Monday, December 11, 2006

300 East In Review

I had the first opportunity to watch the December 6 MDC hearing on the 300 East zoning variance to allow a restaurant/bar in the Julia Carson Government Center. Let me say that the Commission members questions of the petitioner were generally irrelevant and left me wondering whether any of them had bothered to read all the history behind this controversial project. I think any readers of this blog would have been better informed of the issues than the Commission members were.

Tim Ochs' presentation on behalf of the petitioner was misleading to say the least. He led off his discussion by attacking opponents of the proposal for saying things that were "not accurate." He didn't identify what those inaccuracies were. He couldn't answer why the bar's investors had gone ahead and built out the space before it had bothered with obtaining a zoning variance, other than to say they had obtained an early permit with the understanding they would remove the improvements if the zoning variance were denied.

When Clark Kahlo, who remonstrated against the proposal, observed that construction had taken place before the permit was acquired, Commissioner Bob Kennedy challenged him on this point, saying that what happened in this case happens all the time with developers. But Kahlo countered Kennedy with a letter from Ice Miller requesting the early permit, which was dated June 9, 2006, at which point the construction had pretty much been completed. A stop work order was soon issued later that same month by the DMD based upon an anonymous tip. Bob Kennedy's understanding of the facts were absolutely wrong. Kahlo also noted the City has no formal rules for the so-called "early permit." I would note Ochs never attempted to rebut the assertion that the construction had already been completed by the time the "early permit" was requested. I was also disappointed to see the DMD staffer mislead the Commission on this point as well. She knew damn good and well the early permit was not requested until after the construction had already commenced, but she led the Commission to believe otherwise.

On the issue of the former Polin Park, which was initially demolished to make way for a parking lot for the bar, Ochs said their was a misconception it was a park because it was on land designated for park use. He said playground equipment was installed there to serve the former daycare center in the Carson Center, and it was never a park. He also claimed the playground equipment was removed because the daycare center had closed. The fact is that the playground equipment remained there long after the park closed. And it is a fact that the land was zoned and named by the city parks department as the "Al Polin Park." That's a park by any other name in my mind. He knew of no plans to restore the playground equipment now that the parking lot was no longer planned.

Ochs, relying on the testimony of Claire Warner and Al Polin, insisted the neighborhood supported the proposal, although both of those individuals refused to allow the neighbors to vote on the proposal at two separate meetings prior to the December 6 hearing. Warner represented that "everybody is excited about having a new restaurant in the neighborhood." Anyone who watched the television coverage of the October Mapleton-Fall Creek meeting knows that she patently misrepresented neighborhood support to the Commission--a point made by Kahlo. Ochs attacked MCANA for remonstrating against the proposal because he claimed the organization had never spoken to him about their concerns.

The remonstrators insisted the Commission look at what had happened with the Savoy nightclub in evaluating the 300 East petition because of the overlapping common ownership of the two bars. The remonstrators reminded the Commission that the Savoy's owners had forged signatures of neighbors in order to misrepresent neighborhood support for the club. Ochs said, "I could care less about the Savoy." Unfortunately, the Commission members didn't see the obvious connection, and the public is the big loser there.

Ochs went to great lengths to assure the Commission that it would be primarily operated as a "family restaurant" not unlike an Appleby's and only secondarily as a bar. Under the approval sought, the bar will have to derive 60% of its gross sales from food sales, or have sales of food worth $200,000 annually. I'll be surprised if 300 East becomes primarily a restaurant as the petitioners claim. Time will tell.

I would observe that City-County Councilor Jackie Nytes submitted a letter in support of the variance. This is the second occasion where Nytes has ignored the concerns of her constituents to back the good ole boys. I've been told by several members of the gay community who have had it with her because she won't offer any assistance in getting the illegal peashake house operating in their neighborhood near 34th & Central Avenue closed down. The illegal gambling house is drawing drug dealers and prostitutes, not to mention all the cars parking up and down the streets in the neighborhood. Several have told me they will never support her for public office again because she has ignored their concerns, notwithstanding her sponsorship and support of the HRO. It's something she might want to think about.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep. This about sums it up. How corrupt the power structure is under the 'Rats in Marion County.

