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MDC and IHPC Quick Hits – 11/17/11

Here’s what I’ve come across in Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC) and Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) filings as of 11/17/11 (click links to read staff reports on these cases):

1. MDC 11/16/11 – Business Resolution NO. 2011-R-027:

Authorizes the DMD to convey the former Winona Hospital Site properties located at W. 33rd Street and 3232 N. Meridian Street (aka 3209 N. Illinois) to TRex Enterprises, LLC, in consideration of certain commitments being made by the redeveloper for development of a mixed use project, including residential and public space developments.

According to an Indy Star report published yesterday, TRex Enterprises is an entity formed by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the MDC approved this resolution.

2. MDC 11/16/11 and Regional Center Hearing Examiner 11/17/11 – As previously reported, Milhaus Development has proposed a mixed-use redevelopment for the former BMV branch at 531 Virginia. The plans were approved by the MDC Hearing Examiner on 10/27/11 and are now being heard by the MDC and Regional Center Hearing Examiner. Staff recommends approval in both cases.

3. Regional Center Hearing Examiner 11/17/11 – The previously reported Jack in the Box proposal for 1521 N Meridian seeks Regional Center approval. As the variance for the drive-through component of this proposal was denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals on 11/15/11, it is unlikely that this case will be heard. Staff recommends denial regardless.

4. MDC Hearing Examiner 11/17/11 – The Town of Cumberland seeks rezoning of land adjacent to the Pennsy Trail at 230 S Munsie to “provide for a trailhead, including a visitor center, restrooms and other amenities.” The Town proposes to reuse a former industrial pavilion currently on the site as the centerpiece of the facility. Staff recommends approval.

The existing pavilion to be used in the Pennsy Trail trailhead facilities.

Note: “MDC and IHPC Quick Hits” is not comprehensive coverage of all cases before the Metropolitan Development Commission and Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. If we missed a noteworthy case in a recent filing, let everybody know in the comments section.

See the previous Quick Hits here.

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3 Responses to “ “MDC and IHPC Quick Hits – 11/17/11”

  1. Rick Wagner says:

    Like you, I was against the drive through for the Jack In The Box restaurant until I saw the arial pictures in your most recent postings, both the drugstore to the north, and the building (bank?) across Meridian from the drugstore have drive through lanes and windows.

    Why are they acceptable when the JITB is not?

    • Joe Smoker says:

      Many of those businesses, if not all, were in place prior to the adoption of the regional center design guidelines and development of the restrictions along Merifdian, Pennsylvania, Market and Washington. As with all overlay guidelines, existing businesses are allowed to continue as is until they decide to significantly alter the structure or the business changes. It is also possible that they recieved a variance for the drive through which would run with the land unless a condition was agreed upon for only that specific use. It is very common for the arguement to arise that other businesses have it, why shouldn’t this one? Indy has chosen a new, and IMO, better direction for itself with these guidelines. As a municipality, you decide who you will be and what the character of your city will be. These guidelines are not out of line with a lot of cities and the plannign staff and the BZA were right to hold firm. JiB knew of these restrictions and decided to come here anyways, that was their choice. If we followed the logic of other businesses already have it, then where would it stop? The next lot or the lot after that? I think all of us here on Urban Indy are against and would have been against the drive throughs for the other buildings, but these guidelines know provide us a legal voice.

    • Joe Smoker says:

      Here is the specific language……

      REGIONAL CENTER / NORTH MERIDIAN STREET CORRIDOR
       In the fall of 2008, the RCZO was amended to permit, among other items, front yard setback of buildings and structures to be in accordance with the Metropolitan Development Commission’s approval, through the Regional Center process. This amendment eliminated the need for a variance of such setbacks that were required previously and under the variance petition for the site to the north (2008-DV2-013). This specific change in the Ordinance requirements was to promote urban development, which typically has buildings adjacent to the sidewalk, with off-street parking behind.
       The 2008 amendment also eliminated rights to a drive-through component for any uses with street frontage on Meridian Street, Pennsylvania Street, Market Street or Washington Street. From 1982 to the fall of 2008, the Ordinance permitted drive-through components for banks, pharmacies and other non-restaurant uses. However, since 1982, when the North Meridian Street Corridor was added to the Regional Center, restaurants have not had the right to a drive-through component. Drive-through components in place currently along the North Meridian Street Corridor were approved by variance or pre-date the 1982 amendment.
       The 2008 amendment inroduced a new element for reviewing the proposed design of sites and buildings in the Regional Center, the Regional Center Urban Design Guideline (Guidelines). The Guidelines provide a community standard for urban design and produce a more thorough review process that now includes public notice for high impact projects. The Guidelines indicate that this site would be within the area noted as where the City’s highest density development occurs (Urban Core) and establishes the image of the downtown.

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