Chesterton Tribune



Developer of duplexes withdraws request for sidewalk waiver

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A representative for a developer seeking to build four duplexes on a large lot located between Wabash Ave. and Grant Ave. has withdrawn a request for a sidewalk waiver.

But the developer’s petition for three other variances was granted by the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals at its meeting Thursday night.

Representing Southshore Development Group LLC principal Jim Metcalf at the meeting was attorney Greg Babcock, who was joined by Charlie Ray of the Duneland Group, Metcalf’s engineer on the project.

As Babcock told the board, the four duplexes would be constructed on a very large lot--about an acre in size and originally platted at the end of the 19th century--located between the 600 block of Wabash Ave. and the 600 block of Grant Ave. Two of the duplexes would front Wabash and two Grant, and each would be accessed by a driveway 40 feet wide at the building and tapering to 25 feet at the street to permit occupants to turn their vehicles around so as not to have to back onto either of the roadways.

The parcel is zoned R-3 for multi-family, Babcock added, which means that the duplexes would represent a “down-zoning” from the permitted use. He also noted that the development is a desirable “in-fill” of the sort encouraged by the Chesterton Comprehensive Plan, since an old house built on the lot has been previously demolished.

Southshore Development was specifically requesting four variances:

* A waiver from the ordinance which would require the construction of a sidewalk on Grant Ave. along the parcel’s 150-foot frontage. There is currently no sidewalk along the length of Grant Ave.

* A waiver from the ordinance which would require the construction of curb and gutters along both Grant Ave. and Wabash Ave. There are currently no curb or gutters along either Grant or Wabash.

* A variance to permit Southshore to construct a four-foot sidewalk in front of the duplexes on Wabash Ave., rather than the five-foot sidewalk required by ordinance. The sidewalk currently serving Wabash Ave. is an old four-foot one.

* And a variance to increase lot coverage from the 30 percent maximum permitted by ordinance to 40 percent.

Members had no issue with the latter three variances but there was pushback on the sidewalk waiver from both Fred Owens and Kim Parrilli-Goldak, who suggested that it would set an unfortunate precedent in the event that any other property owners along Grant Ave. decided to build new residential.

In the end Ray of the Duneland Group indicated that his client would be amenable to withdrawing the request for the sidewalk waiver, and members duly voted unanimously to grant the other three variances.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition to it.

On Snead Ave.

In other business, members voted unanimously to approve four variances sought by Michael Rugby Popa, who is looking to build an addition to his home at 1531 Snead Ave. as well as a detached garage.

The variances:

* One to reduce a side-yard setback from the minimum 20 feet to 8.31 feet, to allow the construction of the home addition.

* One to increase lot coverage from the maximum 30 percent to 40 percent.

* One to permit the construction of an accessory structure--the detached garage--in the front plane of the home.

* And one to reduce the side-yard setback from the minimum five feet to 1.11 feet, to allow the construction of the detached garage.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition, but Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson did read into the record a letter from the Sand Creek Homeowners Association which stated that nothing in Popa’s plans would adversely impact his neighbors.



Posted 2/23/2018




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