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May 5, 2014

Cobblestone agrees to erect wall shielding Viscaya Point

Area Plan Commission set to address deal at Wednesday meeting

TERRE HAUTE — If good fences make good neighbors, the residents of Viscaya Point, a southside subdivision, probably hope that an 8-foot stone wall will do the same.

After going to court last year, Cobblestone Crossings, a southside property development, and the residents of Viscaya Point have reached an agreement to end their legal tussle.

Under the agreement, which is expected to come before the Vigo County Area Plan Commission Wednesday night, Cobblestone has agreed to build an 8-foot wall between its newest apartment buildings and Viscaya Point, which lies just to the south.

“I’m glad that we’re getting the wall,” said Stacy Gough, a resident of Viscaya Point who has led her neighborhood’s effort to duplicate the wall now standing between Cobblestone and the Woodgate subdivision.

The new wall will measure 644 feet in length, said Darren Maher, executive director of the Vigo County Area Planning Department. It will not meet with the existing – and much longer – Woodgate wall and will extend to the west and east only as far as the Viscaya subdivision boundaries, he said.

A call was placed to Cobblestone Crossings seeking comment late Monday afternoon.

This dispute found its way into court last autumn after the Area Plan Commission, a 14-member volunteer body that oversees land use issues in the county, approved the final phase of the Cobblestone development on the condition it include a wall. It was the Plan Commission’s position that, because Cobblestone agreed to build a wall for Woodgate, it made sense to extend that wall for Viscaya, Maher said.

On Wednesday night, the commissioners are going to be asked to “define” the wall, Maher told the Tribune-Star Monday.

Representatives of all of the parties in the dispute – Cobblestone, Viscaya Point and the Area Plan Commission – filed a document in Vigo County Court Division 1 in April asking the court to indefinitely “stay” a decision in light of a mutually agreed upon settlement.

“All parties to this [case] believe that they have constructed a settlement proposal that will resolve all of the issues now pending,” the document states. If the Area Plan Commission agrees, the parties will file a request for the court to dismiss the case. If the commission does not agree, the settlement will be “null and void,” it states.

The Area Plan Commission must agree to the settlement at a properly noticed public meeting, the document adds. That meeting is expected to take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Vigo County annex.  

According to the proposed settlement, representatives of Viscaya and the Area Plan Commission are to support the agreement publicly and further agree not to see the matter as setting a precedent for future development questions before the commission.

“It’s been a long fight,” Gough said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “I’m glad it’s coming to an end.” If this truly is the final [Area Plan Commission] meeting at which Cobblestone Crossings is a primary topic of discussion, the plan commissioners may feel the same.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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