aldi’s because we go – we go down to Lake Village to see my brother. We cannot turn left out of Target or – or any of those places. It’s – the traffic is horrible. We need turning lanes. Um, it’s like we’re putting the cart before the horse. Add more shops and more traffic. And it’s like what’s the purpose of more stores when half of them are empty. I don’t – so.

Mr. Forbes stated that part of this project will redirect traffic away from Joliet Street. The access to Joliet Street, going southbound on US 41, is being closed off and being redirected to 96th, basically eliminating the problem.

Well, I don’t see the purpose in more stores. It – it’s just, we got so many empty ones. And in the ‘90s, that was all the rage. Build more and more strip malls. And half of them are empty. So I don’t know. That’s all I have to say on this.

Tony Marocchi (9984 Prairie Knoll Court): I came here tonight cause I’ve been hearing about these meetings for the 96th street mall, and I support it. And I think this town has waited long enough to get rid of those ugly buildings that are on 41. And I believe these – this 96th street mall will bring more economic growth to this town. And it should eventually reduce some of our property taxes. And everything that everybody said, I’m sure you’ve covered everything. And I have the confidence in you, and I hope you make the right decision. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive):

I think everybody wants to see development. They want to see the old buildings go. But the issue is are you doing it right way? If you go through the packet that Mr. Boyer gave you, take a look at the area there. I think it's – there's a section you’re – you’re creating a new ordinance. In section 4, he’s talks about review by the development commission of subsequent development plans shall be at public meeting not public hearings. I think that puts you at a great disadvantage. You should not allow that to be in your ordinance. It's 4.2 under section 4. You want people to make comments, to have public hearings where they're required.

The – that – that's the first thing I see in the packet. Okay. Let's talk about traffic. What's the biggest problem in St. John? It's traffic. It's congestion. Everybody wants to see nice things, but what is the price? At this time I would like to present to the Plan Commission a petition that says, “The Town Comprehensive Plan and Thoroughfare Plan propose possible six additional traffic lights on US 41. We the undersigned residents oppose the stoplight at 96th Place.” There's over 400 signatures here. So I present that as saying they don't want a light at 96th. And that is the anchor light for this project.

If you allow that to happen, think about what's going to happen to your traffic pattern. In order to get to Joliet, the people that would make a left-hand turn normally there – yeah it backs up – they're going to have to go down 93rd. So you're going to shove – you think they're going to come to 96th to come back through this guy's strip mall or whatever you want to call it to Joliet. No, they're not going to do that. You're going to shift traffic east on 93rd, which is already congested. The other alternative is you're going to shift traffic west on 93rd; so then they'll come down Keilman and then come down School Street and make a left or get back from 41 to make a right turn on Joliet. And if you look at the people that live on Joliet between there and where the turnaround is proposed, how are they going to get to their homes? They're going to have to take a detour and go down 93rd and then through all the side streets just to get to their house or take one of these alternate routes.

What you're going to do is, people coming from Chicago down 93rd, they're going to be cutting through the subdivisions, through the subdivisions before the light at 93rd and 41 in order to make it to the light at 96th. So you're going to shift the traffic into the subdivision side streets. Okay. This whole connection to Joliet is ill planned. If you look at – you're creating a nightmare of traffic congestion thinking you're worried about right now a left turn at Joliet, you're going to be you're going to be shoving cars east, west, on 93rd into the subdivisions in order to come back and make the light.

And if you look at where the turnaround is proposed, it's near the railroad tracks. You got school buses coming over. If you travel that at night, go west on Joliet, you can’t see the guy – a car light coming east on Joliet till you're almost to the tracks because the tracks are at the peak. If you put a turnaround below that crest, people won't even see the turnaround till it's very late. The other issue is simply this: You've got school buses going to the public schools, the parochial schools, they use Joliet. They are going to have to negotiate that turnaround.

If you look at the turnaround in Schererville, it backs up when – when it's busy. You can't get through it if – if its traffic is busy. If you go to Massachusetts, the turnarounds are huge because they are a holding area for cars. This little turnaround is going to do one thing, create a severe traffic hazard at the turnaround on Joliet and endanger the lives of the children and the residents of St. John. So you haven't studied your traffic pattern. This thing is – is going to be a nightmare for the traffic. What really should happen here is 97th Lane already has a light. That should be the entrance to any new development between there and the old Standard Lumber, this property, whatever you want to call it.

You look at Earl Drive in back of McDonald's, it's a two-lane road. Okay. People turning one way and the other, it's very hazardous just to access McDonald's. Okay. What you need to do is create Earl road into a real frontage road and widen it and run it through to this guy's development. And then you don't need to go to Joliet and all these other things.

What you're doing is you're spending $5.6 million for a road for this guy; whereas, normally you make developers put their own roads in. And when that $5.6 million which is TIF money, why wasn't that competitively bid to other developers who wanted other projects in town? Why was this developer the beneficiary of that? I asked that why five times.

Now we talk about wetlands. The parking lot that exists now by Standard Lumber, I remember the days when St. John put the sewer project in, that was all cattail wheels and – cattail weeds and swamp. They took the sewer dirt, the Town did, and filled that in. That was a wetland. Okay. I think if you got the EPA out here to examine this whole wetland thing, right now he couldn't tell you what you got to do for the wetlands. That should be number one priority.

We look at 77th in Schererville, which Mr. Kil is very familiar with, sort of a corduroy road that keeps sinking. Okay. You put a road on wetlands; what's underneath there? You got soil borings to support that that road is going to be good?

Go look at the houses on Keilman in back of Kmart. Three of those people there, three of those buildings, they had to put telephone poles in for pilings because there's a peat bog down there. Did somebody look and see if the peat bog extends all the way under 41 into this property to the wetlands? No, you haven't. I don't think you have. You got too many unanswered questions. Because if the Town puts a dedicated road in there on wetlands and it keeps sinking, who's going to be paying for that? The taxpayers. Okay.

So this is a nice picture. Everybody wants shops, everybody wants this, everybody wants a piece a cake, but there's a price here. It's the hidden price that you haven't adequately addressed. You need the frontage road, Earl Drive, that's the access to this property. And it's that simple. It may cost somebody some money to do that, and the Town should not have to pay for that. They could take the $5.6 million and do other TIF Districts. Okay.

Now, let's look at – let's look at what got built in Munster on Calumet Avenue.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Hero to stick with St. John.

No. Let's – let's – let’s look because that is what's going to happen with the traffic. Calumet Avenue in Munster – go take a look in Schererville across from Old Navy, the same kind of development. You're going to create that kind of traffic snarl right down 41 where we already got snarl. Okay. Use that as your example. That's why you got to use 97th as the access road.

Now, if you go look at your property values – let's go back to 2015, the people on Joliet formed the St. John Homeowners political action committee to change the Town Council. At that point the Town Manager took their signs the night before the election.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Hero to stick with the topic.

I’m going to tell you. I get to speak. No, don’t stop me. And here's the project. It has to do with the project. They opposed the project. The Town subdued that election.

Mr. Forbes cautioned Mr. Hero to stop multiple times.

No. I – it's public comment, Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Hero he was off topic.

No, I'm on topic sir. The – we got to go look back at what started this with the political action committee.

Mr. Forbes attempted to keep Mr. Hero from going off the topic of the Shops 96 project.

These are people now going to lose their property. That's what happened. Their rights were violated in that election. And I asked the question why five times this thing keeps moving along. And nobody was reprimanded in the Town for doing this. So let's go back to the findings of fact.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero to wrap up.

No. Everybody else had their speech. You don't like what you’re hearing, because you were with Mr. Kil when he was taking the signs. You were present. Your car pulled up next to him. I can see why you don't want to hear this. Okay.

Now we're going to talk about the findings of fact. Okay. The first findings of fact is the use proposed will not be detrimental to the property values surrounding property. You're going to be confiscating at least three properties.

Mr. Forbes objected to the term.

Look, can I speak? And without interruption? You owe that to your audience here. It shows your lack of civility.

Chief Kveton advised Mr. Hero to state his opinion and not be argumentative.

Listen -- don't use the Police Chief to intimidate me. Can I finish without interruption?

Okay. The use “proposed will not be detrimental to property values.” You look at the property values on Joliet, they're going to be damaged. The second item is, “Any amendment to the requirements of” the “Zoning District is warranted by the design and” – and – and “amenities incorporated in the Development Plan.” Well, you don't have to have a separate ordinance that gives free pass for all the development in the future. I read you that one section where there's no Public Hearing.

“Land surrounding the proposed development either may be planned in coordination with the proposed development or will be compatible to proposed development.” Well, the surrounding land is not being developed. Those people are going to lose their property. So that finding of fact cannot be met. Okay.

“The proposed change to the PUD Zoning District is in conformance with the general intent of the Comprehensive Plan.” You don't need a PUD to do this. Okay. The PUD is a wildcard that allows the developer to do anything he wants. You can't meet that finding of fact.

“Existing and proposed streets are suitable and adequate to carry anticipated traffic” with “the proposed district.” You cannot meet that qualification because you're going to be shoving traffic all over these other streets. And this ain't going to solve a problem because you're creating a hazard with the turnaround by the railroad tracks.

“Existing and proposed streets are suitable and adequate to carry anticipated traffic in the vicinity of proposed district.” That again is another traffic issue. You can't meet that finding of fact.

And then it says, “Existing and proposed utility services are adequate for the proposed development.” Well, if you don't know the wetlands environmental stability for that road, if you have to put drainage in there and everything else as a utility, you don't know the outcome of how that's going to work out. The natural one is – the next one is the “Natural features such as streams, wetlands, woodlands, topographic features, geological features and scenic vistas are preserved.” Well, you got wetlands there that the Town has already helped to fill in, which I think if the EPA – you should get the EPA involved and see if they make you dig it out and restore the wetlands.

“The amount, location and species of the landscaping shall be sufficient to buffer adjoining properties.” Well, you go look at the way the shops are set up on Calumet Avenue in Munster and the ones that are set up in Schererville, I don't think you want that here. You need to buffer that. You need to set it back away from the road.

The next one is “proposed PUD will not impose an undue burden on public services such as fire and police protection, schools, parks, and libraries.” Okay. If you have an access road and you create all this traffic jam, what does that do? When you have a fire call, ambulance call, you've got more chaos because you've clogged the other arterial roads. You can't meet the qualification.

I think for all of these reasons what you need to do is go back and identify the wetlands, get the EPA involved, get some answers here. You don't have them here from the developer here tonight. Okay. And in the end, for all those reasons, I think this should go back to the drawing board, should be rejected tonight until you get a good road, not 96th, into this place. 97th, and that's what you should be working for. For all those reasons, I object to this because you're going to be damaging people's property.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Hero he is repeating what has already been stated.

Listen, mister, I only repeat myself so it can go into your brain and you can understand it. Okay. Repetition is what has to happen here. Thank you.

Jack Slager (8625 Stonegate Court): Um, I’m speaking as a resident of St. John tonight, not – not a developer. Um, I’m in support of the Shops on 96th. I think it’s going to be a first-class development. I think, um, Boyer has proven himself at – in Schererville with the Shops. Um, I know in a recent survey that the Town put out, one of the top items that residents asked for was more restaurants in town. This is the first time we have an opportunity to have a first-class development with nice restaurants.

Um, another item that came up was possible redevelopment of Kmart. A lot of people would like to see that. And I think having this intersection and traffic light could spur the redevelopment of the Kmart site. Um, I don’t feel that it’s a strip mall. A number of people have said that, um, they – we don’t need another strip mall. This doesn’t classify as a strip mall in any means.

And, um, I also believe that they will be back for additional meetings. I’m not as familiar with the Commercial PUD. But I know tonight, they’re only asking for zoning. I’m assuming they’ll have to come back for plat approvals, possibly Site Plan approvals as they develop the outlots, um, so there will be additional opportunities for them to come back and answer questions, maybe – maybe some of which are open at this time. So I’m in support of the project. Thank you.

Carmen Shafer (9220 96th Place): I'm actually here to speak on behalf of Gerald Swets, 92 – or, excuse me – 9490 Joliet Street, St. John, regarding the Shops on 96th. He was unable to be here because of prior engagement, since this was supposed to be last month.

Gerald Swets, (9490 Joliet Street): (as read into the record) “I believe the Shops on 96th is a worthy project of potential implementation as a workable, satisfactory solution to the planned redevelopment of 23 acres in the St. John 41 Overlay District. The Overlay has specific requirements as do the plans for the PUD.

I believe the $5.6 million of TIF money the Town's planning to spend on this project is too much. It left no TIF money available for any other projects. Areas of concern include the traffic light on 41 at 96th, roundabout on Joliet, frontage road system being dead-ended, no sidewalks or bike paths, and massive amount of wetlands on that property. I believe this project, based on what information is available in public record, not to be fully defined, meeting Overlay and PUD requirements. There is some serious deficiencies that are being overlooked and a number of open questions that need to be more clearly defined.

Furthermore, given the current lack of availability of specific Town Council, Planning Commission meeting minutes, a significant amount of historic input, early planning activity, and current thinking is not available for review. PUD Zoning needs clear definition of what is expected, what is planned, and what will be built. We have learned in the past once the zoning is approved, the Town loses its leverage for modifying the plan

You will be dealing with that issue later in this meeting regarding Walden Clearing. Let's not repeat that action. Is a traffic light at 96th the best solution for traffic on 41, especially since the Town is paying and has budgeted $1.1 million for it. If Joliet Street didn't have enough traffic to put a light there, why would it need – this need any – be greater – any greater.

Traffic signals do not allow – do not always help alleviate traffic conjection – congestion. Sometimes, it hampers it. Lining 41 with traffic signals every few blocks will give us the same issues that are like any other Boyer developments in Munster and Schererville. With a completed frontage road system, it would be like the traffic light at 97th, would be adequate for this type of development. It works for Target, Aldi, and Tractor Supply. Why not for the Shops on 96th?

With a goal and plan for the town to have a frontage road that runs from Alsip Nursery all the way to 93rd, why doesn't it continue north of the Boyer development? Earl Drive is being dead-ended on his property without a stub for businesses to the north.

If the town is concerned with someone being killed trying to turn left from Joliet, why isn't someone pulling out of Dairy Queen, St. John Auto, or Pascal being any different? Moving that one front building in the northwest corner slightly west to leave room for the stub of Earl Drive for future development would resolve that issue without it costing any additional land or parking spaces.

Sidewalks and bike paths require in addition – in our ordinances are not on the laid-out plan. Planning successful retail development on both sides of 41 could hamper with no crosswalk for pedestrians or bikers. The Comprehensive Plan calls for improvements in both of these areas. There must be a good reason the State installs sidewalks on most of its improvements.

We need to plan for future growth. Tie in the Joliet Street has a traffic circle, which we don't want for a number of reasons including safety, property will have to be taken by eminent domain since all the owners don't want to sell. All the solutions to tie into Joliet haven’t been investigated. Running 97th east over the tracks tying into Industrial Drive is one option. Connecting with a T at Joliet on Boyer property would also be up an option.

If you move the Malt Brothers’ building a little south, you could add more parking spaces and run to Joliet along the property line. It would be over 100 feet from the railroad, and you could put a stop at Joliet eastbound and give right-of-way to all other traffic. Most of the east portion of the property is wetland and could be expensive to develop. The wetlands are running north and south and expand in the center. What is the condition of the wetlands? Is it suitable for building?

The Town is responsible for the detention pond but also will be responsible for 96th all the way to Joliet. I recall a development that is being dealt with now with wetlands and the developer talking about $1 million to dig out wetlands and use some of – some new material to have a road go through. Do we know that the ground is there – do we know that the ground there is any different? Have soil borings been completed? What if the Town is on the hook for an extra million dollars to build this road, and the roads sink after a few years? The testing and research are not complete. I believe this is a benefit to the town and to have this blighted area developed, but let's not rush into this without regard to what it will cost us.

I have been accused by my political opponents as one who has opposed any development in town. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have spoke in favor of developments and opposed others. Development and growth needs to be managed well to minimize the negative effects it has on the residents.

I love this town, and I want to see it developed well. I have children and grandchildren living in this town and would like to see them enjoy St. John in the future, not complain about the same issues we have now, only multiplied. I would ask you to defer this rezoning until all these issues have been resolved.”

On a personal note, I am a Thiel. My father is Robert Thiel of Thiel Cabinets, my uncles. My sister is Theresa Birlson. And to take their property is a hit for our family. They've been there forever. And that house my sister lives in was the house my father and my uncles grew up in and the house my grandmother grew up in. It was one of the very first homes in St. John. And to take it away from them is – would be devastating to take history away from this town. Thank you.

Clarissa Schneider (9161 Schillton Drive): Well, I was told it was attendance, which is why I signed it. But since I’m here – and I really have nothing planned to say. But I, kind of, agree with everybody who’s been talking about the roads. Um, 93rd – I mean I’m very happy Schilling took it on his own to put the turn lane in on White Oak cause it has eased some of the congestion for the turn lanes. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the accidents on Keilman if a business comes in like this.

The parking lots in Munster and in Schererville are atrocious. I’m a mother; I’m a shopper. I consume the products I buy, and I’m the one that has to go out and buy ‘em. The parking lots are terrible. People don’t seem to realize that the lanes go both ways, so you’re turning in, and they’re coming at you dead middle. And you see that all over the place; Strack’s, Target, and whatever.

The reason people want angled parking is because that’s going to make the lanes one way. And that will solve a lot of the problems. The parking spaces are too narrow. My son, who now lives in St. John – he’s finished college and he drives. And like, the first thing he said, the parking lot at the China Wok, he goes, “Why are those parking spots so narrow?” He said, “Those are terrible.” And I said, “If you’re noticing it at 24, I commend you because that’s what everybody else is saying.” They’re just too narrow. And that’s what’s going to happen here.

Keilman’s going to be a disaster, because I know how I turn on Keilman to avoid 41. So I go to the light on 97th if I’m heading south. Those people, if you got to widen that road, they’re going to lose their front property just like the people on Joliet are going to lose. I don't think this was well-thought.

Been here for thirty years, and I’m still waiting to see St. John put in their family stuff. I like the fact that every subdivision had a park. My son used the parks, and it was great. Park system needs more development. You could use that land to develop some kind of community center so that these parents with younger kids now, since my kid didn’t get an opportunity to – turn it into some community stuff. I mean, you don’t have parks where they have like the – in the suburbs of Chicago where they have the community park areas where the kids can run on the stepping stones and the water comes up and hits ‘em. They’re called waterparks, but I don’t want to say waterparks because people think of Kalahari and all, you know, the Southlake waterpark. That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about turning the property in for family use and, maybe, letting there be stuff like Chesterton has with the European stuff during the summer. You start to overdeveloping, you’re just going to have people getting more upset. We need a bigger police department if you keep developing because people are going to be calling for all sorts of things.

If you shop at the mall on Main, you talk to the employees. And I’ll say, “How’s business going?” “Well, we really don’t know. We were told we don’t know if they’re going to resign the lease.” Because, I guess, a business stays there because they sign the lease for, what, five years; and they’re paying a fortune for monthly rent. And they don’t plan on signing the lease again because it’s just too much because people are buying through catalogs. Example, I bought a purse. I looked at it at Nordstrom’s – and this is what Ellen, Marie, and I talk about – it’s nice to see the product you want to buy. The purse was $169, cause I saved the receipt. I looked at it there, said nope, I’m not going to pay that much for a purse. I don’t need it at my age; I’m retired. I go online, go to the Nordstrom store --

Mr. Forbes advised Ms. Schneider to stay on topic.

Those stores – the stores are going to start going empty because brick and mortar aren’t making it anymore. And you need to know before you start developing all of that what stores are going to be signing to come in. And I didn’t hear anything on the development what stores you’re attracting and who’s signing to come in over here. Are they waiting in line to move in? Or are you just going to build this and hope that they come in?

And the Town really does need to develop more for family use. And like I tell people, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. So like I told people, if you don’t complain – if you’re complaining, don’t do it unless you told me you went into the voting booth because we got – put you guys in office. We can go vote and take you guys out of office if that’s the situation.

And I really would like to see, other than this one woman, some women on this committee who do go and use everything and who do shop and do have – take care of the kids in the neighborhoods and stuff. I don’t disrespect men. I’m just saying, you guys look at things as a financial while we look at it more as a practical and what’s going to be good use for the family. So I really didn’t mean to sign that list.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): I actually am thrilled to see the turnout tonight. I know through my and other efforts that this meeting was publicized in an effort to get people out to actually speak their minds. I’m thrilled to see the turnout.

In terms of people who comment about, “Why are we waiting until now; it’s the last minute,” this project has been discussed and planned for over two years. It’s been discussed extensively and in many details. And as most people who have gone through the process know, a lot of stuff gets evolved to the point it finally gets approved or potentially approved.

A couple of points – I’ll stick to points of fact. The Comprehensive Plan identifies the Route 41 District as Commercial. And this is con – completely consistent with the Route 41 District and the Commercial Zoning in the Comprehensive Plan.

People have talked repeatedly about retail’s dying. The Town Council commissioned a study called the Opportunity Analysis Study. It did extensive research of what are the shortages of all sorts of commercial, retail, restaurants, etc., and identified a shortfall in St. John in a growing demographic area over $200 million and specifically came to the conclusion that should Shops 96 be built, it would suffice most of that deficiency.

As someone who had their office at the corner of Joliet and Route 41 for eight years and drove to work every day up and down Joliet, I’m one of those who refused to turn left at Joliet onto 41. The infrastructure improvements proposed at that intersection alone will be a huge plus. And there’s a tremendous amount of traffic that goes up and down Joliet. For the people who live there, this would alleviate a lot of that traffic with rerouting the traffic to 96th Place in the new location. We were the source of the 911 calls of the police department because we saw those accidents routinely at 41 and Joliet Street. As a side issue, I know – know that infrastructure is part of that. And that would be wonderful.

Finally, although I – considering I know there’s – there’s actually 64 seats in this – in this, although there’s a lot of standing room only – I am also going to submit the Chief’s – the “errand boy,” pardon the expression. I submit 67 individual letters of support for the project representing 69 individuals. And I hope they’re recorded in the meeting minutes as people who support this project. I recommend this not be delayed any further and recommend you approve the rezoning. Thank you.

Angela Jones (9141 Deodor Street): I have lived here for a number of years. My family has been here for a number of years. My father’s a developer. I’m a local attorney. I represent a lot of developers. I’ve been through a lot of municipality, um, legal proceedings. This is one them. Very used to this format.

What I want to say is on a global level – is it Mary? Mary. I agree. I’m sorry. I agree with Mary. Um, I – I believe that what’s being developed here; I agree with redevelopment; but I think it needs to be done in the right way. And what we’re doing and what’s planned to be done in this area is a lot of concrete and a lot of asphalt.

And I have personally walked this property. Call me a trespasser, don’t arrest me. It’s a beautiful piece of property. And we have an opportunity here to collaborate as a town with the developer, who’s sitting here, to create something that’s, kind of, the best of both worlds. We have the opportunity to create the family space that people want and create a little bit of commercial retail, restaurants that are needed in St. John. But it doesn’t have to be 7800 parking spaces and asphalt and concrete.

It can be something more beautiful. It can be something more like a downtown. It can be something where people want to go and actually spend time as opposed to popping in and out of DSW. If I want my shoes, I’ll go down to Schererville and buy ‘em at DSW or I’ll do it on Amazon like everybody else in my generation does. I don’t go to these stores. My kids won’t go to these stores.

In another ten years, I promise you this – I work in tax appeals. I work with big box stores. They are going out of business. They will close, and you will have another eyesore like you do with the Kmart that’s across the street. I think we have a huge opportunity here. And you all know this, people want a place to go. We want a place to go; we want a place for our kids to go: a pavilion, a park, some outdoor music. We have some of that, and it gets huge appeal. A lot of people go to it.

We have an opportunity, and we can collaborate with Boyer. We can collaborate and make this a place that people can get behind. Not withstanding, there are traffic issues and a lot of those other redline issues that need to be addressed. But I think if the citizens get behind the project more, those things will fall into line. And as we have an opportunity here, and we should try to take that opportunity. Let’s collaborate as a town with the developer and make a better space for everybody to enjoy that’s not just asphalt and concrete. Thank you.

Larry Tucker (8076 Cranberry Drive): Good evening. You’re going to have a long night. Um, I have a lot of thoughts I wanted to share. It’s been covered pro and con. I’m in favor of 96th street. So rather than to go into all that and take more time – your agenda is full – I’m in favor of 96th.

And I know other people are that didn’t come this evening. And I understand why some are not. It’s clear; it’s obvious. You have a difficult decision to make. I had twenty years of public service, eight in Schererville and twelve on the Lake County Plan Commission, so I – I’ve sat in your seat. I understand. I – I ask that if you do a PUD, maybe you’d consider contingencies. I understand a PUD well. Schererville did ‘em in the ‘80s when they were virtually unheard of. So it – it helps the developer, it helps the community, and so you may want to consider that. Also, you may want to think about – this is Industrial; is that right?

Mr. Forbes stated that it part of it is.

Yeah. Any time you can go from industrial to commercial, especially on a $10 million project, is exceptional. One other thing I’d like to point out to everyone in the room, you can drive five miles north and shop for anything you want, cause it’s all there. 30 and 41 has everything. And if it doesn’t, you just got to go a half a mile north or east or west, and you’ll find it. It’s going to be very difficult for commercial to come to St. John.

They’re not coming. There’s no reason to come here. And the reason is they’re not going to come is because they’re there. It’s the Crossroads of America. So I – I feel for the people who are concerned about the traffic; I certainly do. But I don’t know how you’re going to draw commercial to St. John. To sit back and think that it’s going to come, it’s going to come. We just have to wait – probably not going to happen in the next 30 years. You can’t just wait. It’s not going to come.

Taxes from residential is not going to continue to pay all the bills. It simply is not. And so since that’s the case, you’re going to have less services at 96th than you would if it was a community of residential. You take developers like John Lotton; you take developers like Boyer; you take other developers in Northwest Indiana, many of them who develop; they gamble. They put their fortune and their lives on the line to do a $10 million project or 1400 acre project. And so it’s not all about them taking money. Yes, they want to make a profit. And that’s not wrong.

So to close, I’ll say I’m in favor. I think a PUD is correct. I understand them. And if you don’t, that – that’s okay. But maybe you need a contingency. And two years of planning and zoning and the work that’s been done is extraordinary. I think there are probably people in the room who don’t understand, haven’t seen, and haven’t been able to have all the plans, all the facts. And I don’t think things have been hidden or suggested they have or they haven’t.

Um, there were nine people on the Lake County Plan Commission, nine planners. And people would stand up and say, “Well, this is fixed.” You know, “This is all fixed.” You – you can’t fix nine people on a Plan Commission. It was never fixed. It was certainly opinions, facts, and what we thought was right. And I’m sure it’s going to be the same this evening, so thank you.

Thomas Thiel (9520 Joliet Street): My name is Thomas Thiel. I represent the Thiel Cabinet Shop. I have a number of comments. First of all, the – this particular roundabout is my big objection. This was planned in 2016.

There have been a lot of complaints about it. How ill conceived it is in terms of safety, in terms of accident probability, also the taking of the land from the Thiel Cabinet Shop, which would greatly decrease the property value of our business. Is the Town going to, um, compensate our loss for that? All I know is the appraisals are $70,000. The land acquisition proposal is $76,000. That seems way out of whack. That doesn’t make sense to me.

In terms of the monetary issue, um, if a developer who has 50 acres of land wants to develop residential property would the Town of St. John put in streets for them? I don’t think so. The Town, however is willing to put $5 million of taxpayer money in Mr. Boyer’s pocket. Usually, home developers, they’re going to pass the cost of the lots along with the streets to the homeowner, new homeowner. Perhaps, Mr. Boyer should pass along that $5 million to the people he’s going to sell or rent out his businesses.

Um, in terms of the impact of this proposed roundabout on the Thiel Cabinet Shop, Ms. Birlson has already pointed out that making deliveries would be next to impossible for us. Is the Town of St. John going to compensate the Thiel Cabinet Shop for that? I don’t hear any yesses. Yes? No? I don’t think so. In terms of, um, the – the business, Thiel Cabinet Shop has been around for about 75 years. I think that requires some particular respect on your part.

Someone has also pointed out that and – on June 6th, a meeting was planned. And six hours before that meeting was to take place, it was canceled. Other people have also pointed out that minutes for these meetings are delayed a year or two years to getting put – put in the record. Now, I have a question, is that simple incompetence or deliberate scheming? Thank you.

Ryan Spangler (10391 Briar Lane): Good evening everyone. Excuse me. I’m here on, as a representative from the Chamber of Commerce. I’m the President of the Chamber here. Here to represent the 150 plus members of the Chamber. I just wanted to read a letter that we had – or that the Chamber drafted, dated May 29th of ’18.

“The St. John Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors writes this letter in favor and support of the Boyer Development, Shops on 96th project. The St. John Chamber of Commerce is comprised of nine board members that distinctly represent the businesses in the Town of St. John and the surrounding areas. The St. John Chamber of Commerce represents 200 businesses, actually, in the St. John area. Furthermore, we believe that the development coincides with our mission. Our mission is to cultivate an economic climate that is conducive with the growth and development of our business community.

We will create a spirit of teamwork among our members and advance our commitment to the private enterprise, enhance the quality of life with our community, and promote the mutually beneficial relationships between the businesses and the community through government interaction and community service. We continue to foster an environment of shopping locally, and we are positive that the Boyer Development on 96th will continue to add value and align with these benefits. As business owners and leaders, we truly see the value and additional business growth opportunities for the residents, patrons, and people who work in our community. Sincerely, St. John Chamber of Commerce (and our nine Board of Directors).”

I appreciate the time, and thank you, all. Enjoy your night.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet): First I have two words, "free shipping." Okay. That's the direction things are going whether we want to face it or not, that's how it is. Okay. Now, all of you know, any of you who know me, that the sword of Damocles have been hanging over my head for three years cause Mr. Kil tried to get my property at a bargain basement price. And Tom Thiel, I have to correct him. It was 2015 not ‘16 that this all started. Okay. Now, Mr. Kil tried to acquire my property for $30,000 – $31,000. And he tried every underhanded way he could do it. I – tru – do you have a problem with what I'm saying?

Mr. Forbes stated he did.

Do you, what might the problem be, sir?

Mr. Forbes responded the Mr. Prada is misstating the situation.

I am? How am I – how am I doing that, sir?

Mr. Forbes told him to carry on.

You know what, you accused me one time of not being able to carry on a civil conversation. I think it's you. I don't think it's me.

Mr. Forbes responded that Mr. Parada is misrepresenting the situation.

Okay. Then let me just say this, someone said that he has the ultimate faith in the Plan Commission. Okay. There are three of you that I have no faith in when it comes to this when I’m – and I'm going to tell you why. Okay. About a year ago, less than a year ago, a situation came up where you were looking for an R-3 PUD situation. And rightfully, Mr. Muenich – I hate to wake him up, but – Mr. Muenich said that he was actually – had to, kind of, recuse himself from the whole situation because that was an illegal action. Okay.

Now, you being the Town Plan Board President said, “I can't wrap my head around that.” Well, you know what, I didn't have any trouble wrapping my head around it. I'll tell you exactly what it meant. It was something that was done that snuck by and got under the fence and shouldn't be done again.

Now, you had trouble your – wrapping your head about it, but that's why there are three of you there. And I won't mention names, but your dead center at the dais. Okay. So that's the first thing. Now, the second thing – I'm going to go on with this – Mr. Kil did try to take my property by any dirty means he possibly could. He sent people out that appraised my property at $31,000. That's ridiculous.

But here's the meat of the whole thing. Okay. The roundabout serves no purpose. We, the people on Joliet Street and Thielen Street, we gain nothing for that. We gain nothing by that. Why would we want to show any support for that whatsoever, because really all you know here, all every – most everybody else knows here is the only reason you want that street is it's so a wealthy man can gather more wealth, because he doesn't need the Thiel property. And you don't need a roundabout. He owns the property east of Thiel's property. Let him develop that road. But if he develops that road, then he doesn't have enough room to develop anything else on either side of it does he?

So, to me, that makes no sense. Now, just from a professional standpoint with a lot of this stuff, if you try to take our property, this is going to go to eminent domain. Because you have three property owners there that are not moving. We're not going to go budge on our stance. And if we need to get legal representation, we will do that. We will do that. And this can go on for years. This can go on for years and years.

Now, let me explain one other thing to you. Okay. We were served. Mr. Kil is so good at his job that I had to be served twice because he served it without the land plat. So then there went in another $50, $200 bucks to serve me again. Okay. I'm still not served properly. When the time come – so Mr. Kil, if you were to ask me, my 30 days is up, did I make my decision yet, you already know what my decision is. But I'll tell you this, I haven't even given it a thought cause you haven't served me properly yet.

And, you know what, you have the lawyers, so you spend your money on your lawyers to figure out why I'm saying what I'm saying. Because eminent domain law and Indiana law in general, you have done something wrong. So I would – if I were you, I would check that out again a little bit more.

Okay. Now, here comes the big issue. At one of the EOC meetings, Mr. Kil and I got into it a little bit. And I didn't understand it at the time. I really didn't. I told him that you made me an offer of $31,000 on August 28 of 19 – of 2015. He very vehemently said there was never an offer. You never came down and saw any offer. Well, you know what he told me to come down and sign the paper, sign the papers. The papers are ready. Now, this comes down to a “he-said/she-said” situation. Let me just tell you something. Okay. I don't know who’s here – who's more credible here or not, but I was not found under cover of darkness stealing campaign signs. Okay. And you said before that this is totally off the subject. It's totally off the subject. It is exactly to the point on the subject, and I'm going to tell you why.

When we got together as a group – and I love my neighbors. God says, “Love your neighbors.” I love my neighbors. My neighbors are outstanding. They helped me through all of this. I became ill. I still, to this day, don't sleep properly because somebody was trying to steal my property out from under me for the bargain price of $31,000. Well, you know what I figured out, why Mr. Kil wanted to be sure that he said he didn't put out a – he didn't offer a written estimate, I didn't come down there. So, no, did I see a written estimate? No, I did not. I did not see that, um, the uniform what?

Mr. Forbes stated “Offer to Purchase.”

Yeah, I didn't see it. Did I see it?

Mr. Forbes stated there was no offer.

There was no offer? Then why did he tell me to come down and sign the papers. Steve, why did you tell me to come down and sign the papers?

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Parada to wrap up.

No, I can't. I have the right to speak just like everyone else. I'm asking a question. Why did you ask me to come down and sign the papers? No idea oh, oh, oh, I forgot that. I forgot I have to – I have to address – let me tell you why he didn't want me to come down and sign the papers or why he denied that there was an offer. Because Indiana eminent domain law says that if that isn't acted on in two years, which it was up the end of July last year, then you can't do anything to acquire my property for another three years. So, Mr. Boyer, I'd start making some other plans because it's not going to happen. You understand? You understand what I'm saying?

