February 1, 2017 Plan Commission Minutes
|Michael Forbes, President||Stephen Kil, Town Manager|
|Gregory Volk, Vice-President||Kenn Kraus, Town Engineer|
|Steve Kozel, Secretary||Michael Muenich, Board Attorney|
|John Kennedy||Rick Eberly, Building & Planning Director|
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Michael Forbes called to order the St. John Plan Commission Regular Meeting on March 1, 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, Rick Eberly and David Austgen.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of April 1, 2015; June 1, 2016; July 6, 2016 and February 1, 2017 Regular Meetings. Study Sessions: June 15, 2016; July 20, 2016; and February 15, 2017. Several members announced abstentions from voting on the minutes, as they were not yet on the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen for direction in this matter.
Mr. Austgen advised that as seated members to this Commission, even if you were not here, you are still entitled to vote on the minutes of the public meetings that are referenced. He further suggested that those members present verify or validate the accuracy of the minutes for those who were not present. But we do need to have public meeting minutes, and they really do need to be approved and public meeting action is required, with the majority of the body voting on same.
Mr. Williams stated that with that being said, he would ask for a deferral as he did not review them, as he was not expecting to vote on same.
Mr. Forbes stated he would take the minutes individually:
• April 1, 2015 Regular Session - Mr. Williams has made a motion to defer. Mr. Birlson seconded. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.
• June 1, 2016 Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 5 ayes – 2 abstentions.
• July 6, 2016 Regular Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
• February 1, 2017 Regular Session – Mr. Williams made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.
• June 15, 2016 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
• July 20, 2016 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 1 abstention.
• February 15, 2017 Study Session – Mr. Kozel made a motion to approve minutes. Seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 7 ayes – 0 nays.
A. THREE SPRINGS – PHASE III – Public Hearing for Re-Zone from R-1 to R-2PUD And R-3PUD (Mr. Dave Barrick and Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the first item is Three Springs – Phase 3, a Public Hearing requesting a zone change from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. Mr. Barrick is the Developer and Mr. Rettig is the Representative.
Mr. Eberly stated for the record that all three (3) of our Public Hearing petitioners are prepared for this evening’s meeting, all documents are in order and the public hearings can proceed.
Mr. Rettig of DVG, introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Rettig advised that the developer/owner of Three Springs, Dave Barrick is also here tonight.
Mr. Rettig advised that Three Springs – Phase 3 is the last phase of the Three Springs development. This parcel is at the far south end with an existing street stub, which is shown on the drawing. That will be the primary entrance to this phase. Mr. Rettig advised that Spring Lake Road exists up to this location, and they are proposing to “loop” the street with a future street stub to the East, that will ultimately connect back to Parrish Avenue.
Mr. Rettig advised they are requesting a rezone. Mr. Rettig noted that when you annex property into the Town of St. John it is automatically zoned R-1. Mr. Rettig noted that the previous phases of Three Springs are zoned R-2 and R-3 so far; there are duplexes along the railroad tracks coming in off of Joliet Street, zoned R-3. The balance of the subdivision is zoned R-2. Mr. Rettig advised that what they are requesting tonight is an R-2 and R-3 PUDs.
Mr. Rettig directed their attention to a dotted-line that separates the zoning areas. They are proposing that the southerly portion to be R-3 PUD, with the northerly and easterly portion to be R-2 PUD, with one lot that will be left as a conventional lot that matches with the other lots in Phase 2.
Mr. Rettig stated the reason they are requesting the PUD zoning is to have a little latitude with the lot sizes, since there is no zoning lot size for what is called “Cottage Homes”, and that is the desire of what Mr. Barrick is wanting to build. These would be Single-Family Cottage Homes, along the lake, which will be conventional single-family homes on smaller lots. The balance of the property we are seeking R-3 PUD, will be duplexes. Mr. Rettig advised these will be consistent with the duplexes that were built in Phase One.
Mr. Rettig advised that there are a total of 65 dwelling units on approximately 34 acres, so the density is at 1.9 units per acre, which is not that unusual for a residential area. Mr. Rettig advised that the Cottage Homes will have no less than 60’ of frontage; and the duplexes will have no less than 83’ of frontage and for the record it is measured at the building line. The minimum lot areas are tabulated at 8,400 square feet for the Cottage Homes and the Duplexes at 14,200 square feet. Mr. Rettig reiterated that those are the minimums.
Mr. Rettig did a tabulation of the overall averages, which show the Cottage Homes at 10,000 square feet and the Duplexes at a little over 18,300 square feet.
Mr. Rettig advised that they are not asking for anything on the side yard setbacks, which will be 8’ minimum. The minimum front yard setback is 25’, which is also typical of the zoning ordinance. The rear yard minimum will be 25’ as well.
Mr. Rettig advised that he has presented this at earlier Study Sessions and Regular Meetings, and noted that one of the issues that they have in this parcel is the green space. Mr. Rettig directed their attention to the meeting room screen where a triple pipeline goes through the middle of the parcel in question. He noted that the large grassy area as shown cannot be developed due to the pipelines. They need to install a public street and they can only place buildings on one side of this due to the difficulties. Mr. Rettig also pointed to the high tension tower lines at the very South end of the property.
Mr. Rettig stated that he understood that this is the first step in rezoning the parcel and that this will also have to go before the Town Council for approval. Mr. Rettig advised that he would be glad to answer any questions that the board may have.
With no questions from the board members, Mr. Forbes opened the floor to Public Comment. He reminded those wishing to speak to come to the podium and please state your name and address for the record. Mr. Forbes asked for the sign-in sheet that was provided.
Jerry Shallon (12095 Oakwood Drive): Just in general I’m here. Been here 25 years in the town. It’s getting more and more congested, crowded, traffic’s getting worse. The town plans for zoning when they annex properties, and I kinda feel like we don’t need more houses, duplexes, smaller lots. Uh,., the developers buy the land with the zoning that’s on it,., and it seems over the 25 years all they do is want is keep wanting zoning changes,., and I hope the board really considers, does the town need more,., more densely populated area. That’s all, just a general statement.
Gerry Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I’m concerned Mr. Chairman because we never had to sign in for a public hearing before. There are a number of people here who came to speak tonight, in fact I almost didn’t sign in because I really only planned to speak and this public hearing. So now I concerned that now you’re changing the rules and the regulations. Cause it has never been that way before. Now. Gentlemen. When you develop a parcel and begin to build homes and you share with the homeowners what their neighborhood is gonna look like. You shouldn’t be surprised as a developer,., when they get angry and upset when you start to change some of the things that they were planning on. Changes like putting up twice as many homes on the same amount of property. Putting up twice as many homes and putting them on sixty foot wide lots.., right across from the lake where there are houses right down the street, from where there are houses on a hundred foot wide lots. Put up twice as many homes and selling for much less,., than what they paid for their homes. Change up the neighborhood of,., of the people that you,., that you sold to,., um,., just so you can make more money. Now I know that Mr. Barrick is in business to make money also realize,., this is a challenging piece of the property to develop because of railroads,., pipelines, power lines,., but he knew that when he bought the property. In fact he even shared with you at a meeting earlier, that that’s one of the reasons why he got such a good deal on that piece of property. Because it was a difficult piece to develop. Um,., I don’t think you can shake your money bag and cry poor at the same time. If you look at the development to the east that’s gonna happen after this,., um, there’s a pond there as well, which is lake front, water front property, which is a valuable commodity. Everybody would like to have lakefront property. But don’t build multi-family homes that are gonna effect future development to the east. And I know you’re tasked with trying to decide what to allow, so that land can be developed without injury to the developer,., and also to the homeowners. I also know that you’ve made some suggestions in the past study sessions, but the developer is not interested in your ideas. If you look at the sale prices of land around this lake, the single family lots sold for twice the price of the property of the duplex lots are. So, if you do not allow the,., the duplex lots, the developer would not be hurt if he’s required to keep them as single family because he would be getting the same amount of money. If you look at the homeowners, what would duplexes and cottage homes do,., well it would lower the average selling price of homes in their development or in their neighborhood. It would increase the population density in their area. Two residences or two families in one lot would increase vehicle traffic. Would increase the need for all the required resources,., water, sewer, garbage, police, fire, schools,., and if you look at what the town,., the town has potentially has a chance to lose,., to lose a reduction in real estate tax revenues. If each home owner gets an exemption,.,. for a homeowners,., uh, a mortgage exemption and a homestead exemption,., now on each piece of property instead of having one exemption,., you gonna have two sets of exemptions. So you’re gonna have two people getting exemptions on the same single piece of property if it was a single family dwelling. And that’s long term revenue that’s gonna last forever. You’re never gonna get that money back. So, I ask you to deny the request for this zoning,., I would also thank you gentlemen,., I would also like to ask for a ruling on the other people that wanted to speak that didn’t sign up tonight.
Gretchen Sutherland (10075 Springlake Road): Good evening. Thank you for hearing our thoughts about this development. My home is located at 10075 Springlake Road. I believe on the map, my property is located next to the proposed house number two, one of the cottage homes. Um,., I first want to say that many years ago Mr. Barrick built me a home. That I was able to raise my children in and have a wonderful life in this town that we very much enjoy and cherish. Um,., when we built our home I was told that the next phase would homes just like ours. As my concern being that I was building a home right on the edge of not knowing what would come next, and having to think about how that would impact my quality of living and my property value. Um,., the standard of housing and standard of living in the Town of St. John, was referenced on Monday evening at the BZA meeting. And that there was, an intention of honoring a commitment to maintaining a large lot community. Um,., this plan does not align with that standard. Um,., if Mr. Barrick is allowed to rezone this subdivision, and build small houses, on small lots, this standard definitely will not be maintained. Um,., the other,., or the outer phase of this plan includes duplexes along the southern edge, and then the cottage homes on the western edge. This sets a precedence for future development that concerns me. Um,., because what comes next, condos and apartments. Um,., none of this is good for the feel of our community or the value of our community. Um,., I firmly believe that this change should be denied, and that we should maintain the standard of housing in St. John, and maintain that large lot community. Um,., and I also wanted to say that I do agree with many of the things that Mr. Swets said. Thank you.
Ronna Reznik (9971 Wisteria Lane): And um,., I am also a resident of Three Spings, and um,., Mr. Swets and Mrs. Sutherland, um,., pretty much said exactly what my thoughts are. Um,., the increase in the amount of homes on the smaller lots is concerning, when we were under the impression that the houses would be similar to what was already in the subdivision. So,., I just second what they said. Thank you.
Amy Barsich (9960 Springlake Road): Um,., I live on Springlake Road, which is you can kinda see on the map, um,., Mr. Barrack built my home, a wonderful single family home. My main concern echoes with what they state about the state about the values of the homes and the smaller lot sizes. But also the traffic. There’s only two ways in here right now, there is no street to Parrish at this time. Um, there are a lot of little kids in our subdivision and um,., this is basically going to double the traffic, so that’s one of my main concerns. And I wanna disapprove this,., give my disapproval. Thank you.
