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Plat Committee Minutes: September 10, 2012

Plat Committee minutes are transcribed in a summarized manner. Audiotape is on file in the Planning Department.

ROLL CALL

MINUTES TO BE APPROVED: August 6, 2012 ***Rick Alexander moved approval of the minutes. Adrian Reid seconded. The minutes were approved, 3-0.

REPORTS, RESOLUTIONS, AND COMMUNICATIONS: None

PETITIONS:

DP-29-12 Atlantis Properties

411 E. Matlock Rd.

Preliminary and final plat approval of a 2-lot subdivision (Case Manager: Patrick Shay)

Patrick Shay presented the staff report. The petitioner is requesting to make one lot into a 2-lot subdivision. The lot is 0.6 acres and has 2 frontages. The zoning is Residential Single-family (RS). The proposed lots meet all standards. Right-of-way has been dedicated. The lots will be served by public utilities. A sidepath is in place along the south property line. The petitioner must install a 5-foot concrete sidewalk at the back edge of the property line. Bonding for improvements will need to take place before the plat is recorded. Street trees must be installed. Based on the written findings, staff recommends approval of the preliminary and final plat request with the following conditions:

  1. Addresses must be shown on the final plat prior to signature.
  2. Any new construction of drives must meet all current zoning standards in place at the time of permit approval.
  3. The petitioner must install street trees and sidewalks as outlined in this report.

Rick Alexander asked how many trees would be installed.

Shay said there would probably be 4 or 5 trees. If the State won't let trees be installed in their right-of-way, the petitioner must place them on their property.

Alexander and Reid agreed that the petitioner would need to get State approval to place the sidewalk and the trees on Dunn St.

Steve Brehob of Smith Neubecker spoke for the petitioner. He told Alexander that the construction of the sidewalk on both frontages will require a right-of-way excavation permit from INDOT. INDOT will have the final say on the location of the sidewalk and street trees. He agreed with Reid that there is an area of overlapping City and State rights-of-way. The petitioner agrees with the conditions outlined in the staff report.

Public Comment:

Leslie Slone of 2311 N. Dunn (the house north of this property) said that she is vehemently opposed to this petition. The area is clearly part of her neighborhood. There is no natural barrier or alley. The rest of the neighborhood is known by the kinds of houses and yards that they have. A house being built close to her property will impact her quality of life and view. This will promote crowding. The existing house is a rental house and not well-kept. It used to be a party house for a fraternity. Cars would exit the property by driving through her yard. She anticipates that the new house would be a student rental, too. This could result in noise, more cars and crime. There are some beautiful, large pine trees on that lot. She asked the Plat Committee to consider her quality of life.

Dr. R. Keith Michael who has lived at 2218 N. Dunn since 1972 said that pictures of the property were taken after beer cans and other trash were removed. Adding another house on the property will detract from the current aesthetic. The house across the street from this house has become a rental, too. That house is owned by IU and tenants are screened very carefully. In the past the City has considered property owners' needs when planning a pathway across their property. He asked what the appeal process would be.

Susan Sandberg noted that her home is at 2201 N. Fritz Drive. Across the street from her house are 2 student rentals. They have problems with trash, noise and excess car parking. She has had to call the police for noise control and has received some retaliation from the students. Now that Fritz Drive is a dead end, students have been using the end of the street as additional parking. Matlock Heights has an active neighborhood association who are pursuing the establishment of a conservation district to protect the neighborhood from encroaching student rentals. Some students prefer renting a house where they can have "tailgate" and other parties with no management around. It upsets neighbors but there seems to be no recourse for them. The types of parties that they have are not compatible with non-student residential neighborhoods. What does the petitioner intend to build there and what is the intended purpose? The renters have no perceived responsibility to the neighborhood and don't have landlords who uphold the rules and regulations in the city.

Rick Alexander said that he lives in Grandview Hills. His neighborhood has many houses that have turned into rentals. He has had trouble with noise and parties linked to student rentals in his neighborhood. He empathized with the neighbors. There are entities in the city and IU that can help. Housing and Neighborhood Development have been very helpful to him. The Plat Committee has to approve this petition because it is a by-right situation.

Ms. Slone said these renters behave very badly. She understood that there are people to contact for help but if there is a clear safety issue because of this, can the Plat Committee deny? A student ran across the bypass to escape the police and was hit by a car.

(The audiotape ends here.)

Shay explained the subdivision criteria and that if the criteria are met the Plat Committee must approve the petition. He said he would research the appeals process.

***Adrian Reid moved approval of DP-29-12. Rick Alexander seconded. The motion was approved by unanimous roll call vote, 3-0.

The meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting: Nov. 5, 2012