Mr. Forbes instructed Mr. Parada to address the board.

Oh, that's right I keep forgetting about that. I'm sorry. Please excuse me. But my point – my point is simply this, okay, there has been so much unprofessional things in this whole situation, it's ridiculous. And I don't know what else to say but – and I'm going to repeat myself – this is going to go down to eminent domain. And if it does, you cannot touch my property till August 2020.

And there's one more thing I'll say: Mr. Kil can say that he did not tell me to come down and sign the papers cause that's what he told me. But two things, three days later in front of hundreds of people at Lake Central, I made sure, good and sure, that he told me what his offer was in front of 200 people of which at least a dozen to 20 of ‘em were my good friends. So if he says that well, there was no such offer, he kind of incriminated himself when it came down to that. And you know what, I'll bring that in front of any eminent domain judge in the land. So before you go making all these plans, better start reading Indiana law. Thanks, St. John.

Mel Pickett (9366 Keilman Street): I’ve been a resident of St. John for almost 30 years now. I’ve watched the growth of residential. And to see more commercial, quality commercial work come in for economical growth and helping of the community, I’m for this development. Thank you.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court): Golden Pond. Um, I would just like to mention that about four or five years ago, we had a extension of the Lake Central Plaza. And the residents of Golden Pond had to go through – now have to go through a parking lot to get to a stoplight. And I can see the same situation here. There has been many times when I have had to avoid an accident – to swerve to avoid an accident of a car pulling out of a parking place.

And I just believe that on the west – or on the – on the east side of the Town of St. John, the people going south will have to go through this parking lot, which have – has heavily traffic – heavy traffic to get to a light to go southbound. And the residents of Golden Pond are really dissatisfied with that situation and dissatisfied with the decision of this Plan Commission and Town board for putting us in that situation.

Also, if you really want to do an eminent domain project, why don’t you take the prop – the dental office on the corner of 93rd and 41 and make that eminent domain and widen 93rd to the width that it really should be? It’s the only really east-west corridor, east-west road in the Town of St. John. And I would consider that our main corner. Um, that should have never been built there, number one.

And thirdly, I’d like to know if you are going to charge Mr. Boyer the Road Impact Fee for all of this development when he creates all of this traffic for all of our roads in town. And fourthly, um, I’d also like to know why TIF funds have not been used to put curbs and sidewalks on Joliet Street in the Town of St. John. When you drive down that street, it looks like you’re driving in a 500-1000-resident town not a town – a progressive town. For the safety of those people on Joliet, that should be done. Thank you.

Ted Nosal (12629 Larimer Drive): Um, my family moved here in 1991. There were 5600 residents. By the – what I was reading in the paper the other day, there’s 19,000, quadruple. The infrastructure in St. John is shot.

I don’t know if any of you work in – in the state of Illinois. I used to be able to drive from my house on Hilltop and 93rd to 394 and Steger Road within 6 to 8 minutes. Now it takes me 25 minutes. They had an incident on Sheffield Avenue the other day. I’m 4 minutes from my house; it took me a half hour to get home because we have two-lane roads.

And it’s – this is no disregard to you. This was going on way before you decided to come into the – to the town, into the picture. But I’m proposing a commercial and residential moratorium on building until somebody figures out, um, how our infrastructure can handle it.

I do road construction – I did road construction for a while. I work for a utility company. I know all about easement rights. Um, but when they were doing the – I think it was three – three or four years ago, they were doing the culvert on 93rd. The traffic that went by my house – I sat on my porch, drank a beer, and counted 61 cars in 9 minutes. That’s on 93rd.

Now, the proposal of building more houses, I’m worried about, um, I haven’t seen any kind of plan when in – infrastructure upgrades on roads, widening, repaving. TIF funds should be doing -- you drive through the neighborhood in Lantern Woods, you drive through all these other ones, the roads haven’t been touched in years.

And I’m just concerned that we’re getting too big for our britches. And usually when you put, um, 300 pounds of doo-doo into a 100-pound bag, it usually bursts. And then the residents are usually holding – holding the – holding the bag, because everybody wants to come to St. John. And I moved here because it was a nice, small town. I could – the Thiel’s Cabinet – there used to be a guy that used to ride on the corner where the Walgreens was, he used to build rod iron – you know, that’s – that’s what I liked, you know.

I don’t know if you guys drive these roads, but they’re in bad shape. And you – and, um, I – I just don’t understand it. Putting in a couple turn lanes – I watched the one at White Oak and 93rd, guy – a guy in a dump truck – cause he’s working in the subdivision – go right through the stop sign. So there’s going to be some accidents there because people think they can fly now.

And I’m just concerned that – you have to have a strategic plan. The house on that S-curve on 93rd was for sale. Before that guy did a beautiful job rehabbing it, you could of bought that and straightened the S-curve out. You could of widened 93rd street. I was here right when they were starting Shillton Hills, through Enclave and Bramblewood. In there when it floods, it floods, um, in the middle of the street because that retention pond has cattails in it and can’t hold all the – all the water.

I mean it’s just – I – I – I don’t know if you people are looking around, what’s going around out here and how far you have to drive and how long it takes you to get to drive. And I understand that you guys want to develop and it want to be nice, but what’s it going to be? What – how much – how much more traffic can St. John take on two-lane roads?

And then, when you shut down 101st Street to do the improvement, there should have been a sign on there two weeks prior that that road was going to be closed. There was nothing. It was on your website. That — that – that has nothing to do with it. It’s – you got to post it on the road itself.

You know what, and I – I love living in St. John because I’m probably going to come before you guys cause I want to build something on my - on my property cause I own an acre. And you’re probably going to reject me. But see, I really don’t care because – because I don’t think you should have to send out a public notice because I own the property. I paid off my property. I own it. As long as it’s within your building codes, I should be able to put something on my property and if my neighbor agrees to it, which is the only neighbor on one side. I live on the corner, and he lives on the other corner.

And I think that I should be able to do it as long as it’s within you building codes. You should have seen the hoops I had to drive through – jump through when I put my addition on. And these are all directed at you because this is what it is. And one guy that was – Tim Foley really helped me out. He was a great guy. He helped me out with everything I had to do in my thing. And he told me, he says, this is the right way you want to do it. You want to do it.

I’ve had the electrical contractor that came and do it because you guys wouldn’t let me do my – my thing. I told you I was going to have to get a lawyer to sue you because I could do my own electric. And the guy that came out and looked at the electric for my pool said you did it better than an electrician. So I’m not an idiot. I see what’s going on around here.

You’re building too fast, too much. It’s going to implode. We’re going to become just like Illinois. Just like we want – you want to charge me $25 for a car. There’s no way. I’m not paying it. I’ve been – I have three easements on my property. And nobody’s given me a dime to maintain them for 27 years. And then when you get my bill, what am I going to do with – you’re going to do with that? It’s the same thing. You cannot build too much too fast.

And I don’t have anything against him – him trying to build something in St. John nice. That’s not what I’m here for. It’s just what we can handle. You know, I mean, I want to see, um – you’re going to have to do a lot where there – perfect example is White Oak where they’re putting the Preserves. That would have been a great place to build a lake and have a park in there for the residents of St. John so there’s some green space left. That’s why I moved here; there’s a lot of green space. Now there’s hardly any.

And, um, I – I just think that you guys got – you have to reconsider. You have to stop. You have to plan. And you have to figure out how are you going to widen these roads. You’ve got people driving on 93rd Street. It just can’t handle it. It – the – the traffic is just crazy trying to get somewhere.

So that’s all I had to say, and I just wanted to, um, make sure that if you do come up with a Comprehensive Plan that you can see all the infrastructure work, which is water, sewer, Army Corps of Engineer for all your drainage, um, and all the – all the residents of St. John that have been here for a long time, like I have, you owe it to them. Thank you very much.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): It's been a long night, guys. Let me begin by stating I am in no way against the Boyer development of his property. I am, however, in disagreement with the rezoning of the development to a PUD. PUDs allow the complete override of ordinances, and we've all been down that road together, fellas, cause I've stood up here a lot and spoke about it.

The Boyer project should be and could be a catalyst, hopefully, for the Kmart property across the street, so that’ll be two beneficial developments. However, there's items that need to be addressed. And you've heard them all. So I'm going to try and stick to my script and not wander off. Who originally negotiated this deal that gave Boyer $5.6 million worth of incentives or benefits? And I would gather that it has to be Mr. Kil because I don't think Rick was here.

And since it wasn't discussed – I've been coming to every Planning Commission meeting and Study Session for the last couple years. Since I don't recall it being discussed in public, it doesn't seem to me that any of the negotiations were done here. So, therefore, who is giving $5.6 million worth of incentives to Boyer? It seems a little extreme.

A roundabout in excess of $1.1 million does not seem to be necessary at this time. You've heard a lot of comment about it tonight. I tend to agree. When you have a roundabout that's going to connect a road coming out of Boyer Development and tying it into Joliet and that's it. Schererville spent $877,000 to build theirs on 77th, because I pulled the file. I have the complete file. It cost them less then $900,000 to put that five-street roundabout in. And now there’s an estimate in here over $1 million that St. John’s going to pay for. Makes no sense. The roundabout itself makes no sense. It's a safety hazard for school buses. Think of trains. And they’re there in the morning.

Think of those school buses and what they are going to do when they arrive at the railroad track and have to sit in the winter. They start around the roundabout and a train comes, what are they going to do? They're going to sit in the roundabout. Possibilities for accidents; very much so. The frontage road should be kept in the development to connect to future improvements north of the Boyer development.

You can move that building to a little bit to the north in the northwest corner, move it a little bit to the north and west, and the road can sneak nicely in next to that building. I know it's been discussed by the Commission, and I tend to agree that that's a good idea.

If you build the roundabout, there appears to be no buffer between the residential properties and the roadway. Plus, we, of course, have Thiel Cabinets who have been in place there for over 70 years, and they will be highly impacted. There should be no roundabout built to connect Joliet Street. It should be, as it looks on that print, a straight drop into Joliet.

US geographic maps indicate this project includes up to three acres of defined wetlands. Is there any recommendations or plans on the status of these lands, if they are to remain or be eliminated or be moved? What about the expense for the cost of moving these wetlands? Will the TIF District funding or the development be responsible – or developer be responsible for these fees? It would seem that the developer is presenting the design criteria; and, therefore, I believe he should also be responsible for the wetlands.

It is our understanding that the original TIF District funding did not extend to the establishment of any potentially required retention ponds. Yet recent conversations suggests the cost has been transferred from the developer to the TIF District. If this is correct, why is the TIF District responsible to fund these retention ponds? And why is it not the responsibility of the developer?

Since all these negotiations were carried out behind closed doors, the public had no input or even the ability to suggest any ideas for this development. Lack of Planning Commission discussion in public has made understanding this whole development highly impossible. The dollar value and incentives given by the Town are now all in a signed contract that St. John has with Boyer.

The bond issue was approved before the true costs have even been made known or who was going to do the work. What good is a Public Hearing when the project is completely in writing, a bond issue has been approved, and public input at this Public Hearing is going to have no final impact on the final result? I would like to remonstrate against the rezoning to PUD for the Boyer's Shops on 96.

Marion Hoyda (8819 Hillside Drive): I came here this evening not well informed, and I have to compliment the people that have come before me because I think they have studied the issues much more than I have. Um, my responses are going to be firsthand. Um, some of them are on the rational side, and I think some of them are the emotional side. Um, I think that when I hear of, um, this development, and I've heard several of the residents talk about what we could do to make them more attractive for families.

This is not about an either/or for me. What might be another solution in terms of a compromise? Soon we're going to have the St. John Festival. Why does everybody flock to it? Yes, it's summertime. But you have people who are elderly, you have the young, you have families that attend because they are looking for someplace to go and to enjoy themselves.

I've been in St. John with my family almost 40 years. So I came when it was sleepy and there were just rooftops where people came to sleep. The idea that we would have more commerce here is appealing to me. At the same time, how can it be controlled? Because I do think our infrastructure is behind, and I'm not sure that we have – that we had planned out the total vision for where we're going 10 and 20 years from now.

I do agree that more people are buying online. Nordstrom’s – we referred to it previously – has a plan where they're going to have stores where you can come and see the item. But you're not going to take it with you. They know people want some of that experience, but they're not going to have the big stores that they have now. It's going to be online.

And if we have unique, unique shops that attract people along with space, green space for families, I think that would be a lovely combination. I do wonder if the schools have been consulted relative to traffic issues with the buses. I think that's key for us because we know they run here early in the morning till late in the afternoon. And I've heard some people refer to that.

Um, I do have a soft spot in my heart for the Thiels and for families who have property on Joliet Street. When you've been here for 75 years, um, I do think we need some consideration for them. The fact that we have $5.plus million that have been allocated for this new development, I ask myself if this business and these homes are affected, how – what is the dollar exponentially rolled out? What do they need to be compensated for that?

I also want to say that, um, I think that – for me, I don't understand all the technicalities of everything that has been discussed this evening because I haven't studied them, as I said, previously. Um, I'm hopeful that it won't be an either/or. I'm hopeful that with this many people that have talked about being in favor of and this many people that have talked about being cautious, not totally against but cautious, that possibly we can integrate that in some way to come up with something that will be more pleasing and more consensus building within the community.

And then lastly, I think that it would be helpful if you would let us know in advance, what is the protocol for a speaker? Our Chief of Police talked about being civil and, um, not being argumentative. And I appreciated you setting that pattern for us or that expectation for us. And at the same time, is there a time limit? Do you want – do you not want us to get into personnel issues? What are those things that we need to understand so that we can have that – so we can speak to you as a board, um, and not be in a position where all the sudden we're startled because we may have said something that would be considered out of line.

But I've learned a lot this evening, and you're in the position of making these decisions on our behalf. And I hope that you'll consider the multiple perspectives because I think they all have merit.

Roger Stokes (11615 South Oakridge Drive): I was not aware that I had to sign in to be able to talk, but I'm here anyway. I'm a retired traffic engineer, and I am very concerned with the idea of putting a traffic signal up on 96th Street. If there is a traffic signal to be put on 41 in the town of St. John, it should be at Joliet road.

Joliet road is an east-west road, an alternate to US 30 that goes from way beyond the other side of Interstate 65 over to here. And it deserves a signal if anyplace. And the State didn't want to put one up there, because it might create more problems than it would solve. And then to put one up that does nothing but create problems in order to benefit a prospective investor and a shopping center is absolutely wrong. And I don't think the State of Illinois would go along with it. (Multiple speakers said “Indiana.”) But – excuse me – excuse me, State of Indiana.

I was a field engineer for nine years. And in 11 years of my career, every December, I had to drive every road in that district that had been – had federal funds invested in it. And I had to certify that it was being properly maintained for the good of the traveling public. I would not make that certification if a light is put on 96th street.

And furthermore, I would appeal to my fellows I used to work with at the Federal Highway Administration to exert the federal law. The federal law says that if any road that they have invested in – and I know that they've invested a whole lot and in – in US 41 and probably in Joliet road as well, as a county road. If any road is not being fully maintained for the traveling public, all federal aid highway funds for that state will be cut off and stopped immediately until it is corrected.

So if I can get the folks at Federal Highway Administration to agree that putting in that signal is wrong, it will come out. I guarantee it. Because the State of Indiana gets something in the range of $300 million a year for highway aid construction. And it would cease. Is that understood?

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who had not signed in that would like to speak for Public Hearing related to Boyer’s Shops 96. Hearing no response, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Eberly advised there are letters in support of and remonstrances against this project in the prepared packets for the board, in addition to the new correspondence received, many of them have been in front of the board before. Mr. Forbes acknowledged receipt of them, and stated that they will be retained in the file.

Mr. Forbes turned the floor over to Mr. Boyer.

Mr. Boyer stated he has a few things he would like to address:

The Comprehensive Plan on page 61 addresses the future development of the property to the north of their project, which is land that they do not control. Their plan, including the access to the property to the north, almost mirrors what the Comprehensive Plan calls for.

Extending Earl Drive through and to the north of their property would be in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan. The access points and the design of 96th Place is the Town's design, and they were told where to put the access points.

There are no wetlands on their property, and they have photographs that show the entirety of the property was farmed at one time.

Only vacant land is being potentially taken for the connection to 96th Place.

Mr. Forbes stated it has been stated that we are taking the property, which leads to the assumption we are taking the houses, and only vacant land is being sought after.

He believes the vacant land where the road is proposed to go is actually a drainage area right now.

They are aware of the Road Impact Fee and objected to some of the initial rates of that. They understand they will be responsible for paying those impact fees if that is passed.

They are not getting one dollar from the Town. All of the funding that is being proposed from the TIF bond is for the public improvements of 96th, the connection to Joliet Street, and the installation of the traffic signal as well as the widening and improvement of the intersection. An extensive preliminary design has been drafted for that, and they have redone their drawings numerous times to reflect what the traffic engineer and INDOT are requiring for that intersection.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Cobb with First Group Engineering is present. He is our traffic engineer and has studied the entire town. He has made the recommendations and can explain what we're doing with this project and the improvements to be made. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Cobb to explain the aspects of the project including the improvements at Joliet Street.

Mr. Cobb stated that the intersection at Joliet and US 41 has been on the Town’s radar for many years. There are a lot of accidents that happen there. Various options have been examined over the years, and the opportunity came up wherein 96th could be extended over to Joliet; and by doing that, we could close off the left turns in and out of that intersection as well as any cross movement. Removing those movements would greatly help what's going on. The folks who turn right from Joliet onto US 41 would have two options: They could continue to make the right turn from Joliet, or they could make their turn at a signalized intersection.

When they studied moving the traffic by itself down to the proposed intersection, it all but warranted a traffic signal on its own. When the development traffic is added to that, a traffic signal is definitely warranted there. The same has been reviewed by INDOT, and they concur.

Mr. Cobb stated the intersection was designed to have dual left-turn lanes going from southbound US 41 to eastbound 96th, which cuts down the length of the storage for the left turn lane and makes the traffic signal work more efficiently. There is a very short distance from US 41 to Earl Drive of about 200 feet; because there are only two buildings on the north side, a short left-turn lane can be used. If they developed that as a frontage road, there would not be enough space to accommodate very much left-turning traffic. The traffic would then backup into the through lane which defeats the purpose of having two lanes turning in.

Mr. Cobb stated that frontage roads are a good asset and that this development has that as it is laid out. There have been some comparisons to 97th, but 97th is not a through street to the east. All it serves is the front part of the parking lots.

Mr. Cobb stated that initially the intersection at Earl Drive will be a three-way stop with the incoming traffic having the right-of-way. Timing is controlled by INDOT; so if we find that the three-way stop becomes an issue, we will take out the stop on 96th so that it will have free flow movement. Mr. Cobb further stated that Mr. Boyer has made the layout so if an additional lane for Earl Drive is needed back to the east, it is there for us to develop and will not affect his development.

Mr. Cobb stated that the roundabout is not a bad idea and there are good reasons to have a roundabout instead of an intersection. Buses can make it around it. It is designed as a modern roundabout and not a traffic circle. A roundabout is meant to be a low-speed movement operation. The low speed is so that gaps are available for people to fill in. They work excellent on two-lane to two-lane roadways and don’t require signalization.

Mr. Cobb stated that moving the proposed connection to Joliet and putting the road all on Mr. Boyer's property cannot be done because there is a railroad crossing there. We need to create space between the railroad crossing and the intersection. Whether it is a roundabout or conventional intersection, it is not a good practice.

Mr. Cobb asked Mr. Kil if there is anything else that needed to be addressed. Mr. Kil stated he would like Mr. Cobb to explain what improvements are being made to US 41.

Mr. Cobb stated there are dual left-turn lanes, and southbound between 96th Place and Joliet, we will have a fifth lane for turning. Further south, we'll create a left turn lane as an alternate route at the south of the development for deliveries so delivery trucks are not going through the parking lot. The Town is interfacing with INDOT on their US 41 project so that our projects will meet and have the same number of lanes going north and south.

Mr. Cobb stated that going northbound there will be a slotted left turn lane for better movement westbound onto 96th Place. There will be a traffic signal that will be interconnected to the signal at 93rd Avenue and the signal at 97th so they will talk to one another; and the timings will be set up so that the traffic will be platooned as much as possible and the through traffic will move from one signal to the next. Again, it is in conjunction with INDOT. The study has been reviewed and approved by them. They agreed that all three signal should be interconnected. There will be Opticom at this signal so if there are emergency vehicles that come through, they are given a priority phase for the emergency vehicles.

Mr. Cobb advised if there is a crosswalk at 96th, it must be only on the south side so that the left turn can be made without being impeded by a pedestrian crossing; however, it takes a long time to cross seven lanes of traffic. INDOT keeps its traffic moving, and a pedestrian crossing could impede the traffic at 96th. INDOT times the traffic lights to keep their traffic moving while the side streets wait. Even if they do approve a pedestrian crossing here, that will likely gum up the works on 96th, so there are a number of interface issues to be worked through yet.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Cobb has done extensive studies on every street in this town as well as all the intersections in this community.

Mr. Forbes stated he wanted to address comments that were made that we are rushing to a decision or that we're not being transparent. This has been in front of the Economic Development Committee, the Town Council, the previous Plan Commission, and the current Plan Commission. There's a Public Hearing. It's been in front of the Redevelopment Commission, which had a Public Hearing, and again it was in front of the Town Council. The individuals you saw speaking that there is no transparency and that this was not done in the public eye were at all those meetings; and they know that everything was done in public. A contract is not discussed in public; however, the basics and the movement forward are discussed, which is what has happened.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that no houses are being taken. He stated that Mr. Boyer is not receiving the $5.6 million. It is not being given to him but is being used for a Town project that is in partnership with Mr. Boyer’s project. The Town is spending that money to improve traffic safety on Route 41 through the Boyer Development. INDOT has approved the traffic light. Mr. Forbes stated that INDOT has denied a light at Joliet Street on two occasions that he is aware of. It has been petitioned multiple times, and the Town has that denial writing.

Mr. Forbes advised that the Board of Zoning Appeals are the ones who approved the smaller parking spots, not the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes stated that the large parking stalls are outdated, just as Mr. Boyer had said. And the key to the parking stalls is the width of the lane between the parking stalls. This project started in 2015, has been dragged out, and should have been approved years ago.

Mr. Boyer stated he would like everyone to understand the process they have gone through for this project. It has been a three-year process wherein they met with Mr. Kil, Mr. Eberly, and the staff on almost a weekly basis. They have met with the Plan Commission, they have met with the Town Council, and they have revised their Site Plan countless times. None of the projects he has done have been subjected to as much scrutiny as this one.

Mr. Birlson said, “I want – I want to make a comment. You – you said that – I read in the Thoroughfare Plan or the Comprehensive Plan that the frontage road goes from 105th – the plan – the ultimate plan is 105th to 93rd. I read that. I’m not sure which one it was. Um, Mr. Cobb, for your roundabout on Joliet – I live on Joliet Street. Most of the traffic in the morning is going westbound and they – and once they approach 41, they go north. People coming from the south in the evening time, down 41, they’re – chances are they’re going to go to 93rd, or they’ll come down to this traffic light, go through Boyer development, and go to the east. Why would we need a roundabout there, spend $1 million for most of the traffic going west on Joliet and most of the traffic going through Boyer development out to the east? Put a – like someone said, put a stop sign eastbound on Joliet and let the other traffic – other movements do its.”

Mr. Cobb responded that because it is a T intersection, movement cannot just be allowed free flow. On a T intersection, the stem of the T is stopped, and in this instance, it would stop the busiest approach in the evening. The level of service would be likely to be an F, then, because of having to stop. Mr. Cobb added there simply cannot be free-flow movement at an intersection with a yield or a stop sign.

Mr. Panczuk stated that because the minutes have not been available, he feels to be fair, some extra time for the folks to go through those would be good. He is adamant about there being a crosswalk at 96th Place and would like a definitive answer on the crosswalk approval as well as clarification on the wetland delineation. Mr. Panczuk stated since it is a PUD with road connections, the issue of the road connection, the certainty of it, and how it will affect us needs to be addressed. Mr. Panczuk further stated that he is in favor of the redevelopment, that it is a benefit for the town overall, but would like some things hammered out before the rezone step. He doesn’t feel a PUD is required and feels variances can be granted on a piece-by-piece basis.

Mr. Forbes advised that the crosswalk is a Town issue and not an issue for Mr. Boyer; therefore, there is no issue or reason to hold up the development for a crosswalk. Mr. Boyer has agreed to accommodate anything that the State approves.

Mr. Forbes stated on the wetland question, he has seen the topographies before, and the entire property was farmed at one point. The wetland issue is moot. Mr. Boyer stated they have photos from it being farmland in the '40s, and they would not be at this stage of the process if they felt there was a wetland concern and issue. They are waiting for the US Army Corps of Engineers to concur with their delineation, and they had hired a wetland and soils engineer to do that report. It is the engineer’s position that the wetlands that are seen today are a neglected, constructed retention pond from the previous development that was done.

Mr. Kennedy stated his concern is connectivity between the west side of St. John and the east side of St. John. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Cobb how to get people across 41. Mr. Cobb stated there are crossings at 97th, and crossings that 93rd, so there are crossings. INDOT has come a long way in this issue, but in some respects they have tunnel vision and think of things from curb face to curb face. There is a part of INDOT embracing the Complete Streets theory, which makes room for everybody in the highway right-of-way, pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, and automobiles. They will look at it, but their first priority is moving traffic through the corridor, and those two items are competing conditions.

Mr. Forbes stated the difference for 96th Place is it is seven lanes where 97th and 93rd are five. Mr. Cobb stated there are sidewalks on 97th and 93rd. Mr. Cobb agrees there needs to be east-west connection, but there are no sidewalks presently on 96th Place west of US 41, so a crossing would be put in to nowhere on the west side.

Mr. Forbes stated he agrees that sidewalks and connections are needed. It has been discussed at the staff level, and we don't know if we have enough road right-of-way or easement in order to continue the sidewalk all the way to Keilman. Mr. Forbes stated that is a Town issue which is being looked at and will be addressed in a timely manner.

Mr. Kennedy stated the map and the renderings in the Comprehensive Plan shows that Earl Drive does stop just north of 96th.

Mr. Flores asked if this project has been going on for three years, why we don't have answers about the wetlands and the roads. Mr. Birlson stated if you read the PUD, there are 13 items that have to be gone through and addressed prior to approving PUD zoning change. Mr. Birlson stated if you look at the GIS, it appears to show wetlands on the property. If you approach the Thiel property, that area has been low for as long as the Thiels can remember, which is where the road is going through. Mr. Birlson feels there are questions that need to be answered before making the zone change.

Mr. Boyer asked him if he is talking about wetlands on the Thiels' property. Mr. Birlson stated to the east side of the Thiel property. Mr. Boyer stated they had been working with their wetlands and soils engineer, and the wetland issue has been answered. The paperwork has been done; they have delineated it; they have documented it; everything has been sent on to the US Army Corps of Engineers; and they are waiting for the US Army Corps of Engineers to concur with their findings.

Mr. Kil stated that there had been questions on the cost estimates of the roundabout on 96th, the cost estimates were developed by the engineers. Running into bad soil was taken into account. If there is bad soil, we do know that it will have to be removed and compacted properly and added extra funds to take care of that.

Mr. Boyer stated the zoning is the first step. They will go back through the subdivision process and plat approval which includes full engineering on both their part and the Town's part. Mr. Kozel stated we are only doing zoning this evening.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he agrees with the item 4.2 that Mr. Hero brought up and feels each lot needs to have public comment as it is developed.

Mr. Forbes asked if the ordinance had been approved already. Mr. Kil advised the ordinance has not been approved yet.

Mr. Panczuk said he would like to see item 4.2 changed before goes to the Town Council. Mr. Kil stated if the Plan Commission were to make a recommendation to the Town Council that could be attached to it. Mr. Kil advised that all site plans still require the board’s approval.

Mr. Boyer stated there is a review process and a site-plan process. They are doing the Public Hearing for a Planned Unit Development. And as long as the individual site plans and building designations and lot layouts are in general conformance with the PUD classification, there's no need for public hearings, only public meetings.

Mr. Kil advised that Plan Commission oversight and Site Plan approval is always required. Mr. Eberly stated that Site Plan approval for any commercial development does not come before the board as a public hearing. The language in the ordinance doesn't give him any more benefit than any other developer.

Mr. Eberly stated that our ordinance requires that in order to approve a Commercial PUD, it has to be at least 20 acres and this is just over 21 acres, so it cannot be split up and be done as a PUD.

Mr. Boyer stated the PUD is allowed by the current Zoning Ordinance. It is a process that we go through dealing with lot lines issues, separation issues, joint parking issues, and joint driveway issues, and the sharing of those facilities. There would be a million zoning variances we'd have to come through if the PUD is not allowed, and the PUD is in your Zoning Ordinance for that purpose. Mr. Boyer added they are following our ordinance as it exists today.

Mr. Panczuk reiterated his concerns about the wetlands, the roadway connection, and unanswered questions. Mr. Kil advised the road will go where it is shown, and the road connection will be done by the Town. The Town Council signed an Economic Development Agreement wherein both parties, Mr. Boyer and the Town, have very specific responsibilities and timeframes in which to complete those responsibilities. And we are required by contract with him to make that connection. The Town Council has already agreed to it, and the Town has already allocated $5.6 million for it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions or comments from the board.

Hearing none, he entertained a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council.

Motion to grant the favorable recommendation for the Shops on 96th from rezoning of C-2 and Industrial Zoning referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy.

Vote by roll call:

Mr. Birlson – nay
Mr. Flores – aye
Mr. Kennedy – aye
Mr. Kozel – aye
Mr. Panczuk – nay
Mr. Volk – nay
Mr. Forbes – aye

Motion carries. Mr. Forbes stated a favorable recommendation will be sent to the Town Council.

Mr. Boyer thanked the board.

B. 2018-0014 ROAD IMPACT FEE
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Road Impact Fee.

Mr. Forbes turned the floor over to Taghi Arshami, Principal with the Arsh Group.

Mr. Arshami greeted the board thanked them for allowing him to make a presentation at this meeting. Mr. Arshami stated that Denny Cobb with First Group Engineering, who is here this evening, was involved in the study as well. Mr. Arshami stated there have been multiple meetings leading up to this Public Hearing with various committees and boards. Tonight, they are asking the board to approve a Resolution to go to the Town Council.

Mr. Arshami gave a quick summary presentation.

The revenues from the Road Impact Fee are specifically used for road improvements and cannot be used to address existing deficiencies. A presentation was made to the Economic Development Committee about how the Road Impact Fee affects new development, and how different developers would have an opportunity to submit their traffic assessment and engineering.

The Road Impact Fee was discussed at length by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee and they made a determination and recommendation of 7 percent for the fee to the Town Council. The rate will be effective for 5 years.

Mr. Arshami stated he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Kennedy ask if incremental increases can be added. Mr. Arshami stated that it can be set up that way. Mr. Kozel stated it would have to be done up front.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions. Hearing none, he opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I think this board has a very important decision. They need to pick a number that makes the Town Council realize how important this is. Everyone who lives in St. John has already paid their dues. And we live with the roads. We've had 3.5 hours of testimony of how terrible the roads are in this town.

And if that's not enough for you guys to realize – I feel you should tell the Town Council you want 100 percent of this Road Impact Fee because they're going to bargain it down. It needs to be the maximum because in 5 years from now, most of this town will be developed out and our chance to make any money off of this Road Impact Fee will be gone.

If you go in little increments, you're – you’re just giving money away and you’re not standing up for the residents of this town that need severe road improvements. As Mr. Cobb said, we've got all these Fs and Ds around, and they're not going away any time soon. So I am for 100 percent of what the State will allow us to impose on people moving into this town. Thank you.

Mirko Zagorac (10965 Thielen Street): I signed the wrong paper. I have a quick question for you gentlemen. How many of you guys really looked into the safety of this road building? For example, I'll give you – I would like to have an answer tonight. Where that turnaround is going to be, it's going to be a blind spot for me coming out of my garage. Who will be responsible for me getting killed? I'd like to know from you answer why is that turnaround going to be there?

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Zagorac that this Public Hearing was for the Road Impact Fee.

Okay, I'm sorry. I’m sorry. I guess – I told you nicely I signed the wrong paper. And you tell me shut up and get out. Bye.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I think this whole Road Impact Fee thing has been a joke. They have been – you're little commission or whoever you gave this to – they've been pushed by the developers to reduce this, and reduce this so they can make more money.

And if you look at the congestion in this town, I look at who has been here the longest, Mr. Forbes. Who is responsible for the road condition there is? The Impact Fee should be maximized. Somebody has been asleep at the switch for years. These guys get manipulated by whoever commission they're before, and they'll tell them, “Okay, we'll reduce it to this, and we'll reduce it to that.”

I've gone to some of these meetings. It's a joke. It's a real joke. You know what the traffic problems are. It's good to see you've got new members on this Plan Commission. I can't wait for the day that voters vote Mr. Forbes out. He is responsible for 12 years of bad roads here.

You need to maximize this fee. It's the only way you can get started. Look at what you paid these guys. How long is it going to take you to recoup that at some low level of percentage? The responsibility is for the Councilmen who have been here the longest, the responsibility is on Mr. Forbes. I ask you new commission members to buckle up and let's improve the roads by maximizing this fee. Thank you.

Jack Slager (8625 Stonegate Court): Um, I've been at a lot of the meetings regarding the Road Impact Fee, going back to the Advisory Committee that the town put together. I attended a lot of those meetings. Those volunteers spent a lot of time, a lot of hours, a lot of research talking, discussing the Road Impact Fee.

Um, I admit that something does need to be done. Nobody's going to deny that there aren't road problems in the Town of St. John. Something does need to be done. Um, I'm not opposed to the Impact Fee. I do believe that the 100 percent Impact Fee, which I believe is something like $5,000 on a residential permit, it will have an impact on residential permits.

People will look elsewhere for $5,000. They will go, and you will see some residential buyers go to neighboring towns. They'll go to Cedar Lake; they’ll go to Crown Point; they’ll go to Schererville where the permits are cheaper; and we'll still get all the traffic. Um, that – those people will be going to those towns through this town. So I – I do believe something needs to be done.

Um, I also – at 100 percent the fee is very extreme on commercial. I know they – they really haven’t talked about the amount of the fee on commercial. But, um, I want to say the 100 percent level was something like $20,000 per 1000 square feet. Um, on the Boyer development alone, the permits would increase by millions of dollars, millions. Um, and that would, you know, the – The town is counting on that commercial development to repay the $5 million. And I – I think it would definitely be harmed, um, at the 100 percent level.