Kathy Hecimovich (9963 Hart Street): I do have a duplex on the lake. I just had it built. But I am against the changing of these rules for the smaller cottage homes. My home would look across on these homes, and we were always told that it would be bigger lots, conforming with what everyone else was on the lake. Um,., I was in a smaller duplex in the same subdivision two blocks down. I had a house, or a duplex built two blocks away, I love the town, I love Three Springs itself. I just do not approve of changing this from R-1 to R-2 and 3.
Grant Luff (10080 Springlake Road): I just want to say what the rest of them have said. Right now I’m the last house on that lake. And I really do not,., I’m,., took all the time to look for this place and finally found a nice place, and I just don’t wanna see cottages right next to me and these little lots and all that, you know what I mean. I just think it’s a waste if you do it. I really do, I’, just,., that’s up to,., I mean,., It’s up to you guys, but I’m telling ya it’s not gonna look good you know what I mean. Thank about it. I didn’t spend all this money and take my money to buy something like this and for you,., to put all this little stuff beside me, you know. That’s all I really gotta say.
Kevin Matokar (10050 Springlake Road): I’m presenting a proxy for Kevin Matokar, who is working tonight. I am also a resident of the home. “Council people, I’m just reading this quick note from my cousin Kevin Matokar, who is at work tonight. Um,., I, Kevin Matokar oppose the request of Dave Barrick and Doug Rettig to rezone the Three Springs Phase 3 from R-1 to R-2 PUD and R-3 PUD. His wife, my cousin Rebecca, and I were sold the lot with the promise that this would be single-family home lots. To request a change in zoning is an act of fraud, also unethical; and when we built our homes with a different understanding. This is also stated in our lot contract, which we had to abide by. He should also have the stand by what is in that agreement as we did.” That’s from Kevin Matokar. Thank you.
[the aforementioned was read into the record by Mr. Mike Cicirale of 10050 Springlake Road]
Rebecca Matokar (10050 Springlake Road): Kevin is my husband. I agree with the previous speakers. I oppose the request for the rezoning, for the obvious reasons. Thank you.
Wayne and Denise Cain (9817 Allison Lane): [from audience: “I have nothing to add”]
Rick King (10131 West 99th Avenue): [from audience: “I have nothing to add as well”]
Gina Eustace (10070 Springlake Road): I purchased my home in Phase 2 of Three Springs a little over nine years ago. I purchased a home in this development specifically because it was zoned R-1 single-family homes. The time of purchasing my home, I specifically asked about Phase 3, as it sits one spot away from my home, I’m at the end. Um,., at that time I was assured Phase 3 was also to be R-1 single family homes, and it would simply be a continuation of the beautiful development that had already existed. Um,., I ask you to please reject the re-zoning of Phase 3 as I think it will lower all of our property values and I don’t think that’s fair. You know, we all um,., invested our,., you know,., some of us our life savings into building our homes and raising our families in this community. And I don’t think it’s right that they can now come back in and change it to multi-family dwellings which will,., you know, completely change the overall feel of our community, and like I said, lower our property values,., so, thank you very much. Thanks for listening.
Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I attended the study session when this development was first introduced to you gentlemen a few months back. And I wanna make this a matter of the record, just so the people sitting here in this chamber understand what’s transpired. The developer at that time was asked by Mr. Williams, and if you remember Jason what he said to you, when you asked him why about all the multi units. And his answer,., he was sitting two rows in front of me so didn’t misunderstand. His answer to you was “because I wanna make more money”. That was his public answer. I don’t believe that the reasoning behind this development, which was brought in as R-1. After subsequently, within the last two months, has sat here and said he got a heck of a deal on the property, so therefore financially, he’s under no hardship to change the zoning. Because I heard him personally, say it sitting here. Then he,., two weeks ago, came in here and said to the chamber, that he had spent a week in Las Vegas, and this is the way they develop in Las Vegas, and we should adopt that style. My answer to that is simply this is not Las Vegas. This is St. John. We don’t develop property in St. John like they do in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the country. These people were sold their houses based on promises of having an R-1. And as a result they should be given the opportunity to see their properties remain as R-1. I don’t believe that this is in the best interest of St. John, and the fact that multi-units in this area are approximately 38% of the total development, when the town’s benchmark is supposed to be 8% multi-unit. This is at 38%, straight up. That’s not even close to 8. Thank you.
Mary Jo Biscan (10201 West 99th Avenue): I also brought two letters from neighbors who are out of town. So, I’ll make my statement first. My husband and I built on the pond in Three Springs in 2008. And we were told that Phase 3 would be single family, actually “estate homes”. Our own concern was that they would be single family homes. Our view from the pond is very attractive due to the uniformity of the yards. The lots are wide, the homes have a lot of green space around them. I feel that changing the size of the lots around the pond will create clustering of homes, and a sense of overcrowding. The continuation of duplexes and cottage homes throughout Phase 3 will cause overcrowding of driveways, traffic, and would make the majority of homes in Three Springs multi-family. This will be reflected in our assessments and not what we feel would be fair for the present homeowners. Um,., I actually have two neighbors that are now in Florida, may I state their name and address and read their letter, or should I just present it to you.
Mr. Austgen suggested that Mrs. Biscan read and incorporate the names into the record along with their letters, then present the letters for the record.
Dale and Jackie Pruim (10229 West 99th Avenue): “February 28, 2017. To: The Saint John Council. RE: Three Spring Phase 3 Public Hearing. Ladies and Gentlemen: Our names are Dale and Jackie Pruim and our home is located at 10229 W. 99th Avenue, Saint John, part of Phase 2 of the Three Spring subdivision. We are currently out of town and unable to attend the March 1, 2017 public hearing concerning Phase 3. We are strongly opposed to the building of any multi-family homes that back up to the lake. When we purchased our home in 2013 we asked the builder/developer, Mr. Dave Barick, what the plans for were across the lake. At that time, Mr. Barick assured us that only R-1 single family homes would continue around the lake as part of his phase 3, therefore maintaining the continuity of the lake view as well as home values. We understand plans change but not always for the better of the current homeowners. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Dale and Jackie Pruim, 10229 W. 99th Avenue, St John, IN 46373, 219-512-6453.”
[read into record by Ms. Mary Jo Biscan]
Michael and Sherri Hammermeister (10215 West 99th Avenue): “February 26, 2017. To the saint John Council. RE: Three Springs Phase 3 public hearing. Our names are Michael & Sherri Hammermeister we live at 10215 W. 99th Ave. St. John, and reside in the Three Springs subdivision. We are currently out of town and are not able to attend the public hearing on March 1, 2017. We are writing this letter that we are opposing any building other than R1 single family homes in phase 3 in the Three Springs subdivision. We were told by the developer that they would be R1 around the whole lake which is phase 2 and phase 3. We now have 37% multi-family homes (some of these are rentals) and 63% single family homes. If the developer can build with his new plan it will be 50% for both. It seems that we should have more single family homes than multi-family homes. This will keep the values up on our homes and would look great around the lake with all single family homes. Thank you for your time. Respectfully, Michael & Sherri Hammermeister, 10215 W. 99th Ave., St. John, IN 46373, 219-805-6210.
[read into record by Ms. Mary Jo Biscan]
Hilary Friesma (8900 Drake Drive): This is the first time to ever come to one of these. Can I ask a question or no. Cause I’m was just wondering like, why does,., like I want to hear,., I guess I want to hear from, not from just heresay,., why does he want to change it when like single family homes are selling so good in St. John, and the real estate is so good in St. John, why,., is there a reasoning why,., why he wants to change the zoning.
Mr. Forbes advised that the request is based out of the layout of the properties. The request came from the developer because of the high tension lines, the gas lines, the railroad tracks, ecetera. That is where the request came from.
(Hilary Friesma continued): So he knew that when he bought the lots as an R-1. Okay, I just wanna say that I oppose this, um,., we actually bought a lot to build around Three Springs, and um,., now its on the sandstone until we figure out what’s going on with this. Um, that’s it.
Leroy Sutherland (10075 Springlake Road): I agree with everybody in front of me, you know, about the development, you know,., I’m opposed to it, so,., that’s all I got to say.
Mike Sikora (10134 West 98th Place): I’ve lived in Three Springs for about ten years. I here to support my fellow homeowners of Three Springs to oppose the rezoning of Phase 3 in Three Springs. By allowing lower cost housing to be built in our subdivision, it will eventually lower the average value of other homes in Three Springs. Why line the pockets of a builder at the expense of everyone else in our subdivision. That’s all I have, thank you.
Michael Guritz (9899 Three Springs Drive): I echo the comments of all the previous speakers. This is in no way good for our subdivision. It goes against the promises that have been made for this Phase 3, it’s gonna lower property values. It’s gonna raise the density. Uh,., more traffic that is inundated in this subdivision. Ultimately, it’s not in the best interest of the subdivision and not in the best interest of St. John.
Julie Fischer (9890 Allison Lane): I’ve been living in St. John for 12 years in that subdivision. I was told from day one, when we moved in there, that Phase 3 would be regular houses. That was the reason why we moved in there. The traffic is getting really bad on 99th Avenue. I oppose to have this done.
AJ Drensoft (9636 West 99th Court): Good evening. All I can say is that I agree with everything that everybody has said here tonight. Um,., I was attracted to the community. The Three Springs was because of the size of the lots, and told the same thing about any continuing building there was gonna be on equally sized lots. I passed on a couple other developments in the area, because there,., what they had planned, like over at Renaissance, was., their later phases would be smaller lots, but the houses were gonna be similar size. And, um,., I wasn’t interest in that, so I went ahead a purchased over in Three Springs. And I was just kinda surprised to hear what was being planned here for Phase 3. So, I just want to be on the record for opposing the changing of zoning.
Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would like to remonstrate against this petitioner and this petition, and asked that it be denied. I incorporate by reference all the previous remonstrators against this project. The petitioner mentioned hardship. The hardship is imposed by the petitioner on himself. He knows what the zoning is. He knows the layout. And in fact, the hardship is reversed from what he’s claiming to be a hardship on him, by putting a hardship on the property owners. The increased density will reduce the property values of the adjoining property owners, and the value of the whole town. So the hardship is in fact against all the property owners in town, by diminishing these lot sizes. These,., as Mr. Swets mentioned, the smaller lots will have a higher number of small units, who can have mortgage exemptions, all the other exemptions entitled to, and the assessed valuation will be lower per unit, and that will adversely effect everybody’s property taxes, because you’ll have to increase the services for fire, police, safety, the ambulance, because you’ve increased the density. Those costs will be picked up by everybody else. So this imposes a hardship on every property owner in St. John. Currently, if you look the road situation in St. John, it has turned into a nightmare of congestion. By increasing the intensity of the number of units here, you increase the traffic, you reduce the response time of the emergency services. So, in fact this is detrimental to the whole town and the residents that will be there. People who buy their homes in a subdivision, detrimentally rely on the zoning of that subdivision. You can not go back and rezone this to smaller units, when people who have made property purchases, have detrimentally relied on the adjoining zoning and layout of the community, because that creates the hardship on them. Detrimental reliance is a basis to reject this proposal. It was mentioned 8’ side lot,., we just had a BZA meeting where 8’ side lot was rejected. I believe the code is 10’, and that’s been kinda the standard in the community. When you allow 8’ side yards, you bring houses closer together, you diminish the drainage that’s available, and you destroy the quality of life in having a house that’s 10’ side yard. 10’ and 10’ is 20. So, for that reason I think the,., that diminishes the property values of the adjoining properties. St. John has gone on a drunken binge of increasing the number of duplexes in town. No matter what subdivision you live in, by increasing the number of duplexes, you destroy everybody’s property values throughout the community. People now are looking to go to other communities, because of the massive increase of duplexes in St. John. Again, these duplexes diminishes the property value of everybody in St. John no matter where you live. And if you, say,.,that you’re doing this because of the railroad tracks, the high tension lines, those are existing, pre-existing conditions, that the developer knew when he bought the lots. Bought the subdivision, bought whatever properties involved. So again, we are not responsible as residents of St. John for the hardships that the developer imposes on himself. We do not want to assume hardships because he claims a hardship that he created for himself. For all of these reasons, this Plan Commission should reject this rezoning. Thank you.
Sue Furtek (10015 Springlake Road): I am here to oppose this plan. Approximately 10 years to the day, we purchased our lot on Springlake Road. We could have chosen any subdivision in the Town of St. John. We chose Three Springs for the fact that it was a smaller subdivision. The houses were so far apart from each other, and we knew it was just going to be a smaller area of houses, less congestion, I,., We originally had out first house in Dyer off of Hart Street, and they all lined up three, then four, all the houses are on top of each other. We had a 75’ wide lot in Dyer. The fact that they’re going to put these cottage homes on a 60’, I can’t even imagine it. And the thoughts of a cottage home in St. John, that completely upsets me, that does not belong in our town. And I just oppose it,., I agree with all the opposition to this,., of everybody else’s statements. I oppose.
Mr. Forbes asked the audience if there was anyone wishing to speak on the Three Springs agenda item that did not get a chance to sign up, please step forward.
Pat Moran (9929 West 100th Place): I’d like to go on record as opposing this development, um,., we’ve been in St. John for two years now,., what,., what drew us to the subdivision was all these beautiful homes that you see as you head towards our street, um,., you have the beautiful lake, the homes on the lake,., you got the geese commin’ in, it’s almost like a wildlife preserve. Um,., when I heard that um,., this was gonna happen I just thought it was wrong on so many levels,., it’s,., it’s gonna,., to me it’s gonna look like a compound. Just sitting there at one end, there’s only gonna be one access road, that will be Springlake Road. I’m retired, I get a chance to view the traffic on a daily basis, uh,., I see an increase in traffic,., I feel with all those lots, its gonna double. Another thing we like about the subdivision,., lot of kids,., and our kids are all grown. But it’s nice to see all the kids in the neighborhood. I really worry about, uh,., their safety, uh,., that any more cars, uh,., nobody stops at stop signs anyway. Um,., I think with that many more cars in the subdivision, only one way in and one way out, rush hour in the morning, rush hour in the evening, somebody’s gonna get killed. Um,., I’d just like you to consider just that area, um,., beautiful homes continuing along the lake, throughout that subdivision. Um,., I would just like to say that um,., anything different would just upset the whole feeling for us, um,., I just want to say that I love St. John and thank you for listening.
Chris Cook (9829 West 100th Place): I’m probably the most recent Spring Wood resident. My wife and I just moved here from Illinois. Um,., we could have moved anywhere. We could have gone to Crown Point. We could have gone,., we looked at Valparaiso. We moved to St. John because it’s something special. We moved to Three Springs because it’s something special. Um,., we came from Joliet, where we lived in a single family home, where they built townhomes, uh, and uh,., duplexes right by our ,., the home value went done. Uh,., the traffic went up, uh,., nothing good came out of it. We love St. John for what it is, and we hope that you see that we wanna continue that, and that you will continue to make St. John a place for people like me want to come an live, and grow up and raise kids and spend the rest of our life.
Suzette Moretz (9821 Allison Lane): I’ve been a resident in Three Springs for approximately 13 years. We were Phase 1. I’ve watched the Three Springs area develop. It’s a nice quiet subdivision. We love our houses, we love how big the lots are, if you change that, your gonna change everything about why I raised 5 children there, so I would hope that you would listen to everyone and I oppose this. Thank you.
Angela Bartolomeo (9965 Springlake Road): I live on Springlake Road in Three Springs. I’ve been a resident there for approximately 9 years. Um,., and so that would be one of the main flows of traffic into Phase 3. Um,., there,., I have two children, um,., and um,., there are even younger children all around me on Springlake Road, and I think the additional traffic, um,.., would be a detriment to the safety and ambience and everything else that everybody was mentioning previously. Um,., I definitely oppose the rezoning, um,., and I don’t understand why,., I don’t understand why common sense would say that we would,., it would have to be such a large debate. Um,., St. John is beautiful and I think that you guys know um,., what everyone wants. You want what we want, and a rezoning is in the best interest of the town or anyone in this room. Thank you.
Mr. Forbes called out into the audience for any other further public comment on Three Springs. Hearing non Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back to the board for comment and discussion.
Mr. Birlson said that he wanted to make a statement, and said that he appreciates all of the folks present coming to the podium and voicing their concerns and comments. Mr. Birlson stated that he agrees with them one hundred percent. Mr. Birlson stated he wrote some things down, noting that he thinks it’s sets a precedence to the property to the East and to the South of this development. He continued that he thinks that eventually property values will drop on townhomes and duplexes, also putting a burden on our fire, police, public works, sewer and water, traffic, schools, roads, etcetera. It goes on and on and on. And, St. John, the Town Council and the Plan Commission had a threshold of about 8% for duplexes throughout the town. Last time I heard, we’re at 19%, so with this increase,., [Mr. Forbes: That is an inaccurate statement]. Well, that’s what was said before. Well then where are we at then. [Mr. Forbes: It depends on you’re determination. It’s either 6, 7 or 8 %]. It’s not 19. [Mr. Forbes: No.]. That’s all I have to say.
Mr. Williams stated that he talked about this during at the Study Session, but he drove this neighborhood after the last public meeting that they had on this item. I wanted to get a feel for the neighborhood, and I drove to where the current road stops, and there were kids playing hockey in the driveway at one of the houses. The houses were extremely beautiful, the ones I was looking at that backed up to the water. All R-2, all very, very nice houses, the character of the current neighborhood is outstanding. So kudos for building a beautiful neighborhood. That being said, they have heard several comments in regards to the hardship of this parcel and he does not want to overlook those. One of the hardships was that no one will buy houses that back up to high tension wires. Well, if you drive outside this area to the East, you will see houses that back up against high-tension wires. Mr. Williams also wanted to get some comment from the developer on some of the audience that spoke saying that promises were made when their houses were being built, and you would please comment on those promises. And the final thing is that I feel that the only place that R-3 has a place is along the railroad tracks. We have a precedent in the town, and I know we don’t manage these based on precedent. But building R-3 along the railroad tracks, and I think that is also in this neighborhood, and I think that idea has merit. However, I don’t think the rest of the parcel should be zoned as R-3.
Mr. Kennedy commented that in previous planning study sessions we have been very sympathetic to the issues that he has with this site, and suggestions and recommendations have been made. However, no changes have been made from all the times that we have met with him in the previous months. So, as it is currently laid out, I just don’t feel comfortable accepting it.
Mr. Gill commented that on what Mr. Williams stated in regards to 103rd The Gates; actually after the first few lots up to the first stop sign on 103rd are “all R-2”, but everything after that to Park Place is actually R-3 PUD Cottage Homes. Mr. Gill advised that this is Unit 5 and 6 of The Gates. Mr. Gill further made reference to the area of Redwood to Adler Cove and the square footage and side yards of these units, all designated at R-3 PUD.
Mr. Forbes asked the Petitioner if he had any questions or comments.
Mr. Dave Barrick came to the podium to address any questions from the board. Mr. Forbes advised that he believes Mr. Williams wanted a comment in regards to statements from the audience that promises were made in regard to this portion of the development.
Mr. Barrick asked how could I promise the third Phase when it wasn’t even developed?, and I want to make something real clear. Everybody here has a big misunderstanding. All land is annexed into the Town of St. John “has to come in as R-1”. That was not my choice, that’s the Town’s choice, and we respect that. Our first Phase and our second Phase was farmland. It was annexed in as R-1. We put multi-family duplexes in R-1, there is multi-family in R-2. This shouldn’t be any surprise to anybody, because both the first phase and the second phase has multi-family; which you call multi-family and we call it duplexes. There’s people in this room here right now that are living in townhomes that we built. Yet they are up here complaining how I’m making the whole neighborhood bad. That I resent. I have my own personal relatives living in townhomes. These are people just like you guys, they’re no different. I’ve had it,., because what their saying is my relatives are no good to live here in this town. My relatives have been here since I built the first phase.
My relatives are not here to defend themselves, but they have been here since I started this project. They’re good, up-standing people, they don’t cause any trouble. And yet they live in a couple of the townhomes.
But, I think the big misconception here is the fact that the land has to be rezoned. The first phase was rezoned, second phase was rezoned, and the third phase is being rezoned. It’s not a change, it’s just the way it is. That is one thing that I think we should clear up here. The people here have a misunderstanding on developing.
Mr. Barrick addressed Mr. Williams in regards to “promises”. Do you have it in writing. Mr. Barrick stated that he talks to thousands of people, not hundred,., thousands. Somebody ask you what the second phase was going to be around the lake, “yes”, to bigger homes. How can I comment on the third phase when we haven’t even developed it. And these hardships?, I didn’t bring this stuff on me, myself. This was part of the package that we bought twelve years ago. One hundred and ninety acres were purchased. This little ugly duckling can with it. What are we suppose to do. It was either take that or get nothing. But nobody was here for that deal when we made it.
