Legal Issues and Indianapolis International Airport and Appeal and Law and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Airport challenging judge’s decision on parking lot

October 2, 2012

The Indianapolis Airport Authority is asking a judge to reconsider his decision that paves the way for a Cincinnati-based developer to build a 2,000-space parking lot near the airport.

The appeal, known as a motion to correct errors, challenges Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele’s ruling in late August upholding a February decision by the Metropolitan Development Commission.

The MDC decision gave Chavez Properties approval to build a “Fast Park & Relax” lot at 8550 Stansted Road on a 31-acre site in the Ameriplex development on the city’s west side.

The airport authority filed a complaint in March to stop the development after the MDC voted 6-2 in favor of the project following an emotional three-hour hearing.

In its appeal filed Friday, the airport authority takes issue with the judge’s ruling that the MDC has the legal authority to amend a zoning ordinance. The authority claims the panel can only recommend proposed changes to the City-County Council.

“This conclusion is overly broad and purports to grant the MDC carte blanche authority to change the location of uses in a [special commercial district] without regard for any limitation placed on the district by the City-County Council,” the authority wrote in its appeal.

Chavez said the $15 million project will create 45 jobs and it would “soon” begin construction on the development.

Airport officials say they fear the project could hurt their parking operation, and they argue a parking lot is not the best use of the land.

The project also has been opposed by nearby Plainfield-based Park Ride & Fly, the city of Indianapolis and some surrounding residents.

If the judge denies the airport authority’s motion to correct errors, it could take its argument to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The airport authority so far has spent about $100,000 on the case, the authority’s executive director, Robert Duncan, told a City-County Council committee.
 

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