LUC Meeting Minutes September 12th
Updated: Sep 19, 2018
WPNA Land Use Committee Meeting – 9/12/18 at 6:30 PM
John H. Boner Center, St. Clair Place Classroom (moved from CoHo Classroom due to attendance)
All WPNA Meetings are open to the public. Agenda is subject to change
Katie Alford (Co Chair)
Aaron Kowalski (Co Chair)
Jen Eamon-member/board member
Burns Gutzwiller-member/board member
Justin Becht- member/board member
Deb Ehret-member/board member
Chris Hartley-member/board member
Ron Ransom- visitor from Spades Park Neighborhood
David Hittle- visitor from NESCO Land Use and Holy Cross (Chair)
Tim Harmon- visitor from Cottage Home and the 10th St. Business community
Sam Sutphin- petitioner and member
Ed Battista- petitioner and member
Larry Jones-petitioner and neighbor
2018-PLT-051. RePlat Petition with Waiver of Sidwalks. CCIC. Larry Jones
Recap of what was discussed and occurred last month.
The City has requested that he create a minor subdivision to separate the building’s southern tip from the northern. He has also requested that he not have to put sidewalks along Mass Ave.
The division line would be the midpoint in the parking lot between Centerpoint Brewing and the southern tip.
The southern tip would be owned by Mass Ave Industries and the northern portion by Brookside Industries. Both owned by Teagan (Larry Jones). Financing should complete in a few weeks.
The Commitments do not change and follow the land.
Hoping the southern tip will include Convivial (la Margarita), Mattie Burnet, Ball State Urban Design, Ruckus (if there is an agreement on lease), Commercial Kitchen and Food Hall.
Exemption for the sidewalks will mean no sidewalk on Mass Ave., which is dangerous. This pushes foot traffic to Brookside which is more appropriate (trail, good sidewalks).
A motion was made and seconded that the LUC forward a resolution to the board to support this replat petition.
The motion passed with one abstention.
The resolution was forwarded to the Board for approval. It was discussed, defeated and sent back to the LUC. An automatic continuance was filed. Invitations were sent to nearby neighbors, Mr. Jones and CoHo’s LUC (including the list of concerns below) to re-convene to discuss and come to a consensus position at this meeting.
Aaron began the meeting by sharing that the resolution was not approved and invited Larry to briefly describe the project (which he did as last month- see descriptions above) and then, to address the concerns of the community.
Concerns raised by the Board about the replat and waiver of sidewalks:
The long-term need for complete streets and sidewalks, along Mass Ave, connecting the Pogues run Trail, Mass Ave and 10th to the new development on the other side of the RR tracks (Leo Stenz’ approved by DMD earlier this year) and the North Mass Corridor;
Impacts on subdividing the property related to total adequate parking for the development as well as adequate required parking needs for each parcel if subdivided;
A desire for more information about the site Plan, elevations and details on any changes from the original plan filed with the city; and
The current state of non-compliance with the Commitments regarding presentation and implementation timelines for the landscaping, lighting and signage plans.
Complete Streets are not a benefit on Mass Ave.
Mass Ave is not pedestrian-friendly and cars speed through there. He feels that encouraging everyone on foot and bike to use Brookside is more responsible.
The “public face” of his building is on Brookside and that is where investment should happen.
There are lots of utilities that would need to be moved and the tie in at Columbia makes it harder.
The ROW is too narrow. 40’ including RR, his own encroachments, the utilities.
His own building encroaches 6”-8’ on the ROW, making it too narrow for sidewalks.
He would rather put those funds into other investments on the property.
There are no crosswalks.
The city is not interested in maintaining or installing sidewalks.
He had to kill the idea of the Maker Trail running through the southern tip because of security concerns.
He thinks that the city needs to do some long-term planning around ped infrastructure at Commerce Avenue.
Subdividing the property and parking concerns
The City is making him replat to subdivide. When he first approached the City with the development plan, it was not required but now it is.
