Chesterton Tribune



Variance sought for dog daycare on Brown Ave

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Richard Neal, owner of the currently vacant building at 102 Brown Ave., is seeking a use variance from the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals which would permit the operation of a dog grooming, daycare, and boutique business there.

The Zoning Ordinance’s table of uses does not specifically include that kind of business, hence the need for the variance.

As Neal’s attorney, Greg Babcock, told the board at a preliminary hearing Thursday evening, the business itself would be run by Tonya Fugate. The building, most recently occupied by Zeno Signs & Graphics (now at 505 Grant Ave.) is around 2,000 square feet in size and well suited to the business, which would be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and have a capacity of five to seven dogs at one time.

Fugate plans on enclosing an area on the east side of the building for a dog run, which will include various play and exercise equipment. No dogs would be left unattended in the enclosure and no more than one at a time would be permitted inside it, Babcock said.

Babcock added that there would be no overnight kenneling and that all dogs would need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Member Richard Riley saw no particular issue with Neal’s petition. “It is ideally located, so far as being completed surrounded by commercial property,” he said. “So if the dogs get noisy, no one will lose any sleep.”

Member Joel Carney agreed. “I think that’s a good location,” he said for his part.

Members accordingly voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the petition at their next meeting, Sept. 24.

109 Laurel Creek Drive

In other business, members voted unanimously to hold a public hearing at their next meeting on the petition of Ryan and Scarlet Spain, who are seeking two variances which would permit them to build an additional two-vehicle garage connected to their home via a breezeway.

The first variance would reduce the minimum side-street setback from 25 feet to 18 feet, a variance of seven feet. The side street in question, running along the west of the Spains’ home, is a platted but unimproved right of way.

The second variance would permit the construction of the breezeway, by reducing the minimum percentage of principal structure which must be covered by the connecting breezeway from 50 percent to around 35 percent.

Babcock, also representing the Spains, told the board that the petitioners need the additional two-vehicle garage to store several antique autos and other things.

Again, members found no issues with the petition, although Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that the Spains need to have a survey done of the platted but unimproved side street, to confirm that it is, in fact, 18 feet from the garage.

Babcock did tell the board that the homeowners association would have the right to challenge the issuance of the building permit, even if members do grant the two variances.

223 S. Eighth Street

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to grant two variances to Earl and Kathy Clark, which will permit them to demolish their old garage, original to the home, and build a larger garage on their property at 223 S. Eighth Street.

The first variance increases the maximum lot coverage under the Zoning Ordinance from 30 percent to 41 percent; the second reduces the minimum sideyard setback from eight to three feet, a variance of five feet.

The Clarks told the board that the existing garage isn’t large enough for modern vehicles.

“I don’t have any problem with this,” Carney said. “This would pretty much be standard for garages today.”

BenLew Enterprises LLC

Finally, members voted unanimously to dismiss, on O’Dell’s recommendation, BenLew Enterprises LLC’s petition for multiple variances on its property at the southeast corner of South Calumet Road and East Porter Ave.

BenLew reps appeared before the BZA in May seeking the variances--most of them related to setbacks and lot coverage--but never made it clear what sort of business they wanted to run from the old travel agency.



Posted 8/31/2020




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