City of West Lafayette, Indiana

COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES

March 1, 2004

 

The Common Council of the City of West Lafayette, Indiana met in the Council Chambers at City Hall on March 1, 2004 at the hour of 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Mills, who presided, called the meeting to order.

The Pledge of Allegiance was repeated.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes called the roll:

PRESENT: Griffin, Hunt, Keen, O'Callaghan, Plomin, Satterly, Truitt

ABSENT: None

ALSO PRESENT: Development Director Andrew, City Attorney Bauman, Public Works Director Downey, Fire Chief Drew, Police Chief Marvin, Parks Superintendent Payne, City Engineer Snyder, and Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes.

MINUTES

Councilor Hunt moved to approve the minutes of the January 29, 2004, Pre-Council Meeting and the February 2, 2004, Common Council Meeting as distributed, with corrections of typographical errors. Motion was seconded by Councilor Griffin and passed viva voce.

COMMITTEE STANDING REPORTS:

Street and Sanitation: Councilor Satterly presented this report.

The monthly highlights include that the department is presently cleaning streets. They've had two sweepers running since February 16, and they continue to work on the streets. One reminder: Loose yard waste needs to be placed in rigid containers with handles, so that the men can pick the material up. There's a report on recycling, and I would urge everyone in the City to participate in recycling and save the City money.

Wastewater Treatment Utility: Councilor Satterly presented this report.

In the month of January, the effluent at the Sewage Treatment Plant into the river was well below the maximums allowed by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] Standards. We had 1.4" of precipitation in January. There was some overflow into the river. 98.7% of the flow to the plant was treated. There was some overflow at the DeHart Street combined sewer overflow, and some minor amounts at the plant.

Public Safety: Councilor Keen presented this report.

During the month of February the West Lafayette Fire Department handled 110 calls with an average response time of just over 2 minutes. At the same time, the West Lafayette Police Department handled over 1500 calls. The rest of the report will be on file with the Clerk-Treasurer.

Purdue Relations: Councilor Plomin presented this report.

On February 10, I met with the Purdue and Community Issues Committee and had a wonderful presentation by a gentleman from the Purdue Research Foundation, outlining Purdue's 5-, 10-, and 20-year strategic plan that's ongoing development currently. On March 4, we expect a presentation from landscape architect John Collier in City Council Chambers, and I'd urge all those interested to attend.

Parks and Recreation: Councilor Hunt presented this report.

The Park Department continues to be vibrant and active. The Redevelopment Commission has approved an additional appropriation of $355,000 from the KCB TIF [Tax Increment Financing] Fund for the Cumberland Park and Northwest Greenway Trailhead Park Improvements. There are plans by Congdon Engineering being completed for the second phase of the Dubois Park project. Kline & Associates is completing plans and specifications for the Wabash Heritage Trail Connection and Overlook Project. The 2004 Wednesdays in the Wild programs have been scheduled, and there are extra copies on the table over there. All of them are on Wednesdays. They vary as to place and time. Through February 22, 11,975 people including 16 rental groups have enjoyed ice skating at the Riverside Skating Center, including 143 that skated on the Dare to Bare evening when you could skate in your swimsuit, if you were warm enough. The Lilly Nature Center volunteers have been trained, a new round of them, and they will provide about 90% of the Nature Center hours when it's opened. Volunteers cleaned 22 bags of trash and a many "large items" from along the northern part of the Wabash Heritage Trail. The River Road Scenic Byway Cleanup is scheduled with the Boilermaker Volunteer Network for April 3. The 10th Global Fest will be at Morton Community Center September 3 and 4. Applications for summer employment in the Parks Department are being accepted now, and the next Park Board meeting is the 22nd of March at 4:30 in the evening at City Hall.

Department of Development: Councilor O'Callaghan presented this report.

The Development Department sure has been busy as well. The Redevelopment Commission met on February 27, and Councilor Hunt talked about the KCB TIF District appropriation. Also, work is proceeding on the trail by Friendship House, to link to Cumberland Park. They're working with Westminster and George Davis Manor for a connection to Sagamore Parkway. Joe Hornett, Vice President of Purdue Research Foundation, was at the Redevelopment Commission meeting, and he talked about how important the trail system is to recruitment for businesses to the Research Park. He says when they talk about the trail system, the first question is how many miles do you have. So it's so important that it's a great quality of life, but also economic development. The Redevelopment Commission is studying the priorities for all three of the TIF districts, and so they examined the Sagamore Parkway TIF District on February 27, and that's what Joe Hornett presented. There will also be a study by Hawkins Engineering to develop a plan for Sagamore Parkway. The next meeting of the Redevelopment Commission is March 29 at 12:30, and then they'll look at the Levee/Village TIF District. Also from the Department, the Community Development Block Grants, our priorities, were due last Friday, and the final hearing will be on March 9 at 7 p.m. here at City Hall. The department has also worked hard on updating the rental ordinance that has helped to provide safe housing for renters and protected the housing stock by addressing overoccupancy. They presented a proposal to reduce the fees and extend the inspection cycle to two years for two categories, Category 5 and 6 rental units. The proposal did slightly increase the rates for Categories 1 and 3 rentals. The proposal in general was not well received by the whole Council, so it was tabled until we can get more input. In the meantime, inspections then will continue under the old ordinance.

Personnel: Councilor O'Callaghan presented this report.

I'll mention Gail Thayer-Copeland as the new administrative assistant to the Clerk-Treasurer. Welcome, Gail.

Budget and Finance: Councilor Truitt presented this report.

Recently, the Council received a memorandum from the Mayor, to say that it's budget time, so the process is going to begin. We're looking forward to beginning that process a little bit earlier this year, with plans of delivering a fiscally-responsible budget once again to the City. Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes will have a little bit more additional information, so I don't want to steal too much of her thunder in regard to her report, but I am happy to report that we do have some additional revenue in 2003 and 2004 COIT [County Option Income Tax], over $516,000 in extra revenue for the City. So we're looking forward to working with the Mayor on behalf of the Council and delivering that money in the appropriate direction.

REPORT OF APC REPRESENTATIVE: Councilor Griffin presented this report.

In October, Mayor Mills, who at that time was the then-Council appointee to the Area Plan Commission, reported to us at the meeting of this body that the APC staff had begun the county-wide land use inventory and building conditions survey. It sounds a little bit boring, but it's actually leading up to an important updating of the Comprehensive Plan that the Area Plan has. The last one was done in [19]81, so we're getting ready for the new plan being published in 2006. As of mid-February, West Lafayette staff is now close to completing our part of the survey. The APC has now completed 160 square miles of aerial photographs of the county and done considerable fieldwork and has been assessing the building conditions in both incorporated and unincorporated areas. Recent actions taken by the APC are ones that, in fact, will come to this Council tonight. We will act here on three ordinances that come to us from the Area Plan Commission. They are the rezoning of the property on North River Road, northwest of State Street and North River Road intersection to allow for the construction of a two-story commercial building that will be a Capp & Gino's. Another ordinance will allow a change in Planned Development at Greentree at West Lafayette, up on Kalberer and Salisbury. And then finally, more or less a housekeeping ordinance that will make some minor changes in the wording of the Unified Zoning Ordinance to get West Lafayette consistent with the rest of the county. There are a couple of other ones that we'll not act on tonight; one is the Planned Development for the West Lafayette Public Library and that consists of constructing the three-level parking garage across from the library, and we're all very happy about the primary approval for an 18-lot subdivision on six acres located on the southeast corner of Kalberer and Jasper Street, which will become Phase 5 of University Farms Subdivision. Of significant importance, this subdivision is in the West Lafayette School Corporation.

REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES: None.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: None.

FINANCIAL REPORT:

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said that financial reports for February have been filed with the Council. The City has received its 2004 Budget Order. Our 2004 levy is $6,789,488, that's just $17,786 greater than we estimated. Our tax rate is 0.6802. We estimated a tax rate of 0.6803, so off by only on thousandth of a cent. That's the best we've done. That is a 2.5% increase or 1.67 cents over the 2003 rate.

The Redevelopment Commission also received its Budget Order. As the Council determined last fall, the TIF Replacement Levy is zero for 2004.

Today, March 1, is the date that assessed valuations are fixed for 2005 tax rates and levees. It will not be until July or August that we have certified values from the [Tippecanoe County] Auditor, but this is the first sign of spring and the budget process to come.

Our accounting system conversion has been completed, and we're now looking forward to working with the Council and Department Heads to reformat our monthly financial reports to better meet your needs.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 43-03 (Amended) An Ordinance Amend The West Lafayette City Code Concerning Alarm Systems (Prepared by the City Attorney) Councilor Griffin read the ordinance by title and moved that it be passed on second reading.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said that this ordinance has not been voted on.

Mayor Mills said we haven't voted on this. We tabled this for a month, so this is first reading of the amended version of the ordinance.

