Chesterton Tribune



Porter BZA OKs larger garage; planners will update ordinance

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David Thomason won permission Wednesday to build a 25-foot addition to his garage at 1548 Port Cove Dr. A variance was needed because the completed garage will be closer to the rear property line than town code allows.

The Porter Board of Zoning Appeals conducted a public hearing and no one commented either for or against the petition.

Town planner Jim Mandon said there are no negative planning implications with the petition and in light of no opposition expressed by neighbors, “That weighs a lot more at this level with a request like this.”

Thomason’s lot backs up to a railroad. “The only thing I’m trying to do is add on to my garage for storage and make it nicer back there,” he told the BZA. He also plans to relocate a 12-foot by 15-foot shed to a far corner if it can be moved.

Vote to approve was 4-0 with member Bill Stronks absent.

In a 2014 reorganization John Kremke was re-elected BZA president and Henry Huyser vice-president. Tammie Sufana was named board secretary.

Plan Commission also meets

Following the BZA the Porter Plan Commission met for reorganization electing Kremke president and Erik Wagner vice-president. Town councilman David Wodrich was welcomed to the commission as a new member.

Additional members are James Spanier, Brenda Brueckheimer, Ken Timm and James Eriksson.

Mandon said there’s typically a lull in petitions during winter so he suggested reviewing portions of the zoning ordinance members seem to have had problems with or questions about during the past year. Mandon said he’s been keeping a list and will forward it to members prior to the Feb. 19 meeting.

Brueckheimer is the Porter Public Works superintendent and works closely with federal MS4 stormwater regulations. “It’s huge; it’s its own entity,” she said of the program.

She offered to provide Mandon with a list of low-impact, green-development guidelines for review. “I want to make sure our regulations are up to date.”

The Plan Commission named Sufana as its secretary for 2014. Her first order of business when hired in December was reconstructing minutes from the September and October BZA and Plan Commission meetings; both boards approved the minutes last night as well as those from December.

"She’s done a dynamite job,” said BZA/Plan member Ken Timm, and others agreed. Brueckheimer also thanked resident Jennifer Klug, who videotapes every Porter municipal meeting, for her help.


Posted 1/16/2014