Chesterton Tribune



Town Council approves sign variances for Culver's at Coffee Creek Center

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It looks like the Culver’s is a go.

At its meeting Monday night, the Chesterton Town Council voted 5-0 to approve an amendment to the planned unit development ordinance governing the First Addition to Coffee Creek Center, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve that amendment on final reading.

At issue: Culver’s wanted a larger monument sign than permitted by the PUD--8’ 4’’ in height by 6’ 3’’ in width--directional signage which also displays other wording, and oversize menu boards for the drive-through.

At its February meeting, the Advisory Plan Commission voted 6-1 to endorse the PUD amendments.

The Culver’s--part of the Smith Family Hospitality’s Illinois franchise--will be built north of the Speedway gas station at Coffee Creek Center, on Gateway Blvd. north of the Hilton Garden Inn and across from the Indiana Toll Road plaza. In addition to a drive-through, the restaurant will have outdoor seating and feature the franchise’s new beige-brick exterior.

The Culver’s could open in late summer.

Sign Ordinance Revised

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading a thorough-going revision of the Sign Ordinance--in the works for months--5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the revision on final reading.

Among other things, definitions in the ordinance have been clarified; language pertaining to dynamic signs--those which flash or have electronic displays--added; restrictions on freestanding, monument, and specialty signs updated; and various confusions eliminated.

Under the revised ordinance, a single business would be allowed a gross amount of signage--the specific amount determined by the zoning district and kind of building--to be distributed on the front, side, or roof, as the business sees fit.

No more distinction is made, either, between signage regulations for business and industrial districts. This “one-size-fits all” approach to B and I zones, as Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson called it, may be the biggest change in the revised ordinance.

And the maximum height for freestanding signs now depends on how far back from the road a business is, Parkinson added. The further a business is from the street, the higher the sign may be.

Taste of India

Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 to reject the petition of the Taste of India restaurant at 418 Roberts Road for a temporary directional sign on public right-of-way on Indian Boundary Road.

The restaurant’s proprietor told the council that customers are having a hard time finding the business.

But members--who permitted the erection of a temporary sign on Indian Boundary Road last summer, for 90 days--were unwilling to do so again.

Instead, they urged the proprietor either to make an arrangement with the owner of another business located on Indian Boundary Road or to seek the assistance of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce.

Composting Agreement

Members voted 5-0 to re-new the town’s annual agreement with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District, under which the PCRWRD uses its equipment to turn the compost at the town’s site in Crocker.

Farewell and Congratulations

to Heather Ennis

Members Jim Ton, R-1st, and Jeff Trout both took a moment at the end of the meeting to congratulate Duneland Chamber of Commerce President Heather Ennis on her appointment as president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, the region’s economic-development driver.

“Heather has done a terrific job with the Chamber and their gain is our loss,” Ton said.

“I personally think it will help the Town of Chesterton to have Heather working regionally,” Trout added.

Ennis will assume her responsibilities early next month.



Posted 3/11/2014




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