ST. JOHN | The Plan Commission granted primary approval for the new Lake Central High School site plan Wednesday after nearly two hours of public remonstrances.
The major issue settled by the commission was the replacement of the current chain-link fencing with a 6-foot tan vinyl fencing on the south and west side of the property, which abuts the Heron Lake and Ventura Estates subdivisions.
Larry Veracco, Lake Central School Corp. superintendent, agreed to that change at the commission’s request.
In giving its primary approval, the commission also granted a number of waivers of town ordinance requirements. Those included the height of the new school over the auditorium, which exceeds the town’s 90-foot limit, and the waiver of an irrigation system.
Native plantings will be used that require only rain to sustain them. The trees and shrubs will be taken care of for one year by the landscape contractor.
Michael Muenich, a Highland attorney, represented a number of Heron Lake and Ventura Estates residents. He presented a PowerPoint that included the noise level of the Lake Central marching band during 12-hour practices next to homes in those two subdivisions.
The Plan Commission doesn’t have any authority over the school corporation and its band, said Michael Forbes, vice president of the commission and president of the St. John Town Council.
Scott Moran questioned Police Chief Fred Frego about how the police deal with loud music coming from residences. Frego said if his department gets complaints, an officer will ask the resident to turn down the music. A citation might be issued if the music isn’t turned down.
“We’ve never had a complaint about the school band,” Frego said.
Several of the audience members guaranteed the police chief they would be calling on a regular basis.