Town of St. John

St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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January 4, 2017 Plan Commission Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentStephen Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk, Vice-PresidentKenn Kraus, Town Engineer
Steve Kozel, SecretaryDavid M. Austgen, Town Attorney
John KennedyRick Eberly, Building & Planning Director
Jon Gill 
Jason Williams 
Bob Birlson 

Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on January 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

The recording secretary took roll call. Commissioners present: Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, Jason Williams, John Kennedy, and Bob Birlson. Staff present: Kenn Kraus, Stephen Kil, Rick Eberly and David Austgen.

The minutes of February 3, 2016 Regular Session; December 7, 2016 Session; January 20, 2016 Study Session, February 17, 2016 Study Session; March 16, 2016 Study Session and May 18, 2016 Study Session were presented to the commission. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the minutes. Mr. Williams asked if they we’re caught up. Mr. Forbes advised there are a few more pending. Mr. Forbes entertained a motion on the minutes. Mr. Kozel motioned that the board approve the aforementioned minutes as submitted, motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention. Mr. Kennedy noted that he abstains from the all the minutes with the exception of the December 7, 2016 meeting, as he was not yet on the board.

A. GATES OF ST. JOHN – UNIT 10 K – Primary Plat Approval (Mr. John Lotton)

Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is a Public Hearing for Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K – Primary Plat approval and called Mr. Lotton to the podium.

Mr. Tony Strickland of V3 Companies introduced himself to the board, and advised that he is here representing Mr. Lotton here this evening. Mr. Forbes asked the board for any questions.

Mr. Kraus advised that the public improvements for this particular subdivision was included in Unit 10 I and 10 J, so all the engineering was approved even before then, because they really did not make any changes from the 2005 plans that were revised in 2015 by Torrenga Engineering.

So, all the engineering is exactly the same as it has been approved, and the Primary Plat approval is needed because a few lot lines got moved a couple of feet over. Mr. Forbes stated there wouldn’t be a letter of credit since it would be covered by blanket letter of credit, correct? Mr. Kraus advised that the letter of credit would be at Secondary Plat. Mr. Kraus commented that all the improvements for this unit are already in place. Mr. Kil advised that there is really nothing outstanding in the Gates, that they usually have everything put in before it is Final platted, or we will withhold the signatures from the mylar.

Mr. Forbes noted that this is a public hearing and called upon Mr. Austgen. Mr. Austgen advised that he has reviewed the proofs of publication and that everything was in order for them to proceed with the public hearing.

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public comment. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’s letter from January 4, 2017:

“We have reviewed the Primary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. This project includes six R-3 lots, associates infrastructure and facilities. The engineering plans have not been changed since the original plan prepared by V3 since 2005 and revised by Torrenga Engineering since 2012. Construction of the required public infrastructure has been completed at the time of this review. The reason a new Primary Plat needs to be approved is that some lot lines have been revised.

Mr. Forbes stated that with that being said he will entertain a motion from the board regarding Primary Plat approval for Unit 10 K.

Mr. Kozel made a motion to grant Primary Plat approval for the Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K, and referencing the Findings of Fact into the record. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Strickland addressed the board and asked that at this time if they could seek Secondary (Final) Plat approval.

Mr. Forbes asked the board if there were any objections to authorizing Final Plat approval this evening. He advised that there is typically a thirty-day waiting period. That waiting period usually gives the developer the opportunity to complete infrastructure installation, but as we have already heard, that is already completed.

Mr. Kil advised Mr. Forbes that they would need to withhold signatures on the mylars until the Developmental Fee has been paid. Mr. Kraus advised he has not calculated that figure as he does not have the Final Plat for review yet, but he should have that shortly.

Mr. Austgen advised the Chairman that from a purely legal perspective, you can act tonight on this as has been requested, but, it is advisable that you wait 30-days to sign the mylar; to allow all of the legalities to be updated and completed, and for compliance with the law. There is a reason for that thirty days in the book. But they do not need to come back if you grant the approval tonight, for the Final Plat, just withhold signatures.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board to waive the rules for the 30-day wait between Primary and Final Plat approval. Mr. Volk made a motion to grant the approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

Given the previous discussion, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to grant Final Plat approval for Gates of St. John – Unit 10 K, contingent upon the Review of the Final Plat by the Town Engineer, the payment of the Developmental Fee, withholding of signatures on the mylar for the 30-day waiting period, and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

A. ROSE GARDEN – Phase 2: Secondary (Final Plat) Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda is Rose Garden – Phase 2, this is Final Plat approval.

Mr. Doug Rettig with DVG / Land Technologies introduced himself to the board, and is here requesting Final Plat approval for Rose Garden – Phase 2. Mr. Rettig advised that it is a simple one lot, which would be Lot 11. This is a simple extension of Parrish Avenue with a little bit of street, curb and storm sewer for one large house on a 1 ½ acre lot.

Mr. Rettig advised that they will be pursuing the further extension of Parrish Avenue when they come back for The preserves of Willow Ridge, but for tonight it is just for this one Lot 11.

Mr. Kennedy asked about the Developmental Fee and SWPPP Fee, and asked if that has been resolved. Mr. Rettig advised he is working with the developer to get that Developmental Fee calculated.

Mr. Kraus advised that this is a one lot subdivision; and the only subdivision work is about 170’ of road, so he would rather that the SWPPP be placed on the building permit stage, on whatever a normal lot would usually pay. Mr. Kraus advised that he believes that is appropriate since it involved less than one acre of disturbance of earth.

