CROWN POINT | Developer Bob Stiglich is galvanizing Stillwater residents against the controversial Crooked Creek Trail Crossing.
The short connector between Stillwater and Pine Hill subdivisions is just a mound of dirt and gravel, but it has been a nagging headache for Stiglich and city officials.
Last month, the Board of Works unanimously approved a request by City Engineer Bill Meeks to file claims against the $150,000 performance bond Stiglich's company, Stillwater Properties LLC, posted for its installation of Crooked Creek.
Crooked Creek is the third in a series of roads that has been built in the subdivision without proper government permits, Meeks said. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has held permit approval for this crossing, pending the submission of detailed designs for the road. Stillwater Parkway and Greenview Place also need DNR approval.
Stiglich said he wants to bow to residents' wishes on Crooked Creek.
"I have not heard one person say they want it," he said. "It's added traffic."
Stiglich is circulating a petition against the installation of Crooked Creek Trail Crossing. So far, there are 31 properties on the petition. Builder Greg Valenti signed up his 22 lots.
"I think it's better for more of a private setting in the back," he said. "I think it will enhance the property being there won't be a shortcut through Stillwater."
The rest of the signatures are from adjacent residents who say the appeal of their area is its privacy.
"The whole idea when we bought back here was to have a remote area," said resident David Hein, whose wife, Margaret, signed the petition. "People would use it to cut through town."
City officials say the distance of Stillwater's last phase of development is the exact reason Crooked Creek needs to go through.
The Crown Point Plan Commission approved phase 5 of the development, contingent on construction of Crooked Creek.
"It was put in for public safety reasons," Mayor Dan Klein said. "Mr. Stiglich agreed to put it in and nothing has changed in regard to that. People bought into that area knowing there would be a second way into their subdivision."
Klein said Crooked Creek will improve emergency response times.
Meeks said Stillwater Properties hasn't moved forward with Crooked Creek, so the city will use money from the developer's bond to hire a firm to prepare construction documents, gain DNR approval and design and build the crossing.
Stiglich contends he and his company followed the city's direction on construction of Crooked Creek and the other two roads, Stillwater Parkway and Greenview Place, and were told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval was enough.