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Plan Commission Meeting Minutes 2023

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Meeting Minutes

01-04-2023 Plan Commission

January 4, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President John Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members Present:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Secretary; Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Adam Decker, Board Attorney and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

President Kennedy took a moment to thank former Commission member Jason Vlasic for his years of service on the board, and welcomed Gena Lauridsen in his place.

President
Mr. Gill made a motion to nominate John Kennedy as President, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Vice President
Mr. Gill made a motion to nominate Robert Birlson as Vice-President, seconded by Mrs. Cardona and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Executive Secretary
Mr. Gill made a motion to nominate Gena Lauridsen as Executive Secretary, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Appointment of a Plan Commission member to the Board of Zoning Appeals
Mr. Gill made a motion to appoint Yolanda Cardona to the Board of Zoning Appeals, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

MINUTES

December 7, 2022 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the December 7, 2022 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Request for extension of Primary Plat for 25 single-family residential lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), part of the original 108 acres of “Gates East”; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
President Kennedy explained that the extensions needed to be corrected from the previous meeting based on when the original primary plat approval was given and the contingencies lifted.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to extend primary plat approval to July 2, 2023 for The Gates of St. John Unit 21B, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

B. 2021-09 PARRISH WOODS: Request for Primary Plat Extension and Proposed Final Plat of Parrish Woods, 27 single-family residential lots at 11115 Parish Avenue, the northeast corner of 113th Avenue and Parrish Avenue; zoned: R1 (Single Family Residential), 20 acres; Ryan Fleming (ElevenTen, LLC.)
Ryan Fleming, ElevenTen LLC, stated we are here requesting an extension of primary plat approval as well as final plat approval for Parrish Woods. We currently have about $85,000 worth of work left on the lift station, which is ongoing. President Kennedy asked the status of the lift station and if a date of completion was known. Mr. Fleming stated the lift station should be completed within the next thirty days. The structure is there on site, and there will also be money submitted as part of the surety once those numbers are finalized and confirmed with the reviewing engineer, Kenn Kraus. Mr. Birlson asked if all of the lift station materials were onsite. Mr. Fleming stated everything but the backup generator, which should be here in thirty days. No matter what, that was always going to be part of our contingency plans and included in the letter of credit.

President Kennedy stated if one extension was given it would take us out to February 26, 2023. He asked Mr. Fleming if he felt that was enough time to complete the lift station. Mr. Fleming stated yes. President Kennedy stated we also need to discuss the waivers that are being requested. One is the stormwater inlets that were required to be round, but rectangular covers were installed instead. After discussion with Mr. Valois it sounds like it would be acceptable to leave those as is rather than tearing them out and replacing them. The other issue is the placement of the b-boxes, which Public Works has been working with Mr. Fleming to come up with the best solution. Mr. Valois stated he met with the petitioner yesterday and the area of issue was mainly within the inner portion of the subdivision. We discussed moving those back to sixteen feet from the curb line, behind the sidewalk, on each lot. The majority of the outer lots sit at eighteen feet from the curb line, which is okay because the water main is further back. Mr. Fleming did agree to have the builders move the b-boxes back once the lots start being developed, and that he would put that in writing as well. Mr. Fleming stated that was correct. As the builders start to build on their lot, when their service comes out to extend to the b-box we will find the marriage in the middle of where we want it to be so that we avoid any problems that might have been caused by us moving them. Doing this all at once will help avoid concern of coming back to fix something in the future. We are hoping this is an amicable solution when it comes to the waiver we are requesting. Mr. Fleming stated there is currently about $20,000 reserved as part of the letter of credit for this issue, so that will be submitted in conjunction with a document stating the agreement that is being made. Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, stated he agreed with Mr. Fleming in that we would want some type of surety along with the agreement just in case they do not perform in moving the b-boxes back.

President Kennedy asked how this process would be handled within the Building Department. Mr. Gill stated after the foundation is poured the builder will hook up the water, sewer, and storm utilities. When that is done, we can verify the location of the b-box. President Kennedy asked if the Building Department was also comfortable with this proposal. Mr. Gill stated he believed this is the best case scenario for the fix. President Kennedy asked the Commission’s opinion on waiting to receive the letter before acting on the waiver. Mr. Fleming stated he would ask the Commission to approve the waiver contingent on the letter since it was just yesterday that they came up with this solution. We would like to move forward with an official decision on the final plat, if possible, because we do have eighteen of the twenty-seven lots sold. President Kennedy stated he would entertain the decision, but there have been concerns on giving final plat without a functioning lift station previously, plus we do not have the letter of credit or bond submitted yet. Mr. Fleming stated even if a builder pulls a permit in the next thirty days, they will not need services for another ninety days. That is also the point of having the surety in place as well.

Mr. Birlson asked when construction started. Mr. Fleming stated late April of 2022. We pumped the breaks for a period of time due to the lead time of the lift station, and then the concrete shortage that hit us as well. Mr. Birlson asked when the Commission approved the primary plat. Mrs. Lauridsen stated the contingencies on the primary plat approval were lifted on August 26, 2021. Mr. Fleming stated we did not want to take construction in to the winter because we would not have been able to lay asphalt, so the intention was spring, but then we ran in to the extended lead time with the lift station that pushed us back again.

President Kennedy asked if the letters from Mr. Kraus that were in-hand are up to date. Mr. Mendoza stated in his discussions with Mr. Kraus, a report was needed from the inspections that were done on Tuesday morning in order to adjust the letter of credit. He stated he was not sure if the review included the relocation of some of the b-boxes, but we can reach out to let him know that needs to be a part of the letter of credit.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to extend primary plat approval by six months to February 26, 2023, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the waiver of round inlet covers, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

BOARD DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
Mr. Fleming noted that the correction of the b-box will be at their expense, not the builders. He also stated that his attorney is already drafting an agreement regarding the correction as well. Mr. Fleming stated that there are thirteen lots that have b-boxes that will need to be moved; lots 4-6 and lots 19-28.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the waiver of the location of b-boxes on lots 4-6 and lots 19-28 provided the Commission receives documentation from the developer that the b-boxes will be located at the proper area on the lot as each home is built. The motion was seconded by Mr. Birlson. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if a contingency could be made to have our attorney review the letter. Mr. Gill amended his motion to include counsel review of the letter between the developer and home builders that will be relocating the b-boxes. The motion carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

BOARD DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
President Kennedy stated it seems like the letters from Mr. Kraus that are in-hand are out of date and do not reflect accurate numbers for the letter of credit/surety bond. If we are taking any action on the final plat approval tonight, we need to have a letter to read in to record. Mr. Fleming stated the November 30, 2022 letter is the most accurate, but we are asking that the line for the lift station be adjusted as well as the street signs, which have been paid for. Those are the only two items that would need to be changed. Mr. Fleming stated, if it is the desire of this Commission to move forward, we ask that a motion be made that includes the surety to not be higher than what is noted on the November 30, 2022 letter since those numbers will likely come down significantly once another review is completed. President Kennedy stated he understood Mr. Fleming’s point, but the Commission is trying to wait until everything is in order in order to not have any more contingencies that the Planning Department then has to be in charge of following up on to make sure they are completed. Mr. Gill stated with all of the contingencies we have already given tonight and the letter that is needed, it would be prudent for us to defer this item so that the first week of February when he comes back, everything should be in line for the final plat.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to defer the final plat of Parrish Woods, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mr. Fleming asked if he would be able to proceed with the recording of the mylars in February once the decision is made on the final plat. President Kennedy stated hopefully the lift station will be complete in thirty days as stated. Mr. Fleming stated your Ordinance allows for sureties to be put up for items like that and that he would kindly ask the Commission to consider that come February when a decision is made on the final plat.

C. 2021-25 ST. JOHN COMMONS: Proposed Final Plat of St. John Commons Phase 1, 13 cottage homes at 10201 Calumet Avenue; zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development), 20 acres; Brad Lambert (Lambert Concrete), Nick Georgiou (Georgiou & Associates), Nathan Vis (Attorney), Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we are here tonight seeking second plat approval for phase one of the project, which includes fifteen lots because we have two lots at the end of Red Rock Place that will be included in this phase. We are platting all of the lots except for the lot that holds the commercial project. We have letters from the Town Engineer, the development fee is paid, and we have in-hand the letter of credit that is needed. Mr. Rettig stated we also have the mylars with us that can be signed, presuming we get final plat approval.

President Kennedy read in to record the review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra. See Exhibit A.

Mr. Rettig stated most of the surety is for the public sidewalk and pedestrian path that runs through the development.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the final plat of St. John Commons Phase 1, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays - None

D. 2022-01 LENTING’s 2ND ADDITION TO ST. JOHN and REZONE: Proposed Preliminary/Primary Replat of ARTESIAN WELLS PLAT D PT OF LOT 6 for a 2-lot subdivision, and Proposed Rezone to C-2 (Highway Commercial District), of proposed Lot 2 at 10911 W. 108th Avenue; zoned: R-2 (Single Family Residential), 7.82 acres; Dale Lenting (Property Owner).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated he would like to discuss this project at the study session in a few weeks because there are a few different items to tackle. We would first like to come in for the rezone and then the replat, if that gets approved in order to know how to design the lot. President Kennedy stated it has been a year that this item has been on the agenda, and we do feel it would be appropriate to start the process over again. If you could discuss that with the petitioner, we would appreciate it because that may be the best approach. Mr. Rettig agreed.

Board Action
Mr. Gomeztagle made a motion to defer the primary replat and rezone, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mr. Rettig stated, for clarification, you just deferred the item, but you do want the process to start over. President Kennedy stated that was correct. The petitioner would need to pull the request. Mr. Mendoza stated you can request to remove the application from the agenda and reapply. In the past, the Commission has moved forward with deferrals and still required a new public hearing, but it may be best to clear everything and start fresh. We need some sort of acknowledgment from Mr. Lenting to remove the request and start fresh with both items.

E. 2022-13 SHOPS 96: Proposed Amended Secondary Plat to the PUD at approximately 96th Place and Wicker Avenue, located on the east side of U.S. 41, zoned: C-2 (Highway Commercial District), 20.74 acres; Bruce Boyer (Applicant/Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG).
President Kennedy read in to record the review letter from previous Town Engineer Kenn Kraus. See Exhibit B.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the proposed amended secondary plat for Shops 96, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays - None

F. 2022-16 AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER INSTALLATION FUND: Present Proposed Ordinance allowing payment to be made in lieu of sidewalk, curb or gutter installation in certain extraordinary circumstances as determined by the St. John Plan Commission; Adam Decker (Board Attorney).
President Kennedy stated this item will be discussed further at the next study session, but this amendment allows the Commission to request payment in lieu of the installation of a sidewalk, gutter or curb rather than granting a waiver. This money will be used at the discretion of the Town for future sidewalk installation, and the decision to allow money in lieu of the installation will still be at the discretion of the Plan Commission. President Kennedy stated Mr. Birlson had the hesitation that this will allow for more sidewalks to not be installed, but that decision will still need to be made by the Plan Commission and the petitioner will still need to show hardship. He also stated that he questioned the fee being only 90% of the cost of installation, but Attorney Decker did say that was a discretionary number and can be changed. President Kennedy asked the Commission to review the items so they can be discussed at the next study session.

Mr. Birlson stated another concern he had was that a developer would, for example, only give $2,000 but the actual cost is $15,000. President Kennedy stated the Town Engineer would determine the cost of installation.

G. 2022-04 KROPP INDUSTRIAL: Read in to Record the updated Site Plan Contingency letter from Town Engineer Jonathan Dykstra (Robinson Engineering).
President Kennedy read in to record the review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra removing the contingency from the site plan approval for 41 U-Lock. See Exhibit C.

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further discussion, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 7:49 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
01-04-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
01-18-2023 Plan Commission Study Session

January 18, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President John Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Bob Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.

Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Board Attorney; Jonathan Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.

Absent: Jon Gill and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.

A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-09 PARRISH WOODS: Proposed Final Plat of Parrish Woods, 27 single-family residential lots at 11115 Parish Avenue, the northeast corner of 113th Avenue and Parrish Avenue; zoned: R1 (Single Family Residential), 20 acres; Ryan Fleming (ElevenTen, LLC.)
Ryan Fleming, ElevenTen, LLC, stated as of today the water agreement that was discussed at the last meeting is all but finalized. He stated he signed it today and sent it to the Town as well. In regards to the Letter of Credit, we have a finalized number from Mr. Kraus. He had wanted to wait to see if any more work was going to be done, but we told him that we are good with the lift station number as is so that we can keep this project moving forward toward final plat approval. In regard to the lift station, everything but some of the electric is done. The only thing related to the electric is the backup generator and that is due to the delivery date. We should have that by mid to late February. He stated we would still like to come before the Commission in February to request final plat approval so that builders can get moving on the seventeen lots that have been sold.

President Kennedy asked if Attorney Decker had any comments regarding the agreement. Attorney Decker stated he had made several substantial changes to the original agreement, which Mr. Fleming’s attorney, Jon Schmaltz, agreed to so the document in your packet tonight is the final draft that was reviewed and approved. President Kennedy stated a second Letter of Credit will be submitted for the b-boxes as well. Mr. Fleming stated that is part of Mr. Kraus’s final number for the Letter of Credit. There will not be a separate Letter of Credit. Mr. Birlson asked if the pumps were running yet for the lift station. Mr. Fleming stated not yet, but it will be well over thirty days before permits will even be pulled to start building on the lots.

Mr. Fleming notified the Commission that the road signs have been installed, but they all state Atherton rather than 112th Place and Street as shown on the final plat for the roads that run east and west. Mr. Valois made note of the issue and stated he would take care of getting new signs. Mr. Valois asked if NIPSCO service has been provided to the lift station. Mr. Fleming stated Meade started there yesterday or today so that should be completed within the next ten to fourteen days.

B. 2022-16 AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER INSTALLATION FUND: Present Proposed Ordinance allowing payment to be made in lieu of sidewalk, curb or gutter installation in certain extraordinary circumstances as determined by the St. John Plan Commission; Adam Decker (Board Attorney).
Attorney Decker stated this is just the first draft of the Ordinance, but it is amending the Town Subdivision Control Ordinance. There was a small change regarding the construction standards of the aggregate base, but primarily the Ordinance is intended to allow the Plan Commission to make a determination that in certain circumstances where a proposed sidewalk or curbs and gutters would not be feasible or make logical sense for installation, to allow the developer to make a payment to a Town fund in lieu of the installation. The determination would ultimately be made by the Plan Commission on a case by case basis. If the Plan Commission were to allow this for a developer, they would pay 90% of the cost of installation, which would be determined by the Town Engineer, in to this fund. The intent is that the fund would then be allowed to be used to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters in other locations of the Town as determined by the Town.

President Kennedy asked if The Shrine would have been a candidate for this with their special circumstance of not having the space for a sidewalk along US41, or could we not make them pay in to something like this since it was physically impossible to run that sidewalk along the road due to the guardrail. Attorney Decker stated to be honest, if it is physically impossible, he had not given it much thought to be able to answer that intelligently. He stated if a sidewalk is required, in most instances, plans can be prepared to allow for the installation of a sidewalk. The Shrine had to deal with the widening of US 41 and their plans for expansion at the same time, which was difficult timing, but ultimately the Plan Commission would need to determine if it is reasonable to require the developer to make that payment if the installation is illogical or impractical.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked what type of liability the Town could get in to if sidewalks are not put in. Attorney Decker stated if there is no sidewalk currently and the Plan Commission determines it is impractical or illogical, there is no legal liability for that decision. Mr. Gomeztagle stated the developer can always adjust their plans to put a sidewalk in. President Kennedy stated prior to this Commission’s stance on sidewalks, we were allowing waivers, but we are finally saying if we continue this there will never be sidewalks through the Town. There are however, special circumstances where this could be utilized. He gave the example of a neighbor who developed a single lot, but the entire neighborhood did not have sidewalks so they asked for a waiver and received it.

Mr. Birlson asked the reason for collecting 90% and not 100%. Attorney Decker stated the reasoning for the 90% is to not impose any kind of penalty on the developer for the Plan Commission’s determination to make a payment in lieu of installation. The number is somewhat arbitrary, but 90% was the best to avoid the appearance of any penalty being given for the Plan Commission’s decision. President Kennedy asked Mr. Mendoza’s opinion on the Ordinance. Mr. Mendoza stated he believed that this is a tool that can be used if necessary, but the end goal is to install sidewalks even if they are sidewalks to nowhere. He stated he has seen before where a sidewalk waiver is given to an interior lot because the exterior lots do not have sidewalks, but ten years later the exterior lots go through a redevelopment process and are made to install sidewalks, but now the interior lot does not have them. It should be the mission of the Plan Commission to require some sort of walkway or pathway for pedestrians at ADA compliancy. They should show a true hardship where they cannot meet the requirement for sidewalks. Mr. Mendoza stated he also questioned the amount not being 100% of the cost and did not want to see this tool be used as a way for someone to get out of installing the sidewalk in order to pay a lesser amount in to the fund. President Kennedy asked if Mr. Mendoza saw this as a good thing for the Town. Mr. Mendoza stated it is a good tool to be used when necessary.

Mrs. Cardona stated with the way this is written, it is not a choice made by the developer. We have to decide if this is a situation where installing a sidewalk is impossible or illogical. If it is, then we move on to the fund. Short of that, if the determination is that it is possible, then they are installing sidewalks. Mr. Mendoza agreed and stated with this Plan Commission, we have seen you require sidewalks that lead to nowhere or pathways over wetland areas in order to provide connectivity. The applicant can also dedicate the right-of-way for additional sidewalks or install the sidewalks as part of this. Mr. Valois stated developers will not be able to avoid putting in sidewalks just because this fund is in place. Mr. Birlson stated he just hopes this does not become a big debate with developers wanting to try and pay 90% rather than installing the sidewalks. President Kennedy stated the only way a developer would pay in to this fund is if this Plan Commission allows for it. Attorney Decker stated that is correct. The language is that the Plan Commission may determine that the installation of curbs and gutters or sidewalks is impossible or illogical within the proposed subdivision or amendment or replat of subdivision. It is not an option for the developer to suggest that. They can make a request and an argument as to why they believe it is impossible, but ultimately it is the Plan Commission’s decision whether that is the case or not. Attorney Decker stated to address the percentage comment, it could be changed to 95% or even 100% if that is really what the intent is, to avoid any possibility that the developer be requesting that in every development. He stated he did not think that would be the case, but it could be changed.

Mr. Mendoza stated the example that President Kennedy brought up regarding an open lot that was going to be new construction is something that would fall under this if it fits the character of the existing neighborhood, and at a later date the Town can come in and install the proper stormwater infrastructure with sidewalks and curbs. With this tool there would be something there to help take care of an area like that. Mrs. Cardona stated she liked it a lot. The determination is still up to the Commission whether or not we will allow someone to pay in to the fund rather than putting the sidewalks in. President Kennedy stated a decision does not need to be made tonight. In February we can make an announcement for public hearing in March and then make a recommendation to the Town Council. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if the word “may” should be “should” on page four, which gives us more strength. Attorney Decker disagreed. The word may is purposeful in that it is discretionary to the Plan Commission. If we substituted the word shall, that suggests that the Plan Commission must do something or act a certain way which is not the intent of the Ordinance. Mrs. Cardona stated she understood the concern, but if you read the entire sentence, it gives you context. “In extraordinary circumstances the Planning Commission may determine that the installation of a sidewalk is impossible”. That sentence in itself is allowing us the opportunity to decide when there is an impossibility or it is illogical. Attorney Decker agreed.

Mrs. Cardona asked about the percentage and stated she is good with 90%. Mr. Valois, Mr. Gomeztagle and Mr. Birlson stated they were in favor of 100%. Attorney Decker stated in his opinion, the Plan Commission could establish it at 100% and there is no legal objection in doing so. President Kennedy stated that would be something to think about. Mrs. Cardona stated she liked 90%. We require as a Town that sidewalks be installed, but if you are unable to then we will allow you to contribute in to this. It is a little bit of consideration for the circumstance. President Kennedy stated he is afraid of someone arguing that they cannot install one, so they cannot be forced to contribute to the fund. Mr. Birlson stated, the case of The Shrine, we could have told them to fill in the pond and cut the parking lot back in order to install it. It could have been done, but it was not practical. Mrs. Cardona stated what if the impossibility is created by the developer or is out of the control of the developer, like The Shrine area. We still need to hear case by case what the hardship is and revert to this. Town Engineer, Jon Dykstra, stated in the past when a waiver would be granted, no money was collected. There is a justification to not collect the full 100% because you were not collecting anything before. 90% shows you are thinking of them a little bit and shows your consideration for the circumstance. President Kennedy stated he wanted to make sure this is the right approach to not give someone the leeway out of what we want as a Plan Commission.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 7:31 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
02-01-2023 Plan Commission

February 1, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice President Robert Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members Present:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: John Kennedy, President; and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

January 4, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the January 4, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen
Nays – None

January 18, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session
Mrs. Cardona made a motion to approve the January 18, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen
Nays – None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-09 PARRISH WOODS: Proposed Final Plat of Parrish Woods, 27 single-family residential lots at 11115 Parish Avenue, the northeast corner of 113th Avenue and Parrish Avenue; zoned: R1 (Single Family Residential), 20 acres; Ryan Fleming (ElevenTen, LLC.)
Ryan Fleming, ElevenTen, LLC., stated since the January study session we attained our Letter of Credit in the amount noted in the engineer review letter, and we have delivered the mylars to the Planning Department. With those items completed, we are before you asking for final plat approval for Parrish Woods.

Mr. Birlson asked what the status of the lift station was. Mr. Fleming stated the lift station is complete except for the backup generator. Meade has been out there for NIPSCO and are near completion, as well. The backup generator faced significant delays due to COVID, but is scheduled to be delivered this month. Once that is in, the lift station will be fully improved. We have also provided a substantial amount of surety for the lift station. One of the reasons we did not receive confirmation on the final amount of the surety was because they wanted to see if more of the lift station was complete after January, but we said we were fine with the number proposed, which would be well over what is needed, in order to keep the project moving. Mr. Fleming stated we currently have seventeen of the lots sold to custom homebuilders who are eager to start the process in the coming months.

Mr. Birlson asked if NIPSCO had power to the lift station. Mr. Fleming stated he could not speak to if it has been energized at this point, but Meade has been onsite completing that work and it should be a matter of days before it is complete. Mr. Gomeztagle asked what Mr. Fleming meant by “we are there” with the lift station. Mr. Fleming stated the lift station would be fully functional right now if Meade were complete with their work. Once they are, which should be within a few days, the lift station will be fully functional, but will only be missing the backup generator. To emphasize, there are no services going to the lift station at this time. It will be months before any service is directed to this lift station, and the backup generator will be installed within this month. Mr. Valois stated he spoke with Austgen Electric who confirmed the generator will be there sometime this month. He stated Meade is running power for the entire subdivision, not just the lift station, so it is understandable what Mr. Fleming is stating. We also need to pressure test the force main. Mr. Fleming stated that will be done once we have the energization. Mr. Valois stated we do not need power for that test. Mr. Fleming stated he will coordinate that test, then. Mr. Valois stated in regards to the lift station, he agrees it will be months before services are ran to it.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the final plat of Parrish Woods, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen
Nays – None

B. 2023-01 CORRIDOR STUDY: Present Proposed Corridor Study for the areas of 101st Avenue, Calumet Avenue, and 109th Avenue by Teska Associates, Inc.; Sergio Mendoza (St. John Building and Planning Director).
Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, stated this project was discussed mid-year last year with regards to creating a Corridor Plan for the Town of St. John and updating segments of the Thoroughfare Plan. In review with Robinson Engineering, we have selected a consulting firm to identify these corridors to explore a future vision along specific merging corridors to create a sense of place. Mr. Mendoza briefly reviewed the proposed project approach and scope of work to be done for the Corridor Study of 101st Avenue, Calumet Avenue, and 109th Avenue. See Exhibit A. He stated that they had hoped to begin work last October on the project, but did not until January of this year, pushing the proposed timeline by about three months. Mr. Mendoza also thanked Councilman Blazak, as well as the rest of the Council, for supporting the efforts and allocating the funds for this project.

Mr. Mendoza stated we are scheduled to hold various stakeholder meetings on February 8th to discuss the potential opportunities and challenges along these areas. We will then open it up to the public for their input, and finally meeting with Board and Commission members to discuss these corridor studies as well. The goal is to have this sub area planned and have a recommendation for adoption from the Plan Commission to the Town Council once the study is complete. There are discussions regarding housing slowing down, but our office is not seeing a slowdown in commercial type uses.

Mr. Birlson asked if a date had been set for the community outreach portion. Mr. Mendoza stated that will occur throughout the year. There will be several public meetings presenting the study, and then going back and making changes per discussions had, and then scheduling another public meeting presenting the updates. We are also creating a website for the study so the public can see the progress of the study as well as share their ideas. Mr. Mendoza listed the various places the website will be advertised in order to get as much public input as possible.

Mr. Birlson stated this study will help with the vision of those corridors, whether it be residential or commercial. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct. Each land use has a different impact on corridors. We want to be able to prepare for those types of land uses within the merging corridors. Mr. Birlson asked if there was discussion on improving the roads. Mr. Mendoza stated that will be part of this study. This will allow us to have a plan in place to identify what improvements should be done based on the vision that was created by the community itself. It will be the same with the land uses that will benefit those types of corridors.

Mr. Birlson asked what the difference between this and a Thoroughfare Plan is. Mr. Mendoza stated in a Thoroughfare Plan we will have road classifications as well as identify new road construction and connection, as well as traffic counts and road expansions. The Corridor Study will take in to account how these roads look when you travel them and the impacts of adjacent land uses to these corridors. Essentially when you are traveling from Crown Point to Illinois, you will notice when you are not in Crown Point or County, but St. John, creating that sense of place. Mr. Birlson stated it could be with lighting, plant use, landscaping, etc. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct. Teska has been out here touring these areas and will build off of what is already there as well as the community input. This will be adopted and incorporated in to our Comprehensive Plan upon completion. We also have additional funds to create an Economic Development Plan land use and zoning update so that we are up to date on future and current land use. Economic Development Plans also identify more sites throughout the Town that would be suitable for economic development. When we say economic development, we really are wanting to identify mixed use, or if a parcel would qualify for a PUD or not, and give the Commissioners additional guidance on zoning inquiries and what type of land uses would be supported to diversify the economic base of the community. Councilman Blazak touched on the importance of the Road Impact Fee and how that money will be used to address some of issues and future plans laid out by this study and the future Thoroughfare Plan.

PUBLIC HEARING ANNOUNCMENT FOR MARCH 1ST REGULAR MEETING:

C. 2022-16 AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER INSTALLATION FUND: Present Proposed Ordinance allowing payment to be made in lieu of sidewalk, curb or gutter installation in certain extraordinary circumstances as determined by the St. John Plan Commission; Adam Decker (Commission Attorney).
Mr. Birlson announced that a public hearing will be held on March 1st to discuss the proposed amendment to the Subdivision Control Ordinance establishing a sidewalk, curb and gutter installation fund. Board Attorney, Adam Decker, stated there were minor revisions made to the proposed ordinance that has been resubmitted to the Commission for review. He stated his recollection from the previous meeting was that the proposed 90% of installation cost was acceptable by the Commission, but did not know if a final decision was made on that. Mr. Mendoza stated if the Ordinance gets passed we will need to establish a policy on how the funds are expended, whether it is strictly for new sidewalks, sidewalk corrections, new sidewalks strictly for connectivity, or a program established for partial or full replacement. Again, this waiver will be at the Commission’s discretion.

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further discussion, Vice-President Birlson adjourned the meeting at 7:33 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
02-15-2023 Plan Commission

February 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President John Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Members Present:
Commissioners present in-person: Bob Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.

Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Board Attorney; Jonathan Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.

Absent: Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.

A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2022-16 AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER INSTALLATION FUND: Proposed Ordinance allowing payment to be made in lieu of sidewalk, curb or gutter installation in certain extraordinary circumstances as determined by the St. John Plan Commission; Adam Decker (Board Attorney).
Board Attorney, Adam Decker, stated this proposed Ordinance will amend the Subdivision Control Ordinance for the Town of St. John. The purpose of the amendment is to provide for the payment of funds to the Town in lieu of the installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in those circumstances that the Plan Commission determines that such installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks would be impossible or illogical within the proposed subdivision. If the Plan Commission makes that determination, on a case by case basis, the developer or owner would be required to pay 90% of the total cost of the installation of the curbs, gutters, and sidewalks to a fund to be created by the same Ordinance. Those funds would then be collected and can be used by the Town Council for projects related to the installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks throughout the Town.

Mr. Birlson asked if we wanted to specifically say the size and thickness of the curb. If a development is on US 41, we would not use an eighteen inch wide curb but something much larger. Attorney Decker stated if a developer came to the Town and was proposing a development on US 41 or any other street, the Subdivision Control Ordinance states standards for those elements. This amendment to the Subdivision Control Ordinance is still part of the Subdivision Control Ordinance. Any installation of curbs, gutters or sidewalks would still need to adhere to the requirements and standards in the Subdivision Control Ordinance, and that is how the cost analysis would be determined. Mr. Gill stated our smallest standard for curbs are actually twenty-four inches wide, ten inches thick at the front, twelve inches thick at the back. Eighteen inch curbs are not allowed anywhere.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked what prompted the creation of this Ordinance. President Kennedy stated we have been more stringent in our denial of waivers for sidewalks, but there have been instances where there have been areas where the installation of sidewalks is illogical. Other communities have created similar funds to grab those resources that the owner or developer would have had to put in so that the Town has the opportunity to add sidewalks in an area that is lacking. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if that was because we are not being stringent. President Kennedy stated no. He gave an example of a lot that was platted within a subdivision that was already very mature and had no sidewalks, and no sidewalks were planned. That particular lot received a waiver because it was illogical to make them put the sidewalk in. If this fund was in place, we could have captured that revenue that the homeowner or developer would have been responsible for and used it to establish sidewalks in a different area, at the discretion of the Town Council. Mr. Gomeztagle asked who would pick up the remaining 10% of the cost of installation. President Kennedy stated the 90% is an arbitrary number that can be changed, but we believed it was a fair dollar amount based on discussions at the previous meetings. Mr. Gomeztagle stated if you look at the economic factors on the 10% that will need to be made up, it could still be a hefty amount that the Town is left paying. If the Town needs revenue to fix other areas, perhaps we have to let the Town Council figure it out themselves. Our view is to look at the Ordinance and determine what impossible means because it could mean something small to someone, but not to us. President Kennedy stated this is not to be used as an opportunity to not put in sidewalks, but in areas like The Shrine, that was nearly impossible for them to install a sidewalk along US 41. Mr. Gomeztagle stated after walking that area he questioned why it was impossible. Our purpose is safety and security. If that sidewalk is not there, who will be held liable? The responsibility should be on the developer to figure out how to put a sidewalk in, and if they say it is impossible, we shove it back and say figure out a way to make it possible. He stated he wanted to see this town develop as much as possible, but we need to figure out a way to make the developers adhere to our standards.