Councilor Griffin said I move that we act upon Ordinance No. 43-03 (Amended). The motion was seconded was made by Councilor Satterly.

Mayor Mills said [Police] Chief [Marvin], do you want to talk about this?

Police Chief Marvin said the City Attorney worked on updating this ordinance. We wanted to clean up the ordinance, bring it up to date, and make it more streamlined to deal with alarm violations.

Mayor Mills said are there any more questions for the Chief or for Mr. Bauman?

Councilor Satterly said could you explain what you mean by alarm violation.

Police Chief Marvin said we're talking about home alarms or business alarms.

Councilor Satterly said you mean when the alarm goes off and there's no problem?

Police Chief Marvin said yes, that would be correct.

Councilor Plomin said am I to understand that this moves the responsibility for dealing with alarm violations from the Clerk-Treasurer's Office to the Police Department?

Police Chief Marvin said we always tracked information as far as the alarms. Obviously, we would get the alarms and respond to the alarms. What we're doing is moving all of it over to the Police, where we would go ahead and send the letters out, and the letters would come back. We've delegated this to the Deputy Chief. He reads the letters to see if this should be an excused alarm. If it's a case where we feel it's not an excusable violation or if it's beyond the three that the ordinance talks about, then we would cite them into City Court.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said currently the notification and collection process is split between the Police Department and the Clerk-Treasurer. We've been concerned over the last couple of years about the difficulty of collecting the ordinance violations, and in fact it was our office that first approached the City Attorney and the Police Department to have a review of this section of the City Code. We believe that citing these to [City] Court will put the collection process into a much more efficient system that will still operate out of the Clerk-Treasurer's Office as Clerk of the Court. However, it will allow the Police Department to focus on the things they do best, and put the enforcement of collection in an area that's designed to do that.

City Attorney Bauman said, Councilor Plomin, there were also some other things where the Clerk-Treasurer's Office was involved with that were removed from the ordinance, not because they were moved to the Police Department, but because the City is no longer issuing permits, because it's not directly involved in monitoring alarms.

Councilor Keen said in paragraph B on page 2, it says that the Police Chief or designee determines that it's not excusable. Could you [Police Chief Marvin] more clearly define what is and what is not excusable?

Police Chief Marvin said we take a look at each response we get from the homeowner or business owner to determine whether or not it's an excusable violation. Some things we're looking for are whether it's weather-related, equipment related they're getting fixed, those types of things.

Councilor Keen said is there any recourse to the violator, other than the court system?

Police Chief Marvin said if they wanted to appeal, they could appear in Court, and they could talk to the Judge and tell them why they think they should not have to pay the fine.

Councilor Keen said they can't come down to you?

Police Chief Marvin said that's correct; they cannot.

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 43-03 (Amended) passed first reading, 7-0.

 

Ordinance No. 46-03 (Amended) An Ordinance To Establish A Capital Asset Policy For The City Of West Lafayette (Prepared by the Clerk-Treasurer) Councilor Griffin read the ordinance by title on second reading and moved that the ordinance be approved. Councilor Truitt seconded the motion.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said this ordinance has returned to the Council after several months in which we have awaited a review by the State Board of Accounts and further work on our capital asset and infrastructure appraisal that is mostly complete at this point. We feel that we can come back to the Council, in order to have a policy in place, so that we can do the conversion on our capital assets, as part of our 2003 audit. It is very likely we may come back to you in the future, after we've used this document, and make some other adjustments. However, we've received reviews at this point that lead us to believe that it is sufficient to support our filing of our comprehensive annual financial report for this year.

Mayor Mills said are there any questions for the Clerk-Treasurer?

Councilor Truitt said Judy, I think from a common sense point of view, I understand the change from $1,000 to $5,000, but just for my edification, can you explain that, because that is a consistent change throughout the policy.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said Councilor Truitt is referring to one of the items of amendment in which the threshold for capital assets has been raised from $1,000 to $5,000. The reason for that has to do with the need to maintain records for our financial statements. This is not the threshold for tagging and physical inventory of our assets. That, in fact, is $1,000 and lower for special items. You have to remember now that capital asset policy under GASB [Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement] 34 is very much a financial statement function. No longer can it serve a dual function as physical inventory. It was a recommendation of the State Board of Accounts they would raise it at least to $5,000 if not $10,000, but $5,000 is the Federal grant level in which they want capital assets reported. So by going to $5,000 we're in compliance with all of our current grants.

Mayor Mills said anything else?

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 46-03 (Amended) passed final reading, 7-0.

 

Ordinance 5-04 An Ordinance Vacating A Portion Of An Alley Within The City Of West Lafayette, Indiana (Vacation of Portion of Alley Connecting Wood St. to Harrison St. Between Sheetz St. and Grant St.) (Submitted by Stuart & Branigin LLP) PUBLIC HEARING Mayor Mills read the ordinance by title, and called on Attorney Marianne Mitten Owen of Stuart & Branigin LLP who was representing the petitioners.

Attorney Owen said I'm Marianne Owen form the law firm of Stuart & Branigin. I'm here this evening on behalf of the Purdue Research Foundation. I'm being joined by Dan Pusey and Jim Knapp who also from Purdue who are some of the brains on this operation (and, as far as Dan's concerned, the beauty). I'm going to keep my comments short. My introduction will even be longer than anything. This is our second reading. We talked to you last month about this. This is very simply a vacation of an existing alley that runs (or at least used to run) right beside what is now the Alumni Center. It has been moved over and it will allow for better traffic flow from the buses that are coming to and from the Alumni Center. We will be giving a grant of easement back to the City of West Lafayette for the use of the general public for that alley. With that, we are here for any questions. We will be need for a public hearing on this matter, in order to complete the process, but other than that, if you have any thing, please let me know.

Mayor Mills said are there any questions for Marianne [Attorney Owen]?

Councilor Plomin said I just wanted to comment and say that construction has already been completed on the changed alley and I think it looks wonderful and will serve its purpose well.

Attorney Owen said thank you. Just as a note, tomorrow we're at the [Board of] Public Works. There's still a little more work to do.

Councilor O'Callaghan said I'll move that we approve Ordinance 5-04 on second reading. Councilor Plomin seconded the motion.

Mayor Mills said we need to have the public hearing first. We will open the public hearing. Is there any comment from the public on this vacation of the alley?

There were no comments.

Mayor Mills said if not, we'll close the public hearing.

Councilor Griffin said I move that we act upon Ordinance No. 5-04 on its second reading, An Ordinance Vacating The Portion Of An Alley Within The City of West Lafayette, Indiana, A Portion Connecting Wood St. To Harrison St. Between Sheetz St. and Grant St. Councilor Truitt seconded the motion.

Ordinance No. 5-04 passed on final reading, 7-0.

 

NEW BUSINESS:


Ordinance No. 6-04
An Ordinance To Establish The Rainy Day Fund (Prepared by the Clerk-Treasurer) Councilor Griffin read the ordinance by title only and moved that the ordinance be voted on by the Council. The motion was seconded by Councilor Satterly.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said this ordinance is required by State statute, whenever a municipality receives a supplemental distribution of County Economic Income Tax, such as we did on February 13. We received $296,881.00. The option for creating a Rainy Day Fund has been in the statutes for several years, but the requirement that one be created when there is an excess income tax distribution was only recently enacted.

Mayor Mills said thank you. Are there any questions?

Councilor Plomin said it says here we received $296,881.00 from the County Economic Income Tax.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said correct. EDIT [Economic Development Income Tax].

Councilor Plomin said in Section 3, supplemental distributions of COIT [County Option Income Tax] and EDIT are welcome to be put in this fund. Are there any other? We have quite a substantial balance left in the Police Building Construction Fund; is that correct?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said that is correct. State statutes require that the excess distributions of County Income Tax and Economic Development Income Tax be placed in a Rainy Day Fund. The Council has the option of transferring the monies from other funds as they are able by the enacting legislation for those funds. When the purposes of those funds are completed, the Council may transfer funds into the Rainy Day Fund. It may also transfer excess funds out of the General Fund. Those are all "mays," but the requirement to put in the excess income tax distribution is a "must."

Councilor Plomin said so this fund would be able to accept funds from the Police Building Construction Fund?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said that is correct.

Councilor Satterly said what are some examples of what this Rainy Day Fund might be used for?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said the Section 5 is a section that specifies the uses and purposes for which the funds may be used. This has been written to allow the Council to use the funds in the Rainy Day Fund for any purpose that the General Fund could be used for, the County Income Tax or EDIT could be used for. Basically, in a city, the General Fund can be used for anything. So there are no restrictions on how the Council may wish to use this fund, although it has to be appropriated according to the procedures that all other funds would be appropriated under. And there's one little thing in there, Section 6, you actually, in the additional appropriation ordinance, will have to make a finding that the use of the Rainy Day Fund is consistent with the purposes of this ordinance.

