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Village Voice 02 2014: February

Announcements

  • February 11 (Tuesday) VRA meeting with Rep. Steve Braun and State Senator Mike Delph. Send your questions in advance to president@zvra.com


Letter from the President

Some notes as we head into my second month as president.

 ZVRA BOARD MEETING

            After our first board meeting on Sunday the 19th, I feel fortunate to have such an energetic board full of great ideas but I would also like to hear from you about what you want out of the ZVRA; let me know what types of meetings and what sort of events would interest you. This is your neighborhood and your organization and we are always looking for input from you for direction.

 NEXT ZVRA MEETING

The next meeting will be at Sullivan-Munce on Tuesday, February 11th at 7:30 pm.   Our guests will be State Representative Steve Braun and State Senator Mike Delph.  To ensure an efficient use of their time and to get as many questions answered as possible, please submit some questions to me ahead of time. They will also welcome questions from the floor.  Web addresses for our guests:

 VILLAGE VOICE CHANGES

I had a conversation recently with one of our neighbors and we were talking about some of the changes that I will be describing below regarding the Village Voice.   Her comment to me was interesting because she said she had always “assumed” that the editors of the VV sought specific topics from specific people and that they wouldn’t be interested in other topics or articles.  I am here to say that we will consider any and all input for topics/stories that anyone is willing to add. 

So what changes are afoot?… in an effort to lessen the burden upon the editorial committee who continually work to find and compose content, I suggested that going forward we have 1) the calendar, 2) the President’s letter and 3) a MINIMUM of one story per monthly newsletter.  Therefore, we are appealing to all of you bright, interesting and talented neighbors to pick one, two or more topics and submit them to the VV.  Send your articles to editor@zvra.com by the 15th of the month for consideration. We only ask that potential content be submitted in a paragraph-format and ready to “go to press”.

 FOLLOW UP TO THE DECEMBER JEFF PAPA MEETING         

In response to Councilor Papa’s offer to consider the ZVRA having a formal voice in the development process, we have been in conversations with town leaders. We suggested the possibility of adding a “PUD Committee” to just the PUD development process.  This would be made up partially of resident representatives.  This suggestion was also backed by some members of the Zionsville Home Owners’ Association Roundtable.  Therefore, a proposal was drafted to incorporate all of Zionsville.  This proposal was presented at the town council agenda meeting on Monday.  There was strong opposition to any formal resident involvement with decision making authority.  The council felt that informal input throughout the process was enough.  It was suggested that the most effective citizen voice comes from a crowd remonstrance at public meetings. 

A map described as the process for PUD approval was distributed and Councilor Papa counted out the eight times that the public has “input.”  After reviewing the document post-meeting, I found that it clearly states that there are only two opportunities for “public interaction.”  Regardless, we were not at the meeting asking to be “made aware” or for a “public hearing,” we were asking to be a formal part of the PUD process.  This input we are requesting is not to stop development but to make the development better and to make it what the community wants before the town or a developer has made a far bigger investment in time and money.

I continue to believe that pushing forward with an amendment to the PUD ordinance is the right thing to do in order to make sure that we get the best development possible for our community.  It will be good for all of Zionsville, not just the village.  In most cases, we have but one chance to get things right and waiting to vote people out of office after a poor development is approved is imprudent.  I look forward to your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions as we continue this conversation with town leaders.

I include some personal notes from this process later in the newsletter for those interested. 

Thank you and as always, Chris would like to remind you to shovel your sidewalks.

Scott Lusk

ZVRA President


Village News and Events

"Sounds in the Village” Concert Series

Baby, it’s cold outside!  Step in out of the wintry air for a bit and warm up in a delightfully musical way.The public is invited to Christ Church, 600 North Ford Road in Zionsville. The concerts will be “family friendly” and refreshments will be served.

Concerts in the Sounds of the Village Series are scheduled for the afternoons of Sat., February 1Sat., March 15, and Sat., April 12.


Zionsville's Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month (YAM) is an annual observation each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. Established in 1961, Youth Art Month provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts that are not possible in other subjects offered in the curriculum.

THE PURPOSE OF YOUTH ART MONTH:

· To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent & critical

thinking; multicultural awareness; as well as technical, communication, and expressive skills.

