Town of St. John

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

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

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

Roll call was taken by Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary, with the following Commissioners present: Jon Gil, Bob Birlson, Steven Kozel, Mike Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jason Williams, John Kennedy and staff present of Town Manager Steve Kil and Town Engineer Kenn Kraus. Absent: Attorney David Austgen and Michael Muenich.

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 10 K – Review of Primary Plat (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Tony Strickland advised that he is here of behalf of Mr. John Lotton. Mr. Strickland advised that this was brought before you for a primary plat, the engineering was all done under the original engineering, the reason we are doing this as a primary at this time and not a secondary, is because the lots line-up has change a little. Mr. Strickland advised that the curbs and all the underground utilities are in place. Mr. Kil asked if this was a continuation of the duplexes to the South. Mr. Strickland advised that they were. On the handout there is a correction that this is not Unit 10J, but Pod 10 K. Also its shows the street as 107th, when it is actually 106th Place. Those changes will be provided on the final drawings. Mr. Kraus stated that there is a Lake County standard naming system, and this one just has a correction to be noted on the final drawings.

Mr. Strickland advised that these lots have been changed from the original in that they are larger in size. They were originally approved for single-family and are now being proposed for duplexes. There are a total of six (6) duplexes in this unit. Originally the width of the lots were 80’ and are now 86’(s) to accommodate the duplexes, so essentially they are larger lots than originally approved during the preliminary process.

Mr. Williams asked Mr. Kraus if he is aware of any drainage issues in this area. Mr. Kraus advised that there are none. Mr. Gil advised that he is out there a lot on inspections and the drainage is working pretty well. There is currently a landscape berm in the easement and will remain.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to the right-of-way on the West side by Parrish Avenue. Mr. Strickland advised that it is a 50’ right-of-way from the center of the road. Mr. Williams stated that he still has concerns about traffic on Parrish, as well as Cline Avenue in regards to the width.

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Strickland will be coming before the December 7, 2016 regular meeting for permission to advertise for public hearing.

B. GO LO – Review of Site Improvement Plan

Mr. Kil advised that this item needs to be deferred from the agenda. He has not had any further contact on some of the issues that have been discussed. Mr. Kil advises that he believes that they will be back in January for a study session.

C. ROSE GARDEN – Phase 2 – Review of One Lot Subdivision (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself. Mr. Rettig advised that he will be seeking to make a one (1) lot subdivision, which would be Lot 11 from the previous Rose Garden subdivision. This lot is at the South end of Parrish Avenue. During this process he advised that the extension of Parrish Avenue will be done, as it was not completed, again during the development of the original Willow Ridge subdivision. Mr. Rettig advised that this lot is over one (1) acre in size.

Mr. Rettig advised he will be working on more detailed plans and will be seeking permission to advertise for public hearing at the December 7, 2016 regular Plan Commission meeting,

D. THREE SPRINGS – Phase 3 – Initial Review of Developmental Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Dave Barick introduced themselves as working on this development which is the Southwest section of Three Springs – Phase 2, which was done around three years ago. Mr. Rettig advised that they are proposing Cottage Homes and Duplexes, which are very popular right now. The current zoning is R-1 Single Family. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be proposing to re-zone to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD based on the plat.

Mr. Rettig pointed out that this parcel has many variables including three large pipelines and the high tension towers that run through this area. Mr. Rettig also advised that ANR Pipeline is one of the corporations and that they will be replacing the underground pipes as part of maintenance. Mr. Rettig advised that the Federal Government is making them do these upgrades due to the density factor; as instead of vacant farmland there will be housing around the area.

Mr. Rettig also showed the planners that there is a large slope in the property that is existing and they did not change the layout from the previous development plan. Mr. Rettig pointed out a 60’ right-of-way, and that the units will have an 8’ side yard setbacks.

Mr. Williams wanted to see R-1 everything North of the pipelines. Discussion ensued as to the topography and the variables of the pipelines and high tension lines that make it difficult to configure this parcel. Mr. Rettig noted that there is 15 acres of open space; between all this greenbelt here and the lake, the density is not even two units per acre. Mr. Rettig stated that in proportion it is not a dense project.

Mr. Rettig pointed to a 45’ greenbelt on the plat that they can place the pedestrian/bike trail and then stub it to the East, that way if the farm property ever gets developed it can be extended on.

