Board delays decision on Broad Ripple parking garage

A decision on a new Broad Ripple parking garage was delayed by a week Tuesday by the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals after the garage developer requested more time.

An attorney for Keystone Construction Corp. asked the five-member board to delay a hearing on the garage to allow the developer to meet with officials from the City of Indianapolis’ Department of Public Works about construction of a levee system along White River.

Keystone has argued that the levee system will provide enough protection from floods, even though the parking garage would be built on property that lies four feet below the flood plain.

But the staff of the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development recommended in a letter last week that parking garage proposal be reworked in order to raise its first floor above the flood plain.

Keystone officials have countered that idea would make the additional cost of the now-$15 million project too expensive.

The 350-space parking garage at 6280 N. College Ave. would be partially financed with $6.3 million from parking meter revenue, which would normally flow into city coffers.

Keystone’s petition for a zoning variance will now be heard on April 17. However, it will be heard by a different set of board members than the ones that granted the delay Tuesday. The zoning board has three sets of members that attend weekly meetings.

Several remonstrators against Keystone’s proposal, including local environmental activist Clarke Kahlo, objected to the change of boards, accusing Keystone of “board shopping.”

Joe Calderon, the attorney representing Keystone at the hearing, countered that Keystone is scheduled to break ground on the project in two weeks and cannot afford to wait until May, which is the next time the set of members that met Tuesday will meet again.

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