Town of St. John

St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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June 15, 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 June 15, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

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


A. RENAISSANCE – UNIT 8 – Subdivision Plan Review (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Forbes advised the first agenda item is Renaissance – Unit 8, subdivision Plan Review and called Mr. Terpstra to the podium.

Mr. Kil advised that he is not here tonight, he has been through it several times and I told him that I can relay any questions that the board may have tonight.

Mr. Kraus advised that he did have a comment. If you look at the plat for Clarmonte Drive, just South of the new cul-de-sac, it calls out for the existing right-of-way to be vacated, but we have sewer running through there, so I think it is best if we did not vacate that. Just leave it as a right-of-way, but unimproved. Mr. Kraus advised he did not know if there was gas, telephone or other buried utilities there, but I do know there is a sanitary sewer that runs through there.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Kraus to make contact with their engineer to have that denotation removed from the Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes stated that this was pretty simple, as we have talked about it several times. Mr. Forbes confirmed that Mr. Kraus will make that call for the changes.

B. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 J – Review of Re-Zoning from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John Unit 10 J, review of rezoning request from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD.

Mr. Lotton stepped to the podium and advised he is here to answer any questions concerning the proposal.

Mr. Kozel asked if those lots were comparable to the others that are existing. Mr. Lotton advised that they are identical to ones that have already been platted in Unit 10 I, and zoned in the area just North of there. Mr. Lotton noted that it has the same side yards and same product. Mr. Lotton advised that the lots may have an extra foot or two in about half of the lots, but basically the same product with the same overall concept.

Mr. Kozel asked if they are the same type of building. Mr. Lotton advised that they are again, all brick. Stone and brick in the front, with the remainder of the building being all brick.

Mr. Kozel asked what was the square footage of those units. Mr. Lotton advised that the units are around 1,800 s.f. per unit. The larger one maybe around 2,000 s.f., but 1,800 s.f. is the average.

Mr. Williams inquired how many units are being added. Mr. Lotton stated there are seventeen lots, so thirty-four total.

Mr. Gill asked if these were a mix of full slab and basement units. Mr. Lotton stated yes, we are starting off with some slabs, and felt that the majority will be full basements, just due to the existing ground conditions there. On the North side he believed will have to all be full basements. The South side will have maybe 3 or 4 lots that we can use slabs. He advised that is the current trend is going for all the multi-family that is in The Gates.

Mr. Volk commented that he actually counted nineteen (19) lots.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Kil about his e-mail on the existing counts for The Gates. Mr. Kil advised that he should have that all pulled together by next week. There simply wasn’t time to get the exhibit ready. Mr. Maciejewski stated that he is looking for the total count for lots. Mr. Lotton stated that would be 1,450; and I am not sure if we are going to be able to hit that number, more than likely they will probably fall short by the time they are done with the project. Mr. Lotton commented that he thinks he has never completed a project where he received all the units he was entitled to.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions. Hearing none, he noted that they were coming back in a few weeks to request permission to advertise? Mr. Lotton advised that is correct.

C. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 6 C – Review of Final Plat approval (Mr. Bill Robinson)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is The Gates of St. John – Unit 6 C, review of final plat.

Mr. Forbes called Mr. Robinson to the podium. Mr. Robinson advised that this is Unit 6C, and we are seeking secondary plat approval and that nothing has changed since the primary approval. Mr. Robinson advised he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Forbes asked if this unit was just South of the one we were just discussing. Mr. Kozel stated that it was South of 103rd and just North of Waverly.

Mr. Forbes noted that no changes have been made since primary approval, which was done years ago, so this is just secondary plat approval. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kraus if there are any ministerial issues that need to be addressed. Mr. Kraus advised that the only thing he needs from Mr. Robinson is the cost estimate for public improvements, so the Developmental Fee can be calculated. Mr. Kraus also stated that he understands that all the improvements will be installed before the secondary plat approval is done.

Mr. Kozel asked what kind of units are going to be placed here. Mr. Robinson advised they are single family homes. The agreement calls for 1,600 square feet minimum, and we go all the way up to 3,000 square foot. Mr. Robinson advised that they purchased lots and they have started already on Pod 5, that were already final platted.

Mr. Forbes noted that these are cottage homes that all face one street. Mr. Robinson said they are like cottage homes, but they are actually full size homes, and the zoning is for cottage homes. Mr. Williams commented that the homes were stacked very tight. Mr. Robinson stated that there is 12’ minimum between the houses, 25’ front yard, 30’ rear yard and 15’ corners.

Mr. Lotton stated it was platted like townhomes, where you have the larger lot and then you break it down afterwards, and the final survey determines the size of the lot. Mr. Kozel asked how they would know the size of the lot. Mr. Lotton stated that there is no regulation on the size of the lot, the only regulation is the number of units in the Pod, and the distance between the buildings.

