Chesterton Tribune

BZA to give quick consideration of Porter Avenue variance request

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Saying they’ll lose the summer construction season if their variance petition can’t be heard, Stuart and Susan Franzen convinced the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals to conduct a public hearing for them July 28.

Had the BZA not declared an emergency exists, the hearing wouldn’t have been conducted until Aug. 25 with a preliminary hearing first taking place July 28.

The petitioners didn’t get their completed paperwork to the board at least 17 days before Thursday’s meeting, but the BZA’s vote to waive its rules allowed the preliminary hearing to occur last night.

Sue Franzen said they want to extend the living space of their 501 W. Porter Ave. home into an existing garage they’d remodel; a new garage will be built within required setbacks with its access off an existing Porter Avenue curb cut.

Since the couple’s original 1955 garage was built 8 feet from the rear property line instead of today’s required 25 feet, a developmental standards variance is needed.

Sue Franzen also said an existing shed and screen house on the property will be removed.

Town engineer Mark O’Dell said there is an active alley to the south of the Franzens and department heads haven’t had a chance to discuss their petition, however, Sue Franzen said the garage footprint would remain the same and be no different than it exists today so it shouldn’t interfere with the alley’s use.

O’Dell said it will have to be determined whether a second variance is needed if the additional constuction will push the percentage of lot coverage over the limit.

Vote to have a July 28 public hearing was 4-0 with member Fred Owens absent. After her presentation to the board Franzen told the Chesterton Tribune, “We’d like to be under roof by fall.”

A public hearing did occur Thursday for Ryan and Tamilyn Glassman of 346 Larkin Lane in Touch of Green subdivision. No one spoke during public comment. The couple’s preliminary hearing occurred May 26 at which time it was stated they want to install fencing for the safety of their small children.

The Glassmans unanimously were granted two variances with no staff or board comments: one to erect a 6 foot-tall fence adjacent to Locust Street when only a 4.5 foot-tall fence is allowed adjacent to a public right-of-way; the second is to install a fence in the front plane of a neighbor’s property.

Ryan Glassman told the BZA the fence will be far enough away from Locust Street so a neighbor can access his driveway.



Posted 6/24/2011