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
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
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
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
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.