Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Double Standard For The Carsons
Sam Carson is an inspector for the City of Indianapolis and the son of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson. He lives in the home formerly occupied by the late congresswoman in the 2500 block of North Park Avenue. Without obtaining a permit or proper zoning approval (think of 300 East), Carson had a 10 foot wrought iron fence built around the Carson home with a gated drive. The fence, which abuts the neighboring sidewalk, violates both height and setback restrictions. Those of you familiar with zoning variance hearings know the drill when you do something like this that blatantly violates the city's building and zoning ordinances. You request a zoning variance and the Board of Zoning Appeals says politely to you that they're really sorry but the rules are there for a reason and you'll have to take the fence down. That's when you and I do something like this. Those rules don't apply to the Carsons. As usual, they can do whatever they want in this town. Despite a recommendation from staff that Carson's request for a variance be denied, the Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously granted his variance. Carson repeatedly told the Board that he was a city employee, that he meant no harm and that the fence is necessary out of "a public safety concern." Now, you go build a 10 foot fence on your property next to the sidewalk and see what happens when the City cites you for the violation. You aren't going to have the happy ending Sam Carson got.