Chesterton Tribune



Four BZA hearings Thursday on gun range, signs, setback

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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 children.

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 face only.

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.



Posted 6/26/2013