Chesterton Tribune



Frontline sign for new Broadway location advances to August 22 hearing

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Only one of three petitions --- for Frontline Foundations Inc. --- was advanced last night to public hearing Aug. 22 by the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals.

At least five variances are needed for signs at 1008 Broadway where Frontline Foundations has relocated its faith-based, substance-abuse recovery program. The variances deal with using an existing 23-foot freestanding sign there having a fixed sign on top and a manual reader board below it for posting information.

Attorney Greg Babcock representing Frontline Foundations said an occupany permit was issued for the new location Thursday and because of a facade grant from the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce, the exterior has been relandscaped and improved.

Despite some progress, “The west end (of Chesterton) needs as much help as we can give it to spruce it up,” Babcock told the BZA.

There’s a sign on the Frontline Foundations building itself, Babcock said, but since the structure is about 50 feet from Broadway and located between two larger buildings, signage on the freestanding pole sign will be important to signal where to turn.

Before setting the public hearing on a 5-0 vote the BZA unanimously agreed to waive the 17-day filing rule because the Frontline Foundations petition was submitted 10 days prior to last night’s meeting. Owner of the property, the actual petitioner, is Jonathan Hicks.

In other business, action on reuse of an existing pole sign by CoCo’s Canine Cabana, which leases space at 1601 S. Calumet Rd., was continued to next month as a preliminary hearing only when it was determined the CoCo’s employee present didn’t have power of attorney to represent property owner Wilbert Hamstra Inc.

Neither did Tara Sibbrell have knowledge of what Hamstra’s intent is for all the signs at the site, which also houses Kathy’s Antiques. Discussion revealed more sign variances than the one originally sought likely will be needed.

Town engineer Mark O’Dell said the property is in the South Calumet business district where monument signs identify general building locations.

With other information missing from the materials submitted, BZA member Thomas Browne said there’s too much outstanding to move to public hearing.

Member Jim Kowalski said it was unfair to Sibbrell to send her without the needed information. “Let’s get the (property owner) in line. He needs to step up to the plate.”

The night’s other petition stalled when no one representing property owner RMK of Indiana Inc. attended the meeting.

The petition seeks two variances: to allow installation of three signs with a total square footage of 87 square feet, and to allow two signs to be installed on one canopy, all at 860 Broadway, a fueling/convenience store that recently rebranded its business.

“I’m kind of getting tired of people not showing up,” said Brown.

The BZA could have dismissed the petition but opted to continue the preliminary hearing to Aug. 22.



Posted 7/26/2013