· To increase community, business & governmental support for art education.

· To recognize art is a necessity for the full development of a better quality life for all people.

· To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.

· To increase community understanding and interest in art & art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.

· To provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative learning.

· To encourage commitment to the arts by student, community organizations and individuals everywhere.

· To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.

· To reflect & demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward the improvement of art education on all levels.

· To build the recognition and self esteem of student artists as true artists in their own right.

YOUTH ART MONTH ACTIVITIES AND ART DISPLAYS IN ZIONSVILLE:

Artwork created by students of the Zionsville Fine Arts Department (Grades 1-12) will be on display at the following Zionsville establishments throughout the month of March:

Art IN Hand

Ciao

Patrick’s Kitchen & Drinks

Avalon Jewelers

Cripe Photography

Prudential

Ballerinas and Bruisers

Delany’s Shoppe

Robert Goodman Jewelers

Black Dog Books

Five Thirty Resale

Serenity

CCA Gallery

Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library

Sullivan Munce Cultural Center

Carpenter Realty

Jewel Box Jewelers

Zionsville Pizzeria

Cheveux Salon

Connie Haimbaugh Welcome Center

Lesley Jane

The Nail Connection

Zionsville Community School’s

Educational Services Center

Corner Vise Gallery & Frame Shop

Old National Bank

Youth Art Month First Friday Receptions will be held on Friday, March 7, 2014, from 6-8pm at Robert Goodman Jewelers and The Sullivan Munce Cultural Center. Everyone is invited!

Free Art Classes will be held at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library each Saturday during the month of March.
March 1 @ 11-12 noon: My Art “Dragon Drawing” / Grades K-6
March 8 @ 10-11am: Zionsville Community Schools “Creating a Batik” / Ages K-12
March 15 @ 10:30-12 noon: Sullivan Munce “Fish Kites” / Grades K-6
March 22 @ 11-12 noon: A Space to Create / “Drawing Your Dreams” / Ages 5 and up

Additional information and registration is available at: http://www.zionsville.lib.in.us/hmmpl/page/events

The Zionsville Fine Arts Department is selling Window Clings ($5) & Yard Signs ($20). All proceeds will be used to support Art programs in the community of Zionsville. Window Clings will be available to purchase at each ZCS School and supporting Zionsville establishments. Please contact egoodman@zcs.k12.in.us for a Yard Sign.

“LIKE” the Zionsville Fine Arts Department /ZFAD/ Facebook Page for updates throughout the Month of March.

Old House Love

By Jennifer Bucher

There is something about an old home. If you live in an old house you know what I am talking about.  Old house lovers verbally refer to this affection as an appreciation of character or a passion for history, but deep down we know it is more than that.

I love the patina of an old floor. Woodwork with layers of paint reminds me that someone was here before and loved this house too.  Uneven floors and slightly crooked doors tell me the house is a living thing and the fact that it’s still standing after over 100 years means it was built to last.

New House lovers will not understand our love.  New construction lovers walk into an old house and they see every imperfection, everything that needs to be “fixed” or “updated” (attention old house lovers, it is appropriate to cringe here). But life isn’t perfect, and an old house is a metaphor for that. Living with something that is beautiful, but not quite perfect, isn’t any different from living with yourself (of course, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I am not perfect.) An old house is a reminder to accept and appreciate the beauty of imperfection.

Ok, enough philosophizing.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve almost exclusively lived in old homes (minus a 2 year stint in a brand new apartment…what was I thinking?) I’ve lived in a efficient 1940’s 1 bedroom with a handy phone nook, an impressive 1920s studio with leaded glass windows and even a 1900s walk up in Boston with pretty dental molding that made it seem much fancier than it was. I’ve lived in 3 old homes in the Village. The first 2 had been pretty well cared for, we painted, we remolded a kitchen, we resealed floors, but nothing too major.

Our third home is another story; an ongoing story, in fact.

We purchased a home that had been owned by the same family since the 1920s. It had been a single family home, a boarding house and finally served as a rental home for the past 30 years or so….

After we purchased the home, my mother came over to see it. When she walked in her exact words were to me: “What were you thinking?”

It needed a little work. I like to tell people that, pre-restoration and repair, entering the home was a whole sensory experience.