Welcome to Gary South

Anonymous said...

"I've been told by several members of the gay community who have had it with her because she won't offer any assistance in getting the illegal peashake house operating in their neighborhood near 34th & Central Avenue closed down. The illegal gambling house is drawing drug dealers and prostitutes, not to mention all the cars parking up and down the streets in the neighborhood."

I see the truth about moving to the ghetto finally comes out. I wondered how long it would take before people realized that when folks talk about an area being a ghetto, the problems of that area are not confined to just a few streets. The problems of those few streets spread out and ruin other areas of the city.

So now we have good people finding out that their $250K paradise is next door to a peashake house.

Just wait till the riots start!!

Wilson46201 said...

Talking about riots in the ghetto is so Aryan Brotherhood - get over it!

If you dont like peashake houses, go to any American Legion Hall or VFW Hall and blow your paycheck on the illegal gambling machines. Have fun!

Wilson46201 said...

The daycare playground equipment was on township land, not city. The only thing that City Parks Dept had on it was a sign - no equipment or land.

That was a nice idea: opening up the playground to the neighborhood but because of the location, it never really took off, It simply wasnt used. When Eric Dickerson did his big Congressional campaign kickoff, Darla had to haul in her two nieces from a mile away to be stage props as "aggrieved neighborhood kids". Those 2 sweet girls had never been there before!

To repeat: that was township land (not city) and abandoned daycare equipment.

Anonymous said...

Talking about riots in the ghetto is so Aryan Brotherhood - get over it!

Because there are so many riots in Carmel and Fishers?

Wilson46201 said...

And since when was there ever a riot in Indianapolis either? It's never happened here but if you live your life trembling in fear and worry about riots in the ghetto, try Prozac (a hometown product!).

Anonymous said...

And since when was there ever a riot in Indianapolis either? It's never happened here

Though it was before my time, luckily RFK was in town when MLK Jr. was shot in Memphis and this town was saved from the mass burning and looting that followed.

Wilson, you seem to forget the 38th & College kerfuffle back in the mid-1990's. The pawn shop was vandalized, several businesses had windows broken. Finally IPD had to move in with their armored vehicle to restore order.

Anonymous said...

"Talking about riots in the ghetto is so Aryan Brotherhood - get over it!"

L.A.
Benton Harbor
Toledo

Let me guess Wilson...it is all just a vast right-wing conspiracy!! The photos on Goole are fake!!

Anonymous said...

"Talking about riots in the ghetto is so Aryan Brotherhood - get over it!"

L.A.
Benton Harbor
Toledo

Let me guess Wilson...it is all just a vast right-wing conspiracy!! The photos on Google are fake!!

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wilson46201 said...

But the fact remains that race riots in Indianapolis exist in the paranoid fears of racist wingers like Hailstone, the Aryan Brotherhood and the like ... I have lived and worked in the Black community of this city for over 30 years now with no concern about riots. Take a chill pill and enjoy your neighbors! This is 2006 not 1968...sheeesh!

Fed up said...

Wilson, you're a idiot. Ms. Williams, whom you have never met in your life, and whom never holds any discussions or dialogue with you, does not have 2 nieces. I guess that information was not in the dumpster.

Your obsessions with people who don't even realize you exist shows how SICK you are.

AI, you might consider banning Wilson from this site. Perusing all the comments shows he adds very little to the dialogue and he only attacks people with vicious name calling and spreads lies on behalf of the Marion County democrat party.

Anonymous said...

I watched the replay of the hearing, too, and was stunned when the actual votes revealed who supported the remonstrators: Commissioner Bales always supports developers; he's one himself.

Commisisoner Kennedy wanted to pick a fight, and brought up the permit-without-approval process. It is foggy, at best, and this city would do well to develop firm rules about it. Among other larger Indiana cities, we are unique in allowing this practice. It is frought with peril; commissioners always feel sympathy for a developer who's spent money, especially this kind of money.

