Board of Zoning Appeals, without much ado, granted a variance at its meeting
Thursday night for a fence adjacent to an alley behind a property on 18th
John Olsen, 1003-05
S. 18th St., was the petitioner. Olsen sought the variance to erect a
six-foot fence one foot from the unimproved alley behind his home.
Under the Zoning
Ordinance, six-foot fences may not be constructed any closer than five feet
from alley right-of-ways in residential zones.
At a public
hearing, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition.
unanimously to grant the petition.
Hearing: Bennett’s Rentals LLC
Members also voted
unanimously to hold a public hearing at their next meeting, Nov. 26, on the
petition of Bennett’s Rentals LLC for at least five variances needed for a
proposed duplex at 124-26 N. 16th St.
Hiestand told the BZA that his client wants to build a one-story duplex,
rather than a two-story, because a one-story would be “less intrusive in the
neighborhood” as well as more appealing to prospective senior residents who
don’t want to climb stairs.
A one-story duplex,
however, would have a total lot coverage of 50 percent, 20 percent more than
the maximum lot coverage permitted under the Zoning Ordinance.
needed: one to build an R-2 structure in a B-3 zone; one for a front-yard
setback narrower than the 30-foot setback stipulated in the Zoning
Ordinance; another for a side-yard setback narrower than the 10-foot setback
stipulated; and one for no sidewalks in front of all new construction.
Member Kim Goldak
did wonder whether granting a variance for no sidewalk was in the best
interests of the neighborhood--even though there are no existing sidewalks
there now--should the town one day in the future decide to build a sidewalk
on North 16th Street.
sidewalks are feasible and sometimes they’re not,” Member Jim Kowalski
suggested. “It’s hard to look that far ahead.”
Member Joe Ackerman
agreed. “Some areas lend themselves more in the future to sidewalks than
other areas,” he said.
Hiestand, for his
part, said that the Bennett’s in-fill project is a good one. “I think this
would be a great addition to the housing stock in the town, as all the
Bennett’s projects have been.”
Jeff and Wendy
Members also voted
unanimously to hold a public hearing at their next meeting on the petition
of Jeff and Wendy Knarian, 502 Union Court, for a variance needed to pour an
additional concrete parking pad next to their home.
That pad would
increase total lot coverage to 44 percent, 14 percent more than the maximum
permitted under the Zoning Ordinance.
As Jeff Knarian
explained to the BZA, his home is situated in the rounded “knuckle” of Union
Court, which means that there’s no good place to park either their RV or
visitors’ vehicles other than in front of the mailbox. But the USPS won’t
deliver when the mailbox is blocked.
Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell indicated that, should the BZA be of a mind to grant the variance, a
condition would need to be added: that the Knarians would need to install a
French drain in the backyard, so that runoff from the new concrete parking
pad doesn’t flow into the neighbor’s yard.
In the course of
researching the petition, O’Dell also discovered that a shed of
long-standing in the Knarians’ backyard encroaches on a NIPSCO easement, for
which, he said, they need to secure a release from NIPSCO. Jeff Knarian said
that he’s in the process of doing so.
Members opened the
meeting by voting unanimously to change the schedule of their November and
Next month, to
avoid a conflict with Thanksgiving, the BZA will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,
Then, to avoid a
conflict with Boxing Day, the BZA will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30.