Town of St. John

St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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December 7, 2016 Plan Commission Minutes

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

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on December 7, 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, John Kennedy, Jason Williams and John Gill. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Michael Muenich and Steve Kil.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for approval of minutes submitted for May 4, 2016 and November 2, 2016 for Regular Session and the April 20, 2016, October 19, 2016 and November 16, 2016 Plan Commission Study Sessions. With no additions or corrections, Mr. Kozel made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried unanimously with a notation of abstention for Mr. Kennedy for the May 4th and April 20th meetings; and abstention for Mr. Forbes for the October 19th meeting.


A. ROSE GARDEN – PHASE 2 Primary Subdivision Plat (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised that the first item on the agenda is for Rose Garden – Phase 2 Public Hearing. Mr. Muenich advised that all the proofs of publication and mailings are in order, and the petitioner can proceed.

Mr. Doug Rettig of Land Technologies introduced himself to the board. Mr. Rettig reminded the board that Phase 1 consisted of ten (10) lots; this phase will consist of one (1) lot which is located to the South and will be for one house on 1.45 acres of land. This phase will include the extension of Parrish Avenue of approximately 170 feet to the South.

Mr. Rettig advised that the water and sewer lines are already installed. Mr. Williams asked for direction as to where Parrish Avenue would end to; Mr. Rettig advised that the road would go due East to connect with the other part of Willow Ridge and does not go straight due to the wetlands.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to Public Comment:

Mr. Tim Busha (9505 Highland Court, Lot 54 – Willow Ridge):
Mr. Busha asked about the development that was discussed that is going south of Willow Ridge, and extension of Parrish Avenue and its effect on it. Mr. Forbes advised, that development was just presented at the last Study Session and was just introduced and there is no engineering yet, that if you are within 300’ of the addition you will be notified by certified mail. Mr. Forbes also reiterated that Parrish Avenue cannot extend to 93rd Avenue as there is a very large area of wetlands; which is why Parrish Avenue will be extended to a 90˚ angle.

With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board. Mr. Forbes read the Town Engineer’s report on the review of the Preliminary Plat. This project includes one R-2 lot, associated infrastructure and facilities. The subdivision is located on the West side of Parrish Avenue south of Highland Court. The plans dated November 18, 2016 and December 2, 2016 have been reviewed and find them satisfactory noting that the detention of storm water for this area is already incorporated into the Willow Ridge Manor pond. The Development Fee and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan fee has not yet been determined.

Mr. Forbes noted that when they come for Final Plat approval they can check for the Development Fee and SWPPP Fee issue and make it a contingency before signing the mylars.

With no further comment from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the Preliminary Plat referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – Unit 10K – Permission to Advertise Public Hearing (Mr. Tony Strickland)

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Engineering introduced himself to the board. He advised that they are seeking permission to advertise for a public hearing on January 4, 2017 for Unit 10K of the Gates of St. John.

With no questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant permission to advertise for public hearing on the Gates of St. John – Unit 10K for January 4, 2017. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. LAKE CENTRAL – Final Plat Approval for Salt and Maintenance Facility (Mr. Bill Ledyard)

Mr. Forbes advised that the next agenda item is Lake Central and called upon Mr. Kil for more information. Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Bill Ledyard of Lake Central called and asked to have the item deferred to the January 4, 2017 meeting. Mr. Kil further advised that they are re-platting their proposal, withdrawing Lot 3 from their proposal.

Mr. Muenich advised that with only Lot 1 and Lot 2 the development would be self-contained and the issue of an access easement or road to Lot 3 would no longer be an issue before the board.

Mr. Williams made a motion to defer Lake Central – Final Plat Approval to the January 4, 2017 meeting. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

C. SUNRISE SOLAR / Industrial Light Manufacturing – Site Plan Review (Mr. Bill Keith)

Mr. Dave Van Dyke of Precision Construction introduced himself, and advised that he is here tonight representing Mr. Bill Keith, the owner of Sunrise Solar. Mr. Van Dyke advised that they are seeking Site Plan Review approval for this project.

Mr. Kil conversed with Mr. Van Dyke and several renderings of the proposal were displayed on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Van Dyke noted a 26’ side drive and that the other side would be at 15’. Mr. Forbes noted that he recalls that there were several variances that were sought from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Williams stated that was correct and commented that one of the issues they were concerned about was the building colors and the brick front and the tin roof. Mr. Williams stated that the BZA wanted to avoid having a single color pallet on the structure. Mr. Van Dyke brought the sample color to the dais for the board to see in detail what was being shown on the screen. Mr. Van Dyke also advised that the exterior lighting wall-packs were removed from the specifications.