But even though it had been treated roughly over the past decades, I knew there was enough there to bring it back and I knew the house needed us.

A peek under the carpet revealed old growth pine floors. Original double hung windows held wavy glass. Transoms were intact. Trim work on the exterior was untouched. There was a lovely, but neglected, barn in the backyard.

I‘m sharing my story of old house love-room by room.


The West Parlor


I am not a fan of dark Victorian interiors. This is a Victorian home. When we purchased the house, all of the original interior trim work in the front parlors was still intact. The brown Eastlake trim was shellacked and, unfortunately, in terrible condition. The detail work at the top of the windows had so many curtain rod holes in them, that one of my neighbors asked if the house had termites. They were not salvageable. The eight-inch trim around the base of the walls was in perfect condition, including a tapered scroll that finished off each corner in the room. We saved what we could.  We put up simple new trim around the windows. We replaced the 1990’s ceiling molding with a new tiered piece.



The archway between both parlors was fixed and reinforced. 


I rehung every single window, installing new sash cords attached to the original weights. 


I carefully pulled off the decorative wood pieces holding the windows in place, removed the nails and cleaned them up before reinstalling them. Floors were refinished. New lighting was added.


I made curtains and my husband made artwork.


 
      

The home needed enough work that we couldn’t move in for about 3 months, so I have plenty more to share. I love a good story of rescue and adventure.

If you have a story of old house love you’d like to share, please send it to editor@zvra.com.

Of course, I am perfectly willing to continue the love with my home.



Further Details Regarding the PUD Committee Request

Notes from Scott Lusk

1) In a meeting on January 10th with Councilor Jeff Papa, Councilor Steve Mundy, Mr. Ed Mitro (town manager) and Mr. Wayne Delong (town planner), I began by asking if they had any suggestions how the ZVRA might be more involved.  They outlined all the ways they currently seek input and I explained that what we were requesting is a “formal” voice.  They had no suggestions.  I then proposed as one potential idea to add a PUD Committee similar to that used by the Town of Fishers in their PUD development process. 

 

I was assured that PUDs would be used sparingly in Zionsville.  It was pointed out that PUDs had only been used twice before.  However Mr. Mitro did state that a PUD was likely to be used at the 20 Acre site along Eagle Creek being considered by Buckingham.

 

Councilor Papa mentioned that he had seen something form Buckingham and that the town representatives told them it was too big.

 

I mentioned that Councilor Papa’s statement that Mr. Mitro and Mr. Delong were ultimately the two that determine what a project will look like up and until the council vote concerned some because they were not elected officials.  Mr. Delong noted that they are hesitant to say exactly what something will look like.  He specifically referenced The Farm (116th and Michigan) and that they were careful to only state that it would be “awesome.”  I concluded this part of the conversation by mentioning that, while the aesthetics are important, the main concern of the ZVRA was the zoning power given by the PUD ordinance.

 

After a spirited but positive discussion that lasted over an hour, Councilor Papa agreed to bring the PUD Committee suggestion before the larger council at the next agenda meeting.  It was also recommended by Mr. Mitro that I reach out to the Zionsville Home Owners’ Association Roundtable. 

 

2) On Mr. Mitros' suggestion, Chris Bucher and I met with the Z HOA Roundtable the following week.  “The members of the HOA Roundtable who attended the meeting were in favor of the Town having a formal seat on any future PUD committee for a citizen from an adjacent or otherwise affected neighborhoodWhile not a political group, the Roundtable agreed that this was important and that the addition of a PUD Committee was a reasonable request.”

 

3) Monday morning, January 27, I was invited to present a revised version of the proposed PUD Committee amendment (handout is copied below) to the town council at their regularly scheduled Agenda Meeting (Councilor Ulmer was not in attendance).  I began by thanking them for past interest in our input, explained we were seeking a formal voice in only the PUD, that we were looking at this prospectively and gave a brief overview of the amendment (copied below).  The floor was opened for questioning and it became quite evident that I had struck a nerve.  

Several of the councilors seemed to take the proposal personally.  Councilor Tom Shuler erupted by putting words in my mouth to the effect that “You obviously think that the town council has failed you, the planning commission has failed you, and the staff has failed you.”   I calmly reiterated that this is not in response to anything being “broken” and that we are excited to be on the cusp of good and appropriate development; however, we feel the PUD gives the town an extraordinary rezoning power that requires some additional oversight because it will affect the value of our properties. 

