November 27, 2017, County-City Building, 4th Floor
Councilpersons Present: All
68-17 - 403 S. Parry Street to rezone the property from SF2 Single Family and Two family to Light Industrial District to allow for a storage lot. Neighbors came out in support of the change since Steve Henry, of the Robert Henry Co, spoke with them and they liked the idea of a privacy fence and additional greenery. The plan is eventually to build townhomes on it, so this was described as temporary. PASSED
70-17 - Rezoning NE Corner of Niles Ave and Cedar Street for a 102 space parking lot. Change from Mixed Use to CBD. This is a parking lot for Beacon Health System to accomodate more of their 175 administrative employees on Niles Ave. They had considered permeable concrete pavers (GREEN option) but have opted for the less green option of putting in water runoff tank underground. PASSED
71-17 - 1032 E. Wayne Street, SW corner of E. Wayne and Eddy Street, from SF2 Single Family and Two Family District to Mixed Use to put an office with 2nd Story Residential. This is designated as a Historical Building. PASSED
80-17 - The City of South Bend will be taking over the Historic Preservation Commission which is currently part of the County and they will be placed in the City's Community Investment Department. The budget part of this already passed. Concern about this arrangement was that HPC will have Community Development as their bosses, some believe will dilute the effectiveness of the HPC. In the past, HPC often held CDI to task. This concern was expressed by Jo Broden who voted against the "Interlocal Agreement" proposed by the City. At this point, the County will get 300 hours of HPC service billed at $37.50 per hour to cover 74 landmarks in a year. HPC says this normally would take 15 mos, so they feel they will short change some of the historic properties outside the City that are in the County.
There are currently 4 bodies to decide: Mayor of SB, County Council with 2 representatives, SB Common Council (City) with 2 representatives and the County Commissioners. Dr. Mueller was impatient with Ms. Broden and Mr. Davis saying there is no time to address their concerns by the end of the year. Meeting timing was discussed among the Council members and December did offer meeting time for all involved. Dr. Mueller repeated his desire to vote and not have further discussion.
The City said they were unable to come up with the original Interlocal agreement for the Council members review. Dr. Mueller dismissed concerns that the County even cares about being part of this process. He said in multiple discussions they were not interested. Ms. Broden pointed out this agreement is important since it is grandfathered in before the Indiana State agreements and is better. With the passing of this, there is a loss of power in decisions for the HPC and now the SB Community Development will be able to override any decisions not to their liking.
Joe Molnar, who works in the City Clerk's office and has served on the HPC for a year and a half, thinks this will be excellent. This PASSED. Some did not vote and Ms. Broden voted against it. (This was a lengthy discussion at this meeting.)
17-76 - Resolution to make Jefferson Blvd and Main Steet an economic revitalization area for 6 years for 100% TAX ABATEMENT ($1,296,000 tax income loss) for River Park Leasing Corporation. $9M investment building 6 story, 38K sq ft Office/Retail Space. City sold the land for $50K. Expected jobs: 15 full-time jobs with annual payroll of $750K, mix of jobs from tenants. Lot 260AA, Doc# 1308726, Key# 018-3007-0231
Both Gavin Ferlic and Tim Scott favor "Agressive Abatement" which gives business NO TAXES FOR MULTIPLE YEARS. Mr. Ferlic refers to this as "Free Money" since it doesn't use TIF money. He sights it is "risk free". They did not independently reassess the value of the property over $50K saying that it would take too much time and assessments would vary too much so they decided internally $50K would be adequate explained Dan Buckenmeyer of Community Development.
Dr. Varner says he is not comfortable giving business a free ride with absolutely no taxes for many years.
NOTE: There are no requirements on these abatements to give taxpayers a better building. If these buildings were required to be a minimum of LEED Certified Silver, we would be buildling for future generations in a positive and healthy way. We could learn from the taxpayer having spent millions on buildings that have major issues as they age. Council President Tim Scott was not interested in hearing my comments on this. Citizens suggesting ways to make the City and processes better need to be heard. I encourage other Citizens to show up and voice their concerns.