Mr. Barrick continued that the first two phases were better. We didn’t have to have a PUD (Planned Unit Development), did we. It was a straight-up subdivision. This little guy here, he needs all the help he can get. And yes, another gentleman here made a comment that I’m here for the money. That’s the only reason I’m here. This is what I do for a living. We need more units in there to make it profitable to develop it. I didn’t know we were going to have to give up that gigantic green space twelve years ago. So everyone wants to make me look to be into this just for the money, we’re not, we’re just trying to develop a piece of property. This is the way we feel. It would be worth it for me to invest my money to get a return, that’s the only reason I’m here. Some people think I’m running a Country Club, I’m not. I have to generate a certain amount of money out of the land, and if not, there is no reason to do it.
Mr. Kozel stated that if they would be interested in coming back to another Study Session to address this further, then I would make a motion to defer it. Mr. Forbes asked the board if there would be a second to the motion to defer should the petitioner wish to come back and work with the board members. Mr. Kozel asked Mr. Rettig if he had any comment on the matter of a deferral.
Mr. Rettig advised that he conferred with Mr. Barrick, that if a deferral is an option, that we would re-group and come up with an alternative. Mr. Barrick is willing to do that, and try to reduce the density some and still try to make it work financially, so we would entertain a deferral and work with the board at a study session. I cannot say it will be a totally different sketch; however, he is willing to reduce his density.
Mr. Forbes advised that given that discussion, Mr. Kozel has made a motion for a deferral. Mr. Williams seconded motion. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Austgen commented that due to the quality and the quantity of interest, do you want to have a discussion here before the developer (applicant) leaves about the what the next public notice might be. Mr. Austgen gave several examples. Mr. Austgen felt that the developer needs to know what notice requirements will be needed, and he needs to hold another public hearing. Mr. Forbes suggested that they just continue this public hearing, and given that volume of people that attended, we could open the floor again to public comment. Mr. Austgen stated that he just wants it noted for the record so that those present are aware.
Mr. Austgen further commented that when he gets lost, he looks at the “black and white of the code”, and his plan is his plan and he invited by his notice of public hearing, at your request, public comment on this proposal. Mr. Austgen noted that if it changes dramatically, there is a different plan, and no one knows who will be interested at that point, and whether there will be people other than those present tonight that would be interested in the topic. Mr. Austgen commented that this is all about “fairness transparency”, and it is necessary for them to know before they leave.
Mr. Rettig advised that he appreciates Attorney Austgen’s comments. Mr. Rettig stated that he believes that they will present an R-2 and R-3PUD still, with bigger lots. It is not going to be drastically different. The street pattern really can not change, so we are talking about reducing density, reducing the number of lots, and making lots a little bit bigger. Hopefully, it will be a lot more appealing, and that is all that they can do with the short time that they had to talk about it tonight. Mr. Rettig advised that if it is a drastically different plan, I agree that we will have to start over, and they understand that.
Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they are comfortable of taking this back to a Study Session, and see what comes out in discussion. Obviously if there is no substantive changes, we can make the recommendation based on that. Mr. Forbes further stated that if changes are made, we can always put them on the web-site, and then we can circulate it the neighborhoods, just so all those are informed on what is going on.
Mr. Birlson stated his concern is if he comes back in six months with a revised plan and all the smoke has cleared away, and.,.
Mr. Forbes stated that at that point, we can talk about having the petitioner re-noticing, but as of right now, we are going to a study session, we are going to discuss it, and this will be on the agenda next month. This way we know the “immediate” timeline.
Mr. Williams stated that regardless of the changes, or how small the changes that they re-open it to public comment. Mr. Forbes advised that was what he just made that point.
Mr. Eberly asked for the edification of the audience, the next two agendas, this will be discussed on will be the March 15, 2017 Study Session and the April 5, 2017 Regular Session; is that the intent of the motion. Mr. Forbes advised that is correct.
B. CASTLE ROCK – Public Hearing and Primary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig and Mr. Andy James)
Mr. Forbes advised the next item on the agenda is Castle Rock and this is a public hearing for Preliminary Plat for a Single Family Development, formerly known as Kilkenny Estates. The petitioner is Mr. Andy James, and represented by Mr. Doug Rettig.
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Eberly if all documents are in order for the public hearing to proceed. Mr. Eberly advised that they were.
Mr. Williams asked that it is clear that they are not going to discuss the extension of Calumet Avenue to the North. Mr. Forbes agreed that is “not” part of this development.
Mr. Doug Rettig of DVG introduced himself to the board and advised he is appearing here tonight representing the developer of Castle Rock. Mr. Rettig advised that the Developer, Mr. Andy James is also present this evening.
Mr. Rettig advised that what they are presenting is a sixty-seven (67) lot subdivision, with the zoning of R-2. They are proposing to develop it as R-2. Our intention is to follow the ordinance and develop an R-2 Single-Family subdivision as shown on the meeting room screen. All the lots meet the R-2 criteria, which is a minimum of 15,000 square feet, a minimum width of 100’. We have some latitude on the depth and widths of lots; however, they all meet the 15,000 s.q., 100’ wide requirement.
Mr. Rettig advised that at the last study session there was a question about lots 1 through 14. We have a large conservation planned for the rear of those lots, and the easement line is shown on the handout materials, with the easement line being 175’ back. All those lots exceed that R-2 requirement.
Mr. Rettig advised that this development is straightforward; we are going to be connecting at the South end to the existing street stub of Calumet Avenue where it ends right now in Edgewood subdivision. We are connecting to an existing street stub in Kilkenny at two locations as noted on the meeting room screen. Mr. Rettig advised that they are working with the unusual topography that exists and accommodating the existing street stubs, tying into the existing utilities.
Mr. Forbes asked the board members if they had any questions for the petitioner. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes advised that he would be opening up the floor to public comment. Please come to the podium and give your name and address for the record.
Jeff Neely (14320 West 89th Place): So I oppose Castle Rock for the following reasons. First of all from the Edgewood subdivision, for the safety and the well-being of that subdivision. So the only way back in there now is off of 93rd Streets, so if you go north on 93rd Street, the width of that street is about 2 ½ car lengths wide. So if there’s somebody parked south or north, you can’t even have two-way traffic today. So, with the addition of Castel Rock and the amount of extra traffic, um,., my concern is for the safety and the well-being of,,.of the current Edgewood subdivision, primarily. Uh,., second, and specific for the lots and the houses on the north end of Edgewood. Those were houses obviously bought where it was, um,., a lot of wooded area, it was peaceful, it was quiet. My concern is that with the addition of,., of the subdivision, and with the years and years of construction that would be going through that area, that it could definitely reduce the property values of Edgewood. And then third, and last, I know we’re not here to talk about it,., but if we do put this,., if this all goes in,., you know the risk is what’s next. And what’s next is that Calumet Avenue extension, and I know we’re not here to talk about that, but that is the risk that I have been thinking about as my third,., as my third comment. So, for those reasons I do oppose the Castle Rock subdivision. Thank you.
Michelle Patton-Pupillo (14180 West 89th Place): I’m concerned about Castle Rock feeding through to Calumet. Uh,., we live right there near,., in the cul-de-sac, the very back cul-de-sac, and we sit in our back yard and it’s Nirvana. We here peace, we hear birds, we hear creatures chirping, and I moved from Munster from a street where traffic was flowing through constantly. We couldn’t even open our windows, because all we could here was the noise of the traffic. We moved to St. John for the sanctity of the community, the rural feel that we get here. I beg you not to change this feel of this community, it’s tiny neighborhood. We have children playing we have a lovely little community. There are other options to feed through our neighborhoods, and I just request that you preserve the sanctity of St. John, listening to all the speakers come up today. I came from Austin, Texas originally, and we were in a community called Westlakes, and the Town Board was so cautious as to what they were willing to up in that community, because they wanted to preserve a certain feel, and I request that you think carefully and try to decide what kind of a feel that you want St. John to be. Right now it’s lovely. And I just hope that we, you know,., think carefully before we continue to make St. John a congested community. Thank you.
Kevin Connelly (8814 Tapper Street): I’m not sure who’s controlling the computer, but can you scroll down just a smidge. Thank you. I currently reside right next door to what is proposed now as Lot 63, okay, just to give everybody a visual. In 2004, my wife and I, newly married, were looking to build a house. We ended up in Kilkenny. We moved into that house on Labor Day of 2004, and been there every since. At the time we didn’t have children. The reason that I bought the lot next to Lot 63, is because the town promised 7.8 acres of a park there, next to my lot. I would never have a neighbor next to me, nor behind me. At a very young age of 30, and my wife at 26, we scraped all our money together to build this house. We paid extra money for that lot. Which wasn’t must at the time, to a lot of people, we paid an extra $3,000.00 to have nobody next to me or behind me, for the future children that we’re gonna have. Very next year we started to have kids. Now we’ve in that house since 2004, still no park. As much as that bothers me, that the town would let that park go, that was promised to myself and all the other families that paid money into that as well. I know there’s another gentleman from the subdivision that’s gonna speak later, has to pay $1,700.00 extra for the proposed park, that now isn’t gonna be there. Again, I’ve heard hearsay, like some of the other people have said that there’s going to be a proposed walkway along the side of my house, to get to a park. I don’t know if that’s still the case or not. Okay, that’s gone? I’m appreciate you clarifying that. Kilkenny is very, very quiet neighborhood, as it sits now. Aside from some of the neighbors that speed up and down the block, okay, that happens in every neighborhood, I’m fully aware of that. I understand that I’m in the third phase of Kilkenny, so I understand that opening new phases, is something that brings people into the neighborhood, and I’m all for that. Because if that hadn’t of happened, I wouldn’t be living where I am now. So I understand that as well. I’m also in construction, so I understand that as well. But I don’t seem to understand about this current layout is that you’re gonna put in 67 houses, and the only new street is going to connect to Edgewood. That means all of these houses that are gonna head back into the Town of St. John, aren’t gonna go out through Edgewood to come back around. There gonna come back down past our street to go out Columbia, cause it’s closer. [Mr. Forbes: There are two connections, no there are three connections actually. Two into your subdivision and one into]. I’m talking about leaving our subdivision. There’s,., or this new subdivision,., there’s gonna be the connection to our subdivision into Edgewood [Mr. Forbes: Yes]. I understand that there’s two at our subdivision, but I’m just saying for egress, in essense, for the people that live in my neighborhood and now the 67 new houses that are either going to pick one of three egresses. That’s gonna send a lot of people driving past my house that is currently quiet. And like many people have said here tonight, we all have young children, I have a lot of young children. All the neighbors do as well. It is a quiet area. I don’t think that the egress has been thought out. So, I guess, for the egress, I look to defer, but for the park I look to deny. Thank you.
