Carmel City Council approves West Clay changes, building height limits along Range Line Road

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What happened: The City Council approved an amendment to the salaries of the Carmel Clerk Treasurer’s Office.

What it means: Clerk-Treasurer Christine Pauley, who is in her first term, has asked the council to approve changes to the approved salaries for her office. The end result is salary increases for her newly hired employees, but the additional costs would come out of the approved consultants budget. She said more work will be done in house instead of relying on consultants. One of her deputies will make up to $4,200 every two weeks, more than the clerk-treasurer herself.

What’s next: Changes were unanimously approved.

What happened: The City Council approved changes to buildings allowed in the Village of West Clay.

What it means: Brenwick Development asked to be able to add 52 townhomes in the uptown commercial area. Some units would be located at the second floor of the business area because retail/office tenants have been difficult to attract. In other parts, residential areas will now be allowed to have commercial uses. Some neighbors expressed concerns about density and placement of gas stations or fast-food restaurants with drive-thrus.

What’s next: The council approved the changes but amended the agreement to include a commitment from Brenwick to contribute $400 from each unit to the homeowners association that can be used to add amenities.

What happened: The City Council approved a height minimum of two stories for new buildings along Range Line Road and Carmel Drive.

What it means: In 2014, the council voted to remove this standard, pointing out that some double-decker buildings such as KFC, CVS pharmacy and Turkey Hill convenience store all were required to build second stories that were not needed. In March 2015, the City Council said they were happy with removing the height minimums and eliminated any sunset provision for the measure. Removing the height minimums was also supported by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce at the time. Now Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is advocating for two or three story buildings in that area because of property tax revenues and a consistent aesthetic.

What’s next: The rule change goes into effect.

What happened: The City Council approved a $6.7 million bond for storm water improvements to supplement a previous $34.5 million bond.

What it means: The previous city council established a storm water district and the new utility now collects fees for drainage improvements. The previous council didn’t have plans to borrow for any storm water projects. The newly elected council decided to borrow money to begin on many storm water projects at once and use the storm water fees to repay the bonds.

What’s next: The bonds have been passed and they will be repaid solely from revenues derived from user fee charges within the district.

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