I am concerned to read in the Dec. 5 edition of Current in Carmel about the approval of a variance allowing the mixed-use development that will be located at 111th and Pennsylvania streets to cover 95 percent of the lot instead of a maximum of 80 percent of the lot as permitted by city code.
Your article about this variance states that one person, alone, acted as the hearing officer deciding this issue. That such a significant change from the city code can be approved by only one individual is troubling to me. I wonder which official or body appoints this officer, and at whose pleasure he serves, inasmuch as the developer in this instance is a partnership between two powerful entities, Pedcor and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission.
That Pedcor has committed to provide more trees than initially required, according to Mr. Mestetsky of the CRC, does not seem to me to be an adequate justification for a variance, nor does the plan for a gathering space which appears to be in the middle of development and away from the street as distinguished from Midtown Plaza, according to the picture in the newspaper.
I know that city officials and others have much more knowledge and expertise about what is best for our city than I, and I rely upon such individuals. We all want to be proud of our city. Many of us have concerns about its continued growth, especially regarding the question of urban density. So, I am compelled to ask: Why was this variance appropriate? What motivated the developers to make a plan for 95 percent coverage of the lot? Would not a development using a maximum of 80 percent of the lot have been more aesthetically pleasing to its end-users yet still very profitable?
Lawrence C. Arany, Carmel