Um, I also think that there should be a plan as to how the money is spent, a – a defined plan so when certain dollar amounts come in, once a dollar amount is reached what – what is that going to be spent on? I – I worry that the money is going to be put into a pot and forgotten about or spent on something else or never spent. Um, I – I would like to see a defined plan of how the – the Road Impact Fee money will be spent and when. Um, if – if, in fact, we have to talk to our residential buyers and say, “Hey, your permit is $1,000 more.” “Well, what's that for?” “Well, that's going to solve this road problem,” or “That's going to improve this road.” Then it, maybe it's more palatable. Um, so that's my opinion. Thank you.

Carmen Shafer (9220 96th Place): Again, I'm reading on behalf of Gerald Swets:

Gerald Swets, (9490 Joliet Street): (as read into the record) “I would like to speak in favor of the Road Impact Fee. St. John is a great town and is being advertised as a safe town and a great place to live with a good school system. This will draw many new residents to town.

As new homes are being built all over town, traffic issues grow. To add a fee to building permit is a good option to help with road improvements. I think the completed traffic study will be beneficial to plan for the future. Since the cost was $260,000, I think we need to have a significant fee to make it a viable option.

The other locations in Indiana have Road Impact Fees that have been raising them when the time – when it is time to renew after 5 years. I think we should not approve anything less than 50 percent of the estimated cost that could – and could even go as high as 100 percent. This is a great place to live.

People coming here from Illinois are saving thousands of dollars each year on their real estate tax. And to have a one-time fee added to their building permit, which they can include in their mortgage payment, is not unreasonable. The more revenue collected in fees will lower the requirements for additional taxes for current residents. I would ask that you make this a significant impact for our needed road improvements.”

And on a personal note, my husband and I moved here from Cook County, Illinois, back in 2010. And I can absolutely tell you that the taxes in Illinois were what drove us here to Indiana. I grew up in Schererville. I have family here in St. John, and that's what drove me here to St. John. And to have a minimal fee, a one-time fee would not have deterred me from moving to Indiana to St. John to have good roads.

And I'm driving through my neighborhood with enormous pot holes in the Renaissance in the new section of the Renaissance. And to me that's unacceptable. In the newer part of the Renaissance that's being developed. And to have an Impact Fee associated with the houses, I don't think that's unreasonable whatsoever. So I personally am in favor of this fee being as raised as high as possible. Thank you.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): I completely agree with the conditions of the roads, especially the main thoroughfare through town. They were, I'm going to list four projects that are – were identified as the worst roads, and they’re on the main thoroughfares: 93rd Street from the town limits west all the way to Route 41, recommendation for improvement to 3 lanes throughout that entire length; signalization at White Oak; and widen to 4 lanes at US 41 intersection. Second, 93rd at – between Cline and Blaine, 3 lanes throughout, in that area with, traffic signals and both intersections. Calumet from 101st to south town limits, 3 lanes throughout. 109th from west limit all the way to US 41, 3 lanes throughout.

I think most people in this audience would agree those are the worst roads and need to be improved. None of those can be funded with the Roadway Impact Fee. They’re identified as current deficiencies to the tune of $11 million that cannot be funded with the Roadway Impact Fee. In fact, the first four projects listed in the Roadway Impact Fee improvement add a 4th lane to 93rd, add a 4th lane at Cline, add a 4th lane on Calumet, and add a 4th lane on 109th.

You can't impose that fee for improvements unless you address the current deficiencies. I strongly recommend that a recommendation be made to the Town Council that they address the current deficiencies, because those are the problems everyone I've heard talk about is the problem here. I agree that potentially there could be, down the road, something to be addressed with that.

We currently have the highest building permit fees in the county. Commercially, the Impact Fee could – could have, depending on what you recommend, could have a significant stalling effect on commercial development. Long story short, I think we're putting the cart before the horse. The Town, it needs to address the current deficiencies.

As Taghi referenced, the EDC, which I'm a member of, our opinion was that this would have a significant impact to commercial development in particular and recommended an – as an advisory basis that this not be implemented, but we emphasized that the current deficiencies be corrected. And I'm all for those roadways being improved, but they cannot be paid with the Roadway Impact Fee, so I recommend that the Town do that and you, at this point, defer the Roadway Impact Fee to a later date. Thank you.

Tim Wolf (8229 Meadow Court): Um, about 3 years ago, the tax payers of St. John came to this body and requested a Road Impact Fee. And you're just now voting on that; what took you so long? Um, it – it is imperative that we do this and don't undercut it so we can never make up the amount that we need to improve the roads. And also, keep in mind that we also need to widen 93rd and 41, put sidewalks and curbs on Joliet, and do some other improvements. Thank you.

Ted S. Nosal (12629 Larimer Drive): Um, is this any way tied to the wheel tax that you might have to implement? Not at all.

Mr. Forbes stated that is a totally separate subject.

Okay. But the thing is, is that, um, I think that you can't charge the developer, as much as he wants to develop, a total fee where you're going to run him out of here. But the same thing is, where's the green space in the Town of St. John? It's gone. And you, when you're taking R-1 and zoning it R-2 so you got smaller lots, that's more people.

Luers Tree Farm is going to be sold. Where are all the cars going to go down 93rd? You have no room for it. If you would of just had some foresight before you built Enclave and Bramblewood and Schillton Hills, you could have straightened out the S-curve, and everything could have been – if you would of just had some foresight in what was going on here. And it needed it anyway.

And how are you going to get, um, Dyer to widen Sheffield? They're going to probably want some money from the – our Town. Um, you can't widen, um, Exchange coming in because then you have to deal with Illinois with Crete. And all those – 231 needs to be widened all the way to 60 – you know, all the way to Broadway. When you going to do that? I just don't, I just don't know when – when you – when – you just, you're getting too many – it's just too populated. You have to slow down. You have to figure out how you're going to do it. How many residents are you going to affect?

I talked to one of the residents on 93rd street, and he told me, he said, “I moved here because it's a 2-lane road. If they make it 3 or 4 lanes, I'm moving.” So, I mean, and then you got to look at all, once you start paving a lot too, where's all the water runoff going? Where you going to move it? I want somebody to come by my house at 12629 Larimer Drive when it rains 2-3 inches. I have – my driveway is cracking to nothing because I got 3 inches of water going down my driveway from runoff from the street. And I told the Town about this 20 years ago. And nobody's done anything. So how we going to get – how we going to get money to fix – to fix the roads? And it all comes down on the residents again.

I'm getting ready to retire. I'm going to be on a fixed income in about 18 months. So you're probably going to see me here a lot. I'll probably be a pain in your ass. But the thing is, is that this is reality. It's not funny. It's reality that I have to live every day, you know.

I've had water main breaks out in front of my house, and one of your contractors fixed it, came and took my paver blocks. I watched his feet go all the way up and take ‘em to block up the water main. Called the Town; they did nothing. So I'm just saying you just keep – there are just too many people. And then what are they going to do with the 497 houses they're going to put at White Oak and – and 93rd? And then when they sell the farm across the street on the north side of 93rd, where's the 3000 cars going to go? I'll never be able to get out of my subdivision. There will be a – there will be a stop-and-go light on 93rd from 41 all the way to Sheffield.

You – you guys have to realize that as well as economic development, we've only got one 4-lane road. Right? In the whole town, 41. That's it. And people are driving like maniacs. And I can't even get out of my – sometimes when – when – when you got peak traffic periods, I can't even get out of my subdivision. I have an old subdivision. And you're the town engineer that ran all at cars by my house 9 – 61 cars in 9 minutes. And I – I did that for 3 days, watched during the morning and at night, watched 'em all come by my house.

And nobody ever said – should have put a police officer there, said local traffic only. If you can't get in, show me your address. So I'm just saying, I mean you – it – it's – it's going to – it's going to be a nightmare trying to fix it because you already got these people on top of people. Okay. That's all I got to say.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): The clock just keeps on ticking. I can say without reservation that Steve Kil and myself have been the only two individuals to be at every Road Impact Fee meeting. And since I've been at every meeting, I probably understand the subject better than most in town. The committee suggested a 7 percent number against, I believe the trip fee, give or take, is around $5,400. And they came up with 7 percent which is somewhere in the neighborhood of $375 bucks per house.

Now, I'm an accountant, so the first thing I looked at is where's the monetary payback on this? And now we're already a year and a half into this study. We paid $260,000. It's already paid, already gone to the engineering firm. And we've not recovered one cent. So, therefore, by my calculations, we're already down before this gets approved cause it doesn't get approved until 6 months after the Town Council approves it. So, therefore, we're going to be over 2 years into this $260 grand, so we're going to be down $104,000.

And at $374 bucks, how long do you think it's going to take to get that money back; and what is the first 5 years when we're building 375 or 400 houses a year? When did you think we're going to get our money back? Let's be realistic. We're not. We're going to end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of less than $100,000 for 5 years. What can you do in today's market with 100 and – $100,000? I don't think – I think the Town's share of the paving we did with Lake County on Calumet Avenue, I think that cost us $150 grand. So we can’t – even though you can't use the money for that, we can't pave a mile of road.

So, therefore, you've heard people come up here and say they want 100 percent. I'll settle for 60, 70, 80 percent. Yeah, 100 would be nice. Now, I sat in those meetings, and I listened to all the developers come in and complain and moan and, “Oh, god, we can't afford this. And people are going to move.” You just heard it earlier. People are going to go to other towns and they’re ignore St. John.

Last time I checked, and I – I checked recently, the Preserve across the street from my house is being built. There's houses in there for sale right now, 5, 6, $700,000. How much does $5,000 impact those people? That's 0.0043 percent of their total house cost. But what does that do for the Town? What that does for us is if we build 375 houses a year and charge $5,000, we'll end up with $1.7 million a year times 5 years. Guess what, guys? We got 8, $10 million to deal with. So, therefore, all I propose to you is, people have said 100 percent, I'll settle for $2,500 per unit. But I'd happily settle, if you recommend it, for $5,400. We've got to do something. And sitting here going, “Charge $374 a house,” don't even bother.

Tony Mitidiero (9754 Rosewood Drive): You guys certainly have a challenge ahead of you. I – I love living in town. And it's – and it’s a great town. Obviously I’ve – everyone recognize – and I should probably state it. I – I’m in real estate. Um, I've advised some municipalities, and I live in town.

Um, but really, everyone recognizes we have an expense issue that’s caused by a lot of growth. I think we'll continue to have some growth. My primary concern, in that I live here and I want to see it be maintained and grow responsibly, is that we do what we can to try and stave off tax increases. Obviously a lot of people moved here because the taxes, the way that they are.

I have a property for sale right now in Flossmoor that was worth over $700,000 before the recession. Um, my clients purchased it for $480,000 two years ago. I have it sold for $375,000. Things are not moving in the right direction while the rest of the nation is, right. The property tax bill is $22,000. All right. So I have a lot of concern about that. And I've seen a direct, inverse relationship between taxes and value. And I think people want to preserve their taxes and whatnot, so I think your moving in the right direction with an Impact Fee. I think it makes sense to analyze, really, what does the amount accomplish.

I rehab houses as well. We do between 25 and 50 of them a year. Um, we don't do big, nice ones though. We're in like the $150,000 range. We make accidents that cost us $5,000 or $6,000 bucks in our rehabs. It's not that much. Um, and I'm not saying to go for the max here. I'm just saying think about it in the grand scheme of things. Builders typically make 40 percent margin on these things. That's a gigantic amount of money. I don't know many other businesses where people are making those type of spreads.

And I'm not saying the builder has to spend it. I just don't think a couple thousand bucks is that much. Um, so I think if you're going to do it, I think it should be something significant. I love the idea that it gets looked at again in 5 years. And I – I got to admit, I don't know that much about it. I didn't pay or didn't research a whole ton. I think it's great to have it so that you can look at it every year. And like the Federal Reserve, right, they look at how the market's doing, and they change the rates to, you know, adjust.

Um, I do also have a fair amount of concern though about what the rate is on commercial. I understand that there may be an argument that they create more traffic, but I think, long haul, we need a commercial tax base, um, to offset some of our – our taxes as residents. And if we shoo them away or scare them away, you know, with gigantic impact fees – cause for them it's really easy to go somewhere else. You can set up shop in Schererville and do business.

With them, maybe the difference in being in St. John is marginal; whereas, for us as residents, it means a lot. It – I don't think it means as much to them. So I don't know if I would make the difference between the two, and I don't know if it's governed or not.

Mr. Forbes stated it is.

It is?

Mr. Forbes stated that it is governed and that it is designated by units wherein a house is 1 unit and a commercial development is multiple units.

Well, okay. That – that really is my concern, though. And my biggest concern is, though, that it outpaces commercial. I think we have to do something substantial, but I have a biggest fear of pushing commercial away for the long haul so that we don't ever develop that tax base. Although, I am in – in favor of some form of impact pee – impact fee that does something. Anyways, and that's it. But you guys got a rough job and do the best you can.

Bruce Boyer (9321 Wicker Avenue): And I certainly didn't intend to stay. And I – I’m going to be extremely brief. But listening to what Jack said, listening to what obvious speakers said, um, you know – you know a fee at 7 percent of $375 moving to $5,500 per home is substantial. It's a substantial increase.

From a commercial point of view, when we're investing tens of millions of dollars – and I own other property within the town, but we're looking at redevelopment – but a fee going from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars will stall commercial development. It will affect Shops 96. It’ll affect new commercial development. It’ll affect all redevelopment.

And the previous speaker made a very good comment. Those types of units and the commercial properties will go elsewhere. So I think you have to be extremely careful about that. I – I don't object to an impact fee. I think it needs to be reasonable. It does not need to be excessive. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who would like to speak on the Road Impact Fee. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Panczuk stated if we don't get a fee in place and address the road issues, we're going to drive away development because the roads are in such bad shape. The current road deficiencies are separate and need to be addressed in other ways. Mr. Panczuk stated he is in favor of the Road Impact Fee and feels 40 percent is reasonable. He iterated what other locations in Indiana are charging for their fees and that the 40 percent would align with that amount.

Mr. Panczuk further stated that a waiver could be offered for commercial development through an economic agreement if a hardship is presented or the development is highly desirable according to the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Panczuk further stated the Road Impact Fee can be pulled back if something goes wrong; we do have the ability to do that.

Mr. Kennedy stated it could be defeating the purpose by setting the rate at 40 percent and giving waivers. We aren't really gaining the full impact of a substantially higher rate. Mr. Kennedy stated that the 40 percent could have a negative impact and that it needs to be a happy medium. Mr. Kennedy further stated we need to find a way to address the existing deficiencies as well.

Mr. Panczuk stated waivers wouldn't be granted on everything but it would be aligned with desired development. At 20 percent, if every commercial fee was waived, $1.5 million would be generated over 5 years just on residential. Mr. Panczuk stated the next five years are important because the town will be built out after that.

Mr. Birlson asked what recommend amount was by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee. Mr. Arshami responded that Impact Fee Advisory Committee made a recommendation for 7 percent. The committee was made up of professionals in the real estate and development businesses and set the rate as to not inhibit commercial development in the town.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Arshami how we stack up against other communities on all fees collectively. Mr. Arshami stated the Town of St. John’s fees are higher than many of the communities in total fees without the Road Impact Fee included.

Mr. Kil stated the Impact Fee Advisory Committee took the current building permit fees into consideration when figuring the rate for their recommendation. Mr. Kil advised that we have the lowest corporate tax rate in the county, the highest median home value, the highest median income level, the best credit scores, and the number one safest community.

Mr. Birlson asked where the money will come from for the future deficiencies. Mr. Forbes stated future development is going to install a lot of these roads. And depending how it is done, they can make these improvements. So chopping away at the future is part of the development.

Mr. Birlson asked how we are $11 million deficient now with all the development that is going on. Mr. Kil advised to look at what the current deficiencies are: 109th just recently started becoming our problem. That was unincorporated Lake County. So St. John didn't miss that ball; Lake County missed that ball. 93rd Avenue, will be a struggle for the rest of time. Everyone wants 93rd widened, but it would mean wiping out a side of the road.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Cobb is putting together cost estimates for three Community Crossing Grant Projects for the February call. One of the biggest current deficiencies is 93rd Avenue. Who wants to be the one to tell the north side or south side of 93rd Avenue that we have to take their homes?

Mr. Kil stated that right now we are looking at getting some of the intersections improved, getting turn lanes put in, and get the traffic flowing a bit better, and limit access on some of the through streets. And the places where there are left turns, let's create a designated intersection there for left-turn movement so through traffic doesn't have to stop. We are trying to take a proactive approach to it because we know that we will never be able to buy all the homes there.

Mr. Birlson asked if there has been any thought about making some of the roads one-way. Mr. Kil stated we have not because we are limited on our east-west roads.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Cobb how many intersections he studied for the traffic analysis. Mr. Cobb stated there were 20 intersections and 28 segments, and each one was analyzed five different times.

Mr. Kennedy stated the recommended amount by Mr. Arshami and Mr. Cobb was 10 percent.

Mr. Birlson stated that 7 percent will barely cover the cost of the study. Mr. Forbes stated the cost of the study and the fees to be collected has come up several times. He isn't concerned about that because there is so much data now that anytime the staff gets together with a developer, they have the data and can tell them exactly what is needed for the area being developed. The data isn't going to waste, and we don't need to find a way to pay back the study.

Mr. Kil stated the Plan Commission uses the data. Because when a development comes in, all you have to do is ask Rick what is required on a road. The analysis has already been done, so there's no arguing with it.

Mr. Arshami stated the estimate based on the 7 percent, the five-year revenue would be approximately $1.6 million based on 200 housing units annually. Last year, St. John had about 360 housing units constructed. And this year St. John will probably be above that level. So the revenues could exceed that.

Mr. Arshami explained the other communities who have a Road Impact Fee are using the revenue collected as leverage to get grants from other sources so they have more money to do those improvements. No community can raise enough to address all of their deficiencies. Mr. Arshami stated at one of the meetings a developer was excited because there is a recapture fee of $2,000 that is outstanding that falls off in 2022.

Mr. Kil stated part of the building permit fee is the sewer recapture fee that falls off in a few years. What that developer suggested is when that fee falls off replace it with the Road Impact Fee, then you’re at the same dollar amount. Mr. Flores asked when that ends. Mr. Kil stated it ends in 2024.

Mr. Birlson asked when St. John will be built out if it continues to develop at the same rate. Mr. Kil stated it would be built out in approximately 30 years including projected land that could be annexed in.

Mr. Panczuk stated he thinks if the fees were waived for commercial development that the residents would be okay with that if they were shown the supporting evidence and numbers why the fees were waived.

Mr. Kozel stated the fee should be where commercial stands a chance because we need commercial to develop here in town, keep our residential growth so we're not scaring our contractors away, and add a 5 percent or 7 percent fee increase every year.

Mr. Arshami stated it is a painful process, but the final decision is the Town Council’s decision. Mr. Kil stated the Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the Town Council and adopt a Resolution. The good news is that the final decision is made at the Town Council level. The process is set up for the Plan Commission to send a certification to the Town Council with a recommend fee structure in it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions or thoughts. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to make a recommendation to set the rate at 10 percent with an increase of 7 percent per annum for 5 years by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk.

Vote by roll call:

Mr. Birlson - nay
Mr. Flores - aye
Mr. Kennedy - aye
Mr. Kozel - aye
Mr. Panczuk - aye
Mr. Volk - aye
Mr. Forbes - abstain

Motion carries with 5 ayes, 1 nay, and 1 abstention.

Mr. Forbes advised the next order of business is to approve Resolution No. 2018-01, which is “A resolution recommending establishment of a Town Road Impact Fee for the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, adoption and enactment of an Establishment Ordinance by the St. John Council in conformance with applicable law, and all other matters related thereto.”

Mr. Forbes ask for any questions. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding the Resolution. Motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-01 per the Certification, at 10 percent with a 7 percent escalator by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 1 nay. One opposition by Mr. Birlson.

C. 2018-0015 PARK IMPACT FEE
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is the Park Impact Fee. He further advised that the Park Impact Fee has been in place for years. The recommendation from the Impact Fee Advisory Committee was to raise the cost by $133.01.

Mr. Arshami stated that the Park Impact Fee has been in the books for the last 20 years. This is a renewal, so it is not as complicated as the Road Impact Fee. The Town has increased the Park Assets by about $3 million of additional investments.

The Impact Fee Advisory Committee kept the same percentage rate as the last time of 58 percent. Maintaining the same percentage adds approximately $132 to the revenues collected due to the increased assets.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments from the board before opening the floor to the public. Hearing none, he opened the floor for Public Hearing on this matter.

Nick Georgiou (9476 West Oakridge Drive): Long night; I'll make it short. I'm in support of the Park Board Fee being renewed. I understand the Park Board is looking at a comprehensive evaluation of all the Parks in the Town.

There are deficiencies on the east side of town. I think a lot of public comments made tonight relative to family-friendly areas and other parks, hopefully, will be addressed in that Comprehensive Plan review. I recommend the Park Board fee be renewed. Thanks.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone else would like to speak on Park Impact Fee. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing and returned the matter to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to approve the Park Impact Fee for $1,868.01 at 58 percent by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries unanimously.

Mr. Forbes advised that the board needs to address Resolution No. 2018-02, “A Resolution approving a revised and updated Parks and Recreation Impact Fee for the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, recommending Adoption and Enactment of such Ordinance by the St. John Town Council, and all other matters related thereto.”

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Resolution No. 2018-02. Motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-02 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 7 ayes to 0 nays.

D. 2018-0004 WALDEN CLEARING – Continued Public Hearing for the Property at 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue – (Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Walden Clearing by the petitioner Olthof Homes for Public Hearing regarding preliminary plat action relative to their 90-lot subdivision.

Mr. Forbes stated there was some question as to whether the Plan Commission had to approve this or not based on the Zoning Commitment and turned the floor over to Mr. Muenich regarding the findings in their legal opinion.

Mr. Muenich stated he rendered his opinion this morning regarding the two issues raised to Mr. Austgen and himself approximately ten days earlier. One of the questions at issue was when may a Plan Commission deny a primary plat; and two, whether or not the Plan Commission could revisit, reconsider, or modify its recommendations to the Town Council; and when could a Plan Commission or, inherently, a Town Council rezone a parcel of real estate that had been recently zoned.

He stated they walked through the documents that were delivered to them. They went through it, recited the process for the zoning, and once a recommendation is made, whatever that recommendation be, at that point, you lose jurisdiction over the matter until such time that either the Town Council would kick it back to you, which they did not, or until a new petition is brought before you.

The Town Council acted upon the certification, granted the rezoning, and a condition of that rezoning was a Zoning Commitment that was attached to the Zoning Ordinance. That was not appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days from the date of the decision by the Town Council, and that is a final act at this point. There is no longer anything in front of either the Town Council or the Plan Commission to revisit.

The next step of the process is the approval of a plat. There's an application for the platting process. And because of its relevance, we elected to set forth an abbreviated portion of section 707. The correct citation is 36-7-4-707:

“If, after the hearing, the plan commission or plat committee determines that the application and plat comply with the standards” – and that's the critical word – “in the Subdivision Control Ordinance, the commission or the committee shall make written findings and a decision granting primary approval to the plat. This decision, which must also specify any condition imposed or waiver granted under section 702 of this chapter” – which brings the Zoning Commitment into play – “If, after the hearing, the plan commission or plat committee disapproves the plat, the commission or committee shall make written findings that set forth its reasons any decision denying primary approval and shall provide the applicant with a copy.”

That's the statutory language. The issue concerns the location of a berm or berms within Walden Clearing; therefore, the Zoning Commitment, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Subdivision Control Ordinance were examined

“The Zoning Commitment which formed the basis of the R-2 Single-Family Residential Zoning District classification created additional requirements beyond the requirements of the Subdivision Control Ordinance, and,” in effect, “became Zoning Requirements” upon approval by the Town Council.

“The fifth (5th) bullet point in paragraph three (3) of the Zoning Commitment discusses ‘Perimeter landscape buffering’” which, as I understand it, is the issue – not the landscape buffering per se, but its location – “but does not specifically address the issue of within or without the zoning lot or a public way.” Or, for practical purposes, any other place.

If there are berms required between Sierra Pointe and Mallard Landing, those obviously would have to be on the lots adjacent to those developments. But within the framework of your Zoning Ordinance, berms are not required between like districts, if you had a residential district bounded by an industrial or a commercial or some other classification that does require the berms under the Zoning Ordinance. There's no such distinction between a residential and a residential. That, in my opinion, left the location of the berms along the sides of 93rd Avenue and the west side of Cline Avenue.

“Chapter 13 in the Zoning Ordinance does address landscaping and does have several references to berms which address the locations of berms (in general terms, i.e., such as between districts), screening, and maintenance. Section G does require a landscape plan for each lot within the development, and G.5 addresses berms, but again does not discuss their specific location. Section J does restrict the location of ‘fence, wall, hedge, or shrub planting which obstructs sight lines at elevations between 2 and 6 feet above the street’, then refers additionally the street property lines, rounded property corners, intersections, or within 10 feet from the intersection of a street line.”

Apparently to establish vision clearance triangles within the project. And I suspect some of these berms tend to meander. I don't have a concrete opinion and will defer to Mr. Kraus who made that referral.

“But again, does not address their specific location. Anecdotally, we are aware of numerous R-1, R-2, and R-3 subdivisions” where berms have previously been “located upon the subdivided lot and not a public right-of-way” or an easement not owned by the lot. “Finally, improvements installed within a public right-of-way are public. A right-of-way may not be used or substituted for private purposes, and is maintained by, and the responsibility for, is with the public domain, i.e., the Town.”

And there is specific case law on that, St. John Town Board v. Lambert.

“The law in Indiana is pretty well-settled for a number of years that subdivision control ordinances must provide ‘concrete standards’ to ‘give fair warning as to what local plan commissions would consider when reviewing a primary plat."

The two classic cases used over and over by real estate attorneys that do this particular work are Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission v. Sheffield Developers, Inc. and Brant v. Custom Design Constructers Corp.

“Once the standards have been met,” – And those standards must be listed or set forth specifically in the Subdivision Control Ordinance or within the framework of the Zoning Ordinance as amended or added onto by the zoning committal – “the approval of a primary plat is a ministerial act and the plan commission must grant primary approval to the proposed plat.”

Again, referring to Tippecanoe and the case that started it all in the Town of Dyer called State ex rel. Seberger, which was Ray Seberger in, I think, 1955 or thereabouts.

Returning to a second and third issue back to this revisiting question. While I already stated that you lost jurisdiction to do anything for what you've already done, the Town or the Plan Commission could initiate, within 24 hours, if you chose to do it, a new zoning petition which would require a public hearing. But 36-7-4-1109 of the Indiana Code specifically grants a three-year window for a person who files a proper application, which is now standing before this commission, what the ground rules were, for lack of a better term, at the time that process started, are the ground rules that are allocable to him for the following three-year period. You could, in theory, rezone it, if the Town Council or Plan Commission would initiate, or 50 percent of the landowners would initiate, but whatever you do has no impact upon the developer who has already filed an application. His rules are frozen as of the date that he filed his application. Those are the rules he must comply with. In short:

“Walden Clearing, having secured a re-zoning of the real estate, and having filed an application for primary approval, of a subdivision plat, is ‘locked’ into the subdivision standards, zoning, and development criteria in place and effect at the time it filed its application for primary approval for a term of three years after the date of its application.

Based upon the foregoing, it's our opinion that given the circumstances applicable to Walden Clearing, neither the Plan Commission nor the Town Council may ‘revisit’ or ‘reconsider’ a zoning change directed to the real estate underlying the Walden Clearing project within three (3) years of the date it applied for primary approval or, if they do so, process a formal petition for and rezone, it would not apply to the pending application for that same term. Finally, if the primary plat documentation submitted to the Plan Commission, meets the ‘concrete standards’ of the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance, coupled with the zoning ordinance as modified by the zoning commitment, the Plan Commission must, as a ministerial act, approve the plat.”

That is our opinion.

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

Mr. Panczuk asked, for public record, the drawing was misleading – whether it was intentional or not – we were under the impression that it was different, would you, the petitioner, in good faith, consider revising the plan on your own? Mr. Recktenwall stated they've had discussions internally about how to handle the situation. Unfortunately, the commitments that they made are for the plan that has been presented to the board. They can add additional landscaping; but as far as dropping lots or reconfiguring the layout, they can't do that based on the current zoning commitments they have in place.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions. Hearing none, he reopened Public Hearing which was left open from the previous meeting.

George Paulauski (9074 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): I have the whole north side of this drawing and this proposed thing. I'm hearing certain things that there's actually nothing for me to say, that apparently it's a done deal. But let me say this: St. John, right behind you, established 1837. I heard the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Considering equal justice and liberty for all.

Now, the question is are we going to talk about standards that are selective? Are we going to talk about the standards that have been established by the contractor, you know, the developer? Are we going to talk about standards that we look at this drawing and we say – actually I had a few minutes to speak with the gentlemen here; and apparently he feels this is a done deal already, so it doesn't really make any difference what I have to say. But I could be wrong. I could have been – misinterpreted what that conversation was. I even threw it back to him. I said buy my property. Not interested. We wouldn't have this discussion.

But the question comes in. He says that the berms and the big problems with berms – the berms on 93rd and Cline are mandatory. But discussions were started with the property owners on the west side last February. I'm on the north side. I have all ten acres from top to bottom, and I've never been notified. I've never had a discussion. I've never had a phone call. And my phone and everything else is public record.

That's one person, all ten acres across. The other people, we can count the number of lots. And I don't know how much input, but they're going to get a berm because he's volunteered it. My question is, why am I not getting a berm? It's been suggested well you can just have some, um, landscaping and we’ll separate you out.

Is that proper? Are we all being treated equally? Are we being treated selectively, or is it “discriminary” process, which is a bad word because it's a lot of bad connotations. And I apologize for that word because of that. I don't even know of any other word to use when there's some selective things being done because it's only one person having the say so verses a number of people that have had input in something as big as this.

I also understand that there's not a lot that has to be tweaked in order to correct this situation. Okay. Um, I don't know. I'm not sure. Mr. Olthof and his – and his company have a reputation, and they've done a lot of hard work as many others have done here. I'm not objecting to that. What I'm asking is I want to be treated as equally as everyone else. And that's where it comes in with the technicalities of if you have any say so, if you don't have any say so, when it was established, and how it was established, and who gets away with what. It's true.

I do not know those minor little things that are the catch in – in the fishnet that stops everything. But what I'm asking you is, if you look in the mirror in the morning and you see yourself and the question comes back, am I doing the right thing? Only each one of you know that answer. That's like mom sitting there and saying, “Son, have you been good? Have you done the right thing?” That's what I'm asking, for the right thing. It's all up to each one of you.

Mr. Volk asked him if he is saying he never got notification as an adjoining property owner.

I have not gotten anything. Yesterday was the first time I got a – a note in my mailbox cause I've been out of town. And I've been sick. And even since last February I got no note on my door. I got no phone call. I got – I have nothing.

Mr. Volk stated he should have gotten a certified mailing.

I hadn't not received anything. I don't know if it was sent out because he actually said – he said, you know what, maybe it fell through the cracks. Maybe it didn't. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But I know on my west side when they did the, um, the other subdivision, there's a berm back there. And actually I have – I put my own berm in my front side in on Cline, okay. So I do have some trees on the – 93rd side that are growing. But the process, you know, I don't know.

Mr. Birlson asked if the house shown on the screen is his.

Yes, sir.

Mr. Birlson asked if the developer or Town mails out the certified mail. Mr. Eberly stated it is the developer.

I have – I have that whole bottom section all the way across there, that north side. So do I count as one person, or do I count as more than 50 percent on the property line?

Mr. Forbes stated that he was notified. There is a record of him being notified of the Public Hearing.

I wasn't here. I've never been here.

Mr. Eberly stated he was mailed the letter on February 20th of this year.

Who signed for it? Who signed for it?

Mr. Muenich stated we don't know if anyone signed for it. The statute only requires that it be mailed to you.

I didn't get it.

Mr. Muenich stated he's not disputing that.

Is that certified mail?

Mr. Muenich stated it was and showed him the receipt stamped by the post office.

And it was returned?

Mr. Muenich stated we don't know and can't answer that question.

I was not served. If you don't have a signature from me, I was not served.

Mr. Muenich stated that's not the issue. The issue is whether or not it was mailed to you.

I never got anything.

Mr. Forbes stated the fact is that the developer did mail it to you, and we have record that it was mailed to you.

What is the statute – excuse me, the statute calls for what? I can mail out anything to anybody, and I – I meet the standards of everything regardless if it never gets there?

Mr. Forbes stated if you are within 300 feet of the development, the developer has to send you a letter notifying you of a Public Hearing. You were sent that letter. That's what we know.

That's interesting. So anybody can throw anything in the US Mail, and you call that certification, a certifying process that I've been – I’ve been advised. That's an interesting thing.

Mr. Forbes stated we don't make that rule.

I know you don't. I – I’m just saying I mean, it’s like – yet I never received it, and there's no signature. Doesn't it call for certified mail?

Mr. Eberly stated it does.

Then if there's no signature – certified mail has to come back signed.

Mr. Muenich stated it doesn't have to be signed for by you, it only has to be mailed to you. This is a certified green card receipt from the United States Post Office in Crown Point that says you were mailed the notice. Now, whether you signed for it or not is not relevant to the statute. The statute and the rules only require that it be mailed to you.

And you've never – you’ve gotten every single piece of mail that's ever been mailed to you?

Mr. Muenich stated he probably has not. The Town has to comply with the statute. The developer has to comply with the statute. That's the only requirement. Based upon this receipt, the developer’s met the requirements of both the Plan Commission rules and regulations and the State statute. He mailed you the notice.

And the post office delivered it?

Mr. Muenich stated he cannot answer that.

That's my point. You've answered my question.

Mr. Volk asked if he has the receipts for the Public Hearing for the zoning. Mr. Kozel and Mr. Eberly stated the receipt shown was for the rezoning.

Even aside from that fact –

Mr. Volk stated there was another one for this plat. There were two mailings.

And aside from that fact, if there was personal communication with everyone else on the west side, why wasn't there any personal communication input on for me? If they went as far as they're going to go?

Mr. Forbes asked him if he'd said he had been out of town or in the hospital.

No, no, that was just recently. Since last February.

Mr. Volk stated they don't have to make personal contact with anyone.

Oh, I – I – I realize that. But do you think that's selective?

Mr. Forbes as much as they reached out to the public, they would have tried to reach out to him as well.

He didn't know. I asked him.

Mr. Eberly stated they have the copies of the receipts for the mailings for the plat notification and that was mailed as to Mr. Paulauski as well.

