E.C. council again delays decision on zoning request

2013-07-26T21:00:00Z 2013-07-26T22:49:04Z E.C. council again delays decision on zoning requestPaul Czapkowicz Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 26, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | For the second time this month, the City Council has delayed making a decision about food service operations proposed for a vacant building at 4901 Alexander Ave.

The building, which would house a Subway restaurant and coffee and ice cream parlor, is in what is currently zoned as residential property.

At-large Councilwoman Benita White-Arnold said she has spoken with residents who live in the area. While there is excitement about the possibility of a new business there, there also are concerns, she said.

"They are concerned about the loitering and any possible drug activity that may take place in the late evening," White-Arnold said.

Council Attorney Steve Bower said the council is within its rights to put restrictions on the use variance, which could include limiting hours of operation.

First District Councilman Adrian Santos made a motion to table the matter, and the council voted 5-2 to do so.

Third District Councilman Robert Battle was not present at the meeting.

The property is in his district, and he previously expressed concern that a coffee and doughnut shop already operates within close proximity to the proposed business.

In other city news, the council approved resolutions that honor two former residents who gave their lives in service to their country.

Indiana National Guard Specialist Sergio E. Perez grew up in East Chicago and later graduated from Lake Central High School.

The 21-year-old lost his life in action in July 2012 in Afghanistan.

The corner of Columbus Drive and Butternut Street will now be named "Honorary Sergio E. Perez Drive."

Charles Edward Jackson was a 1968 graduate of East Chicago Washington High School who joined the Army and was killed in service in Vietnam on Aug. 28, 1969. The newlywed had arrived in Vietnam just 10 days prior to his death.

A street sign will reflect that 138th Place between Carey Street and Sheridan Place is now known as "Charles Edward Jackson Drive."

Jackson's family members appreciated that a city park had previously been named in his honor, but they wanted to have a street named for him, too, 5th District Councilman Rosendo Cuevas said.

"It's very secluded," Cuevas said. "It's a real small park."

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