Burns Harbor Makes It Harder for Trucking Companies to Locate in Town

By: Bubbajunk.com

Directly behind last months approval by another board of a new 250 semi-truck parking lot in town, the Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission embarked on plans to do away with such uses in certain zoning districts.

Commission president Jeff Freeze threw spotlight on the zoning bill, which would have to be authorized by the Town Council.

A public hearing on the proposal will be conducted on Oct. 4 by the commission . Vote to do so Monday was 6-0 with member Jan Hines absent.

Freeze boasted that residents wont have to deal with even more truck traffic in town, if his recommendation is approved.

CR England, one of the trucking companies based in Utah that runs a Midwest regional truck terminal in Burns Harbor as well as a truck-driving school, won 3-2 permission Aug. 24 from the town Board of Zoning Appeals to expand its operations with the new semi-tractor/trailer parking lot on the west side of Indiana 149 south of Tech Drive.

Tied to the approval were several conditions, which include installation of a new stop light on Indiana 149 at Tech Drive between existing 149 stop lights at both U.S. 20 and County Road 1050N in Crocker.

According to Commission attorney, Charles Parkinson, since the zoning ordinance lets freight terminals as a special exception in what were at one time light-industrial zoning districts, such terminals are more or less so a permitted use but one that demands additional BZA oversight.

The objective of the Plan Commission is not to permit truck terminals outside of the heavy-industrial zoning district. It was noted that a future petitioner still can request the BZA to search out a terminal in a non-permitted district as a use variance, but the standards for approval would be different than for a special exception.

In similar zoning action, the commission accommodated Parkinsons suggestion to analyze past meeting minutes to find out what the purpose was regarding residential uses in a Business Park zoning district. Current language includes references to residential there, but some officials who showed up cited that was not the intention when the whole ordinance was revised last year.

Why bother with a master plan? asked resident Gayle Van Loon, one of 14 persons in the audience. I dont think residential needs to be (in a Business Park).

On another matter, the Plan Commission affirmed it is hands off in reviewing a proposed town ordinance that would control parades, public assemblies, and pickets; the draft ordinance, patterned after the Town of Porters version, involves the Police Department and Town Council therefore Burns Harbor planners referred it back to those departments.

The commission voted 6-0 to put a stop-work order on Trail Creek subdivision on south Babcock Road; when the meeting turned to review of bonds, maintenance guarantees, and letters of credit related to subdivisions. A house being erected in the subdivision would be greatly affected.

At an earlier meeting Parkinson said the commission agreed to extend Great Lakes Developments letter of credit for the project yet the companys documentation never was furnished.

Manager of R&B Developments 200-home Corlins Landing, Tom Lightfoot, told the commission he would entrust a $100,000 cashiers check as the subdivisions required guarantee to clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan.

Harbor Trails subdivision developer Don Coker attended and conformed to work with town officials on a maintenance agreement to cover final punch-list items.

According to Hesham Khalil a town engineer of Global Engineering and Land Surveying, hes working on a punch list for Parkwood Estates south of Haglund Road including 50 feet of sidewalk reconstruction.

Khalil noted a builder who owns lots there has inquired about redoing a retention pond, which would entail changing the approved plat.