President Kennedy stated we are not changing the Ordinance, we are adding a fund. The standards are staying the same. Mr. Birlson gave the example of the property on Joliet and Hart Street, and stated that legally the Plan Commission could not force the developer to put a sidewalk in on Hart Street because it is in a floodway. This fund would have captured funds for that sidewalk and curb that could be used somewhere else in Town. Mr. Gomeztagle stated he appreciated the example because it gave a clear impossibility. We need to clarify what is impossible and have guidelines. Mr. Birlson stated it is safe to say that we are all levelheaded here and know what is impossible or not, and we all have our own vote. This Commission analyzes each situation enough to try and get the best development we can. Mr. Gomeztagle agreed, but stated clarification still needs to be had on the word impossible and what that means for each development. President Kennedy stated this is not meant to be a revenue generator. This is for rare situations, per our determination, for a sidewalk waiver to be granted and payment be made in lieu of the installation. Mr. Gill stated it would be up to us to look at the proposed area being developed and look at the topography, setbacks, distances, and right-of-way to make a determination of possible or impossible. Discussion followed regarding the few most recent examples of waivers given where the task was impossible or illogical.

President Kennedy stated the 90% rate is because we are saying it is impossible or illogical, therefore the homeowner or developer should not have to pay the full 100% since they are not getting the sidewalk, curb or gutter. Town Councilman Liaison, Bryan Blazak, stated the overall intention is to do what is best for the Town. Mr. Gill stated this does not mean that no one puts a sidewalk in, it just gives another avenue to explore when the situation arises. Mrs. Cardona stated she believed Mr. Gomeztagle’s point is that he wants a definition to what impossible would mean. The answer to that is exactly what Mr. Birlson has said with the examples of the development on Hart Street and The Shrine, so we are taking these situations to form that determination or definition of impossible for future projects while putting a fund in place to take advantage of those impossible situations. Mr. Birlson stated he believed it was a great Ordinance. President Kennedy stated he believed it would deter people from asking for a waiver since the choice is to either put the sidewalk in, or pay in to this fund. Before there was the opportunity to grant a complete waiver and not have the homeowner or developer put a sidewalk in.

Mrs. Cardona asked who would manage the money and allocate the funds. President Kennedy stated the Clerk-Treasurer would hold the funds and then the Town Council would determine where the funds are used. Councilman Blazak stated those funds will sit until they are used for whatever projects the Council decides to use it for. This fund will only have one purpose, to install curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. President Kennedy stated he would believe that Public Works would recommend areas to the Council who would then decide if the funds are available for that project, if it is a good project to do, or if we can even get matching funds from a NIRPC grant for a trail.

B. 2023-02 CONTINENTAL: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 21 single-family residential lots, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this issue was prompted when we were watching an earlier Plan Commission meeting regarding the final approval for Parrish Woods and their extension that was needed since their primary plat had expired. We currently have several larger developments that were given primary plat years ago that have had sections final platted each year, but with the slow-down in the housing market, there is a chance we will not be asking for a final plat before the expiration dates this year. Continental was the first subdivision that popped up in discussions with staff for the need of an extension. We will also be asking for extensions for The Preserve, Preserve West, and Greystone just so we do not run in to an issue of the plat expiring before we ask for these extensions. He stated the way your current Ordinance reads, primary plat approval is good for twelve months unless a request is made for an extension, which can be granted by the Plan Commission for a period of up to six months. We had brought this up before, but six months is a short period of time. Mr. Slager suggested changing it to one year, as most communities are at that for extensions. In most cases, developments are platted out and not much changes from the primary plat once it is approved.

President Kennedy asked how the timing would work since the last section that was granted final plat approval was in 2020. Mrs. Lauridsen stated it would be the same situation that we just had with The Gates where we had to grant multiple six-month extensions retroactively. Since the last final plat approval was given on August 5, 2020, the expiration would have been August 5, 2021. Four six-month extensions would bring them to August 5, 2023 and five six-month extensions would bring them to February 5, 2023. Mr. Slager stated there is the possibility that we will still come in this year, but if not we may be in here occasionally asking for extensions. He then asked if Greystone, The Preserve, and Preserve West could also be added to the March 1st meeting for one six month extension each. The Commission agreed that could be added.

Councilman Blazak stated six months is a tight timeframe for an extension in today’s world. It may be beneficial to look in to extending that six months to a year as Mr. Slager has said. Attorney Decker stated in order to do that, it would be the same process for any change to the Subdivision Control Ordinance. It has to be considered, there would be a public hearing, and then it would go to the Town Council for final adoption of the Ordinance. Councilman Blazak stated six months is a short timeframe to develop a subdivision. Attorney Decker stated the primary plat is good for twelve months, but extensions can be granted in six month increments. Councilman Blazak stated instead of a six month renewal, we may want to change it to a year. President Kennedy asked the benefit of a six month extension versus one year. Mr. Mendoza stated he did not know why six months was identified as he has normally seen them as one year. Councilman Blazak suggested starting the process of getting the change together for the March meeting. The Commission agreed.

ADJOURNMENT With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 7:37 P.M.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
03-01-2023 Plan Commission

March 1, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Gena Lauridsen, Secretary
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

February 1, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the February 1, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes and one abstention by President Kennedy who was not present at the February 1, 2023 Regular Meeting.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, and Bob Valois
Abstain – John Kennedy
Nays – None

February 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the February 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2022-16 AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER INSTALLATION FUND: Proposed Ordinance allowing payment to be made in lieu of sidewalk, curb or gutter installation in certain extraordinary circumstances as determined by the St. John Plan Commission; Adam Decker (Commission Attorney).
Commission Attorney, Adam Decker, stated this proposal will allow the Plan Commission, in circumstances where it determines, to waive the installation of curbs, sidewalks or gutters where it would be impossible or illogical given the circumstances of that particular application. The Ordinance would then allow the Town to require a developer to make payment in lieu of the installation of curbs, gutters or sidewalks at the rate of 90% of the total cost of installation. This establishes a fund in to which the monies would be deposited with the understanding that the funds could be used for the construction of sidewalks, curbs and gutters in other parts of the Town where the Town Council determines to be necessary or in accordance with the overall Comprehensive Plan of the Town. This proposal will need recommendation from the Plan Commission, and will then go to the Town Council for their consideration.

Open to Public Hearing PC 2022-16 Amendment to Subdivision Control Ordinance Establishing a Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Installation Fund
No one was present to speak for or against the proposed Ordinance.

Closed to Public Hearing PC 2022-16 Amendment to Subdivision Control Ordinance Establishing a Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Installation Fund

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council regarding PC 2022-16 Amendment to Subdivision Control Ordinance Establishing a Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Installation Fund, seconded by Mr. Valois. President Kennedy thanked Attorney Decker and the Planning Department for their time and effort in to this Ordinance and stated that he believed it will be a great addition to the Subdivision Control Ordinance. The motion carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

B. 2020-18 PRESERVE WEST: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 89 single-family residential lots, part of the original 134 acres of Preserve West; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated the next four items on the agenda are extension requests for their various developments. The Town’s Ordinance allows for a large primary plat to receive approval and then come back to final plat sections of that primary plat. The primary plat is good for one year unless you final plat a portion of it each year, and then it gets extended. As we head in to a time of a possible slowdown in the residential market, we are looking to make sure that we preserve the integrity of all of the primary plats we have received. The dates vary on each of these items, but we are requesting a six month extension on each of these developments.

President Kennedy stated we will take each subdivision individually to make sure they are addressed appropriately. He then asked Building and Planning Director Sergio Mendoza if Preserve West, Greystone, and The Preserve all have expiration dates of this year and if one extension would just take them further in to 2023. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve one six month extension of the primary plat for Preserve West, giving it a new expiration date of November 4, 2023, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

C. 2021-06 GREYSTONE UNIT 3: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 31 multi-family residential lots, part of the original 44.864 acres of Greystone Unit 3; zoned: R3 PUD (Multi-Family Residential Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this is also a request for one six month extension.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve one six month extension of the primary plat for Greystone Unit 3, giving it a new expiration date of November 4, 2023, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

D. 2022-10 THE PRESERVE: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 68 single-family residential lots, part of the original 319 acres of The Preserve; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this is also a request for one six month extension.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve one six month extension of the primary plat for The Preserve, giving it a new expiration date of December 1, 2023, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

E. 2023-02 CONTINENTAL: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 21 single-family residential lots, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated the last phase was about one and a half years ago for the Continental. The Building and Planning Department staff did the math on this one and suggested four six month extensions in order to get us in to this summer. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve four six month extensions of the primary plat for Continental, give it a new expiration date of August 5, 2023, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Councilman Liaison Bryan Blazak asked Attorney Decker if it would be possible to amend the Ordinance to allow for a longer extension period than six months. Attorney Decker stated if the Ordinance is to be amended, it can provide for any length of extension. In most communities a twelve month extension is fairly standard. In discussions with staff, if the Ordinance is amended, it would most likely be amended to reflect a twelve month extension. Councilman Blazak stated that would be ideal. He then asked what the process would be to get that changed. Attorney Decker stated it would be like the amendment that was discussed tonight. A public hearing would need to be held on the change along with an Ordinance created, and then it would go to the Council for final decision. Mr. Mendoza stated the staff actually met on Tuesday to discuss multiple revisions to the Subdivision Control Ordinance, which will be forwarded to Attorney Decker for review and presented at the next Study Session for discussion.

F. 2021-09 PARRISH WOODS: Acceptance of Performance Surety of a 27 single-family residential lot subdivision at 11115 Parish Avenue, the northeast corner of 113th Avenue and Parrish Avenue; zoned: R1 (Single-Family Residential), 20 acres; Ryan Fleming (ElevenTen, LLC.)
President Kennedy stated the Letter of Credit is in the amount of $216,965.98 for the improvements that are left to be made in Parrish Woods. We simply need a recommendation to accept the Letter of Credit, which will then go to the Town Council.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit from Parrish Woods in the amount of $216,965.98, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC COMMENT

G. 2023-01 CORRIDORS STUDY: Reminder of Corridors Study Workshop on Thursday, March 9th from 3:00pm – 4:30pm in the Town Council Meeting Room; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated the Teska Group, who is performing the Corridors Study, is moving on to the second phase of their stakeholder input. They have completed the first phase of meeting with the forty stakeholder groups that were identified, and will be drafting their findings from that study, which will be shared after the next phase of public input. The next phase is for the Town Council, Clerk-Treasurer, Plan Commission, and Economic Development Committee to have a workshop on March 9th from 3:00 – 4:30 P.M. We will break in to five groups and share ideas regarding the development of these corridors. Following this workshop we will have a public open house from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. for the public to come and share their ideas as well. After these workshops, the discussions that are had will be added to the reports that have been created and shared.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 7:22 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
03-09-2023 Plan Commission

March 9, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at approximately 3:15 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Bob Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.

Also present in-person: Tom Nagle, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.

Absent: Yolanda Cardona and Joe Gomeztagle

A quorum was attained.

A. PRESENTATION: St. John Corridor Study Workshop led by Francesca Lawrence and Michael Blue with Teska Associates, Inc.
Town Manager, Joseph Wiszowaty, and Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, gave a brief overview of the corridors that are being studied, which include 101st Avenue, Calumet Avenue, and US Highway 231/W. 109th Avenue.

Francesca Lawrence, Senior Planner with Teska Associates, Inc., addressed the present Council, Commission, and Committee members and began her presentation on the St. John Corridor Study. See Exhibit A.

After the presentation, all members broke out in to small groups and were given various challenges, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses to discuss. They were also tasked with adding to the list of examples and sharing their thoughts with the entire group. See Exhibit B. Members were also given examples of community design and streetscape imagery to review and note which ones they felt would most enhance the corridors and community. See Exhibit C. Lastly, each group reviewed the Town’s Future Zoning Map from the 2017 Comprehensive Plan and used that to notate what types of development they would like to see along the corridors. See Exhibit D.

It was explained by Ms. Lawrence that the discussions that were had at today’s workshop will be compiled with the information that was received from the stakeholder groups as well as what will be gathered from the public open house tonight, and will then be presented to the Town Council, Plan Commission, and Economic Development Committee for review and discussion at a later date.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or discussion, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 4:50 P.M.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
03-09-2023 Plan Commission Exhibit.pdf
03-15-2023 Plan Commission

March 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice-President Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 7:01 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: John Kennedy, President and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A Quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2023-03 ESTATES OF WELLINGTON, UNIT 2, LOT 1: Proposed rear yard easement reduction at 8509 Jacobsen Drive; zoned: R-1 (Single-Family Residential), 3.22 acres; Tom Schilling (Property Owner), Nathan Vis (Attorney).
Mr. Birlson stated this petitioner will not be present tonight and the matter will be forwarded to a future agenda.
B. ARTESIAN WELLS PLAT D, PT OF LOT 6: Proposed Rezone from R-2 (Single-Family Residential) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of Artesian Wells Plat D Pt of Lot 6, 10911 W. 108th Avenue; 7.82 acres total; Dale Lenting (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated Mr. Lenting has been before the Plan Commission in the past with this request of rezone, but that petition has been withdrawn and we are now back with a new petition. The idea is to rezone a portion of Mr. Lenting’s property, which is currently zoned R-2. The desire is to take the southwest portion of the property and rezone it to C-2 for a small pole barn for Mr. Lenting’s business that will also include a show room and small parking lot. The northwest corner of the site will ultimately be another residential lot. This project will also require a subdivision, but we wanted to address the rezone first.

Mr. Birlson asked if public notice had been sent out yet. Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, stated not yet. There is no file number yet because there is not a paid application on file. Currently this project is just at the study session for review. Mr. Birlson asked if the road would need to be brought up to standards if the lot is rezoned to Commercial. Mr. Mendoza stated it would. Under the current Subdivision Control Ordinance, they must comply with all requirements including road improvements, curb, gutter, and sidewalks, unless waivers are granted by the Plan Commission. Mr. Birlson asked if the petitioner was aware of that. Mr. Rettig stated we are aware of that. If you look at the very south end, there is a triangle on the east and west side of the road that is owned by the Town. When the area of US 41 and US 231 was developed, they widened the right-of-way a little bit. It goes from a forty foot right-of-way to fifty feet. We would dedicate our extra ten feet for the additional right-of-way along US 231, and then if improvements are necessary for the road we understand that. Mr. Birlson asked what part of the lot they are wanting to rezone to Commercial. Mr. Rettig presented the concept sketch that showed the potential Commercial parcel as well as the extra residential parcel that Mr. Lenting is wanting to create, which meets R-2 requirements. See Exhibit A.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if the parcel was originally an R-1 zoning that is being dropped to an R-2 for the extra lot being created. Mr. Rettig stated he believed it was always R-2. Mrs. Lauridsen stated the lot is an R-2 zoning. Mr. Valois asked if the entrance could come off of US 231 rather than the residential side due to the pushback that was given previously with this project by the surrounding residents. Mr. Rettig stated we could do that, but there would be less separation between the road and building if the entrance was planned that way. We can, however, accommodate that if the Town wants. Town Engineer, Jon Dykstra, asked if INDOT would also need to review that entrance if it were planned off of US 231. Mr. Rettig stated yes, we would need to get a permit from them if we planned the entrance there. He stated we have a traffic engineer in our office that works frequently with INDOT that we could run all of this by. Mr. Birlson stated that is a good idea to look in to. He stated he understood where the residents were coming from in not wanting the traffic. Mr. Rettig asked if we are bringing the road up to Commercial standards, why should we not be allowed to have that traffic. Mr. Birlson stated he understood, but when those residents bought their property, this parcel was not commercial. Mr. Rettig stated he understood.

Mr. Birlson asked what the commercial use would be. Mr. Rettig stated Mr. Lenting owns a tile business and he would like to build a showroom and storage warehouse. Mr. Rettig asked Mr. Lenting if the showroom would be a retail space with regular hours. Mr. Lenting stated it would be open with regular hours. Mr. Valois asked if there was enough room to run an access road to the back of the warehouse if the entrance is off of US 231. Mr. Rettig stated we would be able to accommodate that. Mr. Valois stated with all of the pushback that was given at previous meetings, we would really like to minimize the impact on Schneider Street. Mr. Rettig stated he understood and if that is something that will help, we can look in to that. Mr. Birlson stated there may need to be some sort of landscaping or separation from the residents in order to help with their concerns as well. Mr. Rettig stated he followed what they were suggesting and that what was submitted was just a quick sketch. Mr. Birlson stated he understood Mr. Lenting wanting to continue his business, but we also do not want to squeeze these residents out. Mr. Rettig stated previously no plan was presented, so he could see the residents concern with the size of the building and what the lot would end up looking like. Mr. Valois asked how large the buildings would be. Mr. Rettig stated the warehouse would be eight feet by one hundred feet and the showroom would be thirty-two feet by seventy-two feet. The showroom would be about two thousand square feet, and we will probably have more parking than what is necessary.

Mrs. Lauridsen stated to Mr. Rettig to keep in mind that the property lies within the US 231 Overlay District when it comes to design standards for the buildings. Mr. Rettig stated he was aware. He asked how far back the overlay goes off of US 231. Mrs. Lauridsen stated six hundred feet. Mr. Mendoza stated he believed the Ordinance reads that if a portion of the lot is within six hundred feet, the entire lot is within the Overlay.

C. PROVIDENCE BANK SUBDIVISION, LOT 2: Proposed Resubdivision of Providence Bank Subdivision, Lot 2, for a five commercial and two residential lot subdivision at Calumet Avenue, Dyer, IN 46311, located approximately 211 feet south of the 101st Avenue and Calumet Avenue intersection on the west side of Calumet Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Highway Commercial District), 20.96 acres; Michael Shideler and Joe Napoli (SHI NAPS, LLC.), Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated this property is across from where St. John Commons is and will have an entrance that lines up with their entrance. The concept plan shows five commercial lots, which are already zoned C-2 Commercial, as well as two residential lots that we will be removing for the time being. We are wanting to do what we did across the street on Red Rock Place, but these lots are going to require some variances so for the time being we will plat the entire south end as an outlot and come back to discuss the residential lots at a later time. After meeting with staff, we have revised the cul-de-sac that was originally proposed and have pushed it back further west and extended the right-of-way all the way to the property line so that the road can eventually be extended. Currently that property is under different ownership, but the owners are in discussion with them and may potentially own the property in the future that this would connect to. Mr. Rettig stated Mr. Shideler and Mr. Napoli already own a three story building just a few lots over on 101st Avenue that have some water and sewer connection difficulties, but that is a different project. He stated in whole, we are wanting to take a piece of property that is currently zoned commercial and develop it with five commercial lots. We will be extending sewer and water as needed as well as adding the sidewalk along Calumet Avenue. We will need some discussion on how wide that sidewalk will be because to the north and south the sidewalks are only five feet wide, rather than the eight feet that is now required. Excel and decel lanes will be installed for St. John Commons, which should suffice for this project.

Mr. Birlson asked if any businesses have expressed interest, and if so, what types of businesses they are. Joe Napoli, SHI NAPS, LLC., stated we do have a few interested parties. One is a retail storefront, and then we also have two established Illinois restaurants that are wanting to come over to Indiana. Mr. Gomeztagle asked Mr. Napoli if he was aware of the Corridor Study that the Town is involved in that highlights that area as a major corridor. Mr. Napoli stated he was aware and that he and Mr. Shideler attended the recent open house that was held and gave their input. He stated, as a nearby resident, he was very forthcoming with the questions that were asked and believed it was a good exercise for the public to be involved in. Mr. Birlson stated eventually Calumet Avenue is going to need to have curb and gutter with street lights and heavy landscaping to make it a higher end area. Mr. Napoli agreed and stated that the majority of the buildings in that area are brick and are of higher quality. Long term we have a very vested interest in the area and see the vision of the corridor in that area, and are onboard to make it as beautiful as possible. He stated he fields a lot of calls about business owners looking for space in the twelve hundred to fifteen hundred square foot range, but there is definitely a need for more space there, which is coming with St. John Commons as well.

Mr. Valois stated he would like to take a look at Black Opal Lane to make sure that water main is looped. Mr. Rettig stated his understanding is that the water main runs along the north side of Greystone and they put a “T” in heading north where the sidewalk ends. We are actually connecting that as part of St. John Commons. Mr. Gill stated we did look up the pipeline blast zone and the Ordinance states that the minimum lot area for such applicable zoning must be entirely outside of the pipeline impact area. Mr. Rettig stated it worked in St. John Commons because it is a PUD, but this is not a PUD so we will need to rework those residential lots to make something work in that area.

D. CONTINENTAL, UNIT 2, LOTS 27-36: Proposed Preliminary Replat of lots 27-36 of Continental, Unit 2, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated over the last three years we have platted and developed Unit 1 in Continental and have also platted Unit 2, which is the Summit Cove cul-de-sac. In the meantime, we did have a customer come in and purchase two lots and combine them, and we are now finding that there is a demand for larger lots. We are asking to come in and replat the north side of Summit Cove, taking it from seven lots down to five. The first four lots are consisting of a lot and a half and the last is a double lot. We do already have a client for one of the lots that is a lot and a half. Mr. Slager stated after discussion with the staff, we will be coming in with the third resubdivision of Unit 2.

Mr. Birlson stated on lot twenty-four and twenty-five, there looks to be a jog in the right-of-way. Mr. Slager stated there is. The entrance right-of-ways are sixty feet with sidewalks on both sides, and as they go in to the cul-de-sacs they drop down to fifty feet with no sidewalks in an effort to conserve trees. We are not changing any engineering or road right-of-ways, rather just moving lot lines. Mr. Valois asked if the extra water services were going to be removed and the sanitary stubbed. Mr. Slager stated until the house gets built, we would like to leave it up to them to see which one would work better for them. If it is necessary to remove them, we will need to figure that out. Mr. Birlson asked if the water main was in the right-of-way. Mr. Slager stated it is. Mr. Valois stated we would prefer to have them removed just in case someone decides to plant a tree or something in that location. Mr. Slager stated that makes sense. We can get something in writing to have those removed once the service location is chosen for each lot. Mr. Gomeztagle stated it is interesting that you say there is a demand for oversized lots when we have developers that have come in and stated the opposite, that people do not want larger lots to maintain. He asked if Mr. Slager could explain where he got his information from, just as he asked previous developers that stated the opposite where they received their information. Mr. Slager stated he would agree that there is a demand for both. We see the demand for cottage home and duplex lots, things that are maintenance free, but that is a different buyer from this buyer. If you have followed Continental, you know that these lots are listed at $250,000 and up. We have also set a minimum value on the homes of $1.5 million and up. The buyers that are looking at these lots are wanting five to six thousand square foot homes that surprisingly do not fit on a one hundred by two hundred foot lot. Now that these are a lot and a half, they will be around $430,000 for the lot. There are buyers out there that are willing to pay that for a larger lot. We are hoping this is the year that we see some construction in there.

E. CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Proposed Amendment to the Preliminary Plat of lots 18-26 of Continental, Unit 3, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated similarly we have an undeveloped cul-de-sac that has not been improved yet. The primary plat that was approved three years ago called that out for nine R-1 lots, but we would like to make it five lots. This is just a little different than replatting existing lots, this is making a modification to the primary plat approval to change our primary plat approval from nine lots to five lots. These would all become one acre or better. There is no change to the engineering and we will have the ability to only put one tap in for water and sewer here. Mr. Slager asked permission to advertise for a public hearing at the April 5th meeting for the two items that were just presented. Mr. Dykstra asked if it was correct that none of the infrastructure is in for Unit 3. Mr. Slager stated that is correct, it is just all stubbed in to the property line.

Town Council Liaison, Bryan Blazak, asked if Mr. Slager felt that there would be more interest in Continental with this replat. Mr. Slager stated he hoped so. There are currently two clients that are interested in lots within these two units. He stated if the Commission is good with moving forward, we would like to advertise for public hearing at the April 5th meeting. Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Mendoza if that was possible. Mr. Mendoza stated we can assist with getting them set for public hearing in April.

F. ST. JOHN BUSINESS PARK: Proposed Business Park at 10675 Joliet Street, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 510 feet west of the Hart Street and Joliet Street intersection on the south side of Joliet Street, zoned: I (Industrial), 55.314 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated we wanted to introduce you to a project we have been working on for a few years. This is really just a first look and something to think about and discuss. This parcel is just over fifty-five acres and lies between the railroad tracks on the south side of Joliet Street. We have approximately one hundred feet of frontage on Joliet, and then it opens up to a large parcel between the tracks all the way back to the wetlands and lake. On the east side are the Three Springs duplexes, and to the west is commercial development. He stated this property is and has been zoned Industrial forever, and we have had inquiries in the past for industrial users, but we have a vision of a business park that is less industrial and more commercial. We have put together a concept plan that has twenty-two lots that range from one to four acres, and are proposing more upscale buildings that are masonry or have masonry accents with higher landscaping requirements. Mr. Slager stated there could be professional office uses, potential restaurants, and even breweries. This area is within the TIF District as well as the new Riverfront District that was just created. We would like to start marketing it and see what kind of interest we get. Once we find a couple of uses that want to go in there, this is what we are hoping to build out. We know one of the concerns will be traffic. Joliet now has nice access out to US 41 with the 96th Place “bypass”. There will be some truck traffic in this area, but not heavy traffic like there would be if we allowed industrial uses. He stated one thing to note is that the Lake County Highway Department will be replacing the bridge that exists just east of Industrial Drive. We have requested that St. John be involved and that this be a three lane bridge rather than a two lane bridge to allow for future expansion of that road, in addition to the ability to have sidewalks on both sides of that road. We have seen plans recently, and they are designing it that way. This should be coming later this year, or early next year. Hopefully there will be future improvements of Joliet so that it can tie in nicely with the 96th Place “bypass”.

Mr. Slager stated you can see what the current industrial park looks like with a lot of metal buildings and asphalt, but we are wanting to take this to another level and make it something really nice that the Town can be proud of. The main entrance road off of Joliet Street was included in the Town’s Thoroughfare Plan a number of years ago as a potential collector road that will eventually go all the way out to US 231 to the south. We are going to plan for that to happen and stub that road all the way to the south. As that property develops, that road would continue out to US 231 and will be developed as an eighty foot right-of-way in hopes of potentially having some decorative islands in there to make it look really good.

Mr. Birlson stated the tie in to Joliet Street is very challenging, and that road probably needs to be widened. He asked if they had talked to the church that owns the cemetery. Mr. Slager stated the Dioses owns the cemetery and we have purchased a little bit of land off of them to make sure that our entrance is wide enough. We are pretty sure they will work with us in order to get what we need. There is room to improve that road properly. Mr. Birlson asked if the house to the west is potentially available. Mr. Slager stated we have tried many times to acquire that property. They are still there and not ready to sell yet, but we would like to get access there. That site is low and there is a bunch of flood plain, which will need engineering work, but we can get there. Mr. Birlson stated we will need sidewalks along that frontage too. Mr. Slager stated we will only have one hundred feet of frontage, but we are willing to make sure that we do our part to connect for future. Mr. Mendoza asked if Mr. Slager could touch on the NIPSCO parcel. Mr. Slager stated there is about a seven acre parcel there that is landlocked. We have been talking to them for a number of years and have designed it in to our parcel because we have been pursuing it for quite some time. It does not need to be a part of the project since the first phase will likely be the entrance and maybe three or four lots. Mr. Birlson mentioned the need for an appropriate amount of parking for each parcel. Mr. Slager agreed and stated each lot will still need to come before the Plan Commission for Site Plan approval, so that will be addressed then. One thing to mention is that we will not be allowing any sort of outside storage. Core and Main had approached us about developing here, but we turned them down because they have outside pipe storage and we are not wanting that type of use in this development.

G. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated we have made some changes by way of suggestions that have been made by various departments within the Town and wanted to present those changes to the Commission. We are wanting to return in April for another Study Session and keep doing so until we feel we have a final rendition that is ready for public hearing. Mr. Mendoza went through the proposed changes to the Subdivision Control Ordinance. See highlighted areas in Exhibit B.

Regarding the proposed Plat Review Committee and Technical Review Committee, Commission Attorney Adam Decker stated he forwarded a summary that identifies the different committees that a Plan Commission can appoint. The most relevant per past discussions, would be the Plat Review Committee and how that could be implemented. This committee would distinct the difference between major and minor subdivisions, which currently the Subdivision Control Ordinance does not differentiate. The Indiana Code does allow a Plan Commission to send what would be considered minor subdivisions to a review committee to be reviewed and approved without a public hearing. Attorney Decker stated he provided some examples from other municipalities as well as the State Statute that allows for Plat Review Committees. Mr. Valois stated he read through Attorney Decker’s findings and believes that the Plan Commission should still be the one to decide what subdivisions are going in, whether it be large or small. More than anything, the Town could use a Technical Review Committee made up of staff and/or Commission members that review proposed plans.

After Mr. Mendoza presented all of the proposed amendments, Mr. Slager asked if there would be a chance for public comment on the proposed amendments. Mr. Mendoza stated the changes would require a public hearing, but that will not be until May or June after further review is done. He told Mr. Slager if he had any ideas to send him an email. Mr. Slager stated he believed the changes looked good so far and that he was in favor of the Plat Review Committee for simple one or two lot subdivisions.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further discussion, Vice-President Birlson adjourned the meeting at 8:17 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
03-15-2023 Plan Commission Exhibit A.pdf
03-15-2023 Plan Commission Exhibit B.pdf
04-05-2023 Plan Commission

April 5, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona, Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

March 1, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the March 1, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

March 9, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the March 9, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

March 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the March 15, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays - None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2023-04 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 2, LOTS 27-36: Preliminary Replat and request for Final Plat of lots 27-36 of Continental, Unit 2, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated we are wanting to replat a section of lots in Unit 2 that were previously platted about two years ago. We have had some demand for larger lots, which you already see with the Unit 2 2nd Resubdivision that was combined by a homeowner, and we now have another buyer that is wanting to combine about a lot and a half. Rather than having the homeowners come in to do this, we are combining the eight lots that are left in Unit 2 in to five lots. This does not change the engineering, but we did talk about removing any extra water and sewer taps as these homes get built. Other than that, this replat is pretty straight forward.

