Advertising’s request to replace an existing billboard along Indiana 49 was
By letter dated
March 11, Lamar assistant real estate manager Shawn Pettit asked that last
night’s public hearing be deferred until the April 25 meeting of the
Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals.
unanimously continued the petition but asked attorney Terry Hiestand, who
was present representing two Smith Family trusts as landowner, to have Lamar
readvertise and give updated notice of the April public hearing.
four variances, including for a sign that is larger, taller and moving LED
digital, to replace the existing sign approximately 465 feet north of Porter
Avenue on the east side of Indiana 49. Lamar made a similar request to
upgrade the existing sign last year but pulled the petition before a
decision was made.
If the hearing
would have taken place Thursday, all three BZA members present would have
had to vote the same way for final action to occur; members Fred Owens and
Thomas Browne were absent.
short-handed board, members Jim Kowalski, Sig Niepokoj and president Rodney
Corder voted 3-0 to continue a second public hearing opened for Craig and
Rebecca Rothman; they seek a variance to legalize a 12-foot by 12-foot
garden shed built without a building permit and within 5 feet of a side lot
line at 324 Jefferson Ave., the shed being located within a fenced backyard.
No member of the
public commented either for or against the petition.
remarks Craig Rothman said the shed has no foundation so he didn’t think a
building permit was required, although he subsequently has obtained one. “I
hope I don’t have to demolish (the shed). It would be a sizeable loss.”
took turns chiding Rothman for his oversight.
Kowalski said it
galls him that someone wouldn’t take the opportunity or responsibility to do
the right thing. Addressing Rothman, “If I didn’t feel sorry for you, I’d
vote against it,” said Kowalski. “We can’t keep looking the other way.”
He reminded that
the town can fine persons who violate its zoning code, in some instances up
to $2,500 per day. Replied Rothman, “I’ll be careful from now on.”
zoning laws are there for safety sake, and it’s important that property
owners understand and respect town rules. Niepokoj said the BZA meets every
month to consider variance requests, and he suggested continuing the Rothman
petition until five board members are present.
matter, BZA attorney Julie Paulson said upon further review a petition
listed as a preliminary hearing Thursday doesn’t require a variance after
all. Tyler Slazas with Renaissance Properties-IL, LLC and Michael Slazas had
sought to reduce the minimum front yard depth for a home at 1211 Woodland in
Duneland Estates, but it was determined the depth had been reduced after the
subdivision was platted.