Jerry Koster (9194 Eggert Lane): Just before I get started, I need to clarify what I heard. Is the south exit on Calumet not an issue anymore. [Mr. Eberly: The north, this development going north to tie into Calumet Avenue is not part of this discussion, its not part of this proposal]. Some of the issues that I would like the board members to consider tonight, um,., there are approximately, as you may or may not know, over 100 families in the Edgewood subdivision, which is the south end of Calcaska. When you multiply those homes and everybody has two cars in their family, that’s over two hundred cars right now. And most of them are exiting through Calumet to 93rd. And I would say that most of them probably go to work in Illinois, or they go to the town hall on 93rd, so you got a lot of traffic, just from the Edgewood subdivision people going southbound on Calumet to 93rd. Now we’re talking about New Castle,., or Castle Rock. You’re gonna add sixty-some homes. And if everybody has two cars, which I’m sure they will in today’s age, that’s another hundred and twenty cars. Now, I’m gonna assume it’s gonna head south, on Calumet,., to 93rd, and they are either gonna go into the Town of St. John or their gonna head to Illinois. So now you just created, ., a monstrous number of cars coming down Calumet. To refresh um,., your memory, Calumet was repaved a little over a year ago,., by the town. And it’s only been a year, and it’s already cracking down the middle, and that’s due to a lot of traffic. And now you’re gonna add over a hundred more cars coming down that same cars,., um,., same path. Castle Rock as I view it, should have their own entrance and exit, and as I look at it, their using Edgewood subdivision as giving into Castle Rock, when would you ever want to drive through another subdivision to get to your own subdivision. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Calumet is already a busy street, and as I indicated before in the meeting, 91st Avenue some time a year or two ago, the town put a stop sign there. Because there is so much traffic going through there, that they had to slow it down for the school kids. And a lot of people today don’t even stop, they stop at a rolling stop which means they don’t even stop for three seconds. So my concern is your adding traffic. And the big part of it is you have school kids, going in the morning from 6 to 8, busses picking them up, bringing them back in the afternoon. About the same time the people from Castle Rock and Edgewood are gonna exit that subdivision to go to work or to town. So, it’s not like everybody travels through there at noon or 1 o’clock, the majority of the traffic is when school kids are present, so I see this as a real safety issue and a concern that I would like you guys to consider, when you’re making your final decision. Thank you.
Milenko Vukas (8324 Declan Court): The reason I’m here is,., is slightly concerned because I read an article on the Times about two weeks ago,., um,., stating that a potential connection to Castle Rock would be Columbia Street. I actually,., so 8324 Declan Court,., is the property that is adjacent to the dead-end. Um,., and,.,my biggest concern about connecting,., I don’t even know if this is actually going to happen,., or if,., I just remember reading this story in the Times, and I remember, you know, the developer, Andy, assuring me when I bought the lot, you don’t ever have to worry about this dead-end connecting into Kilkenny because the people on the other side of the street in unincorporated Dyer, are opposed to it. The residents of Kilkenny Estates are opposed to it. Um, and then like,., honestly my biggest concern is that I have a 10 year old and a 6 year old. My 6 year old just started learning how to ride a bike. If you were to connect Columbia Street into Declan Court, which then trickles down to Limerick, then down to Tapper,., I don’t know how many kids live I in the subdivision, but that is an absolute recipe for disaster. To have people coming off of 81st,., uh,., to come,., to go into the subdivision,., I mean I work in Chicago. So, for me the,., that ,., the easiest way to get to the city would be to cut,., for you were to open that to go to 81st, take that all the way down to Steger to 394, and I’m onto the highway. I absolutely oppose connecting Columbia Street,., the dead- end of Columbia Street to Kilkenny to get to Castle Rock. I just want to get that on record.
[Mr. Forbes: I understands your concerns, but Columbia has absolutely nothing to do with this portion of the development]. I read the article two weeks ago,., they said,., they said,., there was a statement in there,., I think the engineer for,., for Andy, mentioned something about the most logical place to,., to connect into Castle Rock would be Columbia Street, cause it’s a hundred foot unincorporated area of land for something like that. [Mr. Forbes: And again, that discussion did occur, however it has nothing to do with this development].
But, the article in the Times was specifically referencing Castle Rock. [Mr. Forbes: But, Columbia Street and Declan Court, have nothing to do this particular development]. Is there another Castle Rock that I’m missing? [Mr. Forbes: I’m saying that Columbia Street at Declan Court, where you’re talking about is not part of this discussion. I just want you to be clear, it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right here]. Okay, sure,., then I just want to go on record for,,. for,., for if it ever comes in,., in the future,., for a connection to Columbia Street to try and get to Castle Rock, whenever it comes up. I read the article a few weeks ago in the Times,., and it specifically,., the headline was “connectivity issues in St. John development”. They,., they,., spoke about Castle Rock, uh,., the engineer for Andy mentioned the most common,., the most common sense place to connect to the subdivision will be through Columbia Street, that’s the whole reason I’m here is because of that article. [Mr. Williams: It is outside the scope of this conversation here]. Thank you.
Breanne Failor (13600 James Lane): [from audience: nothing to add].
Melanie Carlson (13586 James Lane): [from audience: nothing to add].
Brian Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I think I was at the Study Session a couple weeks back when you guys were talking about the traffic tie-in. Basically, in attending all the meetings,., all the Town Council meetings, and all the sessions. As far as this development, the people are very concerned about traffic, as we all are. And our town is a traffic nightmare and it’s getting worse,., by the months, as new homes are built. The town has to figure out some way to help these people among others. I understand Columbia Avenue in not in play on this particular subdivision. And I heard you at the study session, or the meeting two weeks ago,., saying that didn’t know what was going to happen to the piece in between. Is there anything the Town can do for these people to get them another access out of this development. Has anybody looked into the other opportunities? Um,., because they got a legitimate complaint. If you drive through there, and I’m sure we all have, at one point for another. You go lookin’, and it’s a long drive. It’s just like the Preserves, to gotta drive four to six block to get out of the Preserves, cause of one entrance one exit. This one’s got one exit. So the town should somehow be able to throw it’s weight behind something or somebody, to help these people out with their traffic problems. Thank you.
Rob Perschon (8694 Tapper Street): I purchased a lot in,., on Tapper Street about seven years ago. And, before we built the house we came and checked the plan that was on file with the village. And, we saw that there was an easement between the houses, uh,., we always knew the next phase could potentially happen. There was also an easement plan and as Mr. Connelly mentioned, there was a large park that was going in down the end of the street. So we decided, this is great, this is perfect, this is what we’re looking for. Seen how things have changed to this point, where the lots have,., their not the same size as all the lots on the streets,., that they currently are now. They’ve gotten smaller, they’ve added houses, the park has disappeared. And if you drive up and down Tapper Street, any given time on a Saturday, you’ll see probably 75% of the houses have children. If we have these two access points coming off Tapper, anyone going to downtown St. John will be coming through Tapper. Any visitors to that property will be coming down Tapper Street. The amount of increased traffic is very irresponsible and only an injury waiting to happen. Thank you.
Al Bolke (8819 Beall Street): I was in your office, uh,., Thursday, talked to Rick Eberly, looked over these uh,., primary plat, and right away I noticed,., I live (pause) below lots 5, 6 and 7. And, with the amount of run off from this property, there’s a thirty foot drop, maybe a little bit more than that, from the east end to the west end; with all the trees that are gonna be eliminated, thousands of ‘em, this water is gonna run down to my property and flood me out. This dotted line that’s on the bottom there,., below that dotted line is all wooded wetlands, which is over saturated right now. And over the years, because I’ve been takin’ run-off from Edgewood,., I had a little,., I had a wooded,., wooded acreage on the uh,., northeast side of my house and that’s getting flooded out. The trees are all dying because the water table is rising, so if he’s,., their figuring this wooded wetland is gonna absorb all that water coming off the side of the hill, all’s it gonna do is rise the water table even higher. I mean, I have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in my property and my house. And that water has nowhere to go. There should be a retention pond or something, maybe on Lot 6, 7, 8, 9. Is there a storm water pollution prevention plan for this property? [Mr. Forbes: There will be. But I believe the majority of the water that’s going to be collected from the subdivision, will be deposited in the north, correct?]. North where. [Mr. Forbes: In the northern wetland area]. That wetland is part of my property. [Mr. Forbes: No, not, it up be up from Devlan Court].
(Mr. Bolke, Mr. Doug Rettig and Town Engineer Kenn Kraus had a general discussion about a survey that Mr. Bolke brought).
Pat Mardos (8754 Tapper Street): When we purchased our lot,., back in,., many years ago. Our main concern was what was gonna happen to the property behind us. And, we were told at that time, um,., St. John,., the Town of St. John, their main concern, they couldn’t decide on,., a subdivision back then, is because they wanted to preserve the tree line. What we’re seeing is more and more buildings. Less and less land. More and more traffic. Fewer roads to accommodate everybody. I am opposed to destroying all the property,., I’m not saying destroying,., but as far as, keep building and keep building,., where does the Town of St. John say enough is enough. Thank you.