President Kennedy stated the recommendation, if this Commission moves forward, is that when a building permit is requested for a lot, only one b-box and service line shall remain. Mr. Slager stated he was aware and agreed with the recommendation. We would also request that you consider granting final plat tonight as well since this is a rather minor change.

Opened to Public Hearing 2023-04 Continental, Unit 2, Lots 27-36

With no one to speak for or against the petition, President Kennedy closed the public hearing.

Closed to Public Hearing 2023-04 Continental, Unit 2, Lots 27-36

President Kennedy read in to record the preliminary plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit A.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the preliminary replat of Continental, Unit 2, Lots 27-36 including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mr. Birlson made a motion to consider the final replat of Continental, Unit 2, Lots 27-36, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

President Kennedy read in to record the final plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit B.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the final replat of Continental, Unit 2, Lots 27-36 including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

B. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Amendment to the Preliminary Plat of lots 18-26 of Continental, Unit 3, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated similarly to the last item, this is an undeveloped cul-de-sac in the northern part of the site. All utilities and the road are stubbed to the site currently. The original primary plat called for nine half acre, or slightly larger, lots, but we have now amended it to show five one acre lots. We will be coming in later this fall for final plat, but if the Plan Commission is agreeable, we would like to plat these five lots and begin the infrastructure install this summer.

President Kennedy read in to record the preliminary plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit B.

Mr. Valois asked if the water line would come to a dead end at the end of the cul-de-sac. Mr. Slager stated that is correct. Mr. Valois stated he would prefer that be looped, whether it ties in to Knickerbocker or Continental. Mr. Slager stated we could look for an option for that. President Kennedy asked if that would need to be figured out before preliminary plat approval is given if an easement needs to be dedicated. Mr. Slager stated it would come with the final plat and we would need to look in to it because we have not changed any of the engineering that was approved three years ago. Mr. Birlson asked if the subdivision was initially approved without the water line being looped. Mr. Slager stated that was correct. We have four cul-de-sacs and the longest one, Continental Way, does loop out to Knickerbocker, but the remaining three were designed and approved as dead ends.

Commission Attorney Adam Decker stated a loop is not reflected in the plat that is being considered tonight. He stated the surest way to assure that it gets completed with the loop would be to have that included in the plat that is going to be considered rather than making it a contingency. Secondary plat is simply confirming that the installation has occurred in accordance with the amended primary plat, which is being considered this evening. President Kennedy stated we will move forward with the public hearing and then the Commission will decide how to move forward.

Opened to Public Hearing 2023-05 Continental, Unit 3

Gary Anderson, no address was given, stated two lots in Unit 2 were already combined and renamed ‘lot one’. He asked if there are now two ‘lot ones’ in the subdivision. Mr. Gill stated the one lot subdivision that was created has a different name than the overall subdivision of Continental. Mr. Anderson asked if lot one on 93rd Avenue still exists. Mr. Gill stated that it did.

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy closed the public hearing.

Closed to Public Hearing 2023-05 Continental, Unit 3

President Kennedy asked if an easement is added to the plat, would another public hearing need to be held. Attorney Decker stated no, another public hearing would not need to be held. President Kennedy asked Mr. Valois the pros and cons of looping the water main. Mr. Valois stated he believed it needed to be done and since infrastructure is not in place, now is the time to do it. There will be a lot of easement and a lot of water mains in backyards, but it should be finished. Mr. Slager stated keep in mind that area is heavily wooded. We could look at tying the two cul-de-sacs together. Mr. Valois stated you could have an easement on the north side of lot nineteen and then we could grant an easement on the park lot that it backs up to. Mr. Slager asked if the line could be smaller. Mr. Valois stated it would need to be at least an eight inch line. Mr. Slager asked if they would consider an auto-flusher. Mr. Valois stated those are supposed to be temporary according to our Subdivision Control Ordinance. Mr. Slager stated we can offer up the easement on lot nineteen and figure out how to work it through the park lot. President Kennedy stated it would probably be best to defer this item until the easement is shown on the primary plat.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to defer the amendment to the preliminary plat of Continental, Unit 3, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

C. 2021-03 SUBLIME ESTATES: Request for release of Performance Surety for Sublime Estates, 6 Single-Family Lots at the intersection of 93rd Avenue and Clarmonte Drive; zoned R-1 (Single-Family Residential), approximately 11.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we are asking for the release of the Performance Surety for Sublime Estates. We believe we have completed all of the obligations to meet that request.

President Kennedy read in to record the infrastructure review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit D.

President Kennedy asked the status of the maintenance bond. Mr. Rettig stated they thought they were going to have it by the end of the day today from the bank, but we have not seen it yet. It should come over any day.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to release the performance letter of credit for Sublime Estates in the amount of $38,005.00, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

D. ARTESIAN WELLS PLAT D, PT OF LOT 6: Proposed Rezone from R-2 (Single-Family Residential) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of Artesian Wells Plat D Pt of Lot 6, 10911 W. 108th Avenue; 7.82 acres total; Dale Lenting (Property Owner); Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated Mr. Lenting wishes to rezone a portion of his property to Commercial for purposes of building a pole barn for his tile business. We are here tonight to request permission for a public hearing to be held at the May 3rd regular meeting.

Mr. Valois asked if the entrance was going to be relocated to US231. Mr. Rettig stated they are undecided, but there was some discussion with DVG’s traffic engineer who believes INDOT will deny the request since it is so close to a public street. We can try, but she believes it will more than likely not be approved. He stated Mr. Lenting is willing to widen Schneider Street and bring it up to commercial standards, however. President Kennedy stated if this is rezoned, there is also a buffer that will be required between this lot and any residential lots. Mr. Rettig stated they were aware of the requirements. He added that Mr. Lenting is also wanting to create another residential lot to the north of this proposed commercial lot as well.

Mr. Rettig stated when the Town did the work at the intersection, they widened the right-of-way and dedicated an additional ten feet of right-of-way, which we would do the same on our side of the road. The question is do we do road improvements to the north edge of the commercial property, or all the way to 108th. Mr. Valois stated he would like to see it go all the way to 108th Ave. President Kennedy stated for tonight’s meeting, it is only deciding on if we have enough information to allow a public hearing next month on the matter of the rezone. This will allow for public notification to be made so that the neighbors will be notified of the request and have the chance to come to the public meeting to discuss the matter.

Mr. Birlson asked if Mr. Lenting was thinking of some sort of buffer, if access is allowed on US231, between the building and Schneider. He stated he knew the residents had a lot of concern about this project. We do not want to squeeze them out since they were there first, and we also have not even talked about building materials for the project. A pole barn is a concern. Mr. Rettig stated the property is within the US231 Overlay District, which will dictate the building standards, we are aware of that. President Kennedy stated his concern is changing the zoning and then nothing ends up being built. Also, Mr. Lenting has had code issues in the past with a vegetable stand that has been placed on the corner. If this property is rezoned, it is possible that Mr. Lenting will not do anything and put his vegetable cart out, which would now be allowed because it is zoned commercial. President Kennedy stated however, if enough information is presented for a public hearing, we do need to allow him to have that public hearing.

Mr. Rettig stated we did talk about screening depending on how the entrances are located, and there will be room to screen the business from the residents. Mr. Birlson stated he understood the request for the entrance to be on US231, but did not agree with it and stated it would not be in the best interest of the Town. Town Manager Joseph Wiszowaty asked what type of business is being proposed on the lot. Mr. Rettig stated Mr. Lenting owns a tile business and is wanting a storefront to sell tile and granite.

Mr. Gomeztagle stated he believed this discussion needed to be continued at a study session. President Kennedy stated tonight we need to decide if they are ready for a public hearing on May 3rd. Discussion followed.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to allow advertisement to be made for a public hearing regarding the rezone of Artesian Wells Plat D, part of Lot 6 for the May 3rd regular meeting, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

E. STREAMSIDE: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Streamside, a 54 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision at W. 12811 109th Avenue, approximately, 500 ft. south from the southwest corner of W. 109th Avenue and White Oak Avenue; zoned RC-2 PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 37.5 acres; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, stated this project has been before the Plan Commission when we went through the rezone, but we are now making application for preliminary plat approval. Currently the engineering plans, landscape plans, covenants, and primary plat are being reviewed by staff. Mr. Yatsko went on to recap Streamside through a short presentation. See Exhibit E. Mr. Yatsko stated he is requesting that the Commission allow them to advertise for a May 3rd public hearing.

Mr. Wiszowaty asked if any discussions were had regarding the corner of 109th and White Oak. Town Engineer Jon Dykstra stated there have been discussions already, and as of right now, there are no future plans for that corner lot. Mr. Yatsko stated we do own that old homestead and in the rezone we did commit to providing right-of-way as well as installing sidewalks along that parcel, but it is not shown on this plat because it is a bit of a separate note since it is not part of the subdivision. The only thing we do not have rights to is the parcel that sits to the south of the homestead we own. We have a trail system that connects to White Oak through Streamside, but we do not have the ability to install a sidewalk along that smaller lot on White Oak. Mr. Birlson stated he would like to see the right-of-way dedicated on the corner during this process. Mr. Yatsko stated we are working through that with Robinson.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to allow advertisement to be made for a public hearing regarding the preliminary plat of Streamside for the May 3rd regular meeting, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

F. GREYSTONE, UNIT 3: Request for PUD Amendment, amending rear yard setbacks from the current forty feet to thirty feet; zoned R3-PUD (Multi-Family Residential Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
President Kennedy stated this item is before the Commission to decide if this request is a minor or major item to change. If it is deemed minor by the Commission, we can allow the Town Manager to accept this change to the PUD. If it is deemed major by the Commission, a public hearing will need to be held in order to amend the PUD.

Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this section of Greystone was one of the last sections that we had approved. This section is seeing the most activity with Schilling and McFarland building mainly ranch homes in the area. This parcel was zoned R3, but through the process of multiple meetings with the Plan Commission, it has been developed as a single-family development. The lots are 80’x140’, which is typical of the other side of Greystone, but the issue we have run in to is that one of the most popular ranch models has a foot print of seventy feet deep. On these particular lots that are one hundred and forty feet deep, there is a twenty-five foot front yard setback and a forty foot rear yard setback. In the R3 zoning district, the rear yard setback is twenty-five feet. Many people that are looking at the most popular ranch model that is seventy feet deep are also requesting a sun room, which adds another twelve feet on to the depth of the home. He stated as of right now, the majority of the lots have a buildable depth of seventy-five feet. The builders have come to us asking for this change in order to accommodate what their customer’s requests are. We are asking to go from a forty foot rear yard setback to a thirty foot rear yard setback. The question for the Commission is, would you consider this a minor adjustment that the Town Manager can act on, or would it be considered a major adjustment that needs to go through the typical public hearing process. He stated to note, the entire Greystone area that lies north of this area has a twenty-five foot rear yard setback. Not every unit will be built with that sun room, but this will allow the builder to offer that option on the lots, and it also increases the value of the home.

Mr. Birlson asked if the units to the north go to the twenty-five foot rear yard setback. Mr. Gill stated the majority of the duplexes and cottage homes got to be around twenty-seven to twenty-nine feet with the sun room or covered patio. Mr. Slager stated even if we go from forty feet to thirty feet and they do the full build out with the porch, we would be around thirty-three feet in the rear yard. Again, it will not be every unit, but it will allow them to give the option. Mr. Gill stated it would open more possibilities for customers.

President Kennedy asked if any houses are built on lots 306-309. Mr. Slager stated one is under construction. Mr. Gill stated it is just a spec that is being built right now. President Kennedy stated his concern is if anyone has built a home on a lot that backs up to one of these lots, it would only be appropriate to notify them because they bought a home thinking the lot behind them would have a forty foot rear yard setback, and now that is changing. Mr. Slager stated there are no homes sold on lots 306-309 right now. Mr. Gill stated it is a spec home that is being built currently. Discussion followed regarding removing certain lots from the thirty foot rear yard setback approval that back up to lots in the adjacent phase.

President Kennedy suggested removing lots 282, 297, and 310-315 from the thirty foot rear yard setback approval since they abut lots in the adjacent phase. Mr. Slager stated he was fine with that. Mr. Birlson asked what the R3 rear yard setback was. Mr. Gill stated twenty-five feet. Mr. Birlson stated thirty feet will still be stricter than our standards, then.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to deem the request as a minor adjustment and allow the Town Manager to approve the amendment of the PUD to allow a thirty foot rear yard setback instead of a forty foot rear yard setback on lots 242-259 and 283-296, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, and John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Gill motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:11 P.M., seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
04-05-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
04-19-2023 Plan Commission

April 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 7:01 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-25 ST. JOHN COMMONS, PHASE 2: Proposed Final Plat of St. John Commons Phase 2, 2 Commercial buildings and 2 Mixed Use (Office/Service and Condo Living) buildings at 10201 Calumet Avenue; zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development), 5.65 acres; Brad Lambert (Lambert Concrete), Nick Georgiou (Georgiou & Associates), Nathan Vis (Attorney), and Doug Rettig (DVG).
Nathan Vis, Vis Law, stated we are looking forward to our next meeting with the Plan Commission at which time we will be seeking final plat approval for Phase 2. At this point in time, they are prepared to pull the building permit for the commercial building on the north end of the property that has already received State release once the final plat is approved. He stated tonight we are seeking a collaborative effort to help spur the commercial development we have. Previously, the process to get this project approved set us back by about four to five months due to working out the details between us, the Plan Commission, and Town Council when it came to what the residential portion of the development should look like. We are looking to make up some ground and develop additional buildings right now. To assist with that, we are requesting a partnership to stay the implementation of a surety bond or letter of credit for approximately five months for a portion of the public improvements in Phase 2, enabling my client to put that to work in the building and construction of actual buildings. Attorney Vis reviewed a breakdown of the construction costs for Phase 2 of the project and stated that there is about $508,000 worth of public improvements needed for Phase 2, however approximately $390,000 of that total are within a twenty foot stretch of Calumet Avenue or directly affect Calumet Avenue. If the Commission is willing to grant final plat approval at the next meeting, a letter of credit or surety bond that will range anywhere from $560,000 - $650,000, depending on what is pulled, will be automatically required. This will tie up a lot of money for my client due to the fact that based upon the construction timeline, the Calumet public improvements are not planned to be installed until August – September of this year. By requiring a letter of credit in that amount, a significant amount of cash will be tied up in the bank rather than being put to work within the development. If the stay would be allowed, in August or September, the public improvements would be installed.

Attorney Vis reviewed the breakdown of the cost of public improvements left in Phase 2. He stated his client is asking for the letter of credit to be split and that they would agree to a letter of credit for approximately $127,000 up front, which includes all public improvements that do not directly affect Calumet Avenue, and then on September 15, 2023, a letter of credit for the remaining public improvements that have not been installed in Phase 2 would be presented. This would enable my client to put those monies to use right away. Attorney Vis stated you may be wondering what assurances are in place on behalf of the Town that these public improvements will be installed with this proposal. First, regarding the public water infrastructure, $50,000 of the $112,000 worth of improvements has been paid for and put in the ground. Second, $150,000 of these public improvements have already been installed. Third, even if the building is constructed, we cannot get a tenant in to the building without water which requires us to get this done. The other delay we have going with the water main immediately adjacent to Calumet Avenue is that there is now discussion on where the water main should “T” on Calumet Avenue due to the newly proposed commercial area directly across the street from this development. We would hate to hold on to a letter of credit while the dialogue regarding this matter is ongoing between engineers and the Town. He stated ultimately we are requesting that the implementation of the requirement for the letter of credit be delayed until September for the portion that directly affects Calumet Avenue, while a letter of credit will be posted for the improvements that do not directly affect Calumet Avenue right away. We have had discussions with the Commission’s counsel and know that a waiver of the Subdivision Control Ordinance is allowed, and this body has that authority to do so.

President Kennedy asked if any of the infrastructure in Phase 2 ties in to Phase 1. Mr. Valois stated the water line does. Attorney Vis stated the water line for Phase 1 is already in the ground. President Kennedy stated it is this Commission’s ability to grant a waiver of surety bond, however we must follow the questions set forth by State Code; that the granting of the waiver will not be detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare; or injurious to other property or improvements in the neighborhood in which the property is located; and that the conditions upon which the request for a waiver is based, are unique to the property for which the waiver is sought, and are not applicable, generally to other property; and that because of the particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical conditions of the specific property involved, a particular hardship to the owner would result, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, if the strict letter of the Subdivision Control Ordinance is carried out. A waiver is possible, but we need to be able to answer these questions and show the condition or hardship that would lead to the need for this waiver. He stated the water not being connected to Phase 1 is concerning to him. If the development were to be abandoned, we would have nothing in place. This is a very unique situation and a unique ask.

Brad Lambert, Managing Member of St. John Commons, LLC., gave an overview of where the development stood currently with its water mains and stated that the development is good to go with the water, but the reason we have to install this water main on the west side of Calumet Avenue is to create that loop that is required. The only way to make the loop is to go under Calumet Avenue, put in new water main and tie in to the water main that stops at the south end of the property and then take it north to the “T” at the Calumet and 101st intersection. The water main that is in now has been tested and is usable as far as the pipe that is in the ground. Attorney Vis added that if Phase 2 would not move forward, Phase 1 is still ready to go with the water service. One thing that is unique about this project is the fact that a lot of commercial developments have public roadways that will eventually be gifted to the Town, but here we have an internal piece that attaches itself to Calumet at the very end. To answer if the waiver is detrimental to the public safety, no it is not for two reasons. The first is the fact that potable water already exists. The second is that at the point in time the public is invited to access Phase 2, it is at that point that the improvements on Calumet are then required and constructed. At that time, a letter of credit will be issued even though, to be candid, the improvements will already be installed by that point. The uniqueness of the property would be the fact that this is a private development as well as the layout of the drainage that slopes towards the middle and the heavy impetus of the public improvements that are right on the edge of it necessitate that these improvements are done at the very end of the development.

Mr. Birlson stated his concern is approving a final plat without the improvements. He asked if the money is used to building the building, where will the money come from to finish the improvements in September. If this development stops, the Town is stuck with the cost of improvements. Attorney Vis stated at that point you would have a development that is built, but no one could use it due to no water or turn lanes turning in to it. What the bank has expressed is that once you have physical construction, your lending capacity is accelerated whereas right now we are looking for a cash backed letter of credit for these public improvements. We are only requesting a brief period to allow the cash to work and to have an asset with that much more backing for everyone. Mr. Lambert stated the $392,000 portion of the $508,000 is mainly for Calumet Avenue, a large portion of that cost being the street itself. If we have to submit the full letter of credit, we will need almost $560,000 in the bank to back the letter of credit and the majority of that number is for improvements that will not even be made until there is a building and tenants that have signed leases and we are close to opening the businesses. Mr. Lambert stated as far as the Town’s assurance, we cannot come to the Town for a buildout permit and no tenant will receive an occupancy permit until all public improvements are made. There is no economic benefit to the LLC until the public improvements are finished in order to get a tenant in the building to collect rent. There are absolutely stop gaps in place for the Town without putting up the letter of credit. Mr. Birlson asked Building and Planning Director Sergio Mendoza if it were true that there were natural stop gaps that would protect the Town. Mr. Mendoza stated there are possible stop gaps, but those should be identified through some type of agreement that would reassure the Commission if they choose to do some type of waiver. This is a big project that is creating something new from a land use standpoint so it could be very successful, but there are also projects that have never manifested and it is a struggle for the community to get the development going. There are a lot of “what ifs” and the way the Subdivision Control is written is to protect the Town’s best interest with regards to having some sort of performance surety that would help advance these types of projects. This may not be the normal development that would fit in to a standard Subdivision Control Ordinance format, and if that is the case then we need to explore other opportunities to help advance this interest and it could be through some sort of development agreement that would help protect the Town.

Mr. Birlson asked how far along Phase 1 was. Mr. Lambert stated everything is in in Phase 1 and the first house is going up. Mr. Gill stated they have a permit for one house and the foundation is in the ground. Mr. Lambert stated the only thing that is not 100% is the bike path that borders the south. Attorney Vis stated to Mr. Mendoza’s point, we were envisioning a development agreement of some form that would clearly outline timelines and parameters. The other item is recognizing that there has been a portion of public improvements for Phase 2 already installed and we are happy to have your engineers out there to identify what those are. He stated his client has been nothing but supportive in this area, spending a lot of dollars out of his own pocket on engineering for roadway suggestions in excess of $20,000. As identified, there are several stop gaps from now until August or September to assure you that we are doing what we said we would do every step of the way. Our goal is to collaborate and enable construction that will benefit this community and put dollars to work.

President Kennedy stated he appreciates how this was presented and that he has been a fan of this project from the beginning and believes it will be great for the Town. The concern on the “collaborating” part is that the Town will potentially be on the hook for $500,000. He asked for further clarification on what would be involved in a development agreement. Mr. Mendoza stated it would help outline how the scope of the project would continue, while putting protections in place for the Town that both of the decision makers of the agreement feel comfortable with. Ideally there would be discussion amongst those Boards and Commissions to make sure everyone feels comfortable because ultimately the request for the waiver is on the Commission. Typically development agreements take longer than two weeks to execute in order to make sure each party is satisfied with the details of the agreement, so it may be that we get to September and this becomes unnecessary. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if it would be prudent to have all of this in writing to review the different options.

Mr. Birlson asked if the builder owned the lots in Phase 1 or if the LLC did. Mr. Lambert stated we currently own the lots and the builder buys them as necessary. We do have an intention of him taking down six lots after he sells the first couple. If this is not possible, to come to the May meeting and receive final plat approval, then we do not want to waste anyone’s time. At this point, we need to start going vertical. If the Town does not want to cooperate with us and feels there is too much danger here, which is a bit of a stretch, then we will find the $650,000 and let it sit in the bank for a year because we need to pull permits on this phase soon. Mr. Lambert stated it is certainly out of the norm to ask something like this, but we have currently installed everything that is considered a public improvement east of Calumet Avenue. We are only asking to carve out the Calumet Avenue because we are not going to tear in to that until we have buildings going up. It does not make sense. Attorney Vis stated we are looking for a cooperative spirit that recognizes the citizens of St. John have to be protected, but we also want to move full steam ahead and get buildings vertical, which is what these dollars will go towards. We are confident that we can put together an agreement in the next few weeks that will safeguard the citizens of St. John. President Kennedy stated a development agreement would need to have final approval from the Council. Even if it is presented at the May meeting, it will still need to go before the Council.

President Kennedy asked if he could get the opinion of Mr. Valois and Mr. Gill being as they have worked and inspected items in this development. Mr. Valois stated all of the water main has been inspected and the proof roll of Phase 1 has been inspected. They have done a very clean job, and a very good job. To date, there have been zero issues with this site. Mr. Gill stated with the commercial building permits, we would do a shell and when the tenant comes in, they would do an individual buildout. That is kind of a safeguard for not having an occupied building without a turning lane, but there is no safeguard if something stalls out and you may have a shell sitting there with no tenants or turn lanes. As the Building and Planning Department we do have the power to not let anyone occupy the building, but there is still no mechanism to fund if something were to happen there. He stated if the shell does get built, there should be no buildout permits until the improvements are in. Attorney Vis stated the second you turn off of Calumet Avenue, you are on private roadways. We can work an agreement for no buildouts to be permitted until the public improvements are installed. Mr. Lambert stated there is no way to access the buildings until those public improvements are made.

President Kennedy asked Town Engineer Jon Dykstra his opinion. Mr. Dykstra stated he can vouch for what Mr. Valois stated in that it is a very clean site. He stated after the shell is up, you have to have the public improvements in in order to have tenants, which is to Mr. Lambert’s point. Attorney Vis stated we are not asking that the entire letter of credit be stayed. We will still supply almost a $128,000 letter of credit, plus there is already about $150,000 in the ground in public improvements. Mrs. Lauridsen asked if they were requesting a stay on the $392,136. Attorney Vis stated that was correct. President Kennedy asked if they were already working on a development agreement. Attorney Vis stated we do not have one, but if that is further assurance, we will work on that. As has already been identified, your Code would allow for safeguards to not allow tenants to occupy these buildings without water and the public improvements, and would safeguard the citizens of the community as well. Mr. Valois stated there is water all the way up to Calumet Avenue. They need to put the water main across Calumet Avenue and tie in. There is no hazard to any residents, the water main just would not be looped through and would be fed from Phase 1. Attorney Vis stated part of the Phase 2 water improvements are for the next projects surrounding this area, not this project. Mr. Valois asked if they were talking with the other proposed development across the street to see how the water main needs to be fed in. Mr. Lambert stated that was correct. There is additional development being proposed on the west side of Calumet that is now bringing in to question the placement of the proposed water main and sanitary sewer. These are obstacles, but they are nothing that cannot be figured out.

Mr. Dykstra asked if a letter of credit for Phase 1 was still being held. Mr. Lambert stated that was correct. We will have to do the same thing here in order to get out of the ground as soon as possible. It did not become apparent until about a few months ago that we were going to run in to this timing issue. From a capital standpoint each investor has committed to a certain amount, which does not include an additional $560,000 to post for a letter of credit. President Kennedy stated this is the first time he has seen an ask like this, but his comfort level would be better if some sort of development agreement were in place. There is still a lot of work to get to the point of an acceptable development agreement since this Commission does not make the final decision. Any assurances you can give the Commission would be beneficial for this request. Attorney Vis stated he understood. Mrs. Cardona stated a lot can be accomplished through a development agreement that protects the Town, but we need to be able to see it in order to make sure that we feel comfortable with the provisions. President Kennedy asked if Mr. Mendoza would feel more comfortable with a development agreement. Mr. Mendoza stated he would and that he has been in discussions with Attorney Vis about a development agreement and getting something together in writing that protects the Town’s interests, but advances this project which will be a benefit to the Town as well.

President Kennedy asked how the process would work if a development agreement is in place. We can waive the requirement of the letter of credit, but we cannot approve the development agreement. Attorney Decker stated if a development agreement is presented the Plan Commission can review it and make recommendations, but ultimately the Town Council would have to enter in to the agreement. He stated he did not know from a time wise standpoint if it would be possible with the need for a review by this Commission and the Town Council. President Kennedy asked if the approval of the waiver would be contingent on the approval of the development agreement since the Commission can only make a recommendation. Attorney Decker stated he believed that would be an appropriate condition. Attorney Vis asked if it would be possible to issue a building permit without final plat approval. Mr. Gill stated our Ordinance requires that final plat be approved and recorded before building permits be issued. Attorney Vis asked if the shell only would be able to pass. Attorney Decker stated he agreed with Mr. Gill. Mr. Gill stated a permit has to be issued on to a legal lot of record, but if it is not recorded, we would not have the legal description to tie the permit to.

B. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Streamside, a 54 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision at W. 12811 109th Avenue, approximately 500 ft. south from the southwest corner of W. 109th Avenue and White Oak Avenue; zoned RC-2 PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 37.5 acres; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, stated at our last meeting we had requested to advertise for a public hearing at the May meeting, which we have the sign up and the legal notice sent and published. After the last meeting, we did receive a comment letter from Robinson and are currently working through that with them. For the most part we are agreeable to all of the comments and will be submitting new plans by Monday for review before the public hearing. Mr. Yatsko stated there was a recommendation to get a sanitary lateral up to the northeast homestead that we own, but the recommendation in the letter is unfeasible due to grades, however we do believe we have found a workaround that would service those two parcels in the future. We will get that to Robinson for review and comment in the next few days. The bigger comment was on the water main. Currently Summerlin, on the south side of 109th, is being fed by Silver Leaf which is on the north side of 109th. As we go east in to Streamside, we would connect to that Summerlin water main, but there was request for more connections in to Streamside. There was a request to take the water main through lots eight and nine in the cul-de-sac that we have and connect to the 12” line that was installed when we built Silver Leaf. This would provide the second connection and eliminate the dead-end, which we agree to. There was also a recommendation to connect to White Oak Manor’s 12” line and install 12” line down White Oak, which would tie our development to that main as well. The recommendation was to take the 12” line down the west side of White Oak, but we do not own the smaller homestead and would not be able to run a line through that property. We did, however, have conversations with the land owners on the east side of White Oak who are willing to grant an easement to run the water main down the east side of White Oak, which is preference per the Town’s Ordinance. This would now give us three connection points to Streamside. He stated one additional recommendation was to install a 12” water main along 109th running east and west. This is one that we have met with staff over and we feel that we have provided the proposed three connections and do not feel that the 12” line that runs along 109th should be required by this community. Finally, this was not in the letter, but we wanted to discuss exterior curbs. Currently we do not show them along 109th and White Oak. We are not against putting them in, but we know there is a plan along 109th to make improvements sooner rather than later, so we wanted to leave it to the Commission if they want to see them installed. He stated he believed a fund was being passed that would allow them to pay money in lieu of installation, but did not know if that was set up yet. We do not have any entrances or anything along 109th that would require the curbs, but along White Oak we would curb the excel/decel lanes and the taper. We are not looking for a waiver, just the Commission’s opinion on the need for them at this time. Everything else in the letter we are agreeable to and working on.

Mr. Birlson asked if Olthof does not put in the water main along 109th, who would. Mr. Valois stated we did have a discussion about that at Public Works with Robinson and we feel that the next developer on the north side should install that as long as they run that line through the cul-de-sac to tie on to the “T” on the north side of 109th. This way the line would stay on the north side of the street and not jog back and forth. Mr. Birlson asked if the developer would be willing to. Mr. Valois stated we would push for it. Originally this development had one connection through Summerlin. To get two more connections on top of that with this development is wonderful. Mr. Dykstra stated the multiple connections are being address and the loop is being addressed with these installations.

President Kennedy stated right now there are no curbs on 109th and just on White Oak for the excel/decel lanes. Mr. Yatsko stated that was correct. We do not know if the improvements are in motion, but if we put in curb and it needs to be torn out, all of that costs money. We have no problem putting it in or doing a fee in lieu of, but we wanted to bring that to the Commission for decision. Mr. Dykstra stated it is valid to say that installing them may go to waste in a very short time if the other roadways improve. President Kennedy asked if the Commission would be comfortable for a fee in lieu of if the fund is in place by the May meeting. The Commission agreed. President Kennedy stated it sounds like do not show it, except for along the excel/decel, in hopes that the fund will be in place for the fee.

