Speed Zone Hearing Examiner Ruling Delayed

(posted Sept 22)

The Metropolitan Development Commission did not hear the resolution to create a special hearing examiner for Speedway concerning zoning issues for Speed Zone 1 and Speed Zone 2 at its September 17 as planned. The meeting is now scheduled for October 1. The delay was due to an inadvertent error leaving it off the agenda. The MDC could have heard the issue because notice was given in the newspapers, but chose not to. The MDC is expected to hear the proposed ordinance to create Speed 1 and 2 on October 15 at the City County Building.

A citizens group started a petition drive when they learned that one of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission would be appointed as the hearing examiner. Their issue is that a redevelopment commissioner could not give an impartial hearing since the commission created and voted for the new zoning standards.

Harris never mention that one member from the SRC would serve as the hearing examiner. He described part of the process used when a developer requests to build in the Speed Zone. He said the site plan would first be submitted to the SRC and a design review committee that the SRC appoints and creates. The hearing examiner will conduct a hearing that will be forwarded to the MDC. The appeal process is with the MDC if the petitioner is denied.

Commissioner Ron Fisher said it is important to have the standards to prevent "hodge podge" development.

Harris said there are two parties interested in purchasing the Rosner building at 1564 Main Street and rehabilitating it, along with the potential of buying the two buildings south of it.

Sue Rosner, the former owner, said the building is listed as lot 1 on plat 1 for the town. She said she hopes the the SRC is able to recover its cost when selling the building. She said 1564 was sold to the Butler Brothers in 2003 for about $80,000 and then the SRC purchased it 2007 for $152,500. She thinks the commission over paid for the building and should have done their homework by looking at past sales disclosures before making the purchase.

Harris said the building would need two appraisals before it could be sold. IC section 36-7-14-22 requires the bids to be opened in a public meeting, gives the commission the right to reject any bid and does not require the property to be sold to the highest bidder.

The commission and Allison Transmissions are still negotiating the purchase of Allison Plant 2 vacant land at Main Street and Gilman. Demolition of the utility substation and water tower are part of the issues that need to be resolved. However, Harris is hopeful the transaction will happen by the end of the year.

Harris said negotiation are on going with Praxair about rerouting traffic off of Main. The rerouting will cause internal expenditures with Praxair that means changing the docks to a parallel position, as well as losing 80 parking spots.