VALPARAISO | The city added another 54 acres to its southeast border at Monday's council meeting with the annexation of the Von Tobel property.
The council heard an objection from Vincent Kostoff, a resident of a subdivision about a mile south of the Von Tobel property located at U.S. 30 and County Road 400 East. Kostoff said he was concerned about the process for notifying residents of annexation requests.
The law requires only those living within 300 feet of the property be notified. He said that doesn't encompass the residential area around the site or the three subdivisions that could be impacted by development, especially with the heavy industrial zoning being applied by the city.
Mayor Jon Costas said all the property along U.S. 30 is zoned for heavy industry, and it is really suited for nothing else. Other developments in the area include two asphalt plants and the Montdale Industrial Park.
"If there are any obnoxious uses proposed, we would deal with it at that time," Costas said. "We will deal with the businesses as they come in for approval."
As to Kostoff's suggestion the law needs to be changed to provide at least email notification to those beyond the 300-foot limit stipulated by the law, Costas said the city follows the state law and residents should take that up with the legislators.
"We are pleased with the progress we've been making in getting shovel ready development sites," Costas said citing the expansion of Eastport Centre industrial park and two business parks planned on Ind. 49 in addition to the Von Tobel site and the adjoining Sylvester property.
"It's been a challenge to get to that point. This one will focus more on heavy industry and whatever comes our way," he said.
The city hopes to announce an agreement with a major company Tuesday that will result in the company investing more than $200 million at a site partially within the city. The name or type of business and the location of the development are being withheld until everything is final.
Von Tobel is marketing its property in conjunction with the Sylvester property to try to increase interest in both. The company has no specific plans for developing the property.