Mr. Volk asked him what his basic concern is.

The buffer, right just like they're getting on the west side. Just equal treatment, that's all. Not selective, not discriminatory. Just the same thing that was offered the other ones. No more, no less. Just equal.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Recktenwall if he would do that. Mr. Recktenwall stated they'd be willing to have a discussion with him.

Mr. Forbes stated they will have to review the drainage. If a berm is put in, it's going to affect the drainage. Mr. Recktenwall stated it will drain from his property into their pond. Mr. Forbes said if you put in a berm, it would block the drainage. Mr. Recktenwall stated they wouldn’t offer a berm; they offered landscaping. Mr. Volk stated they are not really doing a build-up berm anywhere; they're just landscaping.

So there's no elevation changes on the west side at all?

Mr. Recktenwall stated there's landscaping. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Paulauski if he planted arborvitaes on his property.

Yeah, they’re – they’re about 10 feet or so from – from the, um, from the line. And those – those trees, those are just a bunch of wild bushes that have gone kind of crazy. So, like I said, I'm only asking for equal treatment.

Mr. Volk stated they are only really putting in vegetative buffer not a berm.

Someone in the audience asked if there is a berm on Cline Avenue.

Well, that's a good question. Is – is there a berm here on Cline and on 93rd?

Mr. Forbes stated it is just landscaping. Mr. Recktenwall stated there is berming on the south and north side of 93rd.

And – and on north side, is there an easement or something? Where, where are the utilities and stuff going to be running? From the property line, is it – is it going to be on the property line?

Mr. Recktenwall stated there are utility easements on the backside of their lots. Mr. Eberly directed Mr. Paulauski's attention to the screen and showed him the location of the easements and explained them to him in relation to the proximity of his property.

Correct, yeah. And gentlemen, again, I put it on your plate, and all I can do is ask for equal treatment. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Dan Simanek (9005 Morse Street, Crown Point): It's unincorporated Crown Point, and my property is adjacent to other property that's annexed by St. John. My concern is your Zoning Ordinance for R-2 states a lot area not less than 15,000 square feet and a lot width of not less than 100 feet at the building line shall be provided for every building. Rear yard depth should not be less than 40 feet.

A buffer is the area of development which abuts the perimeter of the development and which is designed specifically to provide a buffer and a visual – visual screen adjacent to land. Buffer zones play an important part of any planned community to add enjoyment and eliminate potential problems with adjacent properties.

Fifteen feet off the back of a 40 foot lot leaves 25 feet of rear yard. A 13,500-foot lot size that is not R-2. So if he's putting on this buffer, he's taking away the rear yard of these people that are buying these houses. I don't think that's right. I'm asking that the board deny the – this plan based on St. John's ordinances that you should abide by. This – these are you're ordinances. It's not a 15,000-foot lot. (Multiple members on the board stated it is and that they all are.) Yeah, they all are; and then you take away 15 feet off of there.

Mr. Forbes asked what the difference is in a subdivision with existing trees, when we approve a 15,000-square-foot lot and the developer leave the trees in the back.

The trees that are left there are the ones that are on the other people's lots.

Mr. Forbes stated that Town has approved subdivisions where the backyard is full of trees, and it is still a 15,000-square-foot lot. The trees on that lot belong to the people. In this instance, they belong to the homeowners’ association for maintenance.

So the people that buy these lots are going to be paying taxes on 15,000 square feet?

Multiple members of the board stated they still get 15,000 square feet.

Yeah. They're going to pay – no they don't. The homeowners have to maintain that property, who's paying for that?

Mr. Forbes stated they maintain the trees.

Who's paying for that?

Mr. Forbes stated the HOA.

The homeowners.

Mr. Forbes homeowners’ association.

Plus the – plus their taxes on a 15,000 square-foot lot.

Mr. Forbes which is still a 15,000 square-foot lot.

It's not.

Mr. Forbes stated it is. Mr. Kozel concurred.

So the people that are behind those lots – the lots that these new people move into are going to be 15 feet closer to the houses behind them.

Multiple members asked, “What?”

You know, you are going to have a 25-foot lot now in the back. Your back lot is only going to be 25 feet.

Multiple members stated there's 40 feet simultaneously. Mr. Eberly stated there is a minimum 40-foot rear yard setback. That doesn't mean the structure is being built to that line.

So the rear property line is going to be – if – if you're putting 15 feet onto that back – that back lot, the house is going to be closer.

Mr. Kozel stated that is only going to be landscaping there.

Mr. Eberly directed the gentlemen's attention to the screen and explained the lot easements.

But that's okay. That’s an easement though.

The board responded that the landscape buffer is also an easement.

Mr. Birlson stated that they own the lot and the landscape easement. Mr. Forbes added they own the trees. Mr. Kil stated it is a right of entry. Mr. Eberly explained the easement doesn't reduce the size of the lot. The lot is still the same square footage.

It's an easement though. Right. This is a buffer.

Mr. Eberly stated it is a landscape easement.

It's called a buffer in their – in their plan. It's called a buffer.

Mr. Eberly stated the buffer is in an easement. Looking at the plat on the screen, there is a 25 foot landscape easement, within that is a 10 foot utility and drainage easement.

So 15 feet of that 25 foot that you're talking about is on the 15,000 square-foot lot?

Mr. Eberly answered in the affirmative.

The 10 foot easement is not.

Mr. Eberly stated it is.

So now you're down to 25 – 25 feet off of there.

Mr. Eberly stated there is a 25-foot total easement in the backs of some of the lots. Others have 10-foot easements or 15-foot easements. The properties along Cline Avenue have a 25-foot easement.

So if somebody puts a deck in the back of their yard –

Mr. Eberly stated the deck has to be at least 40 feet off of the rear property line, so it can't be in that easement.

You have a 40 yard – 40 foot backyard.

Mr. Eberly clarified 40-foot rear yard setback requirement.

Yeah. I just think that you're doing a disservice to the people that are buying these houses by having them pay for a homeowner's fee to maintain that, and you're cutting down the actual size of their yard. That's my opinion.

Patty Byars (9111 Cline Avenue, Crown Point): I have a question. Would you repeat how many square feet R-2 is?

Mr. Eberly stated it is at least 15,000.

At least 15,000. Would you please look at the plan that they gave me and repeat to me what the measurement is on Lot 1.

Mr. Eberly responded that Lot 1 has been revised and meets the Town’s standard.

Well, the plan that was submitted when I was at the last meeting showed 14,998 square feet.

Mr. Eberly stated that it did but that the error has been corrected.

Did they submit a new one to you tonight?

Mr. Eberly stated they submitted a new one previously.

Previously when?

Mr. Eberly stated he doesn't know the date, approximately a month ago.

Couldn't have been a month ago.

Mr. Eberly stated it was a while ago.

It had to be after I wrote the letter to you. Mr. Greg – I'm sorry. Mr. Volk, would you please read the letter that I wrote to the Commission.

Mr. Volk stated he would, but he is waiting. Mr. Eberly showed Lot 1 on the screen and stated that it is now 15,015 square feet.

But that wasn't submitted at the last – at the Study Session, that was not the one that was submitted.

Mr. Eberly stated this is the plat that they are presenting for the Public Hearing, and Lot 1 is compliant.

So they revised it.

Mr. Eberly stated that they have revised it.

When?

Mr. Forbes stated it complies. Mr. Eberly stated a few weeks ago, he does not recall the exact date; however, he had seen the same mistake and informed them that it needed to be corrected.

Greg.

Mr. Volk read Mrs. Byars’ letter:

“I'd like to apologize again for speaking out at the Study Session, Wednesday, June 20th, when the representatives of Olthof Homes stated that they had tried to speak with the residents on Cline Avenue and got no response. I knew that that wasn't a true statement. I'm enclosing a letter that I received from Todd Olthof on Monday, June, 11th. And when I faxed Mr. Olthof on June 12th, also the letter that I received on May 18th from Olthof homes.

Please do not allow this developer to say he is following the R-2 zoning of 15,000 square feet per lot. Mr. Olthof came to my house on Thursday, May 31st, to review the buffer again. When he showed me a paper with lots on it and no measurements, I asked him again to show me a plan with lot sizes on it. Why? Because I had requested it each time he came to my house to speak about this subdivision.

I could not see how he could put a street, sidewalk, and buffer in the space he was showing on a plan, on the plan he was showing me. He stated that there was a 30-foot easement from the street to the property line of the lots and that there was plenty of room to put those items. This was the perfect time for him to explain to me that he was taking 15 feet off the lots to put the buffer on.

Had I known he planned to change the lot size smaller than R-2 zoning requires, I would never have spoke in favor of the R-2 zoning. I cannot understand why any person would buy a lot sized at 15,000 square feet, pay taxes on it, and allow the developer to keep 1500 feet of the property for its own use. Thank you for your time reading this.”

Mr. Volk stated that she had enclosed two letters; one from Todd said that he had tried to make contact with her and that he'd like to speak to her. Mr. Volk asked Mrs. Byars if she wanted him to read her response letter, and she responded, “It’s late.” Mr. Volk stated she had suggested he remove some lots and put the 15-foot buffer in.

As he promised; because every meeting that I came to, he stated there would be a buffer. Never once did he ever reveal to you or to the Counsel that it would be put on the property that these people would be buying. And if I understand right, the property line now on the west side will butt up to the people in Sierra Pointe. And I envisioned a – a buffer similar to what Tiburon has with the space out front where there would be some space.

I – I just couldn't understand how he could put – there's got to be a road going in. There's got to be the, um, sidewalks got to go in there. And the way the plan looks, it – it just does not meet what I envisioned for what he showed when he talked to the Council as well as you gentlemen here. I truly think that you need to, either, defer it again and let them make a decision, or whatever. But it – it is not what the Town of St. John has been providing to the public in the past. Thank you.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): Um, I'm a bit remiss. Paul Panczuk, you made a comment. I was here for one of the meetings, and you brought up this whole issue about the buffer. And while I don't really want to go into that, I want to thank you for bringing up the issue because it showed some initiative and it showed a questioning of what was happening. For that, I'm grateful.

I'm also grateful that two others tonight voted on another issue. Um, this issue on Walden Clearing, you thought you had all the information. On the issue of earlier this afternoon, there was a lot of unanswered questions, and you did a rezoning. I believe, and it's getting late so I'm not sure what happened, but I think our attorney friend said things didn't go the way you thought they would. And sort of got slapped on the wrist for a motion that you should have caught that you didn't. And that's okay, because that's the kind of mistake I would make. But you perpetuated that this afternoon, at least four of you, because you voted for a rezoning for which you don't have all the information.

Mr. Forbes stated we are discussing Walden Clearing, and to please stay on topic.

I've made my point.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): Yeah. It's past midnight. I don't think you can vote on this because your notice said that this was going to be done yesterday. To sit here and – and drag this out into the next day, past midnight, I think that violates your notice; and I think you got to have another Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

A brief discussion ensued regarding what can be done for the property owner to the north wherein Mr. Recktenwall agreed to meet with the owner.

Mr. Kozel asked if a waiver was still needed for the curbs. Mr. Kraus stated they offered a plan with curbs on Cline and 93rd Avenues with strategically placed depressions in the curb to allow storm water to get into the roadside swales.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they offered two sets of engineering plans, with curbs and without curbs, and are willing to do either one.

Mr. Kil stated if the Plan Commission makes him put in the curbs, the Town will just have to rip them out. Mr. Forbes stated it would be a waste of the Town's time and money if the curbs are put it when they go to make the improvements.

Mr. Kozel stated they should curb it up to the road from the subdivision. Mr. Recktenwall stated they show curbs up to the accel/decel lanes.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Recktenwall if he'd like the board to act on the waiver for the curbs. Mr. Recktenwall responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to waive the curbs. Motion to waive the curbs on 93rd and Cline Avenues by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 5 ayes to 2 nays.

Mr. Panczuk stated for the record that he voted nay because he doesn't know the timeframe when the improvements will be made.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding the primary plat. Motion to grant Walden Clearing Primary Plat approval for the 90-lot subdivision on 93rd and Cline Avenues referencing the findings of fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy.

Vote by roll call:

Mr. Birlson - aye
Mr. Flores - aye
Mr. Kennedy - aye
Mr. Kozel - aye
Mr. Panczuk - aye
Mr. Volk - aye
Mr. Forbes - aye

Motion carries.

(A brief recess was had at which time Mr. Volk left the meeting.)

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

E. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 4H – Secondary Plat Approval – (John Lotton/Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 4H for Secondary Plat approval for five lots for the single-family attached cottage home portion of The Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. The subdivision project includes 5 residential lots on 5.042 acres containing 20 units and associated facilities. The plat is satisfactory; the Developmental Fee is $2,717.69. Public improvements have not been installed. An Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $122,743.13 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $145,060.07 needs to be submitted to the Town to ensure installation of public improvements.

Mr. Torrenga with Torrenga Engineering is present representing BLB St. John, LLC, which is Lotton Development. Mr. Torrenga stated this is the final phase of Unit 4. The engineering on the Final Plat has been approved. It is five lots with a total of twenty units.

Mr. Eberly stated he had spoken with John Lotton. He is out of the country and forgot to leave checks behind to pay the fees and requested that the approval, if granted, be subject to the payment of the Developmental Fee and withholding signatures until the improvements are installed.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John Unit 4H withholding signatures until receipt of the Developmental Fee and the installation of public improvements.

Motion for Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

F. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNIT 7C – Secondary Plat Approval – (John Lotton/Don Torrenga)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Unit 7C for Secondary Plat approval for this 8-lot phase of Pod 7C which is a single-family detached portion of The Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. The subdivision project includes 8 residential lots on 4.020 acres. The plat is satisfactory and the Developmental Fee is $1,789.78. Public improvements have been installed. No Irrevocable Letter of Credit or Surety Bond is required. The As Built drawings have not been submitted yet.

Mr. Torrenga stated Unit 7C is 8 lots on West 105th Avenue. Mr. Torrenga stated that 105th Avenue has been installed.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John Unit 7C withholding signatures until receipt of the Developmental Fee.

Motion for Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

G. NORTH POINT UNIT 5 – Release of Performance Bond/Acceptance of Maintenance Warranty
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is a release of performance bond and acceptance of a maintenance warranty for North Point.

Mr. Forbes read the letter from Jeff Yatsko of Olthof Homes. They are requesting that Performance Bond 1155578, covering curb ramps and street lights in Phase 5 be released and with the installation of the same that the infrastructure be placed in the maintenance warranty for a period of two years.

Mr. Kraus stated he has checked with Public Works. Everything is in order.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to release the performance bond and accept the maintenance warranty.

Motion for the release of the performance bond and the acceptance of the maintenance warranty by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

H. MEADOW GATE 11B – Release of Performance Bond/Acceptance of Maintenance Warranty
Mr. Forbes advised the next item is a release of performance bond and acceptance of a maintenance warranty for Meadow Gate 11B.

Mr. Forbes read the letter from Jeff Yatsko of Olthof Homes. They are requesting that Performance Bond 1147180, covering roads, curbs, street lights, and traffic signs in Unit 11B be released and with the installation of the same that the infrastructure be placed in the maintenance warranty for a period of two years.

Mr. Kraus stated everything is in order.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to release the performance bond and accept the maintenance warranty.

Motion for the release of the performance bond and the acceptance of the maintenance warranty by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

I. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN UNITS 11C and 12B -- Secondary Plat Approval – (Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John, Units 11C and 12B; Olthof Homes is seeking Secondary Plat approval of these single-family detached lots.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. The subdivision project includes 39 R-2 lots, two outlots, and associated facilities. The plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $9,277.72. Since the June 18, 2018 review letter was written, more public improvements have been constructed. An Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $43,725.00 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $51,675.00 to cover the cost of infrastructure not yet installed should be submitted to the Town.

Mr. Eberly advised the fee has been paid and the Surety Bond in the amount of $51,675.00 has been tendered.

Mr. Yatsko stated there are three owners that signed the plat. Olthof has all of the residential lots. John Lotton’s firm, BLB, owns the outlots. And the Town of St. John owns the park.

Mr. Eberly advised the plats are here for signature.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat for The Gates of St. John Units 11C and 12B.

Motion for Secondary Plat approval by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

J. 2018-0012 CCDM – Site Plan Approval for Proposed Dental Manufacturing Facility at 10007 Ravenwood Drive – (Joel Sivak)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is 2018-0012, CCDM; Joel Sivak, the petitioner, is seeking Site Plan approval of his proposed dental manufacturing facility at 10007 Ravenwood Drive.

Mr. Eberly advised the petitioner will be asking for a contingent Site Plan approval. The engineering is not quite done; however, Mr. Kraus has conferred with Loretta at Torrenga Engineering and expects that in two weeks. Mr. Eberly further advised it is a simple engineering design, but Mr. Kraus doesn’t have the numbers to give his recommendation. The landscape and lighting plans submitted are compliant. So if a motion is made, it will need to be contingent upon receipt of and approval of the engineering plan.

Mr. Forbes stated he has no issue with that.

Mr. Kennedy asked why he has the large truck-bay doors if he will not be having any large trucks delivering goods. Mr. Sivak responded that the truck-bay doors will be for storage and potential future use or rental.

Mr. Sivak stated they received the construction design release that day.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to approve Site Plan contingent upon Mr. Kraus’ review of the engineering.

Motion to approve 2018-0012 CCDM’s Site Plan for a dental manufacturing facility at 10007 Ravenwood Drive by petitioner Joel Sivak contingent upon Mr. Kraus’ satisfactory review of the engineering. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Public Comment.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone who wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Second by Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 12:41 a.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

07-18-2018 Plan Commission

July 18, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Gregory Volk, Secretary Paul Panczuk  
Steve Kozel    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on July 18, 2018 at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following Commissioners present: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director, Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent: Steve Flores, Paul Panczuk, and Greg Volk.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. SHOPS 96 – Continued Discussion – Proposed Commercial PUD at US 41 and 96th Avenue – (Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is the Shops 96, a continued discussion relative to the proposed Commercial PUD at US 41 and 96th Avenue.

Mr. Boyer of Boyer Properties stated he is present with Doug Rettig of DVG and they are here to start the discussion on their subdivision plat approval. He provided a very preliminary drawing showing the various lots, the right-of-way for the 96th Place extension, and some of the access easements around Lots 3 and 4.

Mr. Boyer stated they are gathering information and working with Mr. Kraus, coordinating their work along with The Town’s work, and will keep the board updated regularly at meetings.

Mr. Forbes requested any questions or comments from the board.

Mr. Kozel asked what the order of the project is. Mr. Boyer stated the plans are to construct Lot 5, Lot 2, and Outlot 1 initially. The rest will follow almost immediately, except Lots 3 and 4 which are being held back a bit. Mr. Boyer further stated Outlots 2 and 3 will probably go at the same time, as well as Lot 1.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is a possibility to move the buildings closer to US 41 and do more parking in the rear. Mr. Boyer advised they will be following the layout of their Development Plan as submitted with the zoning, but there may be some possibilities to do that.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Overlay District has conflicts. It states the buildings should be moved to the front; however, if the building is along US 41, there has to be a 60-foot setback. Therefore, Outlots 1, 2, and 3 would be required to follow that 60-foot setback, which is reflected in the Development Plan. Mr. Boyer stated as they develop the project, they will be bringing the individual lot plans in for the board’s review.

Mr. Eberly conveyed concerns on Mr. Panczuk’s behalf as he could not be present at the meeting: Mr. Panczuk is concerned the stub, as shown, is stubbed into the Thiel property as opposed to the commercial property, and if the stub isn’t stubbed to the property it’s intended to serve, then, perhaps, such a connection could be made on Lot 2. Mr. Eberly stated if that stub is already part of the right-of-way, it is moot.

Mr. Boyer stated they will defer to Mr. Kraus’ design of 96th as well as Denny Cobb’s opinion from the traffic flow through that area and added that they were asked to show it that way.

Mr. Kozel asked if The Town is responsible for connecting the road. Mr. Eberly confirmed 96th is The Town’s responsibility. Mr. Forbes stated that the stub isn’t The Town’s responsibility.

Mr. Forbes asked for any update regarding the detention pond-wetlands matter discussed at the previous meeting. Mr. Boyer stated that they received a response on Monday from Stacey Brown, Project Manager of the Regulatory Branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Chicago District Office, and read the following into the record:

“I reviewed your Wetland Delineation Report, dated June 27, 2018, and visited the 23-acre project site located near Wicker Avenue and Standard Drive in St. John, Indiana, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. The Chicago District agrees with your conclusions of your report and finds the excavated channels and basin on site to be exempt features as they are utilized for storm-water management and drainage without connecting to jurisdictional waters of the United States.”

Mr. Boyer stated the outcome is what he expected it to be and that a copy of the letter was tendered to Mr. Eberly. Mr. Birlson asked if that is confirmation that the property is not wetlands. Mr. Boyer stated that is correct, it is not a wetland. Mr. Forbes stated it was a detention pond that was dug by the Buchanans, was not maintained properly, and is overgrown with weeds.

Mr. Birlson asked if 96th Place will be a dedicated right-of-way. Mr. Boyer stated that they are donating it to The Town. Mr. Birlson stated he is concerned about the route of the connection and asked how the project would connect to Joliet Street if the Thiel property is not acquired. Mr. Boyer stated a connection to Joliet is not predicated to their project. They were asked to extend it through the property for a future connection to Joliet. He further stated that, according to Mr. Cobb and discussions with the staff, the connection to Joliet cannot be made from their property because it is too close to the railroad tracks.

Mr. Forbes advised they have at least two entrances and exits, which is all that is required.

Mr. Birlson asked if the staff for St. John is concerned about the curb cuts from the parking lots onto 96th Place. Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Cobb had taken the curb cuts into account.

Mr. Birlson asked if Earl Drive could be pulled to the east, towards the center of the area to the north of Mr. Boyer’s development. Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Cobb has researched it extensively, and moving things around would have a major effect on everything else. Mr. Boyer stated the present plan has evolved through numerous variations over the span of three years.

Mr. Rettig asked if the street is 96th Place or 96th Avenue. Mr. Eberly stated it is “Place” on the west side of US 41. Mr. Rettig stated that the GIS map shows it as “Avenue” to the west. Mr. Eberly pulled the street sign up on Google Earth, and it shows the street as 96th Place.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments, and none were had.

Mr. Boyer thanked the board.

B. MILL CREEK UNIT 5 – Secondary Plat Action – (Ed Recktenwall – Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Mill Creek Unit 5 regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that in two weeks, they will be requesting approval for the Secondary Plat for Mill Creek Phase 5 which has 20 single-family lots and 13 paired-cottage lots. All water, sanitary, and storm improvements in. They anticipate that the roads will be paved by the end of the week.

Mr. Recktenwall further stated that construction costs and the Secondary Plat have been submitted to Mr. Kraus. Mr. Kraus advised he is waiting to hear back from Public Works to see what is left to be done in order to do a Letter of Credit or Surety Bond amount, and he does have the information to calculate the developer’s fee.

Mr. Forbes requested any questions or comments from the board.

Mr. Kozel asked if this phase will make the connection to Parrish. Mr. Recktenwall stated that connection is part of the next phase.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any changes. Mr. Recktenwall stated there are no changes.

Mr. Kraus stated he looked at the plat and it’s ready to go. The money issues are the only matters that still need to be dealt with.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments, and none were had.

Mr. Recktenwall thanked the board.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:23 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

08-01-2018 Plan Commission

August 1, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Gregory Volk, Secretary Steve Kozel Paul Panczuk

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on August 1, 2018, 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: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes.

Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director; and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Absent: Gregory Volk

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda are the minutes for the July 11, 2018, Regular meeting, and the July 18, 2018 Study Session meeting and asked for questions or discussion on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

None to be had.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. MILL CREEK UNIT 5 – SECONDARY PLAT ACTION – (Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Mill Creek Unit 5 for Secondary Plat action. The petitioner is Olthof Homes, and they are seeking Secondary Plat approval for Unit 5, which contains 20 single-family lots and 13 duplexes.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall with Olthof homes is here for the platting of Phase 5 of Mill Creek. There are 20 single-family homes and 13 duplexes. All the plats have been reviewed. The bonds and Development Fee are paid. All the roads, curbs, and sanitary-sewer are installed. Street lights, stop signs, and sidewalks still need to be installed.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ letter. The subdivision includes 20 R-2 lots, 13 R-3 lots, 1 outlot and associated facilities. The plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $10,688.63, which has been paid. Some of the public improvements have not been installed.

Mr. Kraus advised that the petitioner submitted a bond in lieu of a Letter of Credit. Mr. Forbes stated that a bond in the amount of $25,447.50 has been submitted to the Town.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to grant Mill Creek Unit 5 Secondary Plat approval for Olthof Homes by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the bond in the amount of $25,447.50.

Motion by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

B. 2017-0005 SHOPS 96 PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE FOR PUBLIC HEARING FOR PRIMARY PLAT ACTION
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Shops 96 permission to advertise for Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat action of the 21 acres on the east side of US 41 at 96th Avenue. The petitioner is Bruce Boyer.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Motion to grant permission to advertise for Public Hearing by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay.

C. REQUEST THAT PLAN COMMISSION APPOINT STEVE KOZEL AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is a request that the Plan Commission appoint Steve Kozel as Executive Secretary.

Mr. Forbes stated the change is being requested simply due to the fact that Mr. Kozel is available on a daily basis to sign Plan Commission documents and plats that have received approvals at various meetings.

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Volk is amenable to the change. Mr. Eberly stated he spoke with Mr. Volk before proposing to put it on the agenda, and Mr. Volk told Mr. Eberly he was fine with it. Mr. Eberly added that Mr. Kozel has served in the capacity of Executive Secretary for approximately five years.

(Mr. Boyer arrived, and Mr. Forbes informed him that his Public Hearing was approved prior to his arrival.)

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to appoint Mr. Kozel as Secretary. Mr. Kennedy asked if Greg Volk must be removed first and then appoint Mr. Kozel or if it could be done in one motion. Mr. Forbes stated it could be done in one motion.

Motion to remove Greg Volk as Secretary and appoint Steve Kozel as Secretary for the Plan Commission 2018 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item is Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Two points of issue. Number one, um, it would be helpful if we could see, um, agendas prior to a couple hours before the meeting. If we could get ‘em out a couple of days ahead of time, that would be very helpful. Um, I didn’t see this agenda, didn’t actually – I didn’t even see it till – till I found out when I got here tonight that it was even out, so. I checked the website yesterday. I checked the website this morning, and it wasn’t there posted at all, so.

Um, number two would be the, um, permission to advertise for public hearing. Um, I – I – I -- I’m concerned that you would approve permission unless all of the 13 stipulations for the rezoning had been taken care of, cause the next step was gonna be primary plat. So I’m wondering if all of those, um, concerns and issues have been taken care of, or is that something that we’re gonna have to battle at the next meeting? That’s my comment. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I find it amazing that when the petitioner for the Shops was not here that Mr. Forbes took it upon himself and his little committee to approve this when the petitioner wasn’t here to petition. I have never seen this ever happen before. Normally the petitioner comes up and – and says what he’s got to say. So, to me, that just doesn’t seem proper.

Um, the other thing is I think Mr. Forbes should abstain from all this stuff on the Shops. Um, the homeowners who are going to be losing some of their land, uh, they formed a political action committee. And they had their signs stolen in the 2015 election. And Mr. Forbes was present when Mr. Kil took those signs. His car pulled up next to Mr. Kil. They talked and then Mr. Kil went and took some more signs. So I think that – that it raises a conflict of interest here, uh, the way this is being handled; and I think Mr. Forbes should abstain from everything to do with this project. And, uh, those are my comments.

The other thing is we have Detective Flores here. I think you should look into the connection between Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil and taking those signs of those people who are going to lose their land over this project. You’re on this Plan Commission. To me, I think we gotta clear the air to see if this is – if you were connected. And for that reason, I’d like you to investigate this as a policeman and a Plan Commission member to determine what really happened here in suppressing the rights of the people who are gonna lose their land. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who did not sign that wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

Mr. Eberly addressed Mr. Swets’ comment regarding the agenda: Mr. Eberly had made the agenda available to be posted on the website last week. It has been posted on the door to the meeting room for the last week.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Eberly for explaining that. Mr. Forbes stated he knew it had been properly posted, and that is why he did not question or respond.

Mr. Forbes addressed Mr. Hero’s comment about moving forward with a request to advertise for a public hearing when the petitioner was not here and explained that type of action has happened on multiple occasions over the past few years.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Second by Flores. Motion carries 6 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

08-15-2018 Plan Commission

August 15, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on August 15, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director.

Absent: John Kennedy; Greg Volk; and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. OLTHOF HOMES – Proposed R-1 Development on 58 Acres on the South Side of 109th Avenue between Calumet and White Oak Avenues.
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Olthof Homes regarding a proposed R-1 development on 58 acres on the south side of 109th Avenue, between Calumet and White Oak Avenue. This project consists of roughly 70 single-family lots.

Mr. Ed Recktenwall stated that last year they annexed a couple of parcels into the Town of St. John. This project is one of those parcels that were annexed. They are located directly south of their Silverleaf project and west of Cornerstone Church on 109th Avenue.

Mr. Recktenwall stated it isn’t quite 58 acres; rather, it is 53 to 54 acres. They are proposing an R-1 zoned residential subdivision with 71 lots on it at this time. When they get into more detailed site planning, that count may drop or go up depending on the engineering.

Some of the features they are proposing are open space along the entrance on 109th Avenue for landscaping and an entrance monument; a landscape buffer along the edge by the church in a 25-foot common lot, which they committed to the church to do; a common area to provide landscaping against an existing residential parcel on the west edge, which will interconnect with a detention facility on the southwest corner.

They are proposing two detention facilities: One on the west side and one on the south side, which will be wrapped around an existing wetland that will be delineated. They are providing interconnectivity between the surrounding parcels. There are three connections: One in the northeast corner connecting east, one to the south, and one to the west.

They are sticking to the 20,000 lot square footage; however, not all lots will be 200 feet in depth, particularly around the cul-de-sac area. They have instructed their engineer to stick with a minimum of a 150-foot lot depth.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they have had the site’s wetland determination done and are working on a finalized delineation. The wetlands that are shown are the boundaries that were already picked up.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they have walking trails around the ponds. Tonight, they are looking for any feedback. They would like the ability to request their Public Hearing for the Primary Plat in a couple of weeks, if possible.

Mr. Kozel asked if there will be any bike trails. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they are not proposing a paved bike trail, but they will have aggregate line trails around the western detention facility.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they will be requesting a waiver for perimeter curbs on 109th Avenue. Mr. Eberly asked if they are planning an accel/decel lane. Mr. Recktenwall responded there will be an accel/decel lane per the Town standard. Mr. Kozel asked if those will be curbed. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they will curb those.

Mr. Birlson asked if there will be turn lanes. Mr. Recktenwall stated that there are no turn lanes proposed at this time. Mr. Birlson responded that it is a very busy street, and he would like to see that.

Mr. Birlson further stated that he likes what they did for Silverleaf at the Hillcrest Drive entrance and asked if they would be doing something similar for this project. Mr. Recktenwall stated there is some widening on the entrance where they are proposing a landscaped median, but it will not be a circular feature and may not be as wide as the one in Silverleaf. Mr. Eberly stated that it needs to line up with Silverleaf.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the acceleration lane eastbound will run into Cornerstone’s so it would be a continuous lane. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it is not engineered that way, but he would assume that they would tie right into that.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there would be any way to create the double left turn lanes, even if it is just restriping and having to only pause momentarily while someone makes a right turn. He stated he would rather have a dedicated left turn lane than a right turn lane.

Mr. Recktenwall asked if what he is suggesting is that they would use the widening as the through lane and right turn lane. Mr. Panczuk confirmed that was correct. Mr. Forbes stated that you wouldn’t really have the accel/decel lane then. Mr. Panczuk stated that he feels it would keep traffic flowing better on 109th Avenue, and he has seen it in other areas.

Mr. Forbes stated it might not be too much of an issue on the south side if it were to connect into the church; but on the north side, there is a drastic cut in and cut out. Mr. Kozel stated that someone could hit a house there. Mr. Panczuk stated that if it could be extended on the north side, it would make a world of difference on the traffic flow.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the other safety issue he is concerned about is accidents happening when folks use an accel/decel lane as a through lane because someone is turning left and there isn’t a dedicated through lane. Mr. Flores stated he would like to see a dedicated left-turn lane as well if it is possible.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if he would discuss this with Mr. Cobb and get his input. Mr. Eberly stated that he would and that the plan in the Road Impact Fee study calls for the need right now for US 231 to be a three-lane road from Calumet Avenue to US 41 or alternatively from Calumet to Olcott with designated left-hand turns at Hillcrest, White Oak, Manor, and Olcott.

Mr. Birlson asked if that is a current need. Mr. Eberly confirmed the same. Mr. Forbes stated that he thinks installing the entire center turn lane is a little bit excessive at this time, but where an intersection is being improved due to a new development, improving that area is feasible. Mr. Birlson stated that it is much less expensive if it is done when it is farm field rather than when it is a developed area.

Mr. Eberly stated that Olthof is giving a 50-foot right-of-way on this development for future road improvements, and a 50-foot right-of-way on the Silverleaf has already been given to the Town.

Mr. Panczuk stated that it would be great to at least get the area done here at this subdivision to eliminate the safety hazard by having a dedicated left-turn lane and have it bubbled out for the through lanes. Mr. Recktenwall stated they will discuss it with Mr. Cobb and see what he can suggest.

Mr. Birlson asked if this is a main entrance out on 109th Avenue. Mr. Eberly stated that the entrance lines up with Silverleaf, so it will be a main entrance. Mr. Birlson asked if we know if there will be additional entrances to the east or west. Mr. Eberly stated that they don’t go out to White Oak from the east property line. They are stubbing to the property to the east, but there are still another 40 acres there before you get to White Oak.

Mr. Eberly stated that eventually it will be purchased and built out and extended to White Oak. Mr. Forbes stated that we have developers stub the streets out for potential, future development. Mr. Birlson stated that he thinks the turn lanes should be done now.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he would like to see a crosswalk with piano keys tying this subdivision to Silverleaf which will tie into the Heartland Park and bike trails. Mr. Birlson stated that the sidewalk would have to be extended on the north. Mr. Panczuk stated he knows it’s a busy street, but people are still going to cross it. Mr. Birlson stated that there are the ball fields there people will want to walk to.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there will be a tot lot or a small park. Mr. Recktenwall stated that there is green space planned, but there is no program for a park at this time. Mr. Panczuk asked if there is a way to carve out a place in the event the Town wanted to improve it into a park in the future. Mr. Recktenwall stated that south of Lot 10, there’s a trail and a circle, which is an area that could be used.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there is a tot lot in Silverleaf. Mr. Recktenwall stated there is one on the north side, and there is also one on the north side of Saddle Creek. Mr. Forbes stated there is a large picnic area out there as well.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he would like to see sidewalks along 109th Avenue. Mr. Eberly stated that they will have to do that; they are not asking for a waiver from that. Mr. Kozel stated that we will have to talk to the church if we want to extend it. Mr. Eberly stated that the church does not have a sidewalk on its property.

