Letter: Comprehensive plan revision draft needs significant changes

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Editor,

The Carmel comprehensive plan revision draft will be discussed at the third (and possibly final) city council committee review meeting Aug. 8. This plan, which was developed by the city administration’s Dept. of Community Services, promotes more intense development in Carmel.

Although the Carmel Plan Commission required several beneficial modifications to the initial revision draft, significant changes are still needed at the city council level.

For example, the draft plan still encourages increased building heights and commercial development anywhere along so-called “typical corridors,” including most of 146th Street, 96th Street and College Avenue. Commercial uses are encouraged anywhere along the Monon Trail, even in residential areas. Three-story buildings and commercial development are encouraged anywhere along the White River, and up to six-story buildings are encouraged nearby.

Furthermore, the plan’s objectives promote mixed-use development throughout Carmel, as well as redevelopment within existing neighborhoods. All of this clearly disregards the established single-family residential zoning.

DOCS claims that this 10-year plan is just a high-level “guide.” But the fact remains that the existing comprehensive plan (in place for the past 10 years) has routinely been cited by developers during the approval process as they cherry pick the document to claim justification for every new higher-intensity project.

The comprehensive plan revision draft, as it now stands, will codify the city administration’s intent to implement widespread, more intense urban development. Additional protections are needed, especially to preserve compatibility near and within existing residential areas.

Carmel residents are urged to contact city councilors to request further changes before the comprehensive plan revision draft is finalized and approved.

Dave Fox, Carmel

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