Town of St. John

St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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October 5, 2016 Plan Commission Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentStephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-PresidentKenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, SecretaryMichael Muenich, Commission Attorney
John Kennedy 
Jon Gill 
Jason Williams 
Bob Birlson 

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on October 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

Roll call was taken by Michelle Haluska, recording secretary. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, Bob Birlson and John Gill. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil and Michael Muenich. Mr. Gregory Volk and Mr. John Kennedy were absent.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for approval of minutes submitted for August 3, 2016; September 7, 2016 and September 21, 2016. With no additions or corrections, Mr. Willliams made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.


A. LAKE CENTRAL – PUBLIC HEARING – Mr. Bill Ledyard, Construction Manager

Mr. Michael Muenich advised that the proofs of publication are in order. He also advised that he has prepared a draft motion concerning the Primary plat approval as a legal opinion, as some of the waivers being sought by the petitioner are actually actions that must go before the Board of Zoning Appeals. The draft motion was prepared as an aid and can be included into the record or not; whatever the board sees fit.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they have incorporated Lot 4 into Lot 1. Lot 1 being Kolling School Road and the actual elementary school. Lot 2 would be the new maintenance facility and salt barn structure; and lot 3 will remain as undeveloped with a twenty foot (20’) access easement straight along to the west edge.

Mr. Ledyard advised he is aware that some of the waivers being sought are actual variances that will have to be petitioned before the Board of Zoning Appeals and that they will have them submitted shortly.

Page Two (2) of the plan was presented on the screen. Mr. Ledyard showed the overall plat plans. Mr. Williams inquired as to the trees and fence that is existing. Mr. Ledyard advised that the tan-slatted fence would remain and that it runs parallel to the property in the rear that Lake Central owns and has no plans on selling.

It was noted that Lot 3 needed to be included into the plans as all the aforementioned property is currently under a meets and bounds legal description and must be subdivided to meet proper criteria of the St. John Plan Commission.

Mr. Williams asked if any building would be placed on Lot 3. Mr. Ledyard advised that all the construction and improvements would be on Lot 2 of this plan, and that Lot 3 would remain undeveloped.

Mr. Forbes and Mr. Muenich discussed the matter of two small parcels that remain that are not owned by Lake Central Corporation. These parcels; denoted as being owned by “Smith” and “Daimer” are adjoining parcels. Mr. Muenich advised that any terms of an easement agreement must be signed by all parties prior to the Final platting. Mr. Ledyard noted that the 20’ access easement to the parcels, the improvements and bearing of said costs would be included into the easement agreement.

Mr. Kil read into the record the draft motion prepared by Mr. Muenich:

PC Lake Central Motion

Mr. Chairman, I move that we grant primary subdivision approval for the Lake Central School Corporation, Salt Barn Addition and incorporate the standard findings of fact into the record, subject to the following conditions:

1. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 1 and 2, (General and Monuments, Markers and Notches) be waived as to the matters of topography, contour lines, and minimum elevations all as noted on the Engineers Checklist.

2. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 3, (Streets and Sidewalks) and Title V, Sections 3 and 5, (Design Standards/Streets and Design Standards/Walks) of the Subdivision Control Ordinance be waived upon the submission of a recordable Grant of Easement, not less than twenty feet (20’) wide, extending to the southernmost boundaries of the platted lots, with matters of access, improvements, maintenance, and grantees to be addressed and agreed upon prior to Final Plat submission.

3. That the strict provisions of Title IV, Section 4, (Utilities) be waived in their entirety as noted on the Engineers Checklist.

4. That the strict provisions of Title VI, (Storm Water Drainage Guidelines) be waived in their entirety all as noted in the Engineers Checklist.

5. That the following variances to the St. John Zoning Ordinance be presented to the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals for further determination and variance prior to the submission of a Final Plat of Subdivision.

A. Chapter 8, Section K.2 Variance from Three Exterior Building Materials
B. Chapter 8, Section K.3 Variance from Minimum Exterior Corners
C. Chapter 10, Section A/B Variance from Exterior Building Materials
D. Chapter 8, Sections F/ F.1 Variance from Frontage Road Setbacks and Illustrations
E. Chapter 8, Section I Variance from the requirements for a Lighting Plan submission
F. Chapter 8, Section L Variance from the requirement for a Public Art submission.
G. Chapter 8, Section M Variance from the requirement for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Submission.
H. Chapter 8, Section N Variance from the strict requirement for Access to individual Tracts as outlined in Item 2 preceding.

Mr. Ledyard stated that all landlocked issues will be worked out by the time they are ready to come to the next regular meeting which he believed would be in November; that Lake Central’s counsel along with the Town’s legal counsels will have the necessary matters worked out in the agreement.

Mr. Muenich and Mr. Williams discussed the contents of Paragraph 2 of the draft motion which basically was stated as Maintenance – Access – Grantee and Improvements.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment:

Denise Horton (11309 Kelly Drive):
Ms. Horton wondered why she received a notice of this public hearing by letter, as she lives in the middle of a five-unit building and no other neighbors had received this notification. Mr. Kil advised that the legal notice requirement list is obtained by the Township Assessor’s Office and that they may have inadvertently placed her on the list to make notice to.

Ms. Horton asked if all of the development in question is on the East side of U.S. 41. Mr. Ledyard and the board members assured her that it was.

