Carmel City Council considers new zoning ordinance

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CARMEL, Ind. (March 7, 2016) - The Carmel City Council will consider a proposal Monday evening that could considerably change the interior corridor of the city.

The new zoning ordinance, similar to what the city used in developing the Arts and Design District, would cover the land from 96 Street to 146 Street from Keystone Parkway to Meridian Street. The mayor says the new regulations gives city leaders more control over what is built and where. The Carmel Redevelopment Commission would have final approval over any new developments.

MAP TEMPLATE FOX CBS4_New Zoning Ordinance

However, some residents like Charlie Demler, who lives near downtown Carmel, fear the new ordinance doesn't have enough restrictions to protect his way of life.

“We don’t want urban right in our backyards," Delmer said.

A multi-story apartment complex is planned for what was an industrial area behind Delmer's home in Johnson Addition. The development is part of the larger project of the Midtown area that stretches from the new City Center to Main Street.

Delmer fears the apartments will be too close to his home, which he's lived in for 36 years, and the residents will have a birds eye view of his backyard.

"They’ll still be able to see in our backyards," Delmer said. "See our hot tubs, our pools, see if we are having a picnic back here and we don’t want that."

Delmer would like the city to create a 100 ft. buffer, which would require developments to be built 100 ft. from another person's property line. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said that is not likely to be included in the new ordinance.

“You have to recognize that’s almost a taking of that’s person land because they can’t use that land," Brainard said.

Brainard said the new ordinance focuses more on design and looks rather than use and the Carmel Development Commission can address resident's concerns on a individual basis.

"If something does fall between the cracks in the zoning ordinance, because (the redevelopment commission) controls architecture and form, they have a lot more power to say this doesn’t work in this unique situations.”

The City Council will hold a final reading of the ordinance Monday evening and is expected to vote on it.