One commissioner, an older, distinguished looking Arican-American gentleman, was so confused, he thought the building's namesake was somehow slighted, and might have her name removed from its facade someday (?). I've watched his interrogatory twice, and for the life of me, don't get it. If his vote counted on any side of the issue, it was a fluke, because he was clueless.

The petitioners did a marvelous job of obfuscation. And I may buy property in the Mapleton Fall Creek area just to attend one of their association meetings and barbecue their "interim" president Clara. What a completely used moronic joke she was. And shame on the Commission for not asking, as they often do, the validity of the association's "support."

The commissioners obviously overlooked their statutory responsibility, where three main criteria must be proven, including hardship on the petitioner. But that's not new. At least Treacy is off the commissioner or the vote would've been 7-2, and he'd have bullied the remonstrators like he usually did.

Ms. Nytes will be reslated without opposition. Which doesn't mean she cannot be questioned about this miscarraige.

The whole 300 East fiasco is am embarrassment to common sense, the Comprehensive Plan 9whcih is now officially dead), and neighborhood involvement in zoning issues.

And to repeat, Wilson: it was never a Congressional campaign issue. Ever. Regardless who tried to make it one.

Anonymous said...

Fed up, don't brand all of us: Wilson spreads filth not for the entire Party, but for a few highly-placed officeholders.

And he gets his info a variety of ways.

I doubt he dumpster-dives, but ya never know...

Most Dems I know laugh at him. Julia, Carl, and Co. do not. He is religiously single-issued, and will drill on a point until you want to scream. He is like a bulldog who grabs hold of something and won't let go. Or that yappy little dustmop dog that barks at the wind.

But with orders to demonize someone who has displeased the elders, he is vicious and dangerous.

Wilson46201 said...

Eric Dickerson himself on TV tried to make this a campaign issue - it was on Ch.13. I was at the Grand Campaign Kickoff on August 10th at the former park site while taking photos of Eric Dickerson, Darla Williams, Linda Ivey, Davis, and other GOP local wannabees. That's where the info about Darla's 2 nieces came out upon questioning. There were 2 Latino kids there too - nobody seemed to explain where they came from.

Darla Y. William's office even sent out the notices about Eric Dickerson's big campaign kickoff - AI used it to write his online story. The GOP Center Township Victory Fund used 300 East for a heavy radio campaign - still, they lost better than 3-to-1.

Darla Y. Williams, the GOP losing candidate for Center Township Small Claims Court Judge, is still likely using "Fed Up" as her pseudonym. Others are "Fed Up" that she was delinquent on her own property taxes while hollering at the zoning hearing!

By the way, the fact that Eric Dickerson was driving his campaign RV on expired paper plates on Aug. 10th kicked off the investigation into his past. An auto dealer running for Congress on expired paper plates? - something very fishy was going there - worth checking out! The rest is history...

Wilson46201 said...

The elderly Black man on the panel was Jim Cummings, a well-respected Black Republican...

Anonymous said...

I doubt he dumpster-dives, but ya never know...

Yeah he does. His rancid odor says it all.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, it is Tuesday, December 12. To quote YOU, "The election is over."

What did Dickerson do to you personally for you continuously attack him?

A bar in a government building is WRONG. Period.

Wilson, maybe you need Julia to start answering constiuents mail and doing some work.

Anonymous said...

Under the approval sought, the bar will have to derive 60% of its gross sales from food sales, or have sales of food worth $200,000 annually. I'll be surprised if 300 East becomes primarily a restaurant as the petitioners claim. Time will tell.

I find it interesting that the commission was able to put in this requirement.

So if they sell $150,000 in gross food sales they can ONLY sell about $100,000 in liquor sales.

If they sell $210,000 in gross food sales they can sell as much or as litte in liquor sales.

But if they sell just $50,000 in food sales do they just get their wrist slapped if they sell more than $33,000 in liquor sales ? And if so who monitors and reports that ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1247 - more than cooking food will be going on, maybe a little cooking of the books?

