Crown Point panel rejects cell tower in residential zone

2013-07-22T21:45:00Z 2013-07-22T23:49:15Z Crown Point panel rejects cell tower in residential zoneBy Susan Erler, (219) 662-5336

CROWN POINT | A cell-tower company was turned down Monday in its attempt to appeal for a tower on land zoned for homes.

Warsaw, Ind.-based STC Towers is proposing a 175-foot tower at 1244 S. Indiana Ave., on land owned by St. John United Church of Christ in a residential zone.

About 20 church members turned out for a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Monday to support the tower installation. 

A church spokesman said the tower would bring in revenue for the church, which planned to lease space on its land for the tower.

Tim Sendak, whose property neighbors the church land, opposed the tower, which he said would be an eyesore in the residential neighborhood and would negatively affect home values.

Wittenburg Village, a nearby senior living complex, and Whiteco Industries, which owns real estate at 1288 S. Indiana Ave., also opposed the tower in separate letters to city officials.

STC Towers in in June asked the city if the company could seek a special use permit for  a 175-foot tower in a residential zone. The request was denied. City code doesn't permit towers in residential zones, even with a special use. 

The zoning appeals board Monday affirmed the decision made earlier by city Planning Administrator Christopher Meyers to deny the company a petition for a special use.

Officials Monday told STC Towers director Sean Boylan that the only avenue open to the company would be to seek a rezoning of the property. City code permits towers in all zones except residential zones. But even then, a special use permit is required.

Boylan said Monday he's not sure what the company's next move will be.

The company in its initial appeal for locating the tower at the site said it had "gone to great lengths to ensure all required development standards have been met or exceeded."

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