Mr. Forbes commented on the “break” in the roof, thought it shows better dimension and believes that in real light it will look nice and give a unique non-contiguous look.

Mr. Williams noted that it appeared that the green fence that was there has been removed, noting that the BZA had requested it removed from the front, but this current rendition shows it completely removed, and favored that action.

Mr. Birlson inquired as to the size of trucks that will be utilized at this location. Mr. Van Dyke advised there would be the occasional delivery truck and that there is enough radius room, going just to the corner and utilizing a forklift.

Mr. Kennedy asked about parking near the entryway. Mr. Van Dyke showed that there is space, a gap there where the landscaping would be placed. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Van Dyke that at least one (1) parking space must be maintained as handicapped accessible.

Mr. Kraus asked Mr. Van Dyke who he should contact for the whole rendition and the engineering specifications. Mr. Van Dyke advised that Torrenga Engineering is doing the specs. Mr. Kraus noted that the detention is done for this parcel and that it is already a subdivided lot, currently all asphalt. Discussion ensued as to timeline for engineering to be provided for review.

With no further discussion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve the Site Plan with the condition that a building permit not be issued until the Town is in receipt of Mr. Kraus’s satisfactory review and the payment of the Developmental Fee. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

D. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE 3 Permission to Advertise Public hearing for Rezone (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda was Three Springs – Phase 3 requesting permission to advertise for public hearing.

Mr. Doug Rettig reintroduced himself, advising that he is appearing on behalf of Mr. Dave Barick. Mr. Rettig had a rendering placed on the meeting room screen, showing the outline of Three Spring – Phase 3, noting that they are requesting permission to advertise as they are wishing to re-zone the area from R-1 PUD to R-2 PUD and an area specified as R-3 PUD.

The parcel on the North-West end will be R-2 PUD which would back up to the lake area, while the South and East side would be R-3 PUD duplexes.

Mr. Kennedy questioned if there is enough separation between the zoning districts. Mr. Rettig showed the area on the screen, pointing out the cottages homes and the duplexes, at their specific locations. Mr. Rettig noted that there is the consideration of the railroad and high tension lines that go through this area, and Mr. Barick thought this plan would best suit the utilization of the parcel.

Mr. Birlson commented that subdivisions like Lake Hills and Homestead Acres, either have railroads abutting or high tension lines running through them, and they are consistent with single-family houses and feel that it would be setting a precedence for duplexes if the area to the south is developed in the future. General discussion ensued amongst the board members on the zoning issue of R-1/R-2 versus R-1 PUD / R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD.

With no further comment from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to give permission to advertise for the February 1, 2017 Plan Commission meeting, and would like the petitioner to come once again to the January 18, 2017 Study Session for an update on progress and specifications. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone had a public comment to please step forward to the podium and please state your name and address for the record.

Mr. Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street):
Mr. Swets had concerns over the lots in Three Springs having 60’ wide lots, and he further felt that the duplexes seemed to be a lot smaller than required by ordinance standards. He commented that he felt they should be made to remain as R-1 single family.

Mr. Timothy Busha:
(Mr. Busha had already spoken earlier and left the meeting).

Ms. Deborah Dunn (9475 West 90th Lane):
Ms. Dunn advised that she is a board member of the Willow Ridge HOA. She wondered if the development to the south that will be coming in wanted to be part of their HOA, as they are the ones that maintain the pond that it will abut, and whether they would be requesting access to the pond. Ms. Dunn also asked about the spillway from the pond and is worried it will back up into their yards.

Mr. Forbes responded to one point of her question, advising that the development is very preliminary and that no engineering has been provided as yet to review on any topic of her concern, although he noted that the development should not have any effect on the drainage as it all slopes towards the large wetlands area.

Ms. Dunn (continued):
Ms. Dunn asked if they would be given sufficient notice of any meetings that would be coming before this board regarding the proposed “Preserves of Willow Ridge”. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil advised the regulations regarding certified mailing to any property owner within 300’ of any portion of the development, and the signage that has to be posted on site, along with the publications in a local newspaper of general circulation.

Ms. Kathy Wilson:
Ms. Wilson spoke from her seat and requested to pass.


Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kraus if he has been near Park Place in the Gates by the assisted living facility, as he was by there recently and noted that it looks “over lit”. Discussion ensued as to the equipment needed to check the lumens rating on the lighting to see if it is in compliance with the Lighting Standards Ordinance.

Mr. Kraus advised that he would check with their engineering firm to obtain that information on the fixtures, and also check to see if this was approved before the ordinance was passed and thus grand-fathered in.

With no further business before the board Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for adjournment. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:09 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

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