By Kathie Godfrey
LOWELL - In one of its first moves of the new year the Town
Council moved to halt development of the West Creek Prairie Landfill
site Ñ a proposed construction and demolition landfill owned by Allied
Waste Industries located north of State Road 2 just outside the town's
Citing the adverse environmental impact of the
proposed landfill on area well water, issues of increased truck traffic
and the effects on local property values, the council agreed to petition
the Lake County Council, Lake County Commissioners and the Lake County
Plan Commission to rezone the 92-acre parcel of land formerly owned by
E. Feddeler and Sons, Inc., back to its original agricultural
"I'm concerned about the leachate, the black
ooze and the previous violations in the area," said Town Council
President Robert Hatch (R-3rd), in reference to problems experienced at
the proposed landfill's sister operation located just across the
After Feddeler and Sons sold the undeveloped property
to Allied Waste last year, the new owner renewed a standing request to
permit the new C and D landfill from the Indiana Department of
Environmental Management in October 2000.
Allied Waste officials filed an injunction against
the Lake County Plan Commission last week to stop a proposed change to
the zoning of the parcel from M2 to A1 which could prevent the property
from being developed as a landfill.
Mary Ann Hoffman of 763 Mohawk, who said she
definitely didn't want the landfill in her neighborhood, asked the
council for clarification of their position on its development.
Downtown business owner Mona Kuechenberg asked the
council how residents could help support the town's effort to stop the
development of the landfill.
Councilwoman Karen Brooker (R-2nd) said residents
should be present at county plan meetings when the rezoning issue will
"You don't have to speak, but we need bodies at
the meeting," she explained, adding that residents should get in
touch with Hank Kozuba and Martin Kroll, who have coordinated the
opposition to the landfill since the property was rezoned from A1 to M2
Hatch said residents could collect signatures on new
petitions if they wished. "There's nothing wrong with business
owners supporting the Town Council's resolution," he said.
In other business, the council pledged to bring about
a quick conclusion to ongoing work on the parade and sidewalk ordinances
that occupied much of last year.
Brooker said a draft ordinance to allow downtown
merchants to display additional merchandise on the sidewalk for one year
with a clause that would hold the town harmless for liability should be
Currently, merchants are only allowed to display two
items on the sidewalk in front of their shops. Councilman Joe Mika
(D-5th) agreed with Brooker.
"The merchants are going to be hurt when the
renovation is going on," he said. "This has been going on long
Mika also said a draft of the parade ordinance that
would lower insurance costs for parade sponsors first proposed in
November would soon be presented to the public for comment before a
council vote would be taken.
Council tells Hawk to bring
new plan to Plan board
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The City Council on Monday told the Plan Commission to
reconsider a request to rezone about 25 acres north of Timothy Ball
Elementary School and the NIPSCO substation on Summit Street.
Hawk Development Corp. has asked for a change from R-
1to R-3 zoning to allow for the construction of condominiums, and the
Plan Commission made favorable recommendation to the City Council for
Hawk Vice President Jack Slager said that tentative
plans call for three-story structures, with a garage on the
He said there would be a maximum of 100 units.
Single-family housing on the site was not economical, Slager said,
because only a small part of it is fit for construction.
But neighboring property owners, many of whom said
they were not notified of the Plan Commission meeting at which the issue
was considered, asked the council to leave the land R-1.
They cited aesthetics, increased traffic, and
property values as reasons to reject a condominium development.
JoEllen Catlow said it doesn't matter that Hawk has
created a high quality development in the neighboring Whitehawk
"I don't care (if the development is) nice or
not," she said. "I know (the condominiums) will probably be
nice, but I don't want to look at it."
"I cannot see how you can say this will not
effect my property values," said Catlow, a resident of Pratt Street
and a realtor. "It will."
Gary Scearce, another Pratt Street resident,
presented a petition against the rezone signed by 58 area
He and others brought up the issue of additional
traffic, and the fear of a "monolithic brick view" if
three-story buildings are built just behind their back yards.
Council members decided they were uncomfortable
voting on the rezone in light of the fact that many neighboring
homeowners appear not to have been notified of the Plan Commission
Mayor James Metros said he was surprised when he
learned no remonstrators had appeared at the Plan Commission meeting in
But several council members pointed out that Hawk
Development has the right to improve its property, and the city must
grant the rezone if it allows for the "highest and best use"
of the property.
Hawk, however, needs to come up with a more detailed
plan, one that details exactly what they want to do, and considers
neighbors' concerns, councilmen said.
Councilman James Wirtz (R-at large) suggested one
revision to Slager.
"Three story buildings are not going to work.
That's just not going to happen at all," he said.
Slager said no detailed plans were developed because
the company wanted to get the rezone before putting money into
engineering and design.
But Councilman William Condron (R-4th) told Slager
this was a case in which his company would have "to spend money to
Five councilmen supported sending the issue back to
the Plan Commission. Councilman Stephen Farley (R-2nd) was in favor of
rejecting the rezone request. Councilwoman Pam Roth (R-3rd) was
Slager said Hawk will do what the council asked.
"We will go back to the ... drawing board and come back with more
information and more detail," he said.