Opposition to the assembly of Sand Creek condos

Chesterton Municipal Building

A proposal to build three four-story condominiums near the Sand Creek golf course is opposed by the homeowners association and openly questioned by two members of the Chesterton Plan Advisory Board.

On Thursday, the Planning Advisory Board granted a request by attorney Greg Babcock, on behalf of David Faganel, to hold a public hearing Nov. 17 into the Morgan Lake Condominium development plan review application.

The proposal is to construct three 57-foot high buildings that would house up to 22 luxury condominiums. The project would be built on the 1.67 acres where the old pavilion building is located on Sand Creek Drive.

The sale of the land owned by Lake Erie Land Company to Faganel is subject to city approval of the project. The plan advisory committee will vote on its recommendation and the city council will make the final decision.

Plan Advisory Board member James Kowalski told Babcock of the project: “I’m not too happy about it. It’s too many buildings and too high.

Plan Advisory Board member Thomas Kopko said at an earlier meeting that he thought the density of the project was too high for the land. At Thursday’s meeting, Kopko asked Babcock if the proposed density had been changed at all, and Babcock replied, “No.”

The Sand Creek Homeowners Association submitted a letter to the city attorney’s office and members of the plan’s advisory board, advising them of their opposition to the project. Neighborhood residents will likely show up for the Nov. 17 meeting.

The letter notes that the proposal is for three four-story buildings surrounded by a paved parking lot. The site is also on one of the highest elevations in the community, surrounded by 200-year-old oak trees.

“The development as currently designed would tower over these beautiful trees, as well as the golf course and surrounding green spaces. Placing multiple four-story buildings atop this area would detract from the current beauty,” the letter states.

In summary, the Homeowners Association said: “Little or no consideration has been given to the natural landscape, density and location of this development, or to one of the most unique and Northwest Indiana’s hottest spots.”

“The final product, as presently presented, is not favorable and should be reconsidered,” the letter reads.

In other business, another less controversial proposal for Sand Creek will be considered for a public hearing at the November 17 meeting. The proposal relates to minor adjustments in a planned unit development agreement that would allow N2R Development, LLC to proceed with a plan to build 13 single-family homes as part of Estates of Sand Creek Phase V.

The Plan Advisory Board also gave unanimous approval – with member Dan Marchetti abstaining – to Urschel Laboratories to proceed with its request for a new tax increase funding district to help fund a $46 million addition to dollars and 115,000 square feet at its facilities. The city’s redevelopment commission recently approved the request, and city council will vote on it at Monday’s meeting.

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