C. 2023-07 ARTESIAN WELLS PLAT D, PT OF LOT 6: Proposed Rezone from R-2 (Single-Family Residential) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of Artesian Wells Plat D Pt of Lot 6, 10911 W. 108th Avenue; 7.82 acres total; Dale Lenting (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we will be here in May for a public hearing on the rezone of Mr. Lenting’s property. All legal notices have been sent and published, and the sign was just posted today. Mr. Lenting is looking to build a single building for his business on the property.

Mr. Birlson asked what building materials would be used. Mr. Rettig stated we would adhere to the overlay district, which we have no problem with. We are not there yet, but we cannot move forward with any of that until we have the rezone. President Kennedy stated this is a recommendation from us to the Town Council, who will have the final say. In our Comprehensive Plan, this property is shown as Residential, but US231 is in our commercial corridor and this is also in our TIF District. We also have five neighbors that will not be happy. President Kennedy stated we have been advised that we can request a commitment letter from the petitioner that outlines the use and development of that property. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she had a brief discussion with Attorney Decker on what could be listed in a commitment letter, such as not allowing something like the vegetable cart that has been out there before, and making sure there are specific buffers on the west side between the business and the residential area. She asked Attorney Decker if he would be willing to speak a little more on what could be included. Attorney Decker stated the Zoning Ordinance currently prohibits outdoor sales without a variance. In terms of a zoning commitment letter, it must be in writing and recorded. It would be a written document that is intended to run with the land and be a permanent prescription regarding the land. The commitment can be used to prohibit certain uses or require certain screening, things of that nature.

D. CASTLE ROCK, PHASE 1A: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Castle Rock Phase 1A, 5 Single-Family lots along the west side of Manor House Drive, approximately 330 ft. west of 85th Place and Tapper Street; zoned R-2 (Single-Family Residential); Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated this is a portion of Castle Rock that we did not plat when we did Phase 1 due to a wetland area that we did not want to deal with. Castle Rock has been a successful subdivision so we are back to plat more lots. The developer had asked how we can get more lots with the wetland so we discussed a way to get rid of them, which you can do. The water, sewer, and road is already in so it is a matter of dealing with stormwater and the wetlands. We also have to add a couple sanitary stubs since we only have three taps currently. The outlot on the west side will be for stormwater detention, we are outside of the pipeline exclusion zone, and we are well over the limit for R-2 lots. The lots on the north side are so large due to a 48” storm sewer that we have to work around.

Mr. Birlson asked if the wetlands would stay on the lot. Mr. Rettig stated we are going to mitigate them on the lots. The lot values are high enough to make them go away since they are not high quality, just large. President Kennedy asked the status of the roadway to Dyer. Mr. Rettig stated the subdivision in Dyer is starting construction now. We presented a sketch that could connect the other developer’s street to the west side of Castle Rock, but he is not designing that entire subdivision right now, just one phase. The likelihood of that road going through is waning due to the wetlands and the cost. Mr. Birlson stated we would like to see that connection to Sheffield to relieve traffic. Discussion followed regarding potential future connections.

President Kennedy asked if lot one could be wider since it backs up to two back yards. Mr. Rettig stated that lot is once acre so it is huge. President Kennedy stated he just did not like a side yard backing up to back yards.

E. SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Amendment to The Gates PUD to allow a second church/place of worship and 2 proposed Commercial buildings within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner).
Mrs. Lauridsen stated she would be recusing herself from public discussion and decisions on this petition due to personal involvement with the church. Mrs. Lauridsen exited the meeting room.

Attorney Vis stated in 2005 when this seven to eight hundred acre site was annexed in to the Town, there was a unique Ordinance that was entered in to between the developer and all of the owners. It broke up The Gates in to nineteen different pods that were zoned a variety of items. In this agreement there was also a prohibition that only one church and one school could be built within these seven to eight hundred acres. Currently there is a school built out and a church built out and Suncrest Church is looking to expand on to the property that they currently own, shown as parcel one and parcel two. We are up against a couple of opportunities for resolution, the first being a modification to the annexation agreement to allow more than one church be built within The Gates. That is a discussion that we are having with the Town Council since that agreement was made between the developer and the Town Council. The second question then becomes how the Commission would like to utilize this particular property. As it stands, this property is part of three different pods that were assessed in 2005. The majority of parcel one is in pod seven, which was originally given an R-2 PUD zoning. Where the dental practice is to the north, about one half to one third of an acre is part of pod seventeen, which was zoned B-2 and R-4 PUD. The remainder is part of pod three, which was granted an R-2 PUD. Attorney Vis stated with how this area is currently zoned, there is not much benefit to the Town for its TIF District. He stated his clients are proposing taking the current quarter acre that is zoned commercial up to about four to six acres worth of commercial, taxable property with two commercial buildings. The remainder of the property would be used for their church expansion. They have been in active dialogue with INDOT who has indicated in writing that they would be granted an ingress that would require some turn lanes. Attorney Vis stated the purpose of bringing this to the Commission is to see the appetite for the change in zoning to C-2.

Attorney Decker stated when The Gates of St. John was annexed, it was done through an annexation agreement and zoning commitment. That document served to annex the land and designate the property as PUD, and then further designated the pods as certain zonings. The zoning commitment had restrictions on certain items, such as only allowing one church and one school. That zoning commitment will need to have approval by the Town Council to allow the addition of a second church. The Plan Commission will consider and recommend to the Town Council amending the zoning in the PUD.

President Kennedy stated one of his concerns is that this area is in the TIF District. Both of the commercial buildings and their parking will be taxable, while the church and its surrounding parking area will be not for profit. Attorney Vis stated he understood from what was just said that the parking needs to be fairly portioned so that any taxing classifications are to the benefit of the Town. President Kennedy stated he understood the benefit of having a religious organization in Town, however we are taking property tax of R-2 away and making it non-taxable within our TIF District. Attorney Vis stated R-2 does not contribute. President Kennedy stated but they do contribute to the tax base for the Town, just not the TIF. Suncrest is a valuable entity in St. John, but it is hard to place it within a TIF District since it will not contribute to it. He stated he understood the two commercial buildings are additional to what would not have been in there, but the tax breakout is unknown. Attorney Vis pointed out the two areas that are currently zoned for commercial use and added that they could speak with a financial consultant to see the difference with the majority of the property now being zoned R-2.

President Kennedy asked Attorney Decker what the next steps would be. Attorney Decker stated he did not know that a public hearing could be held in May, but the Commission is considering the rezone. As stated before, the Commission can require a written commitment as part of the rezone laying out certain provisions. President Kennedy stated we can control if the businesses are for profit. Attorney Decker stated you can make that provision.

President Kennedy stated the current church is commercial daycare and multi-use rooms, and asked if the proposed building will be a larger version of what exists. Attorney Vis stated he did not believe the current church has a commercial daycare. Jamie Ward, Suncrest Church, stated we do not have a daycare onsite. It is strictly used for church services. Attorney Vis stated we want to be a part of St. John and Suncrest is growing. They were approached by the developer that this is a proposed spot for expansion, but there have been hurdles discovered. President Kennedy asked if the church owned the lots. Attorney Vis stated they have for three years. These needed changes were recently discovered.

President Kennedy asked what the plans for the current church are. Attorney Vis stated it would be to find another not for profit entity to take over. Brad Lambert, Business Consulting Team with Suncrest Church, stated we had spoken to the Town and Parks Department in the past regarding that site becoming a community center, but the extent of those conversations are unknown at this time. Attorney Vis stated there is a lot of work to be done here moving forward, but we wanted to get the feel of the Commission in moving forward with this project. President Kennedy stated his concern is the financial impact it could have on the community through the TIF District. He stated he understood that R-2 does not contribute to the TIF, but what is to say that this could not be rezoned strictly to commercial. This area is also within our corridor and is called out as a retail area. He stated he appreciated the increase of commercial in the area, but believed it should potentially all be commercial. Suncrest is a good neighbor in the community, but the idea of this being where it is proposed is not favorable. Attorney Vis stated he had been a part of discussions with a town consultant a few months ago who indicated that there has been public interest in a place to gather communally. He stated he believed what Suncrest is proposing fits two needs as a sense of place and that retail arm that is of broader benefit. Mr. Birlson stated a community center would be open to the public. If this was just Suncrest, residents would not be allowed to use it unless they are a member. Attorney Vis stated each church has their own structure when it comes to that and it is not something that has been dove in to. President Kennedy stated when gathering places are mentioned he believed they were more along the lines of an outdoor gathering place for community events.

Mrs. Cardona stated she would be concerned from a legal standpoint with the zoning commitment and breaking what is currently in place. Attorney Vis stated if we look at the different pods that have been established, all of them have not been followed to the “T” here. Perhaps we should have come in and requested C-2 and not mentioned that we are part of a church, but we are wanting to be transparent and sometimes things are inherited that need to be changed in order to be more palatable to the community. We have the opportunity to amend what was done and create something that, in Attorney Vis’s opinion, is more desirable to the community rather than keeping what is in place that has painted that particular development in a corner. Mr. Gomeztagle asked why Attorney Vis thought this was the right thing for the community. Attorney Vis stated the use of the particular area would add about fifty additional homes, which would contribute to the tax base, but unless carved out of the TIF District would actually be a detriment to the TIF District. This enables retail that fits the master plan that the Town has expressed. Mr. Birlson asked if it would be feasible to add on to Suncrest. Attorney Vis stated there is a lack of room at the current site and with the way it is built out now, they would need to almost create a new building with difficult connectivity and parking has already become an issue.

Attorney Vis stated the additional four to six acres would potentially bring in $175,000 - $225,000 to the TIF District based on a recent development that just passed in Cedar Lake. President Kennedy stated it looks like there is no connectivity to the east and asked if the intersection at US231 would be lit. Attorney Vis stated they did not suggest that, rather two turn lanes as indicated on the plat.

Mrs. Cardona stated she wanted to make the Commission aware that she is also a member of Suncrest but did not believe that her membership would cause her to be impartial.

President Kennedy stated the next step would be to come to the May meeting to discuss this further and then at some point allow the announcement to be made for the public hearing. He asked if any information has been received regarding the difference in taxes between what is there and what is proposed. Attorney Vis stated the numbers he stated were from a recent PUD he got approved in Cedar Lake as well as his experience in seeing the negative impact that R-2 zoning in a TIF District has. Mrs. Cardona stated this is better than what is there now, but it still could be better. President Kennedy stated he believed Attorney Vis was making the point that R-2 does not contribute to the TIF District. Attorney Vis stated it can actually have a financial detriment to your TIF. President Kennedy stated if we are going through the rezone, why would we approve anything other than commercial within our TIF District especially if the current building is going to be another not for profit entity. He asked for someone to look at the financial impact in order to have further information on the difference.

F. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated he would like to present a minor update to the changes that were previously proposed regarding the ADA cast iron warning mats. After further discussion, the portion that was changed is going to be kept as it was requiring the cast iron mats. We have also had discussions regarding a Technical Review Committee and a Plat Review Committee, which we are currently trying to navigate how that would fit in to our Subdivision Control Ordinance. Attorney Decker provided language on how these two entities operate, so we would like to present to Attorney Decker and the Commissioners what that would look like within our Ordinances and Codes. We are requesting to return at the May study session to present those updates. As part of the two committees, we would identify the bodies that would help oversee some of those decisions and report back to the full Commission with recommendations. He stated we are hoping to get something out to the Commission regarding these changes in the next few weeks.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 9:11 P.M.
Bob BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
05-03-2023 Plan Commission

May 3, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

April 5, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the April 5, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

April 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the April 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Streamside, a 54 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision at W. 12811 109th Avenue Dyer, IN, approximately 500 ft. south from the southwest corner of W. 109th Avenue and White Oak Avenue; zoned RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 37.5 acres; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, gave a brief description of the project and what was committed to in the PUD that was approved. Mr. Yatsko stated all engineer review comments have been addressed, but there are a few things that we do not have such as the wetland permit, which is with IDEM currently and will only affect the site if we try to move any kind of material within the wetland areas. We have also been asked for an engineer’s estimate, which normally is not requested until closer to the final plat.

President Kennedy asked if the covenants that were submitted are the same as what was submitted previously with the rezone Ordinance that was passed. Mr. Yatsko stated that document was attached to the Ordinance that was approved and recorded, and we are meeting all of that criteria as part of the Zoning Commitment. Building and Planning Director Sergio Mendoza stated the Ordinance is not recorded and there were some minor discrepancies between the original CCR’s that are in the PUD and what is being presented. There were some emails discussing those changes. Mr. Mendoza listed the changes that were discussed in previous emails. Mr. Yatsko stated the original CCR’s that were submitted during zoning were draft CCR’s and as things got refined as part of the Zoning Commitment, the CCR’s were refined as a part of this petition. If we were to record the original CCR’s, they would not match the PUD. President Kennedy asked if this is something the Planning Department needs to get resolved to make sure it follows what is approved for the zoning. Mr. Mendoza stated it would be ideal if those two match. We would need to go back and amend the language that is an attachment to the PUD to reflect the new CCR’s. This way the resident’s CCR’s and the Town’s Ordinance support each other, but we can amend that as this moves forward before a building permit is issued.

President Kennedy asked Town Engineer Jon Dykstra if the engineer review letter that was in-hand was the latest letter. Mr. Dykstra stated this is the second review letter that was done on April 27th. We did receive another set of plans on the 28th of April that have been reviewed and cleared, but we were unable to finalize the next letter which would be a satisfactory recommendation letter. Mr. Yatsko mentioned the three items that are listed as conditional, which are minor and do not affect most of the development. We are also reviewing the legal description for the right-of-way document that was presented as well.

Town Manager Joseph Wiszowaty asked if there was a requirement for a separate irrigation sprinkler meter. Mr. Gill stated as long as they have a backflow preventer, nothing says you have to have a dedicated irrigation meter. President Kennedy asked if that was something that was in the PUD because he remembers a discussion about irrigation meters. Mr. Birlson stated he believed that only pertained to the public areas that were going to be irrigated. He also stated that it was discussed to not have irrigation on the public areas. Mr. Valois stated he could not remember if it was this development. Mr. Yatsko stated we committed to irrigating both sides of the entrance, but nothing else.

Mr. Wiszowaty asked if the excel/decel lane would run all the way down the development. Mr. Yatsko stated we had a traffic study done, which was provided, and no changes were necessary. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if it was going to be curbed. Mr. Yatsko stated it was. President Kennedy stated there was discussion at the Study Session regarding waiving the installation of curbs along 109th. As a Commission, we have pretty much made waivers taboo and if we make an exception here, it is just a trickle affect. He also stated in talking with staff and getting a better understanding of the improvements that are going to be made with the future round-a-bout, would there be consideration by Olthof to expand White Oak to the property line rather than offering just the excel/decel lanes, and striping it as an excel/decel. Mr. Yatsko stated we could consider that.

Opened to Public Hearing 2023-06 Streamside

With no one to speak for or against the petition, President Kennedy closed the public hearing.

Closed to Public Hearing 2023-06 Streamside

BOARD DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
President Kennedy stated he realized there are minor contingencies and discrepancies, but we do not have that letter from the engineer. We had a petition in the past where we did not have that letter and went ahead with approval, and it bit us. We are really trying to avoid that happening again. Mr. Yatsko stated the contingent items on the list are typically things that are not asked for with preliminary plat approval. They are not on the list of required items with a preliminary plat approval and kind of caught us off guard when they were asked for. Mr. Dykstra stated it is a common comment to bring up the wetland permit and engineer’s estimate, but perhaps it traditionally has not been a part of the preliminary plat. He stated he agreed that they were minor at this point. President Kennedy stated if it is not part of the list, we want to make sure we are giving them a fair opportunity. Mr. Dykstra stated in reference to the wetland permit, one is required before you would begin construction, so what is the point in between where that would be addressed and we have the permit in-hand. Preliminary plat goes in the direction of beginning construction. Mr. Yatsko stated we are impacting a small amount of wetlands and can stay out of them and still move dirt. That is a condition that is not part of the Town’s checklist so it would be concerning to hold this up based on that. President Kennedy asked what the other two items were and if they were on the Town’s checklist. Mr. Dykstra stated the engineer’s estimate and the easement agreement on the east side of White Oak for the water main, neither of which are on the checklist. President Kennedy asked Mr. Mendoza what his item was. Mr. Mendoza stated that the CCR’s match the CCR’s that were submitted and approved as part of the Rezone Ordinance. Mr. Birlson asked if there was another item with the surveyors at Robinson. Mr. Dykstra stated that was not part of Streamside, but we are reviewing the legal description on the right-of-way dedication.

President Kennedy read in to record the preliminary plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit A. President Kennedy asked if item six needed to be addressed still. Mr. Dykstra stated new plans were submitted the day after receiving this letter and items three, four, six, and seven were all addressed. The item concerning the preliminary plat, from a surveyor’s perspective, pertain to the final plat and has also been removed. President Kennedy asked when the wetland permit and engineer’s estimate were requested from the developer. Mr. Dykstra stated they have appeared from the beginning. Mr. Birlson asked when the first letter was dated. Mr. Dykstra stated it was early April, around April 5th. President Kennedy asked Commission Attorney Adam Decker how to approach the situation to make sure that comments made by the engineer are addressed, but no undue burden is being placed on the developer that is not part of our checklist. Attorney Decker stated the applicable law requires the Commission to review the application and to make a determination that the specifications as submitted are in accordance with the Subdivision Control Ordinance. If the items requested are not specifically set forth in the Subdivision Control Ordinance, but the proposed subdivision otherwise complies with the standards set forth in the Subdivision Control Ordinance, then the Plan Commission has a duty to approve the preliminary plat of the subdivision. Based on the comments, if those items are not set forth as part of the review in the Subdivision Control Ordinance, it is not appropriate to withhold approval of the preliminary plat. President Kennedy asked if the discrepancies between CCR’s needed to be addressed. Attorney Decker stated as a PUD we require that the CCR’s be provided and reviewed by the Plan Commission and the Town Council. If there is some deviation in what will be the final CCR’s versus what was attached to the PUD development plan that was approved several months ago, that needs to be addressed. However, that can be addressed at some point in the future. It does not necessarily hold a basis to deny or approve the preliminary plat.

Mrs. Cardona asked if the Commission could move forward with contingencies because it sounds like there is no actual basis for us not to move forward based on what Attorney Decker is saying. President Kennedy stated we are trying to get away from approving things with contingencies and hearing that there are discrepancies is worrying. He asked if the petitioner was aware of the discrepancies. Mr. Mendoza stated there was communication, but those discrepancies are something that can be handled and amended at a later date before a building permit or occupancy permit is given. Mr. Birlson stated his hang up is on White Oak and knowing the improvements the Town is going to be making, but only having an excel/decel lane from the developer. Mr. Gomeztagle asked what impact it would have on the developer if this were deferred. Mr. Yatsko stated there would not be much of an impact, but the wetland permit is something that cannot be provided until we obtain it. Regarding the CCR’s we are not looking to change anything that was committed to as part of the PUD, but the CCR’s that are submitted at the time of rezone are a draft set. Unfortunately sometimes they get imbedded in with the rezone, which is what happened, but when we got to the preliminary plat step they were amended to match the PUD development plan. We want to make sure that the CCR’s match the PUD development plan, which would be what was submitted. He stated we can come back to amend the PUD with the refined CCR’s, but that does not have much to do with the preliminary plat.

President Kennedy stated he saw the lighting plan was also in with the plat. Mr. Yatsko stated that was included and after a discussion with Public Works, we were asked to switch to LED lighting, which we did. President Kennedy asked Mr. Yatsko what he felt the position of Olthof would be regarding widening White Oak rather than only offering the decel lane. Mr. Yatsko stated he believed they would not have a problem with that, but would need some geometric data in order to get the improvements in the right spot. President Kennedy asked if the excel lane could also come south to their property line. Mr. Yatsko stated we can take a look at it, but it would be hard to commit to standing here not knowing the drainage or the improvements the Town is looking at on White Oak. Mr. Gomeztagle stated there was a traffic study done. Mr. Yatsko stated that was correct and First Group’s determination was that the excel/decel lane that has been designed is sufficient. Mr. Gomeztagle asked when that was done. Mr. Yatsko stated March of this year. President Kennedy stated it is up to the Commission, but he would like to see all of the items addressed and that a deferral may be best. Mr. Yatsko stated he understood the items requested and that he would need to get with staff for direction.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to defer the preliminary plat of Streamside, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by roll call vote with six ayes and one nay.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – Yolanda Cardona

B. 2023-07 ARTESIAN WELLS PLAT D, PT OF LOT 6: Proposed Rezone from R-2 (Single-Family Residential) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of Artesian Wells Plat D Pt of Lot 6, 10911 W. 108th Avenue St. John, IN; 7.82 acres total; Dale Lenting (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG).

Tim Kuiper, Attorney, stated the request tonight is for a rezone from R-2 to C-2 on two acres of the larger property on 109th slightly east of US41. When Mr. Lenting was going to purchase this property, he had come in to the Town and inquired about the feasibility of having some of this property rezoned and it was indicated that that should not be a problem. Indiana Code 36-7-4-603 requires the Plan Commission to pay reasonable regard to the following; The Comprehensive Plan, current conditions and the character of current structures and uses in each district, the most desirable use for which the land in each district is adapted, the conservation of property values throughout the jurisdiction, and responsible development and growth. Attorney Kuiper stated regarding the Comprehensive Plan, it does show this property staying R-2, but most of the property around this one on US231 are slated Commercial. Regarding the current conditions, the property lent itself to a zone change previously on the corner of US41 and US231 where the gas station, bank building, and Coyne Veterinary are located. The property is sandwiched between the railroad tracks on the east and residential property that is immediately to the west. The most desirable use for this property would be Commercial due to the location along US231. Regarding property value conservation, the value will be retained for the neighboring residential homes. When the other commercial developments came in along US231 and US41, property values did not drop, in fact they continued to increase along with the other properties in the area. We believe that with how the property is laid out, it lends itself to consistent commercial use on US231 along with other development that is coming in to that area. Attorney Kuiper stated if this was approved, there are still a lot of steps that are needed before this property can be used. We will still have to go through subdivision approval and comply with the C-2 district requirements along with the US231 Overlay requirements.

President Kennedy stated this petition is only for the rezone, which is a recommendation to the Town Council. If the rezone is ultimately approved, they would still need to comply with our Zoning Ordinances and standards. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if the pond was filled in at some point. Mr. Birlson stated it has been modified. It used to be u-shaped. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if it was a wetland area. Mr. Mendoza pulled up a previous photo of the lot to show the previous shape of the pond. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if a permitting process was followed to fill in a portion of the pond. Mr. Dykstra stated it could have been determined to be an isolated wetland, which do not hold as stringent of regulations. Mr. Birlson asked if the shape was changed under Mr. Lenting’s ownership. Dale Lenting, 10911 W. 108th Avenue, stated they checked with the Army Corp of Engineering and they determined it was a man-made pond so anything we did was considered landscaping. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if there was a letter stating that. Mr. Lenting stated he would have to check his files since it was about seven years ago.

Opened to Public Hearing 2023-07 Artesian Wells Plat D, Pt of Lot 6

President Kennedy read in to record a petition that was handed to the Commission. See Exhibit B.

Tim Neary, 11025 W. 108th Avenue, asked what assurances would be had on traffic if this is rezoned. He stated it is already difficult to get on to US231 and adding a business will only add traffic through the subdivision to get out to a major road. If anything, something needs to be done about US231. He also asked what the benefit would be to the residents in the subdivision because it sounds like it will be more of a headache than a benefit to the neighborhood. There are too many questions that need to be addressed before this can be rezoned.

Ken Kaiser, 10813 Schneider Place, stated he had passed around a letter from the Hanover Township Trustee who is not in favor of this rezone either. He also stated that US231 does not have enough room for a decel lane to turn on to Schneider Street. Traffic is already bad and if Mr. Lenting has to improve roads, he should through the subdivision because people are going to use those roads from his business.

President Kennedy read in to record the letter of remonstrance from the Hanover Township Trustee. See Exhibit C.

Closed to Public Hearing 2023-07 Artesian Wells Plat D, Pt of Lot 6

BOARD DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
Attorney Kuiper stated there are a lot of things that still need to come in this process and inside of those requirements is where the Plan Commission will address the lighting, screening, and traffic configuration. On our proposed plan, the entrance to the site is before the first driveway to the west to minimize traffic. We do not anticipate this being a full on retail store, it is just for Mr. Lenting’s business. The lot itself is only two acres, which will only allow for a certain size building and parking. Again, all of these things will be addressed in the site plan once we get to that step. He stated regarding uses, many uses are cut out within the US231 Overlay even though they are allowed in C-2. Last, to discuss property values that were mentioned in the Trustee’s letter, we believe that is an unfounded comment because values have increased in that area even after the commercial development that has come in on the corner. President Kennedy asked if there was a ten foot buffer needed between the commercial and residential sites. Mr. Mendoza stated a buffer would need to be established. Attorney Kuiper stated there are also design standards that we will need to adhere to being in the 231 Overlay. President Kennedy asked if two acres was large enough per our Zoning Ordinance. Attorney Decker stated for the C-1 District, the lot area is not less than 21,780 square feet with a lot width of no less than eighty feet. C-2 is a lot area of not less than 32,000 square feet with a lot width of not less than ninety feet.

Mr. Birlson asked Attorney Kuiper to repeat what was said about the retail. Attorney Kuiper stated the intention would not be to have a retail store, but a warehouse for Mr. Lenting’s business. Mr. Birlson stated it was mentioned before that he wanted retail there. Attorney Kuiper stated it would not be a full blown retail store right now. The site is not big enough to allow a large commercial retail space. Mr. Birlson stated if it is retail, it is retail. Mrs. Cardona asked if it was by appointment only. Attorney Kuiper stated even if it was full blown retail, it will be a very small retail area. Attorney Decker stated the US231 Overlay District has a separate standard for lot size. The minimum size is two acres. President Kennedy stated this meets the minimum requirement. He asked Mr. Mendoza to pull up the Schedule of Uses to show what is allowed in C-2. Mr. Mendoza pulled up the Schedule of Uses and explained what is permitted, what needs a special exception, or what needs a use variance. President Kennedy stated if this parcel is recommended to be C-2, everything that is listed is what could be allowed in the future if this tile shop does not go in. We can, however, put the condition that only his tile shop be allowed or that other uses not be allowed in the future.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if this item can be deferred based on answering how the pond was created. Attorney Kuiper stated that would not be something to defer the rezone matter on, rather the subdivision. Attorney Decker agreed and stated that the consideration of the Plan Commission tonight is for a change in the zone maps. The Plan Commission must pay reasonable regard to The Comprehensive Plan, current conditions and the character of current structures and uses in each district, the most desirable use for which the land in each district is adapted, the conservation of property values throughout the jurisdiction, and responsible development and growth. Whether there was a permit written in 2017 is not connected with the purpose of rezoning. Mrs. Cardona asked Attorney Kuiper what was said regarding current conditions because there are currently residential homes there across the street. She also asked the answer that was given to item six; the public health, safety, comfort, morals, convenience, and general welfare of the Town of St. John. Attorney Kuiper stated that is not a statutory requirement. Regarding the current conditions, yes it is residential. If you were to allow the zone change to C-2, there are measures in place to protect that residential via the berm, screening and other items that come in later with the site plan. If you were to take it that there is residential and you cannot have a commercial use next to it, the entire Town would be residential. He stated five hundred feet away the Town stated that these requirements were met when they rezoned the areas along US41 and US231. They also had to go through the process of subdivision and site plan to make sure that those measures were in place in order to protect the impact to the residential area that is nearby. Attorney Kuiper stated regarding item six, there is no impact to general welfare. If there were, it would have occurred with the current commercial at US41 and US231 which hold more intense uses than what is proposed for this site.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council regarding the rezone to C-2 of Artesian Wells Plat D, Pt of Lot 6, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by roll call vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

C. 2021-25 ST. JOHN COMMONS, PHASE 2: Proposed Final Plat of St. John Commons Phase 2, 2 Commercial buildings and 2 Mixed Use (Office/Service and Condo Living) buildings; and Recommended Acceptance of Performance Letter of Credit in the amount of $508,121 or Surety Bond in the amount of $660,557 at 10201 Calumet Avenue Dyer, IN; zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development), 5.65 acres; Brad Lambert (Lambert Concrete), Nick Georgiou (Georgiou & Associates), Nathan Vis (Attorney), and Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we are seeking final plat approval. There was some discussion at the study session on delaying a portion of the letter of credit, but since those discussions Mr. Lambert has decided to post the full amount. The letter of credit should have been delivered earlier today.

President Kennedy read in to record the final plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit D.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the final plat for St. John Commons, Phase 2, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the Findings of Fact for final plat for St. John Commons, Phase 2, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

Mr. Birlson made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Letter of Credit in the amount of $558,933 for St. John Commons, Phase 2, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

D. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Amendment to the Preliminary Plat of lots 18-26 of Continental, Unit 3, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated we were here last month and conducted the public hearing for this preliminary plat amendment where we are taking nine lots and shifting some lot lines to create five one-acre lots. The question was brought up regarding a looped water main rather than the dead-end that was planned. We did work with staff and we will be looping the water main around the cul-de-sac in order to avoid the dead-end. Mr. Valois confirmed everything was worked out for the water main. Mr. Slager stated the engineering drawings were submitted to the Town with the revision of the water main.

