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Feature Stories for June 29, 2000

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
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County ups monthly sewer rates
Council makes appointments to regional transit committee

By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - The County Council gave final approval Tuesday to a monthly sewer rate of $69.71 for residents of the Hermits Lake neighborhood southwest of Crown Point. 
    Commissioners met Wednesday morning and were expected to ratify the new rate, which will go into effect immediately. 
    No area residents attended the council meeting to comment on the action. Councilman Larry Blanchard (R-Crown Point) said he had talked to the president of the homeowners association, James Flannery, Tuesday afternoon, but Flannery had not been aware of the meeting. 
    Flannery did arrive at the council chambers just before the meeting ended, but made no comment. 
    The new rate will pay off a $550,000 state loan, which along with a $550,000 grant will finance upgrades to the Hermits Lake sewer system. Area residents currently pay $49 per month for sewer service. 
    The council also gave final approval to creation of a Sewer Department that will allow the county to receive the state money. 
    In other county business, the council on June 21 named its representatives to the controversial new Regional Transportation Committee. A coalition of Blanchard, Tom O'Donnell (D-Dyer), Bernadette "Bobbi" Costa (D-Hammond), and Donald Potrebic (D-Hobart) chose Costa, Calumet College President Dennis Rittenmeyer, and St. John Town Councilwoman Kathy Hillman to serve on the committee, which will review and make recommendations on public transportation in Lake County. 
    Other members of the committee include: Minietta Nelson, Roslyn Mitchell and Lee Freel representing Gary; Rebecca Gutowski and Janet Moran representing Hammond; Marina Miklusak representing East Chicago; Paul Doherty and Stephen Kil representing west Lake County; James Metros representing south Lake County; Robert Crossk representing east Lake County; David Uzelac representing Merrillville; Tom Yancy representing the County Commissioners; and a representative of the Northwest Indiana Building Trades Council.
                       
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PDM revision receives new planned hearing 

By Sean McNab 
Star Staff Writer

WINFIELD -  Representing Michael Winslow, the owner of the proposed Winfield Center that borders 109th Avenue, Randolph Street and Kingway Drive, Peggy Stamper of Sendak, Rominger & Stanko petitioned for a revision in its Planned Development Mixed (PDM) property at the Town Council last Tuesday. 
    Because of the public outcry at the BZA meeting on June 21 in which his petition was denied, Winslow felt that changes needed to be made in order to ease the minds of surrounding neighbors within the town. 
    "The new plan will delete the proposed storage areas within the center, limit the multi-family zoning to four family units per building and have the R-1 single family lots conform with the adjacent Meadows subdivision," stated Stamper. 
    Unlike other ordinances dealing with development, PDM's have no listings of use when petitioning before a town. 
    Town Building Administrator/ Inspector responded to this by saying, "Even though the uses are not stated, the way the ordinance is written it still gives the Town Council a chance to barter for the uses of the development." 
    Because of this Cox added that the town needs to have a legal commitment from the owner of the property in order for the proper approvals to take place. 
    "Previously we used a letter of commitment to suffice for a petition but with the way the ordinances are for PDM's, we need a recorded commitment to continue." 
    Resident and BZA member Marvin Pinkowski voiced disapproval saying, "I moved out here to have room and I don't think that another subdivision should come in here and start crowding us like they did when I was living in Hammond. That is why I voted "no" on this proposal last Wednesday." 
    Clerk-Treasurer Ed Graveline added that the members of the board can deny anything that they do not want in the town. 
    He stated, "The way the ordinance is, we can negotiate the uses, sizes and setbacks of any future lots." 
    Town developer, who is an adjacent property owner to Winslow's, voiced concern as to what would be used in the space of now the eliminated storage units. 
    "We have nothing presently proposed to take the space of the storage units," commented Winslow. Additionally, Winslow added that he does not want to be the villain in this town now that he is developing in it. 
    "I got land in this town. I want to work with it and want to work with the town. From speaking to other developers, most would not have accepted this type of zoning because it gives the town too much control. I put myself in a "trick-bag" by doing this, but I am still willing to go along with it." 
    Graveline subsequently reminded those in attendance that over 45 percent of the town's working budget comes from the creation of buildings. 
    He said, "Other towns are doing whatever they can to get more business establishments in it. They would be ecstatic with the situation we are in." 
    A Special Meeting was set on the issue for Wednesday June 28. The purpose will be to move forward on any and all pertinent zoning issues.


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