There is no way they will do that kind of food business. It is meant to be a bar.

Anonymous said...

But if they sell just $50,000 in food sales do they just get their wrist slapped if they sell more than $33,000 in liquor sales ? And if so who monitors and reports that ?

The Indiana ATC, in conjunction with the Department of Revenue. If they lie on their tax returns that's a state, IRS, and maybe even BATFE issue.

This was one of many issues that led to the revocation of the Savoy's license. The Savoy was sold as a family restaurant and ended up being a bar. It took two years to revoke the Savoy's license and with enough delays and "due processes" it would take at least that long to shut down 300 East if it turned into another Savoy.

Advance Indiana said...

I failed to mention that the Commission didn't ask any questions about the failure of the township trustee to execute a lease with the tenants--a pretty big deal since it's illegal to lease government property without following the statutory procedures. Also, Ochs boasted that the tenants have invested more than $12,000 in additional improvements to the kitchen area to handle the additional food sales. It would have taken at least that amount to make changes required to bring the kitchen up to code. The DMD cited the tenants for numerous building code violations, many of which pertained to the kitchen area. The Commission members didn't seem bothered in the least bit by all the building code violations--assuming they were even informed on the subject matter.

ellen em said...

Perhaps the gambling machines should be shut down at the American Legion, but even if they aren't, I doubt drug dealers and prostitutes hang around outside waiting for the veterans to spend their winnings on them! Also, Legion posts have parking lots, meaning cars aren't parked up and down the street. In other words, activity inside does not create a nuisance for the neighborhood.

In fact, I would imagine nearby residents say American Legion posts make pretty good neighbors. Can people living around the peashake houses say the same thing??

Erin said...

AI-

2 things, first is minor, second is serious.

1. People building things without the proper permits and then trying to get a variance is a widespread problem. To digress a bit for an example, it reminds me of the Maryland on Malibu deal where they put in a permanant enclosed pation that took over the whole sidewalk. People were walking in the street. They didn't get the variance, but I think they thought they would (best board of zoning appeals ever hilarity wise as they tried to finagle that one).

2. Presenting both sides' arguments AND the counterarguments raised to those points? Addressing each issue raised with background analysis and commentary? Reporting the views of the supporters and remonstrators? And all in one comprehensive article? WHY CAN'T I READ THIS IN THE STAR??? Arrrgh... AI- do you have any spare time to lead a journalism tutorial?

Wilson46201 said...

Republican Prosecutor Carl Brizzi knows where all the peashake houses are - why doesnt he prosecute them? What a scandal! Horrors!!! Abdul, RiShawn Biddle and AdvanceIndiana will soon be thundering repeatedly about the coverup by the crooked prosecutor. Is the GOP in the pay of gambling czars? Mitch Daniels is shamefully silent - is Cheri a baglady getting his payoffs? Why the inaction? Is Carl Brizzi hopelessly corrupt and incompetent? Inquiring and cynical minds want to know!

[Whew! It sure is fun doing rightwing rants.]

Anonymous said...

Wilson, honey, it's time for General Hospital.

Erin, the permit process, with which I've worked for many years, is broken in this county. It's bene broken since the Goldsmith days, when a variance was granted for the marsh center at 82nd/Allisonville. After the planners were "told" by the 25th floor to conclude that there would be "no adverse traffic impact" from the new center. Hilarious.

But the Malibu case you cite is one wiht which I'm familiar. The city issued the permits, in error, and the developer followed the rule to the T.

That was a case of clerical oversight.

30 East is a case of gross political favor pandering.

If the gentleman noted earlier was indeed Mr. Cummings, he needs to take naps before the meeting.s his questions were nonsensical and ireelevant.

Respected or not, he was the norm, rather than the exception, on that day.

AI: the existence of a lease is but one question on the petitioner's application form. No proof of the document is required, just an affirmative answer, under the penalty of perjury.