President Kennedy read in to record the amendment to the preliminary plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit E.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the amendment to the preliminary plat, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

E. 2022-10 THE PRESERVE, PHASE 6: Request for release of Performance Surety for The Preserve, Phase 6, 69 single-Family Residential Lots and 2 Outlots at White Oak Avenue, zoned RC-1 PUD, approximately 26.99 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated we are not ready for this request yet. We did conduct a site inspection last week and received a punch list on Friday of items that need to be addressed. We would like to request a deferral.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to defer the request for release of Performance Surety for The Preserve, Phase 6, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

F. 2021-03 SUBLIME ESTATES: Acceptance of 2-yr Maintenance Bond for Sublime Estates, 6 Single-Family Residential Lots at the intersection of 93rd Avenue and Clarmonte Drive; zoned R-1 (Single-Family Residential), approximately 11.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated the owner of Sublime Homes indicated that his office and Mrs. Lauridsen have been in communication regarding the maintenance bond, and we are close to resolution on it. We should be ready for the next meeting.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to defer the acceptance of the 2-year Maintenance Bond for Sublime Estates, seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 P.M., seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with seven ayes.
John KennedyRobert Birlson
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Vice-President
05-03-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
05-17-2023 Plan Commission

May 17, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 7:03 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Request for five month extension to 12/2/2023 of Preliminary Plat for 25 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), part of the original 108 acres of “Gates East”; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
B. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNITS 24 & 25: Request for one month extension to 12/4/2023 of Preliminary Plat for a 97 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 43.17 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, explained that items A and B are the same request for different units of The Gates. He stated several months ago he came in requesting extensions for these two units as well as units 27 & 28, which was received, but it brought the units out to two different time frames within the year. Mr. Kil stated he was present to request the five and one month extensions so that these two units will expire within days of each other, rather than months, and both will be final platted by the end of the year. The subdivisions are being constructed right now, but we will not be ready for final plat of Unit 21B which currently expires in July. These three units will be completed by the end of the year and, more than likely, we will be back in for an extension of Units 27 & 28 towards the end of the year because we will not be able to complete that section by the expiration.

Mr. Valois stated he was out in Unit 24 today doing a pressure test, and our plats do not show the four inch main that is running between lots 2403 and 2404 to lot 2481. That four inch main is not shown anywhere on the Town’s plans. Mr. Kil stated that area would not be shown yet because we are keeping that large lot open and not doing anything with it right now. If we want to in the future, we would need to come in to plat that. Mr. Valois stated there is currently a four inch line to that lot. He questioned if it was a service line or a water main and stated that we need to stay away from side yard easements. Mr. Kil stated he was unaware of that line and did not know what could be built there that would require a four inch service line. He stated he would have to look in to why it is there. Mr. Valois stated he did not believe the Town would want to be responsible for that line since it is not on the Town’s plans. Mr. Kil stated if it is there, it is not for Town purposes, but for private purposes. He reiterated that he would find out and let Mr. Valois know why it is there and what it is for.

Town Manager Joseph Wiszowaty stated it looked like the addresses were off between the two plans. Mr. Gill stated it is the lot numbers that are off between the approved plans and the plans that were used in the field today when the inspection was done. Mr. Kil stated we will be following the approved preliminary plat when we come in for final plat. These could just be a field copy.

C. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Site Plan Amendment to remove two light poles from the previously approved site plan, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C-2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated originally in March of 2021 we had proposed parking in the green area behind the building. When we came back in May, after discussions with the Commission, we removed the parking from that area, but the original proposed light poles were missed in the revision. There is no reason for those two lights to be there, and we would rather not cut the street or remove two existing trees to install them. They also do not provide any benefit to the development.

President Kennedy asked if Town Engineer Jon Dykstra had looked at the plans to see if it still meets the Town’s lighting requirements. Mr. Dykstra stated he briefly looked at it but wanted to hear the explanation behind it, which he now understands why they are making that request. He stated he believed it still meets the requirements. Mr. Dykstra asked Mr. Brant if he could provide an updated photometrics plan showing the two lights removed for confirmation. Mr. Brant stated he could get an updated plan.

President Kennedy asked if the roadway behind the building was a public road. Mr. Brant stated he believed it was owned by the bank. There is an existing light on the west side of the road to light that roadway. President Kennedy asked if there was lighting on the backside of the building and if there was a pole. Mr. Brant stated we have existing lighting on the back of the building to light the parking area.

D. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Streamside, a 54 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision at W. 12811 109th Avenue Dyer, IN, approximately 500 ft. south from the southwest corner of W. 109th Avenue and White Oak Avenue; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 37.5 acres; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, stated since our last meeting we have had a chance to revise some of our plans and review some of the comments with staff. The comments on the CCR’s, right-of-way dedication, and the engineer review letter have been resolved, if not close to. The big thing to discuss tonight are the White Oak improvements. We had Manhard review the whole geometric plan for White Oak as if it was a full build out with two lanes. We also looked at the possibility of there being an entrance on the east side of White Oak and what that would look like. He stated we propose to build all of the improvements on the west side of White Oak. There is widening to get the full lane widths, there is widening for tapers, and widening for any future turn lanes in the middle. This will be along the entire frontage of Streamside. The only other issue would be the curb along 109th. Mr. Yatsko stated we would either be asking for a waiver on that or some sort of consideration for the additional improvements and additional right-of-way we are providing to the Town.

Mr. Birlson asked if the widening on White Oak that is proposed will match up to the future improvements. Building and Planning Director Sergio Mendoza stated what is proposed would meet the drawings that are anticipated for the future road widening of White Oak per the engineers. President Kennedy stated there are plans for 109th to be improved around 2025 so the installation of curbs by Olthof does not make complete sense, however unless funding is in place, something can always happen to that plan. The thought is for Olthof to communicate with staff regarding some sort of agreement for those considerations to be made somehow. Mr. Mendoza stated that staff and the attorney would be in communication with Olthof to come to some sort of legal agreement. President Kennedy stated he believed that the CCR’s would also be handled at a later date. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct. They will be resolved by final plat approval.

E. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION: Proposed Site Plan Amendment to add lighting to the Varsity Baseball and Softball Fields at Lake Central High School, 8260 Wicker Avenue St. John, IN, at the intersection of Lake Central Drive and US Highway 41; zoned: P (Public), 84.134 acres; Bill Ledyard (Director of Construction & Facilities LCSC), Larry Veracco (Superintendent LCSC).
Bill Ledyard, Director of Construction and Facilities for Lake Central School Corporation, stated we are here tonight to request a site plan amendment to add lights to our varsity softball and baseball fields. President Kennedy asked Mr. Dykstra if he had reviewed the plans. Mr. Dykstra stated he had not. President Kennedy stated he did view the photometrics and it looks like they are trying to keep any light out of the neighbors. Mr. Ledyard stated the lights do meet the Town codes. We would have eight lights placed at the baseball fiends and five at the softball fields.

President Kennedy asked why these lights were not installed when the original improvements were done. Larry Veracco, Superintendent for Lake Central School Corporation, stated when we came in with our plans in 2011, we were told not to even ask about lights at the baseball and softball fields. President Kennedy stated it was the Commission at that time. Mr. Ledyard stated that is correct. The Town had just adopted a new night sky light standard and wanted as little lighting as possible. President Kennedy stated you cannot hold sectionals here since there is no lighting. Mr. Ledyard stated that was correct, they would not be able to hold events like that due to the lack of lights. Mr. Veracco stated there have been several games that have been cut short at five innings due to how early it becomes dark around the month of April. Another factor is that it would be an advantage to be able to host the tournaments, but we do not qualify without lights. President Kennedy asked how late the lights could potentially be on. Mr. Veracco stated he did not see it being any later than 10:00 P.M., maybe 10:15 P.M. During the regular season we probably would not go past 9:00 P.M. since those are school nights. Another advantage is that our JV fields hold a lot of water. This way we would be able to play JV games on the varsity fields and not have to cancel so many games due to the condition of the fields.

Mr. Dykstra asked what the estimated construction time was. Mr. Ledyard stated we would like to get the infrastructure done during the summer and have the lights set in the fall as long as we can get all of the parts needed for the lights. This way we would be ready for the 2024 spring season.

F. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza went through all of the proposed changes to the Subdivision Control Ordinance. See Exhibit A. Discussion occurred regarding the responsibility of decorative street lights within subdivisions with and without HOA’s and POA’s and restrictions or standards that can and cannot be in place to decide who is ultimately responsible for the maintenance. After discussion, proposed language to have the HOA or POA be responsible for decorative street lights was removed.

After Mr. Mendoza had finished the review, Mr. Gill asked if they could have discussion regarding the proposed language of street signs being installed before home occupancy is given. He asked if it should be before any new construction permits are issued because if a worker is injured during construction, it would be beneficial to have the street signs installed for emergency purposes. The rest of the Commission agreed with the change to have permanent signs installed before the issuance of a building permit.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked who’s responsibility it is to trim trees around stop signs. Mr. Valois stated Public Works has gone out and trimmed trees around signs when they have been notified. President Kennedy asked if there were any requirements for placement of trees. Mr. Mendoza stated we did have some discussion on that, but it did not make it to this round of updates. We should probably add it now, though. Commission Attorney Adam Decker stated the Subdivision Control Ordinance can regulate the placement of trees within the subdivision. Mr. Valois stated he would like them out of the right-of-way to avoid water line issues as well as shifting sidewalks and blocked signs.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:17 P.M.
John KennedyRobert Birlson
Plan Commission, President      Plan Commission Vice-President
06-07-2023 Plan Commission

June 7, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Jason Dravet, IT Director.
Absent: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

May 3, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the May 3, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

May 17, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the May 17, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Request for five month extension to 12/2/2023 of Preliminary Plat for 25 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), part of the original 108 acres of “Gates East”; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, stated a question was presented at the last meeting regarding the four inch water main that was placed in between lots 2403 and 2404 in The Gates Unit 24, and we did find out that the line was planned to be there because we did not know what was going to happen with the three acre lot that is adjacent to this Unit. The Town’s previous engineer requested that the lot be serviced with water and sanitary, which is what was shown on the plans, approved, and installed.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to allow a five month preliminary plat extension to 12/2/2023 for The Gates of St. John Unit 21B, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

B. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNITS 24 & 25: Request for one month extension to 12/4/2023 of Preliminary Plat for a 97 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 43.17 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, stated this is the same request as item A. These units are currently being developed and Public Works is out doing inspections on the sanitary system. He stated roads will be the next step in this area.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to allow a one month preliminary plat extension to 12/4/2023 for The Gates of St. John Units 24 & 25, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

C. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Site Plan Amendment to remove two light poles from the previously approved site plan, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C-2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated he is requesting to amend the original site plan to remove two light poles that are within a green belt area. We have provided updated photometrics and are requesting this removal because they are not needed, and we also would like to preserve the trees that are there. Originally there was going to be parking in that area, but after discussion with the Commission, the parking was removed, but the engineer forgot to remove the two light poles that were originally proposed.

President Kennedy read in to record the photometrics review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit A. President Kennedy asked if the review fee had been paid. Mr. Brant stated he had just paid it today. Town Engineer Jon Dykstra confirmed that with the existing lighting and the proposed lighting on this development, all lighting standards have been met.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the site plan amendment to Martin’s Commercial Addition, Lot 9, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mrs. Cardona and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

D. 2021-03 SUBLIME ESTATES: Acceptance of 2-yr Maintenance Bond and 3-yr Warranty Letter for Sublime Estates, 6 Single-Family Residential Lots at the intersection of 93rd Avenue and Clarmonte Drive; zoned R-1 (Single-Family Residential), approximately 11.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
President Kennedy read in to record the maintenance bond review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit B.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for acceptance of the 2-yr Maintenance Bond for Sublime Estates, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

Mr. Valois made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for acceptance of the 3-yr Warranty Letter for Sublime Estates, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

E. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Preliminary Plat of Streamside, a 54 Single-Family Residential Lot subdivision at W. 12811 109th Avenue Dyer, IN, approximately 500 ft. south from the southwest corner of W. 109th Avenue and White Oak Avenue; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 37.5 acres; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, gave an overview of the planned subdivision and its location. He stated at the last meeting there were a few outstanding items that have been wrapped up since. The only thing that is outstanding is the curb on 109th Avenue. We were not asking for a true waiver of the curb, rather if it makes sense to install it or not. We had met with staff and have submitted a value of that eight hundred and seventy-seven lineal feet of curb at our current proposal price, which came out to $18,636.25. We would offer to somehow credit that to the Town as part of this development. One of the things we did do is dedicate extra right-of-way for the future round-a-bout, and rather than reflecting a credit on the Road Impact Fee for each lot, we had asked if it could go towards this curb installation. Mr. Yatsko stated they had originally asked if they could take advantage of paying in to the new Sidewalk Fund, but the subdivision application was made before that Fund was in place and passed by the Town Council.

President Kennedy stated that the Town Engineer is responsible for coming up with the cost of that curb installation and his estimate is different from what was submitted. Mr. Dykstra stated that Olthof Homes submitted a value of $21.25 per lineal foot, but in just using the eight hundred and seventy-seven feet that was provided, our cost estimate was much higher. We did not, however, take in to account that Olthof’s cost would differ since they are using the same contractor to do the work within the subdivision, therefore receiving a lower cost per lineal foot than what we would have used to calculate. President Kennedy asked if the Town can even accept a payment like this since they do not qualify for the fee in lieu of that was set up by the Sidewalk Fund. Mr. Yatsko stated if there are questions regarding the waiver, we will just install the curb because we need to move forward with this subdivision.

President Kennedy read in to record the preliminary plat review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit C.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the preliminary plat of Streamside, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

F. 2023-08 W. 93rd AVENUE & US HIGHWAY 41: Proposed Site Plan and sidewalk waiver from StJMC 21A-33 (d)(2) to install six foot wide sidewalks instead of eight feet wide along the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and US Highway 41; zoned: R2 (Single-Family Residential), Evan Laviolette (First Group Engineering).
Evan Laviolette, First Group Engineering, stated we are here to seek a waiver on the sidewalk width for the project due to the constraints on the right-of-way. If eight foot wide sidewalks are to be obtained, the Town would need to purchase more right-of-way from homes on the north side of the street and we would also run in to an issue of the placement of the NIPSCO polls. We are also tying in to six foot sidewalks on the east side of the project and five foot sidewalks on the west side.

President Kennedy stated his understanding was that a public hearing would be held next month on this matter. Mr. Laviolette stated that was correct. President Kennedy stated this Commission has been very strict with sidewalk waivers unless there is a true hardship. If we were to require eight foot wide sidewalks, the Town would then have to purchase three more houses for the appropriate right-of-way. Mr. Laviolette stated that was correct. When the Town came through in 2010 with a previous intersection improvement, NIPSCO had stated where they were putting their polls was as far as they could go. If the Town were to require the eight feet, we would need to purchase more land and the first three homes west of Patterson would have polls in their living room since they are already so close to the road.

G. 2023-09 LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION: Proposed Site Plan Amendment to add lighting to the Varsity Baseball and Softball Fields at Lake Central High School, 8260 Wicker Avenue St. John, IN, at the intersection of Lake Central Drive and US Highway 41; zoned: P (Public), 84.134 acres; Bill Ledyard (Director of Construction & Facilities LCSC), Larry Veracco (Superintendent LCSC).
Bill Ledyard, Director of Construction & Facilities LCSC, stated he was requesting approval on site plan amendment that was submitted and discussed at last month’s study session. To recap, we would be adding five lights to the softball fields and eight to the baseball fields.

President Kennedy read in to record the photometrics review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra, Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit D.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the site plan amendment to the Lake Central High School softball and baseball fields, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mrs. Cardona and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, John Kennedy
Nays: None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Gill made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:34 P.M., seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
John KennedyJon Gill
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Member
06-07-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
06-21-2023 Plan Commission

June 21, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice-President Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
Absent: John Kennedy, President.
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to Building Elevations, creating a two-tone all brick building, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated he is requesting a change of the exterior materials that were approved over a year ago. We would like to go all brick in lieu of the LP siding. Mr. Birlson asked what the colors of the brick would be. Mr. Brant stated he could provide a color of the brick at the next meeting. We think an all brick building will be a better material choice with less maintenance.

Mrs. Lauridsen stated she had asked Attorney Decker if any sort of site plan amendment application would be needed or if the Commission could come to a general consensus at the next meeting since it is a change in material. Attorney Decker stated after reviewing the codes he did not believe that this request requires a formal application, however, it should be something that is proposed to and approved by the Plan Commission. Mr. Brant agreed.

Town Manager, Joseph Wiszowaty, asked how much longer construction would take. Mr. Brant stated since the weather has been cooperative, we are hoping to be done in about two months.

B. 2023-08 W. 93rd AVENUE & US HIGHWAY 41: Proposed Site Plan and sidewalk waiver from StJMC 21A-33 (d)(2) to install six foot wide sidewalks instead of eight feet wide along the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and US Highway 41; zoned: R2 (Single-Family Residential), Evan Laviolette (First Group Engineering), Joseph Wiszowaty (Town Manger).
Evan Laviolette, First Group Engineering, stated we are proposing six foot sidewalks throughout the majority of the project, and tying in to the existing five foot sidewalks on the western portion of the project. We cannot meet the eight foot condition due to the right-of-way engineering on this project. In order to get the right-of-way we would need, there would be significant damage on the eastern side of the project area. Mr. Birlson asked if some of the sidewalk would be behind green space and some would not. Mr. Laviolette stated on the western portion where we tie in to the existing five foot sidewalks, there is going to be a little bit of a parkway on the south side, but there will be limited parkway on the north side until we tie in to the existing sidewalk. Mr. Birlson asked if the waiver was for US41 as well. Mr. Laviolette stated it is just on 93rd. Mr. Wiszowaty stated the other issue is easement rights and literally taking more property from the homeowners. There just is not enough right-of-way.
C. 2023-10 PARK IMPACT FEE ZONE IMPROVEMENT PLAN & PARK IMPACT FEE ORDINANCE: Proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate a Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan and recommendation for adoption of the updated Park Impact Fee Ordinance; David Baird (American Structurepoint, Inc.), Joseph Wiszowaty (Town Manager).
David Baird, American Structurepoint, Inc., presented an Impact Fee Study via a PowerPoint presentation and reviewed information on the Impact Fee and the planned future growth of parks and open spaces within St. John. See Exhibit A.

Mr. Birlson asked if there was a projected amount for the new fee. Mr. Baird stated we are still finalizing the exact number, but due to the amount of growth and needs, the amount we are projecting will be a substantial increase from the previous number. Mr. Birlson asked what the number is currently. Mr. Baird stated currently it is $1,868.01 and we are looking at an increase of at least $600, but the amount could actually end up going up to about $3,000. Mr. Birlson asked if Mr. Baird new of surrounding area’s fees. Mr. Baird stated you are on the high side due to the amount of growth, but you are not the highest. There is a community outside of Indianapolis that is right around $4,000.

D. SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Amendment to The Gates PUD to allow a second church/place of worship and 2 proposed Commercial buildings within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner).
Jamie Ward, Property Owner, stated their attorney, Nathan Vis, was caught up at a meeting in Cedar Lake and asked the Commission to discuss item E to give them some time for Attorney Vis to arrive. The Commission agreed.
E. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mrs. Lauridsen stated the fourth revision has been sent out and staff is looking for feedback from the Commission on anything that needs to be revised or added so this item can be moved along for public hearing. Mr. Wiszowaty asked Mr. Gill if he would like to speak on the meeting that was just had with NIPSCO and how it could affect the Subdivision Control Ordinance. Mr. Gill stated in our meeting with NIPSCO today, we discussed how they are changing their operations and bringing their gas and electric mains in to the front yard, which is causing issues when homes are being built and needing to hook up to their potable water, sewer, and storm sewer lines. Plumbers are now having to cross an electric and gas main to get to our b-box, and in the future Town employees who need to service the b-boxes will be dealing with a b-box that is nestled between an electric and gas line. We are attempting to figure out how we can move things around within the easement so everyone can get the utilities in the space, but still have the room to work and maintain the services as they need to without added dangers. Mr. Gill went on to discuss an option that was presented at the meeting that included the developer putting a piece of copper in to the b-box and extending back beyond the NIPSCO easement. This way later on they can hook up to the copper and not have to transverse across the gas and electric line. We also talked about moving the b-box back, which would be tricky because you would then have several feet of copper line on private property that the Town would be responsible for. There are still more discussions to have on this, but it would be something that would need to be added in to the Subdivision Control Ordinance. Discussion followed regarding placement of gas and electric lines and how all utilities could work within the designated easement. Mr. Wiszowaty stated more discussion needs to occur with NIPSCO, but it will be something that needs to be addressed within the Subdivision Control Ordinance.
D. SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Amendment to The Gates PUD to allow a second church/place of worship and 2 proposed Commercial buildings within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner).
Jamie Ward, Property Owner, stated at the previous meeting we attended the Commission requested further information on the project, which we have submitted. Brad Lambert, Lambert Concrete, stated one of the issues the Town was concerned about was the financial impact of changing that area from an R-2 PUD zoning to a C-2 zoning and having a church be a large part of the property. As you are aware, we are proposing a mixed use plaza at the site with a fairly large portion being a for-profit commercial building. We have put together a spreadsheet showing the ten year projection of tax revenue for the Town comparing the R-2 PUD zoning with the proposed C-2 zoning, including the church. Page two of the tax analysis shows the assessment of the Summer Winds Plaza that was recently completed in Cedar Lake. We have included this to show that the numbers presented are not just pulled out of thin air, but are relevant and comparable to a similar project in South Lake County.

Mr. Wiszowaty asked if there was any consideration to subdivide the parcel to have the commercial on one lot and the church on the other. Mr. Lambert stated we thought the same thing, that a two-lot subdivision would make more sense. We will be treating the commercial side of the property differently anyway since it will not be for the church, rather a for-profit entity. Mr. Lambert went on to explain the tax analysis that was before the Commission as well as the potential timeline of the project. See Exhibit B.

Mr. Lambert stated there is also an updated site plan for the property in the packet that shows the parking spaces and location of the proposed buildings. The Commission had mentioned connecting to the road that is existing on the east side of the property, but for us, it would wipe out a lot of parking and we would be introducing additional traffic in to an existing neighborhood, which we assume they would not be happy with. Mr. Lambert stated we have also included communications with a representative from INDOT discussing the entrance off of US231 along with their suggestions of the full entrance/exit on US231 as well as a right in/right out. There would be a widening on US231 to offer the excel/decel lanes at the entrance/exit points. As the Commission knows, there are the proposed round-a-bouts at Cline and Parrish that should only help the traffic situation in this area. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if there would be a left turn in when heading eastbound on US231. Mr. Lambert stated there would be a turning lane in the center with a right-hand passing lane going eastbound. Mr. Birlson stated but there will be full access out of the church parking lot on to US231. Mr. Lambert stated that was correct. We originally had a right in/right out in front of the commercial area, but that has been taken out.

Nathan Vis, Vis Law, stated regarding the tax analysis, one item that has not been taken in to consideration is the significant cost to the Town of the roadways and utility infrastructure if this area is kept R-2. Another item that the Commission had expressed concern about was the amount of parking. If the entire site was developed as commercial, there would be an equal amount of parking area. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if there was a need for a retention or detention area on site. Attorney Vis stated we have the ability to tie in to the existing retention pond to the north. Mr. Lambert stated that detention pond is ample in volume to take on our stormwater, but we will of course get verification of that. We were guaranteed that the pond would be able to take on our runoff when the land was purchased, which was one of the reasons for this purchase. If the lot would not be able to handle the stormwater there would be no reason to move sites since we need the extra parking. Mr. Lambert also stated that there would be a shared parking agreement with the commercial development to use extra parking if needed.

Attorney Vis stated preliminary conversation with some traffic professionals have indicated a great hesitancy to connect the residential unit across the back just from the traffic flow that is there. There were also questions raised about when church does let out and directing traffic through those residential areas. That is one of the reasons the church is so strongly considering moving. The site where the church was started over two decades ago worked at that point, but now there are over six hundred and fifty St. John residents alone that attend Suncrest. It is causing quite a bit of traffic flow on Parrish at that portion after service is let out. Additionally, when the site was constructed, they were not anticipating the explosion of growth in the past two decades. If you look at an aerial view you will see that there is no room to expand on the building because it backs up to residential. The third reason this site is so ideal is because this is essentially the entrance to the US231 St. John Corridor. This project will provide an anchor tenant in the church, which not only draws people in on Sundays, but throughout the week. That provides a draw for the businesses that will then occupy the commercial buildings. Attorney Vis stated it has been asked what other additions a church of this size offers to the community. They donate 10% of their budget every year to the community, which was $260,000 this past year, they have implemented a St. John day of caring, many of their members are active on various boards throughout the Town, and they sponsor a wide range of groups and allow them to use their facility including the St. John Police Department, INDOT, Habitat for Humanity, NWI Foodbank, and the Down Syndrome Association of NWI, just to name a few. When we ran the numbers, it is astounding as to what a development of this magnitude can offer to the community. The majority of the improvements would be borne by the developer, it would enhance US231, and it would be a welcomed addition to this area.

Mr. Birlson stated he was concerned about the entrance on US231. There is access to Park Place at two different spots and there is already a lot of traffic on US231. He stated he also questions if this is the right use within the US231 Overlay. If the church can attract growth, that is great, but this may not be the right option for our US231 Overlay District. Mr. Birlson asked Mrs. Lauridsen if the zone could be changed to C-2. Mrs. Lauridsen stated if the request is made. If the request is not made to change zoning, the area would stay R-2 PUD. Mr. Gomeztagle stated he appreciated the tax revenue that would be brought in, but his concern was also the traffic on US231. Mr. Wiszowaty stated Park Place and US231 is a dangerous intersection as is and mentioned that he would like to see a traffic study to see what is suggested. Mr. Valois questioned installing a traffic signal. Mr. Wiszowaty stated we have discussed that as well as another round-a-bout. He stated he understood wanting the full access, but was concerned with the amount of traffic. Attorney Vis stated the Town’s desire is to have this area as commercial, so whether you have commercial buildings, a school, or a church, there is going to be traffic. Here the generation source happens to be a church versus a commercial entity. When it comes to the traffic question, it should be geared in the direction of what does good traffic management require or suggest rather than saying we cannot have this because it is a church and there will be a flood at one point. We have already heard from INDOT and their suggestion has been a double ingress plus another one, but our suggestion is only one. Attorney Vis asked if he was hearing correctly from the Commission that the traffic needs to be looked in to further. Mr. Birlson stated that, but there is also the second question of is this right for our Overlay.

Attorney Vis stated any time you abut commercial to residential, there is always a question of how to alleviate the zone in between. When you look at a church, it creates a buffer zone between a commercial area and a residential area. He stated he was sure the residents behind it would appreciate having the church as a buffer rather than going straight in to a commercial site. Mr. Birlson asked if the entire parcel was owned by one entity. Attorney Vis stated the church owns the entire parcel. Mr. Wiszowaty stated we did speak about creating two parcels rather than one large one. Attorney Vis agreed and showed where the parcel would be divided.

Mr. Lambert stated one thing that was discussed previously was potentially removing this parcel from The Gates of St. John and its PUD. Attorney Decker stated he has had communications with Attorney Vis regarding this issue. Before we get to a subdivision, we are looking at the Annexation Agreement and Zoning Commitments that were executed by the owner of The Gates of St. John back in 2005. Part of that document limits the number of churches within The Gates. That will have to be considered and possibly amended by the Town Council. This was not done in a traditional sense where the zone change was a recommendation from the Plan Commission to the Town Council, but rather when it was annexed it was given this zoning classification which identified all of these different pods. He stated that would have to be considered by the Town Council to allow more than one church. Mr. Wiszowaty asked who would apply for the petition to change the agreement. Attorney Decker stated the church would. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if they had the authority to amend someone else’s agreement. Attorney Decker stated the Town Council has authority to make approval and it does not require anything by the original owner. The Annexation Agreement is not the focus, rather the commitments that were made at that time. Mr. Birlson asked if that would need to be done before the Plan Commission considers this project. Attorney Decker stated that is only one step in this process and it does not need to be done before considering a zone change. This parcel is zoned PUD with all of these various pods that hold various zoning classifications. Since a PUD is a unique zoning classification there would need to be a change in the zoning classification, which is a kin to a change in the zone maps. The process for that is application, the Plan Commission considers the change proposed, the Plan Commission makes recommendation to the Town Council, and ultimately the Town Council has the authority to change the zone maps. He stated he did not have an opinion at this time as far as what comes first or second. From the applicant’s perspective, it does not make sense to move forward if they do not get approval from the Town Council to change the Annexation Agreement and Zoning Classifications. The subdivision then follows the zone change.

Mr. Wiszowaty asked if this parcel would be impacted by the covenants and HOA within The Gates. Attorney Vis stated the developer sold this to the church and there has been some dialogue about carving this portion out of the HOA, but yes, that is in the backdrop. He stated he agrees with Attorney Decker’s interpretation and mentioned that they did not want to come in and request a zone change without sharing the vision of Suncrest and collaborating with the Town and its desires. Attorney Decker stated the covenants that have been recorded may be imposed on whoever develops the property, however, the zoning classification has more legal authority. There are no restrictive covenants that can trump a change in the zone maps because the authority vested in the Town Council cannot be hindered by what some property owner included in restrictive covenants that were recorded prior to development. Attorney Vis stated the Council has designated an overlay district in this area signally the direction they would like to go. Part of that overlay district has indicated that churches and places of worship can be allowed by approval. Mr. Wiszowaty stated if the zoning were to be approved as C-2, a church would be a by right use. Attorney Decker stated he would need to check the Zoning Ordinance. Mrs. Lauridsen stated churches are permitted in C-2, but are a special exception in the overlay. Attorney Decker stated it would need to be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals, then. Those are essentially uses that are permitted, but the Board can impose reasonable restrictions on the use that it finds pertinent.

Attorney Vis stated we are at a pivot point where a lot of dollars need to be spent with design and engineering. It is our goal this evening to see if this is a project we can plan and collaborate on together, or if it will be a no go. The church wants to be a good steward of the resources they have been entrusted with and work with the Town to keep this project moving forward. It sounds like some traffic studies are in order, but the next step would be to approach the Town Council and start filing applications. Mr. Wiszowaty stated he would like to see a meeting between staff and the attorney to get some solid answers on the way applications need to be made and at what level. Attorney Vis stated he has discussed this with Attorney Westland as well and he is also in agreement with how Attorney Decker has proposed the application process. He agreed to set up a meeting with staff and Attorney Decker to put the proposal in to a plan that can be acted on.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Vice-President Birlson adjourned the meeting at 8:32 P.M.
Robert BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
06-21-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
07-05-2023 Plan Commission

July 5, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at 7:13 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; and Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

June 7, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the June 7, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

June 21, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the June 21, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2023-08 W. 93rd AVENUE & US HIGHWAY 41: Proposed Site Plan and sidewalk waiver from StJMC 21A-33 (d)(2) to install six foot wide sidewalks instead of eight feet wide along the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and US Highway 41; zoned: R2 (Single-Family Residential), Evan Laviolette (First Group Engineering), Joseph Wiszowaty (Town Manger).
Evan Laviolette, First Group Engineering, gave an overview of the project site and stated due to right-of-way concerns we are proposing a six foot wide sidewalk along most of the area. There is a small portion of sidewalk that will only be five feet wide, where we tie in to existing sidewalk, but the majority of the area will have six foot wide sidewalks off of the back of curb. President Kennedy asked what the overall scope of work for the intersection was. Mr. Laviolette stated it is primarily an intersection improvement project of US 41 and W. 93rd Avenue as well as a small portion of Keilman Street. There will be a dual left lane and right lane heading east bound, and a dedicated right turn heading west bound. At Keilman we are providing a north left and north right lane off of Keilman, and then going west on 93rd Avenue we are providing a left turn lane on to Keilman. President Kennedy asked if the project was all within existing right-of-way. Mr. Laviolette stated there was one small parcel of right-of-way along the church that was donated. President Kennedy stated if you were to purchase two extra feet of right-of-way, you would be purchasing people’s front yards. Mr. Laviolette stated that was correct. NIPSCO had also taken a hard stance on moving the pole line without proper right-of-way on their end. It was not just taking an extra two or three feet of right-of-way, rather five to ten feet in order to provide the aerial encroachments that NIPSCO is looking to get away from on design projects.

