Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Chesterton BZA hears petitions on new garage and windmill

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At its meeting Thursday night, the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals scheduled public hearings on two petitions: one for a new garage in the 200 block of Lincoln Ave.; the other for an “antique windmill” and barn in the 1600 block of West Porter Ave.

By 3-0 votes the board slated both public hearings for its next meeting, April 22. Members Fred Owens and Thomas Browne were not in attendance.


In the first petition, Russell Stephens of Russ & Barb’s Antiques at 222 Lincoln Ave. is requesting two variances for a new one-car garage on his R-2 property, attorney Greg Babcock told the board:

•That garage would sit 8.3 feet from the existing home but the Zoning Ordinance requires a separation of 10 feet, for a variance of 1.7 feet.

•The garage would also sit 4.2 from the side lot line, whereas the Zoning Ordinance requires a separation of five feet, for a variance of eight tenths of a foot.

Babcock noted that the footprint of the garage itself would be in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance but that the overhang of its eaves would put the structure in violation.

He also noted that, in Russell’s old neighborhood, very likely many garages are legally non-conforming. “Some garages in the neighborhood are almost on top of the alley,” Babcock said.

Members set the petition for public hearing without comment.

Windmill and Barn

In the second petition, John and Jennifer Bell of 1601 W. Porter Ave. are requesting three variances, attorney Sarah Lawson told the board:

•The first would permit the erection of a 55-foot antique windmill” on the northwest corner of their property, 112 feet from the nearest structure.

•The second variance would permit the construction of an accessory building 19 feet in height.

•The third would permit the construction of the same accessory building whose footprint of 2,376 square feet would exceed by 636 square feet the footprint of the primary building on the property.

Lawson said that John Bell has rehabbed the windmill and would like to place it on his property, which is surrounded by seven acres owned by other family members. Lawson was unable to say whether the windmill would actually function, whether it would make noise, or whether it would simply be decorative.

As Member Kim Goldak noted, a 55-foot windmill would exceed by 20 feet the tallest structure permitted under the Zoning Ordinance.

The barn, on the other hand, would be used for Bell’s wood shop and for storage.

Building Commissioner Dave Novak told the board, for the record, that Bell also plans to seek, from the Town Council, a waiver from Town Standards in order to construct a second driveway on the property which would give onto South Jackson Blvd. He said that Fire Chief Mike Orlich is in favor of a second driveway on the property.

Lawson said that board would have answers to its questions at the public hearing.



Posted 3/26/2010





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