A developer proposes to redevelop the NW corner of 22nd St. and College Ave. Their plans would involve demolishing a small vacant commercial structure closest to the intersection to make way for a parking lot that would support reuse of a larger building set back to the alley between College and Broadway. The building is approximately 8400 sq.ft. and would be divided into 3 or 4 retail spaces depending on initial tenant needs. 

To allow for this project, the developer has filed with the Department of Metropolitan Development for the following variances (copied directly from the development notice):

Request: Variance of development standards of the Commercial Zoning Ordinance to provide for a neighborhood retail center: 

a) with 18, 162-square foot parking spaces (29 parking spaces required, 180-square foot parking spaces required), 

b) with a trash enclosure, with a zero-foot west side transitional yard (10-foot side transitional yard required along an alley), 

c) with carryout food service within approximately 20 feet of a D-8 zoned protected district (100-foot separation required), and

d) with outdoor seating and dining (not permitted), encroaching partially into the front yard of 22nd Street (10-foot front setback required). 

Representatives of Fall Creek Place and many surrounding land owners and neighborhood organizations have met with a representative of the developer to discuss the plans. A long list of commitments have been developed, the most important of which restricts the types of businesses that can use this C-3 site. This restriction includes convenience store, liquor store, pawn shop, check cashing, emergency shelter, billboard, tobacco store, oil change shop, and gas station. 

Regarding the variances, representatives of the surrounding area are not concerned about the parking reduction given the amount of unused street parking on both 22nd and College, and the expectation that neighborhood service businesses and restaurants will attract some customers by foot and bicycle (the owner has committed to including two bike racks on site). While technically within the rear setback of the building, the alley is the appropriate location for the dumpster. The representatives all support outdoor seating for potential restaurants. 

HOWEVER, the representatives are extremely concerned about the carryout food variance. Carryout food is generally defined as food prepared on site to be carried out the door and eaten elsewhere -- pre-packaged food such as potato chips is not considered carryout food, while a pizza cooked on site and carried out in a box is. Most often carryout food comes in the form of fast food, and the representatives are concerned about likely negative effects on the surrounding neighborhoods. These businesses generally cause problems such as litter, cooking odors and increased vehicle turnover relative to other business types. Because of those issues, the zoning ordinance does not allow such businesses within 100' of a "protected district" which includes uses such as houses, schools and churches. 

The neighborhood representatives have reached a consensus to support this development in general, with specific opposition to the carryout food variance. This position will be presented to Board of Zoning Appeals on 8/18/15. The hearing will be at 1pm on the 2nd floor of the City-County Building. 

*** Neighbors are strongly encouraged to attend the hearing! *** 

We have an excellent chance of ensuring this variance is not passed if there is a large crowd in the audience. The more people in attendance, the more weight our arguments will have to the board. Please mark your calendars and make an effort to attend if your schedule will allow. 

If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to comment below, private message me through Nextdoor or send an email to the Land Use Committee at