81-17 - Budget Transfer of funds - Very standard
NOTE: There was a $16,200 increase for SBACC (Animal Control) due to increased animal intake. Prevention with "Chip and Tag" programs could reduce this cost since animals would not be sent to the Shelter.
82-17 - Appropriating Additional Funds:
$49,745 FROM CONSOLIDATED BUILDING FUND—CODE ENFORCEMENT (#600),
$1,500 FROM WATER WORKS DEPOSIT FUND (#624),
$1,000 FROM WATER WORKS SINKING FUND (#625),
$4,500 FROM WATER WORKS DEBT RESERVE O&M (#629),
$30,000 FROM SEWAGE WORKS O&M RESERVE (#643), AND
$148,300 FROM CENTURY CENTER (# 670).
(Caps because copied from PDF, not for emphasis)
83-17 - Appropriating Additional Funds:
$125,000 FROM DCI GRANT FUND (#212),
$100,000 FROM STATE SEIZED DRUG MONEY (#216),
$250,000 FROM LIABILITY INSURANCE FUND (#226),
$49,000 FROM COVELESKI STADIUM (#401),
$955,670 FROM VEHICLE-EQUIPMENT LEASING (#750),
$22,500,000 FROM EDDY ST COMMONS CAPITAL (#759), AND
$2,500,000 FROM EDDY ST COMMONS DEBT SERVICE FUND (#760).
(Caps because copied from PDF, not for emphasis, although the last 2 items are quite large)
87-14 - Establish 3 new FUNDS:
MORRIS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SELF-PROMOTED EVENTS FUND (274) (Use tax $ to pay performances to come to SB and promote them in media)
PARENTAL LEAVE FUND (714) (New HR Policy to give parents funded leave)
2017 PARKS BOND FUND (471) (Accomodate the $12.2M bond that will cost the taxpayer approximately $2.8M in interest instead of opting for "pay as you go" development)
A Special Resolution was read to honor those who have championed "Rebuilding Together" and "Christmas in April". They began in 1989 and have given $11.5M in repairs to those in need. This was co-sponsored by Karen White, Regina Williams-Preston and Oliver Davis, Jr.
Oliver Davis, Jr. is proposing a "Homeless Bill of Rights" which is used in Indianapolis and other areas of the country. Council Attorney Bob Palmer is reseraching multiple ones to assess and combine one that will be presesnted to the SB Council. John Shafer of the "Five for the Homeless" on Miami Street, commented the Homeless are humans and citizens and already have rights. Charles Robert commented he has worked with them directly and has not had any issues with them harming him in any way. Henry Davis, Jr. commented about their plight and urged the City to address more problems. Dr. Varner expressed that Rights and Respect go both ways and the Homeless need to be more respectful to the police.
AGAIN - IMPORTANT:
ZONING ORDINANCE UPDATE BRIEFING - Department of Community Investment
There is a spreadsheet of "Zoning Quick Fixes - Reform to MU Mixed Use District Standards" November 6, 2017 where Community Investment wants to by-pass and reduce the requirements of businesses over private property owners.
There are 27 changes to the Zoning Ordinances, "MU Reform Summary.pdf". Justification includes, "Allows fuller use of site consistent with traditional urban development".
NOTE: It appears this was REMOVED from the City Website. Please see the ATTACHED records to see the 27 changes.
If you have comments about these changes, please contact your Mayor, Council Representative and the 3 At-Large Councilpersons. A decision on these will be made in January, but now is the time to comment.
NOTE: This will reduce the public's right to be informed and contest changes in our community. The Mayor and his Community Investment Department will be given more rights to ignore the average Citizen over large business interests. The Community Development and Redevelopment meetings are held during the day and DO NOT ALLOW ANY PUBLIC INPUT.
Please review the attached documentation.
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.