And for the record, can this be the last mention of Eric Dickerson and his desire to make 300 East a campaign issue? It's over, Wilson. Your lady won. 300 East wasn't an issue after 6:10 a.m. Nov. 7, when the Democratic township ticket had already won.

Get over it already.

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, don't wish for what I know you don't want to happen. Are you so certain the prosecutor's office isn't investigating 300 East?

Wilson46201 said...

As Dan Parker wisely observed on "Indiana Week in Review", if the name on the building at 300 East had been anybody other than "Julia Carson", this whole kerfuffle would not be an issue. As an Anonymous also observed, the election was over on Nov.7th. It's way past time to put this failed campaign issue to rest!

Erin said...

Anonymous,

Did not know that, thanks for clarifying. My memory is hazy, happened a while ago, but I recall the builder presenting a receipt that had a "signature" scribbled on the back by someone who didn't work at the city anymore as the evidence of approval. Anyway, the larger point is the same, and I agree, the permit system is not very good. And, yet, it can also be quite cumbersome and rigid in terms of legitimate variance requests (TCU signage per ex.). Another zoning board superstar episode.

Anonymous said...

The name on the building was coincidental, at best. Any name on the building doe not change the impropriety of this action.

And it was NOT a campaign issue Wilson. Can you get over that already? You're the only one who says it was.

Try to listen to one of the other voices in your mind for awhile.

It might give the rest of us a break when your fingers dance across the keyboard, spewing forth the same broken record time after time. Ponderous.

3oo East was about process, not Julia.

I've been involved in the Comp Plan process for over 20 years. Never saw you there at the committe meetings. Are you the least bit familiar with it?

Got it?

Jeff Newman said...

Anonymous 6:10 writes:

I've been involved in the Comp Plan process for over 20 years. Never saw you there at the committe meetings. Are you the least bit familiar with it?

Sorry, you can't post this anonymously and expect it to be credible. Put your name on it and it means something. Otherwise it's just noise.

Anonymous said...

10:24 Come on we're smarter than that. We know it's Wilson's sock puppet.

Anonymous said...

Gary,

As a lawyer...since DMD now states it was not a park at all, although named as one under Indy Parks...what about drug convictions in PC's that IPD may have used. Sell or get caught near a park and the charge is enhanced. Hope PCR is not in order if such convictions were entered on that pretense.

Any thoughts?

Advance Indiana said...

I doubt it, but it's not really my area.

Anonymous said...

you republicans sure have odd ideas of what is scandalous. Back when the GOP controlled the counsel, sheriff, and mayor's office, the inner city here was a sea of liquor stores with dice games running constantly in the back. On 21st and central, there was a store that would have literally 20 to 50 people standing around and playing dice.

The north west and north east sides of town were seas of strip clubs, and adult book stores. Since the democrats have taken control, not a single new strip bar has opened, and several have closed. The adult book store peep shows have been eliminated. and there isn't the sort of open outdoor gambling like used to occur under the republicans.

SO 300 east has a license. Big deal. It is in a lousy business location for a restaurant. that neighborhood close to the carson center is simply not affluent enough to support a nightclub, and people are not going to walk north across fall creek to get to the building -- especially since there are no sidewalks on the south side. It will just slowly lose money and go under.

Oh, and I own property in the area. I am too far north to walk to it for lunch, and if i am driving somewhere for lunch it would be for a cuban sandwich on 54th and college.


and they aren't the democrat party any more than you guys are the republic party. Its an adjective, pal.

fed up said...

I'd be interested to know all the "enhanced sentences" inmates are serving due to this "non-park".

Anonymous said...

Can I opt out of Anon 11:42's world?

It's pretty cynical, except the Cuban sandwich thing.

It's also not very real.

Yeah, 300 East got a license. They did so by pulling all kinds of political strings they shouldn't have.

Oh yeah, the strip clubs on the northwest side....in your version of reality, exactly where were they?

Anonymous said...

