North Judson BZA Denies Variance Request

The North Judson Board of Zoning Appeals this week considered a request for a zoning variance from a town resident who is interested in running an internet gun sale service from his home, currently classified as a single-family residential dwelling. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry explained that resident Jason LaMantia Sr. requested the variance to a commercial zoning to allow him to run the business, but a number of concerned residents spoke up against the request at the board meeting.

While LaMantia said his intent was to have his business run online, he said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms requires that a firearms distributor have a minimum number of business hours open to the public, and several residents voiced concerns against the idea. Some said that they had reservations because of the “type of people” that the business was likely to bring, and the theory that many people that would visit the business when it was open one day a week would likely bring firearms into the community, causing concern for the safety of children.

LaMantia said his business would have a very limited inventory, the minimum to run such a business; he explained he would not have more than 10 firearms in stock and no ammunition. Unfortunately, that did little to assuage the community’s concerns.

With one member absent, the BZA ultimately voted unanimously to deny his request.

Henry said LaMantia had to jump through some hoops in order to request the zoning variance, including putting a legal notice in the ads of the local paper for two weeks in a row, send certified letters to his adjacent neighbors informing them of his request, and meet with the Board of Zoning Appeals in a public meeting.