Mr. Kozel stated that we need a little bit of a standard or some type of a guideline to work with. Mr. Lotton explained that if he gets a user than wants a bigger home that encroaches, then he just loses another lot.

Mr. Forbes commented that they seem to break down to 60’ lots. Mr. Lotton stated 62’, except for around the corner, on the corner you have an additional 9’.

Mr. Williams stated that he felt that they were having trouble visualizing three houses with 12’ side yards. Mr. Lotton stated that the houses already built in Pod 5 and Pod 6, they are identically laid out. Mr. Lotton noted that there are 220 to 230 units already standing.

Mr. Gil questioned whether there will be three taps made for each lot. Mr. Robinson advised that each house would its own individual sewer and water tap.

Mr. Forbes asked that; so when the house is built, depending upon what size unit you build, that is what determines where the property line is? Mr. Robinson advised that where the building ends then you will have at least 12’ between what your building is going to be. Mr. Lotton stated that this will be no different than a single family subdivision after its done.

Mr. Birlson asked if the individual lots would then be recorded separately at Lake County. Mr. Lotton advised that each house, after its built would have its own PIN number from Lake County.

Mr. Forbes noted that this is for Secondary plat, and the board will see you at the next meeting. Mr. Robinson thanked the board.

D. 9001 West 96th Place – Re-Subdivision and Site Plan Review (Steve and Julie Salmen)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 9001 West 96th Place, re-subdivision and site plan review, petitioners Steve and Julie Salmen. [inaudible] Person stated that she is the neighbor and she is there for Steve and Julie Salmen, as they are out of town.

Mr. Kil advised he would place on the screen what came through on this issue and briefly explain the request.

[Neighbor] So their house is on 124, but they own 123 as well, and they have a community garden on 123 that they want to put a shed on the back of that lot, that was denied because there was no house on it. So they are asking that the two lots be combined as one, under one PIN is the terminology, so that then they can put the shed which will not be towards the street, it going to be in the back. I have a drawing of where they want to put it.

Mr. Kil advised that this is not the first time we have done this, since basically you cannot put an accessory structure on a lot without a primary structure. [Neighbor] She just wants to put a shed. It’s a community garden where the kids, every year, we plant and it’s a nice community garden and she just wants to keep the supplies in a nice shed there.

Mr. Forbes stated that he doesn’t have any issue with it and asked the board members for questions or concerns. Mr. Kozel stated he just wants the shed to be within code.

Mr. Kil advised they would have to advertise for the July 6, 2016 meeting for public hearing.

With no further questions, Mr. Forbes advised the neighbor that they will have to appear at the next meeting to authorize a public hearing, which would be in August.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes advised that they will need to come into the Building and Planning Office upon their return, as they have some procedures that need to be done, and Mr. Kil will help with the process.

E. McNAMARA ESTATES (10806 Ontario Street) – Review of Re-Subdivision to Two (2) Lots (Ms. Pamela McNamara)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is 10806 Ontario Street, request to re-subdivide two (2) lots.

Mr. Kevin McNamara advised that they have a residential lot in St. John, and they are simply asking to divide it into two (2) lots. It is currently 1.25 acres. Mr. Kil advised he would show the lot using Google Earth to display on the meeting room screen.

Mr. McNamara stated the current lot is 165’ by 330’, our intention is to divide it strictly in half, so it would be 165’ both East-West and North-South directions.

Mr. Kraus inquired what the property was zoned. Mr. McNamara advised he believes it is R-1, but he would have to confirm it. Mr. McNamara stated that each lot would be approximately .62 acres roughly.

Mr. Kil noted on the screen that it is the lot directly behind Dick’s Restaurant, and he owns the big large rectangular piece of property there. That Is where two (2) lots would be split and then it would face on 108th. Mr. Forbes inquired about that area on 108th where all the trees are would become the second lot. Mr. McNamara stated that is correct, and it goes all the way back to the tree line; that sculptured section, and 10’ – 15’ behind that out building.

Mr. Birlson asked if they were on city sewer and water. Mr. NcNamara stated they were. Mr. Kil advised there are no taps there, whoever built there will have to tap the main.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if the dividing line would then become a side-yard setback. Mr. Kil advised the address for the new lot would be on 108th. Concerning the lot lines, Mr. Kil stated that they do not have a surveyor yet so he does not know how to answer the setback questions just yet.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions. Hearing none, he advised that like the last petitioner, you need to come to our next meeting and request permission to advertise for public hearing.

