Carmel introduces streamlined zoning ordinance

March 22, 2017

The city of Carmel has introduced a zoning ordinance that officials say eliminates redundancies and establishes three new zoning districts that better reflect the city’s growth.

The new zoning ordinance comes after an 18-month review and would replace both the subdivision control and existing zoning ordinances. It’s 80 fewer pages than the current ordinance and eliminates three outdated districts, the city said.

“This is long overdue,” Mayor Jim Brainard said in a written statement. “Carmel’s zoning ordinance has been modified many times over the years, but the changes we are making this time will help us do a better job of guiding our unique growth in redevelopment areas, such as Midtown, as well as the U.S. 31 corridor and other rapidly changing areas of our city.”

City officials introduced the proposed new ordinance Tuesday to the Plan Commission, which will review the changes, host a public hearing April 18 and send it to the Carmel City Council for final approval.

The three new zoning districts that have been added are Urban Residential, Urban Core and Office Core. The districts will emphasize mixed-use trends in Carmel’s redevelopment areas, such as Midtown.

With changes proposed for the Meridian Corporate Corridor, it will be possible for the first time to mix residential and office units in the same building, something previously prohibited. Changes also have also been made to setbacks and landscaping rules to encourage more infill development.

The three existing zoning districts that have been removed are Agricultural, Manufacturing I and Old Meridian District. The first two districts covered large farms and heavy, intense manufacturing that have become obsolete as the city has developed. The Old Meridian District served its original purpose to introduce mixed-use development to the area, the city said.

The new mixed-use districts will largely replace the Old Meridian District. Farming is still a permitted use, but will be regulated under another zoning classification.



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