Some argued that the PUD really did not give the town any more rezoning power than the normal rezoning process.

Jeff Papa felt it would add unnecessary time and steps to the process and would put more burden on developers and slow down development. 

Councilor Tim Haak questioned the Z HOA Roundtable’s involvement.  He rightly pointed out that it was not actually a representative group.  The Z HOA Roundtable coordinator also restated that they are not a political group, merely informational.  I explained that Mr. Mitro, in the meeting on January 10 (including Councilor Papa, Councilor Mundy and Mr. Delong), had specifically recommended that I reach out to them and we did.

Councilor Papa, while arguing for a lack of a need for such a Committee, conversely argued that someone outside of an HOA would not have a voice in this Committee process.

Councilor Papa handed out a map of the “process” and proceeded to count eight opportunities for resident “input.” There was a general buzz from bystanders regarding such a map and it was suggested by several that this be posted to the town website.   (handout attached)

Councilor Haak said that if they don’t do their job then they can be voted out.

Councilor Haak also admitted that there is already an “adhoc” form of this committee that already helps shape these things.  I then asked why we couldn’t just formalize that process and include HOA representation.  There was a mumbled response with the answer ultimately being a restatement that the PUD Committee was unnecessary because of the current process being unbroken.

Councilor Mundy suggested that “it would be most effective for 40 or so residents to show up at a meeting to remonstrate.”  

On the plus side, Councilor Susana Suarez did try to interject that this was obviously important to the residents and should at least be open for discussion by the council.  That discussion did not materialize at this meeting and, ultimately, they were against a committee with residential representation that had any authority in the PUD development process. 

Councilor Suarez also suggested that a proposal in another form might be acceptable to her. 

After nearly an hour of standing in front of the seated council, facing an overall lack of respect and unwillingness to listen, it devolved into nit-picking the details of the proposed document itself and then my part of the meeting was finished.

I thanked them and mentioned again that what we are seeking is a formal voice in the PUD process.

Proposed PUD Committee Request Discussed at TC Agenda Meeting

A) Representing:

1) Zionsville Village Residents’ Association as president; and

2) Zionsville Home Owners’ Association Roundtable as a member

 

B) Why we are requesting this PUD Committee amendment:

1)    A PUD gives the town an extraordinary rezoning power that will affect the value of our properties.

2)    PUD Committee gives us a “formal” voice in two stages of the PUD process, early enough to ensure that our input is “formally” heard by our elected town officials.

3)    Adding a PUD Committee to the PUD ordinance:

a.     Continues to keep PUDs as a truly extra-ordinary Zionsville tool used sparingly; and

b.     Ensures we have a “formal” voice to future administrations who may want to use PUDs more liberally.

4)    Since the current administration stated that a PUD would be used sparingly, the need for a PUD Committee to be assembled would be infrequent; therefore, little bureaucracy would actually be added to the day-to-day governing of the town by the addition of this amendment.

5)    Finally, this is an effort to further the mutual goal of transparency in local government.

 

C) It is specifically requested that the following changes be made to

Ordinance 2010-04 in conjunction with the passing of the following PUD Committee amendment (pages 2-5):

1)    Section 5.7 (b)

Include the same PUD Committee as a formal voting participant of any zoning amendment process that addresses “amendments, deviations, or other changes” from the originally approved PUD.

 

            2)    Section 5.9

Include the PUD Committee; subject to the same standards of review as the town council and plan commission.

 

D)  Actual Planned Unit Development (PUD) Committee proposed as part of the Town of Zionsville PUD Ordinance 2010-04.

A.   Planned Unit Development Committee:

 1.                  Membership: The members of the PUD Committee shall be made up of residents of Zionsville and be: a. A representative of the Town Council; b. A representative of the Plan Commission ;  c. The Director of Planning and Development or his/her designee; d. The President of Home Owners’ Association, Residents’ Association, or the like or designee of such within a maximum of one mile of the PUD, but not a town employee or a member of the Town Council.  If there are multiple nearby Associations, Presidents or designee thereof of those nearest associations to the PUD would be part of the committee (up to 4); and e. An at-large member who is a citizen of the Town and either: i. An architect licensed in the State of Indiana; ii. A landscape architect licensed in the State of Indiana; or iii. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

2.                  Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction of the PUD Committee shall be limited to the review and approval for PUD projects at both:  a. the “preliminary plat and rezone” approval stage referenced in Ordinance #2010-04 section 5.7 (“Preliminary Plan”);  and   b. the “development plan or plat” approval stage referenced in Ordinance #2010-04 section 5.8 (“Development Plan”).