Opened to Public Hearing PC 2023-08 W. 93rd Avenue & US Highway 41
No one was present to speak for or against the proposed site plan or waiver of sidewalk width.
Closed to Public Hearing PC 2023-08 W. 93rd Avenue & US Highway 41

BOARD DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
President Kennedy stated it has been the feeling of this Commission to enforce the proper installation of sidewalks, but in this instance with the area being a mature neighborhood and there not being the space to take the appropriate right-of-way, it shows the hardship. If this were a newer area, it may be a different story. Attorney Decker added that under the Subdivision Control Ordinance, the Plan Commission may allow waivers based on the Findings of Fact.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the proposed site plan and sidewalk waiver to install five and six foot wide sidewalks instead of eight foot wide sidewalks along the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and US Highway 41, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

At this time President Kennedy turned the meeting over to Vice-President Robert Birlson and stepped down from the dais due to a conflict of interest.

B. 2023-10 PARK IMPACT FEE ZONE IMPROVEMENT PLAN & PARK IMPACT FEE ORDINANCE: Proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate a Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan and recommendation for adoption of the updated Park Impact Fee Ordinance; Matt O’Rourke (American Structurepoint, Inc.), Joseph Wiszowaty (Town Manager).
Matt O’Rourke, American StructurePoint, Inc., stated the Town of St. John has had a Park Impact Fee for roughly fifteen years now and State Statute requires you to redo the Impact Zone Plan every five years to reevaluate the needs of the community and what that fee should be. We have submitted our findings to the Town for review and are here to go through the study with the Commission. Mr. O’Rourke presented an Impact Fee Study via a PowerPoint presentation and reviewed information on the Impact Fee and the planned future growth of parks and open spaces within St. John. See Exhibit A.

During the presentation Mr. Birlson had asked if there would be senior citizen use within the proposed community center. Mr. O’Rourke stated the assessment was based on what was lacking in the surrounding area by other indoor facilities. The indoor courts that are shown were not divided up in to youth, adult or senior activities. The center would be designed with multi-purpose courts as well as meeting areas for potential gatherings or HOA meetings. We did not go through the whole motion of design, rather a needs assessment to find out what is needed in this area overall and the potential cost. Once the Park and Rec Master Plan is created, those are the types of uses that can be planned out.

Open to Public Hearing PC 2023-10 Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan
No one was present to speak for or against the proposed Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan.

Closed to Public Hearing PC 2023-10 Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan

Open to Public Hearing PC 2023-10 Park Impact Fee Ordinance
No one was present to speak for or against the proposed Park Impact Fee Ordinance.

Closed to Public Hearing PC 2023-10 Park Impact Fee Ordinance

Mr. Birlson stated he appreciated the effort that was put in to the study and that he sees the need for the proposed improvements and new community center. Mr. Gomeztagle agreed.

At this time Vice-President Birlson turned the meeting back over to President Kennedy.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

C. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to Building Elevations, creating a two-tone all brick building, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated he was present to request an elevation change at the new facility being built on Poplar and Parrish. We are removing the original proposed cement board and switching it out to brick. Mr. Birlson asked if he had thought of using limestone on the above trim. Mr. Brant stated they had not thought of switching that, just the cement board.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the proposed amendment to the building elevations to create a two-tone all brick building, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

D. 2021-09 PARRISH WOODS: Proposed Amended Address to Lot 24, corrected lot dimensions to Lots 19 and 21, and corrected distance from the Southwest corner of the subdivision to the intersection of the West line of the Southwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter of Section 10-24-9 and the Centerline of 112th Place; zoned: R-1 (Single Family Residential, 20 acres; Ryan Fleming (ElevenTen, LLC).
Mrs. Lauridsen stated these changes are scrivener’s errors that were caught when Public Works noticed that the existing home that faces Parrish was recorded with an Atherton address. This certificate amends the address on that lot as well as the minor miscalculations on lots 19 and 21 and the distance at the corner of the subdivision. The physical distance and lot size is not changing, but the points of reference were off on the computer program, which caused the scrivener’s error.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the amended address to lot 24, corrected lot dimensions to Lots 19 and 21, and corrected distance from the Southwest corner of the subdivision to the intersection of the West line of the Southwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter of Section 10-24-9 and the Centerline of 112th Place, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Birlson made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:58 P.M., seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission, President      Plan Commission, Secretary
07-05-2023 Plan Commission Exhibit A.pdf
07-12-2023 Plan Commission

July 12, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice President Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Jon Gill, John Kennedy, President; Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES:

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2023-10 PARK IMPACT FEE ZONE IMPROVEMENT PLAN & PARK IMPACT FEE ORDINANCE: Proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate a Park Impact Fee Zone Improvement Plan and recommendation for adoption of the updated Park Impact Fee Ordinance; Matt O’Rourke AND David Baird (American Structurepoint, Inc.), Joseph Wiszowaty (Town Manager).
Mr. Gomeztagle asked that Mr. Mendoza explain the discrepancy they were discussing prior to the meeting. Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director, stated there seemed to be a few discrepancies between the map and legend on pages twenty-eight and twenty-nine. There are a few parks on the map that do not match the number they are given on the legend. David Baird, American StructurePoint, stated they would make those corrections and send a revised draft. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if the figures that were presented in the plan that identified what is allocated to each park are correct. Mr. Baird stated he felt confident they were and that Mike O’Shea, Parks Superintendent, was the one that assisted in finding those figures. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if there was any sort of backup to that information. Mr. Baird stated the information they received was from research done by staff. Discussion continued regarding the dollar amount that has been allocated to each park.

Board Action
Mrs. Cardona made a motion to amend the Comprehensive Plan to include the St. John Park and Recreational Infrastructure Zone Improvement Plan contingent on the map and legend on pages twenty-eight and twenty-nine being revised, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by roll call vote with five ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays – None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the Park Impact Fee Ordinance in the amount of $3,423.00, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by roll call vote with five ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays - None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Valois motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 P.M., seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Robert BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
07-19-2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting

July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at 8:40 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona, Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES:

July 5, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the July 5, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with six ayes.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays – None

July 12, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the July 12, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes and one abstention by John Kennedy.
Ayes – Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays – None
Abstain – John Kennedy

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:42 P.M.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
07-19-2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Exhibits.pdf
07-19-2023 Plan Commission Study Session

July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Councilmen Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Proposed Final Plat of The Gates of St. John Unit 21B, 25 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues “Gates East”; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 38.556 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, stated we are at the point where we would like to request final plat for Units 21B, 24 and 25. We are currently installing the roads, stone is down and then curbs are coming next, but everything should be done by the next meeting. Whatever we do not have completed we will secure with a check rather than a letter of credit or surety bond.

President Kennedy stated the final does not look the same as the preliminary plat. Mr. Kil stated that was correct. We still do not know the course of the water main that is to be installed along Cline Avenue. We could plat those lots, but we would rather wait to make sure that the easements are planned correctly. As soon as that is known, we will come in to plat the last few lots. President Kennedy asked Commission Attorney Adam Decker if this should be an amendment to the preliminary plat since the final typically matches the preliminary. Attorney Decker stated if there are deviations they must be considered by the Plan Commission, however the Plan Commission may approve deviations from the preliminary plat while considering the final plat without amending the preliminary plat. President Kennedy asked when the route would be determined. Mr. Valois stated that would require a discussion with the Town Manager and engineer as well as IDEM approval. Mr. Kil stated he would guess it would be planned within the next few months.

President Kennedy stated we also have the well site in Unit 24 to consider. Mr. Kil stated we know where the well is going, it is the raw water main that will tie in that we do not know about. Mrs. Lauridsen asked why the well site was an exception on the final plat. Mr. Kil stated that lot is already deeded. We would need to have the Town sign the final plat as well if we platted that lot with the rest of the unit. Previously with the water tower lot, the Town requested the lot be kept separate and then if they wanted to, they could plat the lot later. Mrs. Lauridsen stated we would have to plat the lot. Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, stated the exception would not be a lot of record with an address so the Town would then have to plat it and give it an address in order to issue a permit for the well site. For us to issue a building permit it has to be recognized as a lot of record with an address. Mr. Kil stated if you would like to do that, that is fine, but previously the Town did not want a joint plat where the Town and the developer would sign off. Discussion followed regarding the route the water main could potentially take and the size of easement that will be needed.

President Kennedy pointed out the easements that are noted in the rear yards of Unit 24B and stated he wanted to make sure that those are certain if they are being platted. Mr. Kil stated those easements are set. It is when we cross Privet to get over to Cline and head to 105th that we are uncertain of. We do not want to plat that area, allow houses to be built, and then tear up people’s yards to install a water main. President Kennedy stated he understood and could appreciate that, but we are also trying to make things consistent between the preliminary and final. Mr. Kil stated he understood, but unfortunately projects like the water main take time and we are working with the Town and IDEM on figuring out the details. President Kennedy asked if he was certain about the two lots in Unit 21B that are being left out and the route of the water main through them. Mr. Kil stated we presume it will be in the rear yard, but we do not want to have a house built and then tear up the yard for the installation. We will end up having a few phases of Unit 21B and 24 doing it this way. Town Engineer, Jon Dykstra, asked if the two lots removed in Unit 21B would come in as “Phase One”. Mr. Kil stated however staff would like it titled, we will title it.

Mrs. Lauridsen stated what is shown as Unit 25 on the preliminary plat is only the southern portion. It looks like the northern half has not been given preliminary plat approval. She asked if the norther half was done under a separate petition. Mr. Kil stated the entire unit was given preliminary plat approval some time ago. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she would keep looking and mentioned that there are duplicate lots between page two and three for Unit 25 that should be cleaned up on the final plat. Mr. Kil stated we will get that cleaned up and see if we can find a year that the north half of Unit 25 was given preliminary plat approval.

Mr. Mendoza stated the Town will need to determine if they want the lot for the new well in Unit 24 to be platted or left as an exception and platted later by the Town. He stated he assumed that an address will be needed for the site for future maintenance. Mr. Valois stated that was correct. Mr. Mendoza stated we can either assign an address as part of this final with the Town being a signatory on the final, or the Town can later go through the process of creating a legal lot of record and assigning it an address. Mr. Kil stated it is typically easier if the Town does it on their own, but it can be done either way. Mr. Mendoza stated he would get with the Town Manager’s office as to which way he wants to go.

B. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNITS 24 & 25: Proposed Final Plat of The Gate of St. John Units 24 & 25, 97 Single-Family Residential Lots, located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 43.17 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Please see discussion under item A.
C. PROVIDENCE BANK SUBDIVISION, LOT 2: Proposed Resubdivision of Providence Bank Subdivision, Lot 2, for a two lot commercial subdivision at Calumet Avenue, Dyer, IN 46311, located approximately 211 feet south of the 101st Avenue and Calumet Avenue intersection on the west side of Calumet Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Highway Commercial District), 20.96 acres; Michael Shideler and Joe Napoli (SHI NAPS, LLC.), Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we presented this area a few months ago as a five lot subdivision ending in a cul-de-sac, but are changing the concept to a two lot subdivision due to a potential user for the proposed lot two. That deal is not finalized, but we wanted to come tonight to make sure the Town is on board with going to two lots instead of five. The entrance to lot two does line up with the entrance for St. John Commons, so we would only be requesting one more entrance off of Calumet Avenue for the potential strip mall on the proposed lot one. Mr. Rettig stated regarding the potential user, the only thing he knows is that they are an assisted and independent living organization that is out of state.

President Kennedy asked if they owned the property to the west of the pipeline. Mr. Rettig stated no, and outlined the area that is owned. Mr. Valois asked if a cul-de-sac could be installed at the end of Black Opal. Mr. Rettig stated this is a very similar situation to St. John Commons, however they are not ready to plan the end of Black Opal at this time. It is a desire of theirs to end it properly with potentially a few more cottage homes, but it is not part of this initial project. We could potentially install some sort of extension to allow easier turnaround and access with the plows for the time being. President Kennedy asked if any waivers were going to be sought. Mr. Rettig stated they are trying not to request any, but parking issues may come up with the assisted living. President Kennedy stated you will need a second access. Mr. Rettig stated we could connect a frontage road between the two lots for another access point. Mr. Birlson stated his question would be if St. John wants two entrances off of Calumet. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she remembered discussing an entrance off of 101st previously, but there was an issue of them not owning the property as well as current septic fields. Mr. Rettig stated there are existing buildings, a detention pond, and septic fields in the way. There is a desire for it, but with this new plan, there is no need for it.

President Kennedy asked who owns the property east of the homes and south of the buildings on 101st. He stated his concern is that this area would be landlocked. Joe Napoli, SHI NAPS, LLC., stated there is a private road between their building and their neighbor’s building on 101st that could give access to that lot, which is owned by their neighbor. President Kennedy asked who would maintain the large outlot. Mr. Rettig stated SHI NAPS would maintain that. This area is very similar to St. John Commons. President Kennedy asked if there were plans for a bike path within the outlot, similar to St. John Commons. Mr. Rettig stated there were not. President Kennedy asked Mr. Dykstra if he knew of any planned improvements to Calumet. Mr. Dykstra stated he was not aware of any. Mr. Dykstra asked Mr. Rettig if he had considered combining detention for both lots one and two. Mr. Rettig stated they will be connected. President Kennedy asked if the zoning was appropriate for the use. Mr. Mendoza stated this is the first we are hearing of the assisted living facility so we would need to confirm that.

D. CLD HOLDINGS, LLC: Proposed Site Plan of a Drive-In Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 572 feet south of Wicker Avenue and Joliet Street intersection on the east side of Wicker Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Commercial Highway District), 0.93 acres; Cory Detamore (CLD Holdings, LLC.), James Hus (DVG), Russ Pozen (DVG).
James Hus, DVG, stated he was present with his client and owner of the property to discuss a proposed Chipotle at the site listed. This site is just south of the American Legion and north of J&M Golf on Wicker Avenue, and is directly across from the 95th Avenue intersection. The drive is intended to orientate itself across from 95th Avenue in the event any intersection improvements are required in the future. The parcel is just under one acre, is zoned C-2, and is within the Town Center District and US 41 Overlay District. The surrounding area is zoned C-1 and C-2, although the property to the east is being used as residential currently. Mr. Hus stated per the proposed plan, we are compliant for parking even though some of the spots are in the front of the site. The drive-thru lane is capable of fully stacking seven vehicles and we are proposing the trash enclosure be to the east or rear of the property, furthest away from the building. Mr. Hus stated they are currently developing a more detailed landscape plan, but the visual obstruction from vegetation that is currently there is staying, which will benefit the current residential usage to the east. We are proposing a monument sign along with two signs on the building, as well as stormwater management under the rear parking lot. We will also be before the Board of Zoning Appeals at their August meeting to discuss the Special Exception that is needed as well as various Development Variances mainly due to the smaller footprint of the lot.

Mr. Hus stated he would like to discuss the use of the drive-thru as most people picture a fast food restaurant that has a line of cars wrapped around it. Chipotle does things differently than most. The technical term is a “Chipotlane”. You are unable to drive up and order food, rather this lane is only for people who have placed their orders ahead of time. This greatly reduces the stacking time and amount of cars within the lane. Mr. Hus went through some statistics regarding the stacking time at other Chipotle’s that have installed the “Chipotlane”.

Cory Detamore, CLD Holdings, LLC., stated he is a preferred developer for Chipotle and is currently building one in Chesterton. President Kennedy asked if this was a typical size of building. Mr. Detamore stated this is the standard size of a Chipotle that is used throughout the country. They are moving out of end cap retail centers where they do not have the capability of a “Chipotlane” as we are becoming more technology driven with app based ordering. There is an area of the building that is designated for serving just that lane. Typically a Chipotle does not have the masonry, but we always take a step above to build a better looking product and include that masonry. President Kennedy asked how many waivers they would be requesting. Mr. Hus stated depending on how you interpret the Town Center District, we are at sixteen variances without the landscaping. Many of the variances are due to the size of the site and where it lands in the overlay districts.

E. CALISTOGA: Proposed Concept Plan for Calistoga, a Planned Unit Development located at the southeast corner of Park Place and US Highway 231, 172.8 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, stated this development is a concept plan only. Most of the land is not within Town limits currently and there are multiple approvals we would need, but we wanted to get started with some new plans for the area. Right now we are showing that our future developments will be a mix of housing products because they tend to be more successful and appealing to a larger demographic. Like all of our other developments, we will be using high quality builders and offer high quality homes. We will have one master HOA along with sub-HOA’s for the paired villas and maintenance free homes. Mr. Hunt stated after reviewing the Comprehensive Plan we do believe that we are offering a concept that falls in line with what the Town is wanting to see. Our best guess is that these two developments, Calistoga and Stone Creek, will take six to ten years with a full build out closer to fifteen years. Mr. Hunt gave a review of the concept for Calistoga. See Exhibit A.

Mr. Hunt stated they did intend to annex the property with an annexation agreement zoning the property as a PUD. One thing to note is that there was a change in the State law that allows a Residential TIF Program, which we would be seeking to create.

Mr. Gomeztagle stated it is interesting to him when developers come in and say that people are looking for smaller lots, but no statistics are given with that request. If we could get numbers to prove that, it would be helpful. When you have smaller lots, you have more homes which creates a higher demand from the community. Mr. Hunt asked what kind of numbers Mr. Gomeztagle was asking for. Mr. Gomeztagle stated in regards to the demand for smaller lots and who exactly wants those and whether they are coming from here in Indiana or outside of the state. Mr. Hunt stated we understand the higher demand from the community in regards to water, sewer, fire service, etc., but that is why we are also making mention of creating that residential TIF so that funds could be collected by the Town to assist in its growth.

Mr. Birlson stated when a PUD is proposed we have to ask the question, what is the Town getting from this development. In this case it seems to be much smaller lots and more housing. He stated he is not a fan of narrow lots like what is presented. There is a much higher demand on the community with the higher number of lots and it is disappointing to see no parks or bike paths. Mr. Hunt stated he understood and that this was based off of the Comprehensive Plan and what Schilling has seen in sales. Mr. Birlson stated St. John has always had large lots, but over time it just keeps getting smaller and smaller. Mr. Valois stated he agrees on the concern for the infrastructure and added that a park or something is needed within this community. President Kennedy asked if the annexation process has started. Mr. Hunt stated it has not. Roughly six of the twelve commercial acres are within the Town and zoned commercial. The rest would need to be annexed in. Mr. Birlson stated when property is annexed in it is zoned R-1. Mr. Hunt stated we would be seeking an annexation agreement that would request this property be zoned PUD. If the approval does not happen, we would not annex.

President Kennedy asked if he knew of any discussions regarding the property to the south. Mr. Hunt stated not that he is aware of, but they are always open to acquiring and developing property that ties in to theirs. President Kennedy requested numbers that show the difference between the density of an R-1, R-2 and the proposed PUD. Also, in looking at the wetland and detention areas along Cline, we are wanting to make sure that we are able to offer connectivity as we grow in regards to utilities that may need to run along that area and the easements they would require. He stated regarding adding a park to the area, we already have over twenty small parks that we are trying to maintain. Mr. Dykstra stated they also may want to look in to the County regulated drain that runs through the property. Mr. Hunt stated he would make mention of that along with the other comments that have been stated.

F. STONE CREEK: Proposed Concept Plan for Stone Creek, a Planned Unit Development located approximately 690 feet north from the northwest corner of Parrish Avenue and US Highway 231, 173.3 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, stated this land is also not annexed in to the Town of St. John and would come in through an annexation agreement with the zoning of PUD. Mr. Hunt reviewed the concept plan for Stone Creek. See Exhibit B.

Mr. Birlson stated he had the same comments as before and asked if they were tying in to Three Springs. Mr. Hunt stated that area of Three Springs is not developed, but we would connect. President Kennedy asked about the proposed green area that is marked as the utility easement. Mr. Hunt stated that is due to the pipeline easement. President Kennedy stated he would love to see the difference in numbers between zonings on this development as well. He also stated that he would like to see a traffic impact study to see how this is going to impact Parrish as well as the utility easements along Parrish, similar to Calistoga.

Mr. Hunt stated regarding the PUD, based on our history with projects like Greystone, we see the need for the diversified housing in the area in order to offer different types of products to people seeking them. President Kennedy stated the parcel that is not within the proposed site needs to be considered in the event it eventually becomes annexed in and mixed in to the development. Mr. Birlson asked if it made sense for the north/south corridor to jog west. Mr. Hunt stated movement to a longer stretch of road is more appealing to homeowners. Also, the two entrances were already cut in when Parrish was redone so we kept them in those areas. Mr. Gomeztagle stated his concerns were the same as far as infrastructure, pressure on the schools, and added traffic. President Kennedy asked if the product would be the same as what they have seen in Greystone. Mr. Hunt stated they will probably bring in a different group of builders, but it will be similar.

G. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Proposed Final Plat of Continental, Unit 3, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, stated this is the proposed final plat of Unit 3. Utilities have been completed and roads will start tomorrow, which are private. There were a few comments from engineering that have been addressed and sent back for review. Mr. Hunt stated we plan on being here at the next meeting for final plat approval. President Kennedy asked if the water was taken care of. Mr. Hunt stated it has been taken care of, yes. Mr. Valois stated the samples and pressure tests have passed.
H. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Utility Easement between lots 2 & 3 to provide sewer service to 13201 W. 109th Avenue; Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes), Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated this is just to create awareness for when Streamside comes in for their final plat. Yesterday we received a permit request for a sewer tie in to Streamside that will service an existing home. Streamside will be requesting a utility easement between lots two and three to connect the sewer lateral line to the existing home that is south of the church. Mr. Yatsko has indicated that they will be coming in within the next few months for final plat approval, which will show this addition. We have spoken to the homeowner who is willing to wait for this final plat to be recorded to do the sewer tap. Mr. Valois asked if this would be gravity fed or require a lift station. Mr. Gill stated it is gravity. President Kennedy stated it is not ideal to do side yard easements and asked how wide it would be. Mr. Mendoza stated it would be six feet on each side.

At approximately 8:32 P.M. Mrs. Cardona exited the meeting.

I. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated if there are no additional requests, we would like to advertise this for a public hearing in September. President Kennedy requested that the Commission look through everything to make sure they are good to advertise for that hearing.
J. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICES: Review proposed public hearing notice signs, Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Mendoza stated we are proposing these smaller yard signs for public hearing notices in lieu of the signs that Public Works currently assembles. Public Works does support these endeavors, and the Board of Zoning Appeals has already taken action to use them. These signs are easier to maintain and it will also be easier to advertise in multiple locations on larger lots or corner lots. We will present these at the next regular meeting for action.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:37 P.M.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
08-02-2023 Plan Commission

August 2, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison; Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Robert Birlson, Vice-President and Yolanda Cardona.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the July 19, 2023 Plan Commission Special Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-25 ST. JOHN COMMONS PHASE 1: Recommend Acceptance of 2-yr Performance Bond in the amount of $187,069 in lieu of 2-yr Performance Letter of Credit that is on file, and recommend release of 2-yr Performance Letter of Credit in the amount of $158,289, 15 cottage homes at 10201 Calumet Avenue; zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development), 20 acres; Brad Lambert (Lambert Concrete), Nathan Vis (Attorney), Doug Rettig (DVG).

Brad Lambert, Lambert Concrete, stated he would like to replace the Letter of Credit that the Town has on file for Phase One with a Performance Surety Bond in order to use that cash for the project.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for release of the 2-year Letter of Credit in the amount of $158,289.00, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the 2-year Performance Surety Bond in the amount of $187,069.00, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

B. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 25: Proposed final plat of the Gates of St. John Unit 25, 80 Single-Family Residential Lots, located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), approximately 22.5 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Tim Kuiper, Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis P.C., stated he believed everything was in order for the final plat of The Gates of St. John Unit 25 and added that they had received the recommendation of acceptance from Robinson Engineering and had paid the outstanding development fee as well as the cash escrow for improvements still to be done.

President Kennedy read the review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra. See Exhibit A.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the final plat for The Gates of St. John Unit 25, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the performance cash escrow that had been deposited with the Clerk-Treasurer’s office in the amount of $13,530.00, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

C. 2022-10 THE PRESERVE, UNIT 6: Recommend release of 2-yr Performance Letter of Credit in the amount of $447,918.90 and acceptance of 3-yr Maintenance Letter of Credit in the amount of $256,481.70, 69 Single-Family Residential Lots and 2 Outlots at White Oak Avenue, zoned: RC-1 PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), approximately 26.99 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Attorney, stated they had their final inspection on The Preserve Unit 6 and had addressed all comments made by staff and engineering. We also received a favorable recommendation from Robinson for release of the performance Letter of Credit and acceptance of the maintenance Letter of Credit that has been submitted.

President Kennedy read the review letters from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra. See Exhibits B and C.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to release the 2-year Performance Letter of Credit in the amount of $447,918.90, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the 3-year Maintenance Letter of Credit in the amount of $256,481.70, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

D. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Proposed Final Plat of Continental, Unit 3, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Attorney, stated all comments from engineering have been addressed and revised on the final plat. We also have a favorable recommendation letter from Robinson on this project and have submitted a performance cash escrow for the improvements.

President Kennedy read the review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra. See Exhibit D.
Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the final plat for Continental Unit 3, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

Mr. Gill made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the performance cash escrow that had been deposited with the Clerk-Treasurer’s office in the amount of $5,500, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

E. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICES: Proposed public hearing notice signs, Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director, stated action needed to be taken on accepting the new public hearing notice signs that were presented at the study session to use in lieu of the large signs that Public Works has been creating for each petition. President Kennedy stated he knew there was discussion at the last meeting regarding multiple signs being placed on larger lots or corner lots. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct. The Commission can decide if more than one sign needs to be placed on a lot if it is larger or on a corner.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the use of the new public hearing notice signs, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
Ayes: Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Joe Gomeztagle, Gena Lauridsen, John Kennedy
Nays: None

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Valois made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:18 P.M., seconded by Mr. Gill and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission, President      Plan Commission, Secretary
08-02-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
08-16-2023 Plan Commission

August 16, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Councilmen Liaison, and Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

President Kennedy stated before we begin he would like to announce that Sergio Mendoza will be leaving the Town and moving on with his career elsewhere. He stated it has been an honor to work with Mr. Mendoza and that he more than appreciates the professionalism, the advice that has been given and the leadership and staff that has been brought to the department. President Kennedy wished Mr. Mendoza well on his future endeavors.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to the Site Plan, requesting a waiver of sidewalk along Parrish Avenue, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated he was present tonight to discuss the waiver of an eight foot sidewalk along Parrish Avenue due to the easement and swale that is located in the area where the sidewalk would need to go. He stated he would be able to do a five foot wide sidewalk, but not eight feet. President Kennedy asked what would need to be done to keep it an eight foot sidewalk. Mr. Brant stated he would need to go in to the swale along Parrish Avenue and the sidewalk would not be level. From what the engineer has stated, we would need to reconstruct or reduce the swale to get an eight foot wide sidewalk there. President Kennedy asked Town Engineer Jon Dykstra his opinion. Mr. Dykstra stated he has not had the chance to review the property, but you can see a swale that we probably would not want to impact by reducing it. He stated he would review the plans and area and forward a recommendation to the Commission. Mr. Birlson asked if the swale could be moved closer to the road. Mr. Brant stated according to his engineer, no. We will provide documentation from our engineer showing the hardship for review.
B. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Proposed Final Plat of The Gates of St. John Unit 21B, 25 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues “Gates East”; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 38.556 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, stated they had received the review comments from Mr. Dykstra and will submit an updated plat that include the proposed changes. Mr. Dykstra stated the changes were minor.
C. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNITS 24B: Proposed Final Plat of The Gate of St. John Units 24B, 47 Single-Family Residential Lots, located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 12.38 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Steve Kil, LBL Development, stated there were similar comments on this plat, but one that was brought up is how the easement exists for the well. This easement is designed per IDEM requirements. Mr. Dykstra stated if it has been done like that before within the development, that information will satisfy the surveyor’s questions. President Kennedy asked how the well lot would be recorded. Building and Planning Director Sergio Mendoza stated we will engage Robinson Engineering to create a one-lot subdivision with an address for that. Mr. Dykstra asked that the well easement radius that encroaches on the buildable lots be clearly identified as to what it is and that no construction is allowed in that easement. Mr. Kil stated that will be taken care of.
D. CLD HOLDINGS, LLC: Proposed Site Plan of a Drive-In Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 572 feet south of Wicker Avenue and Joliet Street intersection on the east side of Wicker Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Commercial Highway District), 0.93 acres; Cory Detamore (CLD Holdings, LLC.), James Hus (DVG), Russ Pozen (DVG).
James Hus, DVG, gave an overview of the Chipotle restaurant they are proposing for the site. Mr. Hus also presented renderings of what the building will look like along with an updated landscape plan. He explained that the drive-thru aspect is for the “Chipotlane” where you are only allowed to pick up your food. You would have already ordered your meal ahead of time on the app and then pick it up at the drive-thru. President Kennedy asked which variances they would be seeking. Mr. Hus stated they would be seeking a special exception for the drive-thru, a use variance for a small outdoor seating area, and twenty overall development variances that mainly deal with the landscaping and the fact that this lot existed before the creation of the US 41 Overlay District and its regulations. We have put great effort in to beautifying the site within the limited area that we have. President Kennedy asked if they felt a seven car stack would be sufficient for the “Chipotlane”. Cory Detamore, CLD Holdings, LLC, stated this line will only be an area to pick up food since the orders will have already been placed online, so seven cars is more than sufficient. President Kennedy asked if there was room for a decel lane on US 41 in to the property. Mr. Hus stated US 41 is unique in that decel rules have mainly been thrown out the window. It would also affect property that our client does not own and limit the amount of beautification that could happen in front of the building. Mr. Detamore stated that is one of the reasons we lined up the entrance with the street across US 41 in case there is further improvements in the future where an intersection is placed there.

