Town concerned about safety at proposed adult day care facility

2013-09-24T21:30:00Z 2013-09-24T21:37:06Z Town concerned about safety at proposed adult day care facilityChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
September 24, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Town leaders continue to have safety concerns about a proposed adult day care center.

In June, the Board of Zoning appeals reviewed a special exception request required for the Sincere Heart adult day care facility to open at 1443 E. 84th Ave.

At that time, representatives for the project were told a sprinkler system and manual fire alarm are required for the project to advance, Zoning Director Dorinda Gregor said.

The BZA sent the request to the Town Council with no recommendation because the issues hadn't been addressed.

When the matter went before the council Tuesday, the sprinkler system and manual fire alarm still hadn't been installed at the facility, Gregor said.

Representatives for Sincere Heart said they are willing to install the manual alarm and they are seeking a variance from the state that would allow them to move forward with the project without a sprinkler system.

The representatives said they filed the variance application Monday.

Several councilmen were concerned Sincere Heart hasn't resolved the safety concerns and that the representatives waited until the day before the council meeting to file the variance application with the state.

Town officials said state law requires the council to act on BZA requests within 90 days of the time they are heard by the BZA. The last day for Merrillville to vote on the matter was Tuesday.

Councilmen were unsure about how to handle the matter because they want to provide more time to Sincere Heart, but they don't want to advance the project until the safety issues are resolved.

If they denied the request, Sincere Heart would have to wait a year until it could seek town approval again.

Representatives for the project ultimately decided to withdraw their request, which means they don't have to wait a year before filing again.

They plan to seek town approval again after fulfilling the safety requirements.

Council President Carol Miano said she was prepared to vote against the proposal because she believes Sincere Heart has been "negligent" in its efforts to open a business in Merrillville.

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