A difference in opinion about where Luke Oil should place its entrance for a
new car wash proposed at the station, at 3 East U.S. Highway 6 in Liberty
Twp., led to a 5-0 vote by the Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals to
table the matter on Wednesday.
The BZA gave no objections to the car wash being there but members Rick
Burns, Marvin Brickner and Tim Cole said the entrance should be on the
building’s north side rather than its south, which would be closest to U.S.
Burns said he was concerned that the traffic for the car wash would be
“stacked” and “back up traffic on U.S. 6.”
“It’s a safety issue,” Burns told Luke construction manager Mike Zell.
Zell said the entrance was proposed for the south to make it easier for the
customers and added that it is “rare” to have the car wash traffic stacked
where it would back up onto the roadway. The building would be at least 50
feet from the inset of the U.S. 6 right-of-way, he said.
If the traffic line for the wash were to ever become lengthy, a Luke Oil
employee would be there to direct the cars coming in, Zell said, but he was
open to redrawing the plans according to the board’s wishes.
“If you are adamant about this, we can switch it,” he said.
Zell said the request he was making was only for the approval of an
automobile wash building, not for plan specifications to be approved. He
added that he has been in contact with the County’s planning department and
would discuss the plans for the entrance further with the development review
In the end, the board felt their concerns were large enough that they asked
Zell to come back with new plans “more suitable that will not harm traffic
patterns” before they would give consent to the car wash. Voting to table
the matter were members Burns, Brickner, Cole, Michael Young and president
Brickner said he sees “plenty of room” for Luke to reconfigure building
placement. The company plans to demolish and rebuild its convenience store
this year ,with a square footage of about 4,000 feet.
Brickner added that he would like for Luke to have landscaping between the
buildings and U.S. 6. Zell said landscaping is in the plans similar to the
Portage station on U.S. 20.
“Our intent is to bring it up to the standards at our other locations,” Zell
Cole asked who will be providing Luke’s water and sewer at the station.
Zell said the water will be provided by Indiana American Water and the sewer
service will come from Damon Run Conservancy District.
No audience member spoke for or against the variance during the public
hearing portion Wednesday.