Tuesday, December 05, 2006

300 East Vote Tomorrow

The controversial proposed bar in the Julia Carson Government Center known as 300 East comes up for a vote before the Metropolitan Development Commission tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the City-County Building. A brief item in the Star today notes that the project has "several influential investors, including Indianapolis Airport Authority President Lacy Johnson, businessman Bill Mays and Teresa Gray, wife of City-County Council President Monroe Gray." The Commission will consider whether to grant a zoning variance to permit the use of the property as a restaurant/bar.

UPDATE: The Commission meeting begins at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow and not 10:00 a.m. as shown on my earlier post. The Star's Will Higgins has once again weighed in with an imbalanced story in favor of the bar's proponents. He writes:


They’ll go before the commission to seek a zoning variance to operate the enterprise, which they would call 300 East. They also need state regulatory approval of its liquor license transfer . . .

Their plan to open the establishment in the Carson building bogged down in August, when some neighbors complained they had not been properly alerted to the development. The investors have said they won’t open for business if the neighborhood doesn’t want them.

Some have objected to serving alcohol in a government building, or to opening a bar in the neighborhood.

The establishment’s backers last summer proposed to open a family restaurant in the location, and received a positive recommendation from the Department of Metropolitan Development, the staff for the commission. Last month, they amended their petition and asked for permission to open a bar. The DMD recommended the commission deny the request.

Last week, the investors returned to the family restaurant concept, by adding a rail that would separate the bar area from the tables. The DMC recommended approval.

Nowhere in Higgins' report do you see it mentioned that the bar's investors built out the space for a bar without obtaining the appropriate construction permits or zoning variance required before construction commenced. Nowhere do you see it mentioned that a stop work order had to be issued by the DMD. Nowhere do you see it mentioned the number of building code violations which the bar's owners were cited for. Nowhere do you see it mentioned that a children's park was demolished to benefit the bar's investors. Nowhere do you see it mentioned that the DMD hearing officer who recommended approval of the zoning variance for the bar is the spouse of City-County Councilor Lonnell Connelly, a close ally of City-County Council President Monroe Gray, whose wife Teresa Gray is an investor in the bar. Nowhere do you see it mentioned that Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer turned over the government space to the private investors without entering into a formal lease pursuant to Indiana law. Nowhere do you see references to comments made by Drummer and investor Bill Mays that this bar is a place for "African-American professionals" only. And nowhere do you see it mentioned that the neighborhood association refused to vote on the proposal because Al Polin, who ran the last meeting, is close to the bar's investors and knew it would be voted down if a vote was taken.

Is it not fair to ask if Higgins is giving preferential treatment to the bar's investors, who are African-American, in his reporting of this story? If you look at his reporting from day one, he has meticulously insulated Drummer and the bar's investors from the most damaging details. It's hard to think any differently. He certainly can't be accused of doing good reporting. Each time he has reported on 300 East, his omissions have been observed by this and other blogs. I can understand the initial omission, but once it has been pointed out time and time again, it is difficult to understand. Note: Higgins is not African-American.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

A bar being sold to zoning as a "family restaurant" and the clock begins on being caught and shut down. Just like the Savoy.

Hey folks when they said "family" they don't mean in the sense of the Corleone's or Gotti's. Or in this case the Ghetto Mafia.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand. The work is already done, the place has already been used, variances? These "influential people" do what they want and the public be damned! It is a perfect example of what is wrong with the city.

You can call a "turd" a "rose" but it still doesn't make it a "rose." This is a bar. Period. It shouldn't be in a government center. Julia who is hiding in DC should say so and the wuss mayor of ours is too afraid.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the MDC Staff approves the deal IF the following . . .

Staff continues to recommend approval, subject to the following commitments being reduced to writing on the Commission’s Exhibit “B” form three days prior to the MDC hearing:

2. An amended interior plan shall be submitted for Administrator’s Approval that would provide
for appropriate relationships between the family restaurant, outdoor seating area, and tavern.

----------

What is legal relationship between the tavern part and the rest of the restaurant ?