Councilor O'Callaghan said Judy [Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes], the $296,000, was that COIT and EDIT?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said it was exclusively EDIT.

Councilor O'Callaghan said so it does need "Development" in that sentence. In the third Whereas.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said yes. There should be the word "Development" in there.

Mayor Mills said are there any other questions?

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 6-04 (Amended) passed on first reading, 7-0.

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said Mayor, may I ask for second reading this evening on the Rainy Day Ordinance, as we did deposit the funds last month.

Councilor Keen said so move. Councilor Griffin seconded the motion, and the motion passed viva voce.

Councilor Griffin said so [Ordinance No.] 6-04 is placed back on the agenda for its second reading. Councilor Griffin motioned to act on Ordinance No. 6-04. The motion was seconded by Councilor Keen.

Councilor Plomin said do we need to have an additional vote, at some point in the future, to add funds to this Rainy Day Fund?


Mayor Mills said when we get to the point where we feel we have funds that should go into that fund, yes.

Councilor Plomin said but have already received a supplemental distribution of COIT?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said the additional COIT that we received is not an excess distribution as defined in the statute. The additional distribution received in December was related to the changes in allocation of Homestead Credit, out of our County Option Income Tax, and the increased distribution we're anticipating in this year is based on receipts into that account, the County account, being larger than originally anticipated. Neither of those cases is the supplemental distribution referred to in statute. The supplemental distribution referred to in statute is when a certified distribution has already been made and when the final books basically are closed, the State finds it has additional funds in that account. Rather than hold them, as they did in the past, they're actually required to distribute them in the January following the year in which they determined additional funds are available. That is why we got the EDIT.

Councilor Plomin said so we don't need to have a resolution authorizing the transfer of funds from some account into the Rainy Day Fund?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said correct. The only situation we're under statutory requirement for is for EDIT, at this moment.

Councilor Plomin said so if we would, at some future date, choose, say from the Police Building Construction Fund, transfer money into this Rainy Day Fund, that would require a resolution authorizing transfer of funds?

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said yes. The purposes of the Police Building Construction Fund would have to have been completed. Then under that ordinance, the Council may then determine where those excess funds would go.

Councilor Plomin said I just use that as an example, because it's a fund that would qualify for deposit in this account.

Mayor Mills called for the vote. Ordinance No. 6-04 passed on final reading, 7-0.

 

Ordinance 8-04 An Ordinance To Amend The West Lafayette City Code Concerning Alcoholic Beverages in West Lafayette Parks (Prepared by the City Attorney)

Councilor Griffin said Mayor, I move that the Council vote on Ordinance 8-04, An Ordinance To Amend The West Lafayette City Code Concerning Alcoholic Beverages in West Lafayette Parks.

Mayor Mills said I will give a brief introduction. This is an introduction that I put forward with Park Board input. We are very interested in a City in having the festivals that occur downtown on the riverfront move to our side of the river. Since our Parks Department's properties are regulated by the Park Board, we passed this by the Park Board for their approval first, but we must make a changed to the ordinance that allows alcohol to be sold or used on Park property with Park Board approval. And that's what this ordinance does. And since the 1989 Strategic Plan for the City, we have talked regularly every several years about the hilltop to hilltop community plans that we have as a community. This is a way of taking that whole concept the next step and bringing the downtown festivals to our side of the river. This is an amended ordinance tonight. We had quite a bit of discussion at Pre-Council on Thursday night, and we have actually changed Section B in the ordinance to now include the language "Tapawingo Park," which was something the Council was very interested in doing. We need to have a vote first, to amend the ordinance as submitted tonight.

Councilor Keen said I would like to make a motion that we amend by substitution Ordinance No. 8-04 as distributed this evening. Councilor Plomin seconded the motion. The motion to amend by substitution passed viva voce.

Mayor Mills said so we are now discussing the amended ordinance. Are there any comments or questions from the Council?

Councilor Satterly said I am also very desirous to see that the festivals are extended into West Lafayette, and I voted for the resolution last month to do that. However, I cannot support this ordinance. I think it sends the wrong message to the community, as far as consumption of alcohol in a public park in West Lafayette.

Councilor Hunt said I have a question of [Police] Chief Marvin. He's looked up some data for us. [Police] Chief Marvin, I know you can't be statistically absolutely sure what alcohol arrests are related to and I know you looked this up, but last summer in 2003 for the Taste of Tippecanoe which was the 21st and 22nd of June, and also in the Hot Summer Nights event which was July 26, could you give us some idea of the alcohol arrests those weekends and the weekends around them, please, in Lafayette and West Lafayette?

Police Chief Marvin said per our conversation, and as we discussed at the Pre-Council, we took at look at the weekend of June 21 and 22, and also the weekend before and the weekend after that event, as well as the event that took place down there July 26 and 27, as well as the event that took place before and after that weekend. We specifically took a look at public intoxication arrests for our agency and Lafayette Police Department, as well as Operating While Intoxicated arrests for our agency and for Lafayette Police Department. And again, I would caution the Council that you can't necessarily attribute these numbers to any one event. We don't know that any of these people who were arrested attended the event or even knew that the event was going on. But what we found was that the numbers didn't vary widely from the event weekends to the weekends before or after the event. We're talking about small numbers of arrests.

Councilor Keen said at Pre-Council there was considerable discussion in paragraph B, where it says "The West Lafayette Board of Parks and Recreation may permit the sale.," the discussion revolved around whether or not the Common Council had the authority to allow this resolution, as opposed to the Park Board. I was going to ask Mr. Bauman [City Attorney] if he had any opinion about that.

City Attorney Bauman said the ordinance provides that alcohol could be sold or consumed at the discretion of the Park Board, under conditions set by it. That would be consistent with the Indiana Law, Indiana Code Section 36-10-3-10 which is a section on the board of park and recreation duties. It states the board shall establish rules governing the use of park and recreation facilities by the public. So I think this ordinance is the appropriate way to approach that.

Councilor Keen said I don't recall if the motion was actually made to allow the West Lafayette Common Council in paragraph B to replace the West Lafayette Board of Parks and Recreation, and if that did happen by amended version, would we have the authority to enact anything there?

City Attorney Bauman said no.

Councilor Keen said so then the question comes back to: why is this even before us?

Councilor O'Callaghan said our current City Code does prohibit it, so this is amending the current City Code.

City Attorney Bauman said and what this provides is that the Board of Parks and Recreation has the authority, under State statute, it may permit the sale or consumption within a park under conditions that it sets.

Councilor Griffin said but it could not do so in contradiction of the existing ordinance that we have on the books in the City.

City Attorney Bauman said that is probably a murky point under State law. I don't know if there's a definitive answer to that. What would be clear is that the Council could not override the Board of Parks and Recreation.

Councilor Plomin said if the Board of Parks and Recreation decided to allow alcohol to be served, kept, carried, had, brought or drunk in City parks, could they allow that without section B? Could they allow that without Council approval?

City Attorney Bauman said I don't think that's clear under State law.

Councilor Plomin said is a park board like a school board or like a library board, they operate autonomously from the City, not in connection with the City?

City Attorney Bauman said that's what's not especially clear under our scheme of State law. They appear to be granted the power under this statute to make those decisions, but there's no particular exclusion of action by the City Council either. The obvious thing is for both bodies to work together towards achieving this.

Councilor Truitt said once this ordinance is passed, or if it is passed, the Council, in regard to anything going forward is no longer involved in any decisions, from a standpoint of alcohol at all, as soon as they change the Code, is that correct? I mean, it's murky right now, and so really what we're doing is we're cleaning up the murkiness.

City Attorney Bauman said and the change proposed here is a very limited one.

Councilor Satterly said maybe Section 24.140 may not be legal? A previous Council may have passed an ordinance that's not legal?

City Attorney Bauman said it's not clear that the City Council can decide what the Park Board can or cannot do. The Park Board has powers that have been granted by the [Indiana State] Legislature.

Councilor Keen said if that's not clear, why is this before us, as I previously stated?

Councilor O'Callaghan said it's clear that the Park Board does have authority. It seems that it's not clear whether we do or not, but we do have an ordinance on the City Code right now, and so us passing this would do no harm to the process, but would also send the message, whether we want to send that message or not, about supporting the festivals in Tapawingo Park.

City Attorney Bauman said it would certainly clarify that.

Councilor Keen said I have a little concern with giving the authority to the Park Board, an entirely appointed body, and removing that authority from the elected officials. I for one would like to see that authority remain with the Common Council, if we had it to begin with.

City Attorney Bauman said you can't remove it from the Park Board, since the State Legislature has already given it to them.

Councilor Plomin said we already remove it in Section 24.140.

City Attorney Bauman said maybe and maybe not.

