Broad Ripple Construction Stalled Again

Opposing Neighborhood Groups Granted 2 Week Delay

Plans to build a new parking garage in Broad Ripple were stalled again on Tuesday as the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals granted a two-week delay to neighborhood groups seeking to block the project.

Keystone Construction is attempting to build a retail building and parking garage at the corner of College Avenue and Westfield Boulevard, but the project is in a flood plain nearly 4 feet below the elevation required for buildings in the area.

Neighborhood groups were opposed to the construction because it could raise area flood insurance rates, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.

Developers had hoped to break ground next week, even though the project apparently violates federal rules for building in flood plains.

"The flood ordinance is a complicated issue, and the ramifications are complicated. We would like to know that we are on solid ground,” said Pat Andrews with Alliance of Neighborhood Association.

The project’s developers were granted a continuance last week and said they’ve since made adjustments to their plans. Instead of the garage being four feet below the flood plain, it will be raised two feet so that it's only two feet below. That would put the garage within federal guidelines, but not those of the state.

Attorney Joe Calderone represents Keystone and said the changes should resolve any future issues.

"What that means is that we've actually raised the proposed elevation to mitigate concerns that had been expressed. So, everything is better. There should be no real need to debate that or discuss it further,” Calderone said.

Despite Keystone’s adjustments, opponents said the changes still don't guarantee that Marion County won't be thrown into a non-compliance situation in regards to flood plain guidelines, which could raise rates for residents in the county who buy flood insurance.

"If I put your head in water at four feet below water level, you'll drown. But if I bring you up to two feet, you might not drown?" said Councilor Pam Hickman.

The Board of Zoning Appeals sided with the opponents and delayed the hearing until May 1.

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