Announcement: Mr. Kil advised that he has a gentleman from Thielen Street that has a similar request as this that he neglected to place on the agenda and asked if the board would consider a quick review of this request before going on to the other listed agenda items. With no objections from the board, Mr. Forbes called the petitioner to the podium.

F. 10965 THIELEN STREET – Review of Re-Subdivision to Two (2) Lots (Mr. Mirko Zagoric)

Mr. Mirko Zagoric came to the podium and introduced himself to the board. He advised he purchased the property at 10965 Thielen Street and right now it is showing it as three (3) lots, 50’, 50’ and 80’. He advised his intention is to make it two (2) lots and one (1) lot would be 78’ and the other 102’. He advised he has a perspective gentleman that would like to build a home. He had a contractor with him, who said they only needed 65’, and I said No, I’ll give you 78’.

Mr. Forbes, this is.,. Mr. Kil stated that the new house on the corner of Joliet and Thielen, this is the gentleman that bought it. Mr. Zagoric stated he bought it three months ago.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to rotate the image on the screen for a better angle. Mr. Forbes asked if the property to the East was Mr. Parada’s property. Mr. Kil advised yes it is. Mr. Forbes also asked if the grass there is the property line. Mr. Zagoric stated yes.

Mr. Forbes reiterated for clarification that Mr. Zagoric has three lots there; and you wish to make it two (2) lots. Mr. Kil noted that all the lots in this area are at 50’. Mr. Volk asked if they were going to split the 180’ in half. Mr. Kil advised basically, however it cannot be split exactly in half, but his idea is to do that.

Mr. Gill asked if this was R-1. Mr. Kil advised that it is non-conforming, they are all non-conforming in that area right now. So, back in the day it was properly platted. Mr. Kil advised that regarding side and rear yard, that it would have to conform to the ordinance now, but the width, you simply can’t do it. Mr. Gill thought it would be very tight with the side and rear yards.

Mr. Zagoric stated that the man he spoke to about zoning said he would get 78’ and I would get 102’.

Mr. Kozel stated that he would be concerned that he has enough room. Mr. Kil advised that is not known until someone draws a house on the plat, and there’s no way to know that.

Mr. Zagoric stated again that the contractor that came out with the young couple told them he needed a minimum of 65’ for what they want to build, that was his comment, and I said I can go 78’.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Zagoric that he needs to go to the surveyor to have him actually draw the two lots out, and you need to take the house that this couple actually wants to build, and drop it on the second lot. Then you need to bring it back for the board to look at it.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any further questions or comments. Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Zagoric that it is the same process as before, you are going to have to request permission to advertise and before the public hearing, we have another study session, and you will need those items that Mr. Kil just referenced by that meeting.

G. HEARTLAND PARK – Final Plat review (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Heartland Park, Final Plat Review.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. He advised that they are going to come back in July and request Final Plat approval for the first re-subdivision of Heartland Park. Mr. Rettig reiterated as they have been discussing at previous meetings, Heartland Park is mostly a large one lot subdivision, and he noted the parcel that was an old house that was razed. They will be redefining where the Ice Arena building is, and denoting a Lot 1 A and a Lot 2A where the ice arena and the new addition will be located.

Mr. Rettig stated we are here tonight to tidy up and re-subdivide the plat; we’ve dedicated an ingress-egress easement all the way through for the benefit f the ballfields to the West. Mr. Rettig advised they have platted some new easements for the existing water main that surrounds the ice arena project.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions or comments. Mr. Kraus advised he has a few items; such as calculating the cost of public improvements in order to figure out the Developmental Fee, and if there is going to be an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, since he is coming in before the work is done before Final Plat, unless there are some waivers that are planned. Mr. Kraus further stated that as far as the public improvements is the storm sewer reroute, the parking lot and lighting, and he cannot think of anything else. Mr. Rettig advised that was basically it. Mr. Kraus stated that he just needs a listing and a tabulation of all those costs, so that he can figure the Developmental Fee. Mr. Rettig advised that he would get that figured out and sent to him.

Mr. Kraus asked if anyone knows the cost of the volleyball courts, since it is basically digging a hole and putting sand in it. Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Kortenhoven was contemplating trying to recycle some of the sand, because it is a foot thick. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Kraus that it would be new posts, new nets for the court, and he know that Chip Sobek our Parks Superintendent gave him the specs on the courts that he wanted built.

Mr. Volk asked about the outside dog kennel being moved. Mr. Kil advised that they are looking at that anyway, because we were looking to build new dog runs for the Animal Control Shelter, and we are contemplating the West side.

Mr. Rettig advised it is the intention of using the North side of the building for parking.

Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions or comments. Having none, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Rettig that they will see him in July.

