CP reviews 1,000-unit subdivision

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CP reviews 1,000-unit subdivision

Postby Big Dog » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:56 am

BY ALLISON FASHEK
CROWN POINT | A nearly 1,000-unit subdivision proposed for the city's southeast corner got mixed reviews in its first at bat Monday.

As V3 Realty Company LLC principal Keith Blais said during a Plan Commission workshop Monday, The Heritage, one of the largest developments in the city's history, will incorporate open space on its 400 acres. Plans show Mississippi Street extending south into the neighborhood and curving east to meet Iowa Street, with the road surrounded by rural buffers.

The development also will have a bike path, so residents can walk to the park and ball fields.

But what caught commission members' attention is the plan to tightly cluster some homes, including 232 row homes, 144 cottage homes and 192 paired cottage homes, also known as duplexes.

Members Paul Bremer and Paul Keller both pointed out that the row homes, a type of town home, which Blais said had 25-feet separations between sections, appeared to be on top of each other. John Marshall also said he wasn't "overly excited" about row houses, quads and small cottage homes.

Because the proposal was submitted as a planned unit development, Planning and Building Director Curt Graves cautioned Plan Commission members to look at the larger picture. While the plan contains areas with high-density housing, it also has open land to compensate.

If commission members want to spread out the units, they might as well break up the land and follow zoning code, he said. That could chase the developer out of the city or lead to a more generic subdivision.

"I would strongly suggest you don't go that direction," Graves said.

Blais said the subdivision had a density of 2.61 units per acre, which falls in the range recommended in the city's master plan.

On the flip side, commission member Carol Drasga, who hasn't been a supporter of adding high-density housing to the city, called the plan unique. By including room for bike paths and recreation, it created the feel of a neighborhood, she said.

"This is exciting," she said. "I don't think this is something we've had."

Commission head Jim Wirtz also praised V3 for wanting to go through the more lengthy planned unit development approval process.

"I think it's a better approach than what we've been doing," he said.
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