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The VRA board had a great 2016 planning meeting. I am pleased to announce that we have exciting things in store for the upcoming year. Members have come forward with great suggestions, and we hope to bring many of those to fruition.
2016 Events at a Glance
Village Garage Sale - May
Village Tree Walk - Spring/Summer
Golf event - August
Village Picnic on the Bricks - September
Christmas Trees for the Village - December
Holiday Door Decorating - December
Progressive Dinner - December
Please mark your calendars for our next meeting at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, February 16th, at The Sullivan-Munce.
Myrene Brown will be our guest, speaking about the Wildlife Habitat designation. I have often wondered what it takes to get one of those cool signs in the yard and Myrene will now reveal the mystery.
Sara Martini will provide an update on a new communication tool that she is developing for the VRA. It is very exciting, so be sure to attend the meeting to learn more.
Lastly, I will provide an update on the results of the survey that was distributed on Jan. 18th. Hope to see you at the meeting!
Zoning and Variance Information
VRA members have brought three separate potential building concerns to me over the past month. I feel it is important to make members aware of these concerns as they do shape the aesthetics of our community.
The first property is at 734 West Pine street. It is scheduled to be heard at the BZA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9th. Further information can be obtained through Wayne Delong at the Town Planning Dept. (317-873-8247)
The second petition is on 645 Cedar Street. The petition is filed with the Board of Zoning Appeals. Further information can be obtained through Wayne Delong at the Town Planning Dept. (317-873-8247)
The petition is scheduled to be heard at the BZA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9th.
The third parcel is located at 165 and 235 West Sycamore Street. There has not been a formal petition filed to date. The owner has offered to meet with the VRA board to discuss the project.
What’s new in 2016?
I am extremely excited to introduce a new contributor to our newsletter. Newly elected Town Councilor Joshua Garrett has graciously offered to provide the VRA with articles for the Village Voice. I want to thank Josh for his willingness to do this, as I think it will provide a great tool to connect the VRA with issues and projects of the Town Council, and ultimately facilitate communication.
Other Town News
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Zionsville on Friday January 22nd in the ongoing reorganization with Whitestown. The decision allows the town to remain merged with Perry Township and keep the position of mayor.
The Zionsville Town Council met Thursday, Jan 21st to discuss financing for a proposed new Town Hall building. The proposed new building would be built on the property behind the current Town Hall. The total cost of the new building is estimated at $10.2 million. The current building is believed to need approximately $3.5 million to renovate. Renovations would not increase space, which is currently an issue for staff and expected future growth. The meeting was not open for public discussion, but the public will have an opportunity for comment in the future. For more information, please see the Indiana Business Journal article dated January 22nd, by Lindsey Erdody.
My name is Joshua Garrett, and I represent those of you in the village who live in District 5. I’ve been working on ideas on how to better communicate updates to constituents as well as solicit ideas and answer questions to better represent you. Todd Rech was kind enough to inform me of this newsletter which I hope to utilize from time to time to achieve that goal.
My introductory topic is to update you on an upcoming project the town has initiated to update our master trails plan for pedestrians and cyclists. The Town has retained the firm Rundell Ernstberger Associates with the project scope defined as: “Produce a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master plan for the community the defines a proposed network and implementation strategy to enhance the communities’ connections to local destinations to provide opportunities for increased use of travel by bike and foot for residents and visitors of the Town of Zionsville”. Quite a mouthful.
I have been asked to serve on the advisory committee to help guide the process. The majority of the process however involves gathering stakeholder and community input to create the best plan possible. VRA secretary Gary Angstadt has graciously volunteered to represent your organization in the stakeholder meetings. I’ve also asked Bret Brewer (village resident and biking enthusiast) to represent business owners in those same meetings.
There will also be two community forums for you to come in and learn more about the project, process and hopeful outcomes. Those have been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, February 3 and Thursday, March 10. Both are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 PM and will be held at Town Hall. There will also be an online survey posted to learn more about the community needs. I would encourage you to get involved and give your feedback.
The goal is to present the finalized master plan at the June 6th Town Council meeting. Unfortunately that’s the easy part; prioritizing and funding the ideas presented in the plan is where the real work begins, but that will be a topic for a subsequent posting.
The Lamplighter Award began in 2000 by the Village Residents Association. Its purpose is to promote and honor Village homeowners who have restored or preserved the exterior of their home in an outstanding manner while maintaining the integrity and spirit of the unique architecture in the Village of Zionsville.
Annually, the VRA President appoints the Lamplighter Award Selection Committee. Three references are used for judging. The first two include the Zionsville Interim Report (1983) and the Boone County Interim Report (1982) contained in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory. These reports are published by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. The third reference used is the "Restorable Zionsville Houses" which is a list of Village houses deemed suitable for restoration to their historical appearance. This list was researched and compiled by the late Robert L. Randel.