H. KILKENNY HIGHLANDS – Review of Final Plat approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Kilkenny Highlands – review of Final Plat.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies advised that regarding Kilkenny Highlands, we intend to come back in July for final plat approval. The project is well underway, all the infrastructure is in place, the curbs will be going in any day now, and the pavement will be done soon thereafter. All the pipes are in the ground, so we are basically trying to wrap this up and keep it on schedule. Mr. Rettig advised they already have interest in some of the lots, and they want to start soon, so we are trying to expedite this development.

Mr. Rettig advised that there is a little bit of housekeeping that needs to be done in talking with Mr. Kil and Mr. Jason Dravet. The previously platted phase of Kilkenny, Unit 4 – Block One, this was done by Torrenga Engineering about a year ago. They platted this street, called James Lane, then they platted this little bit of the street here (shown on screen) is called Columbia Street. It was pointed out that the existing street to the North is Columbia Avenue, and this street is going to be called Declan Court, so Mr. Kil and I have been discussing the matter and we will prepare a certificate of amendment to amend the street names. It is a separate matter and a certificate of amendment will be submitted.

Mr. Rettig asked if Mr. James was going to put up a letter of credit or is all the improvements going to be done by July 6th. Mr. Rettig stated that he is going to be close, and we understand that any outstanding improvements will require the letter of credit. Discussion ensued with Mr. Kil, Mr. James and Mr. Rettig on some housekeeping issues that will be covered by the letter of credit, because they do not wish to push it back to August.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised he will anticipate seeing them back in July.

I. ROSE GARDEN – Review of Re-Subdivision request (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Rose Garden – review of re-subdivision request.

Mr. Rettig of Land Technologies advised that this development is pretty straightforward. They platted Rose Garden very recently, and it consisted of ten lots on the West side of Parrish Avenue, and that has been completed and we are building homes in Rose Garden currently.

Mr. Rettig advised the developer, Michael Granessy from Sublime Homes, has an interested party who wants to build a larger home and they want to buy two lots. And in order to do that, we have to do a one-lot re-subdivision and combine the two into one. This will come back in July and request permission to advertise for the August meeting for public hearing, so we can combine what is now known as Lot 6 and Lot 7, into Lot 1 of the Rose Garden First Re-Subdivision.

Mr. Rettig advised this is to just introduce the project and to accommodate a rather large house, that will not fit on the one lot.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Rettig about a 45’ conversancy easement on Lot 7, and then it extended half-way into Lot 6. Mr. Rettig said thanks for reminding me, we did plat a 45’ conservation easement, to address some of the wetlands that we had on site, and those wetlands kind of got into the middle of this lot, and we had always planned to mitigate a little bit of the wetlands. The new owners have gotten involved, they want to mitigate even more, it is going to cost them some money, but they are working with a wetland consultant to basically fill additional wetlands, and that why we have moved the easement further back to the West, but it is being worked out with the wetland people. Mr. Kil noted that IDEM did an on-site inspection of this property.

Mr. Williams wanted to confirm that with the public hearing that the surrounding property owners will be notified so that they can voice any concerns that they might have. Mr. Rettig advised that would be in August. With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes advised Mr. Rettig that the board will see him in July and August.

J. LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL CORPORATION – Site Plan Review for New Concession Building at High School (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Lake Central School Corporation, review of site plan for the construction of a new concession building.

Mr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent and Mr. Bill Ledyard, Director of Facilities for Lake Central introduced themselves and asked if there were any questions concerning their proposal. Mr. Ledyard advised it is a small building, approximately 900 square feet, to house a small concession stand and bathroom facilities (men’s, women’s and one family). This building will match the existing out-buildings at the high school that we did on the initial referendum project. This includes the football building, the locker rooms, as well as the baseball press box. It is going to be brick outside. It will be located in the Northwest corner of what was the existing central office building, as depicted on the site plan.

Mr. Forbes entertained any questions from the board. Mr. Maciejewski asked about the overall height of the building. Mr. Ledyard advised it is 12.5 feet, and it has parapets so you don’t see the roof, just like the football and baseball building.

Mr. Kraus asked if the sewer and water service are nearby. Mr. Ledyard advised that they are going to use the existing tap from the central office building. Mr. Derwin Nietzel of the Public Works Department and I spoke, the service was capped off when we were done with the building.

Mr. Kraus asked if there were chili-cheese dogs? [laughter] Mr. Ledyard advised they don’t control that. Mr. Kraus asked if they would like that as a condition on the project? [laughter]

Mr. Forbes noted that this was just site plan review so at our next meeting on July 6, 2016 they will be back.

K. COMMERCIAL CENTER – Initial Development Presentation (former Standard Lumber property) – (Mr. Bruce Boyer)

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Initial Development Plan Presentation for proposed Commercial Center located at the site of the former Standard Lumber Company and Mr. Boyer is the presenter.