General discussion ensued as to the preference of Cottage Homes as opposed to Duplexes. Mr. Forbes commented that he had made a statement to that effect. It was reiterated that the property to the East is the Huseman property, and hoping with this parcel abutting to the East, it would probably; for future development, have to be duplexes or cottage homes continued.

Mr. Williams asked the developer about the economics of the R-1 homes along the lake area versus the cottage homes or duplexes, and why that doesn’t work. Mr. Barick spoke of the opportunity and cost effect when there are pipelines, railroad track and high tensions lines all being an adversity to work around, and that no other subdivision has all these all at one location.

Mr. Barick advised that even with only the railroad tracks, no single family residence with children are going to want to have a house right near the tracks.

Mr. Kozel asked about side yards. Mr. Rettig advised that they are 8’. Mr. Kozel commented that is more than what is in The Gates right now, and that is 16’ of separation. Mr. Rettig advised that would be the same for the duplexes and the cottage homes. They will also be going with 30’ building lines, might have to do 20’ to 25’ on the corner lots.

Mr. Rettig noted that they add soundproofing through the masonry walls to the units that back up along the railroad tracks.

Mr. Rettig advised that he is working on the formal drawings and will forward same to the Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus once he re-familiarizes himself with this parcel, as he said this plan is from three years ago. Mr. Birlson asked about the width of the lots. Mr. Rettig advised that the Cottage Homes will have a 60’ wide lot and the Duplexes will have an 83’ wide lot, around 14,200 s.f.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig about a time schedule. Mr. Rettig advised that they have not started engineering yet so they are not ready for a public hearing. With the new revelation of the pipeline renovation occurring in the Spring, so we will be doing engineering in the next few months and probably be ready to come back to the board after January.

E. CASTLE ROCK (portion of Kilkenny Estates) – Initial Review of Development Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig advised that for this development he is representing the developer, Mr. Andy James. He advised that Castle Rock used to be called Kilkenny Estates and the developer Mr. Andy James is here tonight. Approximately one year ago we worked with Mr. James to develop the little cul-du-sac, which was called Kilkenny Highlands, which is just North of this parcel.

Mr. Rettig advised that this is an interesting piece. Mr. Kil was asked to place the layout on the screen, showing the street stub from Edgewood Estates, there will be three connecting streets to the development.

Mr. Rettig pointed out the challenge of the 30’ elevation change and a very dense conservation easement on the map, which will be way back to the West and will make a great buffer. These back end houses will be walk-outs with a great view behind them.

Mr. Rettig also pointed out a tree buffer that will be back in of the homes in this unique cul-de-sac, and this is almost unbuildable because it is so steep over here (noting a very wooded lot on the far southeast portion of the displayed plat). Mr. Rettig advised that they are trying to be very creative in the conservation area, there are wetland back there, but these lots are a few hundred feet deep, so we direct your attention to the buildable area.

Mr. Birlson asked in relation to the whole Town, where was this development located for reference. Mr. Kil advised that this is the far northwest portion of town.

Mr. Willliams asked about the walkway and possible drawing to show access to the existing park land. Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig pointed to the Outlot near the Kilkenny Water Tower that would make a most desirable walkway trail to the Park and then be able to develop a patch to the East so that there will be more than one point of access to Edgewood Parkland as well as Kilkenny Parkland.

Mr. Rettig pointed out the location of the current Kilkenny Water Tower as a reference.

Mr. Williams commented that they are all R-2 homes, not looking for any variances, they are 100’ x150’ minimum, actually most of them are much larger than that. There are no sidewalks on that one area which is a conservation area. The sidewalks are on the other side.

Mr. Forbes noted that it has been a very long time since they have talked about this, even when Tapper Street went through, I remember talking about the access from Tapper to the Park, but I thought that there was parkland somewhere, where those two houses are, in the very bottom corner. Mr. Forbes thought there were two parks back-to-back.

Mr. Rettig advised that if a walking trail is needed there is plenty of room by the water tower.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he lives on Tapper Street and that there was always an assumption that there would be a park access provided at the southern end.

Mr. Rettig advised that there are several large lots in which to cut an access point between the houses. With the suggestions being made they can take that information and place the access into the drawings before they have a public hearing.

Mr. Forbes mentioned that that topic of access always comes up, so let’s have that plan, and agree to that plan. Mr. Forbes noted that even though Outlot A is kind of deceiving, there is plenty of room, that 12’ from the fence to the property line for access.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Rettig how far they are on engineering. Mr. Rettig advised that they haven’t started, so there is plenty of time and several study sessions that you can come back for. Mr. Rettig advised that they will be starting the engineering very soon.

