Wooded parcel development triggers 'tree city' opposition; Dyer denies rezoning

2013-12-15T20:08:00Z 2013-12-15T20:51:08Z Wooded parcel development triggers 'tree city' opposition; Dyer denies rezoningMary Wilds Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 15, 2013 8:08 pm  • 

DYER | The Town Council recently denied rezoning of a 20-acre parcel along Corinne Drive.

Residents strongly opposed the rezoning and Olthof Homes’ plans for the site, which involved single-family homes. Council members made it clear prior to the vote that they heard residents’ concerns

“(Dyer is) a tree city, our (town symbol) is a tree,” said Councilwoman Mary Tanis. “This is the last wooded (parcel) in town, and we should be (preserving) it.”

“We all know that something’s going to be there (on the site),” said Councilwoman Connee Trepton. “Whether it’s next year (or) 50 years from now, something’s going to be there. Is it going to be the right thing? We’ve all seen mistakes (in development). We don’t want to see (more) mistakes.”

Trepton also said she was sympathetic to residents’ concerns about traffic, given that she lives south of U.S. 30 in the same general area.

The council rejected both the favorable Plan Commission recommendation and findings of fact. The property lies along Corinne and east of Great Lakes Drive and north of U.S. 30. Residents who live in homes directly bordering the parcel said they were charged a premium by Olthof for views of the woods. The parcel is wooded and undeveloped, and residents say they were promised it would always remain that way.

Residents also said they feared the potential impact additional development would have on property values, traffic and quality of life.

Town Attorney Bill Enslen had stated at an earlier meeting that since Olthof was submitting a rezoning petition only, a written plan was not needed. However, Councilwoman Debbie Astor said she thought she had to vote against the rezoning because Olthof had not presented a plan.

Trepton said a meeting had been brokered between two of the property’s neighbors and Olthof, but that the developer had not cooperated.

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