May 29, 2011

University Heights Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In attendance: 31 neighbors and additional guests from the university and contracted firms (see under #3 below, also Nancy Collins from UIndy Community Relations).
1. Minutes from the March meeting were reviewed and approved.
2. Election
Ruth Soper noted the election announcement in the newsletter. Matt Jones, candidate for co-coordinator, introduced himself. Jim Pennell gave a testimonial in support. Moved and seconded to elect Matt. Unanimous in favor.

Ruth introduced Quinten Starks as the new UHNA secretary. Quin and his wife, Melyssa, have lived in the neighborhood for 2 ½ years.
3. Presentation on UIndy rezoning
Ruth mentioned the rezoning hearing was moved from May 12 to June 9, 2011.
David Wantz (Associate VP, UIndy Community Relations) introduced Mark Weigand, VP for Enrollment and Student Affairs; Gary Loveless, Mayor’s neighborhood liaison; Ted Jensen from American Structurepoint; Ted Givens and Brian McFarland from Blackburn Architects; Mike Braughton, VP of Business and Finance; and Gene Valanzano from Baker & Daniels, a zoning expert.
Big picture is the university needs another residence hall. Many students work to go to school, go to student teaching, etc., and need cars. To build the residence hall, they are taking out and need to replace the parking lot as well as some parking lost with the building of the dome. The parking lot land is zoned residential and needs to be changed to university zoning to use for the university’s purposes. Will explain the residence hall and parking lot.
Ted Givens from Blackburn Architects: Showed images of different building views. The building will fit with existing buildings. Four stories, about 164 beds. Showed original and new parking lot design. The original drawing was shown to faculty and staff at the university and Blackburn redesigned based on input. A lot of issues, wanted to save more of the trees and make more acceptable for residents, and could also make a positive impression on students. They reduced the number of parking spaces in the redesign from 321 to 293.
Tim Jensen: Wears a couple different hats, storm water management, and also works at DPW three days a week as part of Rebuild Indy project of the city. Owners want the highest amount of spaces and most efficient for the lowest cost. Stucturepoint navigates ordinances and other needs and gives them the lowest price. Submitted a first drawing as a first-case scenario to give the city a chance to respond with desired changes. The second drawing extends Windermere to State. Ponds on the corners of the lots. Need to control the increased run-off from the parking lots and loss of trees and grass. Heard from contingent of faculty—wanted to create a “parking park,” with parking but more green and enticing to prospective students. One house will remain and be the police station, and one house that is not owned by the university will remain. The most recent design has curved Windermere and saves a stand of trees. Moved retention ponds, more bio-retention ponds with native species. Looked where the main clumps of trees were and tried to keep space for a walking path. This will save some of the larger trees, and he thinks it has come a long way. He is a LEED certified AP. Take into account things like water temperature, pavement, etc. The drawing shows existing trees and new trees in darker colors and walking paths are indicated.
Questions: Lights? Will they be consistent with what is in other lots—a bit on the bright and flooding side? Trees help and it needs to be safe. But can some of the light be directed down instead of throughout the neighborhood?
Tim: City requires a full cut-off fixture, sprays light down instead of out. The light style will look the same, but the lights and shields inside protects for over-glows.
Question: Can anything be done about the existing lot (west of Mathews and south of Windermere)? They live on the corner of Castle and Mathews and can’t use the back yard at night due to the lights.
Question: When is the project going to actually start—cutting trees down?
Brian McFarland: Scheduled to begin this summer. After approval, they have to start with parking to make sure there is sufficient parking in the fall.
Question: Is there anything other than asphalt that can be used?
Tim: There is, but there is a budget. Asphalt is the most economical. Concrete is more expensive, but lighter and less heat. Porous concrete, problems with those. Impervious pavers, he likes, but ruts over time and costs five times as much as asphalt. Typically only used if required to or have to.
Ted: Faculty thought it could also be a teaching moment [to use this parking lot technology]. Could use in some places. Also a suggestion that students could plant shrubs or something that engages them.
Question: Shuttle bus service from the lots?
Mark Weigand: No. The lot is planned for students who come and go from campus. From an enrollment standpoint, we have capped enrollment of our freshman class. We need more housing for upper class students. We want to get them back on campus, so many using the lot will be resident students, with some commuters. There will be a traffic light at Nicoson Hall, and the plan is to direct them to that light from the lots.
