Wednesday, July 8, 2009

City of Indianapolis Departments Work Together to Protect Parkland

Orange and black public hearing signs displayed in 22 parks throughout Marion County are an effort by the City of Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) to rezone more than 463 acres to PK-1 zoning. This classification will designate as parkland properties currently zoned for uses ranging from agricultural and commercial to industrial.

The PK-1 classification will give the park properties protection from surrounding development, such as requiring extra scrutiny during the zoning process when cases come before the DMD. Additionally, the zoning status provides for elevated charges if certain crimes are committed on or near park properties.

“The thorough analysis of our properties and subsequent rezoning process will ensure that these parks are protected for years to come,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “The multi-agency cooperation and agreement on this project affirms the need for parkland to be zoned under the PK-1 designation.”

Indy Parks became aware of the park properties not zoned to the PK-1 classification as the department worked to complete the 2009 Indianapolis-Marion County Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan.

“As an action step of our comprehensive plan, we are taking the appropriate measures to properly zone our properties,” said Indy Parks Deputy Director Don Colvin.

The first public hearing will be at 1 p.m. July 23 in the Beurt R. SerVaas public assembly room on the second floor of the City-County Building. The process will continue with the zoning case being heard by the Metropolitan Development Commission and then by the City-County Council for final approval.

An additional 20 park properties will face similar zoning hearings in Phase II of this project.

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