By JEFF SCHULTZ
In its first
meeting since 2016, the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals Thursday
continued two preliminary hearings to April including variance requests for
a proposed landscaping business on Broadway and duplex buildings on Calumet
Greg Babcock sent a letter to the board asking it to continue the request
from the Thomas Edward Lipinski Living Trust, which owns parcels on Broadway
at 13th St., for the placement of a landscape service.
Next, Town Building
Commissioner Mark O’Dell wrote to the board a few concerns he had regarding
Chesterton resident Jason Robinson’s variance requests. Robinson filed for
two variances, one to build a duplex development in a 10-foot front yard
setback and one to allow increased lot coverage of 7.8 percent. Robinson’s
parcel is Pinney Park lots 64 and 67 on Calumet Rd. across from St.
said there is not enough variance in some instances for lot coverage since
it didn’t include footage for eaves and overhang and another variance would
be needed to keep a shed on the northeast side of the property, BZA attorney
Julie Paulson said.
Paulson and other
BZA members suggested Robinson meet with O’Dell to discuss what exactly he
needs to ask in his request, or else he would run the risk of having to come
back to the BZA.
Robinson said he
agreed. He said the memorandum he got from O’Dell was for an older building
plan and some of the things have been addressed in the newer plan.
Robinson said he’s
looking for some relief from the coverage requirements so he can put up a
building for storage. He plans to rent the duplexes that will include a
two-car garage but wants to have another space so renters wouldn’t have to
leave belongings in the open.
streets in Chesterton for years, I know it’s very unsightly to see some of
the stuff that’s stored outside like grills and basketball hoops and that’s
what I am concerned about,” Robinson said. “It’s right across the street
from St. Pat’s. People go to that church and I just want to make sure that I
have a nice sightly building.”
The shed on the
property belongs to the neighbor on the north and Robinson said that’s part
of the reason would like additional lot coverage. The neighbor’s house to
the south is older and he would like to keep the entire front side plane the
BZA member Richard
Riley said he was curious why Robinson wanted to take the front setback
instead of the rear setback as he suggested it might be more aesthetically
pleasing. Robinson said his goal there is to keep the same site plane as the
BZA member Jim
Kowalski said he was surprised to see a septic tank lid on the site plan
since the Town has sewer utilities and he was sure they were available to
the property because St. Pat’s is across the road.
Robinson said Town
Utility Superintendent Dave Ryan told him that there is a small diameter
sewer in Pinney’s Park and there is a tank sitting there that feeds to the
house on the north. The utility department pumps the tank once a year,
BZA member Fred
Owens said the tank is a type of lift station for the small diameter sewer.
Kowalski said he
wanted to ask about the tank just for clarification.
As the board voted
to continue the preliminary hearing to next month, BZA member asked Robinson
if he was on a timeline. Robinson said he was hoping to get started this
spring to get the lot cleaned up as soon as possible.
“The board doesn’t
want to hold you up but we like to do things right. We don’t have much
choice but to do it that way,” Kowalski said.
The board voted its
2017 officers with Joe Ackerman continuing as president, Fred Owens as
vice-president and Gail Murawski as secretary.