On the heels of last month’s approval by another board of a new 250
semi-truck parking lot in town, the Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission
set in motion plans to remove such uses in certain zoning districts.
Commission president Jeff Freeze suggested the zoning amendment, which would
have to be approved by the Town Council.
The commission will conduct a public hearing on the proposal Oct. 4. Vote to
do so Monday was 6-0 with member Jan Hines absent.
Freeze said if his recommendation is approved, residents won’t have to deal
with even more truck traffic in town.
Utah-based CR England, which operates a Midwest regional truck terminal in
Burns Harbor as well as a truck-driving school, won 3-2 permission Aug. 24
from the town Board of Zoning Appeals to expand its operations with the new
semi-tractor/trailer parking lot on the west side of Indiana 149 south of
Several conditions were tied to the approval including installation of a new
stop light on Indiana 149 at Tech Drive between existing 149 stop lights at
both U.S. 20 and County Road 1050N in Crocker.
Commission attorney Charles Parkinson said because the zoning ordinance
allows freight terminals as a special exception in what were formerly
light-industrial zoning districts, such terminals are essentially a
permitted use but one that requires additional BZA oversight.
The Plan Commission’s intention is not to allow truck terminals except in
the heavy-industrial zoning district. It was noted that a future petitioner
still can ask the BZA to locate a terminal in a non-permitted district as a
use variance, but the standards for approval would be different than for a
In related zoning action, the commission took Parkinson’s suggestion to
review past meeting minutes to determine what the intent was regarding
residential uses in a Business Park zoning district. Current language
includes references to residential there, but some officials present
recalled that was not the desire when the entire ordinance was revamped last
“Why bother with a master plan?” asked resident Gayle Van Loon, one of 14
persons in the audience. “I don’t think residential needs to be (in a
On another matter, the Plan Commission agreed it has no involvement in
reviewing a proposed town ordinance that would regulate parades, public
assemblies and pickets; the draft ordinance, modeled after the Town of
Porter’s version, involves the Police Department and Town Council so Burns
Harbor planners referred it back to those departments.
When the meeting turned to review of bonds, maintenance guarantees and
letters of credit related to subdivisions, the commission voted 6-0 to put a
stop-work order on Trail Creek subdivision on south Babcock Road. One house
under construction would be affected.
Parkinson said at a previous meeting the commission agreed to extend Great
Lakes Development’s letter of credit for the project yet the company’s
documentation never was provided.
Tom Lightfoot, manager of R&B Development’s 200-home Corlin’s Landing, told
the commission he would present a $100,000 cashier’s check as the
subdivision’s required guarantee to clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan today.
Harbor Trails subdivision developer Don Coker was present and agreed to work
with town officials on a maintenance guarantee to cover final punch-list
Hesham Khalil of town engineer Global Engineering and Land Surveying said
he’s working on a punch list for Parkwood Estates south of Haglund Road
including 50 feet of sidewalk replacement.
Khalil noted a builder who owns lots there has inquired about modifying a
retention pond, which would require amending the approved plat.