Mayor Mills said the question from where I'm sitting is: are we giving support to bringing festivals on this side of the river or not? We are not.

Councilor Satterly said we've already done that. We passed the resolution last month, saying we supported bringing festivals to this side of the river.

Mayor Mills said maybe we should take a few minutes to hear from anybody in the public that would like to address this issue, and then have further discussion among the Council. Is that agreeable to everyone? I know there are some people here who would like to address this topic. If anyone is interested in speaking concerning the festivals in Tapawingo Park, please come to the microphone and give us your name and address.

Mr. Anderson said my name is Doug Anderson [2728 Covington] and some of you know me very well. Some of you are just getting to know me. I happen to be president of the Downtown Business Center, chairman of the community festivals and events committee, and a West Lafayette resident. What the festival committee is requesting is the permission to work with the Parks Board in allowing alcoholic beverages on a case-by-case basis in the park. In this particular ordinance, the reason that this is before you is to change the ordinance, not grant the permission. The Park Board will grant the permission; you are just changing the ordinance to allow the Park Board, on a case-by-case basis, to allow it. The reason to allow it is that we're looking at, as Mayor Mills said, the ability to improve our quality of life, to encourage more people to come to downtown West Lafayette, to do business with our businesses, to eat in our restaurants, to park in our garage, to walk through our parks, to see all the great amenities we have here in West Lafayette. Those are the issues that will be advanced by the passage of this ordinance. There are only a few of the more than 12 festivals that participate in our committee that serve alcohol. They just happen to be the large ones. The ability of the large ones to participate in West Lafayette makes it easier for the larger ones to participate in West Lafayette because the larger ones have the resources to cost share, infrastructure, security issues, planning, advertising---the list goes on and on. But the committee as a whole is intent on cost sharing to make everyone's festival more profitable and less cost prohibitive. The large festivals do not have to be in West Lafayette. We have provisions to continue to operate on just the Lafayette side as we have for the last few years. I don't know how long the Taste of Tippecanoe has been operating. Dancing in the Streets has been.this will be the 13th year. Maybe that's an unlucky number; I guess we'll find out. For the first 11 years, we operated solely in Lafayette and this last year, we made a small attempt to expand into West Lafayette. We are expanding and requesting this expansion at the request of members of the Downtown Business Center who are West Lafayette property owners and businesses and residents. We hope that you will consider a favorable passage of this ordinance and we graciously ask for that affirmative vote. I'll be happy to answer any questions, either myself, Laura Loy is here from Taste of Tippecanoe, Frank Donaldson is the chairman of the Dancing in the Streets Committee. Several of our board members are here, West Lafayette residents as well. And Jane Ness who is the Events Coordinator for Downtown Business Center. Thank you.

Mayor Mills said are there questions for Mr. Anderson?

Councilor Hunt said Mr. Anderson, if I were going to come to your event to get drunk in a cheap manner, could I do that?

Mr. Anderson said no, I don't think you could. The goal here isn't to get drunk, it's to raise money for the event. And it's a fundraiser for Dancing in the Streets. Last year our beer and wine were $3 a glass. I don't think that everybody is going to come down and have 20 beers or 10 beers or whatever it takes to get drunk; I don't know. It varies with different people. I don't think so. We did the math; we had about 20,000 attend the festival last year. Of those 20,000, we sold about 5,600 servings of alcohol, which is something on the order of 25% of the people had one drink, although that provided revenue almost half of the net revenue for the event. So you can see it is a significant portion of the revenue, even though it's a minor portion of the event.

Councilor Hunt said so if I wanted to get drunk quickly and cheaply, first of all, I'd have to pay the admission fee?

Mr. Anderson said yes.

Councilor Hunt said then I'd have to pay a relatively high amount for each drink?

Mr. Anderson said I don't know what relatively high is, but..

Councilor Hunt said I mean.

Councilor Truitt said more than a penny.

Mr. Anderson said yes.

Councilor Hunt said thank you.

Councilor Truitt said Doug, you made mention a couple of times, at Pre-Council and then at past meetings, in regard to, you [the festivals] don't have to come to West Lafayette. Personally, I'm in support of the festivals on the West Side, as I have said. I do have some concerns, but we're going to do that in a little bit. I didn't take your statement as a threat, but can you just share a little bit, I think the cohesive and collaboration between Lafayette and West Lafayette is what attracts me to this type of setup here. But can you just share a little about some of the contingency plans that you had about, if West Lafayette says no, what your thought process is.

Mr. Anderson said we've gone down the path of planning our event which is July 31 under the assumption that we were going to get the necessary approvals. So we'd have to retrench and modify it at great expense. But if that's what we have to do, we'll do. Obviously, it's not our decision it's yours.

Councilor O'Callaghan said Doug, I'm certainly not in favor of expanding access to alcohol in our parks, but you do have a very stringent policy for how it is monitored, in terms of minors not being able to get the alcohol. Could you elaborate on that a little bit, so that it's clear?

Mr. Anderson said yes. At the event, we hire a caterer who is responsible for the alcohol. They have trained bartenders who serve the alcohol. They also have ID checkers to prevent anyone who is not of age to be able to purchase, and then the checkers then issue wristbands. Then you have a wristband on that designates that you are 21 or older. If you take them off, those wristbands are no longer usable, kind of like you have at Indiana Beach or the swimming pool at Columbian Park. You take that wristband off and it's no longer usable. So there are a couple of ways there. Somebody walking through the event without a wristband with an alcohol in their hand is going to be stopped by the first security person that happens by. It happens so infrequently that we don't even track it; it just never happens. That's not the kind of event it is.

Councilor O'Callaghan said someone couldn't get ID checked and then give their bracelet to somebody else?

Mr. Anderson said no, you couldn't give your bracelet to someone else who could use it.

Councilor Truitt said consumption takes place in a fenced-in perimeter?

Mr. Anderson said the fenced-in perimeter is the event, the entire event. You can't buy a drink and walk out into the public area. You can only stay within the event. That's going to be a monumental task in itself with the West Lafayette plan. We're not used to the amount of fencing required to secure the event. But that's a requirement.

Councilor O'Callaghan said one other point from a logistics standpoint that you made at Park Board about how important it was to have the festivals be similar on both sides, in order to make this collaboration work. So if there's alcohol served on the Lafayette side, it would really need to be on the West Lafayette side, to make the event work from the hilltop to hilltop. Is that correct?

Mr. Anderson said yes, that is correct. As well as entertainment, food, vendors, the whole thing. Security, first aid people, the whole deal. Thank you.

Mayor Mills said anyone else?

Mrs. Patsy Hoyer [3008 Wilshire] said I've talked to some of you already, but I didn't get to talk to everyone. I have a few things to say. I think you mention the word alcohol and people immediately tend to become emotional, and will look at these things as very much of a moral issue. I think in considering whether or not to have alcohol in Tapawingo Park at this point, there are several points to consider as Councilpeople. This discussion here is about case-by-case. It is not every weekend. It is not every party. It is not weddings, family reunions, and certainly not keggers. I think that it is key that we are allowing for significant control in the issuing of permits by those who have the wisdom to determine the propriety of the case. I think it is appropriate that that determination should be made as part and parcel of procedure of the governance and operations of the parks. We here in West Lafayette, and certainly the positions in which I have been involved, are committed to the concept of hilltop to hilltop, and to a shared downtown with Lafayette and to the economic development of this area. Actually for years, there have been those who have talked of a regional downtown, such as we are a regional center for medical care, services and shopping. We are becoming, and we need to see ourselves perhaps as not just a shared downtown, but as a regional downtown, bringing people from counties farther out. Naturally, Frank [Mr. Donaldson] and I knew each other a number of years ago when I served on the Downtown Business Center. So we're talking about the late 1980s and early 1990s. The nonprofit organizations depend in part, and some on a large part, of the funds raised from festivals. The economic development aspect of festivals has been well documented. In fact, I would point out to you that one of the major recommendations of the Camaros study back in 1990, after the John Meyers Pedestrian Bridge was underway, was that we have more festivals. Toledo, Ohio, where I lived before coming here, has a more than 20-year history of Party in the Park. It's on the riverfront, downtown, every Friday during the summer from 4:30 to 7 o'clock. The nonprofits draw lots for the weekend. Some weekends are more profitable than others and some occasionally get rained out, so then you get a better chance next year. After the party, people are encouraged to patronize nearby restaurants and stores. Economic development depends, in part, on foot and slow-moving automobile traffic, and people stopping to look and see and think about coming back. To look and park are key to getting people into the habit, come again, come again of visiting stores and restaurants. Our particular case is using our parking garage. I think we can look at this picture and I think we can divorce it from the issues of morality, the issues of emotionality. We've heard that there are not any major number of arrests, that we are looking to serve only those over 21, but it is also a very key component to the support of the nonprofits which are, again, very important to our community in and of themselves. I hope that you will vote for this ordinance. Thank you.

