Two important residential rezone development proposals are coming before the Carmel City Council in July.
The Jackson’s Grant Village rezone proposal at 116th Street and Springmill Road includes townhouses and commercial development on land zoned for single-family homes. The 146th Street and Monon rezone proposal is for townhouses on land zoned for single-family homes, and at more than four times the permitted density.
The city council has not denied a residential rezone proposal in several years, and there have been many such proposals. Furthermore, the council has rarely worked to scale back these development proposals, which have consistently violated the established zoning in regard to minimum lot size, maximum density and/or permitted uses.
There are nine city councilors. To my knowledge, five of the six incumbents have not voted against a single residential rezone proposal in at least four years. They are Kevin Rider, Jeff Worrell, Sue Finkam, Laura Campbell and Bruce Kimball. Unless at least one of these councilors votes “no,” simple arithmetic dictates that the two upcoming proposals will pass. That is why Carmel homeowners need to apply considerable pressure on the council.
A negative vote by the city council on these proposals would finally make a statement that continual rezone approvals are indeed unacceptable, in recognition of the established residential zoning and growing public dissatisfaction with losing our zoning protections. Council should require that development proposals be much more compatible with the existing zoning. This is how a representative governing body would be expected to work. Is the council up to the challenge, or will these latest proposals just sail through as usual?
The bottom line is that Carmel is systematically being rezoned, parcel by parcel, and homeowners and prospective homebuyers can no longer trust that the residential zoning will be upheld. Carmel residents need to step up and make their voices heard. Even though the current rezone proposals may not immediately affect you, they still set a precedent, and the next incompatible development proposal could be near you.
Contact information for city councilors is available at carmel.in.gov.
Dave Fox, Carmel