Chesterton Tribune



Escape room proposed for Factory building in Chesterton

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The Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals heard plans Thursday for an escape room attraction in Suite 3 of The Factory at 1050 Broadway.

Representing the petitioner William Bennett who owns the building, Robert Ring told the BZA that there will be five rooms where players would need to solve puzzles using hints and clues to find their way out. Think of it as real-life video game or the movie “National Treasure” with Nicholas Cage, Ring said.

BZA attorney Julie Paulson said at the preliminary hearing that a use variance will be needed since an escape room is not listed in activities for the property’s zoning.

Like other escape rooms, which are growing in popularity, the game would simulate locking players in a series of rooms where they will have to race the clock to win the game. One example Ring gave would be a laser room and if a player interrupts one, they’ll lose time.

All rooms will be monitored with TV’s so staff will be able to see what’s going on and if anyone needs to get out, there will be “panic buttons” so they can exit, Ring said.

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said he is reviewing plans with the Fire Department. He advised against having any foam covering on the walls but if so, they would need to be flame retardant.

Ring said he has no plans to put coverings on the walls as the building brick and hardwood are just the right aesthetic they would like.

BZA President Joe Ackerman asked to make sure there are adequate ways for emergency crews to enter and exit the business if they need access. Member Fred Owens also thought that doors should open out rather than in. Ring said that should not be a problem.

Abercrombie Woods pool

The BZA then agreed 4-0 to set a public hearing for the variance at its next meeting on June 22.

Also approved for a public hearing was a request by Pierre and Kristine Lauzon of 2541 Westwood Ln. S. in Abercrombie Woods to construct an in-ground pool with a concrete deck. The variance would allow an increase in lot coverage by 766 sq. ft., 6.8 percent above the 30 percent limit.

Representing the Lauzons, attorney Greg Babcock said the pool would be used by their children and other children in the neighborhood. The drainage on the property would not be affected and there is a French drain system shared with the neighbors, Babcock said.

The public hearing will also be June 22.

Lamar display sign

In other business, O’Dell said that Lamar Advertising is prepared to switch out their three-sided display sign at the southwest corner of the intersection of Indian Boundary and Calumet Rd., at the railroad, with an LED digital panel.

Representatives from Lamar advertising told plans in May 2016 to have up to six different lighted displays.

O’Dell said construction will beginning shortly.



Posted 5/30/2017




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