LOWELL | New leadership on the Town Council is signaling a new direction with talk of a traffic/thoroughfare plan.
Town Council President Edgar Corns, R-5th, said he and Councilman Don Parker, D-3rd, met recently with consultant James Mandon. The result was a plan for Ind. 2 and Roltz Road.
"It's an attempt before development ... to get ahead of the situation a bit," Mandon said of the traffic flow control plan for the town's east end near Lowell High School.
Beyond that, a townwide traffic plan aimed at relieving congestion during peak periods would have the advantage of partial funding from developers for already designated, alternate routes, Mandon said.
Councilman Robert Philpot, R-2nd, said he would like particular emphasis on a traffic light at the West Commercial Avenue and Nichols Street intersection near three schools. Previous councils have unsuccessfully fought the state for traffic control there.
While supporting a thoroughfare plan, council Vice President Craig Earley said the council already has asked Mandon to do a lot of other work. That must be prioritized, he said.
"The zoning and annexation plan — I'm fairly consumed by," he said.
Mandon said he expects the zoning and subdivision ordinance to be completed by the end of March.
The process for a land use map, part of the annexation plan, likely will not be concluded until mid-June, Mandon said.
"The public needs to give lots of input," Mandon said.
He said communication between the Town Council, Plan Commission and other boards is imperative. Those on the agricultural committee have offered valuable input, he said.
Also, the council directed Town Attorney David Westland to officially advise the owner of property at 18007 Holtz Road that the annexation process for that parcel will begin again.
Parker said he had talked with the owner, who was concerned about the town "working with him" with regard to his business.
The property was removed from a list of seven other "pockets" annexed late last year. Lake County had said the property was zoned business when it is, in fact, residential, skewing the numbers for the required fiscal plan.
The councilmen voiced no opposition to the property owner seeking a business zoning once annexed.