Mayor Mills said anyone else?

Mrs. Laura Loy said I represent the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and the Taste of Tippecanoe. As many of you know, that is the largest of these festivals that occurs downtown. Currently, we're in our 23rd year this year. Planning has been underway since September. It's a year-round job for us to plan this event. I wanted to give the Council an opportunity to ask any questions pertaining to the Taste in particular, because of its large scale and, in addition, to affirm what Doug Anderson had explained to you in terms of our procedures, in terms of alcohol. I did also want to clarify that the reason that there is a need for this ordinance is because these are fundraisers. In particular, the Taste is a fundraiser for the arts. The arts go back to organizations, not only in Lafayette, but also in West Lafayette, and they come to enrich our community. In particular with the alcohol, it does weigh heavily in terms of the profits for this fundraiser and that's the need for this ordinance. I'm happy to entertain any questions anyone might have for that festival in particular.

Councilor O'Callaghan said it's about 50,000 people you expect there?

Mrs. Loy said that's correct. Last year, we had just shy of 50,000 people that attended from 4 p.m. to Midnight, which, in turn, causes a huge economic burst in activity in downtown for that weekend. In addition, we are working on getting studies with the Lafayette-West Lafayette Convention & Visitors Bureau; in terms of how many people are actually staying overnight in order to attend this festival.

Councilor O'Callaghan said we've seen the plans for Dancing in the Streets in terms of fencing. We obviously haven't seen them for Taste yet, and I think you're actually even thinking about next year, not this coming year. It's a lot of fencing. I've done the fencing for the Taste. It's going to be a big job.

Mrs. Loy said I definitely want to clarify that we are in a position that, because the Taste is going to occur on June 19 of this year, we have already set our site plan for this year. We're planning on going before the Lafayette Board of Works in the future, but we are hoping that, with the passage of this ordinance, that we can bring the Taste across as well for 2005. Thank you very much.

Mrs. Carrie Ehresman [2 N. Salisbury] said I am a West Lafayette business owner. My husband and I own Triple X, I'm also a board member of the DBC [Downtown Business Center], and I can give more examples of what it was like when all of the festival was on one side versus this year when it was somewhat split. Typically, the West Side is a parking lot, and we watch the backsides of people crossing the bridge, spending all of their money downtown Lafayette, then they get back in their cars and drive home. We do get some overflow, mainly because of where we're located, but I can tell you that we oftentimes have to call the West Lafayette Police Department and tow vehicles because we're a parking lot. From a business standpoint, I would like to see complete festivals split between the two cities for a number of reasons, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is I don't want to constantly be a parking lot.

Mr. Scott Snyder [112 Tecumseh Park Court] said it sounds as though I'm going to speak for a minority. I'm Scott Snyder, citizen of West Lafayette. I'm sorry that the various nonprofit organizations have to depend on alcohol for their funding. That's a sad thing. But I don't agree with the statement earlier that serving alcohol would enhance the quality of life in West Lafayette. I'm opposed to the ordinance and I'd like to ask you to vote no.

Dr. Lee Trachtman [3020 N. Salisbury] said I'm Lee Trachtman, member of the Park Board. The question as it was presented to the Park Board was should the Board be given the limited authority to permit sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at community festivals only, under time, sight, occasion and situation restrictions set by the Board. The Park Board did not actually take a vote because of the kind of catch situation we're in legally, but we clearly reached a consensus. The answer to this question from myself and for the Park Board was yes. A number of festivals have long histories of successful and positive community participation and involvement on the east side of the river. The proposal from the promoters of Dancing in the Streets shows evidence of careful, thoughtful, prudent planning and preparation. It's our belief that they should be given the opportunity of expanding the site of the festival under the conditions they propose. For a number of years, and especially since the actions of Vision 2020, a variety of community leaders have emphasized the wisdom of closer cooperation between the two cities and mounting a wide variety of jointly-sponsored community activities. The development of Riehle Plaza, of enhanced commercial activity from the river to Upper Main Street, of Wabash Landing, and of renewed commercial growth up the State Street Hill all reflect the kind of community thinking that falls under the heading, as you have heard, of hilltop to hilltop planning. Expanding the venue of Dancing in the Streets and permitting the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the west as well as the east side of the river under carefully planned and controlled conditions seem to us to be modest and prudent steps to be taken at this time. We feel that, under these conditions, the risks to public health, welfare and safety are absolutely minimal. The benefits of broadening the site of the festival to include Tapawingo Park far outweigh the possible costs. In the unlikely event that problems should arise, it would be a simple matter for the Board to rescind or withhold permission in the future. Encouraging eastward and westward pedestrian traffic across the Meyers Bridge will permit enriching and interactive movements for participants in the festival and will, in the long run, contribute, in my opinion, to the healthy growth of commercial and cultural interactivity in the heart of both cities.

Councilor Plomin said I have a question if Mr. Trachtman will take it. I asked at the Park Board meeting I was present at last week, if the Park Board would feel comfortable taking a stand on a somewhat controversial issue such as allowing alcohol in the parks. I was responded to with a resounding silence on the part of the Board. I wanted to ask you [Dr. Trachtman] if you personally would feel that you would like to be the subject possibly of a critical editorial in a newspaper or a letter-writing campaign?

Dr. Trachtman said I have been in the past. Yes, it's not the issue of public criticism, it's the substance of the issue itself. If I were convinced that this was a benign and conceivably constructive activity, yes, I would be willing to take the heat.

Dr. David Bridges [1612 N. River Road] said I'm hearing a consensus in favor of this, there are one or two voices against, and I personally am in favor, but really what concerns me here and [City Attorney] Bob Bauman has not been able to clarify this issue, is: is the issuance of permission within the aegis of our elected representatives, or is it within the aegis of an appointed Park Board? I see that as a problem. The ordinance before us here clearly is willing to allow the West Lafayette Board of Parks and Recreation to permit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in West Lafayette Tapawingo Park at community festivals, and so on. I'm hearing from Bob Bauman that they may well have this authority right now. Can you say anything about that, Bob?

City Attorney Bauman said it's possible. As I said before, Indiana law is not terribly clear on that point.

Dr. Bridges said so what are we discussing?

City Attorney Bauman said as the Mayor pointed out, what we're discussing is the community through the Council making the statement that yes, we want to go on ahead and support the festival activities on both sides of the river.

Dr. Bridges said I'm not sure that I hear an issue on that one. It's a question of who gives the permission and who has the oversight and whether it's elected representatives or whether it's appointed board which has a certain amount of autonomy, like the schools. I feel a little uncomfortable because this has not been clarified, and I'd like to see it clarified.

Councilor Keen said it is, in my opinion, disconcerting that we're looking at an ordinance to where it's unclear who has final authority on passing parts or all of that ordinance. I personally would like to see the Council with that authority to say yes or no to the issue at hand. I certainly understand the economic value of allowing an ordinance like this and allowing these things to take place. There have been many things said here this evening that I think have been well-spoken, a lot of good points were raised. But I tend to agree with Councilor Satterly and I think that we are sending the wrong message to our citizens, saying that we have to have alcohol in order to have a fun time and to have a festival. We do things like this, and then we wonder why we have alcoholism in our society. I just question whether the minor profits that would be realized from this would outweigh the negative impact that it would have.

Councilor Plomin said I've been contacted by quite a few people by email, phone call and just personal conversation, and the overwhelming response to my question of whether or not they would like to allow alcohol in the parks for the festivals would be yes. We would like the festivals to come to West Lafayette. We'd like the Lafayette festivals to be the same in West Lafayette; we would not like them to be Lafayette festivals, we'd like for them to be hilltop to hilltop downtown festivals. But the caveat being, if you're allowing alcohol in our parks, set the bar high, and make it seldom the events who are allowed to serve alcohol in our parks. I know Councilor Satterly and Councilor Keen have both shown concern. I would feel comfortable allowing the Downtown Business Center, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation to both serve alcohol in the parks. They have tried and true methods and have well in place security. However, I understand how nerve-wracking it could be to come to that microphone and ask the City for permission, and I think if we were to amend this to allow the City Council to have the authority to say yes or no, and then let the Park Board do what it may as required by State law, fewer petitioners would come, and only those who would have proper security, proper methods would have the gumption to petition. I think petitioning the Park Board is a much less intimidating process.

Councilor Griffin said I'm concerned that may deepen the legal quagmire regarding the question. Indiana public law gives this already to the Park Board.

Councilor Truitt said we have a quagmire a little bit right now, and I agree and I think that it's the murkiness that David Bridges spoke of that has me concerned. I think we need to work through that quagmire in some way, shape or form, but it doesn't sound like, Bob, is that correct, it's too gray, too murky?

