Chesterton Tribune



Bartronics LLC seeks rezone of three R3 lots on South 12th Street to B2

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The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission will hold a public hearing next month on the petition of Bartronics LLC--owned by Bruce Resteau and in the business of installing communications systems in emergency-response vehicles--for a re-zone of three lots in the 100 block of South 12th Street: from R-3 to B-2.

As Resteau’s attorney, Greg Babcock, told the commission at its meeting Thursday night, when Resteau purchased the building at 128 S. 12th Street in 2006--the former home of Jim’s Lawn & Garden--he also bought the three adjoining lots to the south, zoned R-3.

Now Resteau is interested in building on those lots an 1,800-square foot addition to his business, roughly the same height as the existing structure. But first he needs the three lots on which he would put the addition re-zoned to B-2.

Planner George Stone noted that “the only people who might have a problem” with the re-zone are the neighbors, but added that the sideyard setback for both B-2 and R-3 is eight feet.

Asked by planner Fred Owens whether more parking would be needed, Babcock was unsure but said that Resteau would have a better idea at the public hearing. It’s possible, however, that there is already sufficient parking at the existing structure.

Members accordingly voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the proposed re-zone at their next meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18.

Obstructed Sign at Residences of Coffee Creek

In other business, members heard from a representative of the Residences of Coffee Creek, Frank Joachim, who informally put to the commission a request for permission to erect a taller monument sign than the one originally authorized by the planned unit development ordinance in 2016.

Which is already taller than the tallest monument sign allowed under the Zoning Ordinance.

Turns out, the sign is obstructed by a paddock fence along Ind. 49 and can’t clearly be seen by northbound motorists, Joachim said. Somehow the person who designed the sign didn’t take into account the height of the pre-existing fence. “We hadn’t realized there was an obstruction there. It wasn’t obvious at the time. We didn’t realize until literally we put the sign up.”

Now, however, motorists see only the nursing home’s insignia at the top of the sign and think the facility is a hotel, Joachim said.

Planners weren’t especially sympathetic. Thomas Kopko recalled how the commission specifically permitted the erection of a taller monument sign precisely so that it could be seen from Ind. 49. “I have this remarkable sense of deja vu,” he said. “We’ve been here before. We already granted you one variance. If we grant you another, then the next guy is going to want a taller sign.”

“That fence has always been there,” Kopko reminded Joachim. “We even offered to let you guys put a sign on the side of the building and you turned us down.”

Owens, for his part, observed that a nursing home is not really the sort of place a motorist turns into casually, like a McDonald’s. It’s instead a specific destination. “So there’s not really any traffic stopping by, needing the sign,” he said.

Stone suggested that some other solution be found. “You’ve got some sense about how the board feels about changing the sign,” he said. “I would suggest that you look at all other options.”

President Sharon Darnell concurred. “Try to stick with what works for the community instead of kicking the bee hive,” she urged.



Posted 6/21/2019




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