Mr. Bruce Boyer of Boyer Properties introduced himself and Mr. Scott Hazel, to the board. They advised they are here to night to introduce our preliminary plans for our proposed commercial development. This project is located, approximately 23 acres of land, on the East side of U.S. 41 and 96th Place. This basically encompasses all existing property formerly known or as currently known as the old Standard Lumber property. It also includes the abandoned car wash to the South, the one home South of the car wash is also included. There is another residential house North of the lumber yard building that is currently used as commercial use, and that is also included.

Our plan is to take out all of those buildings that total approximately 43,000 square feet, everything will be demolished and taken out. We have an existing detention pond on the property that will be relocated to the rear, pushed further back to the railroad. The underlying and current zoning of the property is a C-2 Commercial, as well as some Industrial zoning in the back. We are also incorporating a parcel of land that is East of the current Al’s Auto Body Shop. We are doing that to include an extension of Earl Drive, that we will be installing from 96th, all the way down behind the body shop to make that connection to the existing road that is behind the new McDonald’s.

Part of our project also includes the extension of 96th Place to the East. We will be dedicating the land for that to the Town for the extension of that road. There has been conversation and planning for a traffic signal at that intersection. Mr. Boyer pointed to the screen, showing the detention pond pushed farther back towards the railroad tracks.

Out initial phase of the project will include three (3) buildings, after the existing lumber yard buildings are torn down and everything is cleared, to the far North of the property, on the northeast corner of 96th and U.S. 41 we will have approximately 14,000 square foot multi-tenant building. At the very rear of the propriety, we will have a 18,000 square foot kind of a light industrial, but we call a flex-type use building. Our plans are to re-located Malt Brothers Brewery into that building from their current location. So, that will be a combination of a manufacturing facility, and also a tap-room and restaurant as well as their retail store.

We also in our first phase will include 7,000 square foot single-tenant retail building at the South end of the property, currently where the house and the car wash sits.

In addition, we will be doing the entire infrastructure for the development. We will be installing the extension of Earl Drive from 96th South to make the connection behind McDonald’s. And we will be creating all groundwork and site work for the Outlots along U.S. 41.

Mr. Boyer stated that the second phase, which is shown in the yellow-orange area, includes the two (2) additional outlots between the multi-tenant building and the retail building along U.S. 41. We show a large parking area and additional retail in the back of the property, of approximately 100,000 square feet. And another, on Lot 2, another multi-tenant retail building between the Malt Brothers building and the first building along U.S. 41.

Out first phase is about 39,000 square feet and our second phase is about 126,000 square feet for a total of 165,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

This shows our proposed elevation of our first building, the 14,000 s.f. at the northeast corner of 96th and U.S. 41. The main elevation, the South elevation is what will be facing south as you are coming up Earl Drive, we’re showing small users, multi-tenant, different store fronts, all brick construction of various combinations of facades. The West elevation will certainly face U.S. 41. The East elevation we are planning on a large courtyard and sitting area between the two buildings.

This is a preliminary drawing of our single-tenant retail building at the far South end of the property, again an all-brick building of different facades.

And this is our planned elevation of our Second multi-tenant retail building, between the Malt Brothers building and the first tenant building; again facing South, the direction of Earl Drive as you are coming North on Earl Drive.

Last shown is just a black and white layout of the entire development. We are seeking Planned Unit Development zoning for the entire 23 acres. We will include a signage plan. We have to deal with a lot of different signage issues on these types of developments. Between monument signs, shopping center signs, and individual building and tenant signs; so we’ll create a signage plan for your approval.

We would like to be at the next Plan Commission meeting and ask for public hearing after that. For our PUD zoning, we would like to move things along with this. Our plans are to be under construction approximately one year from now, with tenant occupancy, possibly by the end of 2017, probably more likely the first quarter of 2018.

Mr. Forbes asked what needs to be re-zoned. Mr. Kil advised that there is some zoning in the back that is industrial, and the whole thing needs to be Commercial C-2 PUD. There are really no lot lines, its shopping center zoning, so to speak.

Mr. Kozel asked about the adequacy of the parking. Mr. Boyer advised they are very conscience of that; we look at the different users, whether daytime use or evening use, we tend to over-design the parking areas for the shopping centers like this. There is shared parking, particularly when you get into some restaurant use, maybe along the outlot areas that then can bleed over into the main parking area for the major retail. But we will exceed the parking requirements of the Town.

Mr. Kozel asked when you say exceed, do you have a number. Mr. Boyer stated not today, but we will have.