City Attorney Bauman said the only way to completely resolve it would be if the Legislature would do so. If this ordinance were approved and the Council said it can be allowed on a case-by-case basis for community festivals, and then Dancing in the Streets comes to the Park Board and they approve it, then there's nothing murky about that, that's been approved. So I think that would be the simplest way to clear things up, but that's up to the Council what they want to do.

Councilor O'Callaghan said so it is clear that the Park Board does have authority over parks and it is also clear that we have an ordinance on the books right now that prevents it. I looked up in the Code Book, and that was passed in 1964. There's no way that predates in Indiana Code 36-10-3-10. We have an ordinance that prohibits it, so I think it's very appropriate for us, if this is something that we want to support, to have an ordinance to permit it.

Mayor Mills said I'd just comment on your question or your comment on the Park Board. You obviously haven't been to very many Park Board meetings, or you would have a different impression on what the Park Board allows. They don't give away use of the park without very careful consideration. For anything. For any group that wants to use a playground or rent a park property, it's not an easy process to get through. So in their behalf I'll say they're very discriminating about the use of park property. In my four years on the Council, I was impressed by how discriminating they were.

Councilor Plomin said while it's true that I have not been on the Council or been elected to City government for as long, nor do I have quite as many years as you, Mayor, however, I was at a Park Board meeting (it was not my first) and there was not a single roll call vote taken, and there were very few actual citizens present at the meeting. It doesn't have a lot of television coverage at Park Board meetings, and they're certainly not broadcast live by public access cable, so I would say that the nine of us have gone through public elections and we are held more accountable directly to the citizens than the members of the Park Board.

Councilor O'Callaghan said it's a moot point if we don't have the statutory authority, Matt [Councilor Plomin].

Councilor Satterly said call for the question.

Mrs. Hoyer said is the public comment closed?

Mayor Mills said if you have something different to add that we haven't heard before.

Mrs. Hoyer said listening to this, it seems that the quagmire is the Park Board may already have the authority to do it anyway. So if they do and you vote to give it to them, it's like topping it off or affirming it. It's not a major change to begin with. And I would urge you to do that, if that's what the quagmire is.

Councilor Plomin said then let us affirm it on a case-by-case basis. So therefore, I move that we strike the words "Board of Parks and Recreation" and replace them with "Common Council." Also, strike the word "Board" also in Subsection B and replace it with "Council."

Councilor Keen seconded the motion.

Mayor Mills said we have a motion to change Section B from "the West Lafayette Board of Parks and Recreation" to "Common Council." Is there discussion on this motion?

Councilor O'Callaghan said I'll vote against that, because we don't have the statutory authority to do that.

Councilor Hunt said hypothetically, if the Park Board did something Madam Mayor who appoints those people didn't like, do those members have to serve out their appointments, or could you replace them? That was mentioned the other night.

Mayor Mills said they have terms, but they're all appointed at the pleasure of the Mayor.

Councilor Hunt said so there's some control by at least one elected official?

Councilor Plomin said but it's far fewer than 7 or 8.

Mayor Mills said any other discussion on the amendment? If not, let's take a vote. This is on the amendment put forward by Mr. Plomin to replace "Board of Parks and Recreation" with "Common Council."

There was no further discussion.

The motion to amend Ordinance No. 8-04 (Amended) failed, 3-4. The roll call vote was:

AYE

NAY

Keen

Griffin

Plomin

Hunt

Truitt

O'Callaghan

 

Satterly

Mayor Mills said the ordinance now is as written. Is there further discussion on this, or are you ready to vote.

Councilor Satterly said I call for the question.

Councilor Plomin said I would not yet close debate. We ought to get better legal representation, better legal advice than "it's murky." And I would like in the future to have better legal advice at Pre-Council and at the Council meeting.

Mayor Mills said Mr. Bauman is giving us the advice based on State statute.

Councilor Plomin said in Lafayette, their City Attorney has.

Councilor Keen said I think what Mr. Plomin is trying to point out is a while back, a similar situation came before the Lafayette Council, and the avenue and approach that they chose to take at that time was that the Park Board would support anything that Common Council did, but they would not do anything that the Common Council would not approve either. And I think that that is the point. I think we're doing this kind of backward over here, and I think the Park Board should be in full step with what the Common Council would approve in that the Common Council is the elected officials, and I think that's the approach we should make with this.

City Attorney Bauman said I think that's what a member of the Park Board just told you, is that they didn't think they should take a formal vote or position on it until they heard from the Council. What could be more clear, Councilor Keen?

Mayor Mills said are we ready to take the vote now?

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 8-04 (Amended) passed first reading. The roll call vote was:

AYE

NAY

Griffin

Keen

Hunt

Satterly

O'Callaghan

 

Plomin

 

Truitt

 


Ordinance No. 9-04 An Ordinance to Amend Certain Portions Of The Unified Zoning Ordinance Of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Designating The Time When The Same Shall Take Effect (Capp & Gino's Planned Development) (Submitted by Area Plan Commission)

Councilor Griffin said I move that the Council act on Ordinance No. 9-04. The motion was seconded by Councilor Truitt.

Attorney Dan Teder said I'm with Reiling Teder & Schrier, and I represent the petitioner. Thank you for moving me back. It gave me some time to listen to the prior ordinance. Steve Ratcliff is present this evening, Kurt Wahl is the architect, Mike Wiley is the engineer for Schneider. They're all here, and they'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. This received a favorable staff report, unanimous council vote 14-0. We are requesting a rezone from CBW to PDNR. This is a 0.3 vacant tract of ground. It is on the west side of North River Road, just north of McDonald's restaurant. We're proposing to build on this site a coffee shop with a drive-through restaurant. The overall square footage of the building is around 2500 or 2600 square feet, the basement is about 800 square feet, the first floor is approximately 900 square feet, the second floor is approximately 900 square feet. The signage is around 54 square feet; it is on the north, the south, and the east. Most of the surrounding area is CBW, R3U, and some of it is PD, similar to what we're requesting here. This is a one-way circulation, a right-in and right-out. There's a barren median on North River Road, as well to help in the traffic concerns. We believe we satisfy the parking requirements, we satisfy the greenspace requirements. Someone was concerned about what does a PD do, and I think in this case, it achieves the use of this particular lot. Without the PD, with the setback requirements and then many other requirements, this vacant lot could probably not be used. We also achieve a satisfactory landscaping, and we get for ourselves in return a drive-through. Additionally, in my opinion, this project's going to increase assessed valuation. We have a vacant lot, so what ever we put on there's going to help the citizens of West Lafayette as well. APC staff in their report made a comment that I would like to read to you. I think it hits it on the head. It says, "The end result is an attractive, compact and efficient proposal with standards to suit the location and the developer, while accomplishing goals of the City's vision for the area." I think that really says it all. They had a couple of conditions on their report; we've told them we would abide by them. We have prepared draft restrictions which includes that no liquor store can be on the site, no adult entertainment can be on the site, and that the basement would be restricted to mechanical and storage use, and there could be no occupancy of it. So I would request your approval. I'd be happy to answer any questions that anybody might have. Thank you.

Mayor Mills said Mr. Wiley has diagrams.

Attorney Teder said those are the pictures we showed you at the caucus as well. I think you've seen them all.

Councilor O'Callaghan said one of the conditions is the final landscape plan and plant schedule be approved by the West Lafayette Greenspace Administrator. Has Bev [Shaw] looked at that yet?

Attorney Teder said yes, she has. I can't answer whether that's been finally approved.

Mr. Wiley said yes, we have her approval.

Councilor Hunt said I like the landscape plan. As I told you before, Mr. Teder, I like the fact that the low shrubs in the front on State Road 43 [North River Road] are set back, so when you go out the exit, you can still see the oncoming traffic.

Councilor Truitt said I think it looks great, Dan [Attorney Teder]. And, Steve [Ratcliff], the design is appropriate and I think it will be a good addition, and I feel good that Councilor Hunt went through the landscape, so she can be landscape guru of the Council.

Attorney Teder said Steve's here, and he's anxious to see you all coffee. Thank you very much.

Councilor Plomin said I have a question as to scale. That seems like it's fairly close to the front of the lot. Do the zoning regulations, laws, require that it's set back for a certain distance, so that any traffic.?

Attorney Teder said yes, but that's why we did a Planned Development. As I said, if you didn't do a Planned Development, the likelihood of building anything significant on this lot is probably close to zero. So Planned Development is a give-and-take situation. We feel like we've given and we then take a little bit back. The drive-though is really the significant part of it, but we would have a building. I think there's a 60-foot setback on that.

Councilor Griffin said the placement of it was something that staff actually favored, because they felt that if you moved the building to the back and had all the parking at the front, it would make it less favorable for pedestrian access. So this actually favors the pedestrians getting where they need to go, and then jittering their way up State Street.