Mike Lazowski (8770 Tapper Street): I purchased my lot, looking back, in 1999. What I was told back then was that we were going to have a park at the end of the street, which is next to Mr. Connelly. I built in 2008, by the time that my wife and I were able accumulate enough money to build a house of our dreams. We also did not have kids at that time either. We are still waiting for that park to be developed. Now, I get a certified letter and a notice down at the street that there’s going to be a subdivision built. And I go on-line and I found out that the park is now going to be a bunch of houses. I’m wondering what part of my subdivision is changed, from a park into houses. I don’t see how that can take place, when we purchased this lot. We paid the money. We paid the extra money to have a park down there. To have the lot close to it. And, now there’s not gonna be a park. Also, I have a lot of other concerns about this. I’ve been going through St. John for the past forty years. The roads have not changed in those forty years, they are still the same roads. 93rd, 231. White Oak used to be a dead-end, that has now gone through. They are all two lane roads. Have any of you driven those roads in the morning? Especially trying to get out to 394? Or how about just trying to get to the Walgreens. Or to get to 41. There has been no sign of any kind of future thinking when it comes to these developments. Let’s cram as many houses as we can in here without developing infrastructure. What about if something happens at five o’clock to someone in my family. How is the ambulance, or the fire truck, or the police, gonna get down through 41 and 93rd. Have you ever watched ‘em try to go through there? And then trying to get down the street where cars come in line both ways, there’s not enough room for cars to move over with the ditches. Now my subdivision, we’re planning on putting 67 homes. I have no problem with the builder building. That’s what they do, that’s how they make their living, I have no problems with it. But I have problem with, was back in 1999 when I looked for a place to come to live,., St. John had nice large lots, beautiful homes. It was a place to aspire to build home in. Now it seems like we’re building these subdivisions and their poppin’ up and it’s let’s cram as many houses that we can onto every square foot. You’re takin’ away the appeal of what this town stood for. You also doin’,., and now you’re gonna start zoning all these R-3s? None of you up here could tell any of us here how close we are to that percentage that St. John has only allowed to. Does anybody know the real answer? [Mr. Forbes: 7 or 8% depending upon whether you look as “land usage” or “zoning”. Which is what this board does. We address land usage and zoning. So based on land usage we are 6%. Based on zoning we’re at 7%]. Okay, I’m not,., I mean, sorry I don’t understand,., what is our percentage total of what multi-family homes should be. [Mr. Forbes: Eight percent is the guideline]. 8% is the guideline?, Okay, and why was that guideline set? [Mr. Forbes: It was a discussion at the Comprehensive Plan in 2005]. Usually when that is set, from my understanding of how that is, is a fact to keep a certain area a certain way. You want the single-family homes. You don’t want the multi-family homes. There’s nothing wrong with any of the people that live in multi-family homes, I lived in one before. There’s nothing wrong with that,., I don’t see anything wrong with it. But that’s not the town that I moved into. [Mr. Forbes: But we are living within the guidelines that were set]. Okay, well, from what it sounded like up here, you guys weren’t sure what that percentage was, and we’re gonna add some more? I think it should be studied and figured out what exactly that percentage is before there is any addition to it. That’s all, that’s all I’m saying on that point. So, now, again, let’s go back to my concerns here with this subdivision comin’ in. There was no future look to see how when we start adding these subdivisions,., how they gonna exit out of ‘em. How we gonna control this traffic. Now you’re gonna stick 67 homes in here,., and went from,., with the article in the Times that I was able to find,., it says phase, possibly eluding to,., that there’s gonna be a second phase. Is there gonna be a second phase on this? [Mr. Forbes: There was a brief discussion about that. Yes.]. Okay,., we have 67 homes,., roughly,., I believe another gentleman came up here said that is roughly 2 cars per house, which is normal. So you’re talking over 120 vehicles. How are 120 vehicles gonna get outta there right now. You just made my street into a thoroughfare. With my small kids. My street that is already falling apart, that’s got divots in it so bad, that the street is caving in. So now we’re add all this additional traffic to it and everything else like that, now I gotta worry about my kids on top of it. There’s no exit outta here, we’re not looking at tappin’ into Calumet Avenue, we’re not lookin’ into tappin’ into Columbia Street. So now this is gonna go through it. Now how many more homes are we gonna squeeze onto this property back there. [Mr. Forbes: No idea. There is no discussion on that]. I know there’s no discussion, but this is what I have to look for. This is what I have to look for, to my property values which comes up. It’s a big thing. Builders don’t care about your property value, they just care about what their gonna make, which is their right. But I gotta be concerned on the money I invested into my house and everything else like that, it’s my neighborhood. People when they come to look at my house are gonna look at this “oh look at the traffic commin’ through, I’ll never buy here”, “I’ll never buy this house”. Again, like I said, I got no problem with people building,., but there is no future thought into this, and that’s you’re guys job, to make sure that this doesn’t happen, to keep the welfare of our,., the citizens in the town that pay the taxes, that do everything for this town, happy. Now you also look into,., um,., sorry I already covered that, the additional lots and everything. I just don’t understand where this town is going. Maybe we need to change our zoning laws, cause he’s right in his um,., to squeeze every inch that he can outta that R-2. But that’s not how this town was built. It’s not why builders come to this town. They can make just as much money by providing the lots the sizes that they are. The other thing too,., oh, I’m sorry,., the other thing to was the fact that of when Kilkenny was talking about development, it needed a new substation to move all the excess water, sewage and everything else like that. Has that been addressed? [Mr. Forbes / Mr. Volk: Yes.]. Okay, so I got the board and everybody else on record saying that I will not have any backup due to storage, drainage, or anything else. [Mr. Forbes: There is a plan in place to eliminate one lift station and one temporary lift station has been removed already].
Town Engineer Kenn Kraus commented that one has been moved and is still in use. However, once the development is completed that will be removed.
Has it been taken care of before these houses are built on,., or are we still waiting for that. [Mr. Forbes: The remedy is building the houses. You have to put the sewer lines in order to remedy the issues with the lift stations.]. Okay, cause my understanding was the reason why Kilkenny never developed it, because it was too costly to put in another sub-station, because everything was tapped to the max. [Mr. Forbes: I just think it’s a difficult property to develop and nobody wanted to put in temporary lift stations. Knowing that they would have to put in a permanent one. But that’s all changed.]. Okay, so that will be all taken care of then. So I won’t have any backup into my house or anything else like that, if this subdivision goes through. [Mr. Forbes: I believe that would be a fair and accurate statement.]. I just wanna make sure, cause I wanna know what’s gonna happen if it does. [Mr. Forbes: It should be taken care of.]. Okay, thank you for your time.
Robert Delvado (8618 Tapper Street): [already left the meeting room].
Randy Eenigenburg (8648 Tapper Street): [from audience: I have nothing more to add].
Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I incorporate by reference all the objections and remonstrances made against this subdivision. The planning commission and the town, they should have a overall traffic plan. You can’t start piecing things together without an overall traffic plan on how you’re gonna give adequate fire services, ambulance services, in a timely fashion. I believe that has not been done listening to all the comments here. [Mr. Forbes: I believe that statement is inaccurate as we have,.,]. I’m not asking for you to respond, I’m giving you my remonstrance. Please be quiet. Don’t interrupt me. [Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero, I can cut you off any time I want.]. No you can’t. [Mr. Forbes: Oh yes I can.]. You may wish you could, but you can’t. The other thing is, I believe your study sessions present an undue influence on the final decision at these public hearings. You only listen to developers on what they want to do. They form your mind to a predisposed decision here tonight. Because you agree to certain things with them in those study sessions, when you deny public comment on those study sessions. So, I think that undermines any decision you make here, as fraudulent, because the public has been not been allowed to participate in the study session and you only get to listen to the developers. So, I think any vote here on this thing tonight is fraudulent, because you’re denying the public equal access to convince your mind differently. The other thing is this. The practice of doing deferrals, when you listen to all this people complaining, I think is improper. Because all your doing is pushing it back to a study session where the public is not allowed to comment, and then you drag out the public hearings and diminish public input, so in effect your denying a public hearing by delaying everything. You should be voting things up or down. The other thing is this, people raise issues on where the traffic is gonna go. And this thing about the Calumet Avenue exit,., that’s not up for discussion?,., it has to be part of a master plan here. And if its not gonna be put through, then you better put a cul-de-sac there, where that prevents it from going through. That should be part of this plan. The other thing is you’ve heard people complain about the drainage,., okay,., we would like to see some decisions from the DNR, IDEM, the people that govern this. When certain ,., subdivisions are built, and they effect the wetlands, they have to go through a state process, and get approval, and if there’s people that contend that they’ll get flooded, and if it goes to IDEM, they will have a public hearing, they will go to the ALJ, both sides will get to present their case. You just can’t brush people off and say we looked at it. Or our engineer’s looked at it. That isn’t a correct process. The other thing is simply this, we need a traffic study in order to prove these subdivisions. To see what the impact is gonna be on,., on the community,., and that,., that has not been adequately addressed. The separate exit, yes, no, whatever,., that has not been properly been addressed. So you’ve not done your job, in planning this thing correctly. You’ve listened to all these people complain, they should be part of the study session, so that their,., they can influence you on the right thing to do. Because you’ve already made up your mind once these developers have gone to the study session. And the public has no way to change your mind, you’re already predisposed. Again, I think the wetlands has to be addressed. And I think the other thing is simply this,., when people say that their land is gonna get flooded,., somebody has to put up a surety bond for,., what I would say,., ten years,., that if these people are damaged, they have recourse to the town, to use that surety bond to fix the problem if they,., if it’s adjudicated,., that the subdivision is causing the problem. I don’t,., I see all of these decisions by the Plan Commission and the way the growth is going as incompetent management. You wouldn’t have this many people here, if you were doing your job correctly and letting the public have their input in these study sessions. For all those reasons, I remonstrate against this project.
Bill Tameling (8751 Tapper Street): First of all, Andy Jones, I believe is the developer of this property. I commend him, he’s actually building, talking about building nice houses, and I have nothing against what he is doing. I do have questions with uh,., future parks and rec. We just,., are we just deeding areas for this parks and rec? All of us have,., everyone with houses in Kilkenny Estates has an impact fee for parks and recs. I don’t know how many houses there are now, there’s still no parks. There’s gonna be 67 more of ‘em. There’s,., what is the future plan with parks and rec as far as developing the parks allotted space in this new development. [Mr. Forbes: I’ll address that in a minute. Do you have any other comment?.]. Correct, that would be one of my things. My next concern which doesn’t necessarily even effect me,., I built in 2010. And uh,., there was already a master plan for uh,., that subdivision, with deeded easements and stuff, that affect other lots in that subdivision. I would like an answer, as far as, why that’s allowed to change, from the deeded plan that was submitted to the Town of St. John by the previous property owner, and how come you guys are allowed to change that. When people buy lots, with the deeded plan that’s already been in place, with easements and stuff behind their property, that are no longer gonna be there. So, that would probably be my second thing, that I would like to be addressed. [Mr. Forbes: I can just simply say that it’s a new property owner. And this is the plan that he is presenting.]. So okay,., so, anything that’s previously been submitted with the town, as far as development, is thrown out the window? [Mr. Forbes: Pretty much.]. Okay. That’s my answer on that one I guess. And then my next,., I think it was already addressed with the lift station,, there’s gonna be a new lift station? Coming in on this property? [Mr. Forbes: It’s all gravity. Once all the sewers are actually put in, the entire subdivision will work under gravity and there won’t be a need for lift stations. And the lift station at Calumet and the one on Declan will be removed.]. Okay, cause when Torrenga Engineering originally did the first,., uh,., the fourth phase of Kilkenny, I believe they put a temporary one in correct,., so with the understanding that there was gonna be a permanent one going in, I believe on this property [Mr. Rettig: There will be a permanent lift station to the North.]. So then,., I guess, he kinda addressed it with that. At what point is the Town of St. John gonna be concerned with impact fees for like,., what’s the master plan for 93rd Street. How many head-on accidents are gonna have to happen,., not that they’ve happened already, but,., uh,., two lane roads?. Congestion?,., it’s fatalities. You got Schillings puttin’ in 500 houses on White Oak Avenue, we got this development goin’ on, you got all the developments in Three Springs, they are all going to 394 on 93rd Street. Is there any plan that’s ever gonna be addressed to alleviate that problem,., and when is the due diligence gonna actually happen from the town, to make sure that happened,., and that’s not the property owners responsibility,., he’s just trying to build,, develop his property which is his right. So,., you know, well,., that’s that, and then uh,., Tapper Street’s a straight street,., I don’t know what’s north of there,., everybody knows Tapper Street’s a straight street. Those no slowin’ down with the cars. I see cars blow stop signs there all the time. You’re gonna have problems with all future cars coming through Taper Street, to get out, because their not going to necessarily be living there. Because it’s a straight street, people that live there, care a little bit more about th,., the residents. So, I would,., I mean,., obviously you’re not gonna get an answer on that, but I would like an answer on what the future development for the parks and rec is on this property before we,., there’s approval for the development I guess. [Mr. Forbes: Did you have anything else. I’ll get to that in a moment. Does anyone else have a comment or questions on this developemtn.].
