plans to raze its long-time inventory storage building after constructing a
new storage facility with office space on the six lots the company owns at
340 Lincoln St.
Doing so will
require action by both the Porter Board of Zoning Appeals and the town’s
Plan Commission. Paul Tilden represented the company last night.
the BZA set July 16 for a public hearing on reducing the required 20-foot
rear-yard setback in a Business-2 zone to 4 feet 6 inches for the new
structure. Vote was 4-0 with member Bill Sexton absent.
discussion town planner Jim Mandon said the six Tilden lots should be
combined as one lot of record, or at least the four contiguous lots on which
the new 42-foot by 90-foot storage facility and attached 60-foot by 56-foot
office will be built. BZA president John Kremke said combining lots is a
protection for both the petitioners and the town.
Tilden said the
business will remain operational during construction, and adequate parking
will be retained on-site once the new building is completed.
The Plan Commission
met following the BZA; under other business commission president Kremke
explained what had transpired at the previous meeting regarding the Tilden
Kremke said the
commission could suspend its rules and allow the Tilden lot-combination
request to have both a preliminary hearing and public hearing in the same
night. The commission voted affirmatively 6-0 with member Brenda
submission of required paperwork, the hearings could take place July 16.
That date also is
set for a public hearing on Cheryl Meier’s request for variances related to
construction of a garage with upper-level office and an art-studio addition
to the home at 2829 Lakewood Trail.
Fence, barn advance
In other BZA
business last night, July 16 public hearings were set on petitions brought
by Dan Paniaguas of 1040 W. Beam St. and Brian Marx of 445 Franklin St.
Paniaguas wants to
join his Beam Street neighbors, several of whom previously received BZA
permission to build pole barns larger than their homes. Speaking for
Paniaguas, Ken Ostrander said the petitioner needs a variance to build an
80-foot by 50-foot accessory building; no setback relief would be needed.
It was determined
Wednesday that at a likely height of 24 feet, a second variance to exceed
the 18-foot height limit also would be required for the pole barn, where
personal items will be stored. Ostrander said Paniaguas would agree to
remove an existing shed on the property rather than seek a third variance
for multiple accessory structures because a garage already is there.
Marx is located at
the southwest corner of Hageman Avenue and Franklin Street.
Last fall he
received a building permit to install a fence as security and privacy for a
back-yard pool but after deciding to extend the 6-foot fence along Hageman,
he learned the zoning ordinance considers it a second front yard that limits
the fence height to 4 feet. The fence is partially completed now.
commissioner Mike Barry said Hageman has a large right-of-way so no views
would be obstructed at the corner lot with the taller fence because it will
be farther off the road.
Fence hearing July
At its meeting the
Plan Commission set July 16 for a public hearing on proposed changes to the
town’s fencing regulations contained in the zoning ordinance. The Town
Council earlier asked the commission to start the amendment process.
fences and walls would be permitted in the front, side and rear yard in any
zoning district prompted discussion. Mandon said that would go counter to
the requirements for parking and landscaping in a front yard for commercial
and industrial uses.
“You’ll see the
fence and not the front of the building,” he said, noting that one would
have to go through a gate to get to the parking area.
front-yard fences in a residential district could be 4 feet tall and 7 feet
tall in non-residential districts.
Barry said the
current zoning language doesn’t say much about fences. He explained
front-yard fences benefit small residential properties with virtually no
back yards, especially in the downtown, where fenced front yards would
provide some privacy.
Mandon said in
newer subdivisions, lots are large enough to have enjoyment and privacy in
the back yard where it should be so no blanket rule is needed.
Ken Timm said owners of smaller properties can ask the BZA for a variance to
locate a fence in the front yard and give neighbors an opportunity to
comment at a public hearing.
council member David Wodrich asked if current front-yard fences can be
“grandfathered” so they could be replaced without special permission. Barry
said that’s not practical because fences are considered structures and those
It was agreed Barry
and Mandon will amend the proposed ordinance as discussed and copies will be
available for public inspection at least 10 days prior to the July 16
On another matter,
the commission voted unanimously to have the town attorney take over its
representation in a longstanding lawsuit filed by C&C Development contesting
its denial of a subdivision replat adjacent to Hunters Glen. The former town
attorney asked to be replaced.
In 2010 a judge
ruled the commission overstepped its jurisdiction and had no business
denying the replat on the grounds it used. At one time a settlement appeared
near but commission members were not aware the matter has been resolved.