Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
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MK Plan Meeting Minutes, May 19

49th and Pennsylvania

General comments included the limitation of the height of any new construction to one story, in keeping with the surrounding buildings. Where applicable, it was voiced that new construction might have increased setbacks (as seen with the Bank of Indianapolis) with green space, which would be more in keeping with the residential properties immediately surrounding the area.

A need for impact analysis studies of the level of activity of any new development enterprise was emphasized.  Residents would prefer less auto intensive uses, with a focus upon businesses catering more to the local residential needs.

A bike lane on Pennsylvania was requested.  The need for improved “connectivity” was remarked upon, to improve the safety of pedestrians (particularly children and parents with strollers) and cyclists. This might include contiguous sidewalks (placement of a new sidewalk on the west side of Pennsylvania from 46th to 49th–no neighbors from that block were present at the meeting to comment upon this), and a sidewalk on the south side of 49th from Pennsylvania to Meridian. Where possible, use of the downtown “Cultural Trail” concept with clearly delineated pedestrian and bicycle pathways would be preferred. Comment was also made as to removing obstructions on the sidewalks interfering with pedestrian passage such as street lights, utility poles, etc.

Residents emphasized the importance of no further spread of commercial zoning in the area, including even the concept of a Bed and Breakfast in existing residential stock.

Questions were raised as to the inclusion of “buffering” in the Form Based Code.  It was pointed out that ideally, the Form itself would direct use to the extent that buffering would not be needed, but this certainly could be added to the plan if needed.

In addition to the suggestion of painted “T” stripe parking curbside for the 2-3 blocks in all directions of the intersection to ensure safer entrance and exits for residents, the suggestion was made to limit parking to 3 hours during hours of operation of businesses.  This would also help with the “for sale” cars parked for extended hours on the southeast side of the corner, and would free up more parking for businesses and residents.

The desire was expressed to maintain a variety of architectural styles in this locale.

South East Corner

Neighbors are supportive of a gas station in this location.  They prefer a locally controlled enterprise (such as it currently is) which allows neighbor input as to operations. It was requested there be no banners, billboards or other visual clutter. They would oppose any conversion to a convenience store. They accept no hours between midnight and 5 AM. Concern was raised over the late hour noise from the filling of the underground gasoline storage tanks.  Neighbors were referred to Code Enforcement to evaluate this issue further.

A request was made as to add improved landscaping in an effort to soften the visual aspect of the asphalt.  Specifically, plantings to visually block the row of parked cars on the southern portion of the lot, as well as a landscaped barrier between the sidewalk and the pumps. It is felt this would provide  a better delineated pedestrian pathway along Pennsylvania St., clearly marking a pedestrian walkway.

In the event of a new development in that location, support was lent to use as a gas station.  If new construction is considered, it was requested that the building be more in keeping with the architectural styles of the surrounding area, such as is seen in historic areas in other parts of the country such as Georgetown, Alexandria Va, etc. It was agreed that brick would be the preferred building material.

North East Corner

Concern was raised for the need of improved pedestrian accessibility, although other residents felt that the current form of sidewalk adjacent to Patachou is acceptable.  Concern was also raised as to the safety of bicyclists riding along the northeast portion of the intersection, with cars backing out of the parking spaces.  A bike lane was felt to help further define the presence of bicycles on the street.

Support was voiced for the appearance of the buildings, in keeping with the historical nature of the area.  Approval was given to the current use of landscaping to soften the paved areas.

North West Corner

The form of the Bank building is found to be acceptable to the residents.  Support was voiced for the common entrance with a single common path and sidewalks close to the building, as a means of providing connectivity for that block of businesses.

More bike parking is needed.

Better delineation of sidewalks was requested at the location of Pete’s Service Station. A curb was also requested beginning at the level of the southernmost garage bay on Pennsylvania, to wrap west around the corner.  Landscaping might help to soften the large amount of pavement on the property.  Support was voiced to Pete’s placement of cars indoors when the business is closed. Thanks were also expressed to Pete’s for their offer to “share” parking with surrounding businesses during the hours in which they are closed for operation.

South West Corner

Consideration for the placement of a sidewalk along the west side of Pennsylvania from 49th to 46th was made, as well as a sidewalk along the south side of 49th from Pennsylvania to Meridian.  Issues expressed by residents on the west side of Pennsylvania St from 49th to 46th over the safety of exiting and entering their driveways with cars parked along the west side of the curb was addressed with the suggestion of painted “T” stripe parking which would allow better visibility of on coming traffic by providing more lee way adjacent to the driveway entrances. Emphasis was placed upon the fact that our businesses, churches, and schools are also our neighbors.  In the interest of “neighborliness”, residents concerned about their ingress and egress from their driveways might want to consult with residents from other similarly affected properties within the neighborhood to share ideas of how we have all come live together as a community of good will.

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