Chesterton Tribune



BZA grants variances for carriage house remodel

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The Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals has approved six variances enabling the owner of the old carriage house at 108 S. 13th St. to remodel the building.

Members voted unanimously at their meeting Thursday night to grant Mary Cahillane’s petition.

The property in question--zoned B-2--is actually comprised of five separate lots with three structures: a commercial structure immediately south of Broadway, a single-family residence further south fronting South 13th Street, and--adjacent to and west of the single-family--a carriage house.

At issue: the home itself was built in 1910, the commercial structure not long after that, and the carriage house in 1948--all prior to the Town of Chesterton’s adoption in the Fifties of a comprehensive zoning ordinance.

Which means that the property is legally nonconforming in several ways, so that in order now to secure a building permit for renovations of the carriage house Cahillane needed the following variances:

--A variance to permit a second principal structure on a lot.

--A variance to permit remodeling of the carriage house in a B-2 zone with a lot area of 7,062.5 square feet, 137.5 square feet under the minimum 7,200 square feet required by the Zoning Ordinance.

--A variance to permit remodeling a residential unit in a B-2 zone with a width of 56’ 6’’, 13’ 6’’ under the minimum 70-foot width.

--A variance to permit remodeling a residential unit in a B-2 zone with a front-yard setback of 22’ 10’’, 7’ 2’’ less than the minimum 30 feet.

--A variance to permit remodeling a residential unit in a B-2 zone with a rearyard setback of four inches, 9’ 8’’ less than the minimum 10 feet.

--And a variance to improve an existing commercial building in a B-2 zone with a front-yard setback of 20’ 6’’, 9’ 6’’ less than the minimum of 10 feet.

In fact the petition was a no-brainer for the BZA. “I’m always happy to see someone in the community invest resources in repairing an existing piece of property,” Member Joe Ackerman said. “There are obviously peculiarities involved in the age and history of the property.”

“I think improvement of the building is a good thing,” Member Joel Carney concurred. “It will be good for the neighborhood.”

“Anytime we can improve the visual effect of a building it’s a good thing,” President Richard Riley added.

“This basically is a corrective measure,” Member Jim Kowalski said.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition.


Posted 3/4/2020




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