The Fishers City Council approved the city’s Allisonville Road Corridor Study during its regular March 20 meeting in a near-unanimous vote.
Council member Jocelyn Vare, participating telephonically, abstained from the vote. She said she and her constituents hadn’t had enough time to read the 96-page report.
Prior to the meeting, the council held a work session about the study. Megan Vukusich, director of planning and zoning, said the research was completed last year, and her department had been working on an implementation strategy since then. She said the study area encompasses 2.2 miles, 344 acres and 219 parcels owned by 165 individuals.
Vukusich said the process involved a 14-member steering committee, several focus groups, and in-person and online opportunities for public input.
She noted that the study is not a plan in and of itself.
“This is a guiding document to be used when considering future development,” she said.
Some of the themes of the guiding document include “greening” the corridor with more plants and trees; enhanced connectivity for better pedestrian and bicycle opportunities; and collaboration with local businesses and private landowners.
The study also calls for better access to the White River. A project with that goal in mind is the White River Nature Park, a 125-acre site that will provide more public green space and opportunities to enjoy the river.
Some of the more immediate projects that align with the study are new roundabouts along Allisonville Road. One will be at 96th Street, near the planned new River Place development. Construction starts this year. Another roundabout will be built next year at 116th Street, Vukusich said.
Council Member Selina Stoller wanted to clarify that the roundabout construction would not shut down the busy corridor. Vukusich responded that there will not be a full closure of the road during construction, and the work will be staggered.
“We’re coordinating it all to make sure it doesn’t make a horrendous issue,” she said.
During council discussion before the vote, Vare said the study didn’t address vehicular safety. She said there are a lot of accidents in certain sections, and she would like to see what could be done to reduce that.
Vukusich said roadway improvements are among the projects planned.
“We can certainly make sure those comments are relayed back to our engineers,” she said.
Also during the meeting, the council approved a resolution establishing a property tax of 5 cents per $100 assessed value for capital improvements within the community, improvements to public ways and sidewalks, repair of the sewage treatment plant and sewer system, and for building and maintaining park and recreational facilities.
City Controller Lisa Bradford said the tax has been around since 1984, and the vote simply reestablishes it. The motion passed unanimously.
Another motion that passed unanimously moves $5 million into the Economic Development Fund. The money was collected through the city’s new food and beverage tax. Bradford said the city couldn’t establish a budget for the fund before now because the tax was newer, so they had to wait for funds to be available for that line item.
The council also approved a motion that cleaned up language in the city’s towing ordinance, approved a voluntary annexation of private property so the owners can hook up to city sewer, and approved a rezone of the Geist Waterfront Park to Open Space, which matches other parks run by the city.