He has 80 parking spaces in the southern tip for 85,000sf of development.
If he sells the southern tip, the buyer will need to negotiate with him for parking spaces in his big lot. That is between him and a buyer if that ever happens and has nothing to do with the plat committee or our neighborhood.
If the building were levelled, he would need to comply with code.
He dedicated/deeded space for parking on 10th (a few spaces).
Desire for more information about changes to the development, elevations, etc..
Nothing has changed from his plans submitted to the City years ago..
This doesn’t concern the plat committee.
Tenants drive changes. He makes changes in response to tenant needs. He has to.
Non-compliance with the Commitments, timelines, etc.
He will address on his own schedule, dependent on the needs of the building and it’s tenants. He can’t and will not give any timelines and he won’t commit to completing the work or giving new dates.
People in the 500k (actually $225-480k) homes on 11th might be upset about the parking lot and the ugly fence. He said he has been maintaining the lot and repairing the fence, which used to be overgrown and full of trash. He said they wouldn’t have bought or built, without what he has done at CCIC.
He has made the parking lot better and has plans, which were reviewed last month and which he made some changes to in response to neighborhood concerns, to landscape it and use neighborhood friendly lighting.
Multiple neighbors commented on Larry’s responses.
Larry was asked to leave so that neighbors could discuss and vote.
Discussion: Neighbors were disappointed in how cavalier Larry is (much more than most developers) towards the needs of the community, his obligations and his unwillingness to follow through on commitments he made and timelines he set. Neighbors felt that Larry should stop asking the community to be “last in line”. He does not recognize that the Commitments were in exchange for support for him to do the things he is doing. Larry asks for our support without supporting us, at what point does this stop? We always try to work with him and support. Sidewalks are needed and they will help calm the traffic Larry is concerned about. All the fire exits are on the Mass Ave side and people already walk there. Neighbors thought a site visit with DPW to discuss feasibility of the sidewalks is in order. The City is supporting the replat but not the waiver of sidewalks.
Motion (Kate Collins): Send a resolution to the Board to send a letter to DMD that WPNA not support the waiver of sidewalks. With an added note that the committee has concerns about parking, ongoing non-compliance and wants an on-site meeting with DPW, the neighborhood and Larry.Seconded (Malia Vanaman). 20 votes in favor. None opposed. Rest abstentions.
Motion (): Send a resolution to the Board to send a letter to DMD that WPNA has a position of “no objection” to the re-plat. Seconded (Tatum Hill). 17 votes in favor. None opposed. Rest abstentions.
2018-MOD-006 Windsor Arts Theater.
After adding a final Commitment regarding materials, in July, the WPNA LUC resolved and the Board voted to approve formal WPNA support of the Modification
At the DMD hearing on August 13th, the Hearing Examiner recommended Approval by the MDC.
Kathy Siner filed an Appeal stating she and others want more commitments and, now, the petition will be heard by the full MDC.
This discussion is to air Kathy’s remaining concerns and allow the petitioners to respond, in the hope that this will help everyone.
Aaron invited Kathy to share her concerns.
She wants them to comply with floodplain drainage requirements and she wants it in the commitments that they will. Neighbors basements flood and this is in a flood area. The building is much larger than previously approved and Staff said that we could have renegotiated everything based on that.
She wants them to commit to appropriate asbestos abatement and feels that they were intentionally hiding that one house has asbestos on it when they made their presentation to the MDC last time because they never mentioned it.
She is concerned about the lack of trees and how many trees are being cut down for this project and wants to see a final landscape plan integrated into the site plan.
She is concerned about gentrification. Beholder is not for the neighborhood. She is upset and feels strongly that the black church was taken advantage of in the sale and that RADC “held” the property to make it unavailable, driving down the price.
