Fewer objections to Weiss's Valpo development

2013-08-13T21:15:00Z 2013-08-13T21:21:05Z Fewer objections to Weiss's Valpo developmentBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | The crowds of people opposed to the proposed development of luxury apartments and a business park next to Pine Creek subdivision in Valparaiso have shrunk as the size of the development hasĀ  grown.

Developer Don Weiss brought the latest draft of the development, which now stretches all the way from Evans Avenue to Vale Park Road and covers a total of about 150 acres, to the city's Plan Commission on Tuesday.

His request included the annexation of an additional 32 acres at the north end, and he is asking the whole property be zoned for a planned unit development.

Lawyer Todd Leeth said the plan still calls for the same 408 apartment units at the south end on about 60 acres, and the business park proposed for the north 90 acres has 37 lots, including three on Vale Park Road that could be developed commercially.

Leeth said the lots are from about 1.1 acre to 3.9 acres but are designed so they could be combined if someone wanted to build a large campus type setting. The business park would have a property owners association that would review the plans of each potential new developer.

During the public hearing, Linda Moore, of Bartz Road to the east of the development, was concerned about the business park's impact on the wells used by residents of the unincorporated area. The development is expected to tie into city water and sewer.

Karen Molnar, of Pine Creek, objected to connecting Nick Road in the subdivision to the new development except as a pathway for walking or biking. Leeth said the developer is looking to the city for direction on that issue and is prepared to do either option.

Residents were concerned about the nature of the several ponds proposed for the new development and whether they would be generally dry or hold water all the time. Leeth said the plan is to have water in them at all times, and stormwater consultant Randy Peterson of Abonmarche said all the water on the property will be channeled to the ponds and then to the city's storm sewers instead of overflowing the area.

The commission could vote on the two issues at the September meeting if Leeth works out the wording of the PUD ordinance that would govern the development of the property with the city. The city estimated annual revenue from the development would be $149,644 while the annual costs for services would be about $61,000.

The Plan Commission recommendation would go to the City Council for a final decision.

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