Chesterton Tribune



Porter County BZA grants variance for machine shop

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A Hebron resident sought a use variance for a rural residential property at the Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Wednesday night.

Richard Fishero c/o Russell D. Millbranth sought a permanent use variance to operate a machine shop from his rural residential property at 175S 675W in Porter Township. The property contains two pole barns that house computerized numerical control machines, and a derelict house. One of the pole barns was erected by a previous owner who never received a building permit for it. Fishero acquired the property in 2015, at which time both pole barns had already been erected, and he was not aware of the discrepancy in paperwork.

Fishero--a Purdue graduate who’s been machining since he was 18--is interested in producing medical supplies, including implants for broken bones, on the property. Millbranth noted that Fishero has made investments upwards of $100,000 in the machines on the property, and may seek financing to purchase more equipment in the future. In which case, a temporary use variance could prevent him from securing a loan.

A neighbor appeared to show support for Fishero’s request, and confirmed that the buildings were already up at the time Fishero acquired the property.

Vice-Chair Marvin Brickner expressed concerns about allowing industrial activity in a rural residential area. “We don’t like to see expansion in residential areas. We’ll have to make restrictions on expansion,” he said.

The board approved the use variance for the life of Fishero’s ownership of the property, contingent upon Development Review Committee approval. Conditions are that he employs only one person and maintains regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The variance is subject to review for compliance in two years.


Posted 11/16/2017




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