Mr. Birlson asked how the dead-end streets will be addressed, if there will be a temporary hammerhead as a turnaround. Mr. Recktenwall stated that everything is just a dead-end street. Mr. Birlson asked if that creates havoc. Mr. Eberly stated on a short stretch, a dead end isn’t too bad; but on longer stretches, it is more difficult for snowplowing and garbage pickup.

Mr. Panczuk asked if they own any of the property to the south or west. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they do not.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

B. THE PRESERVE UNIT 3 – Requesting Secondary Plat Approval at the September 5, 2018 Meeting for 53 Single-family Lots and One Outlot
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Preserve, Unit 3. They are requesting Secondary Plat at the Plan Commission meeting on September 5th.

Scott Zajac with Schilling Development stated that he is here representing The Preserve. They will be coming before the Plan Commission to request Secondary Plat approval for The Preserve, Unit 3 on September 5th.

Mr. Zajac stated that they have all mass grading and earthwork complete. They are currently installing the sewer and water main lines, and there are a couple of week’s worth of work left to be done there. They have a commitment with the Town to improve the intersection at 93rd Avenue and White Oak Avenue, and that has been completed.

Mr. Eberly stated that they have been in contact with Mr. Kraus. Mr. Zajac stated that they have.

Mr. Forbes stated that there are no changes to the Preliminary Plat and asked the board if they had any questions or comments.

Mr. Kozel stated there is another street with “red” in the name. Mr. Zajac stated they have a “Redbud” on this one.

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Kraus will need to sign off on everything, and they will see him in September.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:20 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

09-05-2018 Plan Commission

September 5, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on September 5, 2018, 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: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Steve Kil, Town Manager.

Absent: Steve Flores and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

Mr. Forbes confirmed the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda are the minutes for the August 1, 2018 and April 4, 2018 Regular Meetings and the August 15, 2018; April 18, 2018; and March 21, 2018 Study Session Meetings and asked for questions or revisions on the same.

Motion to approve the Regular Meeting minutes from August 1, 2018 and April 4, 2018 by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Kennedy advised that there is a correction needed on the March 21, 2018 Study Session minutes: Page 2, Section C, second to the last sentence, which reads “Mr. Kennedy asked for any other questions,” should read “Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions.”

Motion to approve the Study Session minutes from the March 21, 2018 meeting, as corrected, and the August 15, 2018 and April 18, 2018 meetings, as submitted, by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Birlson.

Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays for the April 18, 2018 and March 21, 2018 meetings; and motion carries 4 ayes to 1 abstention for the August 15, 2018, meeting. Mr. Kennedy abstained as he was absent from the meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

None.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. THE PRESERVE UNIT 3 – SECONDARY PLAT APPROVAL – (Jack Slager / Scott Zajac)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Preserve Unit 3. The petitioners are seeking secondary plat approval for this unit, which comprises 53 single-family lots and 1 outlot.

Mr. Zajac of Schilling Development stated that they are seeking secondary plat approval. They are still in the process of putting in infrastructure, utilities, and roads which will take about a month to complete. Mr. Slager has been working with Mr. Kraus regarding the engineering.

Mr. Forbes asked if they are requesting for us to withhold signatures on the mylars instead of giving a letter of credit or a bond. Mr. Zajac responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Developmental Fee for this project is $38,074.43 and asked Mr. Zajac if it has been paid. Mr. Zajac stated that it has not been paid. Mr. Forbes advised him that the Developmental Fee will need to be paid before the mylars are signed as well.

Mr. Forbes advised that the plat is satisfactory according to Mr. Kraus’ report and asked the board if they had any questions or comments.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion regarding secondary plat approval. If there is a motion to approve, it will be contingent upon receipt of the Developmental Fee and withholding signatures on the mylars until the public improvements have been installed.

Motion to grant secondary plat approval contingent upon the Developmental Fee of $38,074.43 being received and withholding signatures on the mylars until all public improvements are in place, referencing the Findings of Fact, by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

B. OLTHOF – ILLIANA SUBDIVISION – Permission to Advertise For Public Hearing
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Olthof, Illiana Subdivision. The petitioner is seeking permission to advertise for public hearing for primary plat for this proposed R-1 single-family development. The subdivision would be located on the south side of 109th between Calumet and White Oak Avenues.

Mr. Forbes stated that this topic was discussed at the last study session and asked if there was any objection to holding a public hearing for this development. None were had.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.

Motion to grant Olthof, Illiana Subdivision, permission to advertise by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): You guys just added something to the agenda. You just added something to the agenda that’s not posted, as far as I can tell. And the Clerk-Treasurer normally sends out the agendas, which we did not get that this time. So if you can add stuff right here on the spot, residents can’t prepare to make a comment. So you shouldn’t be adding stuff to the Plan Commission agenda without it being on the postage in, on that door or the other posted place in the Clerk’s Office and the glass case out there. That’s number one.

Number two, since Mr. Volk has resigned, I would like to ask Mr. Panczuk to conduct an investigation on Shops 96 to see – that’s supposed to be a $35 million dollar shop. And all, all the public sees is Shops 96. I’d like you to investigate to see where the money is coming from to build this because the Town is doing almost $6 million in TIF money for that project. And all, all we see, as the public, is the name Shops 96, LLC or, or whatever it is.

So I’d like you to investigate to see who the backers are, who these real people are, because anybody can come in here with a name. And how do you know that they have the capability to finish this thing if you don’t know who the money guys are? So I’d like you to investigate that. And if you see any impropriety, please let the FBI know in Indianapolis. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Just three quick points. Number one, agendas, um, we’d like to see those in advance. And they weren’t sent out again this month. Um, I – I talked about that last month, and Rick said he got them in on time. So I’m not sure where the – where the – where the kink is there.

But, um, secondly, um, the Olthof, um, subdivision that’s coming up, for the granting permission, I’d really like to see you guys push to see the accel and the decel lanes there. And I really think to make that the center turn lane, so they can get in and out of those, both of those subdivisions going south of there. And you talked about it, but I would encourage you to do so.

And then the other point is the, um, shops on 96. Um, I was hoping to see some of the improvements or a few modifications to that thing. And it was supposed to be at the Study Sessions, and he wasn’t at the last one. He was not at tonight’s meeting. And I would like to see him prepare and present, um, some of the things if he’s going to do some modifications and improvements to the, uh, uh, frontage road. Whether it’s going around or through or whatever, but we need to have, you know, some kind of connection there. Thank you.

Mike Malizia (9012 Olcott Avenue): I just had a question regarding, um, the Comprehensive Plan of 2017, if anyone knows the status of that, regarding the corn field that is north of 93rd and White Oak, at that intersection. Is there any plan for that subdivision being built there as of right now?

(Mr. Forbes responded that that property is the Velligan farm and will continue to be farm until somebody buys it.)

Okay. That’s all. Thank you.

Ms. Abernathy requested the floor. Mr. Forbes gave Ms. Abernathy the floor wherein she instructed the members of the public how to access the agendas on the new Town’s website and affirmed that the agenda from the previous meeting was on the Town’s website prior to the meeting.

Mr. Panczuk requested he floor to address Mr. Hero. Mr. Forbes gave Mr. Panczuk the floor wherein Mr. Panczuk informed Mr. Hero that he is unable to help him as it is out of the range of the Plan Commission and his position as a Planner.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Economic Development Agreement that the Town Council entered with Shops 96, LLC, so he would need to address that with the Town Council directly.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:14 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

09-19-2018 Plan Commission

September 19, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on September 19, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director.

Absent: Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. CASTLE ROCK PHASE 2 – Secondary Plat Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Castle Rock, Phase 2, Secondary Plat discussion. This phase contains 29 R-2 single-family lots.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is here representing Andy James, the developer of the subdivision, regarding Final Plat approval for Phase 2 of Castle Rock. This phase is the balance of what was approved last year. All the improvements are in. The streets, pavement, and curbs are completed. Everything has been submitted to Kenn Kraus for his review.

Mr. Eberly stated that he has spoken with Mr. Kraus and that Mr. Kraus confirmed with Public Works that all the improvements are in. There is one short section of sidewalk that Mr. Kraus said they are still discussing whether or not it is going to run across one of the outlots.

Mr. James stated that it is Outlot A and should be done by the time he comes back before the board. Mr. Rettig stated that it is the only item that is left to be finished.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Kraus stated in their conversation that it is $1000 worth of sidewalk and that there is no point in posting a Letter of Credit for that amount. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. James just confirmed that it will be in before we take action on the Secondary Plat.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the sidewalk near the water tower will connect back to the park. Mr. James stated that the sidewalk is going to run to the park.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

Mr. Rettig and Mr. James thanked the board.

B. SHOPS 96 – Continued Primary Plat Discussion
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Shops 96, which is scheduled for a Public Hearing on October 3, 2018. He asked the board if they have any questions or comments.

Mr. Birlson stated that he would like to see a sidewalk from Earl Drive to US 41 go in. Mr. Forbes responded that we are waiting on INDOT because the sidewalk would have to be installed on the other side of US 41 as well. And if it is approved, it would be the Town installing the sidewalk.

Mr. Birlson stated that it has been done at Clarmonte, so it should be able to be done at this location. Mr. Forbes stated that the question is whether or not INDOT will allow a sidewalk there because of the size of the intersection.

Mr. Kozel stated that there is access down by 97th because that already has a walkway there. Mr. Forbes stated that there are internal sidewalks that will run to the south end of this development but not across Eenigenburg where Aqua, Inc. is. Mr. Kozel asked if there is some way we can do something there. Mr. Forbes responded that he isn’t sure and that we’d have to look into that. Mr. Kozel stated that it would be an option. Mr. Forbes stated it is all paved so you can get through there, but there is not an actual sidewalk at this time.

Mr. Panczuk expressed his concerns and stated that he would like the Town to provide safe passage at 96th place as people are going to cross there anyhow. He asked if a formal request been submitted to INDOT. Mr. Eberly responded that the last he had spoken with Denny Cobb about this matter, Mr. Cobb conveyed that he has made a number of attempts to get a response out of the La Porte District Director with no success thus far. Mr. Eberly will follow up with Mr. Cobb and see if there has been any response since their last conversation.

Mr. Forbes stated that if this does move forward, we can approach the outpatient facility and get the easement necessary to run the sidewalk. There currently isn’t an easement there to put a sidewalk in, so we would have to get property from them as well.

Mr. Birlson asked if the current right-of-way isn’t wide enough. Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn’t believe it’s wide enough for a sidewalk. Mr. Eberly stated that it may not line up properly to the current right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes stated that once they get an okay from INDOT, it shouldn’t be an issue, but the outpatient facility will have to be approached in order to get the property for the sidewalk.

Mr. Flores stated that he is in favor of the sidewalk as well and asked what happens if INDOT doesn’t grant approval. Mr. Forbes responded that we wouldn’t have a sidewalk.

Mr. Kennedy asked if INDOT approved the intersection. Mr. Eberly confirmed they have.

Mr. Birlson asked if IDEM determined if there were any wetlands on the property. Mr. Rettig stated that there is not; the low spot was a man-made detention area.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:09 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

10-03-2018 Plan Commission

October 3, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on October 3, 2018, 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: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus.

Absent: John Kennedy and Steve Kozel

Mr. Forbes confirmed the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda are the minutes for the September 5, 2018 Regular Meeting and the September 19, 2018 Study Session Meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion to approve the minutes from September 5, 2018 and September 19, 2018 by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 4 ayes – 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. SHOPS 96 – Public Hearing For Primary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Bruce Boyer/Doug Rettig, DVG Team)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Shops 96, Public Hearing for Primary Plat Action. The Petitioner is seeking primary plat approval of the development to be located at US 41 and West 96th Place.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for this petitioner.

Mr. Boyer stated that he is here to request Primary Plat approval for the Shops 96 development located on the east side of 41 at 96th Place. He reported that nothing of substance has changed since the Study Session. Mr. Boyer turned the floor over to Mr. Rettig for explanation of the renderings in the packet provided to the members.

Mr. Rettig reviewed the layout of the property. Mr. Rettig advised that 96th Place is being designed by the Town, and he has been working with Mr. Kraus on that so that it is seamless completion between two projects.

Mr. Rettig stated that there will be a new water main from US 41 all the way to Joliet Street, which will be a loop system. They are not putting sanitary sewer along 96th Place because there is an existing sanitary sewer on Joliet Street and US 41. Mr. Rettig advised that there will be a deeper sewer put in at the very back by the railroad tracks for some of the eastern lots that will be deep enough that it does not need a lift station. Mr. Rettig then went through the various lots on the rendering and advised how each lot would connect to the utilities.

Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Kraus is drafting storm water design. There is a new large detention pond for this area. Water will be collected off of 96th and fed into the detention pond from some lots, and the other lots will feed into the detention pond from the south side of lot.

Mr. Rettig briefly discussed the demolition and removal of old sanitary and water lines; and he advised that the detention is going to be moved further east to create a new detention pond.

Mr. Rettig offered to answer any questions that the board may have.

Mr. Forbes advised that at the Town Council meeting it was brought up about oil tanks buried on the property and asked what the status of those were. Mr. Boyer stated that there are not oil tanks on the property. There were at one time; however, those were removed in 1990. All the documents and soil test reports were forwarded to IDEM at that time.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if they are aware of the correspondence from INDOT regarding the crosswalk and sidewalks. Mr. Boyer stated that Mr. Eberly advised him of the correspondence this afternoon. Mr. Boyer stated that that if INDOT allowed it, they would make sure those go in as he had previously agreed to.

Mr. Forbes advised that the wetland question has come up again. Mr. Boyer responded that they have the letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers that concurs with the wetland delineation report and a copy of which has been provided to Mr. Eberly showing it as an exempt, non-jurisdictional wetland by the US Army Corps of Engineers. They have asked IDEM for concurrence with that but have not received it as yet.

Mr. Eberly advised there was to be an IDEM inspector there today, but he did not see the inspector there at the site. Mr. Eberly further advised that we are waiting to hear back from him as to his determination.

Mr. Forbes stated that according to the report from the US Army Corps of Engineers, it is not a wetland. Mr. Boyer stated that it has wetland-like criteria; but it is a man-made storm water basin that has been neglected for over 30 years, so it shows and exhibits the criteria of a wetland. It is exempt, non-jurisdictional in the eyes of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and IDEM typically concurs with that being an exempt feature.

Mr. Forbes advised that that is not uncommon and IDEM usually falls back on what the Army Corps says. Mr. Boyer stated that IDEM always sends them to the US Army Corps of Engineers first.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they had any questions.

Mr. Panczuk stated that INDOT reported that they have no issue with Mr. Boyer placing sidewalks in the right-of-way of US 41 and that will not interfere with their widening project. He further stated the Town is ready to intercept any sidewalk connections as necessary.

Mr. Panczuk asked if there is a connection to the property to the north for an access point, so we don’t completely isolate that. Mr. Boyer stated that it is a bit hard to see, but they are providing a future cross-access point at the far east end of Lot 2 on the north side. It is an access point that was previously discussed that will connect the commercial lots. Also shown in the notch of that property is a no access easement so that there cannot be a connection to the residential property.

Mr. Panczuk asked what the width of that access is. Mr. Rettig stated that the width is 25 to 26 feet wide.

Mr. Flores asked Mr. Rettig if the access point is on the side of Lot 2. Mr. Rettig confirmed the same and demonstrated where the 5-foot no access easement and the access point are located on the site plan map.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is unsure as to why Shops 96 is on the agenda because the wetland delineation report was sent to the US Army Corps of Engineers, and they say it’s an exempt feature and they don’t have jurisdiction. And just yesterday it was sent to IDEM. Someone in the audience spoke to IDEM and was told by IDEM that there is a water feature there on the property and also a wetland there. So without determining the findings of fact, this should not be on the agenda. If there is wetlands there, it needs to be on the plat before we approve the plat. Mr. Birlson added that if IDEM does not have jurisdiction then it goes to the DNR.

Mr. Boyer responded that they have done what is normally done in the course of wetland investigation. IDEM always refers them to the US Army Corps of Engineers first and relies upon the report as to the determination of wetlands and whether it is exempt and where the jurisdiction is. They have answered those questions. They have dealt with wetlands before, and if there is some small area that IDEM takes jurisdiction over, they will deal with it and mitigate it or compensate for it. It is not the first time they’ve had to deal with wetlands. Mr. Boyer stated that if the board would like to make approval contingent upon all the government approvals, he is fine with that.

Mr. Eberly advised that he has spoken with a gentleman at the DNR, and he has an email from that gentleman stating that the DNR specifically does not address wetlands. They address floodplains but not wetlands.

Mr. Birlson stated that this project has been three years in the works; and here it is at the last hour and we still do not know who has jurisdiction with the wetlands. Mr. Boyer responded that whoever has jurisdiction, that they will do whatever they have to do to mitigate the wetlands. Mr. Birlson stated again that he has had three years, and here we are at the last minute of the last hour. Mr. Boyer stated that he doesn’t believe that is quite the case.

Mr. Forbes agreed with Mr. Boyer and stated that it boils down to the fact that the US Army Corps of Engineers reported a finding that Mr. Birlson does not like. Mr. Birlson stated that the findings of facts must be done first before you put pen to paper. You see what area you have and what area you don’t have. Mr. Boyer stated that he would not be this far in the project if he thought there was a wetland problem on the property. He further stated that there is not an underground storage tank problem or a wetland problem.

Mr. Boyer stated that he believes he has answered all the questions that the commissioners have asked them to answer. Mr. Forbes agreed with Mr. Boyer. Mr. Forbes stated that the report states that it has wetland-like features and that it is a poorly maintained retention pond.

Mr. Boyer stated that the delineation report clearly shows the land was previously farmed and that there were no trees or shrubbery on the property. The detention basin was created. There are photographs in the report that show the cliff and the digging of the pond and how there was no vegetation around the pond when it was created. It has been neglected for 30 years.

Mr. Birlson stated that farmers have plowed over wetlands before. When there is a drought, if it can be plowed, they plow it. Mr. Boyer stated that the geography and topography in the photos provided in the delineation report shows it was never a wetland. Mr. Birlson said since 1968, that doesn’t go back that far. Mr. Boyer stated that there are drainage ditches along Route 41 that show the criteria of a wetland.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he has read the delineation report which was written in 2016. He is disappointed in the lapse of time because the US Army Corps of Engineers did not do their report until 2018. Unfortunately, it has backed us into a corner. Mr. Panczuk stated that he is fairly certain that IDEM will come back with the same report as the US Army Corps of Engineers. However, if Mr. Birlson would feel more comfortable putting a contingency on there, Mr. Boyer has offered to mitigate it. Mr. Panczuk stated that he is trying to look at this as a primary plat of a subdivision and trying not to involve anything else in it; however, he feels the condition or contingency for mitigation should be included.

Mr. Birlson is concerned that the US Army Corps of Engineers only specifically looked at the channel and detention pond from the delineation letter. Mr. Boyer responded that the US Army Corps of Engineers visited the site itself.

Mr. Flores stated that he agrees with Mr. Birlson and that we need to make sure everything is lined up and how it should be. He is in agreement that a contingency upon approval by IDEM should be included. Mr. Boyer stated that that is fine and a normal step, and that he needs to have the answer as well.

Mr. Birlson asked that the members of the Plan Commission recall another development where they gave a contingency on the wetland and the developer was supposed to put a road in, and nothing has been done on that road. Mr. Forbes stated that nothing has been determined there yet. Mr. Birlson stated that everything else has been approved and doesn’t feel the board should go down that path again.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he feels the contingency will avoid that path. Mr. Birlson stated that the zoning ordinance states that we are to preserve and protect wetlands.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further comments from the board. Hearing none, he opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Thomas Thiel (9520 Joliet Street): My name is Thomas Thiel. I represent the Thiel Cabinet Shop. Project 96 has been in the works for several years. We’ve had a discussion about wetlands and all sorts of other things. As I understand the timeline, the Town of St. John approached Mr. Boyer with the idea of revitalizing the area under consideration as a commercial development.

As I understand the situation, the Town of St. John was willing to provide the funding for a considerable amount of this for the site preparation and infrastructure. In a past public meeting, Mr. Kil said that no money was given to Mr. Boyer for direct funding of project 96. If the TIF money in excess of $5 million did not go directly to Mr. Boyer, that claim is technically true. The idea that this project will not benefit from the “generosity of the Town of St. John” seems to be a – a disingenuous claim by Mr. Kil. It might didn’t go directly to Mr. Boyer, but it went to people who service his project.

Perhaps other developers specifically developing residential subdivisions, like maybe Schilling Development, would like to also participate in the “generosity of the Town of St. John” to provide tax-payer infrastructure. The other contentious issue concerning project 96 concerns traffic flow and safe automobile travel on the north-south corridor of US 41 from 93rd south toward 231. Currently left turns from 41 onto Joliet are quite risky; similarly, left turns from Joliet going south onto 41 are also dangerous.

One of the Town’s proposals previously discussed was a no left turn policy from both this dangerous – eliminating dangerous and traffic-delaying maneuvers. A proposal by the Indiana Department of Transportation has come up with what appears to be a solution to this traffic dilemma. As I understand the Department of Transportation’s proposal, US 41 would be five lanes from US 30, north of St. John, to US 231, south of St. John. In fact, work has begun on that project north of the town.

It works very nicely in Crown Point. I live in Crown Point. We have five lanes from US 30 to the north part of town, and traffic flows very nicely with five lanes. The addition of a continuous turn lane along this corridor in St. John would certainly aid in the reduction of traffic backups. There is additionally, apparently, one snag in the plan. It is my understanding that the Town of St. John, through its elected officials and their representatives, has specifically asked the section from the US 4 – of US 41 from the light at 93rd to the proposed light at 96th not have this 5-lane configuration.

This proposal by the traffic engineers of the State of Indiana seems like a good idea. The traffic engineers of the Town of St. John have a different proposal. Keep the stretch as is with its backups and accidents. What could be the reason for this differing proposal? It seems to me that continuous turning lane in the area of Joliet Street would allow southbound traffic to turn safely onto Joliet to the many homes on the eastern part of town or on toward Crown Point. This safer traffic pattern, however, would allow the traffic to avoid traveling through Mr. Boyer’s commercial project 96.

Perhaps the ultimate goal of the Town officials of St. John is to funnel that eastbound traffic through project 96. More project traffic through this development means more sales at the possible expense at the convenience and safety of the citizens of St. John.

Another puzzling aspect of the expansion of 41 to five lanes is my understanding the funding aspect of the widening of the highway. It is my understanding that the Town of St. John – or the State of Indiana would provide 100 percent of the funds. Why would the Town’s elected officials reject this offer? The turn lane at Joliet would make that intersection safe and speed up traffic flow; again perhaps the overall plan is to direct traffic and paying customers through Mr. Boyer’s project 96. In the recent past, the Town of St. John “floated a plan for a town center.” The plan ultimately would involve blocking off the access onto 41 from Joliet Street.

This would involve the purchase of residential property along Joliet Street east of 41. This plan was universally criticized by the residents on Joliet as well as other people who routinely use Joliet Street as an access road to their homes. The Town officials immediately backed off from this proposal with the implication that it wasn’t really a serious plan for a “town center.” Any careful observer of all these aspects of the Town’s policies, the funding of the infrastructure from – with money from the Town, rejecting the expansion of US 41 with State money, and the ill-conceived town center plan would come to a single conclusion: This plan should be rejected at this time. Hopefully the taxpayers of St. John can see this maneuver as favoring a developer over the interest of the citizens.

Another area of concern is the site itself. And there’s been a great discussion here about wetlands with the IDM and the Army Corps of Engineers. Will Mr. Boyer provide remediation if there’s a problem? What about the oil tanks that supposedly have been identified by INDOT? Who knows what’s going to happen there.

If the proposal proceeds with these, uh, the possible wetlands, will the Town of St. John provide funding? What about hazardous waste cleanup for those tanks that have been identified by the Indiana Department of Transportation?

If the project does proceed, a road through this development will connect to an ill-conceived roundabout east of 41 connecting to Joliet Street. If this road is impacted by the wetlands by the State of Indiana, as the State of Indiana claims are present on the website on the site of project 96, will the Town provide funding for that remediation? Perhaps putting Styrofoam under the road will help. I understand that the town has an official who has experience with Styrofoam in roads in Schererville.

All of these items to run the risk of derailing a commercial development that some officials feel is in the best interest in the Town of St. John. But how can it be in the best interest of the taxpayers and citizens with so many problems? It seems to me that these plans have been built on a number of questionable concepts, taxpayer funding of the project, and rejecting of State funding for the US 41 expansion. A traffic pattern is ill-conceived, this applies to 41, the connection to Joliet Street. The presence of wetlands on the site is another issue. It appears that the Town elected officials and nonelected management personnel of the town are being either passively ignorant or deliberately disingenuous.

Hope the taxpayers of St. John will see this project as ill-conceived, expensive, and a – not a positive contribution to the community. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Um, that's a tough act to follow. Um, Mr. Boyer’s continued to jump through the hoops that the Town has presented to him. And I would like to thank him for his efforts. Um, but the shortcomings of this project continues to be the failure of planning properly. Um, I can’t hold Mr. Eberly responsible cause a lot of this happened prior to him even being here. Um, the point is that it’s been in – not ever been done in public at the Plan Commission level but more in the secret of the offices of the Town Manager.

As I look at this parcel, I still have questions that keep popping up. And a lot of them were answered tonight. Um, the sidewalks along 41, taken care of. Wonderful. Crosswalk across 41, taken care of. Great. Extension of the frontage road for long-term planning I think is important too. But I still have concerns about building a road over a wetland. And if the wetland is on his building, that’s his problem. But if it’s on the road that we need to pay for, then I’m concerned about it because then the remediation is our issue and it’s our problem. And if it was my money that was invested, I would’ve wanted to do soil borings and tested it to make sure that it was good. Um, and I would hope that the town would handle their money the same way.

I – I – I still have – in spite of Mr. Boyer’s response, I still have a question on the, um, underground fuel tank. Um, as I look at the INDOT report that’s dated May 26, and – and it says in section H, a red flag investigation was completed by La Porte District INDOT, the Environmental Section, and approved by INDOT Central Offices. And that was dated April 20, 2017. And it said there’s a reduction of project because there are couple of other sites that were not impacted. But there are three of them listed here. Um, one of them doesn’t apply. But number two is the Standard Lumber of St. John at 9625 Wicker.

If evacuation occurs, analysis for lead will have to be done before proper handling and disposal of the petroleum contaminated soil in the underground water needs to be done. So if the tank is gone, maybe the soil has been remediated and if it has, fine, wonderful. But if it hasn’t, I – I don’t think that the town should be responsible for that. Because if we’re going to tear down the Standard Oil building or Standard Lumber building and build a road that’s going to be near that, our road might be impacted by that, uh, by that stuff. So I would also like to see a contingency that if there needs to be some remediation from, um, leaking fuel oil and – and things like that, that would be part of something that Mr. Boyer would be – um, accept the responsibility for financially.

Uh, and then finally, the roundabout at Joliet that we just don’t need. I mean, if – if you’re going to cut off half of the traffic on Joliet by not allowing a left turn, I can’t understand why you even need a roundabout there. My question then would be: What happens if you can’t acquire the property? Will Mr. Boyer have to move the Malt Brothers store so that 96th can connect to Joliet? I mean that, the whole justification to putting the stoplight at 96th was that the traffic on Joliet was going to be “dilerted” – diverted. So if you eliminate half the traffic on Joliet, I don’t even think that we need that roundabout. So I would like you look at those.

And I know those are – are not issues that have to do with this approval tonight. But these are issues that should have been taken care, that should’ve been part of the initial rezoning, not part of this plat approval. And I think you guys missed the boat on that one. And it’s not just this board’s responsibility to the Town Council as well. I – I’m just disappointed with the way you guys did that, and I’m disappointed that you’ve made Mr. Boyer jump through hoops for the last three years, and he still jumping through hoops. That’s all. Thank you.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): I had a variety of comments that I was going to prepare. I will address a few of them. Uh, some of the comments that I’ve heard in the two public comments previous to this, I would have to base that, that some of these individuals have not pushed projects through various towns and where Mr. Boyer is currently in this development. I personally have been involved in projects where I’ve had to take them from start to finish through zoning, rezoning, re-subdivision, wetland issues. I’ve done projects in Dyer, Schererville, Griffith, Crown Point, St. John.

In fact here in St. John when we did the McDonald’s and the Eenigenburg project, we had the exact same issue with an old detention pond that was considered a wetland, but it was determined that it was an old detention pond that was taken care of. This identical, similar project just occurred in Dyer recently. I don’t remember if Mr. Eberly was there when I was presenting relative to the Northwest Oncology project on Calumet Avenue where there it was delineated as a supposed wetland, but in fact it was old detention pond that was buried under weeds, etc.

The Corps of Engineers has primary jurisdiction under all wetland jurisdiction. And when they pass it back to IDEM, it’s up to resolve that with IDEM. In the most case, if – if you can get past the Army Corps of Engineers, I’ll personally attest to that, that it takes a lot of stuff off your plate as a developer. The level of detail where this project currently is at right now is consistent in all the other towns where they’re at. The comments I’m hearing are addressed after primary plat in the detailed engineering. So I would feel confident that between the Town’s engineer, Mr. Eberly, staff, etc., that those issues would be addressed to the satisfaction of all parties relative to that.

And as the background, this project is consistent – I’ve made this comment in the past – it’s consistent with the Comprehensive Master Plan, which is identified for this area to be commercial development. It actually meets a significant need of the Opportunity Analysis study, both documents which were adopted by the Town Council. Uh, and also I think everyone agrees that it will replace a blighted area on 41 that people, numerous, talk about that this needs to be taken care of and improved. And other comments relative to crosswalk, service road, but those were addressed at least to the satisfaction, I believe, of what would happen. I know there originally was a commentary about connecting Earl Drive northward. But that basically would obliterate the commercial properties to the north of there. The detailed engineering which follows at this point, it sounds like Mr. Boyer is willing to take on the contingency which is consistent with virtually every developer in every project I’ve been involved with.

Uh, I support the project overall. I expect the Town staff and the consulting engineers will keep his feet to the fire and make sure ordinance, INDOT requirements, etc., are met too. In closing I support this project and hope it goes forward. Thank you.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I object and remonstrate against this approve – plat approval until we find the facts. Our ordinance, Chapter 9, B6, H of the Town’s ordinance for PUDs clearly states that natural features such as streams, wetlands, woodlands, topographic, geological features should be preserved and protected. Well, on three different maps that I’ve looked at from – you got the GIS, which is Lake County. You’ve got US Department of Agriculture soils map shows predominance of hydric soil, which is indicative of wetlands. The national wetlands inventory map, which was presented to all of you in the packet at the rezoning. Why do all these maps show 4+ acres of wetlands? And it’s all right where the detention pond is.

So if that’s wetlands according – and which I called Mr. Marty Maupin from Indiana Department of Environmental Management and spoke with him, and he said there’s definitely a water body back there and wetlands back there. It’s just a matter of who has jurisdiction over it. So if our Town ordinance says that we’re supposed to preserve and protect wetlands, what are we doing putting in a detention pond there or screwing around with that stuff back there. Why do we even have ordinances if we’re not going to follow them?

So I protest this and feel that the – the people of St. John deserve better than this because you guys put in our ordinances that we’re supposed to preserve and protect wetlands. And as these other gentleman have said, if there is wetlands, or the soil is hydric soil where it’s not buildable, how much money is the Town going to have to put forward to build this road that we are responsible for under contract, Mr. Boyer? How much?

There’s the contingency on that Economic Agreement with Mr. Boyer that if we don’t have – the – if the $5.6 million that we’ve put forth for this project isn’t enough, that the taxpayers of this town are going to be asked for a special tax to pay the extra. And this Town hasn’t even done soil borings where this road is being proposed to know what we’re up against. So how’s – how’s that – Mr. Rettig, he saw a big hike in price when he was going through wetlands. So if we haven’t checked the soil on the Thiel property, where this road is proposed, then what are we in for? Why haven’t we checked that out? To me, that’s part of the planning of it. And that’s something that should’ve been brought forth to the people of St. John if we’re the ones on the hook paying for this project. And I don’t appreciate this board not taking these things into account.

This should have been done a long time ago. And Mr. Maupin said that it’s a minimum of two weeks, if everything goes well, for him to look through the delineation of this. So, and I spoke with him myself, and he confirmed it all in an email that there is a body of water back there and there is wetlands. It’s just who has jurisdiction over it, and maybe nobody does. But I don’t think we should be voting on anything until we know for sure and until we check out the existing property where we’re going to be putting a road if eminent domain goes through. Cause we haven’t even figured out if we even own the property or will be able to afford the property because of the eminent domain.

So until the wetland delineation jurisdiction is completed, and until there’s checking of the soil for the design of a road, either through property we haven’t acquired or property on Mr. Boyer’s piece of land, if we can squeeze the road through, we need to do that. Before we go and vote for this and have it go through like the Rose Garden did and then find out, oh, well, we didn’t do a very good job planning. That’s what the name of this commission is, the Plan Commission. And you usually plan before you do. So please, I would appreciate, start planning and wait a month or two till we get definitive information from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, which should have been done already. Get that information before we take a vote on this. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to remonstrate against this project. I’ve gone to many plan commissions over the years in St. John. And I’ve never seen such a, in my opinion, fishy looking approach to this – a project like this. This is a major project. We have certain forces within the Town pushing forward for it. We have 400 signatures against the light on 96th. We got eminent domain for the benefit of a developer, not for public transportation. You have lawsuits that are pending for the eminent domain. Okay. You – you know, who owns the land? A petitioner that comes in with a proposal like this has to own all the land. And that – I don’t think that’s happened here. So my first suggestion is simply this: You need to go back and tie up all these loose ends.

I remember something coming to the BZA many years ago at Bingo Lake. It was called the Tin Cup Restaurant. Everybody came in and made nice pictures and renderings to get a rezoning. They got the rezoning. Never, Tin Cup built. The rezoning got changed. You can’t do development on contingencies for primary approval. You have to come in with the finalized plan so everybody knows what you’re voting on. Because putting contingencies on – what – you know, who are you dealing with? Shops 96, LLC, do you know who the owners are, who the investors are? You don’t know those people. It hasn’t been disclosed here. Maybe you know them, but I don’t know them. All right. This is supposed to be a $35 million project on the private side, maybe 5 or 6 on St. John’s side. Well I think there should be a $41 million bond surety posted before you start this project in case it turns sour like the Tin Cup Restaurant at Bingo Lake.

