Chesterton Tribune



Planners endorse rezone of R3 to B2 for Bartronics expansion

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Bruce Resteau, owner of Bartronics LLC, is one step closer to building an 1,800-square foot addition to his business at 128 S. 12th St.

At its meeting Thursday night, the Chesterton Plan Commission voted unanimously to endorse a re-zone of the three lots which Resteau also owns immediately to the south of the business, from R-3 to B-2. A re-zoning ordinance will now go to the Town Council for its consideration.

As Resteau told planners, Bartronics is a “specialty electronics” firm which installs two-way radio communications systems in emergency vehicles, along with lights and sirens. Resteau has provided such services to the Chesterton Fire, Police, and Street Departments, to the City of Valparaiso, and to federal agencies like ATF and DEA.

“We deal with high-end professional groups,” Resteau noted, and roughly 90 percent of his business is by appointment only. “We do very, very little retail. We don’t have a lot of people coming and going.”

Resteau is specifically seeking to build a 40’ x 48’ addition in order to have more room, and more security, in which to work on vehicles, especially those belonging to federal agencies. “We want to keep those under wraps, with a higher degree of security.” Aesthetically, the building would “be as good or better than the existing building,” he added, a “very professional building, not retail per se.” The estimated cost of the addition: $80,000.

Resteau added that he’s been in this business for 40 years and at this location for 12 years.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in opposition to the re-zone. Three persons spoke in favor of it.

The first, a neighbor, Phoebe Jane House, told planners that that she “would never oppose (Resteau) because he’s been a very good neighbor.”

The second, Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski, noted that Resteau has done good work for the CPD, that his current facility has room for a maximum of only two vehicles at any given time, and that he’s never seen “the current building in disrepair or having maintenance issues.”

The third, Chesterton Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, also called Resteau a “great neighbor” and said that “one goal of the town is to expand business.” DeLaney added, “What he has done over there, he’s done a wonderful job.”

A letter in support of the re-zone, from Kevin Murray, owner of Val’s Famous Pizza & Grinders, was also submitted to planners.

Babcock did note that a neighbor spoke to him specifically requesting the exclusion of certain future B-2 uses of the property. One in particular, Auto Repair-Minor, wasn’t really acceptable, as that’s technically the sort of business Resteau operates right now. The other exclusions, on the other hand, were just fine: Alcohol Sales; Automobile Service Station; Bar/Night Club; Billiard/Arcade Room; and Bowling Alley.

Members accordingly voted to forward the re-zone to the Town Council with their favorable recommendation, conditional on the exclusion of the five future uses so noted.


Posted 7/19/2019




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