Duneland School Corp. wants to use its former Instructional Materials Center
to house a health and wellness center for Duneland employees, their
dependents, retirees and other covered health-plan participants.
Because the proposed primary/preventive-care center at 411 S. 5th St., is in
a Residential-2 zoning district, the petition requires a use variance.
Meeting Thursday, Chestertonís Board of Zoning Appeals set a public hearing
on the request for Feb. 28. An additional variance for the required number
of parking spaces also may be added.
Novia CareClinics of Indianapolis will manage and operate the new facility.
Joe Wright, the companyís implementation manager, said although participants
can make appointments between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. for their convenience, the
clinic will be open only about 20 hours per week. Limited Saturday hours may
occur some weeks.
The IMC site could be used by qualified participants from other school
corporations that participate in the Porter County Insurance Trust, said
Duneland assistant superintendent David Pruis. Novia CareClinics operates
other locations for the group but none in this area.
Duneland was represented by attorney Greg Babcock. He said the school
district wants to keep costs down by using a building itís owned since 1969,
and that itís not advisable for a sick patient to go into an occupied school
interacting with students.
Responding to questions from BZA members, the Duneland representatives said
medications used will be under secure storage, but no controlled substances
will be on-site. Laboratory tests will be offered as well as basic medical
care, chronic disease management and wellness initiatives, but no diagnostic
imaging or emergency treatment would be available.
Babcock said initially 1,720 square feet of the 5,100 square-foot building
will be remodeled for clinic use, however, the zoning request is for 2,200
square feet in case physical therapy is added at a later date.
In other business, the petition of Craig and Rebecca Rothman was continued
at his request as another preliminary hearing next month. The Rothmans seek
a variance to legalize a 12-foot by 12-foot garden shed erected without a
building permit at 324 Jefferson Ave. The shed is less than 5 feet from a
side lot line in violation of town code.
"Iím at the mercy of you,Ē Craig Rothman told the BZA. Said member Fred
Owens, ďThe shed is nice but itís close --- right there.Ē Rothman said the
neighbor hasnít complained.
Owens noted that the Rothmans have a garage, pool, pool cabana and shed in
addition to the house. BZA attorney Julie Paulson said there is no
restriction on the number of accessory buildings; whether the structures
exceed the percentage of lot coverage allowed will be determined and another
variance added if necessary.
The nightís third petition --- for Johnsonís Automotive at 301 N. Calumet
Rd. --- was continued for a second month. Late last year the business filed
to allow a freestanding sign within 200 feet of an existing sign.
The December continuance was at the petitionerís request, but as of last
night no one had heard from him and no additional paperwork was filed.
Paulson said if the BZA dismisses a petition for not pursuing it, the
applicant has to wait six months before reapplying.
During 2013 reorganization the BZA retained last yearís officers: Rodney
Corder as president, Thomas Browne as vice-president and Gail Murawski as
secretary. Member Jim Kowalski was absent.
Owens, who also sits on the townís Advisory Plan Commission, reported on
that boardís progress in drafting updates to the Chesterton sign ordinance.
Browne asked what the policy is for temporary signs in yards. Paulson said
itís a grey area but up to the Building Department to enforce.
Town engineer Mark OíDell said temporary signs are allowed for a limited
period of time to announce or advertise educational, charitable,
philanthropic, civic or religious events, but those categories are not
Browne took no position on the matter, but said it can be a poor reflection
on any community with signs all over it.