You can’t say well it’s – it’s contingent on this and that. Contingencies don’t work in this town. You’ve seen where a development, developers have gone broke, and who has to pay, okay, to finish the roads? The money’s got to be there. You got to know who you’re dealing with. Let’s say the principals, for some unknown reason, pass, who is the next in line to make sure the project goes through? Have you been dealing with all the investors? Is this money from Thomas? Who is this money from? Okay. Thomas, Joe, Jerry? Who is it? You know the investors in this? Who’s putting this money up? $35 million, that’s a lot of money. Who will you be dealing with? Who will you be dealing with five years from now if this takes a long time to resolve? Those are the principals that should be here, and you should know them.

And you should put this surety bond on to make sure this thing gets done. If you were in business, and you are in business, you would require this. If you were going into some sort of partnership or deal like this, you just wouldn’t say contingencies; we’re going to give you $6 mill; we hope your $35 mill comes up, comes through and this whole thing gets done. I think you got to have a $35 plus $6 million surety bond upfront in the bank to make sure this thing gets done. And you have to have a disclosure of all the investors, who are your principals and who the successors are if something goes wrong.

The other thing is, 96th has to be widened all the way on the other side of 41. The traffic is going to be going through all those subdivisions down this little narrow road. Okay. You heard the discussion on wetlands. Well, I came — somebody sent me an email. And I’ll just – and I think Mr. Eberly is – knows of this. You can correct me if I’m wrong Mr. Eberly. About the – it says this email is an informal concurrence with your report and does not constitute an approved jurisdictional determinant. And they use the acronym AJD, by the Chicago District. If you’d like a “AGD” or a formal boundary concurrence, you may request one from the Chicago district at any time. Neither an AJD nor a formal boundary concurrence are required to apply for a permit authorized from Chicago District. You’ve got that, right? (Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.)

I – I hope I read it right. I was looking here at a little phone. But, you can’t go a big development like this on contingencies, because you have no insurance that, if the contingencies fail, it’ll get done right. The other – the other issue is, okay, I know those houses over by Kmart, there are a couple houses over there, peat bog, they had to put, drive pylons in, tall telephone poles, three or four at a corner. Do you have the soil borings? The ordinance, I believe, requires that, right? I raised that issue with you, and you told me it does. (Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.)

Are the soil borings reports here for the road? Are they here for this whole development? Yes or no; do you have the soil borings? (Mr. Eberly responded that he does not have them, but he is not sure if they have been submitted or not.)

Well, before, you know, because of the peat bog issue, you need to – you’re responsible for whoever the heirs of this property are if – if a house is sinking, if a building is sinking, you are responsible to do your due diligence to get those soil borings. Before you even take – take a vote on this. There’s houses in Schererville be done – built on peat bog that sunk. You – you – the issue is there. You had the peat bog problem over there by Kmart. This is all in line with that. Heading – heading to a wetlands. And if you look at the map for the wetlands, there’s a lot of wetland area there. And your ordinance gives you jurisdiction over those wetlands. You don’t need the phantom Army Corps. That’s all BS. You are responsible for your ordinance. You are responsible for the wetland management. It’s not a giveaway, because a giveaway raises too many concerns about the proprietary of the authorities pushing this.

Where are the soil borings? We’ve talked about this before. And if you’re willing to blow that away, then I think we ought to be looking at the character of the people voting on this and to say what is their motive. You guys took an oath to protect this town, the ordinances, and everything else. And here we are at this late stage, there’s no soil borings.

And I remember when the Town put the sewer project in, the excess fill from the excavations was put in back of that parking lot by Malt Brothers going as far as they had ac – you know, that was of filled in. That used to be cattail weeds. Those soil borings in that area have to go deeper than whatever the water table is there. They can’t be surface because that’s fill in. Cause I remember it happening.

The other thing is this, there is litigation going now fighting the eminent domain of citizens in this town. If the Town Council thinks that they are gods and they can take people’s property away from one person give it to somebody else, that raises ethics issues in my mind. So what is the motive? What is the motive? What are we going to gain from this? I look at this as creating more traffic congestion. Look at the shops up in Highland. Look at the ones over there in Munster. Look what chaos that created.

And I look at you, and you know if – you are a policeman, do you want more traffic and more chaos? I don’t think you do. And this is just not logical. It’s got too many loose ends, too many problems. I want to know who authorized the lawyers. I don’t remember a Town Council meeting going and start condemning this land. They’re running up fees. Who authorized them?

I don’t remember a public meeting where they were authorized. I haven’t seen your attorney to give you a legal opinion on all of these issues that are before you. Uh, don't you think that’s a little weird? For you guys to be working on a $35 million project, and all these people here raising these issues, and you don’t have an attorney sitting there to tell you what the law is, what you can do, and who’s got jurisdiction.

What is wrong with what we see here today? This is not normal conduct. Normal Councils, over the 40 years I’ve been here, they always had a – an attorney there to give them advice. We don’t see that here. And what do you do? You take the petitioner’s, “Well, this is okay, that’s okay. I’ll take care of it”. Where’s your attorney advising you to take care of it? He’s not here. Why isn’t he here? Normal people in business would have their attorney sitting there giving them opinions on every issue that came up. It does not make sense.

And if it doesn’t make sense, you’ve got to ask why five times. Why doesn’t it make sense? Who is pushing this? Who is in the background making sure we waive all the flags that are raised? And why, why, why are those flags being just run right over?

Do you know the Shops 96 owns all this property that they’re petitioning this on? Do you know that Mr. – Mr. Commissioner or inspector or whatever your title is these days? I’m sorry. Do you know that he owns all this land? (Mr. Eberly responded that he has powers of attorney for those that do own the properties.)

But isn’t there some that he does not own? (Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Eberly not to engage and to allow Mr. Hero to make his statements.)

Yeah, you’re the attorney now advising him. See, that attorney should be advising him. (Mr. Forbes requested that Mr. Hero finish statement.) No, I’m not going to finish up. I’ve got more on my list. I know you’d like to shut me up because you don’t want to hear this. You don’t want to hear this because there’s too much suspicion raised by all these flags being run over.

96th must be done first and completed before anybody is going to go and subdivide in here, because you never know if it’ll be fixed or not. And I would think in the future that this is going to create a colossal traffic jam on the west side subdivisions of town, 93rd, and everything else. I think, ultimately, if 96th goes through, it should be made a one-way street from Joliet to 41, because I think going both ways is going to create a colossal – shoving traffic into the surrounding subdivisions to try and make this loop around.

And again, the Town, at different meetings, has received a 400 signatures opposing the light on 96th. Now, why would a logical, political body that’s elected oppose that many signatures against that light? There’s extracurricular forces, I believe, pushing this that ignores what people want in this town that logic dictates. What are those extracurricular forces?

You’re a detective; what do you think’s going on here? Why do you think all this push is in the background? You’re sitting on that that panel; you should be asking these questions not me. Why isn’t somebody talking to, whether it’s IDEM or whoever, about the filling in of the swamp land back there? You’ve been at – aware of it. Why isn’t somebody investigating whether that’s proper or not, that filling in?

Now, Mr. Swets said the thing about the storage tank. If it’s been remediated, you can take a tank out, that doesn’t mean the soil around it is good. Usually what happens is whoever remediates it has to file papers with the State, then State has to approve it. Do you know it’s been remediated? Did you look at any documentation to say it’s gone? To say the soil’s been – you don’t have that in front of you. How can you, as a Plan Commission, ignore that? Have you looked at the documents?

And I looked at Earl Drive, and you say that’s off the table. That’s really how – should be the access to this subdivision. Down 97th, widen Earl Drive. Earl Drive now is a piece of crap. It’s basically a two-lane road that wiggles all over the place. Any Plan Commission that’s worth its salt would be focusing on widening Earl Drive and making that the access to this property and forget the light at 96th, forget the turnaround on Joliet. That’s the logical approach, and I only ask this. I thank you for all your time, it took me long time to go through my checklist. But the bottom line is simply this, ask why five times all these red flags are pushed aside.

Mr. Detective, see if there’s any undue influence going on here. See who the beneficiaries are of this project. See who the owners are. Tell us who we’re going to be dealing with 10 years from now. Why don’t you find that out? It’s a very logical question. If you are creating a partnership with somebody, wouldn’t you want to know who’s behind the mask of the LLC? Wouldn’t you want to know who you’re dealing with? I think that’s logical.

For all those reasons, I think this thing should be denied and – and redone so it meets no red flags, no problems, and that everybody in St. John doesn’t think somehow this is fixed. That should be your goal to make sure that there’s integrity in this town and the way you administer the subdivisions, the plats, and the development. Thank you.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): I’d like to preface what I’m about to say, uh, because I feel I need to do this with a –

(Mr. Parada was briefly interrupted by the recording secretary due to an equipment issue.)

My comments are really pointed at very few people that are here. Unfortunately, the ones I really wanted to address are not here tonight. Okay. So don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say. Okay. I’ve been coming to these Plan Commission meetings and Town Council meetings for three years. What I’ve seen is very upsetting. Our Town has elected officials and appointed officials that do not give a damn about the residents of St. John.

A month and half ago, this meeting room was filled to capacity with about a hundred people, standing room and, in some cases, sitting on the floor room only. 90 to 95 percent of them were asking you all to take a better look, put more thought into the passing of the rezoning of the land to be used for projects 96. And I want to add something to this. I don’t know what you guys think. I’m really not against the project 96. And I would say that to you too, Mr. Boyer.

What I’m against is the road cutting through. A lot of what that road represents, and what you keep talking about here is based on junk math. Now, Mr. Kil, two years ago, three years ago said how it would cut down 90 percent of the traffic on Joliet if we just had that road. That’s junk math. Number one because there isn’t one person that’s going to go out of their way going west on Joliet, cut through a subdivision if they’re going north on 41. So that’s about 50 percent gone right there, but that’s how Mr. Kil works. Okay. If you can’t explain it, be creative. Okay. Now, uh, 90 to 95 percent of them were asking you all to take a better look, put more thought. I already said that. Okay.

On project 96. I understand that you were all duly elected or appointed to serve our fine Town. The problem is, elected or not, the majority of you suck at your jobs. And the reason I say this, Mr. Forbes, you have two pull toys, Mr. Volk and Mr. Kozel, that mirror every move you make regardless of what it is. Now, I will say one thing: It’s too little too late, but I have to commend Mr. Volk on that meeting a month and a half ago where he actually broke ranks and voted against this, because evidently he has a conscience. And conscience is a lot of what I’m addressing tonight.

Uh, you know, Mr. Muenich sits here and naps during our meetings. And he’s being paid to be here and give counsel, though tonight he isn’t. And I would like to know, why is he not here tonight? Anybody? Anybody? Because I noticed at the last Town Council meeting we didn’t have an, uh, a lawyer present at that meeting either. Okay.

And I’m going to get off point here for a minute. Yesterday I found something very interesting that I watched streaming from Indianapolis. Now, the Guzzos and Betty Jo Keller were basically strong-armed to sell a bunch of property by Denny Myers, uh, property over there where the strip malls are built. Now, here’s my problem with that, this has gone to appellate court, Indiana State Appellate Court, because of the eminent domain that was enforced on these people.

Now, I’ll tell you what: Number one, there is a problem with eminent domain, because what they’re fighting – and I would too like to know why no one in town that – that directly affects the way the town is – I would like to know why no one in town was informed that this was even happening. We are paying for the counsel that represents this Town in that issue.

Okay. Now, in, first off the bat, it – it comes down to, in that case, and you can tell me I’m off topic, but I’m very on-topic because I’m involved in an eminent domain case right now with this Town. Okay. Now, first off what they’re, what the Guzzos are going after, is they are either entitled to 100 percent fair market value, 125 percent of fair market value, or 150 percent of fair market value. Now, number one, this – this governing body in this Town and our Town Manager went ahead and strong-armed those people into selling. The land was for sale, but it was taken by eminent domain.

Now, here’s another problem, I heard Mr. Muenich yesterday say that was an EDC project, that’s an economic development project. Indiana law states you cannot take – there is no taking of property in Indiana for eminent – I mean for a EDC projects alone. It doesn’t exist. And it even goes to say this: no matter how much it improves the financial health of the Town, you cannot take property by eminent domain for an EDC project.

Okay. Now, going back to this, who’s going to pay for this? Say these people win that case, and I’m anxious to find out what the disposition is on this case. Uh, if the town loses, are we going, the taxpayers, are we going to put out that extra $250, say the worst happens? And in this case, I think it’s really the best because it should set an example, and it should teach you people something: Don’t put the cart in front of the horse. That was ill planned; it was ill taken, and everything else.

All right. Now, say this Town has to put forth that – make up the difference for the 100 percent and 150 percent; that leaves us holding the bag for $250,000. You going to go back to Mr. Meyers and ask for it? Who’s going to pay it? Who’s going to pay it?

Okay, now, next. Sorry. Okay. Now, let’s talk about the roundabout. Are you guys really seriously thinking of putting a roundabout 24 feet from my house when the ordinance says the least is 40 feet? You know what, I’m going to have an unwanted roommate the first day there is either ice on that street or a person thinks, who they do now, going 60 or 65 is a good idea. That’s not going to slow the hard-core ones down. That’s just an obstacle course, and that’s a fact.

And I will further say, I’ve been there for 59 years, and the one thing I can tell you is the very first time that happens, I’m going to sue this Town for anything I can get for engineering negligence, and I mean it. Because you people have put me through hell for the last year – three years I mean. You’ve taken my physical health. You’ve taken my mental health. And you know what, Mr. Forbes, you accused me of coming up here and being uncivilized or uncivil. You know what, I’d like to know how civil you would be if you were here for nearly 60 years and somebody called you on the phone and said, “We want to take your property.” And I say, “I don’t want to sell.” And I’m speaking of Mr. Kil, our town juggler. I would like to know how civil you would be in that situation when he lied to me and deceived me every step of the way.

I was beginning to work on that house to try and fix it up as best as I could with what little I had to work on. He told me, “Mr. Parada, don’t do a thing. We’re going to end up with the property no matter what it takes.” Then you know what he turns around and does, he makes me an offer of $31,000; and then he tries to hit me with all these of violations for the stuff that he told me not to fix. Now, that’s as underhanded and dirty as you can possibly get to a citizen of a town for nearly 60 years. Okay.

Now, I’m going back on script. When this – uh, let’s see Steve Kil and my dad – you know Steve Kil, he’s supposed to be the Town Manager. So far all I see him as managing is confusion, deception, and chaos. When he offered me 34 – $31,000 for my property, I was outraged. He lied to me just like I said. Had he offered me a fair price at the time, a fair price, not knowing any better, I would’ve probably taken, taken it, pulled up stakes and left. But greed stopped him from that happening.

And I thank God every day it did. Because, you know what, my lawyers raised up from – my neighbors raised up for me. We formed the St. John Homeowners PAC, the St. John homeowners group, and we’ve been a pain in your collective asses ever since. And it’s going to continue. Because you know what, the ones of you that serve on this committee, I think your days are numbered – because I think the ones that are making the wrong decisions here, I think your days are numbered. I think you’re on your way out, because I think there’s a new wave of people coming in here who have had it.

You know what, before this all started, I’m very ashamed to say this, but I’d never been to a Town Council meeting until it meant, uh, my survival. I’d never been to the Plan Commission meeting until it meant my survival. But I am told by people who have been coming to these meetings a long time that before this happened – and I – I take really no credit for this; I – I owe all my neighbors for this – but there were two, two or three people at these meetings cause nobody cared.

But you know what, you rattled the cage. Because this deal with the roundabout, there’s no reason for that roundabout. It’s Mr. Kil’s grand design for things. There’s no reason that we need to roundabout. It’s more of a hazard than it is a help, and I don’t care how you cut the cake. I don’t care how you look at it, that’s a fact. It’s more of a hazard than it is a help. And yet it’s a three-legged roundabout that’s not needed. There can be a stop. There can be a stop put there. There can be a caution sign put there. It does not serve any purpose.

It’s 104 feet away from a set of railroad tracks. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. And nowhere is that ever advised. Is it illegal? No. But I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t think you’d ever get state funds for it if it was on a road that was state jurisdiction. And my point, simply, about this, the points I’ve been trying to make too is, you know, you’re moving along with this stuff.

At one time – this is just going back a little bit. At one time Mr. – you guys were trying to push a Circle K gas station down our throat on that corner. You know what, take that property for eminent domain and widen that area so at least on one side of this, we have a way to meet the traffic here. Take that by eminent domain.

Don’t take my house or the Thiels’ property or Jeff Shafer’s property. Take care of business like you should there. But, back to the Circle K, Steve kill, I watched him sit there before Rick was here, which I’m glad Rick is here.

(Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Parada to stay on topic.)

Well, I won’t, because this all – this all has to do with this. And this is all I’m saying.

(Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Parada that he had been carrying on too long about unrelated items and again advised him to stay on topic.)

Okay. I can do that. I can do that. Okay.

(Mr. Forbes responded that he would appreciate that.)

Yeah, I know you would. Because you don’t really like – just like Joe said, you don’t really like to hear the truth. He spent all of his time one meeting taking care of their engineering problems. Who does Steve Kil work for, you or someone else? And I would like, as Joe has said, what is all your motivation in this? I – like I say, I don’t address you other people. I’m talking Mr. Kozel who will absolutely vote yes on anything including Shops 96 as long as it has the word build in it. That’s his – that’s his only qualification to vote yes on something. Okay. Thanks for your time.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Basically, uh, the project is pretty overall conducive to helping the town grow. It’s a nice use of land. I’m glad that they addressed the sidewalk issue tonight. That was something that’s been kind of on everybody’s mind. And the crosswalk, another good item. So the only two – two areas that – that really deserve some kind of conversation is the frontage road, which kind of ends up getting shoved in a corner, which is going to make it a little bit unusual. Although, Earl Drive, and such, from Alsip, a little curvy. So the fact that you’re going to have to hang a right and then hang left in order to stay in the frontage road’s an interesting concept. But, you know, it’s better than no frontage road at all.

Uh, the Shops on 96, kind of, culminate before you get to the roundabout. And the roundabout is part of this development regardless of whether it’s discussed tonight or in the future. The roundabout is not needed, not for the amount of money we’re going to spend, the amount of money that the TIF is going to pay. Granted, it isn’t taxpayer funds, per se, but it’s taking money out of the pockets of the taxpayers in order to pay the TIF bonds. So therefore, the roundabout is unnecessary. I don’t see any need for something that big and that close to the railroad tracks.

And as Mr. Parada said, he could end up with a car sitting in his living room, which I don’t think is such a swell idea. And I don’t believe the Thiels, after 60 or 70 years in business, deserve to, uh, to come to the supposed end that may be on the horizon if the eminent domain goes through and you take over the property.

The wetland, it’s been beat to death tonight. I don’t know what the answer is short of, I guess we’ll have to wait for the governmental agencies to make their ruling. So basically the – the project is a welcome addition to the town, but we do have some pressing problems that I think we ought to look at. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was anyone else who did not sign up that would like to speak. Mr. Hero asked if he could make a second comment. Mr. Forbes advised that protocol predicates that a person only gets one turn per Public Hearing topic to speak.

Hearing no one else, Mr. Forbes closed Public Hearing and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he would like to make any response.

Mr. Boyer stated that in regards to the soil testing, that the soil was tested back in 1990, and the lab reports were provided to Mr. Eberly. Mr. Forbes advised that the board has seen that documentation. Mr. Boyer further stated that he can provide soil borings to Mr. Eberly. They had some that were old, and they redid them. When they were ready to redo them, Mr. Kraus asked for some additional borings in the road and pond areas. They redid the drawings and scope of work for that. That has been released, and they expect the new borings to be done shortly.

Mr. Boyer stated that they have answered the question regarding the ownership of the properties and that they have powers of attorney for the properties they don't own, which is not uncommon. They do not close on all the real estate until they are fully entitled, and that has been how he has done every project for the last 30 years.

Mr. Boyer responded to Mr. Thiel's statement regarding US 41. He responded that it is his understanding that there will be a center turn lane on US 41. There will be a median south of 93rd Avenue as part of the improvements. He stated that he was before the BZA approximately week prior where he offered to pay for those improvements and to donate the land for improvements for US 41 and 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Forbes advised that much of the information provided tonight is mismatched and not in any correct order.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he had, in fact, approached the Town regarding a commercial development. Mr. Boyer answered in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if, through discussion with you, the Town worked out a deal in order to put 96th Place through his development. Mr. Boyer responded, "That's correct, and we are donating the land for that to be possible. We never once asked for reimbursement for the land or anything to that effect."

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer to confirm again that the Town did not approach him and ask him to build a bunch of stores. Mr. Boyer answered in the affirmative. He added that they have owned some of the property in excess of 10 years.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he is personally receiving any of the TIF money. Mr. Boyer responded that he is not.

Mr. Forbes stated that the TIF dollars are going to the road project on the property that Mr. Boyer is donating to the Town. Mr. Boyer stated, "We are creating the development and the incremental assessed valuation that pays for those bonds and, in fact, pays back all of that TIF money. That is our investment and our development and our construction that provides for that."

Mr. Forbes stated that he believes, by the financial advisor's last account, by the time Shops on 96th is built out, we will have 450 percent coverage on the TIF bond debt. Mr. Boyer confirmed the same and stated that the amount is by far more TIF coverage than he has ever seen. Mr. Forbes concurred that he has never seen that amount either.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Boyer how long he expects the project to take to build out. Mr. Boyer responded that it should be built out within five years as per their Economic Development Agreement.

Mr. Forbes advised that repaying the TIF bond is a non-issue. If this development can start moving forward, the bonds could potentially be paid back so fast it's almost like they weren't even there. Mr. Boyer responded that the funds for that are his investment and that the development is providing that incremental increase in taxes to pay for those bonds.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Forbes to repeat the percentage. Mr. Forbes responded that it is 450 percent coverage when built out. Mr. Boyer stated that it is typical to have 120 percent to 125 percent coverage. Mr. Forbes advised that that number was released earlier at a Redevelopment Commission meeting and Town Council meeting. Mr. Forbes stated that this should not be a new number to anyone as it has been disclosed and discussed numerous times.

Mr. Forbes stated that in response to the discussion about US 41 from 93rd Avenue to Joliet Street, the Town has had significant discussion with INDOT regarding this area. INDOT will not widen that section of Route 41 because of the cemetery and the church. They will not get into an issue of land acquisition with the church because of the cemetery. INDOT will not take one side of US 41 in order to widen it. There has been a couple projects proposed where they were going to widen it. In fact one of them was Mr. Boyer; however, enough people turned up that that project was turned down.

Mr. Birlson asked if the Town told INDOT that they did not want a median or a suicide lane between 93rd Avenue and Joliet Street. Mr. Forbes responded that they have not had a discussion with INDOT about that for that section of road. Mr. Birlson stated that that is the rumor on the street. Mr. Forbes stated that it is just a rumor, and that is all it is. Mr. Birlson stated that INDOT said that in their report. Mr. Forbes responded, "It Is absolutely not factual that the Town of St. John told INDOT not to widen Route 41."

Mr. Forbes stated that they have addressed the tank issue, they are gone, there is documentation that they are gone, and it was done. Mr. Forbes further stated that this not being addressed and discussed in public meetings, that statement is inaccurate. This topic has been discussed at three or four meetings of the previous Plan Commission, it has been discussed numerous meetings of this Plan Commission, it has been discussed at the Economic Development Committee, it has been discussed at the Redevelopment Committee, and it has been discussed at the Town Council. All of those meetings were public meetings. There is no conspiracy that the Town is trying to run in the background. It does not hold water.

Mr. Forbes advised that the eminent domain for all the properties is being done for roadway purposes. Mr. Forbes further advised that we only use eminent domain for a public purpose. Any property gained through the eminent domain process will become part of the Town of St. John. It will not go to Mr. Boyer. Eminent domain was discussed at the Town Council when the Economic Agreement was approved. Mr. Kil brought it up. It was out in the open, everybody heard it, and everybody agreed to it. It was neither hidden nor out of the public eye.

Mr. Forbes advised that the attorney has been consulted on every point of this development from the developmental standards to the financials; this project would not be here at this time without approval from our attorney.

Mr. Forbes asked if the board had anything else that they would like to discuss.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he would like to address some of the comments in general. The project is extraordinarily complicated. It affects a lot of people. Mr. Panczuk stated that he is concerned how it affects people and also stated that he has no authority or decision-making over a roundabout or the taking of property. Those decisions were made previous to this stage. He is not allowed, per the Indiana State Statutes, to take those matters into account when making his judgment about this matter. This board is only allowed to look at the subdivision and lots tonight.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Boyer if he could accomplish the shopping center without the road going through. Mr. Boyer stated that the road was never part of their original plan and that they were asked by the Town to put that road through to accommodate the Town's desire. Mr. Boyer further stated that he could accomplish putting in the shopping center without it; however, it is a good idea to have secondary exit, have a connection to Earl Drive, and take as much traffic off of Route 41 as possible.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he wants everyone to know that while it is unfortunate that there has been hard feelings over the past three years on this project, the board can only look at the lots on the paper and base a decision on those lots and the subdivision.

Mr. Panczuk stated that, as far as the wetlands are concerned, IDEM is the ultimate determining body. He feels that there does need to be a contingency on the results from IDEM as contingencies are real thing and cannot be denied.

Mr. Panczuk stated that as far as the fuel tanks and soil borings are concerned, he would support a contingency for financial burden for remediation costs on Mr. Boyer. Mr. Boyer responded that financial burden for environmental issues is something he deals with when buying any piece of property in any location at any given time. If there is any environmental issues or concerns, he deals with them and addresses them as it is always the owner's responsibility.

Mr. Flores asked if something is found to be contaminated, would Mr. Boyer handle the remediation of that contamination. Mr. Boyer stated that if there is contamination and/or an issue found, that is always the owner’s responsibility. When the tanks were removed, it was documented that there was no contaminated soil in or under the location of the tanks.

Mr. Flores asked Mr. Boyer if there are issues with the soil at the site, if he would take care of those. Mr. Boyer responded that they deal with those in every project that they do. There are always soil issues and conditions they have to deal with. He added that is why they have engineers and consultants tell them how to do that.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or discussion from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. Mr. Forbes asked the board to bear in mind that their vote must be unanimous for any action to occur as there are only four members present as a minimum of four votes is required for a majority vote for the Plan Commission and a majority vote is always required for an action. He advised that if there is not a unanimous vote tonight, no action will be taken and this matter will move to our next regular meeting.

Mr. Forbes, again, entertained a motion regarding Primary Plat action for Shops 96.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Flores and Mr. Birlson if their questions have been answered. Mr. Panczuk further asked Mr. Birlson what his opinion is to approve the project with attaching a contingency on the results from IDEM. Mr. Birlson stated that he is against that, and he feels that that needs to be addressed before plat approval is made. He further stated that it should be shown on the plat where the wetlands are located. Mr. Birlson added that if the development was somewhere else where the Town wasn't involved, we would require that.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Birlson if there were any other items that he has an issue with, once that item is in order. Mr. Birlson stated that he thinks there needs to be a frontage road designated in a better way going north of 96 than what is there.

Mr. Birlson addressed Mr. Boyer directly and wished him success on the project. He stated there are things on the project that he just doesn't care for. Mr. Boyer responded that Mr. Birlson has made that clear. Mr. Birlson stated that Mr. Boyer has a nice product in Highland and that he hopes these things get ironed out so that Mr. Boyer can start building.

Mr. Panczuk addressed Mr. Birlson and stated that he too wanted Earl Drive to go all the way through. He looked at Denny Cobb's report and was and did research on it. He stated there could be a great deal of traffic westbound that does not exist at 97th that would create traffic stacking and a visibility issue.

Mr. Panczuk stated that it hit home when he was on his honeymoon and went to a shopping center where they had the exact scenario of a road crossing at about the same distance as Earl Drive, and they had to put the yellow things down the centerline for making the movement because it was dangerous. When he saw it laid out with heavy traffic, he understood.

Mr. Birlson responded that he suggested quite a while ago to move Earl Drive to the east to get that away from the traffic light and stacking. Mr. Birlson addressed Mr. Boyer and stated that he believes Mr. Boyer said it would affect the parking east of Earl Drive. Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Boyer if he looked into it any further after the comment was made. Mr. Boyer stated that the zoning and the planning and development was already approved with the location of Earl Drive where it is shown.

Mr. Panczuk stated that Mr. Cobb's report showed that it had to be so many feet to the east, which is pretty much where the road is now.

Motion to defer by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised that this matter is deferred until November.

Mr. Birlson asked why Earl Drive isn’t a dedicated easement. Mr. Boyer stated that he offered to dedicate it and that if the Town would like it, then they can have it. Mr. Forbes stated that we don’t want it because then we would have to plow it first.

Mr. Birlson asked if the rest of Earl Drive is a dedicated easement. Mr. Forbes stated that it is the same way through Target. It is basically the Town’s road, but we don’t plow it first. We leave it up to the commercial center to clear it. Mr. Birlson stated that it makes sense.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Eberly if the board will likely have the IDEM report by the next meeting. Mr. Eberly stated that he believes they should have it by then.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. CASTLE ROCK PHASE 2 – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Andy James/Doug Rettig, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock Phase 2, Secondary Plat action. The petitioner is Andy James; Doug Rettig is the engineer. This is a Secondary Plat for 29 R-2 single-family lots. This subdivision is located in the northwest corner of town adjacent to Edgewood and Kilkenny subdivisions.

Mr. Rettig stated that Phase 1 was platted last year; now they are platting Phase 2. It is 29 lots. All the improvements are in, and everything is in order. Mr. Kraus has done his review.

Mr. Eberly advised that the fees are paid.

Mr. Forbes read the letter from Mr. Kraus. The Developmental Fees of $13,617.88 has been paid; no Letter of Credit is required.

Mr. Rettig stated that four lots located on “this little knuckle” part of Castle Rock Phase 2 were to have been part of Kilkenny Estates; however, they were never platted, so they came with the property and are being platted now. At the time when the road was platted for Kilkenny Estates, the road was called 88th Place. In Lantern Woods, it is called Lantern Drive which creates confusion.

Mr. Eberly advised that in Kilkenny Estates, Unit 3, the lots are platted as part of that and are Lots 108, 109, 107, and 110. Lot 110 has a Lantern Drive address. Lots 108 and 109 on the south side have an 88th Place address. Google Earth cannot find those homes if you plug in those addresses. It is a very confusing situation causing problems for the homeowner on Lot 109 with FedEx, UPS, and the Post Office recognizing the 88th Place.

Mr. Eberly advised that Lot 110 should have an 88th Place address, but it has a Lantern Drive address, as it should since it’s Lantern Drive for a half of a mile or so. The little section from Park Lane over to Tapper is supposed to be 88th Place.

Mr. Eberly has been in contact with Landmark Surveyors, who did the plat for Kilkenny, Unit 3, and they will provide us with a Certificate of Correction to call that Lantern Drive which we need to record it when it is received. Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Rettig to change it on the plat to reflect that it will be Lantern Drive there. The only address that it impacts on Mr. Rettig’s plat is Lot 66. The other three homes have a Tapper address.

Mr. Forbes asked if the lot is vacant. Mr. Eberly advised that they are all vacant. Mr. Forbes stated that as long as the homeowners are fine with it, it is not a problem as it will be on them to change their addresses on everything.

Mr. Rettig stated that the reason he brought it up is because it is listed as 88th Place on the drawing presented. It is listed as Lantern Drive on the mylars, and he doesn’t want to print the mylars until the board gives him the go ahead.

Mr. Forbes advised that the Plan Commission can do this tonight and do a Certificate of Correction in November.

Mr. Eberly advised that he did send a letter to the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief notifying them that this would likely be occurring. Mr. Flores stated that they did get the notification.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further comments or questions from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion to approve Castle Rock, Phase 2, Secondary Plat by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes advised that the motion needs to include the Findings of Fact and requested an amendment to the motion. Amended Motion for Secondary Plat approval for Castle Rock Phase 2 to include the Findings of Fact by Mr. Flores. The Amended Motion was seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Amended Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Just one point. Since, Mr. Forbes, you tend to like to think that I make up stuff or give misinformation, so I would just like to share this, um, INDOT report, the environmental assessment form with Mr. Boyer, um, just to let him know that I didn't just make up this information about the, uh, underground tanks and – and INDOT's concerns.

Mr. Forbes responded that that's not what he had said Mr. Swets made up. He further stated that the board is aware of that document and has seen and read the same.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I was just wondering when Mr. Volk's seat’s going to be filled on this Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes responded that filling Mr. Volk's seat is not the Plan Commission's decision to make.

Well, for public comment, I feel that there needs to be seven people for the Town to be served appropriately. I also feel that there should be an attorney present at this meeting and the Town Council meeting, because it would solve a lot of problems. You can vouch to say you consulted your attorney, but every person on this board is responsible for their own vote, and everyone on this board has a right to have an attorney to give them his opinion on how they should vote and act when there's questions about the legality of some of these things. And I think it's very unfair to the people on this board for them not to have legal counsel at these meetings.

And I also feel that the minutes, once they are approved by this board, that they should be on the website, because I could — I had to go and search of the public hearing from July 11, which was passed but not available on the website. And that causes a lot of extra work for the people in the Clerk's Office. They should be posted on the website so there's transparency to all the people in this town and people don't have to go searching for the information. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to know why there's three empty seats here. This is probably the most important meeting of the year. Why isn't Mr. Kennedy here? Why did Mr. Volk resign? He voted against this at an earlier meeting. Does he think there's something wrong and he doesn't want to be here? Why is the other gentlemen not here? It raises suspicion in my mind that there's three empty seats here that should be filled by members of this town. I'd like an answer. Ask why, Mr. Flores, five times. Why are these guys not here? Is it a medical emergency? Some death in the family? This is the most important meeting that you guys held – probably ever have in your career. Ask that question five times, Mr. Flores. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero if there is anything that does not raise suspicion in his mind.

Having no one else speaking, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

10-17-2018 Plan Commission

October 17, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on October 17, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director; and Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Forbes stated that there was a slight miscommunication between Mr. Eberly and himself. Item D, The Gates of St. John, Pod 20 is here for Secondary Plat; however, along with that item, the agenda should have had 13B for Secondary Plat and 7D/9A for Secondary Plat. Those items will all be included when Item D is addressed.
A. SUMMERLIN SUBDIVISION – Continued Discussion of (Olthof Homes – Ed Recktenwall)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item on the agenda is Olthof Homes, continued discussion relative to the Summerlin Subdivision.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that it was originally called Illiana. It is on 109th Avenue directly south of Silverleaf. He stated that it is a proposed 71-lot, R-1 subdivision.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that in their first meeting on this subdivision with the Plan Commission, the talk focused heavily on 109th Avenue. They have reached out to Denny Cobb, who did some traffic counts and drew up an option for providing a dedicated left-turn lane into both Summerlin and Silverleaf. Mr. Recktenwall provided copies of the draft to the members of the board. Mr. Eberly showed the same on the viewing screen in the room.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that originally they had an island at the entrance of Summerlin; however due to constraints, they had to shrink the island and shift it to the east.