City Attorney Bauman said the property is being rezoned from CBW to PDNR. The CBW would permit, in fact, require the building to be up at the street, so that pattern of development would be consistent with any new development in the commercial area adjoining this property.

Councilor Plomin said I think it's a wonderful design. I was questioning the scale of the setback. It looked like it was overly close. If it's 60 feet, in fact, it's quite a distance.

Attorney Teder said I didn't say it's 60 feet, I said the setback from that road is 60 feet. It's not 60 feet back.

Mr. Wiley said it's roughly 15 feet, if I remember correctly. It accommodates a patio.

Attorney Teder said the requirements on the ordinance if you weren't going in PD would be a 60-foot setback.

City Attorney Bauman said the CBW would be zero setback, so the development plan is consistent with the adjoining commercial zoning.

Mayor Mills said other questions on this? Comments? I would remind you that this is an amendment to the Unified Zoning Ordinance and we just vote once on these. This will be the only vote.

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 9-04 passed final reading, 7-0.

 

Ordinance No. 10-04 An Ordinance To Amend The Zoning Ordinance Of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, To Rezone Certain Real Estate From PDMX To PDMX (Greentree Phase 2 Planned Development) (Submitted by Area Plan Commission)

Councilor Griffin said I motion for the Council to act upon Ordinance 10-04. Seconded by Councilor Satterly.

Mr. Joseph Bumbleburg [of Ball Eggleston Bumbleburg McBride Walkey & Stapleton PC] said for the record this evening, I am Joe Bumbleburg of the Ball law firm. I represent Greenwalt Development, the petitioners in this matter. With me tonight are Mr. Greenwalt, who by the way, said for me to be sure that I expressed his gratitude for your changing on the agenda the other night. He did make his other meeting, not only on time, but successfully, I understand. We're very grateful for that consideration. My engineer in this matter is again Mr. Wiley. This is, I think, the second Planned Development that you've had here this evening. Let me observe, first of all, principally to the new members of the Council because the older members have either experienced this or heard me say it, Planned Development is a theory under the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance. It's kind of a marriage of the two forms of planning that permit you to take a piece of ground that might be either unusual or upon which you are going to put uses which would be typically incompatible in one zone but compatible in another and mix those two uses together. That's what has happened here, hence the designation PDMX. Again, the process of a Planned Development is kind of an interesting process. My compatriot Dan [Attorney Teder] talked about the negotiation that goes on, and that's true, but let's start earlier than that. There is a requirement under the rule that, if I'm going to do a Planned Development, and in this case we did it, all Planned Developments do it, you take your idea before the staff of the Area Plan Commission in a meeting called a Pre-Submission meeting. You lay out what it is you think you might like to do with that piece of property, and you explain to them why. At the Pre-Submission meeting, then there is a significant interplay between all of the people who have an interest and, as a result, the negotiations take place that develop what the staff and the experts on the other side of the table think that the community needs, what do the citizens need. There is, in effect, this system that protects the population in the planning and development process. And that's what happens. It happened here. The first plan was a little bit different, the location of the building that Mike [Wiley] is outlining there for you was a little bit closer to the freestanding units that are there. There was then a negotiation about moving that, so that there would be greater space between those two installations. What we have here is a plan for a three-story extension to the current building that would add 24 brand new one-bedroom or studio residential units. When you do that, of course, you're going to lose some trees. We have dealt with that, because after you have your Pre-Submission meeting, then you follow and then you have another formal meeting at which the City Engineer, the City's Greenspace Administrator and anybody else. Mr. Bauman attends, Josh [Development Director Andrew] attends, anybody from the City who has an interest is invited. And I might say that the City of West Lafayette populates the room with agents pretty well. I sometimes think we may have to put in bleachers. But they're there. They represent the public very, very well on all of these issues. So in the question of the trees, obviously we're taking some out, the requirement then is to replace. That's an environmental issue, and you will see that those trees are to be replaced. Now the [APC] staff studies this matter after you file your report, and they first of all talk about the zoning history and the area patterns. Are you trying to do something here that is just generally incompatible with the neighborhood? In this area, we are not. This was and is two lots in this Greentree Development. We are working on the second of the lots. Other zonings in this particular area include a PDRS, that's a residential form, Amberleigh Village, and an R1B, Arbor Chase. Those are the two typical zonings that have occurred in that general area. Now, the land use here is an assisted care facility. We have on it our building. On the other lot, you have the condominium patio homes that are there. The traffic pattern for this plan will not change from what was previously approved in 1999. So the traffic pattern will stay the same. We do not anticipate any transportation problem. The [APC] staff approved this plan when we first did it. There was some thought, even in those days, that it might be expanded. At that time, the lot had 47 parking spaces for that lot, and they thought then that that was sufficient for residents, staff, and visitors. Actual counts taken by the Greentree staff indicate that the 47 far exceed our current needs. The expansion does not show any new parking. If you go to the ordinance and actually look at the standards, this is one of cases where no negotiation occurred. We looked at the ordinance and it tells us one parking space for each employee on the largest shift, and one parking space for each five clients. We gave them out anticipations of those, and the [APC] staff calculated that out and said you need 38 parking spaces. That's well within the 47 that we already provide. We've done a little tally of our own. We think in that building that about 18% of the people drive. That would be, 58 units, about 10 or 11 cars, give or take. So the parking here is not only adequate, there is some on top of that. We exceed the ordinance requirement in that regard. I've already spoken to the environmental issue of the trees. There is a detention pond; Mike will show it to you there. That comes in to play because we again are covering some ground. That will do something to the runoff, a little, not much. But, again, that's a question that needs to be addressed; it will be addressed in the process. So the detention pond slopes are going to be looked at again, because the City Engineer's staff was at our meeting and they said. "This is a 1999 construction process. It's now several years hence. You're going to do some more. Would you please verify the slope information on the two existing detention ponds?" That was one of the three conditions that this plan required of us. It's an easy condition to meet. It makes sense, and so there's no reason not to go along with that. The other two conditions, by the way, have to do with having the right number of sheets of paper in the stack and the final plat submitted appropriately. The staff of the Area Plan Commission said, finally, this expansion will continue to serve the community needs and it will do so without substantially changing the overall use or appearance of the present facilities. What we get here is a well-planned project that continues what we believe to be already a very good project that has assisted the population of the City of West Lafayette. Like I said, Mr. Greenwalt is here. We'll try to answer any questions you might have, but we would respectfully request your approval. Thank you.

Mayor Mills said do you [Council] have questions or comments?

Councilor Hunt said I have a comment and a question, Mr. Bumbleburg. First of all, I notice you displace 11 trees and you have 14 replacements?

Attorney Bumbleburg said yes.

Councilor Hunt said and there are no ash trees? I see on your new replacements.

Attorney Bumbleburg said you know the other night when somebody mentioned that, I went home and in the newspaper, there was a picture of that ash borer. That is an incredibly ugly-looking bug.

Councilor Hunt said I have a question, and that is why do you feel the need to expand?

Attorney Bumbleburg said we're increasing the number of people who live there. We believe that there is a demand for this kind of facility for people who are living in the City of West Lafayette.

Councilor Hunt said do you have a lot of vacancies?

Attorney Bumbleburg said Len [Greenwalt], do you want to speak to vacancies? I believe that you did that the other night.

Mr. Greenwalt said my name is Len Greenwalt. We have a few [vacancies] right now. We've typically been running a waiting list. We're down right now. That will tend to kind of ebb and flow a little bit, especially during the winter, but I think we're in the 56 range right now, or 58. We may be down to 53 in a couple days, and then we expect it to bounce back.

Councilor Hunt said out of ?

Mr. Greenwalt said 58.

Councilor Hunt said so you have very few vacancies, and you've had a waiting list?

Mr. Greenwalt said yes. Typically, we run a waiting list, but that's down just a little right now.

Councilor O'Callaghan said and the residents that I've spoken to certainly enjoy living there.

Attorney Bumbleburg said thank you.

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 10-04 passed final reading, 7-0.

 

Ordinance No. 11-04 An Ordinance To Amend Certain Portions Of The Unified Zoning Ordinance Of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Designating The Time When The Same Shall Take Effect (UZO Amendment # 41) (Submitted by Area Plan Commission)

Councilor Griffin said I move that the Council vote upon Ordinance 11-04, and I believe that this will be passed on the first reading. Councilor Satterly seconded the motion.

Councilor Griffin said this is some housekeeping. It's fairly minor, it's changes in the language. There was an incorrect reference number discovered as staff were going back through and actually investigating, making sure that something new was meeting the ordinance correctly, and they realized that there was a simply a typographical misreference, and that was in UDO Section 4-8-11A. Another one has to do with the fact that the NBU standard had previously had a 75-foot maximum lot width, and staff felt that that was not indicated in neighborhood business. Upon discussion, the Area Plan Commission voted and indicated that they agreed with staff on that. So this is pretty much housekeeping, and so that's why it comes before us.

