To smoke-free or not to smoke-free.
That’s the question Chesterton Town Council members are currently asking
themselves, and while no decision has yet been reached on whether to enact a
smoke-free ordinance—which would ban all smoking in all businesses in
town—two members at least seem to be talking to two very different groups of
people about the issue.
Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, took a moment at the end of Monday’s meeting
to observe that, so far, residents with whom she has spoken “have been very
positive” about a smoke-free ordinance. “I have had an overwhelming
response,” she said.
Yet Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, has also had an “overwhelming response,”
he said. And it’s been running in “just the opposite” direction: about 90
percent of the folks who have made their feelings know to him oppose such an
Darnell did tell the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that any
smoke-free ordinance could be crafted with a provision allowing businesses
to pay for an exemption which would allow smoking on the premises.
In other business, members voted 5-0 to grant the petition of builder John
Kremke for a waiver from the Town Standard mandating a maximum height above
grade of 18 inches for garage floors. The height of the garage floor in
Kremke’s home—already built—in the new Duneland Trails subdivision off Fifth
Street: 34 inches.
In fact, as Kremke told the council, Building Commissioner Dave Novak and
Town Engineer Mark O’Dell had previously okayed a waiver—as Town Code allows
them to do, after a determination that such a waiver will not adversely
affect drainage—in the belief that the garage floor was only 30 inches above
But Kremke said that he subsequently discovered the garage floor’s actual
height to be all of 34 inches above grade, the result it would appear of
some sort of surveying mistake.
At that point, Novak and O’Dell forwarded the matter to the council.
Now, it turns out, at least two other lots in the subdivision have also run
afoul of the same mistake, whatever that mistake is. “It’s puzzling,” Novak
said. “And the only thing I can think of is that they’re using the wrong
Members accordingly voted 5-0 to forbid the issuance of any further building
permits in the Duneland Trails subdivision until the discrepancies in grades
and elevations are resolved.
The developers of Duneland Trails: Don Coker and Tom Cahillane. The
engineer: Great Lakes Engineering.
At this point Novak suspects that some mistake was made during the survey of
the property, and that possibly more than one benchmark—often a manhole
cover, an artifact unlikely to be moved—was used during that survey.
President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, expressed his gratitude to Don Weiss and
WiseWay Foods, along with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction
District, for the placement of new recycling bins on the east side of the
Chesterton WiseWay on a landscaped, neatly fenced site.
“It’s a win-win,” Trout said. “I think it really turned out to be a
convenient location for folks who live outside Chesterton, since most town
residents have recycling service already.”
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, urged residents to remember and commemorate Veterans
Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, for “the veterans still with us and those who have