March 5, 2012
Mayor Dennis, Councilors, Clerk-Treasurer, City Attorney Burns,
First, thank you for all that you do in service to our city. Yours is important work, and it does not always elicit the appreciation that it should.
I appear before you tonight to strongly encourage a positive response to Purdue Research Foundation’s offer of a challenge grant to hire an independent professional planning firm to study and make recommendations on future land uses in New Chauncey Neighborhood.
The currently stalled discussions in the Land Use Steering Committee, and the strong public concerns raised over Mr. Muinzer’s project both have occurred, in part, because we do not have a master plan for this area. If provided with an overarching vision for this area it will be easier for all involved parties to see that each of us can benefit from compromise.
Such a professionally guided vision will recognize that future commercial development in this area is going to occur and that it will substantially benefit our tax base. At the same time it should provide height, density, architectural and parking guidelines that will ensure that such developments are not only sensitive to but truly augment the integrity of all the university proximate neighborhoods, thereby protecting those property values and their concomitant contribution to the tax base
The city as a whole, not just Northwestern Heights, Hills and Dales, and New Chauncey will benefit from this plan.
Funding this study does not require that any steps be taken with regard to the TIF district. The city has strategically and creatively funded many such projects (some substantially more expensive) over the years without the use of TIF funds, and can certainly do so in this instance if there is the political will to make it happen.
Our city needs to do this. Thank you.
- Carl Griffin