Comment about parking lot at Mathews and Castle. No one parks there now.
Mark: 164 people in the new residence hall will have cars and be in that area.
Question: Will that lot be designated for residence hall students?
Mark: It is a possibility. Will have to see where it shakes out. There could be designations.
Matt Jones: Concerned about the new exit onto Mathews on the existing lot. It would direct traffic onto Mathews and then into the neighborhood.
Tim Jensen: Something we can look at. Could have a gate and be used only on high-traffic days.
Comment that they could make Mathews one way north.
Jim P. mentioned that faculty also discussed one way north with a right turn only on Hanna.
Question: Is this likely to affect property values. Would it increase property taxes?
Gary Loveless: no.
Two comments about property valuations and taxes recently going up.
Ted talked about the new building. Entrance to the north. Building won’t be LEED certified, but the intent and products that go into a LEED certified will go into this building. Large grove of trees to the front will stay. Building will stair step between Warren and Craven’s heights.
Questions: Is it co-ed by floor?
Mark: Haven’t decided for sure. Have to look at ratio of men to women. Could be either way.
Question: How do students get from Warren to Cravens on sidewalks?
Ted: Some places don’t even put sidewalks in right away but wait to see where traffic patterns happen.
Question: Will the existing streetlights stay on State?
David W: Yes.
Question: No entrances off of Castle and Hanna?
David Wantz: Correct, one on State.
Question: How will trash be handled? Because we have had trouble in our yards. Will people still be able to park on the street?
David W.: Not considered in the rezoning. But the university police could enforce.
Comment: No-parking signs were removed.
Question: Will we have tailgate parties?
David W.: they will go north of Hanna Ave.
Question: Will there be trash receptacles and collection on these parking lots?
David W: Yes.
Question: Two houses were demolished on National at State. Are there plans for that?
[Not answered.]
Question: The lot on Otterbein and Castle. What is going to happen?
David W.: No plans to take down houses. No plan for the lot.
Comment: Once rezoned, then the university could do anything. No check on that. No guarantee that the university won’t take down the houses. Worried about property values going down as a result of parking lots.
Have to get approvals for building even with UQ proposals. Would have to go through the process. But it saves the university time from 120 to 75 days. UQ isn’t as broad of a notification.
Comment: Would like to see a commitment by the university to limit development along Otterbein.
David W: Not part of the master plan to build along Otterbein. The parking lots being proposed are in the master plan. The university is making a commitment to try to encourage people to buy and live in the neighborhood. New faculty incentives that assists with down payment.
Question: Plans for houses on the East side of State?
Comment: Herron Morton neighborhood has a program with IUPUI that helps redevelop homes. Would like to see the university make a commitment to stop moving into the neighborhood and help improve the housing.
Question: Why not create clear boundaries and sell properties on Otterbein instead of rezoning?
Mike Braughton: No one has been interested in the properties. Make an offer.
Comment: Advanced notice to the neighborhood about changes would be appreciated before signs go up.
Mike Braughton said he would take the hit on that. Intended to get a notification out sooner.
Question: How will State be kept open during the construction. What is the plan?
David W: Will talk to Phil Hunter.
Ted: The construction manager is required to produce a safety plan. There is enough university property to stage construction.
Question: Any repaving plans for the rest of the neighborhood.
Gary Loveless: No plans, but another $55 million for paving announced today.
Question: Goal for parking, done this year?
Ted: No. Not sure where they will start. This has to be decided with the construction manager. The dorm is the priority and replacing parking that is being lost.
Mark W: The dorm will take a year. The parking may not be finished until then. There are a lot of drainage issues, so some of that work may be done.
Question: Can we get updates and what the process is?
David W: Yes.
Question: Will the Cummins lot be rezoned since there is a sign there?
David W: Not planned. Gene V.: Not sure how the hearing signs got on that lot.
David W. listed some of the questions/concerns on a flip chart during this discussion and said he would get as many answers as possible for our next meeting.
Neighbors attending decided to meet the following Tuesday (May 24) at the Stierwalt Alumni House at 7:00PM to discuss the university’s plans.
[Informational notes added by the neighborhood co-coordinators and secretary: The dormitory will be replacing a parking lot with 75 spaces. The zoning being requested is UQ-1, which is “University Quarter District One that permits and facilitates the development and expansion of a university complex or campus," according to the university’s petition.]
Minutes submitted by Jim Pennell.


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