Tuesday, December 4, 2007

From Council

A RESOLUTION approving the 2008 budget for the Downtown Fort Wayne Economic Improvement District
Dan Carmody and Steve Brody spoke on the Resolution. Dan Carmody's replacement was assumed to start in February, but Brody said it won't likely be that soon.

A business plan for the DID for 2008 has been drafted up and will be submitted to the DID board soon. Also, a search committee has been formed to find Carmody's replacement, rather than hiring a search firm which could have cost up to $40,000. The response from advertisements in trade magazines and the like has netted 80 to 90 resumes, of which 70 are "readily dismissible". There are 10-15 worthwhile candidates, of which 3-5 will be narrowed in on to pursue further dialogue with. Responses to be the President of the DID have come from both out of town and from within the city.

Carmody mentioned that there will be 2 lofts remaining from the downtown loft competition but that they have been delayed for the time being. Something to expect in 2008 is a marketing campaign for the office sector to bring more entities in need of office space downtown.

Another point was to continue to improve and diversify downtown programming, for which the DID has been successful under Carmody's leadership.

The year 2008 will also see a marketing study for the retail markets in the downtown area and the nearby corridors in order to help boost the presence and traffic to those areas.

Next Wednesday, December 12 from 4:30PM to 7PM will be the second annual Hard Hat awards held at the History Center by the DID. The Hard Hat awards highlight efforts in the downtown area by businesses and investors and acknowledge the work of those who are doing what they can do make downtown better.

Steve Brody made note of an upcoming effort to study the feasibility of a community development corporation, such as those that exist in other cities like Chattanooga. Such an organization would be a tremendous boon to downtown development efforts and should be thoroughly pursued.

The Resolution passed unanimously.

G-07-11-04 (AS AMENDED)
AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 157 of the City of Fort Wayne Municipal Code
Periodic update of glitches – adding CM5C Neighborhood Commercial Corridor Zoning District
G-07-11-04 deals mostly with corridor development within the framework of the new CM5C zoning classification. Under the classification, parking requirements would be loosened based on real world applications in such areas. The change would be a requirement for less parking while leaving the option open to the property owner or developer to decide whether or not to provide more parking. Also, approval of parking would be moved to staff level approval instead of holding public hearings.

The new corridor classification itself was said to be requested by the Wells St Business Association, but that it would benefit other corridors as well such as Broadway. The intent is to revitalize older commercial corridors while making it easier for the areas to be neighborhood and pedestrian friendly and also support more residential uses.

It was noted that the new zoning classification would be created, but that zoning wouldn't automatically take effect. For an area to fall underneath the new corridor classification, the process for rezoning must be followed.

The plan was supported by the owners on Wells St and the Downtown Improvement District and was also said to be compatible with the Plan-It Allen land use plan.

Passed unanimously.


Scott Greider said...

It was also supported by the Broadway Corridor Group/Association/Gang. We're just not as organized yet as is the Wells Street bunch.

Scott B. said...

"It was noted that the new zoning classification would be created, but that zoning wouldn't automatically take effect. For an area to fall underneath the new corridor classification, the process for rezoning must be followed."

Does it affect all new construction or renovation to buildings? If not, than what is the point? It might be one thing to rezone one plot of land, but an entire area?

I think this is the council's way of looking like they are making progress without actually making any lasting, meaningful changes. Just read what can be permitted in CM1 and CM2 and think about some of those things downtown. Then apply that to CM5C. CM5 brought in businesses but did not take into account good land use policy because it didn't exclude certain types of businesses that are included in CM1 & 2.