St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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March 16, 2016 Plan Commission Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentStephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-PresidentKenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, SecretaryDavid Austgen, Town Attorney
Jim MaciejewskiMichael Muenich, Town Attorney
Jon Gill 
Jason Williams 
Bob Birlson 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Volk asked: Wine Bar?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

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

Respectfully Submitted:

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