Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Broad Ripple Parking Garage Gets a Few More Days

Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting that the request by the Broad Ripple parking garage developers is going to get a few more days before a decision will be made in its request for a zoning waiver to allow the garage to be built four feet below flood level.

The garage has met with a slew of controversy since its introduction.  The developers have asked for an unusual location for a garage its size, have asked for the parking spaces to be smaller than normal, have asked for unusual allowances for retail spaces on its ground floor including difficult-to-navigate drive-thrus, and have asked for allowances for signage that will extend beyond traditionally allowed space above the sidewalks and streets.  Basically, the garage doesn't meet the requirements of any standing zoning regulations, but is hoping for an asinine number of zoning waivers to allow it to be built anyway.

Monday, the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals was scheduled to meet to consider yet another request for this building to be allowed despite the law.  This time, the request was to allow the garage to be built several feet below the flood zone.

When Monday's request came before the Board of Appeals, though, they asked for more time.  Why?  Well, it's not exactly clear.  According to the IBJ report, it's so the garage's developers can meet with members of the Department of Public Works about the new levee to be constructed along the White River.  The levee, with should change the flood plain in the proposed garage area, still leaves the garage in below flood level, though.

From the IBJ article:

Keystone has argued that the levee system will provide enough protection from floods, even though the parking garage would be built on property that lies four feet below the flood plain. 
But the staff of the city’s Department of Metropolitan Developmentrecommended in a letter last week that parking garage proposal be reworked in order to raise its first floor above the flood plain.
Keystone officials have countered that idea would make the additional cost of the now-$15 million project too expensive. 
The 350-space parking garage at 6280 N. College Ave. would be partially financed with $6.3 million from parking meter revenue, which would normally flow into city coffers.
Keystone’s petition for a zoning variance will now be heard on April 17. However, it will be heard by a different set of board members than the ones that granted the delay Tuesday. The zoning board has three sets of members that attend weekly meetings.

I find the fact that the appeal will be heard by a different set of members interesting.  Like your ability to pick which township your small claims court hearing is heard in, I'm forced to wonder if the timing of this request didn't have as much to do with who would ultimately hear the request as it do with working out the details of the request.


  1. It will be heard by a Board much more favorable to Keystone, a board which only has two of five positions filled. Both are the Mayor's appointments. A third will have to be added from another board so the board has a quorum.

  2. Sounds pretty much like I figured. Wonderful.

  3. Having worked in an IT shop for a while and with automated election systems, there are several questions I noticed need to be asked.