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Feature Stories for Thursday, October 11, 2001

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
The Crown Point Network offers a preview of weekly cover stories.

Making their voices heard

By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer

CROWN POINT - Many senior citizens and retirees wonder whether their voices are actually heard by policy-makers.
     In a presentation at the Crown Point Civic Center Monday afternoon, interested seniors were given some insight on the ways to make a difference with the state legislature.
     Jean Wease, the chairman for the State Legislative Committee of the American Association of Retired Persons, along with her husband Gene, who is the former president of the Lake County Retired Teachers Association, explained to concerned seniors the ways they can change and propose laws to better life in the state of Indiana.
     The program was sponsored by South Lake County Community Services.
     Jean Wease explained that in order to become an advocate for a specific cause researching the facts are the first step.
     "In order to make a difference with political figureheads in the state hard facts need to be presented," she said. "Emotions and opinions do no good when it comes to legislative action."
     Another key is good communication and organization.
     "Gathering people together is a necessity and the more that get involved the more of a difference can be made," Gene Wease said. "E-mail and telephone calls are the best way to get noticed but these actions need to be taken when it is time for the legislature to vote. Before or after that time will not make a difference."
     The Weases added that the best way to learn about the pertinent issues in the community is to attend city or town council meetings as frequently as possible.
     "Council meetings are the way to hear about relevant issues in your city or town as well as making yourself known as a concerned member of the community," said Jean Wease.
     For more information, visit the website www.citact.org.

END

 

Wolohan rezone approved

By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer

CROWN POINT - The Plan Commission compromised with local realtor Roger Pace Monday and unanimously passed a proposal to bring businesses to the 1600 block of East South Street.
     Pace requested that the property, the former home of Wolohan Lumber, be rezoned from I-1 industrial and R-2 residential to B-3 business.
     "We feel that an I-1 zoning does not blend itself well with the area already developed," explained Pace.
     Presently the outermost portions of the property are zoned residential, and the innermost zoned industrial.
     The problem the Plan Commission had with a complete rezone was the possible effect that B-3 zoning could have on the surrounding residential community, with specific interest placed on two outlots on the southern most part of Pace's property.
     "If we give you a B-3 zoning for that particular parcel of land we could be hurting our residents because we really do not know what is going to go in those two outlots," said Plan Commission member Bob Rees.
     Pace explained that there have been parties interested in building a restaurant, bank , bike shop, convenience mart, and possibly a gas station.
     Plan Commission president Patt Patterson commented, "A gas station would be a nightmare for that intersection because it soon will be one of the primary entrances to the city.     Building it up with gas stations would take away from that area."
     Pace's attorney, Angelo Sabato, explained to the commission that other zonings of the property would not be consistent with any foreseeable plans for the property.
     "We do not have the commercial rights to build in an I-1 zoning," Sabato said. "Our plans our more consistent with B-3."
     Commission members said that the zoning could stay the same with interested parties applying for special-use variances to build on the property.
     "Our purpose is to make a good-looking commercial strip center," Sabato responded. "And then to have everybody come in to apply for a special use permit is inconsistent with what we are trying to do."
     Margo Sabato, the Executive Director of South Lake County Community Services, said that the main reason Pace applied for a rezone was due to her organization's intention eventually to move onto the parcel.
     "The reason they asked for a zone change was for the protection of my facility," Margo Sabato said. "I do not want my services located within an I-1 zoning. Some businesses that possibly could come in would be a detriment to my company."
     The owner of the property, Dominick Pitzel, plans on donating land to the city to assist in extending the present bike trail.
     The Plan Commission decided that to ensure the best use of the property, while retaining some control for the city over what businesses locate on it, the zoning should be changed to Planned Unit Development.
     "I do not want to see three commercial strip malls on this property and with a P.U.D. we can still have some dialogue with the petitioners as to what would be in the best interest of the city," concluded Plan member Robert Corbin.

END

For questions concerning the Star Newspaper or content on their articles, please contact
Star-Register Publications
112 West Clark Street
P.O. Box 419
Crown Point, IN 46307
(219) 663-4212

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