CEDAR LAKE — Construction within the town had a banner year in 2017 and a banner month in October. Building permits for new construction reached a record of 40 in October, the most-ever recorded in that month, Town Administrator Jill Murr said.
As of October, the town also was ahead of last year in terms of construction value. The town recorded $21.3 million in new construction as of October 2016. As of this October, new construction value came to a total of $25.5 million, with two months left to go in the year.
The value of alteration permits also was ahead of schedule. The value of alteration permits as of October was $5.5 million. As of October 2016, it was $4.5 million.
Alteration projects and new construction were overwhelmingly residential, Murr said. Construction is not limited to the town proper. Building growth also occurred in Beacon Pointe, the Lakeside subdivision and the well-established Centennial subdivision.
“Cedar Lake is a great place to raise a family,” Town Council President Randy Niemeyer said. “Houses (in Cedar Lake) are still affordable. (There’s close proximity) to Illinois and downtown Chicago. People are starting to find out there’s a really great lifestyle (in Cedar Lake).”
Cedar Lake’s ability to attract residential developers is an important part of its growth, though the town has not given up on annexing land south of its borders. Cedar Lake had attempted, beginning in 2016, to annex some 2,800 acres along the U.S. 41 corridor from 137th to 173rd St.
The plan faced stiff opposition and eventually a Lake Superior Court judge ruled the town failed to demonstrate the annexation territory was "needed and can be used by the municipality for its development in the reasonably near future." That decision was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in October.
While acknowledging the setback, Niemeyer said the town is continuing to work with its attorneys and explore its options. “If you look at our comprehensive plan, the annexation has been part of it (since 2007).”