Mrs. Cardona asked what some of the variances were that would be before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Hus reviewed multiple variances that will be requested. Mr. Birlson asked how many customers would be expected. Mr. Detamore stated he did not have numbers, but would be able to get a few examples for the next meeting. Mr. Birlson stated he asks because he would also like to see a decel lane on US 41. President Kennedy stated he knew decel lanes were based on speed limits and did not know how far south it would have to go. Mr. Hus stated it would certainly extend well beyond the frontage of this property.

E. SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Amendment to The Gates PUD to allow a second church/place of worship and 2 proposed Commercial buildings within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG), Brad Lambert (Agent).
Doug Rettig, DVG, requested that the item be moved to the end of the agenda as legal counsel is not present yet. The Commission agreed to move the item to the end of the agenda.
F. CALISTOGA: Proposed Concept Plan for Calistoga, a Planned Unit Development located at the southeast corner of Park Place and US Highway 231, 172.8 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated last month we presented this development as well as the next development on the agenda, and were able to get some feedback to review and make some revisions. Both of these parcels will need to be annexed in to the Town and we will be requesting a PUD zoning with the annexation of the property. There was some question at the last meeting as to whether or not there is a need or demand for this type of product that we are offering, so we did forward some material to Mrs. Lauridsen that we are assuming were passed along, to show local articles that discuss diversified housing units and the need for them. Mr. Slager proceeded to read from an article that was recently published in the NWI Times as well as an article from AARP that discussed the need for diversified housing. He also referenced portions of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and the 2023 St. John Corridor Study which polled local residents to find where the need was in housing projects within Town. All articles discussed the need for diversified housing along with housing that offers a smaller lot, but is within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and the need for communities that are walkable and offer more amenities rather than larger yards. Mr. Slager then gave an overview of the Calistoga site. See Exhibit A.

Mr. Slager stated they would like to explore the option of a Residential TIF and partnering with the Town to create one for this site. The tax dollars that this site could generate would be about thirty to thirty-five million dollars over twenty years, which would help with improvements within the area and infrastructure or public safety costs.

President Kennedy asked what the zoning of Mill Creek was. Mr. Mendoza stated that is a PUD. President Kennedy asked if there was a way to know what the number of units would be if this site came in under an R-1 zoning. Mr. Slager stated R-1 is one hundred by two hundred foot lots. The proposed single family lots for this development are eighty by one hundred and fifty. From our experience with R-1 lots, we are getting about one home per acre. When you get in to R-2, you are right around two homes per acre. Currently Mill Creek has a density of 2.25 homes per acre and we are proposing a density of 2.2 homes per acre. We did try to preserve some open space in this development and present a little more of a creative plan rather than the grid that you are seeing in other communities. Mr. Slager stated per the data we have found, when you have a site this size, a mix of housing is a better blend than straight R-1. For us, R-1 developments tend to work better on smaller sites. President Kennedy stated if this development were straight R-1, we would be looking at about one hundred and seventy-three lots. R-2 zoning would be about three hundred and fifty.

Mr. Valois asked if there would be a need for a lift station. Mr. Slager stated there is actually a twelve inch sanitary main that comes under US 231 that serves Mill Creek. It comes in to this property pretty deep so we will continue it through the site. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if a rendering could be made that show strictly R-1 lots for this site, as well as a second rendering that shows a mix of R-1 and R-2 lots. He also asked if Mr. Slager could come up with what the water usage would be between the proposals. Although you are claiming that there is a need for older individuals, we are seeing younger individuals coming to St. John from other areas to grow their families. He stated he loves to see development, but there is a lot of strain that comes along with the growth and we want to make sure that developers are coming in to St. John wanting to be a part of the community and offering to help, not just relying on the Town to provide as they need it. Mr. Slager stated when you mention who you see moving in to Town, we do see mainly families because that is mainly what St. John offers is single family homes. We are asking for a different product type that may be attractive to an aging population. Also, that data that was provided shows that there are people that live in this Town already that want to age in this Town and move in to something smaller and maintenance free. Regarding the strain on utilities, this will be a six to ten year project with probably a fifteen year buildout. Within that time the Town has the ability to grow and work on infrastructure, like you are currently doing, and that is also where this Residential TIF can come in to play and assist in those improvements. Mr. Slager stated in regards to laying out this development as R-1, we would not develop it as an R-1 property. There is a time and place for those types of developments and this site is not it. Most of the large R-1 developments in Town were a specific type of property with rolling hills and trees and ponds that made it appealing to a large lot. Those developments also sell slower due to the higher cost of the home. Financially an R-1 development would not make sense on this lot.

Mrs. Cardona stated the Comp Plan was quoted as the Town having a growing need for homes that would suit an aging population, but is there any data that shows the houses that have been built since the Comp Plan was completed in 2017 that could potentially show that need being fulfilled or if there is a need for more. Mr. Mendoza stated we do have that data, just not on hand. Mrs. Cardona stated it would make sense to see that information to know what maintenance free homes have been built in the past six years and if we want more of that product within the community. Mr. Slager stated you have obviously had some growth in that area that we have been a part of, for example the Greystone community which has been very successful. The market analysis that was quoted earlier was from the St. John Corridor Study, which is only about a week old, and it states that 97.7% of St. John’s housing stock is single family. That does not say what is maintenance free and what is not, but we feel the market is still there. We are not proposing the majority of the site be that, but at least a portion to offer that mix within the development. President Kennedy asked if Mr. Slager believed a light was needed at Park Place and US 231 with this development. Mr. Slager stated he believed it was needed now and should have been done five years ago. It is a State road, but the Town has some say in what happens there. With the two round-a-bouts being proposed at Cline and US 231 and Parrish and US 231, there will be an uninterrupted flow of traffic, which would make it even more difficult to get out of Park Place.

Mr. Birlson stated he was concerned with lot width. The article that was presented from the NWI Times does not mention who was polled, where they were from, and the age group they belong to so there is a lot left to question. He stated he also believed that the Town has about 70% single family homes, not the 97.7% that was quoted. Mr. Slager stated he agreed that the number seemed high and was not sure what was included in the 97.7%. Typically multi-family means duplexes, townhomes, and apartments so they may be combining maintenance free single family homes in with the 97.7%. Historically the 2.2 density we are offering is low. Schilton Hills has a density of 1.75 as an R-1 development, Renaissance has a density of 1.84, Mill Creek is 2.25, Silver Leaf is 3.0, and Gates East is four to six units per acre. Mr. Birlson stated his third statement is that yes, the elderly are looking to downsize, but once they are gone, what do we have. Once that population has passed, what will the Town have with these units. Mr. Slager stated he could appreciate that comment, but we bring a higher quality of construction to our developments. Our covenants are higher than the Town minimums, and we set up strong HOA’s for these developments to ensure that the requirements are followed. We want to be careful that we do not assume that just because a developer is bringing in a larger lot means that the quality of the home will be higher as well. Typically they end up cutting back on the quality or size of home to compensate for hitting the price point they want to hit. We do not necessarily worry about that because we are not building the houses themselves, rather working with the builder to ensure they follow our higher covenants and restrictions. Mr. Slager stated these are things we do that are a little different from other developers in Town.

G. STONE CREEK: Proposed Concept Plan for Stone Creek, a Planned Unit Development located approximately 690 feet north from the northwest corner of Parrish Avenue and US Highway 231, 173.3 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, reviewed the proposed site plan for Stone Creek. See Exhibit B. Mr. Slager stated in lieu of the sidewalk along Parrish, we are proposing a paved walking path that we hope will continue up Parrish to Founders Park. We are also hoping to connect across the street to the pathway that Astoria has planned on their site.

Mr. Birlson stated he has the same comments as Calistoga. Mr. Gomeztagle agreed and asked where the park was. Mr. Slager stated we did not plan one for this development since Founders Park is just north of this site. He stated per the articles that were mentioned previously, people are wanting to walk to places and both of these sites are adjacent to commercial property that is being developed or is developed. We have the opportunity for the paved path along Parrish which will interconnect to the commercial developments that are on the other side of Parrish. Mr. Birlson asked what would be given to the Town with a higher density development and suggested installing curb and gutter along Parrish. Mr. Slager stated that is required per your Ordinance and would happen. This section of Parrish was improved two or three years ago and both entrances have been installed to this development. We are proposing a ten foot wide paved path in lieu of an eight foot wide sidewalk along Parrish, and if the Town is open to it, we would like to do a Residential TIF area here as well which can generate twenty-five to thirty million over twenty years for the Town. Money like that could be used for improvements along Cline Avenue or to improve the underpasses that need to be widened on US 231.

Mr. Birlson asked if a bike path across the railroad track would be possible. Mr. Slager stated we would love to see that and brought the path to that corner in hopes that something could be done as an over or underpass. He stated he did not know how he felt about having a bike path at grade crossing for safety reasons. Mr. Valois stated there is also a water main we are looking to connect to in that area as well. Mr. Slager stated we are aware of that and would loop everything to provide for future extensions. Mrs. Cardona echoed Mr. Birlson’s comments regarding who had been polled for the article in the NWI Times and stated that may not even be indicative of St. John’s needs. We do not want to lose the essence of St. John with higher density since we are known for having the bigger lots. Mrs. Cardona stated perhaps there is a way to compromise and still offer a mix of housing without the higher density developments in order to keep our identity. Mr. Slager stated he is by no means against R-1 developments, but there is a time and a place for it. We do have two more sites in Town that will be R-1 zoning, but we have to look at each site and decide what the best product is for that site. If you have been paying attention to the Continental site, the sales pace of lots at that level are around four a year, which is expected, but when you have a flat cornfield, that product just does not math out. We will take the comments back and see what we can come up with. Mr. Birlson stated he is not stuck on R-1, but we just do not want St. John to lose its identity. Mr. Gomeztagle stated we want to work something out that keeps greater value in our community while keeping our identity.

E. SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Amendment to The Gates PUD to allow a second church/place of worship and 2 proposed Commercial buildings within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG), Brad Lambert (Agent).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated the plan is to relocate the existing Suncrest Christian Church to the new site. Overall our site plan has not changed much, but we have reconfigured our access off of US 231 and are proposing two right in, right out entrances and making the main entrance off of Park Place in hopes that we can either place a round-a-bout there or a stop light. We will create a two-lot subdivision from this parcel with the church on one site and the commercial development on the other. We have spoken to INDOT regarding the entrances and they are comfortable with what has been proposed.

Mr. Birlson stated he would not want to see entrances off of US 231 due to the already high traffic. President Kennedy asked what would need to be amended or changed to allow another church. Attorney Nathan Vis stated the Ordinance that was passed by the Town Council in 2004 would need to be amended to allow a second church, and then we would be seeking a recommendation regarding a zone change from the Plan Commission to go to the Town Council. This site encompasses multiple pods within The Gates of St. John and the question is what would happen if we carved out this area in regards to density and recapture agreements that have been made. We are wanting to come to an agreement with the developer, the Town, and with Suncrest that indicates the proposed development, what will be the carve out from the Annexation Agreement and the Ordinance that was passed in 2004, and the developer will not use this information as an additional advantage beyond the agreement that was reached between the developer and the Town about two years ago. We have drafted that document and have sent it to Attorney Decker for review. President Kennedy asked if this discussion has been had with the developer. Attorney Vis stated we are approaching that, yes. We were not part of the conversation regarding one church being allowed initially, but we assume that agreement was forgotten about when this parcel was sold to the church a few years ago.

President Kennedy asked if there would need to be a recommendation for the change to the PUD. Attorney Decker stated it is a change to the Annexation Agreement and Zoning Commitments that were originally passed in 2004, which can only be modified by the Town Council. The zone change does require a recommendation from the Plan Commission to the Town Council in order to change the zoning maps. These two items go hand in hand. President Kennedy stated he is still concerned about the impact to the Town if we are taking part of our allocation area to give it to an entity that would not support that allocation area. Attorney Vis stated that was part of the financials that were submitted a few months ago that showed the difference between residential and what is being proposed within this TIF area. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she could resend that information to the Commission. Mr. Birlson asked about the Residential TIF District. President Kennedy stated the State changed their regulations on Residential TIF’s at the beginning of July, which made it easier for municipalities to create them. Mr. Birlson asked if the findings that were included previously showed the difference with this area being within a Residential TIF. Attorney Vis stated those changes in the law were very recent so we did not include that in the financial findings, no. We can go back and add that in, though. President Kennedy asked if a public hearing was needed for the Annexation Agreement. Attorney Decker stated he did not believe one was required for the Town Council to change the Annexation Agreement, but one is required for the rezone.

H. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Request September Public Hearing for proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Sergio Mendoza (Building and Planning Director).
Sergio Mendoza, Building and Planning Director, stated we are looking to advertise this for a September public hearing. There are a few minor changes that Public Works has asked to make, which will be made and sent out for comments if needed.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:19 P.M.
Robert BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
08-16-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
09-06-2023 Plan Commission

September 6, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, John Kennedy, President; and Joe Gomeztagle.
Also present in-person: Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; and Bryan Blazak, Town Council Liaison.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona, Bob Valois and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

August 2, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the August 2, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

August 16, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the August 16, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2023-11 SUNCREST CHURCH: Proposed Rezone from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) within a portion of PODS 3, 7, and 17 of The Gates of St. John, approximately 290 ft. east of Park Place and US 231; 18.48 acres total; Nathan Vis (Attorney), Jamie Ward (Property Owner), Doug Rettig (DVG), Brad Lambert (Agent).
President Kennedy stated earlier today the Town was notified by the petitioner’s legal counsel that they would like to pull their application from the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, meaning that there will not be a public hearing tonight. If there is a future public hearing, they will need to go through the process all over again and notify the public as they had previously. Although there will be no public hearing, there is time allotted for public comments at the end of this meeting where anyone who wishes to speak may do so. He stated we are unsure what the future holds for the zone change, but at this time they have asked that their petition be removed. This was not a Commission or Town decision, only that of the petitioner.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

B. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to the Site Plan, requesting a waiver of eight foot sidewalk along Parrish Avenue, proposing five foot sidewalk instead, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Mr. Gill stated that the petitioner had called him this afternoon and informed him that his engineer was not able to get the cross section views that our engineer was requesting in time for the meeting. He is asking that he be deferred and allowed back at the September study session with further information.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to defer PC 2021-01 Martin’s Commercial Addition, Lot 9, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

C. 2020-12 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNIT 21B: Proposed Final Plat of The Gates of St. John Unit 21B, 25 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 108 acres on the east side of Cline Avenue between 101st and 109th Avenues “Gates East”; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 38.556 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Tim Kuiper, Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis P.C., stated the Town Engineer review letter has been received for this final plat stating everything is in order as well as the remainder that is owed for the development fee and cash escrow, which have been deposited with the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.

President Kennedy read the engineer review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra with Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit A. Attorney Kuiper let the Commission know that the cash escrow was turned in for $600 more than what was required.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the final plat of The Gates of St. John, Unit 21B, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

D. 2021-31 THE GATES OF ST JOHN UNITS 24B: Proposed Final Plat of The Gate of St. John Units 24B, 47 Single-Family Residential Lots, located east of Cline Avenue and south of 105th Avenue; zoned: R2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Planned Unit Development), 12.38 acres; Steve Kil (LBL Development).
Time Kuiper, Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis P.C., stated the Town Engineer review letter has been received for this final plat as well stating everything is in order as well as the remainder that is owed for the development fee and cash escrow, which have been deposited with the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.

President Kennedy requested that the Commission first address the recommendation to the Town Council to accept the cash escrow for The Gates of St. John, Unit 21B in the amount of $21,935.00.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the cash escrow in the amount of $21,935.00 for The Gates of St. John, Unit 21B, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

President Kennedy read the engineer review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra with Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit B.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve the final plat of The Gates of St. John, Unit 24B, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

Mr. Birlson made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to accept the cash escrow in the amount of $17,380.00 for The Gates of St. John, Unit 24B, seconded by Mr. Gomeztagle and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, John Kennedy, Joe Gomeztagle
Nays: None

E. 2023-12 CLD HOLDINGS, LLC: Proposed Site Plan of a Drive-In Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 572 feet south of Wicker Avenue and Joliet Street intersection on the east side of Wicker Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Commercial Highway District), 0.93 acres; Cory Detamore (CLD Holdings, LLC.), James Hus (DVG), Russ Pozen (DVG).
James Hus, DVG, stated we are here to present our intent to develop the area at 9525 Wicker Avenue to become a Chipotle restaurant. We have reviewed the site plan a couple of times with the Commission and have no changes since our last meeting. We did present at the most recent Board of Zoning Appeals meeting and received favorable recommendations for the drive through special exception as well as the outdoor seating use, along with approval of the development variances that were needed. We are currently awaiting the approval of the Board of Zoning Appeal’s minutes before the special exception and use variance go before the Town Council, and will be back at the September 20th study session if need be. Mr. Hus stated the full civil set has been submitted for engineer review and we are expecting comments back on that this week or early next week.

Yolanda Cardona entered the meeting at approximately 7:15 P.M.

President Kennedy asked if an INDOT permit was needed to move the entrance from the south side of the property to the north side. Mr. Hus stated we did submit for a permit and should have it within the next day or so. President Kennedy asked if a public hearing was needed for the site plan. Commission Attorney Adam Decker stated one is not needed. Mr. Birlson asked if the engineer review was done on it yet. Town Engineer Jon Dykstra stated it was still in review. Discussion followed regarding the timeline of approved minutes and when the recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals would be before the Town Council.

President Kennedy asked if INDOT had requested a decel lane. Mr. Hus stated there was no mention of that in our permit application to INDOT. Mr. Birlson asked when INDOT was notified. Mr. Hus stated it was formally submitted the end of the week before last.

F. LOT 7 AND THE EAST ½ OF LOT 8 IN MUENICH’S 1ST ADDITION: Proposed Preliminary Plat for a 1-lot subdivision at 12711 W. 93rd Avenue, St. John, IN; located at the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and Hilltop Drive, zoned: R-1 (Single-Family Residential), 0.69 acres; Christopher and Amy Eenigenburg (Applicant/Owner), Stuart Torrenga (Torrenga Engineering, Inc.).
Chris Eenigenburg, Applicant/Owner, stated we are planning on building a single-family home on the property. President Kennedy stated the one comment he has is if there would be any issue with adding a no access easement along 93rd in order to avoid there ever being a driveway with direct access to 93rd. Mr. Eenigenburg stated that was something they could add. Amy Eenigenburg, Applicant/Owner, stated they would like to request the public hearing to be at the October meeting. Mr. Dykstra stated the plat is under review with just a few comments for their engineer.
G. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Jon Gill (Interim Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Gill stated we have been trying to button up the last of the changes in order to get this to a public hearing. President Kennedy stated to the Commission to please review the changes and let staff know of any comments or questions.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Gerald Bromley, 8328 W. 107th Place, St. John, IN, stated he would like to submit a petition from the residents of Orchard Gate opposing the extension of 107th Place that has been signed by one hundred and seventy-seven residents. We have always been under the impression that the road will never be extended, but are now concerned with the potential development of the area that was supposed to be presented tonight from Suncrest Christian Church. Mr. Bromley stated the thru traffic would be increased, which would be a safety hazard for the residents of the area. President Kennedy requested that the signed petition be submitted to Mr. Gill and made part of the record. Mr. Gill stated, just so everyone is aware, the stub of 107th is a private roadway so there would be no other connection to it and cannot be added on to.

Peggy Holzhauser, 8333 W. 107th Place, St. John, IN, stated she would appreciate if the Commission would uphold how the subdivision was meant to be developed as that is how it was sold to everyone in Orchard Gate when they bought.

Elba Vega, 8345 W. 107th Place, St. John, IN, stated she was very concerned as to what will happen in the near future with the connection of 107th Place. We have had to deal with construction crews disrespecting our property already and would appreciate a berm with trees being installed between us and the property in question. We are very opposed to any changes happening there.

Tim Smith, 8595 Larkspur Terrance, St. John, IN stated we are concerned as to what will happen on the church property. When we moved in we were aware that there would more than likely be a church there, and looking at what they have already built you see a lot of green space and assume you will get the same. To get something different from that would be a shock and devalue the appeal of what we thought we were buying in to. We did look at the zoning requirements and it is very clear that there is no rezone needed. Since it is zoned R-2, the church can get a special exception. To rezone to commercial would allow the property to be used for a wide variety of uses. Mr. Smith went on further to express his concerns over the lack of proposed green space and the other uses that could be proposed with a rezone to commercial. President Kennedy stated what would have been before the Commission tonight was only the rezone, not any sort of site plan. Per our Ordinance, there must be a ten foot buffer between commercial and residential. That is something they could request a variance from, but there would be a process for that as well.

Harold Monken, 8443 Larkspur Terrace, St. John, IN asked if the Suncrest petition was completely off the table. President Kennedy stated we were directed to pull the application so they will have to re-notify the public of any future public hearings. Mr. Monken asked what the plan was with Cline and US 231 and Parrish and US 231 and the proposed round-a-bouts. Councilman Liaison Bryan Blazak stated that is the State’s decision and most likely will not be considered until 2024 or 2025. Mr. Monken stated either way entrances off of US 231 to this site will affect the traffic. He also asked the status of Calistoga and Stone Creek. President Kennedy stated those are only concept plans at this time. Mr. Monken stated that is added traffic on to US 231.

Town Manager Joseph Wiszowaty stated he appreciated everyone coming out to state their opinion on the matter and asked how many people were against the petition as proposed. The majority of the room raised their hand. Mr. Wiszowaty stated he believes that speaks volumes and invited everyone back if and when there is another public hearing regarding the project to voice their concerns.

Karen Smith, 8595 Larkspur Terrance, St. John, IN expressed her concern over a ten foot buffer between commercial and residential and stated that was not enough for her, along with the fact that commercial buildings can be fifty feet high per the Town’s Zoning Ordinance. Mrs. Smith stated she did not understand the want for C-2 zoning when the church can get a special exception within the R-2 zoning district that is currently there.

John Fangras, 10716 Juniper Lane, St. John, IN asked to verify that 107th Place would not be extended. Mr. Gill brought the area up on the GIS map showing that the stub is privately owned and cannot be extended.

Nancy Czarnercki, 8569 Larkspur Terrace, St. John, IN stated she did not want commercial behind her.

Ken Babusiak 10722 Juniper Lane, St. John, IN asked who was responsible for maintaining that property currently and if they could cut a perimeter to remove the weeds. Mr. Gill stated he would reach out to the property owner.

Sharon Webb, 8334 W. 107th Place, St. John, IN stated her biggest concern was flooding and asked how the stormwater would be maintained with the blacktop. President Kennedy stated that would need to be maintained and tied in to a proper stormwater drainage.

Tony Besbekos, 8588 Larkspur Terrace, St. John, IN asked when the association would be turned over to the homeowners. President Kennedy stated that is not controlled by this board. You would need to seek legal counsel to review your HOA documents. Attorney Decker agreed.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mrs. Cardona made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 P.M., seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with five ayes.
John KennedyRobert Birlson
Plan Commission, President      Plan Commission, Vice-President
09-06-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
09-20-2023 Plan Commission

September 20, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice-President Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer, Bryan Blazak; Councilman Liaison; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Jon Gill, Interim Building and Planning Director.
Absent: John Kennedy, President.
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2018-08 ROSE GARDEN, PHASE 3 BLOCK 2: Proposed Final Plat of Rose Garden, Phase 3 Block 2, 5 Single-Family Residential Lots, located at the southeast corner of Willow Lane and 91st Place; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), approximately 2.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, gave an overview of the five lots they would like to plat as Block 2 of Phase 3 for Rose Garden. There are three lots that all improvements are in for, but the other two lots and the cul-de-sac are not complete. The original plan was to extend Willow all the way through, but we hit really bad soil that is not allowing us to build that road. We can build around enough of the area to end Willow in a cul-de-sac, but we are not able to extend the road all the way through. We would need to amend the preliminary plat to add the two lots and the cul-de-sac. He stated the cost to get the road through would be extremely high with how poor the soil is in that area. Mr. Birlson asked how deep they went with the soil borings. Mr. Rettig stated they dug down about ten feet and it was sloppy, watery, unstable ground. Unfortunately the project is not big enough to justify the expense of remediation. We would like to plat the three lots and then amend the engineering and preliminary plat to add the cul-de-sac. Mr. Birlson asked if the dead end that will be left is difficult to plow and what the soil was like in that area. Jon Gill, Interim Building and Planning Director, stated he was out there when they were digging up the soil and the soil was just collapsing in on itself. Mr. Rettig stated there may be a way we can figure out how to improve that to help with a turnaround.

Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager, asked if the water and sewer would run all the way down to 92nd. Mr. Rettig stated it was in the original plans, but it would somehow have to be supported due to the soil. Mr. Valois stated his concern is a dead-end water main. Mr. Rettig stated it may be easier to just loop the water main around the cul-de-sac. Mr. Valois agreed. Discussion followed regarding a “T” being installed at the end of 92nd to assist the Town in snowplowing.

Mr. Birlson asked if this would be a plat for all five lots. Mr. Rettig stated he would like to break it up in to two blocks. Lots three through five are ready to be platted, but engineering would need to be revised to finish off the other two lots and cul-de-sac so we would like to come in at a separate time for that. Mr. Rettig asked if the original preliminary plat were still active. Mrs. Lauridsen stated the last portion that was platted was in 2018. Mr. Rettig stated we would need to redo the preliminary plat, then. Mrs. Lauridsen stated not necessarily. This Commission has given retroactive extensions in the past since this was something that was not kept up with on a staff level. Mr. Rettig stated if that were the case they would be able to come before the Commission for final plat approval relatively soon after receiving the extension. Mr. Birlson asked the Commission if they were in favor of allowing the extension request. The Commission agreed since it is something they have done for other developers recently.

B. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to the Site Plan, requesting a waiver of sidewalk width along Parrish Avenue, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Mr. Gill stated the petitioner has not provided us with the cross section of the swale to prove the difficulties associated with the wider sidewalk so we will defer this to next month. Mr. Birlson stated he feels he should be able to install the eight foot sidewalk.
C. 2023-12 CLD HOLDINGS, LLC: Proposed Site Plan of a Drive-In Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 572 feet south of Wicker Avenue and Joliet Street intersection on the east side of Wicker Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Commercial Highway District), 0.93 acres; Cory Detamore (CLD Holdings, LLC.), James Hus (DVG), Russ Pozen (DVG).
James Hus, DVG, stated there have been no design changes to the site plan since the last time we were present. The Board of Zoning Appeals has approved all of our development variances and has given favorable recommendations to the Town Council for our special exception and use variance for them to act on this month. We did submit the full set of plans to Robinson who responded with some questions and changes to which we replied with updated plans this afternoon. The comments were relatively minor so we are hoping to have everything finalized by the October 4th meeting. Cory Detamore, CLD Holdings, LLC, stated we have also received INDOT approval since the last meeting. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if INDOT was not recommending a decel lane. Mr. Hus stated that was correct, INDOT did not mention the need for a decel lane.
D. LOT 7 AND THE EAST 1/2 OF LOT 8 IN MUENICH’S 1ST ADDITION: Proposed Preliminary Plat for a 1-lot subdivision at 12711 w. 93rd Avenue, St. John, IN; located at the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and Hilltop Drive, zoned: R-1 (Single-Family Residential), 0.69 acres; Christopher and Amy Eenigenburg (Applicant/Owner), Stuart Torrenga (Torrenga Engineering, Inc.).
Stuart Torrenga, Torrenga Engineering, Inc., stated we would like to see if we could do preliminary and final plat since it is a simple subdivision at the next regular meeting. Mr. Birlson stated that was common on a one-lot subdivision. Mr. Gill stated they did add the five foot no access easement along 93rd Avenue as well. Mr. Torrenga stated we extended that on to Hilltop as well to make sure that the driveway will always be further back off of the intersection. Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer, stated all comments have been addressed from our surveyor. Mrs. Lauridsen asked how wide the proposed sidewalk along 93rd was. Mr. Torrenga stated five feet. Mrs. Lauridsen stated that should be eight feet wide along 93rd since it is a major arterial. Mr. Torrenga stated they would make the change.
E. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Jon Gill (Interim Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Gill stated there have been a few more changes made since the last revision, but we are hoping for a November public hearing. Mr. Wiszowaty stated the idea has been brought up to potentially do an overhaul of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Control Ordinance and send it out to a third party to have done, but that will be an idea that will be brought up to the Council. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she looked forward to that being done, but the changes that have been made now still need to be addressed because they are bringing the codes in line with our common practice and how the code should read.
F. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL UNIT 3: Recommendation to Town Council for release of Cash Escrow in the amount of $5,500 and acceptance of 3-yr Maintenance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, stated we are working on getting the letter of credit, but all other items have been buttoned up.
G. CALISTOGA: Proposed Concept Plan for Calistoga, a Planned Unit Development located at the southeast corner of Park Place and US Highway 231, 172.8 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, stated there have been some changes made to the concept plans, but with over one hundred and twenty years of experience in planning and developing, we do believe that a mix use of housing products will be most successful in this area. As always, we will have high landscape and architectural standards within this development. Mr. Hunt went on to explain personal experiences of residents that have moved out of St. John to find this product type and have moved to other Schilling developments that offer maintenance free options.

Mr. Hunt reviewed the concept plan for Calistoga and touched on the access points and how they would tie in to the surrounding developments and commercial area. See Exhibit A. Mr. Hunt stated one of the changes that has been made is the variation in lot sizes for the maintenance free lots, which will ultimately allow builders to offer more diversity in their products. This development is coming in at a density of 2.2 units per acre, which falls in line or is lower than surrounding developments. Mr. Hunt also mentioned that this development would be a good opportunity to take advantage of the change in the Residential TIF law in order to assist the Town in further improvements.

