Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
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MK Plan Meeting Minutes, February 24

38th Street (both sides) between Central Avenue and Fall Creek

The 38th Street (aka as Maple Road) corridor from Central Avenue to Fall Creek is classified as a two-way, six-lane primary arterial.  It serves as major east/west commuter route that, in 2011, carried approximately 27,212 trips between Meridian Street and Fall Creek North Drive.

Four IndyGo bus routes either run along the 38th Street corridor or intersect it.  Routes 4 and 39 run along 38th Street.  Routes 17 and 19 cross 38th Street in this area.  Recent upgrades in service increases the frequency of service to 15-minute intervals on Route 38, except between Franklin Road and Mitthoefer Road.

The north side of 38th Street between Central Avenue and Fall Creek is zoned neighborhood commercial and high density residential (D-9), with the State Fair grounds zoned SU-9.  The south side of 38th Street between Central Avenue and Fall Creek is zoned commercial and high density residential (D-8).

Additionally there are several properties along 38th Street that lie within the Fall Creek wellfield (W-5).  Applications for variances in any of the wellfields are reviewed to determine whether drinking water will be negatively impacted.  In certain situations, a development plan is required to be filed and approved by a technically qualified person.

The wellfield protection zoning ordinance was developed to protect the city’s drinking water.  There are seven wellfields in Marion County, each of which are divided into two districts.  W-1 is an area where a drop of groundwater will reach a pumping well within one year.  W-5 is an area where a drop of groundwater will reach a pumping well within five years.

Recommendations

▪ Mixed use (office/retail use on the first floor, with residential on the upper floors) would be an appropriate use along this corridor.

▪ New requests for billboards should be discouraged.

▪ The bird sanctuary located on the south side of 38th Street in the Watson McCord Neighborhood should be preserved and protected.

▪ A bicycle facility (rental, repair, etc.) would be an appropriate use in the old Monon Train Station that lies adjacent to the Monon Trail.

▪ Improve relationship with the State Fair grounds by integrating pedestrian/bicycle connections between the neighborhood and the State Fair grounds. Improve look of fair grounds fencing along the Monon from cyclone/razor wire-topped to something more aesthetic

▪ Land uses that serve neighborhood needs (i.e. grocery store) would be preferred over uses that would be regional draws.

▪ A boutique restaurant, similar to Recess, would be a welcome addition to the corridor.

▪ Create a “Green District” that would become a unique niche that would attract entrepreneurs and art studios/galleries and demonstrate renewable energy sources.

▪ Promote the grant program offered by Office of Sustainability for “Green district” projects.

▪ Improve east/west connections for pedestrians/bicyclists by extending the Cultural Trail between the State Fair grounds and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

▪ Discourage redevelopment that would include fuel stations, cash/pawn stores, drugstores, payday loans businesses, and car lots.

▪ Promote the 38th Street corridor as a transit line, with transit development at certain intersections.

▪ Work with the Department of Public Works to improve maintenance of the median along this corridor.

Design Guidelines

●          Encourage businesses to seek façade grants to improve visual appeal of their store fronts.

●          Provide appropriate buffers and screens between adjacent commercial and residential uses.

●          Signage along this corridor should be respectful of the character of the corridor.

●          Rehabilitate/reuse existing residential stock, particularly those structures that have historic value.

●          The height of the buildings should be limited to either four or five stories.

●          Existing setbacks along 38th Street are appropriate, but the public realm between the building setback and the street should be enhanced with lighting, landscaping, wide sidewalks, and tree lawns.

●          Maintain rhythm of existing building setbacks when redevelopment activities  and infill projects are undertaken.

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