Mr. Williams asked if all the improvements were in place. Mr. Rettig advised that there is approximately 170’ of street to install. Mr. Williams asked if that was next to Lot 55. Mr. Rettig advised, correct. Mr. Rettig continued that when they developed Willow Ridge they did not take the street to the end of the unit line, so we are having to put it in now.

Mr. Forbes asked of there was a letter of credit for the infrastructure. Mr. Kraus advised that he does not have the construction costs for this yet.

Mr. Austgen and Mr. Kil advised Mr. Rettig that the matter should just be deferred until the road is in, or he is close to it.

Mr. Williams stated that he knows we are not talking about The Preserves of Willow Ridge, but is any of this going to support connecting into that? Mr. Rettig advised that the house is pre-sold so they wanted to start this house immediately, before the subdivision, because there is a lot more work to be done in the Preserves, so he may want to start this house.

General discussion regarding deferring the matter for one month. Mr. Rettig asked if they posted a letter of credit, would they let them start now. Mr. Forbes stated that if they get a letter of credit, you will get approval for Final Plat. Mr. Kil noted that he will be asked for a building permit to put in a foundation before the road is put in, and it is not the first time he has been asked that question. Mr. Kil told Mr. Rettig that the key is, what kind of access would be available to the construction site. Mr. Forbes commented, what is the point of building a house if you don’t have road access to it. It was noted that even a driveway would be close enough to start on this house.

Mr. Gill noted that the road stops just short of where it angles there. Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes stated they believed it should just be deferred for the thirty days.

Mr. Forbes asked the board that with all this discussion are they in agreement with deferring the issue for a month.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to defer for one month. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.

B. LAKE CENTRAL SALT AND MAINTENANCE BUILDING – Secondary (Final Plat) Approval (Mr. Bill Ledyard and Mr. Larry Veracco)

Mr. Bill Ledyard, Director of Construction and Dr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent of Lake Central School Corporation, introduced themselves to the board and advised that they are seeking Final Plat approval for the Salt and Maintenance Facility for the Lake Central School Corporation.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they had previously appeared before this board and were granted Primary Plat approval contingent upon appearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals for several variances needed.

Mr. Ledyard advised that they appeared before the Board of Zoning appeals on October 24, 2016 and all of their variances were approved, some with some contingencies. I have spoken with Mr. Kil on the condition of the streetscape view of the property and also the wall pack lighting on October 27, 2016; so that has been addressed and should have been distributed to all the members for their review.

Mr. Ledyard also advised that there was a meeting on November 17, 2016 with Dr. Veracco and myself, along with our attorney, along with Mr. Kil and Mr. Austgen in regards to the access road. Our conclusion was to reduce the size of the subdivision, so that we are not next or adjacent to any property other than our own. Mr. Ledyard noted that they just removed Lot 3 from their proposal and the new drawing is up on the meeting room screen.

Mr. Williams inquired about the BZA variances that were approved regarding the southern property, are they nullified now, or does that still stand up.

Mr. Austgen advised that they have shrunk their project parcel by the area of the third lot, or Lot 3, that was referenced on the plat that you saw previously, so that this is now a two-lot subdivision. And that to the effect that the BZA variances, impact or affect that Lot 3, they are no longer of effect, because that Lot 3 parcel, which was part of the original plat presentation is no longer before you.

Mr. Williams asked that if Lot 3 were to be reintroduced at a later date, would those variances still stand up, or would they have to be re-approved. Mr. Austgen answered they would have to be re-approved.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the 20’ easement was still there for access to the south. Mr. Ledyard showed where the 20’ easement still remains, at the southern edge of Lot 2. Mr. Forbes stated that he thinks the access is basically a driveway, and will prohibit any business back there.

Mr. Kil and Mr. Kraus clarified that there is a 40’ roadway right-of-way, and then the 20’ access easement that was requested.

Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Ledyard to explain the two sheets of landscape views that were handed out. Mr. Ledyard advised that the one view is the original planting, and the second sheet is the landscape view at a mature growth around 5 to 6 years from planting. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Williams requested that some of those plantings be moved toward the Southwest section to block the view that they were reviewing. Mr. Ledyard advised that would be no problem.

General discussion ensued as to the planting of the trees and the location of the easement.

Mr. Forbes read Kenn Kraus’s letter from January 4, 2017:

“We have reviewed the Secondary Plat for the referenced project and have the following comments. This subdivision project includes two lots zoned Public on 35.68 acres. It appears that approximately 158.5’ along the south edge of Lot 2 is zoned Industrial. We have completed our review and find the plat to be satisfactory. We have been informed the the Board of Zoning Appeals had contingencies with their approval that need to be met prior to Secondary Plat approval by the Plan Commission. The Developmental Fee is $900.00.”

With no further questions from the board, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Final Plat approval. Mr. Kennedy made a motion to grant Final Plat approval, referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Forbes).

Mr. Kennedy amended his motion to withhold the signing of the Final Plat until the Developmental Fee has been paid. Motion seconded by Mr. Kozel. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay (Mr. Forbes)

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion for Site Plan approval for the Salt and Maintenance Facility, approval would have the contingency of relocating the landscaping to further hide the South side of the Salt Barn. Mr. Williams made the motion to grant Site Plan approval with the aforementioned contingency. Mr. Kozel seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 nay. (Mr. Forbes)


Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street):
Mr. Swets asked if they have yet to get a response on the traffic study for the impact fees. (Mr. Forbes advised that the data is in, and the procedure is to form an Advisory Committee for the Road Impact Fee, hold several meetings and a public hearing. Mr. Forbes advised that they plan on forming the board on January 12, 2017).

Mr. Forbes inquired if there was anyone else that wished to make public comment. Hearing none Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

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