 B.  Planned Unit Development Committee:

 1.                  Review Stages: The PUD Committee shall review at both the Preliminary Plan stage and the Development Plan stage upon receipt of a complete application, supportive documents, and the appropriate fees. 

2.                  Submittal: The petitioner shall refer to the application packet to determine the format and number of copies of the informational packet to be delivered to the Department of Planning and Development for distribution to the members of the PUD Committee. Incomplete submittals shall result in the petition’s being held off the PUD Committee agenda to allow the petitioner time to complete the submittal. Materials submitted by the petitioner after the informational packets have been distributed shall be subject to action pursuant to the Plan Commission Rules of Procedure.

3.                  Attendance: The petitioner is required to be present at the PUD Committee meetings to address and discuss comments and concerns posed by the PUD Committee members. Failure to appear shall result in the petition’s being dealt with as outlined in the Plan Commission Rules of Procedure.

4.                  Review: At their regularly scheduled public meetings, the PUD Committee shall review: a. The written statement and supportive material submitted by the petitioner; b. The PUD District Ordinance; c. The Preliminary Plan; d. The Development Plan (when applicable); e.  Any commitments or conditions of approval attendant to prior approvals; and  f. Such other additional information as may be required by the PUD Committee to evaluate the application. The PUD Committee shall have at least 30 days to consider the above review items a. through f. prior to a PUD Committee vote.  

 C. Planned Unit Development; Preliminary Plan:

 1.       Decision: The PUD Committee shall approve or deny applications for PUD development.

a.       Approval: 

i.  Sign and Seal: Upon approval of the Preliminary Plan, a majority of the members of the PUD Committee shall sign and seal the Preliminary Plan at the appropriate locations.

ii. Notification: The Department of Planning and Development shall then notify the petitioner in writing of the PUD Committee’s actions.

b.       Denial:

i.  Notification: The Department of Planning and Development shall then notify the petitioner in writing of the PUD Committee’s decision.

ii. Right to Appeal: The Department of Planning and Development shall also notify the petitioner in writing that a decision of the PUD Committee may be appealed to the Plan Commission within thirty (30) days after said decision by the PUD Committee.

2.       Revisions:  Following PUD Committee approval, the petitioner shall submit revised copies of the plans that address the comments and concerns of the PUD Committee. The petitioner shall refer to the application packet to determine the format and number of copies of the revised plans to deliver to the Department of Planning and Development.

3.       Right to Appeal: A decision of the PUD Committee may be appealed to the Plan Commission within thirty (30) days after said decision by the PUD Committee.

 D. Planned Unit Development; Development Plan

 1.       Decision: The PUD Committee shall approve or deny applications for PUD development.

a.       Approval: 

i.  Sign and Seal: Upon approval of the Development Plan, a majority of the members of the PUD Committee shall sign and seal the Development Plan at the appropriate locations.

ii. Notification: The Department of Planning and Development shall then notify the petitioner in writing of the PUD Committee’s actions.

b.       Denial:

i.  Notification: The Department of Planning and Development shall then notify the petitioner in writing of the PUD Committee’s decision.

ii. Right to Appeal: The Department of Planning and Development shall also notify the petitioner in writing that a decision of the PUD Committee may be appealed to the Plan Commission within thirty (30) days after said decision by the PUD Committee.

3.       Revisions:  Following PUD Committee approval, the petitioner shall submit revised copies of the plans that address the comments and concerns of the PUD Committee. The petitioner shall refer to the application packet to determine the format and number of copies of the revised plans to deliver to the Department of Planning and Development.

4.       Right to Appeal: A decision of the PUD Committee may be appealed to the Plan Commission within thirty (30) days after said decision by the PUD Committee.

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scott lusk,
Jan 30, 2014, 6:33 PM
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