Valpo ready to annex addition to business park

2014-02-10T21:30:00Z 2014-02-10T22:34:24Z Valpo ready to annex addition to business parkBy Phil Wieland, (219) 548-4352

VALPARAISO | It's been more than a year since The Lakes of Valparaiso was first introduced to the council, and it will be another few months before work can actually begin on the development.

On Monday, the council adopted the fiscal plan for the annexation of 32 acres that is being added to the original 114 acres presented for approval in November 2012. The 32 acres will be part of the northern business park portion and will extend the development all the way to Vale Park Road from Evans Avenue.

According to the fiscal plan, the city will receive $88,709 a year in taxes and utility revenue from the section once it is developed. Providing services to that area will cost the city about $55,210. The city also will receive one-time revenue for permits and utility connections totaling about $340,000.

The actual annexation will be up for approval at the council's Feb. 24 meeting as will an ordinance creating a planned unit development with 408 luxury apartments along with the business park, which will add another area of "shovel ready" lots for businesses to relocate or grow.

"This is a big, important project," Mayor Jon Costas said. "With a planned unit development, a lot of the issues have to be decided up front."

It has taken the developers, including Don Weiss and Harley Snyder, eight months to hammer out the details of the PUD, but lawyer Todd Leeth said the details of one lot still remain to be agreed to before the next meeting.

The 2.15-acre lot is at the northwest corner of the property on Vale Park and Ind. 49 and Leeth said it will be the last developed, but city Planning Director Tyler Kent has insisted the building not resemble a typical strip mall. Leeth said it will be one paragraph in the thick PUD ordinance governing the development of the property.

City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said the traffic study the developers were required to do showed the impact to the intersection at Evans and Silhavy Road. Fortunately. the city has federal funds earmarked for an upgrade of the intersection. Passing blisters and turn lanes will be installed in other areas by the developer.

"This is one of the largest developments to come before the city," Costas said. "This is the way it should be done. It was a good process, and a good product is coming out of it."

City Administrator Bill Oeding said it is hoped construction can begin by the end of April.

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