C.P. board recommends against variance for preschool

2013-02-25T22:00:00Z 2013-02-25T23:32:04Z C.P. board recommends against variance for preschoolSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
February 25, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A proposed preschool on North Street failed to win over zoning officials who were concerned about traffic flow at the location.

Wayne and Rachael Hiestand sought a variance permitting the school at 1414 E. North St., in a Crown Point area zoned for industry.

The Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-2 to recommend against granting the variance. The recommendation goes to the City Council, which has final say on the matter.

The Heistands said the location on the north side of North Street would be ideal for a preschool because it is opposite the city-owned sports complex, which is home to youth sports activities including football, soccer and karate.

The school was proposed for a currently vacant building at the site, with attendance of up to 18 children in separate morning and afternoon sessions lasting 2.5 hours.

The Hiestands said they hoped to lease the building for the school, which they want to name Learning Lane. The school would be staffed by Rachael Hiestand, a licensed kindergarten teacher, and one other staff member, they said.

Zoning officials were concerned about how cars converging at the location to drop off and pick up children would affect traffic on North Street.

"I don't have a problem with a preschool," zoning appeals board member John Marshall said. "The problem is traffic."

The Hiestands proposed having children dropped off and picked up at varying 10-minute increments.

Zoning officials weren't convinced that could be enforced.

"It's just not an ideal spot for a children to go in and out," board member Alda Vellutini said in moving to deny the variance.

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