Jerry Tippy, District 2 of Lake County Councilman (5900 Wild Rose Lane, Schererville, Indiana): Just to make it clear, I do not have jurisdiction in St. John, over this board or their Council’s, so that the audience keeps in mind. But, if you look at a map of St. John, you’ll see the surrounding areas are about 90% boundaried with unincorporated Lake County. So, we’re gonna be doing a lot of planning together I see, as we move along. I’m also a member of the Lake County Plan Commission. I,. I would, I just,., I know you did not want to speak to the Calumet Avenue to the north connection. But, with the uh,., your permission Mr. Chairman, I would just like to briefly address that, so that you guys can have an understanding of where the county is there. Cause I think it is important, to your planning of these subdivisions. [Mr. Forbes: How about when we are presented a plan for that area, that should be the appropriate time for our sit down.]. Can I address the Columbia Street uh,., connection. [Mr. Forbes: It’s not part of this development, but go ahead.]. Okay,., well, well I’m trying to be polite and then, I appreciate the opportunity. Um,., the connection in St. John that comes out of Kilkenny, that “stubs” up to the town line. To the north of that, there,., there is no road,., for I don’t know,., maybe fifteen – twenty feet. And then Columbia Street starts. Columbia Street is primarily owned by the residents who live on that street, it is not a dedicated public road. It’s not in the County inventory. We have no jurisdiction over that road. We have no intention of condemning property. We have no intention of doing “anything” with that road. So just so you understand, at least in the short term, that is not,., that will not be an access. Um,., also, just briefly, it’s the same issue with Calumet,., so that you very much.
Allen Ogden (14018 West 90th Avenue): And uh,., probably will not be able to be as eloquent as the others who’ve spoken, but I would just like to say that uh,., I’m concerned about the safety. I’m sympathetic with the fact that people buy things as an investment, they wanna build on it,., um,., return their money. So, I understand that,., but I do also shares those concerns, um,., I’m on 90th, which is basically the short cut if you’re on the north end of Edgewood, to get to eastbound 93rd, you go down 90th to Tapper, and out to Columbia. So,., I feel that,., I know that on this plan there’s three exits from the subdivision, but in reality, there’s only two exits. You either go through Edgewood or you go east through Kilkenny. And,., I know,, that phase 2 is not presented here, but I feel that’s gonna impact this and so, if we’re not considering the future of the traffic, in those next subdivisions, and on 93rd and on the rest of St. John, then we’re doing a disservice to ourselves. And I know that,., I believe there was traffic study done when the White Oak development was,., approved? And I would just ask that you do traffic studies here also, to understand the impact of how many houses you put in this,., in this subdivision, and in the next phase. What impact that has on a community. Additionally I know,., it’s been brought up again, but I would just add to um,., the comments about the public parks. It seems that, uh,., the Edgewood park is being dedicated now for this new subdivision, and,., it seems like the right way to do this would be to take some of this land, dedicate to public works,., um,., a public area. So, I believe you’re gonna address that, so. Thank you.
Tony Bartolomei (8590 Tapper Street): Um,., I’m a retired policeman from Chicago Heights. And, I came out here and, in 1996. My son has a baseball game. And, I found St. John, and I told my wife, I came home after the baseball game, and I said I just found the next place we’re gonna live. This place is beautiful. And it was quiet. And, um,., I had a lot of problems back in Chicago Heights,., I had been a narcotics officer for twenty years, so I went through a lot of hell. But that another story. We spent two days,., two or three days, in a vehicle, driving around town, looking at all the empty lots. And I picked 8590 Tapper Street, backed up to this beautiful forest. Tapper Street didn’t even go past the neighbor next to me. And um,., I got to know Mr. Kennedy, who was the owner, and he was a great guy, and he said “yeah there’s gonna be a park down the street”, and my kids were little. My youngest was uh,., three. My son was gonna be uh,., sixth grader, and my daughter was gonna be a freshman at Lake Central. And um,., there was also gonna be little walking path,., was gonna go around that lake,., that’s over there behind where Mr. Kennedy used to live,., well he’s passed since, but his wife’s still there. And we were lookin’ forward to all these different things that were gonna happen and none of ‘em really happened. As you guys know. But the place is like heaven. It’s quiet. It’s,., I got great neighbors. I don’t know a lot of ‘em. But, it’s,., it’s just a great place. And, I came here for the peace and quiet and the small town feel. And, it’s pretty much gone. And put all that ,., I live right on the corner, right on the top, right above 23 there, I’m right on the end. I driveway’s gonna be like a raceway, and that scares the hell outta me, and you know,., I understand developers. I also do a lot of building now, and uh,., I just think you’re gonna wreck the town. Thank you.
Mr. Forbes asked for any further comment from the audience. At this time, Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back to the board.
Mr. Forbes stated to address the concerns about traffic. We have done a Thoroughfare Master Plan, that is in place. There is currently an extensive study going on about the conditions of the roads, traffic patterns, you name it and it is being studied regarding traffic. The purpose of that study is to implement an “impact fee” on developers, which will pay for road improvements in the future. So there is significant review about the road conditions in St. John.
Concerning park property, Mr. Forbes commented that the Plan Commission can not require a developer to donate park property. It is against state law, which is why we have the “Park Impact Fee”. Every developer, every lot that is sold, pays into the development fee. That fee goes into the “Park Fund”. Mr. Forbes stated that he believes there is a misunderstanding on the purpose and use of the park fund. Mr. Forbes continued that the purpose of the Park Impact Fee is to take care of all of the parks within the Town. In regards to individual park property, that changed when this developer brought in the plans, and I realize there was discussion previously about park property that would back up to the Edgewood Park. This developer proposed no inclusion into this park property and it would be illegal for this board to ask for same.
Mr. Forbes wanted to address a comment made at the podium in regards to persons “complaining”. Mr. Forbes stated that he does not take their concerns as “complaints”; he wanted those present to know that he listens, he understands, but he does not accept the fact that any one is complaining. Mr. Forbes asked if the board members had any else to add to that. Mr. Kennedy stated that for transparency, I live at 8661 Tapper Street and my name is John Kennedy, and he thanked Mr. Bartolmeo for the kind words about his father. Mr. Kennedy further stated that he appreciates all his neighbors coming out, and giving their opinions on what they would like to see in the neighborhood. Mr. Kennedy advised he has lived there thirteen years and he understands the neighborhood, and asked that they all please understand that this board appreciates their concerns and comments. Mr. Kennedy further stated that he does take exception to the comment from the podium that “our mind is made up”. Hearing what they had to say tonight means a lot to himself and the board, and he takes that to heart. Mr. Kennedy stated he appreciates them coming out tonight and he appreciates all that the community has said.
Mr. Williams wanted to clarify that our engineering analysis indicates that the area to the North will be able to handle all the drainage from Castle Rock. Mr. Kraus stated that is correct, that according to the calculations, the wetland area can hold an excess of a fifty-two acre feet. All of the drainage that goes to it now, including this subdivision, only needs less than nine, so it is well above. The water surface will rise no more than nine inches, so that existing wetland area where there is already a 48” sewer, which the storm system for this parcel will tie into, so there is no new discharges into that wetland, it all goes through an existing sewer. Mr. Kraus explained that everything from the house to the street will be picked up by storm sewers that run through that existing 48” sewer. Mr. Kraus further commented that the lots with the slopes, that water will run down the hill where a low wetland area is now, and trees will remain within 200’ from that property line. So, 200’ of trees, plus the slope, it will remain as it is right now.
Mr. Birlson asked Mr. Kraus to advise the destination of the water, he wasn’t sure if that was said earlier. Mr. Kraus advised that it will go into Dyer Ditch.
Mr. Williams asked if Calumet could handle an additional 120 cars. Mr. Forbes reminded Mr. Williams that Calumet Avenue was actually built as a collector street and that is why it is wider than most streets, so that it can handle the traffic. Mr. Williams also stated that it is a sore spot with him in regards to the park issue, however he understands that a different developer took over the property, and he feels the pain there (previous developer passed away). Mr. Forbes noted that it was one of the first topics that was brought up concerning this subdivision.
Mr. Rettig advised that the owner, Mr. James would like to say a few words if the board has no objection.
Andy James (Castle Rock developer): I heard what the people have said, and I just need to clarify, or I feel a need to clarify some things about this subdivision. The first one is that when I received the plans for the subdivision, and when I bought the property, the area that was being talked about being developed as a park, where was nothing there for the park. I questioned, and there were lots plotted for it from the plans that I received from Mr. Kennedy. I did question as to why this part had never been,., never had homes on it, and was told that the issue was that was going to be access to the park in Edgewood, or else something, but no one ever said anything about this parcel being platted as a park. I have never seen anything like that at all. So, when that became an issue, I approached the Plan Commission with what I thought was a better alternative, and that was to give them the area in front of the water tower, to put a parking lot in there, so that the people in the neighborhood could have access to that park. And again, the primary concern of not having a walkway to the park was because it was going to have a walkway right along someone’s lot, who has a very nice house. So, our objection was to not in any way impede on that. So now this current plan of this part of the subdivision, when most of these people bought their homes there was a bigger plan in place. The plan in fact had a much higher density that what I am proposing. What I have done, is I sacrificed the numbers of lots to keep the natural look of this area. Any implication that I would be trying to get the most miles per gallon on this property, or the most lots that I could get, it’s just wrong. I tried to do this within reason, but again I am trying to maintain, by making the road turn and not going straight, by making lots bigger, so I take issue that I’m trying to squeeze as much as I can. I agree that people that live in Kilkenny Estate now, have a beautiful backdrop in the property that I own. It is with the greatest respect that I have designed, and had help with this property, so that those people can have this without minimal disturbance and still enjoy the sancity that living in this area brings. Including, leaving large tracts of woods available, so that the people could not tear all the trees out. It is being developed in such a manner as to leave as many trees as possible. Including utilization of Calumet Avenue on the east side, of not having any lots there, and again having to install a road there to have only houses on one side of the street. So, again I have done everything I can to make sure that this property gets developed in a manner that is consistent with the values and quality of life that St. john brings to so many people that have come from Illinois. I just feel that I need to address that and certainly I understand that people in Edgewood, they come down their street and it is gorgeous, it is a great neighborhood. Well, what I’m doing, is extending that opportunity to some more people. And I am not extending it to as many as I can to make as much money as I can. I am extending it to a medium of people that are going to build on these lots are going to build magnificent homes that is going to only help the value of the magnificent homes in Edgewood. And as far as traffic count, I get it, 67 does make a difference. But, I’m talking 67, we’re not talking 200, and there is already traffic. I have spent a lot of time in this subdivision, and there are times when you can sit there for ten minutes and not a car goes up or down the street. I’ve been there during all hours, it is never what I consider crowded. I’m assessing that in a fair manner. In getting out on 93rd Street, well it is trying at times, I understand that the people, and I’ve heard their voice, that the people would rather spend an extra five minutes to get home, and have it possibly take a little while to get out on 93rd, cause when their home, there’s some place where they want to stay. And I understand that. I know that there are other developments in there that have a lot of homes going in and that 93rd will be an issue, but I really feel that what I’m doing here is impacting 93rd and 85th in a way that is very responsible. I hope to be a good neighbor, and hope to have a lot of good neighbors for the people in Kilkenny Estates and hopefully they are not too burdened with the construction traffic. And, hopefully if it goes, we’ll go quick and you’ll have 67 other families that have and enjoy the quality of life that St. John offers. Thank you.
