According to the IBJ, St. Vincent just pulled this project for further study. I will update you if anything changes in the future.
[My letter of opposition; full text copied below as well]
There is growing and urgent concern in my district, as well as in the portion of Hamilton County immediately north of my district, regarding the proposed development at 96th and Spring Mill by St. Vincent Hospital/Ascension Health. This project is within Carmel limits, therefore I have no official role in the process. Regardless, I will be working with Carmel and Indianapolis officials and residents to best support my constituents.
I have relayed my concerns to the Mayor’s office and asked for their support in opposing this project. Here is the latest:
This case has been continued by the Carmel Plan Commission hearing now twice, and it is sill set for June 19. The hearing may likely be continued again to August. Carmel’s land use approval process differs from ours. It’s also possible the planning commission yet refers this proposal to a subcommittee, pending results from the studies. And then their permit approval process is a separate, and again different, process from ours (for details on Carmel land use processes, click here). Mayor Hogsett and Mayor Brainard have spoken and agreed to do more cooperative fact-finding in terms of storm water and traffic impact. We have have a hard time getting enough information from the developer (Ambrose) to move forward with due diligence on our end.
- Structurepoint is conducting the traffic study. Stormwater consultant TBD; so far, there isn’t enough information that’s been submitted to study drainage.
- It’s possible the traffic study will be completed before the June 19 hearing. We weighed in on the scope of work for the traffic study and have discussed our concerns with the consultant.
- I’m not an attorney, but I’m not sure we have many/any tools to prevent private development in another county and within another city’s jurisdiction. Being vocal about our concerns as they arise will have to be part of the approach. Right now, my concern is the lack of information available for a proper drainage study. Although I’m not an expert, I’ve already raised to Carmel similar concerns about proximity to Williams Creek.
- So far, we have a seat at the table in that I’m in almost daily contact with Carmel’s mayor’s office. They’ve been straightforward and have given us everything we’ve asked for.
96thSpringMill (click PDF for a detailed drawing)
I serve as the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Councillor from District 2, which is directly south of the parcel in question. Hundreds of my constituents have reached out to express their extreme concern for potentially disastrous outcome to their neighborhoods should this rezoning be approved.
Today, I write in support of them, as well as in support of those citizens directly north of our county line who share their concerns. Rather than re-hash the thoughtful points of the remonstration, I will quote them below.
“The proposed development and rezoning represents a radical change in land use in our area. And yet days away from the public hearing, information presented by the Petitioner and filed with the Carmel Plan Commission lacks the necessary documentation identifying support and protection to nearby low-density residential neighbors as required in the Carmel Comprehensive Plan. Nor has the Petitioner offered any assurances at this point that the interests of nearby residents, including traffic and property values of their homes, will be addressed in a meaningful way.
Points of Objection:
1. As regards the northwest corner, the rezoning request for Meridian Corridor District
zoning classification would change the second least intense residential zoning category in
Carmel to the MOST intense commercial/employment zones intended to apply to properties that about US 31. The Meridian Corridor District, for instance, allows commercial buildings up to 11 stories in height.
2. As regards the northeast corner, the significant protections for area residents, homes, and neighborhoods were painstakingly negotiated several years ago, resulting in the PUD zoning that was approved, and the PUD is proposed to simply be scrapped without specific safeguards from the straight Meridian Corridor District zoning requested.
3. The site plan submitted by Petitioner is clearly for a high-intensity commercial use, likely
a hospital with emergency or level 1 trauma capabilities. The impact of this intense use would drastically adversely affect not just the adjacent neighbors but those much further from the immediate perimeter of this project.
4. The operations of such a dense hospital facility would proceed on a 24/7 basis and likely
involve several thousand employees and daily visitors.
5. Traffic will increase exponentially in an area already saturated with traffic and without an obvious way to widen or change 96th Street or Spring Mill Road to accommodate the substantial increase in traffic.
6. The Meridian Corridor District zoning classification provides for helipads ostensibly
associated with an emergency or level 1 trauma hospital facility. An attempt by St. Vincent’s to locate a helipad less than 1⁄2 mile from the current project location was turned down by the Carmel BZA in 2014, and a similar request defeated in the original zoning of that facility.
7. The significant increase in impervious cover characteristic of a high-density development
will result in a negative impact to the existing drainage infrastructure and natural resources of Williams Creek.”
Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter. From our city’s standpoint, the intersection of Spring Mill and 96th Street is already dysfunctional for large parts of each day. The proposed development would create additional traffic intensity and infrastructure/ maintenance needs that we are unable to accommodate given our financial constraints. I beseech you to adhere to the Carmel Comprehensive Plan and continue to protect the integrity of our neighboring communities.
Indianapolis City-County Council