Aaron invited Sam Sutphin and Ed Battista to respond and neighbors to ask questions and comment
Drainage. Sutphin/Battista- shared that they are following all the city requirements for controlling runoff on the property. To wit- they are installing a drainage and retention system that is costing almost half a million dollars. They are literally at the lowest point until you get to Pogue’s Run and their system will be handling runoff from the surrounding properties, too. It is expensive. It is important and they are complying with all code. They don’t want neighbors basements or their own flooded. The footprint of the building is about 20% bigger but the size of the building has shrunk from 17000sf to 14000sf and the elevation has gone from 44’ to 26’. Neighbors- This property is now in the 500 year flood plain according to FEMA maps. According to the Staff Report, this is not in the floodplain or flood fringe. City code and requirements are primary and commitments are secondary. There is no need for a commitment here.
Asbestos. Sutphin/Battista have already been meeting with BNS about the house with side. BNS said that it is fine right now- the asbestos is encapsulated with paint and until they remove it, they don’t have to do anything. It is completely on the City’s radar and theirs. They never hid that there was asbestos siding. Everyone knew. Neighbors- shared that abatement comes under the purview of BNS, IDEM and IOSHA and this will be regulated. The Phase 1 and 2 reports may have had info about the asbestos. This is outside of our purview as a neighborhood.
Trees. Sutphin/Battista have done a review of all the trees on site to see which can be saved and which should go. One in the middle of the parking lot has to go because of the location. A few others have serious structural issues. The two on Windsor (south east corner of property) will remain and they may try to move/save others. They will be replacing the trees lost with more trees than are being taken down and are following the code outlined in the Green Factor standards in the Indy Rezone. Sam stated they would be going beyond the minimum requirements. They will be planting 53 shrubs, 13 trees and native plants. The site plan is not the landscape plan and the neighbors will have a chance to review that and comment to DMD, as outlined in the Commitments. Neighbors- From a development perspective, a final landscape design is not normally a part of site plan. The trees on the site plan are simply “placeholders”. It is normal to develop the final landscape plan after approval of the site plan. Much of the site plan changes have also been driven by requests from various departments within the City.
Gentrification. Sutphin/Battista- Pastor Smith was very happy with the sale and told Sam that it was the happiest day of his life when he sold. Neighbors- RADC and others looked at the building and could not use it. It was on the market for three years before it sold to WA. Let’s stop looking backwards and deal with what is here and now. These developers have come to us time and time again, consistently over the last year plus. They have always been open and worked with us. We came to the Commitments we have and the site plan after multiple meetings, multiple votes. We have our position. Neighbor from Spades Park stated that he looks at the building from his front door and he wants it to be occupied and thriving and not an underused church and vacant houses or a vacant lot. S/B-They do not intend to be Beholder and will have affordable meal options on the menu. They want to be a part of the neighborhood and for everyone. Neighbors- Asked about whether they will hire local and will employees be paid a living wage. Sutphin/Battista- they will be hiring local and have already reached to the Boner Center. Their starting wage is $10-11/hour for dishwashers and it goes up from there. It is a bit unfair how much servers make compared to kitchen staff, who work so much harder. They constantly pay more than most restaurants but have to strike a balance between being priced affordable and paying a fair wage. They have to be competitive all around. They certainly hope that staff can afford to live in the area. They want to be fully a part of Windsor Park.
Kathy was asked if any of the responses helped resolve any of her concerns and she said “no”.
Meeting adjourned 8:35PM.
Windsor Park Neighborhood Association's mission is to:
Provide the residents of the neighborhood with a voice in the planning and the redevelopment of the near east side of Indianapolis, in and around the geographic area served by the Corporation; and
Improve the living conditions in and around the near east side of Indianapolis by addressing problems of blighted, abandoned and vacant properties as well as advocating and supporting safe, decent, affordable housing and economic development, including job creation; and
Provide opportunities for adults and youth to participate in civic activities which encourage community participation and volunteerism.
We are a 501c3 charitable organization and neighborhood association registered with the City of Indianapolis.