Mr. Volk inquired that the first buildings to be built in the dark areas, the one to the North and then the light industrial building in back? Those three buildings in the dark shade are your first phase. We actually have to build the rear building, part of tearing down the majority of the lumber yard building and we have to re-locate Malt Brothers into that building. So we’re going to maintain them as long as we possibly can, in their current location, and then move them into that. Mr. Volk asked if they were using that whole building. Mr. Boyer stated their plans is to use the majority of that building, yes. Mr. Volk asked if that said 18,000 s.f. Mr. Boyer advised yes.

Mr. Kil advised it would be everything he has now, and Mr. Jim Estry (the owner) has visions of, and always had from day one, of obviously growing his business. Mr. Boyer advised he didn’t want to speak for them, however, discussions were that they wish to expand their manufacturing, they are beginning to distribute quite a bit.

Mr. Boyer stated so, that would be our first phase with all the infrastructure, the road connecting everything and certainly the extension of 96th Place to the rear of our property.

Mr. Kozel asked would that include the light. Mr. Boyer advised yes, they would want the traffic signal in as part of the first phase.

Mr. Birlson asked what is the North edge of Lot 1 and Lot 2 look like. Mr. Boyer said that they actually go right up to the St. John Pool Center, that is the next building north of our property. Mr. Birlson asked if they were anticipating that being sort of a service area fence, what would be at the edge of Lot 1 – Lot 2. Mr. Boyer stated it would be the rear of our building, but the buildings will be all brick, we do the different facades in the back also. There really won’t be a service area, it will be rear entrances.

Mr. Volk directed Mr. Boyer’s attention to what he thought to be landscaping. Mr. Boyer advised that they plan to do extensive landscaping / hardscaping, that is one of the things we learned over the years. Good quality developments bring good tenants, so again if you reference what we have done in the past. We do extensive lighting, landscaping and hardscaping.

Mr. Birlson asked what does Lot 6 become. Mr. Boyer stated that they don’t know yet, we’re planning that as future development, could be an expansion of Lot 3, or could be some free-standing buildings, we honestly don’t know, but we do want to include that land in our development.

Mr. Williams asked so what happens to the pizza place, are they going someplace else. Mr. Boyer advised that they are not that far along with some of the tenants, we are certainly willing to talk to everybody that is there. They are all aware of this project happening.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil about the lighting on U.S. 41 stop light, and expansion; it looks like several extra lanes being added. Mr. Kil advised that our traffic engineer would coordinate that, there was a meeting in my office this morning with representatives of INDOT and our State Senator. This project was laid out again to them. This has been the third time they have seen it. They were given a preliminary overview of it, and they are aware of what the preliminary plan is and more to follow. Obviously the traffic engineer will have to get involved when we get to that point. We are simply not to that point yet. But there are significant improvements on U.S. 41, yes, no doubt.

Mr. Kil advised that it is important to note that the traffic signal at 96th does not just service this project. It services everything on the West side of the road as well; Community Outpatient Center, the site that everyone knows as the former K-Mart site, you have access from Keilman Street to that signal. It could potentially be a busy intersection, so it will be designed accordingly.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if that little frontage road at K-Mart gets nixed in this. Mr. Kil advised he does not know if it gets nixed yet, I guess I would leave that up to the design engineer, to see how that would be incorporated into the project.

Mr. Boyer advised that is why with all these items they are a year away from starting construction. There is a lot of work to be done, engineering wise with this project.

Mr. Williams commented that the drawings look good.

Mr. Forbes asked for any further questions from the board. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Boyer is going to request zoning, but then subdivision approval is not going to follow for quite some time, because engineering has to take place before subdivision approval, so all he is going to request is the Commercial PUD zoning with the proposed layout and elevations that you see in front of you. And then the project will be one hold until engineering takes place and actual physical design of the property. Mr. Boyer stated only then we will come back for subdivision approval. Any delineation of outlots or separate lots, or anything we do will then be accomplished at that time.

L. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN / THOROUGHFARE PLAN REVIEW in advance of July 6, 2016 Public Hearing.

Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Review of Comprehensive Master / Thoroughfare Plan in advance of our public hearing on July 6, 2016. Mr. Forbes noted that the plan was sent out to the planners about a month ago, and some names changes need to be done to the plan.

Mr. Forbes asked for any initial thoughts on the proposal. Mr. Williams asked if this was just general conversation and then a recommendation. Mr. Forbes stated any questions that you may have and general conversation is good.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams for his reference, that the Economic Development Committee took this up and made a recommendation to the Plan Commission, on the plan. The next step in the process is for this board to hold an actual Public Hearing, where you are going to solicit public comment at that time. After the public hearing is concluded, then it is anticipated that you will make a recommendation to the Town Council, sending a recommendation regarding the Comprehensive Plan. So that is the process that it will follow. I believe Mr. Forbes wanted it on the agenda in case you have any questions on the plan or just to talk amongst yourselves.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if you can describe coming out of that sort of discussion, whatever happens today or out of the public hearing, what is the process for any type of revision to the document. Mr. Kil stated that obviously the Town Council can take your recommendations or they can alter them, they can do anything however; my experience has been they weigh the recommendations of the boards heavily when they make their decisions.

