Valpo adopts plan for Ind. 49 corridor development

2014-04-14T21:30:00Z Valpo adopts plan for Ind. 49 corridor developmentBy Phil Wieland, (219) 548-4352

VALPARAISO | A presentation on how the land alongside the Ind. 49 corridor should be developed, including how some of it should be preserved, was presented Monday to members of Valparaiso's Plan Commission, Redevelopment Commission and Council.

The plan by Kendig Keast Collaborative and American Structurepoint looks ahead to the next 20 years and makes recommendations on the infrastructure needed to encourage and accommodate development. It includes phasing in the infrastructure, from the water and sewer lines, to the roads, particularly the extension of Memorial Drive from Burlington Beach Road south to Ind. 2.

While much of the study deals with the potential for development on the east side of Ind. 49, it also looked at the west side, especially north of Burlington Beach all the way to U.S. 6. Among the significant changes proposed for Ind. 49 itself are the addition of a "folded" interchange at Burlington Beach and the closing of the intersection at County Road 600 North.

Aaron Tuley, senior associate for Kendig Keast, said the folded interchange would concentrate all the entrance and exit ramps on the north side and require less land. He said both Burlington Beach and Vale Park Road should be widened to four lanes from Ind. 49 to Memorial Drive to handle the expected growth in traffic.

Tuley said the city should increase the buffer standards between Ind. 49 and the development to either side so the screen of trees provides greater density than the current standards. The consultants also are recommending creation of two new parks to preserve wetlands. One would be at the northeast quadrant of Vale Park and Memorial, and the other would be in the Hotter Lagoon, which should have larger, permanent water features and trails.

The consultants said the architecture for the development should be similar to the Prairie School style developed by Frank Lloyd Wright and be a maximum of two stories. A small commercial center was recommended at the southeast corner of Vale Park and Ind. 49, but the stores should look more like homes than convenience stores.

The only person to speak during the public hearing was Ed Seykwoski, president of the Liberty Township Board and president of the Woodville Foundation Inc., who asked that the township be given a seat at the table for any discussions involving land in its jurisdiction. The study recommends developing a plan for annexation of the land in the corridor in order to control the growth.

The plan commission voted 6 to 0, with Al Shields and Christa Emerson Borlick absent and one seat still vacant, to recommend approval of the study to the council. The council then adopted the study at its meeting.

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