for C.L. eatery passes
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - The Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously
passed a variance petition last week that will allow Sergio Urquiza to
build a wrought iron fence around the front of his proposed restaurant,
Mira Bella, located in the old bank building at 13200 Lake Shore Drive,
and to build a 12-foot screen wall that will shelter the outdoor patio.
"The purpose of the fence and screen wall
is to improve the look of the restaurant and provide safety for our
patrons," architect Jim Keilman said.
"Outside of the fence we are planning to construct a
Town ordinance only allows a 3-foot screen wall
to be constructed, making a variance necessary. Members of the board
questioned whether a 12-foot high wall was really necessary.
"The purpose of the wall is to block oncoming headlights from
vehicles driving down Lake Shore Drive," answered Keilman.
But "the deck or patio that you are
talking about is elevated and I cannot see how headlights would be
shining directly into were your customers will be eating," said
board member Tim Kubiak.
Keilman told the board that Urquiza also plans
to put a sign on the wall to advertise his business.
Police Chief Charles Kouder said that he has no
problems with a sidewalk or fence being constructed on the property.
Kubiak added, "I just want to make sure
that this fence is aesthetically similar to the other businesses
In other business, the BZA unanimously passed a
petition to allow Larry Stenger, 10819 West 133rd Avenue, to build
another windmill on his property.
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT Ñ Local developers led by Whiteco
Industries hope to have about 200 acres of land between Court Street and
Cedar Lake Road south of Burrell Drive annexed to the city so they can
build nearly 1,000 housing units on it.
The City Council on Monday set a public hearing
for its December meeting on the annexation of the first parcel of land
for the proposed Feather Rock development, which would include
townhouses, duplexes, row houses, and single-family homes.
Attorney Richard Anderson, representing the
developers, said the complete parcel would have to be annexed in three
parts in order to meet a state law that requires one-eighth of the
border of an annexed area to be contiguous to the city's border.
Because only a small part of the parcel touches
the current city limits, only 31.1 acres can be annexed at first. That
will make possible a second annexation of 63.6 acres, which in turn will
make possible a final annexation of 105 acres.
That did not meet the satisfaction of
Councilman James Wirtz, R-at large, who thought that multiple
annexations went against the spirit of the law.
The developers were asking officials "to
take a chunk of land out in the middle of nowhere and hang it to the
city of Crown Point," Wirtz said.
He repeated complaints he has made since his last stint on the council
about "islands" of unincorporated land, like the fairgrounds,
and other annexations with tenuous links to the city.
"I'm tired of our city looking like a
hodgepodge," he said.
Other officials, though, thought the
annexation could fit into a long-term plan for the area immediately
south of the city.
Besides the possibility of annexing more
land south of Burrell Drive, council members discussed the opportunity
to control the extension of Burrell to Cedar Lake Road to handle traffic
from the new high school.
Also, Councilman Michael Conquest, R-at large,
said annexation would give the city the opportunity control development
and to make sure sewer problems are addressed.
"That area, whether we bring it (into the
city) or leave it out, is going to be developed," Conquest pointed
Anderson said sewers in Feather Rock would
connect to Ellendale Farms. The Fleming family, which is developing
Ellendale, is involved in Feather Rock too, he said.
Before December's public hearing, the matter
will be reviewed by the council's Annexation Committee, which is chaired
by Wirtz and includes Robert Corbin, R-5th, and Steven Farley, R-2nd.