It wasn’t a public hearing, but neighbors turned out anyway to oppose a
proposed pawn shop in the Childress Industrial Controls building at 100
The use-variance request by Complete Control Systems Inc. through property
manager Cheryl Bonin had been scheduled for public hearing Thursday and
Bonin sent out certified notices to her neighbors, but she didn’t file the
additional required paperwork in time so the hearing could not proceed.
With several neighbors present, Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals president
Fred Owens let them comment anyway and encouraged them to attend the Nov. 24
BZA meeting to which Bonin’s hearing was reset. Comment also can be
submitted to the town hall by mail or email.
The residents live on Brown Court, a quiet cul-de-sac with no outlet that
Pat Scott said would be filled with pawn shop patrons believing it is a
through street. “There’s a lot of concerns right now,” she told the BZA.
Scott also said there’s limited parking at 100 Brown Ave. and there’s plenty
of vacant store space along Broadway and Calumet Road where the pawn shop
Scott stated pawn shops are used to unload stolen goods and could attract
unsavory characters they don’t want in the neighborhood. She presented
photos of the Childress building including gang graffiti on a wall. “That’s
Ken Wilkie, James Maranto and Roger Hewitt said theirs is a quiet area where
children play and ride bicycles so extra traffic isn’t wanted and a pawn
shop is not welcome. The neighbors also cited the building’s deteriorating
condition, damaged roof and junk cars there. These and other concerns were
referred to town building commissioner Dave Novak for investigation.
Bonin wanted to respond but Owens said if she properly renotices the public
hearing for Nov. 24, that’s her chance to present her case.
The Nov. 24 meeting date is two days early because of the Thanksgiving
holiday. A second public hearing was set for that night for Rodney and Kathi
Corder of 1357 N. County Road 100E. The area, zoned Residential-1, was
annexed into Chesterton in 2003.
The Corders’ 20-foot by 31-foot block garage built in 1959 was collapsed in
the Aug. 19 tornado. Rodney Corder said the building housed a shallow well
he wants to protect; the replacement garage would be a wooden structure
built on the existing slab. Vote was 3-0 to set the hearing with members
Brandon Kroft and Sig Niepokoj absent.
After the meeting town attorney Charles Lukmann clarified that the Town
Council recently adopted an ordinance that would allow legal non-conforming
structures damaged by the tornado to be rebuilt under certain conditions.
However, the Corder garage was located in the front yard, where accessory
structures are not allowed; their petition states wooded areas on the lot
preclude them from relocating it behind the house so a variance is being
sought to reconstruct an accessory building in the front yard.
The BZA also rescheduled its December meeting, which would have been
Christmas Eve, to Dec. 22.