The configuration does allow for left turn lanes into both subdivisions, but there is a bit of a conflict for the outbound traffic of Silverleaf. The vehicles turning left out of Silverleaf would be required to turn behind the vehicles waiting to turn left into Silverleaf.

Due to the conflict, they had discussions with the staff and have come up with a few alternate options. They would shift the entrance to the west approximately 263 feet and take it out of alignment, eliminating the left-turn conflict coming out of Silverleaf. He has sent it on to Mr. Cobb for review.

Mr. Eberly advised that it allows for a left turn into both developments without slowing down through traffic. It also allows for right turns from westbound 109th Avenue traffic into Silverleaf and eastbound 109th Avenue traffic into Summerlin.

Mr. Kozel asked if there would be enough of a center turn lane provided for that. Mr. Recktenwall answered in the affirmative. Mr. Kozel stated that it would need to be extended to accommodate that. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they would be extending the acceleration lane and making another lane to allow for through traffic.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that Mr. Cobb will do the actual configuration.

Mr. Eberly stated that the issue that Mr. Recktenwall is facing is that west of Summerlin there is only a 30-foot right-of-way from the centerline of 109th Avenue to the south. He will be dedicating 50 feet of right-of-way and the church to the east of him already has 50 feet of right-of-way dedicated. In the original configuration, the transition lane goes beyond the church property and has the same issue with a potential lack of enough right-of-way on the south side of 109th Avenue east of the church.

Mr. Recktenwall discussed the transitions on the original draft by Mr. Cobb. He stated that it would essentially eliminate the right turn into the church property. There are also two other entrances and a driveway that would be subjected to those through lanes. Mr. Recktenwall stated that east of the church, there is only a 30 foot right-of-way, and if there were any grading improvements needed, they would likely end up outside of the right-of-way.

Mr. Eberly advised that the property with the 30-foot right-of-way east of the church, as well as the property west of Summerlin, is not in town. Obtaining the right-of-way would be more difficult, and if there were additional right-of-way obtained there at this time, it would be dedicated to the County and not the Town.

Mr. Eberly stated that the option Mr. Recktenwall is showing does not change the lot numbers. It changes the layout of the property and where the lots are positioned.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the Primary Plat meets the ordinance, and they would like to go ahead with Public Hearing in November.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the engineering still needs done because he waited to see what the discussion at this Study Session would hold.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Recktenwall to explain the conflict with lining up the entrances again.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the traffic turning left into Silverleaf has to turn it at an angle and an offset to get through and into the northbound lane. Anyone turning left out of Silverleaf would be turning behind the left-turn stacking lane.

Mr. Eberly advised that trying to mirror the entrance to Silverleaf created a worse issue by producing a head-on conflict with the left-turning vehicles.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if there were any objections to the relocation of the entrance.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is not too thrilled with it because it is nice to have the entrances lined up with one another.

Mr. Kozel stated that the alternate configuration would cause fewer accidents than the original configuration.

Mr. Eberly stated if there is movement from Silverleaf into Summerlin, there is an offset jog that is similar to what is at White Oak right now at 109th Avenue. It is probably even a bit more of an offset.

Mr. Kraus stated that the ordinance predicates that if they are offset, they need to be at least 150 feet apart. Since the offset is 263 feet, Mr. Recktenwall meets the requirements of the ordinance. Mr. Eberly concurred.

Mr. Eberly stated that he spoke with Mr. Cobb earlier that morning, and Mr. Cobb said that we could make it work by shifting the entrance to the west. Steve Kil was also in that meeting, and he is concerned that the property is set up to connect to properties to the east, west, and south of it, and the area here could become a signalized intersection. Mr. Eberly stated that both Mr. Cobb and he felt that it would be a difficult intersection to signalize, and with the alternate configuration, it would not work.

Mr. Kennedy asked what is currently in the median to the north. Mr. Recktenwall responded that it is grass, trees, and the entrance marker. Mr. Kennedy asked if there could be improvements made to that entrance to include a left-turn lane. Mr. Recktenwall stated that it is not something they considered. Mr. Kennedy stated that it might eliminate the stacking problem if they could.

Mr. Eberly stated that it would create more of a conflict.

Mr. Kraus advised that the left-turn lane would be to the wrong side of the folks who are turning right which could cause them to be going into each other. Mr. Kraus further advised that both lanes would have to be moved over.

Mr. Panczuk stated that, unfortunately, we can’t go back and change what has already been done. He further stated that it is something that the board will likely keep in mind for future developments. He stated the primary goal is to not obstruct traffic.

Mr. Panczuk asked if they have considered the sidewalks yet. Mr. Recktenwall responded that they have not looked at that yet.

Mr. Birlson asked if moving the center of the proposed road to the center of the island would work. Mr. Recktenwall responded that he does not believe so as the two left-turn lanes would be closer to one another.

Mr. Recktenwall stated for the sidewalk, they could probably put a connecter across using a cutout since there is common property area that could be used.

Mr. Flores asked what the development is to the west of Summerlin. Mr. Eberly advised that it is a single house sitting on several acres of property.

Mr. Flores asked if the configuration would cause problems for possible future development there. Mr. Recktenwall stated that by ordinance, any new development would have to be 125 feet away from the entrance to Summerlin.

Mr. Eberly showed the plat on the meeting room viewing screen and pointed out where the proposed project has stubs for connections to the east, west, and south.

Mr. Forbes stated that it sounds like the original proposed entrance is not going to work very well and that it needs to be reviewed by Mr. Cobb. Mr. Forbes asked the board if they are okay with that. The members responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that he sent the alternate options to Mr. Cobb and should have feedback in a couple of weeks and would be prepared to discuss it at the next meeting.

Mr. Panczuk asked that he confer with Mr. Cobb as to how best to connect a sidewalk. Mr. Recktenwall stated that they are intending to have sidewalks on 109th Avenue.

Mr. Kraus asked when he might be in receipt of the drainage calculations. Mr. Recktenwall responded that he would send them to Mr. Kraus the next morning.

Mr. Kennedy asked if he would be requesting any waivers. Mr. Recktenwall stated they would likely ask for a curb waiver since that seems like a standard practice in St. John. He added that they are willing to install the curbs.

Mr. Kozel asked if they will have the curbs for the accel/decel lanes. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Recktenwall both responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he has seen more and more in town where, when they have granted curb waivers, the roads are deteriorating more; and he thinks the curbs help to prevent that.

Mr. Kennedy stated that it would be nice to see curbs and gutters put in. If the Town had plans to improve 109th Avenue, we would not want to put something in just to rip it out. If there is no plan to improve 109th Avenue in the near future, it would be nice to start the process of putting curb and gutter in. Mr. Kozel stated that there are ditches on each side; and the water needs to be able to drain somewhere; and when it snows and the snow is plowed, they tear up enough curbs in the residential areas.

Mr. Kraus advised that we need either turnouts and ditches or inlets and sewers. Mr. Recktenwall advised that they would do turnouts since there is a ditch line along 109th Avenue.

Mr. Birlson stated that curbs do help keep the pavement intact; otherwise, eventually the asphalt edge will deteriorate.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Recktenwall to plan on installing curbs.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

B. WALDEN CLEARING PHASE ONE – Secondary Plat Approval (Olthof Homes – Ed Recktenwall)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Olthof Homes. The developer is seeking Secondary Plat approval for Phase One of Walden Clearing.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they broke ground right after receiving Primary Plat approval. They are moving toward getting pavement done on the first section. He would like to request Final Plat approval for Phase 1, which includes 48 of the Estate lots on the north side of 93rd avenue and 16 Manor lots on the south side of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Recktenwall advised that most of the utilities installed and will be working with Mr. Kraus over the next week or two to establish their bond amount and Developmental Fees as well. He further advised that there are no changes between the Primary Plat and the Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Kraus would need that documentation and then sign off.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

C. KILKENNY ESTATES UNIT 3 – Certificate of Correction for Street Name Change
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Kilkenny Estates, Unit 3 for a Certificate of Correction changing a street name from “88th Place” to “Lantern Drive.”

Mr. Forbes stated that the matter was discussed at the October 3, 2018 meeting and that we have the Certificate of Correction.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. None were had.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN – Pod 20 Regarding Secondary Plat Approval
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John for Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Don Torrenga of Torrenga Engineering stated that he is here representing BLB. Mr. Torrenga addressed Pod 20A, which contains the first 20 lots of Suncrest Church Addition. He is not certain if everything is installed or not.

Mr. Kraus advised that they are working on the curbs at the entrance at Parrish Avenue. Some tweaks needed to be made. The elevations that we just installed on Parrish Avenue met up exactly with theirs, but the gutter lines did not match: We had straight-back curb on the decel lane and they had a particular rolled-back curb, so there was a height difference that needed to be smoothed out. It was worked out this morning, and they are moving right along.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any changes from the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Torrenga responded in the negative.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Torrenga to proceed with Unit 7D and 9A.

Mr. Torrenga advised that they combined the two units together. There are 9 lots along 105th Avenue, 9 lots in the Linden Cove cul-de-sac, and 17 lots on Brookhaven. They are combined together because the original plans done by V3 drafted it as Pod 7 and Pod 9, and it did not seem sensible to have it in two plats.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any changes from the original plats. Mr. Torrenga responded in the negative.

Mr. Torrenga stated that he does not believe the utilities are in on Brookhaven or Linden, and the roads are still in the process of being cut.

Mr. Kraus advised that he sent Public Works a request to check what is completed, what tests have been passed, and what still needs to be completed.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if he has spoken with Mr. Kil regarding when they will be paving. Mr. Eberly responded that he has not discussed that matter with Mr. Kil.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Kraus if, when completing his review, he verifies it is the same as the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Kraus responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Torrenga stated that the last unit they wish to address is the balance of Unit 13B, which contains 30 lots.

Mr. Eberly asked if the section will connect to Suncrest. Mr. Torrenga responded in the affirmative. Lot 423 connects to a corner of what will be Unit 13B in Suncrest. There is a minor jog there where White Jasmine Drive was proposed to come straight through. It was rearranged and the changes were sent to Mr. Kraus. It will no longer be stubbed nto the property to the south.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if they have any questions or comments. None were had.

E. SHOPS 96 – Continued Primary Plat Discussion (Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Shops 96, a continued discussion relative to Primary Plat action.

Mr. Boyer of Boyer Properties advised that they are here to answer any further questions regarding Primary Plat request. He stated that Doug Rettig with DVG is here with him and that he does not believe that much of anything has changed since their last meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he had contacted IDEM. Mr. Boyer stated that there has been correspondence between the Town and IDEM, but he does not believe they have visited the site yet.

Mr. Eberly advised that the last he had heard from Marty Maupin was that Mr. Maupin was not able to visit the site. He indicated that he has received an application for a “waters of the state” determination, and he expects to make that determination by the end of the month.

Mr. Birlson asked what a “waters of the state” is. Mr. Eberly responded that it is the determination made by the State as to whether it is an isolated wetland under their jurisdiction or an exempt isolated wetland under their jurisdiction.

Mr. Forbes asked if a meeting is scheduled with INDOT to finalize sidewalks and the intersection. Mr. Eberly responded that the meeting is October 29, 2018.

Mr. Eberly advised that we are waiting for the updated soil borings report. They were out there the other day doing the borings, and we are just waiting on the report. Mr. Eberly further advised that some of the concerns expressed at the Public Hearing was concerns that part of the property that is going to be owned and maintained by the Town, and they don’t want the Town to be stuck with property that has bad soils.

Mr. Eberly explained that Mr. Kil has made provision for an extra $400,000 contingency in the bond financing, anticipating bad soils. The numbers were run by Mr. Cobb, and he feels that $200,000 would have been ample and that what is earmarked is twice what we should expect to need for soil remediation on the property we will own.

Mr. Eberly stated that the rest of the property would be Mr. Boyer’s headach. Mr. Boyer stated that they have a saying they use, “There’s no more good soil in Northwest Indiana. We’re all building on all the garbage right now.” He stated that they make provisions and allow for such issues.

Mr. Forbes stated that it is part of development and that anytime we do a road project, we always have a contingency built in. Even with the Community Crossing Grant for the Parrish Avenue project, there was a contingency built into that as well.

Mr. Forbes advised that as far as the property acquisitions go, the property owners have decided not to contest the taking, so that issue is off the table if that is a concern for anybody.

Mr. Kennedy asked about an access cut for the property to the north of the project area. Mr. Panczuk explained the new access point to Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Eberly showed the access point on the viewing screen and explained that it goes directly to the commercial property instead of through residential property.

Mr. Boyer responded that they have created a no access easement around the corner where it touches the Thiel property.

Mr. Forbes stated that there were concerns about the underground storage tanks on the property. He further stated that Mr. Boyer has documentation showing that those tanks were removed in 1990, so that is a nonissue as well.

Mr. Birlson stated that this a PUD and two items that concern him on it. The first item states that the uses and proposed development will not be detrimental to the property values of surrounding properties. Will not impair the use or enjoyment of surrounding properties, but will have a beneficial effect which could not be achieved under any other non-PUD zoning district.

Mr. Birlson stated that the tying in of Joliet Street adversely affects those property owners. Having a roundabout by your home, 24 feet, no one signed up for that. Losing all your frontage road for a business that has been in town for 75 years adversely affects the Thiels. The Schaffers have a side yard with a patio there, and the roundabout adversely affects them. So if we want to follow our PUD, then that connection should be moved farther to the east.

Mr. Birlson also touched on wetlands, which are protected. He stated that there are wetlands there that are going to be filled in. He stated that he looked on the IDEM website and that there was 5.6 million acres of wetlands and, as of the 1980s, 4.7 million acres in Indiana have been lost. If we keep saying 3 or 4 acres is no big deal, eventually, you have none.

Mr. Boyer responded to Mr. Birlson that, first and foremost, it is a detention pond.

Mr. Birlson stated to wait for IDEM. He added that during a phone call IDEM said it has wetlands. Mr. Boyer responded that it has wetland characteristics, but it is a storm-water basin that was approved and platted in this Town many years ago.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is not talking about the basin. They understand there is a basin and channels, but there is another area they are saying is a wetland.

Mr. Birlson asked if we are here to preserve it. He then stated if it is not a wetland, he will not say anymore about it.

Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Birlson where that wetland is located. Mr. Birlson responded that he doesn’t know and to let IDEM tell us.

Mr. Kozel stated that he would be curious to know where it is at; if there are wetlands there, they should be able to be seen.

Mr. Boyer stated that the storm-water basin exhibits the characteristics of wetlands, which are vegetation, moisture, and soil; and that is why the US Army Corps of Engineers has determined it to be non-jurisdictional and an exempt feature. Mr. Birlson stated that it is now in IDEM’s hands, so let’s see if it is.

Mr. Kennedy stated that if it is determined to be wetlands, Mr. Boyer will have to mitigate that, so they will have to replace it in kind with a multiplier.

Mr. Boyer stated that they typically ask for a 2:1 mitigation and a better wetland in a different location. Mr. Boyer further stated that they have done this many times in different projects.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the roundabout is in the PUD. Mr. Eberly and Mr. Forbes stated that it is not. Mr. Eberly demonstrated on the screen where the roundabout is in relation to the project property.

Mr. Birlson again expressed his issues with the roundabout and the proximity in relation to the project property.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments. None were had.

F. MORNING CREST – Secondary Plat Approval
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Morning Crest. The petitioner will be seeking Secondary Plat approval.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that he is here representing Lantz Development for Morning Crest. It is under construction. All the underground utilities are installed; curbs and asphalt are going in in the next couple of weeks. Mr. Lantz is hoping to have it paved by the end of the month.

The plans have not changed. They have discussed the costs with Mr. Kraus today.

Mr. Kraus stated that he is aware that the plan is a little different than the original plan as there is a power pole on Cline Avenue that shortened up the accel lane.

Mr. Rettig stated that the accel taper had gotten a little bit shorter because NIPSCO said they could not move the pole. They did a sketch and submitted it to the town.

Mr. Birlson asked how the grading is on the north side of the subdivision. Mr. Rettig stated that they have built retention ponds and a berm along the north line to recapture all their water in the retention ponds, and they have not heard any complaints from any of the neighbors.

Mr. Birlson asked what the ordinance is on spacing of inlets on rear yards. Mr. Kraus responded that it is 300 feet. Mr. Birlson asked if that is adequate. Mr. Kraus responded in the affirmative.

General discussion about drainage and grading ensued. Mr. Kraus advised that the majority of subdivisions with issues are in the older subdivisions that abut one another that were put in prior to the 300-foot requirement.

Mr. Forbes confirmed with Mr. Kozel that the inspectors carefully inspect that as well. Mr. Kozel confirmed the same.

Mr. Kozel stated that many issues also come into play when landscapers change the grading when installing landscaping which causes problems with water coming back to the house, but they have changed the grade themselves after inspection.

Mr. Kraus stated that at times they raise landscaping around the house that extends into the drainage easement. If you get two houses that do that, the 15-foot wide storm drainage easement is now 2 feet, and then they look to the Town to make it right.

Mr. Birlson asked if St. John requires sump pump connections for each lot. Mr. Kraus advised that each lot is provided with a 4-inch connection, or at least a stub so if they need it, they have a place to connect to. Mr. Birlson asked if that ties into the storm sewer. Mr. Kraus answered in the affirmative. Mr. Kozel stated that it goes into a storm sewer or a detention pond.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. None were had.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 7:48 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted;

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

11-07-2018 Plan Commission

November 7, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk Michael Muenich, Town Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on November 7, 2018, 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: Bob Birlson, Steve Flores, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, Paul Panczuk, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly and Kenn Kraus.

Absent:

Mr. Forbes advised that Mr. Kennedy called and stated that he will be arriving a few minutes late to the meeting.

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda are the minutes for the October 3, 2018 Regular Meeting and the December 20, 2017 and October 17, 2018 Study Session Meetings.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion to approve the minutes from October 3, 2018 Regular Meeting and the December 20, 2017 and October 17, 2018 Study Sessions by Mr. Flores. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 5 ayes – 0 nays.

(Mr. Kennedy arrived just after the Approval of Minutes.)

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. SUMMERLIN ESTATES – Public Hearing For Primary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Ed Recktenwall, Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Summerlin Estates Public Hearing for Preliminary Plat.

Mr. Eberly advised that all items are in order for this petitioner to proceed with Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes advised that this is a Public Hearing for Primary Plat action on this proposed development to be located on the south side of 109th Avenue, between Calumet Avenue and White Oak Avenue, directly across 109th Avenue from Silver Leaf. Mr. Forbes added that it does not span the entire length from Calumet Avenue to White Oak Avenue on 109th Avenue.

(The recording secretary requested a brief pause due to a recording equipment issue.)

Mr. Recktenwall stated that he is here to request Primary Plat approval for Summerlin Estates, a 71-lot R-1 subdivision. The site has not changed much since the last few times it was shown to the board. One of the items that has been discussed is the entrance on 109th Avenue.

Mr. Recktenwall advised that they have been working closely with the staff over the last few weeks to come up with a resolution to the entryway issue. They are providing for a future roundabout in that area. In addition, they were able to have a left-hand turn out onto 109th Avenue by leaving the entrance in the original proposed location.

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Cobb has reviewed the entryway plan. Mr. Recktenwall responded that Mr. Cobb has not looked at this particular rendering yet; however, he had provided the lane widths and taper widths for it.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that the entrance into Summerlin does not have a median island like Silver Leaf. They were able to get two 75-foot storage, left-hand turn lanes and provide a through lane for the eastbound traffic that tapers on the plan. It still allows for a right-hand turn into the church to the east of the subdivision.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or comments from the board. Mr. Panczuk commented that he likes the plan.

Mr. Forbes stated that it doesn’t resolve all the problems; however, it is a much better option. Mr. Forbes further stated that if we can get a roundabout in there in the future, that will make it better.

Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Cobb has a plan with a roundabout there with a full four-lane improvement of 109th Avenue.

Mr. Eberly further stated that the right-of-way to improve 109th Avenue would require acquiring property that is not in town, so it is not feasible at this time and this is a compromise to that plan that does provide for a future two-lane roundabout, should that happen.

Mr. Recktenwall noted that there is pedestrian access across 109th Avenue; a proposed handicap ramp on the island side of Silver Leaf that they will install.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the number of lots increased from the original plat rendering provided. Mr. Recktenwall responded that the number of lots increased by one, as they were able to gain back Outlot F, which was on the original drawing, due to being able to get a retention permit from IDEM.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the area between Lots 10 and 11 is still going to be open space for a potential park at some point. Mr. Recktenwall stated that the pond does encroach on that just a bit, but there is space up front for a potential small playground and park area.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oak Ridge Drive): The way that intersection is designed, I think it’s unsafe. I think if you’ve got two lanes on the other side, they should connect straight into the other side as two lanes. If you look at the way 97th is constructed now, there’s a light there that allows each lane to function. I see no traffic light on this drawing. I think there has to be a traffic light here, and the two lanes that exist have to connect directly across that street, because if somebody’s coming from – on the drawing – I would call it the top, left lane – trying to get into that street, they got to come at a diagonal. And if there’s cross traffic coming, that creates a hazard.

There has to be a signal light there like there’s one on 97th and 41 now. That has to be at the expense of the developer, and I think the lanes have to directly connect. Otherwise, you’re creating a severe traffic hazard that will cause people to have accidents and serious injuries. And I think it’s ridiculous that you say there’s a compromise here. There should be no compromise for public safety. If this does not meet the conditions that you need in the Findings of Fact, because this will create a severe traffic hazard, those lanes have to be aligned and there has to be a traffic light there. Thank you.

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. Kraus advised that the engineering has not been submitted yet, and he has no drawings to look at yet.

Mr. Eberly advised that the reason the Mr. Kraus does not have the drawings for review yet is because it took so long to come up with the drawing for the entrance, which put the developer behind in developing their engineering.

Mr. Eberly further advised that the petitioner intended to open and conduct the Public Hearing and ask for a deferral to the December meeting. This is on the November Study Session for further discussion.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Recktenwall if he could have Mr. Cobb review the plans before the Study Session. Mr. Recktenwall responded that he would.

Motion to defer Primary Plat approval to the December meeting by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. WALDEN CLEARING – Secondary Plat Action for Phase One – (Petitioner: Ed Recktenwall, Olthof Homes)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Walden Clearing. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval of Phase One of this development, which consists of 62 lots, 46 of the lots are north of 93rd Avenue on the west side of Cline Avenue and 16 lots are on the south side of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Recktenwall stated that they are here seeking secondary plat approval and that nothing has changed from the primary plat. He further stated that they have submitted the bond to the staff, paid the Development Fee, and the mylars have been turned in.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plat is satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $38,748.66, which has been submitted. All the public improvements have not been installed; therefore an Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $2,099,826.30 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $2,481,612.90 is required to be submitted to the Town.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Surety Bond has already been submitted.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat action for Walden Clearing.

Motion to grant 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 to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Surety Bond for Walden Clearing in the amount of $2,481,612.90.

Motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Surety Bond for Walden Clearing in the amount of $2,481,612.90 by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Recktenwall thanked the board.

B. SHOPS 96 –Primary Plat Action – (Petitioner: Bruce Boyer/Doug Rettig, DVG Team)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Primary Plat action for Bruce Boyer.

The Shops 96 Public Hearing was closed on October 3, 2018; however, the decision on the matter was deferred until this meeting as we were lacking members. This is a commercial PUD on 20+ acres at US 41 and 96th Place.

Mr. Boyer of Boyer Properties stated that Doug Retting with DVG is with him and that he is passing out some revised drawings that reflect a delineation of an access easement that was updated, which Mr. Kraus requested. Mr. Boyer further stated that nothing has changed with the project.

Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Boyer just passed out a letter that he received from the US Army Corps of Engineers today.

Mr. Boyer stated that they had received that letter at approximately 3 pm. It is the official jurisdictional determination letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the existing detention basin and jurisdictional waters of the United States. It conveys what was previously discussed. There are itemized items on the second to the last page that explains how they reviewed it and came to their decision. Mr. Marty Maupin was copied on that letter and they reached out to him after receiving the letter but have not had a response back yet.

(A copy of the letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2018-11-7 PC.)

Mr. Birlson stated that IDEM was supposed to get back to Mr. Boyer in October and haven’t yet according to an email that Mr. Eberly sent to the board. Mr. Birlson asked if we still don’t know what IDEM’s opinion is on whether there are wetlands on the property. Mr. Boyer stated that Mr. Birlson is correct.

Mr. Birlson stated that this letter is just rehashing what was stated in a previous email. Mr. Boyer stated that it isn’t rehashing; it is the official letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers of the jurisdictional waters and the wetlands.

Mr. Forbes advised that the letter clearly states that the subject property does not contain “waters of the United States”. Mr. Birlson concurred that he is correct; however, it does not say there are or are not wetlands and that we are still dealing with wetlands. Mr. Birlson stated that the ball is still in IDEM’s court.

Mr. Boyer stated that in the fourth paragraph of the front page, the office concurs with the Wetland Delineation Report. Mr. Birlson responded that it now has moved to IDEM, who has not responded yet.

Mr. Boyer stated that Mr. Birlson is right and that the ball is in IDEM’s court. Mr. Birlson responded that with that being said, the board can’t act on this Primary Plat for this subdivision.

Mr. Forbes stated that he disagrees with Mr. Birlson. Mr. Birlson responded that the PUD that we are supposed to preserve and protect wetlands and that since we don’t know if there are wetlands there, this is premature. Mr. Forbes disagreed.

Mr. Boyer reviewed the findings of the Wetland Delineation Report again for the board. Mr. Boyer added that he has agreed to make any action on Primary Plat contingent upon all government approvals, which includes IDEM.

Mr. Birlson asked if we are going to follow our PUD requirements. Mr. Boyer stated that they have already obtained their Planned Unit Development approval and that this is subdivision plat approval. Mr. Forbes commented that we have moved on from that action.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds that the plans, dated October 2018 and revised November 5, 2018, are satisfactory. The Developmental Fee has not yet been established at this time and will be calculated at 2 percent of the construction costs when that cost is available.

Mr. Kennedy asked how Mr. Boyer would address any issues that arose, if any, from IDEM’s findings. Mr. Forbes responded that Mr. Boyer would move forward with wetland mitigation, which is common. Mr. Boyer commented that they would have to deal with whatever IDEM tells them at the time.

Mr. Birlson stated that when a plat is created, if there are wetlands present, the plat needs to depict the wetlands boundary on the plat. Mr. Birlson said we don’t know if there are wetlands there and that IDEM stated there is wetlands there during a phone conversation. Mr. Forbes responded that there is a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers that says there is not and a phone call – Mr. Birlson cut in and said it goes from Army Corps to IDEM and that it has been gone over repeatedly.

Mr. Flores asked Mr. Boyer if there is wetland there how it would affect his plans. Mr. Boyer stated that it would be mitigated either on site or off site. He further stated that the Town is building a detention area immediately behind this area and incorporate some of this area (indicating a specific area on a map shown on the viewing screen). It will be a joint effort between everybody involved to mitigate what the findings are. Mr. Boyer advised that historically IDEM would follow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers findings.

Mr. Birlson stated that the PUD doesn’t say anything about mitigation of wetlands. Mr. Boyer reiterated that they already have their Planned Unit Approval.

Mr. Forbes advised that we are on Preliminary Plat approval.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Birlson is referring to a Findings of Fact in the rezoning to a PUD. Preserving wetlands is a Findings in the rezoning process, and that process is finished. What is looked at in terms of Findings of Fact for Primary Plat does not include language about wetlands. Mr. Eberly stated that Mr. Birlson is correct that it is a Findings of Fact; however, it was an issue at the rezoning stage and not at the platting stage, which is where we are now.

Mr. Eberly noted that Mr. Boyer has stated that he would mitigate the wetlands several times and explained what that means: They will typically work with IDEM to create a wetland somewhere off site, usually within the same watershed or pay into the wetland bank. Mr. Eberly added that, in any case, it does not impact the plat; the plat and the lots, as presented, will not change.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer to clarify one more time that according to what Mr. Boyer has supplied to the US Army Corps of Engineers, they are agreeing that there is not a wetland.

Mr. Boyer stated that the US Army Corps of Engineers agrees that any wetland there is an exempt wetland, and it was classified in the Delineation Report as an area that exhibits wetland characteristics but is exempt.

Mr. Boyer explained that the area is a neglected detention pond that was built 30 years ago that was not maintained.

Mr. Birlson stated that the Findings of Fact weren’t found when the PUD was approved.

Mr. Panczuk commented that it wasn’t and that he would like to have seen it vetted more at that time; however, he has read all the reports and is satisfied with what is reported. Mr. Panczuk added that, if IDEM comes back that mitigation needs to be done, Mr. Boyer will mitigate it; and that will result in more wetland, not less.

Mr. Eberly advised that the US Army Corps of Engineers stated it isn’t “waters of the United States”; now IDEM will decide whether it is waters of the state. Mr. Eberly further advised that even if there is mitigation that needs to be done, it would not change the plat.

Mr. Kozel commented that there are no buildings proposed in the area thought to be a wetland; therefore, there are no buildings that would need to be moved.

Mr. Forbes noted that it might affect the size of the detention pond, which may need to be larger.

Mr. Eberly advised that the planned detention pond is larger than the identified area in the Wetland Delineation Report. Mr. Eberly further advised that Mr. Maupin informed him that IDEM would do their report by the end of October, but that timeframe was not met.

Last week, Mr. Maupin informed Mr. Eberly that he would be out this week. Mr. Eberly stated that he couldn’t give a date as to when we can expect that report.

Mr. Forbes stated that if there is no further discussion, he would entertain a motion regarding Primary Plat action for Shops 96.

Motion to approve Primary Plat referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kozel. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 5 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Birlson.

Mr. Boyer thanked the board.

C. MORNING CREST – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioners: John and Brian Lantz; Doug Rettig, DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Morning Crest. The petitioners are John and Brian Lantz, represented by Doug Rettig. The petitioners are seeking Secondary Plat approval of this 35-lot, R-2 single-family development located on the west side of Cline Avenue, roughly a half a mile north of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Eberly advised that he received a revised plat this afternoon, which has been provided to the board, and Mr. Rettig will explain the changes.

Mr. Rettig passed a handout to the board and stated that it is the latest revision of the final plat. Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. Kraus added some comments the week prior, which were addressed.

Mr. Kraus advised that it was for the labeling of easements, because there were lines that were not labeled; and the labels are the only changes that were made.

Mr. Forbes commented that they were just clerical items. Mr. Kraus and Mr. Rettig concurred.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee for this project is $20,150.22.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Developmental Fee was paid, and a check was submitted as a cash escrow in lieu of the Letter of Credit or the Surety Bond. Mr. Eberly further advised that the petitioner intends to replace the check with a Surety Bond or Letter of Credit when the employee, who handles that is out of the office for a few days, returns to work. It is currently being held by the Clerk’s office.

Mr. Forbes asked if, in the end, we would be getting a Surety Bond. Mr. Lantz responded that they would be giving a Surety Bond; his employee is just out of town this week who handles that.

Mr. Forbes asked if we should withhold signatures until the Surety Bond is received. Mr. Eberly stated that we have the check, so there is no need to withhold signatures. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if the check is in the amount of $11,990.00 to which Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Rettig advised that they are putting sidewalks along Cline Avenue as agreed upon; however, they would like to put up a subdivision entrance sign and so they are requesting to modify Lot 34 and take approximately 1000 square feet from the lot to reroute the sidewalk behind the entry sign. They wish to landscape the entrance and make it look attractive.

Mr. Eberly advised that the lot is a 24,000 square-foot lot.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Rettig if the sign will be on top of the utility easement. Mr. Rettig responded that the easement will be around it. Mr. Kraus asked if there is anything in the easement now. Mr. Rettig responded that he doesn’t believe so, but he will double-check it.

Mr. Birlson asked how the sign will affect the line of sight. Mr. Rettig stated that the stopping line will be in front of the sign and will not hinder the line of sight.

Mr. Panczuk asked what the dimensions of the sign are. Mr. Lantz responded that it is not scaled out as yet in order to give the dimensions.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Town has a sign ordinance and asked Mr. Eberly if they would apply to this entrance sign.

Mr. Eberly advised that there isn’t anything restricting subdivision monument signs. Mr. Eberly added that it is something that is normally discussed at the Primary Plat stage; however, this has just come up.

Mr. Kraus stated that there is a vision triangle, and as long as that vision triangle is left intact, there isn’t any issue.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he is not comfortable approving something without dimensions, he added that there are a few “billboard” signs at subdivisions.

Mr. Lantz commented that it is nothing like a billboard sign. Mr. Lantz added that the lettering will be roughly 10 to 12 feet. The two wings will have “MC” for Morning Crest. The material for the sign inlay where the lettering will be is granite.

Mr. Flores asked what the height is. Mr. Lantz responded that they would like it to be like another sign he has at a subdivision he did in Schererville, which is approximately 4.5 feet tall.

Mr. Panczuk stated that they could add a contingency that the signage is 30 square feet or less. Mr. Lantz asked if that is for the lettering portion only. Mr. Panczuk stated they could add a top stop for the lettering and a top stop for the sign.

Mr. Kennedy asked if we can still approve a plat where lot dimensions have changed between Primary Plat and Secondary Plat. Mr. Eberly responded that the board could approve minor modifications to a Primary Plat.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the line of sight is reviewed when a sign is placed. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Rettig how much property they will be taking from Lot 34. Mr. Rettig responded that it would be less than 1,000 square feet.

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Panczuk has a not-to-exceed number in mind. After a brief discussion, Mr. Panczuk responded 4.5 feet by 15 feet.

Mr. Kennedy asked if it would be a hardship to wait a month for approval on the sign. Mr. Lantz responded that they are trying to get it installed this year.

Mr. Forbes stated that we have a pretty good idea of what they have in mind, and Building and Planning can ensure that is enforced.

Mr. Rettig asked if the initialed wings are included in the sign dimensions. Mr. Panczuk stated that he is not concerned about those wings as much as the main sign.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat with the modification as discussed for lot 34 and the inclusion of sign as discussed.

