St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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February 22, 2016 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, PresidentDavid M. Austgen, Town Attorney
Paul PanczukStephen Z. Kil, Town Manager
Tom Ryan 
Jason Williams 
Ken Schneider 


Mr. Maciejewski called to order the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals for February 22, 2016 at 7:05 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).


Roll call was taken by Susan E. Wright, recording secretary. Members present: Ken Schneider, Tom Ryan, Paul Panczuk and Jason Williams. Staff present: Mr. Tim Kuiper, Town Attorney.


Mr. Maciejewski entered nominations for the office of President. Mr. Schneider nominated Mr. Maciejewski for President, with no further nominations, vote was taken. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for nominations for the office of Vice-President. Mr. Ryan made a motion to nominated Mr. Ken Schneider for vice-President, with no further nominations, vote was taken. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for nominations for the office of Secretary. Mr. Schneider made a motion to nominated Mr. Paul Panczuk for Secretary, with no further nominations, vote was taken. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.


Mr. Maciejewski advised that the next item on the agenda was the minutes and noted that they have not been provided and suggest that we defer those to the next meeting, and asked if there any opposition to this. Hearing none minutes deferred (no vote).


A. FRANCISCAN FAMILY CARE CENTER (11355 West 97th Lane) Developmental / Technical Variances - continued Public Hearing

Mr. Maciejewski advised that Franciscan Family Care Center is here for a continued public hearing on a proposed modification to the existing sign. Mr. Maciejewski called for the petitioner to come before the podium.

Mr. Bill Hollohan of All-Right Signs introduced himself to the board members, advising that he is representing the Franciscan Physician Network. A follow-up from our last meeting, we were asked if we could go back to the owners with some conditions and make some changes to the signage. We have presented drawings to you, showing the overall height of the sign has been reduced to the ten feet (10’); the top portion of the sign at the 30 square feet that was required. We have reduced the size of the electronic message center to 1’ x 10.3’, which they would still like to keep the message center involved in this.

Mr. Hollohan recalled that there was another question in regards to the neighbors, the residents in the area and their concerns about the sign being obstructive and maybe be an issue to the value of their homes. We are showing where the LED’s will generally be projecting, and we have tried to incorporate some bushes that would prevent the LED lights from shining back into the residential area. There will need to be a better survey showing the placement of the bushes, but right now this is the general area.

Mr. Hollohan stated that with respects to the Town that it may not be something that they want to see out there, the LED signs; however, there are multiple units along U.S. 41 as it is a main thoroughfare, and the petitioners want to get more attention to their locations as they sit way back off of U.S. 41.

Mr. Panzcuk asked if this was a full color LED sign. Mr. Hollohan advised that it was. Mr. Ryan asked why it would have to be full color on the message board. Mr. Hollohan advised that blue is their primary color and that cannot be done with the monochrome units. General discussion ensued if there were any renditions where they got the dimensions into the 30 square feet as allowed by ordinance. Mr. Hollohan advised that no, that they are trying to bring easy reading to this location. The text on the current sign has multiple sizes and could not advise that; however, it was a 4’ x 8’ sign.

Mr. Williams commented that we are looking at two (2) zoning variance issues, the full color and then the size? Mr. Maciejewski advised that is correct, and that any digital reader board, as well as the size in general. Right now the size proposed is at 150% of conforming in size, we generally want the reader boards integrated within the 30 square foot, and we have been following an 8 s.f. guideline on that. General discussion ensued as to the preference of monochrome as opposed to full color, and the width of the sign.

Mr. Maciejewski open the Floor for the Continued Public Hearing, he reminded those wishing to speak to please state your name and address for the record.

Karl Madsen (11347 Valley Drive):
Mr. Madsen advised that he has letters for the board members and submitted same.

Mr. Maciejewski asked that if the landscaping that they have introduced addresses at all your concern (reading from a letter) “negatively effecting property values all to the essential character of the neighborhood”.

Karl Madsen (continued):
In opposition Number 1, will be a nuisance, and negatively affect the quality of life. We do address the fact that they plan to have vegetation there, and the problem with vegetation is that vegetation has to be maintained. Vegetation dies, or otherwise is deemed unacceptable by the owner of the property, the effectiveness of the vegetation is then eliminated and then the very point that we are trying to avoid, which is having the neighborhood bathe on light, is now the main problem again.

Mr. Williams inquired if we have the history with Franciscan to indicate that they would not immediately address those concerns. Mr. Madsen advised that they have not tried that because the existing sign is muted and the shrubbery is small, and if the shrubs die it wouldn’t matter.

General discussion ensued as to the sign versus the need for vegetation to block out lighting from the neighborhood, the color variations and the lumens being requested.

Mr. Panczuk asked if they would still object to a monochrome sign. Mr. Madsen advised that he would need to see the plans.

Mr. Schneider asked if Mr. Madsen had material or data to support the comment that the sign would adversely affect the property value of the area. Mr. Madsen advised that it is general knowledge he has acquired, and does not have any a data with him tonight.

Mr. Panczuk asked that if the sign was only operational during business hours that it would have no impact on the neighborhood. Mr. Madsen still stated that he would have to see the specs and he would like to speak to his neighbors.

With no further comment from the audience, Mr. Maciejewski closed the Floor to Public Comment and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Hollohan stated that after hearing some of the concerns, for the brightness of the sign, it does have the capability of being toned down more at night-time if needed. There is actually software within that will automatically do that once you set it. Mr. Hollohan also stated that the “Sister” do not want to be a nuisance to them. Mr. Hollohan expressed that if there is something more they can do to address this, he would prefer to bring it back to them. Mr. Hollohan advised that he would bring the monochrome, the size, the message center, issues back for further review.

General discussion ensued as to the 30 square foot sign without the reader board. Mr. Hollohan stated he preferred to take it back for discussion and come back after conferring with his client and go from there.

Mr. Panczuk pointed out that there would be conditions placed such as no scrolling, holding message for six seconds, there are a few examples of that in Town right now.

Mr. Hollohan requested to re-do the artwork and reconfigure one more time and see if it is worth even putting the message center into the sign. Discussion amongst the board members also suggested getting the width within 8’. Therefore, he requested that the matter be deferred to the next meeting of March 28, 2016.

Mr. Maciejewski entertained a motion to defer the matter to March 28, 2016. Mr. Ryan made the motion to defer the Franciscan Family Care Center to the March 28, 2016 and the public hearing will be continued until that time. Mr. Panczuk seconded. Motion carried 5 ayes – 0 nays.

With no further business before the board the meeting was adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary Pro-Tem
St. John Board of Zoning Appeals