Four public hearings are slated for Thursday’s meeting of the Chesterton
Board of Zoning Appeals including one seeking permission to operate a BB-gun
range at O’Connor Martial Arts, 534 Broadway.
At a preliminary hearing last month, BZA members said they need a lot more
information presented Thursday on the proposal to renovate the building’s
attic into an educational gun range teaching the safe use of firearms to
According to petitioner James O’Connor, the renovated space would be
separated from martial-arts classes in the building; the new area also would
host air-gun competitions and be a plinking range where participants can
shoot at targets such as cans, bottles and posters.
A use variance is needed because gun ranges are not permitted in any zoning
district in town.
Continued from last month will be a public hearing for Lamar Outdoor
Advertising, which seeks four variances needed to replace an existing
billboard east of Indiana 49 and north of Porter Avenue with a slightly
larger, 12-foot taller structure that would have LED technology on its south
Shawn Pettit of Lamar asked for the delay to have traffic studies done and
present new evidence. The public comment portion of the hearing will be
reopened if that occurs. The sign is on property owned by two Smith Family
trusts. The petition has been on the agenda for four months.
Two other public hearings are listed.
Thomas and Jane Biedron of 1540 Bunker Dr. are seeking a setback variance to
allow construction of an addition on the north side of their home bringing
it 2 feet from the property line. The addition would house a medically
prescribed aqua-therapy pool for aerobic and rehabilitative exercise for
Thomas Biedron, a paraplegic.
The addition would encroach on a utility easement, necessitating the couple
also seek permission from the Chesterton Town Council in addition to the BZA.
The council request was heard Monday but was continued when department heads
were unavailable due to a severe thunderstorm that hit the area.
The night’s final hearing is for Agni Hospitality Inc., which seeks three
variances needed to install a new sign on an existing pole at the former
Super 8 motel on Council Drive east of Indiana 49. The property is being
redeveloped as a Quality Inn.