Mr. Birlson stated his concern was still the lot widths. The sixty and seventy foot wide lots are concerning. You say this is successful, but it is successful now. Mr. Birlson questioned if it still will be successful in fifty years after the baby boomers have passed. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if Mr. Hunt knew the price point of the homes proposed. Mr. Hunt stated it would be comparable to Greystone. Mr. Wiszowaty stated the Council will have to make a unanimous decision in regards to the annexation agreement that you are wanting to have with this development coming in as a PUD. He asked if that did not go through, would that cause you to not develop. Mr. Hunt stated we would not develop this area as an R-1 development. There may be a chance that we bring it in as R-1, but ask for different zoning. Mr. Gomeztagle asked if they would be willing to design the area as an R-1 development. Mr. Hunt stated this project does not make sense as an R-1 project for us. Mr. Wiszowaty stated the Council will be wanting to know what you are offering as additional value regarding pricing, design standards, etc. Mr. Hunt stated we would have that information if we were further along and presenting an annexation agreement to the Council, but we are wanting to keep our high-end design standards that we have brought in to the Town. Mr. Wiszowaty asked how many lots the development would be if it were R-1. Mrs. Lauridsen stated it was shared at a previous meeting that it would be roughly one hundred and seventy-three homes. Mr. Hunt agreed and stated the value is not there on this property to develop it as R-1. Discussion was had regarding what our Zoning Code regulates versus the added value a PUD could bring. Mr. Birlson stated he would not only like to see added value in the home, but the overall development itself with bike paths and road improvements. Mr. Hunt stated if this were to be brought in under a Residential TIF, there would be consideration for a higher standard of improvements with developer backed bonds.

Mr. Valois asked if the maintenance free homes could be swapped out for something else since they back up to single-family lots in Mill Creek. Mr. Hunt stated we would consider changes like that. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she did some comparisons on what our Zoning Code allows for regarding lot sizes in each zoning district versus what is being proposed and shared her findings with the Commission. She stated the proposed lot sizes will be a little larger than Greystone in regards to the duplexes and maintenance free home and that they are larger than other developments that offer the same product in surrounding municipalities. Mr. Birlson stated he did not have an issue with the depth of the lots, just the width when it comes to the sixty to seventy feet. Mr. Hunt stated he would take the comments back and see if the area abutting Mill Creek could be modified.

Discussion followed regarding the steps that would need to be taken for the proposed annexation agreement. Mr. Hunt stated they were aware that the first step of action will be taken at a Council level, but they did not want to skip over the Plan Commission and get their feedback on the project. The Commission agreed that they appreciated that courtesy.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if Mr. Hunt had looked in to bringing in the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) in regards to the commercial development. Mr. Hunt stated we are involved with the ICSC and would like to get a strong commercial development there. This is likely a six to ten year buildout with homes completing in fifteen years and we absolutely do not want to deter the residential development with bad commercial development. In Greystone we have a master HOA that handles everything including the commercial property and they have a say in what is allowed to develop there and what is not.

H. STONE CREEK: Proposed Concept Plan for Stone Creek, a Planned Unit Development located approximately 690 feet north from the northwest corner of Parrish Avenue and US Highway 231, 173.3 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Kevin Hunt, Schilling Development, reviewed the site and concept plan for Stone Creek. See Exhibit B. Mr. Hunt stated they changed the maintenance free lots to the sixty to seventy foot wide option on this development as well, and we also redesigned the south portion to house forty-three one hundred foot wide lots. That area would likely warrant a higher standard with a sub-association of the overall HOA. The density for Stone Creek is coming in at 2.1 units per acre, which again is in line with the surrounding developments. Mr. Hunt stated this is another area that we would like to work with the Town on a Residential TIF.

Mr. Birlson stated he has the same comments as Calistoga. This area backs up to lots that are one hundred feet wide in Three Springs. Mr. Hunt stated those lots in Three Springs back up to a pond area on the south side, and we did mimic that in this development with our larger lots being on the south side by the pond and wooded area. Mrs. Lauridsen asked if there was thought to flipping the development and having the paired villas and maintenance free products on the south side. She stated she asks that because, even though the lot to the south is unincorporated and being used as a farm, if or when it is annexed it will more than likely become commercial. Typically when you are planning an area like this your multi-family units abut commercial areas and then further back are your single-family, larger lots. Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated that area has a bit more rolling land and is wooded which would lend it more to the larger lots and then there is the pipeline easement to the north that would help separate this development from the Three Springs lots. Discussion followed regarding the annexation agreement and how this development would follow a similar request as Calistoga.

Mr. Hunt asked if Mr. Slager had any idea of the price range for the homes within the developments. Mr. Slager stated the eighty foot wide lots would probably go for about $500,000-$600,000, the one hundred foot single-family would be $600,000 and up, the paired villas would be $325,000-$425,000, and the maintenance free single-family will be anywhere from $350,000-$500,000. We have really had a demand for the maintenance free product and are seeing St. John residents move to Cedar Lake for that product since there is nothing here.

Mr. Hunt stated we are open to discussing the amenities on each of these developments. Mr. Slager stated these will be heavily landscaped with architectural review on everything and we would select the builders. We feel like there is a need for this product, especially on the east side of town. Mr. Hunt stated we are very involved in the HOA’s and when we run in to issues, we do not back down on what our standards are. We have a long-standing reputation to uphold. Mr. Slager stated our previous developments show that people want to live there and builders want to build there due to our higher standards. There is a comfort level with building within our developments because they understand there is a standard that will be upheld. We maintain the HOA until the subdivision is built out in order to ensure the quality. Mr. Birlson asked if the Town is notified when the HOA is turned over. Mr. Gill stated no, that is between the homeowners and the developer. Mr. Slager stated we do set it up so that it is pretty difficult to undo how we have set up the HOA to run.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Birlson adjourned the meeting at 8:14 P.M.
Robert BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission Vice-President      Plan Commission Secretary
09-20-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
10-04-2023 Plan Commission

October 4, 2023 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice-President Birlson called the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7:00 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in-person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Jon Gill, Bob Valois, and Gena Lauridsen, Secretary.
Also present in-person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Councilmen Liaison; and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona, Joe Gomeztagle, and John Kennedy, President.
A quorum was attained.

MINUTES

September 6, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the September 6, 2023 Plan Commission Regular Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

September 20, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the September 20, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2023-13 HILLTOP RANCH ADDITION: Proposed Preliminary Plat and Request for Final Plat for a 1-lot subdivision at 12711 w. 93rd Avenue, St. John, IN; located at the southwest corner of W. 93rd Avenue and Hilltop Drive, zoned: R-1 (Single-Family Residential), 0.69 acres; Christopher and Amy Eenigenburg (Applicant/Owner), Stuart Torrenga (Torrenga Engineering, Inc.).
Christopher Eenigenburg, 12711 W. 93rd Avenue, St. John, stated at the last meeting information came out about the sidewalk on W. 93rd having to be eight feet wide instead of five feet. We were a bit floored by this as we understood we had to put in sidewalks, but did not realize that one had to be eight feet wide. Mr. Eenigenburg asked if the sidewalk was going to continue down W. 93rd or if that was a future intent. Mrs. Lauridsen stated that is the hope that eventually the sidewalks will all connect. Since W. 93rd is classified as a Major Arterial Road, the sidewalks are wider than the normal five feet. Mr. Eenigenburg stated on W. 93rd and US 41 the sidewalks are planned to be smaller and at various locations throughout town, there are either no sidewalks or sidewalks that are not eight feet wide. He stated he did not understand where the discrepancy was and asked if all sidewalks would be continued at eight feet wide. Mrs. Lauridsen stated it is the intent for the sidewalks to be continued at that width because it is our code, however you can always request a waiver if you feel there is a hardship. As far as the corner of W. 93rd and US 41, a waiver was requested for the width of the sidewalk due to the fact that more right-of-way would need to be purchased and NIPSCO would have to move their poles. That hardship was presented to the Commission and the Commission decided to grant a waiver for the width of sidewalk in that area. She stated she could not speak on projects that were approved in the past with no sidewalk or a smaller sidewalk, but due to the classification of the road, that particular portion of sidewalk should be eight feet wide unless a hardship can be presented to the Commission. Mr. Eenigenburg stated he believes the change was made to an eight foot wide sidewalk on the plats. Mrs. Lauridsen confirmed it was.

Opened to Public Hearing PC 2023-13 Hilltop Ranch Addition
Cheryl Ford, 9423 Hilltop Drive, St. John, stated her neighbor received notification of the hearing, but she did not. Interim Building and Planning Director, Jon Gill, stated certified letters are sent to neighboring properties within three hundred feet of the parcel in question. Ms. Ford stated she was a little outside of that and understood. She also asked if a sidewalk was going to be mandatory along W. 93rd even though there are no other sidewalks. Mr. Birlson stated that was correct. Ms. Ford asked if sidewalks will be installed down W. 93rd. Mr. Birlson stated that is our hope for the future, yes.

Closed to Public Hearing PC 2023-13 Hilltop Ranch Addition

Mr. Birlson read the engineer review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra with Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit A.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the preliminary plat for Hilltop Ranch Addition, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the final plat for Hilltop Ranch Addition, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

B. 2018-08 ROSE GARDEN, UNIT 3: Request for nine six-month extensions to 12/6/2023 of Preliminary Plat for Rose Garden, Unit 3, 22 Single-Family Residential Lots, located at the southeast corner of Willow Lane and 91st Place; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), approximately 2.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated the intention is to plat the five remaining lots as the next two blocks of Rose Garden. We would like to extend the approval of the primary plat for all of Rose Garden, plat lots three, four and five, and then come back to amend the primary plat to add the last two lots and the cul-de-sac that was not part of the primary plat initially. Tonight we are only requesting the extensions and will be back next month for the final plat of lots three, four and five.

Board Action
Mrs. Lauridsen made a motion to approve the requested nine six-month extensions which would bring the preliminary plat approval to December 6, 2023 for Rose Garden, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

C. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to the Site Plan, requesting a waiver of eight foot sidewalk along Parrish Avenue, proposing five foot sidewalk instead, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), David DeCesaris (Project Manager, Brant Construction).
Mr. Gill stated this item will need to be deferred as the petitioner has not submitted the requested documentation.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to defer PC 2021-01 Martin’s Commercial Addition, Lot 9, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

D. 2021-25 ST. JOHN COMMONS: Approve Declaratory Resolution of the St. John Redevelopment Commission declaring St. John Commons as an Economic Development Area and approving an Economic Development Plan for said area, 10201 Calumet Avenue; zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development); Nathan Vis (Attorney).
Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager, stated this development was already approved by the Plan Commission and Council, and has since gone before the Redevelopment Commission who approved the Declaratory Resolution which declared the Economic Development Area. Mr. Wiszowaty explained where the TIF area would be. He stated we are currently working on a Development Agreement with the developer, which does not impact this Commission, but with this action tonight we are simply declaring the proposed area to be the Economic Development Area for St. John Commons. Attorney Adam Decker stated the role of the Plan Commission in this process is to confirm that the proposed area conforms to the Town’s adopted Comprehensive Plan. If the Commission believes it does, it would take a vote this evening to approve the Resolution that has been presented. Mr. Birlson asked if this should have been done sooner. Mr. Wiszowaty stated no. We are trying to capture the tax increments for this year, and currently this area has not been assessed which bodes well for the Town in creating this area as a TIF District.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to approve the Declaratory Resolution of the St. John Redevelopment Commission for St. John Commons, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

E. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL UNIT 3: Recommendation to Town Council for release of Cash Escrow in the amount of $5,500 and acceptance of 3-yr Maintenance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond, part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Mr. Gill stated Mr. Slager contacted us earlier today and let us know that the letter of credit will not be ready for another few weeks, so this item will need to be deferred.

Board Action
Mr. Valois made a motion to defer the recommendation to Town Council for release of the cash escrow, seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

F. 2023-12 CLD HOLDINGS, LLC: Proposed Site Plan of a Chipotle Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, St. John, IN 46373, located approximately 572 feet south of Wicker Avenue and Joliet Street intersection on the east side of Wicker Avenue, zoned: C-2 (Commercial Highway District), 0.93 acres; Cory Detamore (CLD Holdings, LLC.), James Hus (DVG), Russ Pozen (DVG).
James Hus, DVG, stated we have been before the Commission for a few months now, but to this point our use variance and special exception has been approved by the Council, all development variances have been approved, as of September 27th we received a satisfactory letter from the Town Engineer, and we have also received our State Release for construction.

Mr. Birlson read the engineer review letter from Town Engineer Jon Dykstra with Robinson Engineering. See Exhibit B.

Board Action
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the site plan for a Chipotle Restaurant at 9525 Wicker Avenue, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Valois and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Ayes: Robert Birlson, Jon Gill, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen
Nays: None

G. 2023-14 FRANCISCAN ALLIANCE, INC: Proposed Rezone from OS (Open Space) to C-2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of the Franciscan Alliance, Inc. Site, St. John, IN; approximately 710 feet east of US Highway 41 and approximately 975 feet south of 101st Place; 11.92 acres total; Franciscan Alliance, Inc. (Property Owner), Maggie Tortolano (Tonn and Blank).
Robert Harmeyer, MSKTD Architects, stated Franciscan Health owns the property in question. The property is currently a split zoning with the western half being C-2 and the eastern portion being Open Space. We would like to utilize the entire area so we are seeking a rezone of the Open Space parcel to C-2. The intended use for this property is a medical office with a lab, and potential future expansion to a freestanding emergency department and freestanding medical office. Mr. Birlson asked if there was currently a traffic light at the location. Mr. Gill stated no. The closest light is the new one that was installed just north of Alsip. Mr. Birlson asked if there was a frontage road that could be utilized. Mr. Gill stated no, Earl Drive dead ends in to Alsip’s parking lot. Mr. Wiszowaty asked if the proposed entrance would line up with the future development across the street. Mr. Harmeyer stated there is documentation on that, which we are seeking through INDOT, to line up with the future development across the street. Mrs. Lauridsen stated she believed the aprons are already installed. Mr. Harmeyer stated they are.
H. AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to the Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Jon Gill (Interim Building and Planning Director).
Mr. Gill stated we have cleaned up some language and would like to advertise to have the public hearing in November with a favorable recommendation to the Town Council, who can then act on it in December in order to start the New Year with the updates.

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, Mr. Valois made a motion to adjourn at 7:32 P.M., seconded by Mrs. Lauridsen and carried by voice vote with four ayes.
Robert BirlsonGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission, Vice-President      Plan Commission, Secretary
10-04-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf
10-18-2023 Plan Commission

October 18, 2023 Plan Commission Study Session Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

President Kennedy called the St. John Plan Commission Study Session to order on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners present in person: Robert Birlson, Vice-President; Joe Gomeztagle, Bob Valois, Gena Lauridsen, Secretary; and John Kennedy, President.
Also present in person: Adam Decker, Commission Attorney; Jon Dykstra, Town Engineer; Bryan Blazak, Councilman Liaison; and Jon Gill, Interim Building and Planning Director.
Absent: Yolanda Cardona and Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager.
A quorum was attained.

OLD/NEW BUSINESS:

A. 2018-08 ROSE GARDEN, PHASE 3 BLOCK 2: Proposed Final Plat of Rose Garden, Phase 3 Block 2, 3 Single-Family Residential Lots, located at the southeast corner of Willow Lane and 91st Place; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), approximately 2.5 acres; Doug Rettig (DVG).
Doug Rettig, DVG, stated we received our extensions of the Primary Plat a few weeks ago and are back to plat the three lots in Block 2. All improvements are in on this portion of the development. President Kennedy asked if Mr. Rettig was confident that the cul-de-sac could be installed in the next block. Mr. Rettig stated we have someone looking at that, but we know we can make it work. Since it was not on the original plat, we will need to amend the primary plat to change that piece of road before final platting the last two lots.
B. 2020-18 PRESERVE WEST: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 89 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 134 acres of Preserve West; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated we have platted one section of Preserve West, but the primary plat expires on November 4, 2023 so we are requesting an extension of the primary plat. He asked if the code was still written to only allow a six month extension. Mrs. Lauridsen stated it is still only written for six months at a time until the revisions pass, however you can request more than one extension. If you need to request two extensions to make it a full year, you are allowed to. Mr. Slager stated he will more than likely request two extensions, then.
C. 2020-18 PRESERVE WEST, UNIT 1: Recommendation to Town Council for release of Performance Letter of Credit in the amount of $277,945.80 and acceptance of 3-yr Maintenance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond, 48 Single-Family Lots and 3 Outlots at 10365 West 101st Avenue, zoned RC-1 PUD, approximately 43 acres; Preserve, S.J., LLC, Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated the punch list items have been completed along with the final inspections. Bob Valois did find a curb that we need to replace, which we are working on, but it should be done next week. After that we will be ready to convert from a performance bond to a maintenance bond.
D. 2021-01 MARTIN’S COMMERCIAL ADDITION, LOT 9: Proposed Amendment to the Site Plan, requesting a waiver of eight foot sidewalk along Parrish Avenue, proposing five foot sidewalk instead, 10845 Poplar Place St. John, IN, at the intersection of Poplar Place and Parrish Avenue; zoned: C2 (Highway Commercial District), 1 acre; Jeff Brant (Brant Construction), Stuart Torrenga (Torrenga Engineering, Inc.).
Jeff Brant, Brant Construction, stated he was going to request a waiver to reduce the width of the sidewalk along Parrish, but has decided to rescind that request since Torrenga has provided plans that show no major impact will be made to the existing swale. Town Engineer, Jon Dykstra, stated review was done of the plans that were submitted and no major impact will be made to the swale with an eight foot wide sidewalk. President Kennedy asked what needed to be done if Mr. Brant is wanting to rescind his request. Mrs. Lauridsen stated he could email her so that it is in writing in the file that he is wanting to withdraw the request for a waiver.
E. 2021-06 GREYSTONE UNIT 3, PHASE 3: Proposed Final Plat of Greystone Unit 3, Phase 3, 31 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 44.864 acres of Greystone Unit 3; and Recommendation to Town Council for acceptance of 2-yr Performance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond; zoned: R3 PUD (Multi-Family Residential Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this will be the final phase of Greystone. All of the sewer and water mains are in at this point and we will be installing the streets next week. A corrected plat has been submitted to the Town’s Engineer for review so we will be working on the amount for the performance letter of credit for the next meeting. Mr. Dykstra stated they are in receipt of the corrected plat and does not expect any issues.
F. 2021-17 ASTORIA: Request for extension of primary Plat for 90 Single-Family Residential Lots and 7 Outlots at 10122 Parrish Avenue, zoned RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development), 70 acres; Michael Herbers (Diamond Peak Homes).
Michael Herbers, Diamond Peak Homes, stated he is requesting two six month extensions on the primary plat of Astoria that currently expires in mid-December. President Kennedy asked if the need for an extension was due to interest rates and the market. Mr. Herbers stated yes and no. It did take some extra time to get the permitting for sanitary and water for this development and once that was received we had a bit of an aggressive schedule put together for the end of this year, but then our contractor could not fit us in to his schedule anymore. At that point it did not make sense to start pushing dirt and possibly have engineering issues come spring.
G. 2022-10 THE PRESERVE: Request for extension of Primary Plat for the remaining 68 Single-Family Residential Lots, part of the original 319 acres of The Preserve; zoned: RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated this primary plat expires on December 1, 2023 so we will be asking for two six month extensions, but we do plan on putting in another phase next spring or summer. Sales have been fairly strong at The Preserve, but as far as timing with the plat expiring in December, we just did not have time to get another phase in this fall.
H. 2023-05 CONTINENTAL, UNIT 3: Recommendation to Town Council for release of Cash Escrow in the amount of $5,500 and acceptance of 3-yr Maintenance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond; part of the original 55 acres of Continental; zoned RC1-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated everything is complete in Unit 3 and we have the amount for the maintenance bond that is currently being processed. We will have that ready for the next meeting. Mr. Dykstra stated the letter is ready to go for the release, we just need to double check the bond once it is completed by the bank.
I. 2023-06 STREAMSIDE: Proposed Final Plat of Streamside, 54 Single-Family Residential Lots, 37.5 acres, and Recommendation to Town Council for acceptance of 2-yr Performance Letter of Credit or Surety Bond; zoned: RC2-PUD (Single-Family Residential Conservation Planned Unit Development); Jeff Yatsko (Olthof Homes).
Jeff Yatsko, Olthof Homes, stated we will be seeking final plat approval at the next meeting and have already had discussions with the Town Engineer regarding final numbers for the performance letter of credit and final comments on the plat. Mr. Dykstra stated once they have the final word on the status of improvements, they will be able to release the performance letter of credit amount and final review letter.
J. 2023-14 FRANCISCAN ALLIANCE, INC: Proposed Rezone from OS (Open Space) to C2 (Highway Commercial District) of a portion of the Franciscan Alliance, Inc. Site, St. John, IN; approximately 710 feet east of US Highway 41 and approximately 975 feet south of 101st Place; 11.92 acres total; Franciscan Alliance, Inc. (Property Owner), Maggie Tortolano (Tonn and Blank); Robert Harmeyer (MSKTD Architects).
Robert Harmeyer, MSKTD Architects, stated we are seeking rezone of a split zone parcel along US 41 so that we can development it as a medical site. We would like to bring the area to a C-2 zoning in order to utilize the entire site. President Kennedy asked what area of the site is impacted by this parcel. Mr. Harmeyer pointed out the back area that encompasses part of the parking lot. The majority of the Open Space zoning that is further back is wetland and floodplains. We are not changing any of those elevations.

President Kennedy asked if any other sites were viewed in Town for this project. Mr. Harmeyer stated he would not have knowledge of that. President Kennedy asked what the tax base would be for this project. Mr. Harmeyer stated he believes the clinic would run under Franciscan and be tax-exempt. President Kennedy asked Mr. Harmeyer if he was aware that this site is in the Town’s TIF District. Mr. Harmeyer stated he was aware. President Kennedy asked if any analysis has been done to see what sort of impact this would have on the Town’s TIF. Mr. Harmeyer stated he is not aware that an analysis has been done. President Kennedy stated it would be important for him to understand the impact a non-taxable entity would have on the Town’s TIF District before making a decision. Mr. Birlson and Mr. Gomeztagle agreed. President Kennedy stated he believed this development would have a positive impact on the community, but one of the biggest concerns in St. John is the amount of growth compared to the current state of our infrastructure and one way we can improve that is by using our TIF to bond for those improvements, however if we continue to have tax-exempt businesses within our TIF areas, we will not have the money to bond for those improvements. In order to make an educated decision, we need to see what type of impact this would have. Discussion followed regarding the phasing of the project with the medical offices coming in at the first phase and the emergency department coming in at the second phase. President Kennedy asked if Franciscan already owned the property. Mr. Harmeyer stated they do. President Kennedy asked if Franciscan owned any other properties in Town other than this and the parcel in Shops 96. Mr. Harmeyer stated there are current buildings in Town that Franciscan does own. President Kennedy asked the plans for those facilities. Mr. Harmeyer stated he was not sure of the final plan with this project coming in, but there may be some consolidating and shifting of facilities once this is built.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if it would be fair to move the public hearing if we are requesting more information so that we have time to review it. Mrs. Lauridsen stated it has been advertised for November already. We do not have to make a decision on November 1st even though the public hearing is scheduled for that meeting. President Kennedy stated he believed the other parcels were already zoned C-2. Mrs. Lauridsen stated that was correct.

K. 2023-15 AMENDMENTS TO SUBDIVISION CONTROL ORDINANCE: Proposed amendments to Town’s Subdivision Control Ordinance; Jon Gill (Interim Building and Planning Director).
President Kennedy stated if there are no further comments on any changes, we will be moving forward with the November 1st hearing for the proposed amendments to the Subdivision Control Ordinance.
L. CALISTOGA: Proposed Concept Plan for Calistoga, a Planned Unit Development located at the southeast corner of Park Place and US Highway 231, 172.8 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, stated both Calistoga and Stone Creek will require annexation and we are requesting they both come in as a PUD. Our research and experience has shown that a development with a mix of housing products is more successful and appealing to a larger demographic. The Town’s Comprehensive Plan also calls for a wider variety of housing. Mr. Slager read from St. John’s 2017 Comprehensive Plan that highlighted the Town’s need for diversified housing. He stated our developments have a strong HOA and set of covenants from the start. We take care of maintaining any common areas and bring higher building standards to the Town. Mr. Slager gave an overview of the location and concept plan for Calistoga. See Exhibit B.

President Kennedy asked when the Commission could see the architectural standards for the actual houses. Mr. Slager stated that will be part of the PUD agreement, which we can put together. We will at least meet the Town’s standards, and probably go higher. President Kennedy stated it would be good to see how the increase in architectural standards will offset the decrease in lot sizes. Mr. Kennedy asked how the depth for the commercial area was figured because he believes that is something the Town needs more of. Mr. Slager stated we did research on what a viable commercial lot would be. These parcels will be roughly two acres plus in size. Our next step would be to advertise the commercial property to see what type of phone calls we get from businesses that want to come there. That will help shape and determine the property and how the commercial buildings would be laid out. Mr. Birlson asked if it would be appropriate to match the depth of the parcel to the east. Mr. Slager stated that may be too large to propose in front of a neighborhood. If we go much deeper, we would get in to double stacked buildings, which we do not believe would be appropriate.

President Kennedy asked if this project would come before the Plan Commission or directly to the Town Council. Mr. Slager stated our next step is to pursue annexation, which would be directed to the Town Council. We feel this is the best use for this property, and with all of our developments we set the bar high. We are wanting to go to the Town Council for annexation along with the rezone to PUD rather than bringing this in as R-1 and then rezoning to a PUD. We will still come back to the Plan Commission when we begin engineering for plat approval, but we would like to present this to the Town Council with support from the Plan Commission. That is not necessary for annexation, but we would love the Commission’s thoughts and feedback.

President Kennedy asked if Cline was not in the Town’s jurisdiction. Mr. Gill stated that was correct. President Kennedy stated he would still like to see a traffic study to see if improvements would be needed along Cline even though it is outside of the Town’s jurisdiction. Mr. Slager stated we will do improvements along Cline still. President Kennedy asked if utilities would be brought down Cline. Mr. Slager stated no, utilities are currently at Park and US 231. Those will service the development without a lift station.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked if a population study could be done so we know how the utilities, public safety, and schools will be impacted. Mr. Slager stated the maintenance free units are typically empty nesters and young singles, which have less of an impact on the area. The single-family homes are the homes with multiple cars and more people that have a larger impact. We can do some research on projected population. Discussion followed regarding the future land use of the area and if that had been part of the Comprehensive Plan.

M. STONE CREEK: Proposed Concept Plan for Stone Creek, a Planned Unit Development located approximately 690 feet north from the northwest corner of Parrish Avenue and US Highway 231, 173.3 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, reviewed the concept plan for Stone Creek. See Exhibit C. Mr. Slager stated both projects will be phased with development over a six to ten year period and a full build out of a ten to twelve year range. We can get the same information for this development that was just asked for from Calistoga as well. Mr. Slager stated based on a comment that was previously made, we did look in to flipping the single-family and multi-family areas, but we did not like it as much. The south end has a little bit of character with topography and trees, whereas the north end is flat land. We will provide extra buffering on that south side in case the area further south becomes commercial property. Mr. Valois asked if these developments would come in as a Residential TIF. Mr. Slager stated they are still very much open to that possibility. Discussion followed regarding the Residential TIF requirements and how they recently changed for a period of time. Mr. Slager stated the two sites would generate about forty million in revenue to the Town.

President Kennedy stated the Commission would more than likely like to see a traffic study on this development as well. Mr. Slager stated the most impact from this development would be the round-a-bout at Parrish and 101st and the intersection of Parrish and US 231, which is soon to be a round-a-bout. President Kennedy asked if we have had any discussions with the engineers from INDOT that are doing the round-a-bout because we may want to make them aware of this. Mr. Gill stated Building and Planning has not had any input. Mr. Valois stated he believed Tom Nagle with Robinson has had contact. Mr. Dykstra stated he could talk to Mr. Nagle about it.

Mr. Gomeztagle asked what kind of buffer is needed from the railroad tracks for safety. Mr. Gill stated he would have to check if there are railroad setbacks listed in our Ordinances. Mr. Slager stated that track has a one hundred foot right-of-way with a single track, and there is a heavy tree line there currently that we will not be removing. We can provide a width as we drill down these plans.

N. ST. JOHN BUSINESS PARK: Proposed Business Park at 10675 Joliet Street, St. John, IN, located approximately 510 feet west of the Hart Street and Joliet Street intersection on the south side of Joliet Street, zoned: I (Industrial), 55.314 acres; Jack Slager (Schilling Development).
Jack Slager, Schilling Development, gave an overview of the proposed St. John Business Park. See Exhibit D. Mr. Slager stated they currently have about thirty-five usable acres out of the fifty-five due to wetlands and floodplain. The road running down the center will eventually connect south, hopefully all the way to US 231 one day. Rather than have two developments that are single fed, we envision this road going through across the water to have another north/south road. Mr. Slager stated we did put some signage up advertising the area and have received multiple calls from mainly St. John businesses that want to expand or own instead of lease. Each of these lots would still need to come in before the Plan Commission for an individual site plan, and we will also be creating covenants that set the architectural standards higher than the current Town standards.

President Kennedy asked if anyone knew the weight limit on Joliet Street. No one was able to give an answer. Mr. Slager stated the nice thing is that trucks would not have to go through a residential area to get to the site. They could come off of US 41 to 96th straight to the development. Mr. Slager stated we do not envision what is currently throughout Industrial zoning areas in Town, but rather an area that could also hold offices and even small retail spaces. President Kennedy asked if a waiver would need to be sought for the length of the cul-de-sac. Mr. Gill stated that is a waiver that can be granted at the Plan Commission level. Mr. Birlson asked if there is any talk of improving Joliet Street. Mr. Slager stated we only have about eighty feet of frontage along Joliet, but this property is in one of the Town’s current TIF districts and it would be a great project to use those TIF dollars for. Mr. Birlson asked if anyone has contacted the cemetery owners to discuss filling some of the front area in. Mr. Slager stated they have been in contact with the Diocese. Since we received our development variance the other night from the BZA, we can now move on to the engineering portion to really get in to how we can develop the site.

ADJOURNMENT

With no further questions or comments, President Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 8:13 P.M.
John KennedyGena Lauridsen
Plan Commission President      Plan Commission Secretary
10-18-2023 Plan Commission Exhibits.pdf

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