Obviously we have two council members on the Plan Commission here, so you can also make a recommendation to change something before making a recommendation to the Town Council. Mr. Maciejewski stated that answered his question. Mr. Forbes that is like the process for the public hearing for Lake Central, where public input was taken into consideration, and out of “that” public hearing, some modifications were made. And again, this is the second of two (2) public hearings required for this. If this board feels there are changes that need to be made, they will be made. We will just defer action from the public hearing, have modifications, and then make a recommendation.

Mr. Kil stated “or” you can make a recommendation with modifications and send to the Town Council.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that there are four classifications in the Thoroughfare Plan, improvements in different spots and proposals in different spots to make extensions and so forth. I think the first two categories would be helpful to see those highlighted on our roadway system if that is possible. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Maciejewski that he would have to look into that, and he’ll see if he can get some type of exhibit for that.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that it would be up to him to understand those categories and he would feel better if a traffic engineer had that quick exhibit. Mr. Forbes asked if he was looking for the Thoroughfare. Mr. Maciejewski stated he was looking for the principle and the minor arterial roads.

Mr. Kil advised that might take care of itself, the Town Council, between right now and July 6th, when you have your public hearing. The Town Council is going to be entertaining a proposal for a Roadway Infrastructure Impact Fee, that will include an analysis of the entire Town. We may end up doing that,., we’ll know more,., after the Town Council acts on that matter; which is June 23rd, but I understand your point and I will request an exhibit.

Mr. Birlson commented that now that we have seen the Boyer Development, my recommendation to the board would be to eliminate, or have removal of the Town Center.

Looks like he is going to be putting in quite a few shops and stores and restaurants and sitting areas. You may want to rethink about the Town Center. Boyer Development looks like it’s going to cover a lot of that.

Mr. Kozel commented that the Town Center revolves around the railroad station. Mr. Kil stated that is not true. The Comprehensive Plan; there is an inclusion of a proposed railroad station, obviously who knows if that,., that is way beyond us. The inclusion of that is down on Route 231. I know the Congressman is pushing for that right now. Mr. Kozel, stated the other question he had was that station close to the Amtrak line or not. Mr. Kil stated he believed the Amtrak would run on that line. Mr. Forbes said that the CSX line basically, but they are talking additional rail for that. Mr. Kil stated that it is the one that comes out of Dyer and Munster and comes at an angle.

Mr. Kozel commented that it would make it important to make it a Hub then, in the future, if it does materialize.

Mr. Kil stated that the railroad is so far beyond the Town’s capabilities, that would have to come from the federal government.

Mr. Williams stated that I know we have discussed this before, but I think in the Congressman’s eyes, the train station and all that additional warehousing capability that were discussed, are one insane.

Mr. Forbes: There plan? Mr. Williams: Yes. Mr. Forbes commented that their plan is to build a railroad station and a rail.,.,. Mr. Williams commented it is a good place to put all their trains at the end of the line. Mr. Forbes noted that it is not part of our plan, but it is part of their plan.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that it was made abundantly clear to the Congressman and his Chief of Staff, that., Mr. Williams: “It went in one ear and out the other”. Mr. Kil said he can’t say how they took it, but I can tell you that they have been told that, that we do not want to be a railroad station and a maintenance yard, so to speak.

Mr. Forbes “the end of the line storage facility”. Again whether they listen or not, I don’t know, but I can tell you that it has been expressed to them, several times, by several people. Mr. Williams stated he also shares that thought.

Mr. Birlson stated that he understands that if the Town accepts federal money for the train station, you have to build, that you have to allow low-income housing. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes stated that they have never heard that. Mr. Birlson stated that is what he understands, I don’t believe how much, but.,.

Mr. Kil said he has never heard of a housing component ever mentioned with a train station, and that is the first time he has heard that out of anybody, that a railroad station has a housing component attached to it. Mr. Forbes said that even throughout all the discussions on the extension, nobody has ever mentioned it. Mr. Birlson said that it may be something we need to look into just so, if we accept the money, we have to be aware if there are strings attached.

Mr. Forbes said that don’t make the mistake that we are jumping at the proposal. Mr. Kil stated further that they are requesting money from us – they are not proposing to give us money, they want some of our money to go,.,., they are asking all the communities obviously to donate, so the Town would not be accepting any federal money for this, just so you know that would not happen.

