Chesterton Tribune



BZA says not enough info yet for Farmers Market on Calumet

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A request to conduct a Farmers Market in a portion of the parking lot north of 315 S. Calumet Rd. didnít advance Thursday because Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals members felt too many questions were left unanswered.

Among them, what kind of Farmers Market is the Bross Family proposing between ACE Hardware and Popolanoís restaurant?

Would food items like fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese be sold directly to customers? Would craft items and other merchandise similar to a flea market be more whatís planned? Would sellers offer merchandise from temporary tents or the back of a pick-up truck?

Attorney David Hiestand, representing Elaine Bross, Steven Bross, Nancy Bross and Carolyn Parrigan, said the items sold likely would be similar to the European Market at Third Street and Broadway on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during early May through late October.

The Brosses propose Saturday and Sunday sales from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. although during which specific months wasnít clear.

BZA member Jim Kowalski said for a public hearing the board needs to understand what will be sold: lawn mowers, mobile homes? Member Thomas Browne agreed, and member Sig Niepokoj said heíd like to establish what canít be sold as well.

Elaine Bross said itís not their intent to compete with whatís in town now, but having a Farmers Market along South Calumet Road will give people a reason to stay downtown longer and bring traffic to that end of town.

Hiestand had filed for a special exception for a Farmers Market in a Business-1 zone as town code provides. But BZA attorney Julie Paulson recommended that because what can be sold at a Farmers Market isnít defined or agreed, the petition should be refiled as a use variance instead necessitating a different set of standards to be met.

The June 26 BZA meeting will be another preliminary hearing on the new petition.

Also last night, two separate requests to increase the height of fences from 4 feet to 6 feet were heard as preliminary hearings; both were scheduled for public hearings next month.

Seth and Lindsey Schugars of 1061 Brich Trail Dr. are seeking the higher fence for privacy and protection for their children because of a sidewalk, the large amount of traffic present and even an occassional deer or coyote along County Road 50E and Duneland Trail Drive, according to Seth Schugars.

Jason Conway said he and his wife Elizabeth also want permission to increase fence height to install one at their 1480 Lob Wedge Lane home, the back yard of which faces busy Pearson Road at Niblick Avenue and is across from The Brassie golf course.

Conway stated a higher fence would help keep his childrenís sporting equipment in their yard when being used as well as contain the family dogs including those the Conways temporarily foster.

Town staff noted outstanding items needed for both petitions, and as the meeting was ending BZA members briefly discussed whether in certain circumstances it might be prudent to reconsider the allowable fence height since so many petitioners ask to increase it.

Town engineer Mark OíDell said unlike older homes on narrow lots where higher fences created obstructions for traffic visibility, newer subdivisions have so much right-of-way the sight lines are acceptable.



Posted 5/23/2014