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Crown Point commission OKs new subdivision on 109th Avenue; project heads to BZA for final approval
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Crown Point commission OKs new subdivision on 109th Avenue; project heads to BZA for final approval

The Orchard Subdivision

The Orchard Subdivision on the southeast corner of 109th Avenue and Iowa Street will have 53 lots. 

CROWN POINT — A proposed subdivision along 109th Avenue drew criticism from neighbors during a Monday meeting. 

The 53-lot subdivision, known as The Orchard, would be located on the southeast corner of 109th Avenue and Iowa Street, the site of the now-closed Mowry's Fruit Farm. 

The development was before the Crown Point Plan Commission on Monday to receive primary approval, but a variance needed from the Board of Zoning Appeals concerned neighboring residents. 

As presented, the subdivision, since it exceeds 40 lots, would need two entrances to be compliant with the city's subdivision control ordinance

While the subdivision wouldn't have two entrances, it would have an entrance along Iowa Street, as well as an entrance for emergency vehicle use. The commission members said they don't want to see an entrance along 109th Avenue, hence the reason for two access points along Iowa Street.

Neighboring property owners also expressed concern about lot sizes and traffic along Iowa Street. 

"You've got over 40 lots proposed. You don't have two entrances. It needs to be rejected at 40 lots or above. Rejected. Period. Done. Case closed," said Ed Lukacsek, whose home would abut lots in the proposed subdivision. 

"The other problem is you guys are looking at this like it lives in a vacuum. This is a 53-lot subdivision. It's also next to three other subdivisions that have another 53 homes, and it's across Iowa Street from 240-some homes coming in. ... You've got up to 1,000 vehicles per day, potentially, that could be using Iowa Street in addition to the average daily traffic that's already on Iowa Street."

The commission ultimately approved the subdivision 4-2, subject to staff comments; engineering findings; approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals; a "proper agreement" for the design of an emergency entrance; ensuring the city has 50 feet of right of way from the center line of 109th Avenue; review of the temporary entrance in conjunction with the roundabout on 109th; any legal language needed on the plat, including a hold harmless agreement for the emergency entrance. 

Commissioner Scott Evorik was absent.

"I just don’t feel comfortable with these emergency things that we've tried to devise and tried to reach back over our heads to try to accommodate. (It) sets a really dangerous precedent, and I am vehemently opposed to bending over backwards to provide a second exit when it’s a matter of safety," said Vice Chair Dan Rohaley, who voted against the petition and made a motion to deny the subdivision.

More than 12,000 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 since March 2020. There are real names, faces and human stories behind that staggering number. This Sunday, The Times partners with 11 Indiana news agencies to share the stories of dozens of “Hoosiers We’ve Lost” in a special print section and online presentation. Watch for it Sunday.

Although the subdivision received a nod from the Plan Commission, developer and petitioner Ryan Fleming with CP Prairie, LLC, also will need to win a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals to move ahead with the project.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is set to meet at 7 p.m. March 22 via Zoom.

Gallery: COVID-19: Hoosiers We've Lost

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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