Mr. Forbes said he recalls a conversation previously that if you are trying to attract someone to build a train station, the do like multi-family, mixed use around the train station. Look at Homewood, look at New Lenox, look at all those areas, they have really nice train stations, but they do have a large component of residential around it and its usually condominiums and the like. But I believe if you are purposely reaching out and trying to attract them, they want to make sure that the train stations is going to be used, that its easy access and people can immediately walk to it and that kind of thing. I look at the sites for the train station more as a protection for the Town, for discussion point with anybody that wants to come in, and if they want to place a train station in a certain spot, we’ve got the plan, well now we are going to have a conversation.

Mr. Kil commented that it is not so much to put all the housing around it. I can see us putting maybe a municipal parking facility by it. So people can go and commute there. We are not a big walking area, I can honestly see people commuting to it, parking there and then leaving at the end of the day, that would make sense.

Mr. Forbes noted that when you get closer to the cities, they are the walking communities. Mr. Kil stated he thought the Comp Plan had a parking facility actually drawn in.

Mr. Forbes stated that what you are actually seeing in the second site, has actually been preliminarily approved, right for Oak Creek? Mr. Kil said the property between the tracks on Route 231, was zoned probably about 15 years ago now. It has commercial, and variations of residential behind it. I’m sure that when Mr. Schilling actually gets down to actually doing something there, he is going to ask for a re-zoning there, I’m sure those lines are going to change.

Mr. Forbes commented that the market has changed so much, since what they were thinking 15 years ago is not the reality, and the drawing that we have there is again just a concept idea for the area, based loosely on the zoning that does exist there. Mr. Kil stated truth be told, our consultant thought it up.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if that area would be defined as special zoning districts at that point. Mr. Kil answered that depending on what we wanted to go there. Just like Mr. Boyer is asking for a Commercial PUD; I’m sure anybody would want some kind of commercial PUD zoning there. Its hard to say because who knows what the plan would be.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that just speaking on his own experience, like Mr. Birlson objects to the Town Center; but town centers typically carry a separate zoning district and separate zoning requirements to development that type of character that you would like to see in that center or in that district.

Mr. Kil advised that the issue he is talking about right now is in the zoning ordinance right now. The first draft of the Comprehensive Plan, the one that exists right now, the same company then re-drafted the Zoning Ordinance for us to compliment the Comprehensive Plan, so there is a Town Center zoning. Mr. Maciejewski asked about design guidelines and Mr. Kil advised that there are design guidelines in there as well.

Mr. Kil stated that every piece of property in Town has an underlying zoning attached to it; but then if you are on U.S. 41, you are in the U.S. 41 Overlay District, so not only do you have to look at what the underlying is, you have to meet the requirements of that overlay district. Discussion continued between Mr. Maciejewski and Mr. Kil concerning special districts and in particular Lot 6 of the Boyer Commercial Project. Mr. Kil advised that Lot 6 is Al’s Auto Body, and has been approached and wants to join this development, because that property extends all the way back to the railroad tracks. So, basically the extension of Earl Drive would fundamentally extend all the way South to Alsip Nursery, so it makes a frontage road that we have been trying to piece together all these years and keeps traffic off of U.S. 41.

Mr. Volk asked if McDonald’s ever paved that portion behind them. Mr. Kil advised that was part of the agreement and he is going to have to call and get them on it.

Mr. Forbes asked for any more thoughts or comments. Mr. Birlson had one more thought about Earl Drive extending all the way done to Alsip Nursery; I noticed that there were six traffic lights purposed for the U.S. 41 corridor, and that is something we need to look really seriously about. Traffic lights are great for eliminating incidents, but to allow traffic to flow it can cause issues. Mr. Forbes reiterated that we are not saying that there will be lights at those six locations, just that these are the locations that we would allow signals, and most likely not all of them. Mr. Forbes agreed that he is not looking to have six stoplights on U.S. 41; more like one, maybe two. He stated that he would think there may be one South of Alsip in the future, because it is a very dangerous area. Mr. Forbes stated they have also talked about Rout 231, our intention is to have one stoplight between Parrish and Cline, and we are not looking for anything over and above that.

Mr. Kozel stated that I guess it all depends on how it gets developed. Mr. Kil added to the board that the Comprehensive Plan is just a guideline, and 90% would be hard for the Town to follow anyway because it has such lofty goals that are outlined in it, but you have to start somewhere and have some kind of plan. So, when people come into Town there we have given some thought to the community and some ideas that would go well with our current land use plan, maybe future.


Mr. Forbes asked the board for any other questions.

Hearing none, Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting.

(Meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

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