After calling for any further comment, Mr. Forbes brought it back to the board for any questions.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to give Primary Plat approval and incorporating the Draft Motion and the Findings of Fact into same motion.

Mr. Muenich reiterated that it is items One (1) through Four (4) that is at the discretion of the Plan Commission and that items Five (5) “A through H”, must go before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Kozel stated to have that included into the motion he made. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

A. RENAISSANCE 8 – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Terpstra)

Mr. Doug Terpstra addressed the planners and advised that the last three (3) lots, which were approved through The Gates annexation agreement years ago have been completed.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Forbes advised they have both been in that area and seen the cul-de-sac and that it looks very nice. Mr. Terpstra and the planners discussed a present problem at the site in which it is apparent that vehicles coming from 101st and purposely driving through the back end of the cul-de-sac, as tracks can be seen. Mr. Terpstra advised that they were thinking of placing safety fence to keep cars from driving trough it. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes discussed that they will work it out with the Town in order to place a large berm the area in order to alleviate this problem.

Mr. Forbes read the report from Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) saying that he has reviewed the site and finds all issues satisfied. The developmental fee for this project is $1,417.51 based on two percent (2%) of the construction costs. Mr. Muenich advised that the western point of this property is still in the Town’s name and a deed will need to be prepared for Mr. Terpstra to have recorded with the Final Plat.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant Final Plat approval, contingent upon payment of developmental fees and incorporating the findings of fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

B. MILL CREEK – Phase Two – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Joe Lenehan)

Mr. Lenehan introduced himself to the board and advised that he represents Olthoff Homes. They are seeking final approval for Phase Two which consists of twenty (20) lots. He advised that all improvements have been installed with the exception of street lights. In lieu of a Letter of Credit they wish to submit a Performance Bond in the amount of 110% of the construction costs.

Mr. Forbes read the report submitted by Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) which stated that he was reviewed Phase Two of Mill Creek, the streets and associated improvements and finds it satisfactory, with the exception as stated of the street lights. He has calculated a developmental fee of $8,088.29 based on two percent (2%) on the construction costs, and recommends a Letter of Credit in the amount of $17,600.00 to cover street lights, signage and as-built drawings.

Mr. Lenehan proposed a Subdivision Bond in the amount of $19,360.00 which is one hundred ten percent (110%) of the aforementioned remaining improvements. Mr. Muenich advised that this is up to the board; however, it is an acceptable substitute to the Letter of Credit as specified in the rules and procedures.

Hearing no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Mill Creek – Phase Two.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Final Plat approval to Mill Creek – Phase 2, incorporating the Findings of Fact into the motion. Mr. Gill seconded the motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Kozel then made a motion to accept the Performance Bond in the amount 110% of the cost of remaining improvements, contingent upon the approval of the Town Council, with a favorable recommendation from the board. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

C. ZAGORIC ADDITION – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Mirko Zagoric)

Mr. Zagoric advised that he provided the three (3) mylar plats to the office this afternoon. Mr. Forbes asked Town Engineer Kenn Kraus if he had a letter concerning the review of this development.

Mr. Kraus advised that he only just received this from the surveyor around 2:00 p.m. and that he found several errors in the plans submitted. Mr. Kraus advised that these were clerical in nature and could easily be corrected by Mr. Sekerez, who is the surveyor listed. Mr. Zagoric advised that he would go see his surveyor in person tomorrow to have all these things corrected.

Mr. Kraus advised that since this is an existing sub-divided parcel and no improvements need to be installed or inspected that he sees no reasons that Final plat approval cannot be contingent; upon a letter from himself once the corrected final plat is submitted and reviewed, since all the errors seem to be minor clerical matters. Additionally, since there are no infrastructure improvements to be made that the developmental fee would be the minimum of $900.00 for the Zagoric Addition.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve Final Plat approval, contingent upon receiving of the corrected plats by the Town Engineer for review and release, incorporating the Findings of Fact into the motion and the payment of the $900.00 developmental fee. Motion seconded by Mr. Birlson. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

D. EDENS COVE – Final Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Kil advised that the petitioner requested this matter be removed from the agenda.


Mr. Forbes read from the sign-in sheet of persons wishing to speak before the commission.

Mr. Gerry Swets (Mr. Swets passed).

Mr. Bryan Blazak (Mr. Blazak passed).

Mr. Erik Schneider (9190 106th Street):
Mr. Schneider stated that he wished to apologize to the board for his demeanor at a previous meeting and specifically towards Mr. Williams. He felt he let emotions and a bad day get the better of him and just wanted to make the statement for the record.

Mr. Tom Parada (9135 Joliet Street):
Mr. Parada advised that he has been conducting polls on the Nextdoor Social web-site in regards to multi-family and that the numbers are showing that people don’t want multi-family and that the supposed eight percent (8%) cap or whatever is being exceeded. Mr. Parada made references to Mr. Blazak and others checking numbers of past building data showing a higher count. Mr. Parada believes the Town is “cooking the books” to make it look like you are abiding your own guidelines.

Mr. Terry Frankovich (9535 Joliet Street):
Mr. Frankovich advised that he had left the area of St. John to move to another state. He was originally from Hammond and he has returned and is hoping to get better informed and involved; and just wanted to meet the board and get a better idea of the growth of the Town of St. John.

With no further public comment Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Motion made by Mr. Williams for adjournment. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

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