Mr. Williams inquired about Lot 8, what is to prevent the owner from taking down all the trees. Mr. Rettig advised that they are platting a conservation easement to protect the wetlands back there.

Mr. Williams also inquired about the gray line that runs through there. Mr. Rettig advised that it is the old wetland delineation line, they will have that re-delineated, however, that is approximately where the wetland limits are.

Mr. Rettig advised the next thing to talk about is the sanitary sewers. Mr. Rettig advised that there is a temporary Lift Station at the end of the road in Edgewood. There is a sanitary sewer at the far north end; and we will tie into an existing manhole and run gravity sewer and then put in a permanent lift station. Mr. Rettig pointed out the lots that will be served by gravity sewer, and they will be looking into upgrades that will be needed. Mr. Kil made a suggestion to Mr. Rettig to verify the existing lift station, what shape it is in; and second you want to put variable speed drives in, however you will also need to verify the outlet, meaning the force main.

Mr. Rettig advised there will be an 8” force main and once we have that information we will provide all that to Mr. Kraus for review. Mr. Rettig advised (Mr. Andy James also speaking in the background), before any occupancy, the Lantern Woods lift station will be upgraded. The discharge line that it enters is 12”, per Mr. Kraus. Discussion ensued about the temporary lift station in which it noted that it was a glorified ejector system, just for those last three houses in Edgewood.

Mr. Kraus asked about the detention for all this area, with Mr. Rettig showing it is to the far North, and it supports this all, including Kilkenny Highlands. It is twenty (20) acres, and there is a 40” storm sewer dumping into it right now, and they will utilize that.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig discussed a time line. Mr. Rettig stated he will be ready for another study session in December.

F. PRESERVES OF WILLOW RIDGE – Initial Review of Development Plan (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Doug Rettig advised that it is called the Preserves of Willow Ridge because it lies just south of Willlow Ridge – Phase 2. Mr. Mike Granessy of Sublime Homes is also here for this project. This development also has some challenges due to a large wetland that sits in the middle. They are piecing together three parcels for this development.

Mr. Rettig advised they are here tonight to discuss initial review of developmental plan. The lots are zoned R-2, 100’ wide lots, shown on screen. Walk-out lots backing up to the wetland.

Mr. Rettig pointed out a floodplain line that they will be working around due to set elevations 2’ above that line. Twenty–two (22) lots on the north and each side. They will connect to the one street which is Phase 2 of Willow Ridge, 92nd Place.

Mr. Rettig pointed to an older house that is sitting on the property line of the proposed Lot 29 and Lot 30, which will be razed.

Mr. Rettig advised that some of the lots are extra deep, and they will have 94’-95’ wide lots, to compensate for, a lot of wetland issues. Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig discussed whether to ask for a waiver or to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.

Mr. Kil advised that knowing Mr. Muenich and some of the issues coming before the boards that Mr. Muenich will be wanting that particular issue to come before the board of Zoning Appeals for a variance for the lot widths, and that is the only variance you will need.

Mr. Rettig showed the outlot that will be preserved, showing the storm water discharge pipe. Showed the conservation easement. A walking path is proposed on the East end. Mr. Rettig pointed point Bisaga Woods to the West, again that is mostly wetlands.

Mr. Birlson asked for a reason not to extend the Willow Lane road. Mr. Kil showed where Renaissance Drive is off-set, there would be a very goofy intersection as they cannot line up. Mr. Kraus also advised that there are a lot of wetlands in the way of any street placement.

Mr. Rettig advised the divided entrance from 93rd will be a dry basin, green space with architectural grasses on both sides and will be maintained and dedicated to the HOA. The placement was determined in order for traffic to be seen in each direction.

Mr. Kil and Rettig discussed the next step of writing the legal description for your notice to just include the lots which you need the variance, just the three.

Mr. Forbes, Mr. Kil and Mr. Rettig had general discussion as to previous board meetings in which connection and variances issues were raised. Notation was made that a variance is in place for the East side, which was done several years ago. Mr. Rettig advised that the entire development before them will be re-engineered. Mr. Kil stated that as he recalls this was never platted, and advised that he would research the previous meetings in order to provide some answers before this comes to a public hearing.

Mr. Rettig advised that they have sanitary sewers in place and no issues with that.

Mr. Rettig advised that he will start the process to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals for the one (1) lot.

(With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

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