From the pictures I have seen in the bar there is no seperation between the BAR area and thes seating area ?

Will the owners need to do a complete redesign of the interior ?

Have the plans been turned in as of yet ?

Anonymous said...

There are on plans submitted yet. They don't want to tip off any remonstrators, and give them ammunition.

9:04 is right. This is NOT a rose, either.

Follow the bouncing ball...

One of the MDC Commissioners who will vote on this got his seat as political payback for helping the former coroner with his office "lease" as a broker. No brokerage "help" was required. A huge fee was "earned", and the commissioner-to-be contributed a great deal to local Republicans.

This commissioner routinely votes against neighborhoods and for devleopers, although he is one.

Just so you know that nonsense is not confined to one side of the aisle.

And you wanna know the worst thing? Our intellegence is insulted when you go to zoning meetings. They don't vote by raising their hands. They vote on a piece of paper, the clerk collects the ballots, and announces the vote. You can find out later who voted which way.

This is done to prevent outbursts at meetings, and for other reasons no one can remember.

It's stupid and cowardly.

It's been awhile, so I've slept since then, AI, but was this case begun at the hearing officer level? If so, Ms. Conley strikes again.

The zoning process in this town is officially broken. It may not be able to be fixed soon. Developers have open season on variances now, since the Whole Foods case went their way.

And zoning breakdown crumbles a city from within, over time. You don't see it happening, and then, boom, you've got crap next to crap on a street. It goes downhill from there.

Anonymous said...

There appeared to be a big doings up at 300 East last Saturday night... the whole thing seems like a sham.

Anonymous said...

Sham is as good a word as any.

Anonymous said...

There appeared to be a big doings up at 300 East last Saturday night... the whole thing seems like a sham.

GET PICTURES!

Anonymous said...

When Hail's right, he's right.

Any use of that facility, without a Certificate of Occupancy, is a huge problem, and a code violation. It would also demonstrate, I beelieve, bad faith on the aprt of petitioners who have a rezoning case pending.

Also, I'm pretty sure the township's insurer would get his/her panties in a bunch over unauthorized evening use of a premises without proper permits.

Can you say: l-i-a-b-i-l-i-t-y ?

As arrogant as this crowd is, it was probably the Sweet Pea and Drummer CHristmas Party.

Wilson46201 said...

Was the proposed restaurant room the venue of the alleged Saturday night activities or some other location in that 7 story building? It is not unusual whatsoever for social events to be held at night or weekends in the Conference Center Facilities located mainly on the 2nd floor at 300 East Fall Creek Pkwy.

Some crabby folk are so fixated on finding nefarious skullduggery that perfectly innocuous everyday activities get twisted into wickedness and corruption...

Anonymous said...

Advance:

Mapleton Fall Creek Neigborhood Association has not voted yet on the variance or the liquor license.
A lawsuit will get their attention!

Wilson46201 said...

The multiplicity of lawsuits and judgments that the above commenter has lost certainly hasn't gotten her attention or stopped her cockamamie scheming ... her own lawsuits have been to no avail.

Anonymous said...

He's back with his ghost employment self supporting the Ghetto Mafia. The Democrats believe they can run government anyway they can without regard for the law. We will see!!!

indyernie said...

I say screw Wilson, his Godmother and her whole “Black Hand” Mafioso crew.
We need to contact the Governors office and get the Liquor License Transfer stopped.
Lets see how much money the “crew“ can make without Liquor Sales.

I'm sending an e-mail to the Governor tonight, and calling tomorrow.

Wilson46201 said...

Maybe the reason poor Jocelyn is so concerned about ghost employment dates from the time she was associated with Duane Brown (the Dr.Scholls of the Statehouse) and that one of the main charges that brought down that whole sorry operation was ghost employment ... ya think?

It's also highly unlikely that any Governor would get involved in a local liquor license transfer dispute ...

indyernie said...

Let's find out...I sent this.

