Wednesday, May 16, 2012

About Meridian Crossing

I am opposed to the Area Plan Commission approving the Meridian Crossing PD at this time.
First, I am opposed to this rezone because all the neighbors hate the idea. This was demonstrated at a March 19th. public meeting at the Morton Center that Mr. Schroeder (the APC Vice-President) attended. A portion of Hills and Dales is in West Lafayette District #2 and I might want to get re-elected one day.
Second, we do not have a land use plan for the Fowler/Northwestern corridor. Nor for the neighborhoods north and east of that development corridor which lie in the expanded Levee-Village TIF district. No land use plan. No historic districts. No targeted redevelopment entity involving the City of West Lafayette and Purdue; that was to be a result of the Wang Hall negotiation. (Okay, to be fair, the contract prepared in November was signed yesterday.) The city council majority has been trying to get a land use plan since May of 2009. 
Does the city administration lack the skill, or perhaps the capacity to act? After all, we are a class three city. Do they lack the will to act? Unlike in Lafayette, there is no one here to push the plan. It is easier to pick lower hanging fruit. Or is this in fact a a "slow no" to planning designed to maintain the political and economic status quo of piece meal development. In whose interest is it NOT to have a plan? 
In lieu of that plan, what we have is zoning. Back in the 1990's during the debate over NUZO a then member of the APC staff said to me that my neighborhood should never, never, never, ever lose any R-1 zoned land. To lose R-1, the most restrictive zoning category available, would make all other zoning designations irrelevant. The loss of R-1 would signal the end of any nearby residential neighborhood. This proposal eliminates R-1U zoning on these lots. They should stay R-1 until we have some agreement that they should be otherwise. There is no rush. This project is not unique.

Local commercial real estate owners obviously have their plans. They are busily buying and selling in this area. Purdue has its commercial real estate plans. The only person without a plan? The City of West Lafayette. The people of Hills and Dales and New Chauncey
. Nothing should happen until we get one.
I will work to delay or defeat this project. 

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