With no further comment from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion for Castle Rock – Preliminary Plat approval. Mr. Forbes passed the gavel to Mr. Volk. Mr. Forbes made a motion to approve Preliminary Plat approval for Castle Rock and referenced the findings of facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried by 5 ayes – 1 abstention. (Mr. Kennedy stated that although he has no financial stake in the development he will abstain. Mr. Kozel left the meeting earlier).
C. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 – Public Hearing for Re-Zoning of Parcel from C-2 to R-3 PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3, a public hearing for the rezoning from C-2 to R-3 PUD, and advised Mr. Rettig to give the room a moment to quiet down.
Mr. Doug Rettig handed out materials to the board members to review. Mr. Rettig advised he is representing Dancing Waters and Dennis Meyers who could not be here tonight.
Mr. Rettig advised that they are requesting a rezone of the subject piece of property, which is immediately south of what is called Dancing Water or Meyers Addition – Unit 3. Mr. Meyers has developed Meyers Addition for many years. They started with Unit 1, which is where the strip mall and duplexes are located behind it. We moved into Unit 2, which is the cul-de-sac at the South end of that phase. Last year we developed Meyers Addition – Block 3, which is partially developed. We will be talking about Block 3 as it is another agenda item tonight.
In preparing for the future, this is Meyers Addition – Phase 3 / Block 4. Mr. Meyers bought this property after the development of Meyers Addition – Phase 3 / Block 3, which is under constructing currently. Mr. Rettig directed the board members attention to the meeting room screen, an area that is zoned C-2, and is an unusually shaped parcel, with a majority of it being Bingo Lake. Mr. Meyers intention is to place a few buildings at the end of the street. The rezone will simply amend the current plat of Phase 3, which has already been approved, to include the parcel and subject to additional engineering. There will be no more than four (4) buildings.
Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Rettig that he owes him a rendering of the park that is going to be placed in the development. Mr. Rettig advised that it will be part of the next phase and he will be bringing it then.
With no further questions of the board Mr. Forbes opened the floor for the public hearing. As noted before, please come to the podium and state your name and address for the record.
Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I would ask that you put a contingency on any of the rezoning for this property, uh,., that it not be used in any way as an exit to 85th Street. It’s a very narrow street. Um,., if the next piece is such that we’re gonna put a road through to 85th, I think that’s gonna be a nightmare. Um,., so I think you put a restriction on this, so there’s no exit to 85th or 41 from there, because it’s gonna be very close to the light. So, I would ask for those two restrictions, they can put a turn around in there, whatever they wanna do to get back out. But I don’t think you should allow that road, in whatever way it goes, now or in the next piece to go to 41 or 85th. Thank you.
With no further public comment, Mr. Forbes closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board for any final questions or comments.
Mr. Forbes entertained a motion from the board. Mr. Williams made a favorable recommendation to the Town Council to rezone Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 4 from C-2 to R-3 PUD, and referencing the findings of facts into the motion. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carried by 6 ayes – 0 nays.
OLD / NEW BUSINESS:
A. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3 / Block 3, Secondary Plat Approval (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 3 for Secondary Plat approval. Mr. Forbes commented that this area is directly behind the small strip mall.
Mr. Rettig advised that this parcel received Preliminary Plat approval last year. Now, they have platted Meyers Addition – Unit 3 into two blocks already. Block One being the commercial that is under construction right now. Block Two being about six to seven lots to the North of this parcel. Block Three has already gotten Preliminary Approval, and we are coming in now for the Final Plat.
Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers has installed most of the improvements. Mr. Rettig directed the attention of the board members to the meeting room screen to show where certain streets end. Mr. Rettig advised that the curbs are in to complete “the loop”, in order to have good traffic flow through the development.
Mr. Rettig advised that Mr. Meyers and he have discussed the remaining improvements, and he will be posting a Letter of Credit for the asphalt, and the finishing work on the retention pond. Mr. Rettig advised that the sewer, water mains, storm sewers are already in place. Mr. Rettig advised that they are not asking for signatures on mylars until the bonds are submitted and all the developmental fees have been paid.
Mr. Kraus reminded Mr. Rettig that he would need the construction costs for the calculation of the development fee. Mr. Rettig advised that that will be submitted to him shortly by Mr. Meyers.
Mr. Williams inquired about the timeline for the remaining improvements. Mr. Rettig advised as soon as the weather permits, as Mr. Meyers will be ready to pull permits as soon as the remaining outstanding improvements are in order.
Mr. Forbes clarified for the board members that a binder coat of asphalt will have to be installed and inspected before any building permit will be issued by the Town. Mr. Rettig stated that he will remind Mr. Meyers of that fact.
Mr. Volk asked Mr. Rettig if he knew when the asphalt plants open again for the season. Mr. Rettig advised it would be soon if the weather cooperates. Mr. Williams asked if it would be better to have the petitioner come back when those improvements are completed. Mr. Rettig stated that he believes that Mr. Meyers just wants to go through the formalities and the he is not expecting you to sign the mylars until the Plan Commission is satisfied. Mr. Williams felt that since it may be eight weeks before the asphalt goes down that he would feel more comfortable with deferring this to the next meeting.
Mr. Volk made a motion to defer Meyers Addition – Unit 3 / Block 3 to the next regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.
B. MEYERS ADDITION – UNIT 3, Amended Plat – Permission to Advertise for Public Hearing (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Meyers Addition – Unit 3 for amended Plat and permission to advertise for public hearing to consider the amended plat.
Mr. Rettig asked that this agenda item be deferred, as Mr. Meyers is not ready for this unit.
That being said, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to defer. Motion to defer Meyers Addition – Unit 3 amended plat, made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.
C. SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Site Plan Approval Relative to Church Addition and Adding Parking Spaces (Mr. Ryan Marovich)
Mr. Forbes the next agenda item is Suncrest Christian Church for site plan action relative to addition to church and additional parking spaces.
Mr. Ryan Marovich of DVG Team, introduced himself to the board members and advised that he is representing Suncrest Church.
Mr. Marovich directed the board members attention to the meeting room screen for the site plan proposal. Mr. Marovich stated that the church is proposing amongst some internal items; changes some walls, they are adding this extended front entrance area, a new sidewalk that will be heated, and a ramp to the rear. Mr. Marovich also pointed out the dumpster and delivery area on the site plan, and then the extra parking requested.
Mr. Marovich advised that they increased the parking space size from 9’ x 20’ to 10’ x 20’, as required by ordinance, and they are now up to standard. Mr. Marovich advised that they also meet their minimum ADA requirements, and that there will be some relocation of the sanitary system involved, because they did not want to go under the building addition.
Mr. Williams clarified for the board members that Suncrest Church was an agenda item at the Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday. Mr. Williams stated that he has been attending Suncrest Christian Church and that this church has been growing very fast and will continue to do so. Mr. Williams stated that he still has a concern that cars will be back to parking on the grass very soon.
Mr. Forbes noted that there is a lot of room for the church to expand their parking lot again in the future should they wish to do so.
Mr. Marovich advised that currently it is a budgetary matter with the church; that they are doing what they can for the present. Mr. Marovich also agreed that there is more land and that he can foresee, with the growth, that some of the land will be used in the future for additional parking.
Mr. Kennedy asked about the “staggered parking” from the older 9’ x 20’ and the new 10’ x 20’ that will be placed. Mr. Marovich pointed to that portion of the topic on the meeting room screen, and noting specifics in the striping.
With no further comments or questions from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion.
Mr.Williams made a motion to approve the Site Plan for Suncrest Christian Church as submitted. Mr. Birlson seconded the motion. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.
D. ROSE GARDEN – UNIT 3, Permission to Advertise for Rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD (Mr. Doug Rettig)
Mr. Forbes advised the next agenda item is Rose Garden – Unit 3, permission to advertise for rezoning from R-1 to R-2 PUD.
Mr. Rettig of DVG advised that he is representing Sublime Development, the owner of the property. Mr. Rettig advised that this is the property just South of Willow Ridge – Phase 2. Mr. Rettig advised that there are two things about this property, however, all he wants to ask for tonight is permission to advertise to rezone the northerly portion of this property from R-1 to R-2 PUD. The southerly portion will remain as R-1. Mr. Rettig advised that the handout material covers the proposed area.
Mr. Rettig advised they are asking for R-2 PUD because we have a situation where there will be 94’ wide lots, due to a “fixed line”, so instead of a 120’ wide lot; they would like to reduce it to 94’ wide. Mr. Rettig directed the board members attention to a large wetland area that also is involved in the project. Mr. Rettig advised that some of the lots are extra deep, they are all about 200’ in depth, and noted the area where some is the standard 150’ in depth.
Mr. Rettig advised they will be very close on the size, they are asking for latitude on the width, which will be slightly under. Mr. Rettig advised that they are not presenting an engineering plan tonight, as they wish to get permission to advertise for the rezone. Mr. Rettig advised they will talk more about engineering when they have the land plan and they get to that final stage.
Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Rettig that he has asked for individual lot sizes and percent to R-2. Mr. Rettig advised he was not going to present that until we have a Preliminary Plat.
Mr. Eberly commented that eight of the twenty-two lots will be below the 15,000 square foot threshold, but just 750 square below that mark. So there will be 14,250 square feet on eight of the lots. The remaining will be at 15,000 square feet or greater, however nineteen or the twenty-two lots that are shown, would be less than the 100’ width. Mr. Eberly expressed that this is not a subject for tonight’s meeting, and that he just wanted to give the planners some quick numbers.
With no further questions or comments from the board members, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion. Mr. Williams made a motion to authorize permission to advertise for rezone on Rose Garden – Unit 3. Motion seconded by Mr. Gill. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Forbes called out for public comment. Hearing none.
Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Williams. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 6 ayes – 0 nays.
(The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 p.m.)
Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary
St. John Plan Commission