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Feature Stories for Thursday, July 12, 2001

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
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Park almost ready

By Kathie Godfrey
Star Correspondent

LOWELL - The Legion Park project, done in concert with the county surveyor's renovation of the town's Cedar Creek streambanks, will be completed in time for Lowell's beloved Labor Day parade festivities, Councilwoman Karen Brooker, R-2nd, said Monday.
     Peter Kohut, of Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Lowell's town engineer, presented landscaping maps prepared by Hubinger's of Crown Point detailing the creekside park's winding concrete walkway, and indicating the placement of benches, flagpoles, trash cans, trees, shrubs, and flowers that will beautify the formerly undeveloped site.
     Brooker said Lake County Surveyor George Van Til had elected to remove concrete slabs on the east side of the creek and replace them with gabions to control soil erosion.
     "They thought since the sidewalk and benches will be on the west side of the creek, the gabions would look better than concrete," she explained.
     Brooker said the town's $30,000 contribution to the park would include approximately $6,000 in concrete work, as well as flagpoles and trash receptacles and the purchase of trees, shrubs, and flowers, while the $15,000 pledged by the county surveyor's office went for engineering, streambank renovation, removal of debris and concrete and final grading.
     Van Til brought the project proposal to the council in October of last year as part of the Cedar Creek Drainage and Beautification Project.
     At that time, Van Til explained that while the county's 75-foot easement on either side of the creek precluded any building on the site east of Lowell's American Legion Post #101, the town could develop a park on the site that would greatly beautify the downtown area used by residents during Oktoberfest, the Christmas Parade of Lights and other events.
     Brooker said she hoped a portion of the town's funds from the Lake County Solid    Waste Management recycling program could be spent on five six-foot benches - constructed of recycled materials, to be placed along the park's walkway.


Mall plan prompts backlash

By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer

CROWN POINT - Numerous complaints were heard Monday night at the Plan Commission meeting when a 33,800 square-foot shopping mall was proposed to be built east of the intersection of U.S. 231 and Broadway.
     Petitioning for a commercial/professional center that would be adjacent to the Stillwater subdivision, Daniel Kuzman, the attorney representing the petitioner, explained that this would not detract from the surrounding community.
     "This is going to be a high grade development with doctors, dentists and other professionals leasing from the building. We do not want this to turn into a strip mall so we plan to regulate business activity up to 10 p.m. We want this development to complement the surrounding areas."
     City Councilman William Condron, R-4th, spoke on behalf of the Stillwater and Briar Ridge residents opposed to the construction.
     "The Stillwater subdivision is a quiet community surrounded by nature and still-life. The reason homeowners decided to move into this subdivision is that they liked the surroundings. By bringing this type of establishment into this community, it will destroy the secluded charm for the residents living here."
     A major concern raised by the remonstrators of the petition was that in order for this shopping mall to have any chance of approval, the owner, David Wilson, would have to rezone the 10 allotted acres from R-1 Residential to B-3 Business.
     "Looking at the master plan created by the city years ago, this parcel of land was zoned residential," said Condron. "They wanted it zoned this way for a reason. If this is going to be such an addition to the city there is land zoned for commercial use approximately one-quarter mile down the road on Delaware Street. They could build this mall there if they wanted to."
     Condron presented members of the Plan Commission with a petition signed by 165 residents who are against the building of the shopping mall.
     With Kuzman alluding to the future of U.S. 231 becoming more and more commercially developed, he felt that this proposed mall would alleviate the community by raising property values.
     "Businesses are always looking for roofs, and the more roofs they see the more businesses want to come. This is not going to be a place were liquor stores or tattoo parlors are going to be. This is going to be a professional building complex that will add to the surrounding communities."
     Issues were still raised by Stillwater residents that this mall would congest U.S. 231 and provide an added stress on septic and drainage in the surrounding communities.
     "These are just general arguments that every remonstrator gives when he does not want construction near his property," said Kuzman.  "No studies have been done and no experts have stated that either of these issues are problems."
     The petition also calls for 28 townhomes to buffer the surrounding subdivisions.
Because Monday was only a workshop, no decision was made on the matter. A public hearing has been scheduled for July 23 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposal.


For questions concerning the Star Newspaper or content on their articles, please contact
Star-Register Publications
112 West Clark Street
P.O. Box 419
Crown Point, IN 46307
(219) 663-4212

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