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
The program was sponsored by South Lake County
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
"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
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
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
"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.