Motion to approve Secondary Plat including the modification to Lot 34 on the southeast corner for inclusion of a sign base and sidewalk reroute for a subdivision-entrance monument sign. The main face of the sign is not to exceed a size of 4.5 feet in height by 15 feet in width with a lettering inlay to be no greater than 30 square feet by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the check in the amount of $11,990.00 with the knowledge that it may be replaced with a Surety Bond in the amount of $14,170.00.

Motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $11,990.00 which may be replaced with a Surety Bond in the amount of $14,170.00 by Mr. Panczuk Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Rettig thanked the board.

D. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 20A – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 20A. The petitioner, John Lotton, is seeking Secondary Plat approval of this first phase of what was formerly known as Suncrest Christian Church residential Development. This Pod is located on the east side of Parrish Avenue just south of Suncrest Church. This phase consists of 22, R-2 single-family lots.

Mr. Jonathan Lotton stated that he is here on behalf of Lotton Development and BLB St. John. Nothing has changed since the study session.

Mr. Eberly advised the board that there is a revised letter from Mr. Kraus dated November 7, 2018.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $9,193.08, which has been paid. The public improvements have been installed; however, the As-Built drawings have not been submitted.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat action.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 20A Secondary Plat approval referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Eberly advised Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kozel that the plats are in the conference room ready for signature.

E. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 7D/9A – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 7D/9A. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval of these two combined Pods consisting of 35 single-family lots.

Mr. Lotton advised the board that nothing has changed.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $9,173.69. All the public improvements have not been installed; therefore, an Irrevocable Letter of Credit in the amount of $259,449.35 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $306,621.96 needs to be submitted to the Town to cover the cost of installing said improvements.

Mr. Eberly advised that the Developmental Fee was paid earlier in the day.

Mr. Lotton asked that signatures on the mylars be withheld until the improvements are installed over the next month.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat action for The Gates of St. John Pod 7D/9A.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 7D/9A Secondary Plat approval referencing the Findings of Fact and withholding signatures on the mylars until the improvements are installed.by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

F. THE GATES OF ST. JOHN POD 13B – Secondary Plat Action – (Petitioner: John Lotton)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is The Gates of St. John Pod 13B. The petitioner is seeking Secondary Plat approval of this Pod, which consists of 30 single-family lots.

Mr. Lotton stated that nothing has changed.

Mr. Forbes read Mr. Kraus’ review letter, which finds the plat to be satisfactory. The Developmental Fee is $8,080.98. The public improvements have not been installed.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Lotton if we are withholding signatures. Mr. Lotton responded that all the improvements have been installed for Pod 13B.

Mr. Kraus advised that he couldn’t verify with Public Works yesterday if the improvements were complete as it was closed due to Election Day; he spoke with them this morning and was informed that all public improvements have been installed except for receiving the As-Built drawings.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there is any issue receiving their As-Built drawings. Mr. Kraus responded that they are very good about getting those turned in.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus if he reviews the As-Built drawings. Mr. Kraus responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments on this project. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding Secondary Plat action for The Gates of St. John Pod 13B.

Motion to grant The Gates of St. John Pod 13B Secondary Plat approval referencing the Findings of Fact by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

G. KILKENNY ESTATES UNIT 3 -- Certificate of Correction – 88th Place to be renamed Lantern Drive
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Kilkenny Estates, Unit 3. This is for a Certificate of Correction to change the name of 88th Place to Lantern Drive.

Motion to approve the Certificate of Correction for Kilkenny Estates Unit 3 changing 88th Place to Lantern Drive by Mr. Panczuk. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I just have one concern, I guess, and that was on Item E in The Gates of St. John Pod 20A. The question was asked if nothing changed from the – from the Study Session, but the drawing that I saw didn’t show the sidewalks that were supposed to be going north. So I’m assuming that maybe the drawing wasn’t the most recent one. I thought he was going to have sidewalks going up to the north end of the property, and not south of the entrance to the drive. I’m just concerned if that’s gone now or if that sidewalk is going to be there.

Mr. Kraus responded that they had to put in an easement for the sidewalk on the plat.

But they’re not putting in the sidewalk?

Mr. Kraus responded that they will put in the sidewalk and that the sidewalk is typically put in when the lot gets developed for the buyer.

Mr. Eberly advised that Mr. Swets is referring to the outlot and showed Mr. Swets where the sidewalk will be on the viewing screen.

Okay. I just didn’t see that that lined up with the other one. That was my only concern. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): First of all, I don’t think Mr. Eberly has the authority to tell the Clerk-Treasurer not to cash that check, cause you never know if the check is good or not good. He cannot be making these statements to the Clerk-Treasurer, “Don’t cash the check.” When they have to put the money down, it has to be there and it’s got to go in the Town coffers. I ask you to ask the State Board of Accounts to see if that’s an illegal act or not. That’s number one.

Number two, we’ve been facing this wetland thing. And then now I hear today, “Oh, we missed that at the PUD.” So you can’t raise it now. That’s what Mr. Eberly is telling you. Well, I got to ask you this: Where was the negligence and who’s responsible, when we did the PUD, for missing that; and you just blow over that. I went to his office today, and I did not see the letter that was submitted, which is dated today. Okay. And I don’t think you guys saw it. So I got to ask, in my mind, how can you approve stuff when you know you keep missing things.

You spend all your time, Mr. Panczuk, on signs and lettering, and you don’t go to the real facts. I consider that negligence. I consider that misfeasance, malfeasance. If you miss stuff like this when you do the PUD, you shouldn’t be sitting there. You go very detailed on minutia, but the important thing about the wetlands, you blow over it, and then you say we’ll worry about it later.

Who is the financial backing on Shops 96? James Thomas? Thomas Sons? Who are they? Have you checked into the financials that are there? Is there a performance bond for this whole project? Where’s that at? How come you’re not addressing that? You are the detective here, sir. You should be looking into the finances behind this.

The other issue is simply this: You keep making excuses for things not being there and we’re going to do them later when you approve this stuff. Everything should be on the table, Mr. Panczuk, when you make your vote. You can’t say we’re going to see what IDEM does later. He raised the issue months ago about the wetlands. And -- and that just gets blown under the table, and you worry about letters on a sign. You better wake up. You have a responsibility here to do the ordinances and follow them. And I’m very disappointed in all these little things that get missed. And I’d like to ask you to ask the State Board of Accounts if he has the authority to stop the check and wait for another Letter of Credit. Thank you.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I am not sure this is the right group to address this to, but this afternoon, two railroad crossings were closed locking us in our area. I don’t know if you can give me a recommendation of who to contact, but certainly, it wasn’t well planned and it did isolate us from our transportation. So I would like to go on record as saying that whoever decided that that was okay really didn’t service us very well. Who would I contact?

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. DeVito could contact the railroad.

Mr. Flores asked to respond to Mr. DeVito. Mr. Forbes gave Mr. Flores the floor.

Mr. Flores explained that Chief Kveton contacted the railroad and asked them to only shut down one at a time, and they said no. The railroad is Federal, and the Town has no say on that. They can come and shut those down, and we have no say at all.

Mr. Forbes stated that they have only so much time to get their project done and use this special machine. They started up north and are heading south. They are actually ahead of schedule, so we got a day’s notice.

Mr. Flores stated that they started a day early. Mr. Forbes stated that our notice was very short.

Mr. Eberly advised that both the Town Manager and Police Chief contacted the railroad and asked them not to do this, and they did it anyway. Mr. Eberly stated that it is CSX Railroad out of Jacksonville, Florida, if you wish to contact them.

Mr. Birlson asked when they are scheduled to have it completed. Mr. Eberly responded that they showed November 7, 8, and 9, so they should be done on Friday.

Having no one else speaking, Mr. Forbes closed Public Comment.

Mr. Panczuk asked to address Mr. Hero. Mr. Forbes gave Mr. Panczuk the floor.

Mr. Panczuk responded to Mr. Hero thanking him for feedback and stating that he takes his job seriously. Mr. Panczuk explained that he had a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers a month or two prior that he based his decisions on. Mr. Panczuk stated that he did vote, “No” at the rezone step as he felt it needed to be vetted more even though they had the Wetland Delineation Report at the time.

Mr. Panczuk stated that Plat approval is another matter, and he did a great deal of work on his own time, so it wasn’t seen here. The sign was just brought up tonight, so that was vetted in front of the public because he didn’t know ahead of time. IDEM will still have final say over the wetland issue.

ADJOURNMENT:

Having no further business before the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Kennedy. Seconded by Mr. Flores. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:16 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted;

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

11-07-2018 Plan Commission Exhibit.pdf
11-21-2018 Plan Commission

November 21, 2018 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Bob Birlson Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
John Kennedy, Vice-President Steve Flores Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, Secretary Paul Panczuk Michael Muenich, Board Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Study Session on November 21, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Steve Kozel, and Michael Forbes. Staff Present: Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director; Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer; and Mr. Muenich, Board Attorney.

Absent: Steve Flores and Paul Panczuk.

NEW / OLD BUSINESS:

A. GREYSTONE UNIT 2 BLOCK 2 – Secondary Plat Action (Schilling Development – Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that the first item on the agenda is Greystone Unit 2, Block 2 regarding Secondary Plat action.

Mr. Jack Slager of Schilling Development stated that they would be coming before the Plan Commission on December 5, 2018 to request Final Plat approval for Greystone Unit 2, Block 2, which is the next section of duplex lots located west of Calumet Avenue. It consists of 11 lots, 22 units, and a small detention pond.

Mr. Slager advised that all improvements are in except the final coat of asphalt and the sidewalks on Calumet Avenue, which will be completed in the spring. Mr. Slager is waiting for Mr. Kraus’ figures for inspection fees to pay them before the next meeting.

Mr. Kraus advised that he had spoken with Public Works that morning, and the proof rolls were just done the day before. He knows what the Developmental Fee is, but he has to calculate the Letter of Credit, which he will do once he hears back from Public Works about the test results on sewer and water if they are okay.

Mr. Kraus stated that he should be able to have it to him a week in advance of the next meeting.

Mr. Slager advised that the signal at Greystone Drive and Calumet Avenue is operational, and they redid the striping to correlate with the signal with the stop bars and turn arrows. They expect to have some residents moving into that section in December.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments; none were had.

B. CASTLE ROCK – Request to Reduce Letter of Credit
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock to reduce their Letter of Credit.

Mr. Eberly asked Doug Rettig with DVG if he has anything information on this request as Andy James wanted to add that to our last agenda but wasn’t able to request it in time. Mr. Eberly added that he didn’t know if Mr. Kraus has had a chance to check on that.

Mr. Kraus advised that he had just found out tonight that it’s for Phase 1 and asked Mr. Rettig if that was correct. Mr. Rettig responded that Mr. James emailed him yesterday and said it pertained to the final coat of asphalt in Phase 1.

Mr. Eberly concurred and stated that the Letter of Credit needs to be reduced from whatever it is to cover just the final coat of asphalt. Mr. Rettig stated that he thought that was completed.

Mr. Kraus advised that he normally would check with Public Works to see what still needs done or addressed. Mr. Kraus further advised that we do not have as-builts for this project yet.

Discussion ensued about whether this would be a release or a reduction with multiple members speaking simultaneously; after which, Mr. Forbes asked if it will be a release or a reduction.

Mr. Eberly advised that there will be a small letter of credit for the as-builts if they are not submitted.

C. SUMMERLIN ESTATES – Continued Discussion (Olthof Homes – Jeff Yatsko)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Summerlin Estates for a continued discussion of this 71-lot R-1 single-family development, particularly concerning the entrance design as it aligns with the entrance to Silver Leaf.

Mr. Yatsko with Olthof Homes stated that they provided a copy of the plan to Denny Cobb, Town Traffic Engineer, and that Mr. Cobb made two minor comments regarding taper length and channelization. Those revisions were made and the plan resubmitted to Mr. Cobb.

Mr. Forbes stated that the only concern was that Denny Cobb needed look at the plan and give his approval on it.

Mr. Birlson asked if Mr. Cobb had a concern about alignment for the north-south streets. Mr. Yatsko stated that Mr. Cobb didn’t mention that when he reviewed the plans. Mr. Forbes stated if Denny Cobb is okay with it, he would not question it.

Mr. Kennedy asked what speed limit the tapers are designed to accommodate. Mr. Yatsko stated that he would check into that.

Mr. Birlson asked how many feet it is. Mr. Eberly responded that it is at 275 feet. Mr. Birlson stated that the south taper looks shorter. Mr. Kraus stated that hopefully folks are slowing down coming into the taper because they want to make that turn.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there will be stubs for future development. Mr. Yatsko responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly advised that this project would be on the December 5th agenda for continued discussion relative to Primary Plat.

Mr. Kraus asked if it will be for Primary Plat approval. Mr. Eberly responded in the affirmative and that they have had their Public Hearing. Mr. Kraus stated that he thought Mr. Eberly said it was just for discussion. Mr. Forbes advised that it is a continued discussion because the board wanted Denny Cobb to look at the engineering of the entrance first and give his input.

Mr. Kraus stated that the first time it was due to not having the engineering completed. Mr. Yatsko informed Mr. Kraus that they have his comments and will review them and respond early the following week. Mr. Kraus stated that he is still going through the calculations, that there are approximately a half-a-dozen checklist items that need to be addressed, and that some of those items take time to review.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further questions or comments; none were had.

D. BRUCE BOYER – Replatting of the Southeast Corner of US 41 and 93rd Avenue (Bruce Boyer)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Bruce Boyer, discussion relative to the replatting of property on the southeast corner of US 41 and 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Bruce Boyer of Boyer Properties stated that they are here tonight to introduce an updated plan for the southeast corner of 93rd Avenue and US 41. The property currently is a 4.1-acre parcel that includes the existing empty dental office at the corner and the old Standard Bank building. They would like to subdivide and create a corner lot for a proposed 8000 square-foot retail building.

Mr. Boyer noted that they are working with the required setbacks under the US 41 Overlay District with a 60-foot setback line from US 41 and a 30-foot setback line from 93rd Avenue. The center median to be installed on US 41 is per the request of the Town and the staff to alleviate a left-turn problem to the existing driveway at the far south end of the property, so they will pursue a right-in/right-out driveway at the north end of the property to provide additional access for the proposed retail corner lot.

Mr. Boyer stated that they will satisfy all the lighting and landscaping requirements. This proposal does not include the Nina’s Salon property, which was part of the previous proposal.

Mr. Kozel asked if there will be another lane on 93rd Avenue. Mr. Boyer responded that they are not proposing it with this plan. It was requested at the time of the car wash proposal because of the traffic impact of the car wash. Mr. Boyer added that they don’t feel it is necessary for a small retail building and that there is adequate room to do that in the existing right-of-way.

Mr. Kozel stated that whenever there is a train backup, traffic on the west side of US 41 traveling eastbound cannot cross US 41 due to limited stacking.

Mr. Boyer asked if he is requesting a right-turn lane into the property. Mr. Kozel stated there would be two lanes entering 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Forbes stated that another lane will run right into Nina’s, and the next building is the AT&T building, which will never move. Mr. Kozel stated that there has to be some way to have traffic not be backed up and asked if there is a way to do something about that problem.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Boyer what the current right-of-way is for the half distance of 93rd Avenue and that of US 41 and what he is proposing. Mr. Boyer responded that the current right-of-way is 30 feet on 93rd Avenue, almost 52 feet at the north end of US 41, and a little less than 50 feet at the south end of US 41. Mr. Boyer stated that they are not proposing anything different, which is what is in the Thoroughfare Plan.

Mr. Birlson stated that the right-of-way on 93rd Avenue should be 90 feet, so the right-of-way is insufficient. Mr. Birlson recommended that it be expanded to at least 45. Mr. Boyer responded that, in accordance with the development plan and the ordinance, the land is being provided for future acquisition, which is why they did the 30-foot building line.

Mr. Birlson stated that he wants the land to be dedicated now and not in a land acquisition as that is how it is done for other developments and shouldn’t be any different here. Mr. Boyer reiterated that they are meeting the requirements of the ordinance.

Mr. Birlson stated that he doesn’t recommend the south entrance on US 41 either, commented that we need to be proactive about the traffic on 93rd Avenue and US 41, and this plan is not proactive.

Mr. Kennedy stated that Mr. Boyer currently has a 30-foot right-of-way and asked for clarification that for future roadway, an additional 15 feet would be required. Mr. Birlson responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes advised that allowing that would run right into Nina’s, the AT&T building, and then take from the parking lot at the Police Department. Mr. Boyer stated that it would cut into the access for Fire Department’s building and would wipe out everything on the north side of 93rd Avenue. Mr. Birlson stated that is not part of the discussion tonight; it is future discussion.

Mr. Boyer reiterated that they are providing the land for a future widening of 93rd Avenue. Mr. Birlson responded that the Town would have to go through acquisition, and every developer that comes to put in a subdivision has to give dedicated right-of-way. Mr. Forbes stated that there is dedicated right-of-way there now that a full lane could be put in on 93rd Avenue. Mr. Boyer concurred.

Mr. Forbes advised that there is also room for a full lane expansion on US 41 from the right-of-way. Mr. Boyer stated that he believes there is; however, it is very tight at the corner due to the existing string poles of the traffic signal. Mr. Boyer added that when INDOT did the last taking of land, they could have taken more at US 41 and 93rd Avenue, but they chose not to.

Mr. Forbes stated that if we were able to add another lane onto US 41, we would have two left-turn lanes, one straight through, and one straight/one right-turn lane. Mr. Boyer stated that he does believe that could be done.

Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Forbes to repeat what he had said, and Mr. Forbes complied.

Mr. Kozel stated that it will help when semis turn off US 41 heading south and go onto 93rd Avenue, because they just barely make that turn. Mr. Boyer stated that they were willing to add a turn lane or an additional lane within our boundary for the car wash and that they’d be willing to do it here in the existing right-of-way.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Boyer if he is saying that he is willing to provide the necessary right-of-way for a 45-foot easement. Mr. Boyer stated that the ordinance calls for the dedication of the land or making sure that you situate buildings so that land can be acquired later through a right-of-way dedication for road expansion. They are providing the additional land by situating the building at the 30-foot building line rather than a 15-foot building line.

Mr. Boyer stated that the Thoroughfare Plan, today, does not have any plan for an expansion of that intersection. It has no plans for anything on 93rd Avenue east of US 41, and the only recommendation is to improve and widen 93rd Avenue west of US 41. With that in mind, as long as they are providing land that can be acquired, they are meeting what is in the ordinance.

Mr. Eberly demonstrated what Mr. Forbes was speaking of on the viewing screen in the room and showed if an extra 15 feet were taken and extended to the east, it could take Nina’s and would impact the AT&T building and parking.

Mr. Kozel stated that it would be a start and help alleviate some traffic issues.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the building setback would still meet the zoning requirements with the extra 15-feet being dedicated. Mr. Boyer responded in the affirmative and stated that they are only required to have a 15-foot setback.

Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification of what is required for easement and setback off US 41. Mr. Eberly stated that it is a principal arterial; and in the Thoroughfare Plan, a principal arterial has a minimum right-of-way of 100 feet and that in areas of intense development, 120 feet of right-of-way or more may be needed. However, the Thoroughfare Plan doesn’t define intense commercial development, so if you go with 120 feet, he would need to give another 10 feet to get to his half of 120 feet.

Mr. Kennedy asked if according to the principal arterial, Mr. Boyer meets the current easement requirement. Mr. Eberly confirmed that he does.

Mr. Boyer stated that it isn’t a requirement; the wording is it “should be used as a guide.”

Mr. Kennedy asked if the building setback with the 50-foot easement is good. Mr. Eberly responded in the negative and stated that a 50-foot setback would not meet the terms of the US 41 Overlay District.

Mr. Eberly stated that he would like to revisit Mr. Kennedy’s comment about if 15 feet were taken from north side of the building for additional right-of-way, it would leave the building with a 15-foot side-yard setback. Mr. Eberly explained that is allowed in the US 41 Overlay District for frontage road parcels, but this is not and he believes the true setback would be 20 feet on that side yard.

Mr. Eberly further stated that he could make an argument either way: That it’s 15 feet or that it’s 20 feet. Mr. Eberly added that If Mr. Boyer gave another 15 feet, it could put him in a position of having a deficient side-yard setback depending on which set of regulations are applied.

Mr. Kennedy asked why the US 41 Overlay District regulations wouldn’t be used. Mr. Eberly responded that the US 41 Overlay District says that when a parcel is being developed on US 41 and on a road like 93rd Avenue – it specifically lists 93rd Avenue and 101st Avenue – then the underlying zoning district setbacks prevail. The underlying zoning district is C-2, and the side-yard setback in C-2 is 20 feet. The side-yard setback in the US 41 Overlay District is 15 feet as long as it is adjacent to a commercial or industrial property.

Mr. Eberly advised that this project is going before the BZA next week for several variances; and should the Plan Commission require additional right-of-way, it brings up other issues that he would have to face, one being the front-yard setback. Without moving the building, any more right-of-way taken off US 41 puts Mr. Boyer in the position of needing a front-yard setback variance, and anymore than 10 feet taken off at 93rd Avenue potentially puts him in the position of seeking a side-yard setback variance.

Mr. Boyer stated that they are providing a 60-foot building setback with the 50-foot right-of-way. On the current plan, they meet all the current ordinances; however, if they were forced to dedicate more land, the setback would then be less than the required 60 feet.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Boyer if he had any discussions with INDOT regarding right-in/right-out. Mr. Boyer responded that they have had no discussion with INDOT as he wanted to see how this progressed with the Plan Commission first.

Mr. Boyer stated that there has been some discussion as to whether there is a need for a median or that there isn’t a need, if It helps southbound traffic or hurts southbound traffic. If there is no median there, he doesn’t believe there should be any kind of driveway there.

Mr. Boyer noted that some folks still try to make a left turn even when there is a right-in/right-out; but with the median there, he doesn’t believe they will have an issue with INDOT asking for that right-in/right-out because then a left turn cannot be made.

Mr. Forbes asked if it is farther away from 93rd Avenue than the right-in/right-out at Walgreens. Mr. Boyer responded that he does not know the answer to that. Mr. Kozel, Mr. Eberly, and Mr. Forbes all stated that it looks farther.

Mr. Kennedy stated that the ones on Main Street in Crown Point are 600 feet from the intersection.

Mr. Birlson asked what the distance is on the right-in/right-out in this project. Mr. Kennedy responded that he doesn’t know.

Mr. Boyer stated that they have one in Schererville that is closer to the intersection than this one.

Mr. Birlson asked what the distance is from this right-in/right-out to the intersection. Mr. Boyer stated that they are roughly 125 feet to the centerline.

Mr. Kennedy clarified that he was referring to a full intersection and not a right-in/right-out.

Mr. Boyer clarified that they are probably closer to 140 feet.

Mr. Eberly stated that it is about 200 feet for Walgreens. Mr. Forbes asked if that was to the centerline. Mr. Eberly responded that it is to the westbound lane of 93rd Avenue, so it is about 225 feet from the center of Walgreens’ median to the center of 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kraus stated that Mr. Boyer’s plan looks to be 30 feet, plus 109 feet, plus 75 feet; so it is very close.

Mr. Birlson returned to conversation on 93rd Avenue and stated that no one can say if the property to the east of Mr. Boyer’s property is going to get developed or not, so saying it will never get acquired or that AT&T will never sell their buildings is false. Mr. Forbes advised that there is a vast amount of equipment in that building. Mr. Kozel added that they don’t move things like that.

Mr. Forbes said if there ever was a “never,” the AT&T building moving is the closest thing to it.

Mr. Kennedy stated that it would be a huge intersection like US 41 and US 30 with a 120-foot right-of-way and asked if that is the look and feel that is desired for this intersection.

Discussion continued regarding traffic and possible solutions to the traffic issues at 93rd Avenue and US 41, during which time Mr. Forbes advised that the Town Council is looking at a Community Crossing Grant for the west side of 93rd Avenue to have two left-turn lanes, one through lane, and one right-turn lane. Ideally, 93rd Avenue on the east side of US 41 would mirror what is proposed on the west side as a Community Crossing Grant project.

The majority of the board concurred that at least one additional lane needs to be added now. Mr. Boyer stated that adding an extra lane could be accomplished using the current 30-foot right-of-way.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Boyer if he has had discussions with Denny Cobb. Mr. Boyer responded that they have not discussed this location yet.

Mr. Birlson asked if Mr. Cobb is doing the engineering for 93rd Avenue west of US 41. Mr. Forbes responded that he is, and if the improvement is done on the west side, there will be a “No right turn on Red” from US 41 to 93rd Avenue in the future. Mr. Forbes added that Mr. Cobb would be giving input on this.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions or comments regarding the build or the plat layout.

Mr. Kennedy asked what the rear of the building would look like. Mr. Boyer stated that it will be an all-brick building that will be dressed up a bit with brick features with landscaping.

Mr. Kozel asked what type of retail there will be. Mr. Boyer responded that he does not know. Mr. Eberly advised that retail uses are allowed in the US 41 Overlay District,

Mr. Forbes stated that we will get the input from Mr. Cobb and go from there.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Boyer if he is wanting to be on the December Agenda to request permission to advertise. Mr. Boyer responded that he is good with that.

E. SHOPS 96 –Secondary Plat Action (Bruce Boyer/Doug Rettig with DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Shops 96.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG stated that this is the same plat that has been presented over the last several months. There are a couple of minor changes: Lot 4 was originally extended where the ingress/egress for Earl Drive and the ingress/egress easement off US 41 were part of Lot 4. Mr. Boyer asked Mr. Rettig to make a shift of the line so the user of Lot 3 maintains one ingress/egress and the user of Lot 4 maintains the other.

Mr. Kennedy asked why it would be done. Mr. Forbes advised that it is less of a burden for the larger user to maintain that larger easement.

Mr. Rettig stated that Mr. Kraus requested a little more room for the roundabout on Lot 5, so they made that small change as well.

Mr. Kraus stated that he had asked Mr. Rettig about removing the curvy line out of the plat so it doesn’t appear that they are only doing the south part and not the north part. Mr. Rettig stated that the tiny piece was part of the one of the legal descriptions for the right-of-way takings for the roundabout and deferred to Mr. Muenich for further explanation.

Mr. Muenich stated that there is a deed from North Star for a triangular portion of that area, but he can’t say how it compares to the triangle on the plat. Mr. Rettig showed him the specific area on the plat, and Mr. Muenich stated that the area is what was deeded.

Mr. Rettig stated that if it has already been deeded to the Town, he cannot include it in the plat. Mr. Muenich concurred.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Rettig if he could put a note on there. Mr. Rettig agreed to do so.

Mr. Muenich advised that under the Economic Development Agreement, it’s the Town’s responsibility to own and maintain the detention basin. There is a 25-foot utility easement that shows access to that parcel, but there is no access ingress or egress agreement for the Town to physically get to it. Mr. Rettig explained where the access easement is. Mr. Muenich stated that is fine and asked if the 50-foot strip is a roadway. Mr. Rettig responded that it is a driveway behind the building.

Mr. Eberly asked if this is to be on the December 5th Agenda for Secondary Plat. Mr. Rettig responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Kraus to confirm if there will be no Letter of Credit or bond for this project since all of the public improvements are done by the Town. Mr. Kraus responded that they have some short sanitary-sewer lines that are public improvements. Mr. Rettig stated that there is a little bit of sanitary-sewer that will be public.

F. Three Springs Unit 3 – Platting of the Third Phase ( David Barick/Doug Rettig with DVG)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Three Springs Unit 3, initial discussion relative to the plat of the Third Phase. The developer intends to seek permission to advertise for Preliminary Plat hearing at the December 5th meeting.

Mr. Rettig advised that there were a few changes that just came up today due to receiving a new wetland report back, and he clarified that none of the lots were changed.

Mr. Rettig noted their wetland delineation was dated 2013, and they are only good for five years; so he told Mr. Barrick and ordered a new wetland delineation report. They field located the points from the new report, surveyed them in, and reflected the same on the drawing the he just handed out.

Mr. Rettig stated that the report created a change of about eight-hundredths of an acre; however, they are allowed an impact of a tenth of an acre, so it is just a minor change on paper. Other than that, it is essentially the same plan they presented at zoning.

Mr. Rettig advised that they do intend to request permission to advertise for Public Hearing at the December 5th meeting.

G. HICKORY TERRACE – Potential Development of a 53-Lot Subdivision on 55 Acres North of 93rd Avenue and West of US 41 (Schilling Development – Jack Slager)
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Hickory Terrace. Jack Slager is the petitioner on behalf of Schilling Development.

Mr. Forbes read a letter from Mr. Muenich disclosing that he and his wife have a financial interest in this proposed project.

(A copy of said letter is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2018-11-21 PC.)

Mr. Forbes stated to Mr. Muenich that this is simply stating that you own a portion of the property. Mr. Muenich responded that he owns approximately 40 percent of the property.

Mr. Slager stated that he has been working on this proposal for about five years, and others have worked on it even longer. It is years of acquiring approximately fifteen parcels between the Schilling family and the Muenich family.

Mr. Slager stated that they have done a wetland delineation and have a letter of concurrence from Paul Leffler with the US Army Corps of Engineers. There are substantial wetlands on the property, and their preference is to avoid them and work the lots around them

Mr. Slager commented that this project will be a very high-end, gated subdivision. It will be 53 lots on 55 acres of land. With it being a gated subdivision, they intend to have private streets, which has been discussed with the Town’s staff. The lots are all R-1 lots, so it could be developed as an R-1 subdivision; however, they would need three waivers. Mr. Slager mentioned two of them: length of cul-de-sac and a single point of access.

Mr. Slager advised with it being a single-access entry, there is emergency access proposed off of Knickerbocker. He stated that Havenwood in Cedar Lake has 400 homes and has a single entrance and a back emergency access, which has never been used.

Mr. Slager stated that he wanted to give the Plan Commission a first look. They will be back as they continue to tweak the project.

Mr. Slager stated that they originally looked at lining the entrance up with Oakridge Drive, but that doesn’t work with the location of the large pond in the woods, so they are lined up with the entrance to Prairie West Park. They will do their 45-foot dedication, install a sidewalk, include an accel-decel lane, and a left-turn into the park and the development, which would extend 93rd Avenue to three lanes west of their entrance and four lanes east of their entrance.

Mr. Slager stated that they will have a couple of ponds with fountains and a berm. They will have a walking trail around the pond. They are proposing 60-foot right-of-way with sidewalks. They are trying to save as many of the trees as they possibly can.

Mr. Birlson asked if they had considered using Knickerbocker for the entryway instead of having the entrance on 93rd Avenue. Mr. Slager responded that they have not.

Mr. Slager stated that they did a traffic study; and based on that, this project doesn’t require anything more than in accel-decel lane in an out. Mr. Slager added that they are considering constructing a raised curbed island that could be landscaped on 93rd Avenue that would be an asset with the park across the street.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Slager if he said there would be three waivers. Mr. Slager stated that they are length of cul-de-sac, single point of access, and potentially a narrower right-of-way for a 50-foot right-of-way.

Mr. Muenich stated that they are considering doing this as a PUD due to the variances.

Mr. Slager stated that RC-1 PUD would fit here. In the Subdivision Control Ordinance under Design Standards under Private Streets, it states “Private streets shall be allowed only in planned unit developments.” In order for us to have private streets, it has to be a PUD.

Mr. Kraus asked about the utilities in those streets. Mr. Slager responded that they would be public utilities, so they will have private roadway and public utility easements. He added that they will need to figure out an automated gate system to allow emergency vehicles and public service vehicles access.

Mr. Muenich stated that what he has heard in remonstrance of PUDs is related to density and lot-size issues, which are not applicable to this subdivision. Only about 65 percent of the land is lots, and the rest is all green space.

Mr. Kraus asked if the house on Lot 37 will put a new driveway into the cul-de-sac. Mr. Slager stated that Lot 37 did have a house on it, but that house is gone. He pointed out another property that does have a house with a driveway out to Patterson and stated that it will have a driveway that accesses the cul-de-sac and that the house faces west in anticipation of this subdivision.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the rear access to Patterson is going to stay. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kozel asked what the size of the cul-de-sacs will be. Mr. Slager responded that they are at 90 feet, which is the standard cul-de-sac. They have an island in there, so it is 90 feet across with a 30-foot island and 30-foot pavement all the way around.

Mr. Slager stated that they will probably run everything past the police and fire departments to design everything appropriately.

Mr. Eberly asked if the improvements on 93rd Avenue are part of an existing right-of-way or if they are dedicating more right-of-way. Mr. Slager responded that they are dedicating more right-of-way. The existing right-of-way is 30 feet, they are going to 45 feet, and he believes the park is also at about 45 feet.

Mr. Muenich stated that the park area is substantially back from the paved area.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are currently any privately owned roads in St. John. Mr. Forbes responded that there are a couple of small ones over by Taco Bell in Ventura Estates.

Mr. Kennedy asked if there are any issues. Mr. Forbes stated that they want us to take care of them.

Mr. Slager advised that they would provide full documentation of the HOA documents that would set up the disclosure that these are private roads. The HOA dues will be substantial to cover the maintenance of the roads.

Mr. Birlson asked if they are planning to put in curb and gutter. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kennedy asked if Lots 52 and 53 will be private residences with drives on 93rd Avenue. Mr. Slager responded in the affirmative. Mr. Kennedy stated that, while it is a guide, the Thoroughfare Plan recommends that there not be any direct residential drives onto 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kennedy stated that we are making people in this subdivision have to go onto 93rd Avenue and asked if any study is being done with 96th Place and the impact it will have on 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Birlson stated that he is afraid 96th Place will increase traffic on 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Muenich stated that if Knickerbocker were to be used as the entrance, traffic will wind up coming to either 93rd Avenue or Patterson.

Mr. Kennedy stated that if they wanted to go north, they could go up St. John Road. Mr. Forbes stated that it would eliminate the additional traffic at the intersection of Patterson, 93rd, and 41 if there is another outlet to the north.

Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Kennedy if he is suggesting getting rid of the access off 93rd Avenue. Mr. Kennedy responded in the negative and stated that he would feel more comfortable if there was a different way out of this subdivision. Mr. Forbes stated that it could go through Lot 37 onto Patterson. Mr. Kennedy stated that he is not making that recommendation and that it would be whatever they feel comfortable with.

Mr. Slager stated that 50 lots may sound like a large number, but the marketing suggests that at this level of value, they can expect approximately ten builds a year. He further stated that it will likely be closer to ten years before it is built out.

Mr. Eberly stated that he had some of the same concerns as Mr. Kennedy, and he feels like a secondary access point is needed. Mr. Eberly further stated that if you try tying Knickerbocker in, there will be a lot of resistance from Knickerbocker and 90th, and in his opinion, Lot 37 makes an excellent alternative. There is plenty of room, and whether you hug the north or south boundary of the lot, it could come out to Patterson. If they did that, the emergency access point wouldn’t be needed on Knickerbocker.