Mayor Mills said does anybody have any questions?

Councilor Keen said I just have one quick question if Mr. Griffin could answer it. In the 25-foot setback part where it talks about the flood plains, it doesn't specifically state. Does that mean any flood plain? Are we talking about the 50-year flood plain? A 100-year plain? It doesn't specifically say.

Councilor Griffin said are you talking about in Section 2?

Councilor Keen said yes.

Councilor Griffin said the issue there is, previously, it was not required that this compaction test be done by a professional engineer. It was the opinion of the Plan Commission that that needed to be done, because of the importance of making sure that there was adequate compaction there before someone would build on that. I would assume that that is.

City Attorney Bauman said it's a defined term of art under the old ordinance, and it does mean the regulatory 100-year flood plain.

Councilor Keen said thank you.

Mayor Mills said anything else?

There was no further discussion.

Ordinance No. 11-04 passed final reading, 7-0.

 

Resolution No. 5-04 A Resolution To Designate Boundaries Of The West Lafayette Municipal Riverfront Redevelopment Project (Prepared by the City Attorney)

City Attorney Bauman said this resolution was prepared..

Clerk-Treasurer Rhodes said may we have a motion?

City Attorney Bauman said wait a minute. .was prepared with input from the Development Department to comply with regulation from the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. After its preparation, in House Bill 1207, there was, in the Senate, an amendment to that legislation which concerned a number of provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, and that amendment would change the substantive rules applicable to riverfront liquor licenses, and we don't know whether [HB] 1207 will pass. It's in conference committee, and we don't know whether that provision will be in it or not, and since the two are substantively different, I would request that you table this until next month. We should know next month whether that bill passes and we need to draft under that rule or whether we continue under the regulation.

Councilor Griffin said I move to table Resolution No. 5-04 until the next Council meeting. Councilor Satterly seconded the motion, and it passed viva voce.

 

Resolution No. 6-04 A Resolution Requesting The Transfer Of Funds (Sanitation, MVH, Fire Fighting) (Prepared by the Clerk-Treasurer)

Councilor Griffin said I move that the Council vote upon Resolution 6-04. Councilor Keen seconded the motion.

Mayor Mills said these are some transfers from the Sanitation Department in the General Fund from Part-time Salaries $1,000 to Certifications and Exams for $1,000; within the MVH Fund from Street Resurfacing $30,000 to Motor Equipment $30,000 for a skid steer and two new sweepers; and from the Fire Fighting Fund $3,000 Other Equipment to Office Equipment $3,000 for a laptop computer and new software.

Councilor Plomin said I would like to say that, at the Pre-Council, I was pleasantly shocked at Mr. Downey's frugalness and his ability to purchase a skid steer and two sweepers for only $30,000. Kudos.

Mayor Mills said any other comments or questions?

There was no further discussion.

Resolution No. 6-04 passed on final reading, 7-0.

 

COMMUNICATION

Councilor O'Callaghan said the West Lafayette Youth Council will meet Saturday at 1 p.m. Also on March 4, after the presentation by John Collier [Purdue], you could stay and participate with the West Lafayette team of the Community Issues. They'll meet at 4:30 here in this same room [Council Chambers].


CITIZEN COMMENTS

Mrs. Carrie Ehresman said I do appreciate everybody's moral opinions on alcohol, but the last time I checked, in the State of Indiana, it is a legal substance that can be consumed and purchased by those of 21 years of age or older. Like all things that are unsavory to different individuals, it's a choice to participate in that or to choose not to. I would encourage everyone to vote from a legal standpoint, not so much from a moral standpoint, because I don't know that that this necessarily what you were elected to do.

Mr. Rob Kochon [140 Vigo Court] said I am president of West Lafayette Little League. There are two issues, and this is somewhat of a request. Just a little background information: West Lafayette [Little League] has been at our present location over on Benton Street for over 30 years. The facility is in need of repair, upgrading, that sort of thing. We have been a self-supporting system since the inception of Little League. We do get help from Parks and Recreation. We really appreciate that they pick up the trash and mow around the fields, things like that. They do a super job and have always been very cooperative. They help us out in hauling away things when we do cleanups in the Spring. We've been very appreciative. In setting up a fundraising situation, I spoke early in February to the [West Lafayette] School Board, in asking them for a long-term lease for the property, because they own the property. There's some reluctance on their part to give us a long-term lease. They asked me about other situations in the State of Indiana, and the only one I could come up with was in Lebanon, where the school district has a 100-year lease with the Little League fields there, and when I asked for 100 years, everyone's eyes rolled back in their heads. But we would like to have whatever help the City can in helping us to maybe secure that location. I don't know if the School Board would ever use that property; they haven't used it in 33 years, and the way enrollment's going, I'm not sure there's going to be a need for that. This is such a community place. It's a great place to be in the summertimes and there are a lot of families over the years that have been affected by that. We service about 300 children. There are a lot of baseball people here, and they know what I'm talking about. There's a real quality of life issue, where this is really important. When I spoke at the School Board, the Business Manager spoke up immediately and said why don't you move your fields. Well, that's very difficult to do. It's such a nice location where we're at. The kids ride their bikes there, families walk.I think that is just the best place for our fields. The other issue is the Pony League. Pony League is not associated with Little League; it is a county-wide league for 13- and 14-year-olds, both boys and girls. The girls' situation is a little different; they can play on our Little League field and they can play on the high school field, because of the base distances and that sort of thing. When you get into the boys 13 and 14 years of age, they need 75-foot bases, not 90-foot bases like the high school field is and not 60-foot bases like Little League is. Over the years, the Pony kids have been kicked around, and it's only by the grace of the dads and moms of building fields that they've been able to continue to play. We probably have one of the worst fields, even though the dads have put in a tremendous amount of work, we're back right now behind Happy Hollow School. We've been told that the days are numbered for that location. As we looked around the community, what really makes a whole lot of sense is that first field on Salisbury, right by the basketball court. I know it's used for softball now, but with just a little bit of change, we can easily make that into a pony field, which also could be used for softball again. A little bit of the infield grass could be cut just to push the bases back, and those bases could be removed and moved up for softball games. That's a whole other issue, but that's still our kids, our boys that have come through the system from when they were five years old and through that. I believe that we have an obligation to provide someplace for them to play. It's a great program and it's a feeder system also for the high school. I hope that we don't get into a territorial thing with the School Board saying this is ours and the City saying that sort of thing. I'd like to all work together for the community and for the good of the kids. So whatever help the City could be, that would be much appreciated. And as I said, we intend on starting a fundraising process and I think we can raise what we need. We would also welcome any help from the City in labor or materials. We plan on doing this ourselves, if we can. Thank you.

Councilor O'Callaghan said the softball field that you're referring to is the Parks & Rec field, not the high school field, is that correct?

Mr. Kochon said right.

Councilor O'Callaghan said and now with lights on the softball fields and having some more options for things, it might be more possible even.

Mr. Kochon said yes, and I think when I spoke to the Mayor that lights are going to be installed there which would be ideal. West Lafayette's never been able to host a tournament because it gets too dark too soon, so that would be great to have that. So if there's any possibility of that happening, we would really appreciate that. And there again, there'll would be really little involvement from the Parks & Rec or anything like that. The dads can go up there and fix the field how it needs to be and that sort of thing.

Mayor Mills said I've been discussing this with Mr. Payne [Parks Superintendent Payne]. We've talked about this several times, and I can relay that discussion you later. But we certainly will do what we can to support. I think many of us have had children go through Little League and enjoyed our time at those fields a great deal.

Mr. Kochon said I have six children and they've all played in the system, so it's got a special place in my heart.

Mayor Mills said thank you very much.

Councilor O'Callaghan said just one more point about the location is it's just perfect having the Little League fields right there by the high school field, and the kids get to watch those high school players who also do t-ball with them in instructional league, so it's a great situation to have them together.

Mr. Kochon said it's really worked out well that that field has stayed there, so that the kids anticipate playing there someday. Thank you.

Councilor Truitt said can I just add one thing, just not to embarrass her, but Bonnie's going to quit coming to meetings, but I think the community of West Lafayette, I'd like to state this publicly-I did yesterday at our neighborhood meeting-but the City of West Lafayette in August is going to lose a great City servant and someone that has a big heart for the community. Bonnie Penno right here in the red sweater serves in many different functions, in many different capacities in the City. She's our neighborhood representative to City Council, and I think for those that know her will agree with me. We're going to miss the Penno family and appreciate all you do for the community, but even though you're going to Iowa and the Hawkeyes, we wish you the best.

Mrs. Penno [1708 Woodland Avenue] said thank you.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business at this time, Councilor Griffin moved to adjourn. Motion was seconded by Councilor Truitt and passed viva voce, the time being 9:25 p.m.

 

 

Office of the Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes

 

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