Center Townnship has gone to the DOGS under Democrat leadership! Hungry dogs at that. Make a fast haul while they can, the election in 2007 will replace some of these blinded city-county council members. IT WILL BE ACCOUNTABILITY TIME!

Anonymous said...

Response to Wilson 3:58 pm comment

Abuse of power, property owned publicly with tax payers' revenue is no small deal. The Julia Carson Government Center was purchased with public funds by Carson and is not the personal property of Julia Carson, Carl Drummer or any other Democrat officeholder. As for the prosecutor, only the near future will reveal if any wrongdoing will be exposed and prosecuted. Criminal intent has to be proven. This whole operation will be watched very, very, closely.
Carl Drummer will naturally claim ignorance to the law or just another oversight.

Wilson46201 said...

Center Township has had all Democratic elected officials since at least 1968. Those must be some mighty ancient DOGS by now!

As for the "enhanced sentences" some desperate losing politicos are hoping for from the "park" - considering it was very small (100 by 100 feet) and very much out in the open surrounded by busy city traffic with no bushes or trees with TV security cameras scouring the entire area, it's highly doubtful if any "perps" were ever arrested there for anything. That "park" was in existence for 2 years at the most ... sorry to dash your hopes for massive arrests for many years in a secluded sprawling forest !

Anonymous said...

He just doens't get it, AI. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

No he doesn't. He never has "gotten it".

You don't have to be IN the park. Just within 1000 (or maybe 500) feet of the park to have an enhanced sentence.

Same as schools.

The forthcoming appeals will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Just had a flashback. Speaking of campaign issues, Mr. Wilson...and your strong desire to make 300 East a campaign issue this fall...

At Miss Carson's announcement for 2006 re-election, to the puzzlement of many in attendance, she rambled on for minutes about the campaign's top issue: identity theft.

Eyebrows everywhere went up. Identify theft? Was she KIDDING? No, it was just Julia ad-libbing. Ooops...back to the script...

Using your standard of Eric D.'s campaign bus and 300 East, can we assume that Miss Carson raised a foul flag, as well?

Or was she merely looking for the little girl as she hallucinated?

Jeff Newman said...

The partisan silliness in the comments on this blog would be funny if it wasn't so ridiculous.

Wilson et. al. thinks the Republicans are a bunch of inept crooks, mired in cronyism and corruption.

Hailstone et. al. thinks the Democrats are a bunch of inept crooks, mired in cronyism and corruption.

When are y'all gonna figure out you're both right?

Anonymous said...

At Miss Carson's announcement for 2006 re-election, to the puzzlement of many in attendance, she rambled on for minutes about the campaign's top issue: identity theft ... was she merely looking for the little girl as she hallucinated?

*SPLORF*

Soft Drink -> Nose -> Keyboard and Monitor

Seems every event I saw with Julia in attendance she was going on about health care, the war, and energy. Oh and her car she said she bought from Eric (she didn't - came from Ogle-Tucker) that she had to keep taking in constantly for repair.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Al Polin and Clara Warner or planning to steal the election tonight.

UPDATE

Hey guys, 300 East supporters, Al Polin and Clara Warner, have arranged for the Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood Assn meeting to be held at the Julia Carson Center/300 East tonight at 6:30 instead of St. Phillips Church. They have not notified those in the neighborhood. They are supposed to elect new board members, there are currently only 3, who obviously work for Bill Mays, Carl Drummer and Sweat Pea. We need everyone to show up...I'm sure they try something illegal like assault someone. We need witnesses.

Also, tell everyone you know who lives in the area to show up and vote. They need not be a member, only live in the area. We need everyone's support because they switched locations and people don't know it.

Anonymous said...

MF Resident:

I just happen to drive past the small park located at 29th and Talbott today. It has been renamed for Al Polin already. This area had been a vacant lot until the city put playground equipment on it, has a basketball court, no grass, and several picnic tables. I can't believe Al Polin sold out Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood Association to have his name placed on a small patch of land with no grass, after they closed the one at 300 Fall Creek. If this was the deal, some deal, pitiful!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure he got paid...