Gov. Daniels,

A bar is going into the Julia Carson building. 300 East has been in the news for several months. I believe that the City of Indianapolis is going to pass the zoning variance that will allow this bar to operate.
This is in direct disregard to the wants of the Citizens of Indianapolis. A Liquor License transfer needs to be approved by the State of Indiana before this bar can operate.
Concerns about this bar are many. The “Top Secret” status of the Lease, Behind the scenes construction without permits, the removal of City Park playground equipment with out approval, complete disregard of public needs and investors on the City County Council. This Bar reeks of corruption.
Please investigate this operation, you have the power to stop the “License” transfer. Please do so.

Send your own. Your not beat until you give up.

indyernie said...

"Thank you for emailing Governor Mitch Daniels. The Governor appreciates
that you took the time to contact his office and play an active role in
the discussion about making Indiana a better place to live, work, and
raise a family.

Your email will be shared with the appropriate staff for a response.

Again, thank you for contacting Governor Daniels' Office."

At least I know he has received it...I will share any response.

Send yours today...if he gets involved it can't hurt.

Advance Indiana said...

I believe the liquor license transfer is before the Marion Co. Alcoholic Beverage Board at this point, not the ATC. They rarely deny a license tranfer request.

Anonymous said...

The story you linked to and quoted was from the Indystar website, right? Specifically the update around 6 PM? Your questioning of Mr. Higgins is a might suspect given that the update directly below that one states that a deal has been worked out between the Coroner and the pathologist to stay on until 12/18. That update was around 5 PM, i.e. before the update about 300 East. Yet, oddly, your post right before this one "omits" that fact and incorrectly states as a headline that bodies were SHIPPED for autopsies which is a complete misinterpretation of the Star story (which was speculative as to what might happen). Should one ponder why you chose to ignore the facts that perhaps you don't like even though they were right in front of your face when you found Mr. Higgins update?...Kettle meet pot- Pot-kettle...

Advance Indiana said...

The coroner update posted late this evening was posted after the Higgins initial post. That Higgins post shows a later time stamp because it was moved up on the online edition. Fox 59 reported tonight that Ackles still is planning to use the out-of-town forensic pathologists as a back-up plan. There are a lot more facts that the latest post leaves out, which will come out in due time. Again, those facts will paint a pretty sad picture of Ackles

Anonymous said...

I believe the liquor license transfer is before the Marion Co. Alcoholic Beverage Board at this point, not the ATC. They rarely deny a license tranfer request.

There is only one member who would even consider voting against it and he's lame duck (Tim Sadler, he's about to be replaced by a 'Rat since Voorhees and Breaux won county offices) Belle Choate is married to Sarge (Julia's CoS) Visher and Barteau is Mayor Brat's crony.

Even with remonstrators, the Mayor and the Ghetto Mafia will get no problem from the liquor board.

Anonymous said...

The corruption in Center Township and the City-County Building sucks.
The idiot that supports the Ghetto Mafia is corrupt. He thinks the law violations are ok and should be made to repay the the township for the money he was paid for working on political campaigns while employed as the clerk. Birds of a feather flock together.
Dominos, if one falls down, all of them will go down.

Anonymous said...

Wilson is a punk; your slander does not work here. Some forms of mental illnesses can not be cured. Reason why you are the flunky for the Ghetto Mafia. Bloggers don't care about you or your stupid comments. You don't seem to have answers for these gangsters. It is obvious that you are one of them. Dumpster diver, patsy, imbecile, moron, sap, crackpot, fool get a life and let the grownups discuss important issues.

Anonymous said...

Higgins updated story . . .

Panel to decide fate of restaurant/bar
Investors to make case for facility in Carson center

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061206/LOCAL19/612060411

Last month, they amended their petition and asked for permission to open a bar. The department recommended the commission deny the request.

Last week, the investors returned to the family restaurant concept by adding a rail separating the bar area from the tables. The department recommended approval.

According to a county zoning ordinance, a "family restaurant" can serve alcohol, but either alcohol sales can't exceed food sales or the bar area can't be larger than the dining area, an arrangement that is satisfied by the railing.

---

So the simple act of putting a BAR in the BAR makes everything ok ?

Anonymous said...

Have to hand it to the Ghetto Mafia. They know how to read between the lines of the law.