Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission members agreed Thursday the zoning laws
that regulate sidewalk “sandwich board” signs should be changed.
But member George Stone suggested waiting to do a package of amendments to
the overall sign ordinance rather than addressing them one at a time. Member
Sig Niepokoj proposed having a committee named or scheduling a work session
to advance the project, which will be discussed again Dec. 20.
The commission is hoping to receive input from the Chesterton/Duneland
Chamber of Commerce.
Building commissioner Dave Novak said the number of sandwich boards,
especially in the downtown, has increased exponentially.
Commission member Emerson DeLaney said such signs should be limited to one
per business. Members Tom Kopko and Jeff Trout agreed. “I don’t know that
our intent was to let them have more than one,” said Kopko.
Stone asked whether three businesses in one building each should get a
sandwich board sign. DeLaney said if only one sign could be displayed at a
time, the businesses could alternate.
He noted some businesses have displayed up to four sandwich boards. “We have
to look at the safety of pedestrians walking on the street and compliance
with (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.”
The commission also touched upon business uses in the Business-1 and
Business-2 zoning districts. From the audience attorney Greg Babcock said
the town needs a better way of considering potential uses, such as computer
repair, that are not specifically identified in its table of uses.
Replied Stone, “There’s no way we can anticipate every use everyone would
Commission attorney Charles Parkinson said members might want to look at
whether its definitions are too broad or not broad enough.
Babcock was present representing Wake Robin Inc. doing business as Pioneer
Lumber, which seeks to have Pioneer’s lot in its Pioneer Pointe commercial
subdivision divided so the Duneland Community Church can purchase the former
Pioneer retail building.
Lumber operations would continue on the remaining Pioneer property north of
the church. Members inquired how access to that site would be preserved.
Babcock said a 60-foot easement would be dedicated east of the retail
He noted the church, which has met in the Pioneer building for three years,
is anxious to close on the sale. A public hearing on both primary and
secondary plat approvals was set for Dec. 20.
In other business, the commission voted 4-0 on Stone’s motion to recommend
Niepokoj be reappointed as its representative on the Board of Zoning
Appeals. Niepokoj abstained and members Jeff Ton and Fred Owens were absent.