Executive Director London Defends Parking Requirements Of Area Planning Commission


Councilman Weaver,

The Site Review Committee met with the owner/developer in March of 2018 that our office had set up to help introduce the project, the ownership team, and the agencies that were involved in the permitting process.  At that time, the owner described the project and what their proposed uses were for the building.  Based on the information received, each agency laid out what items would be expected to be presented at the Site Review meeting for approval.  In addition, some of the main items discussed where the parking requirements, variances that could be requested, sewer/water/grease trap items, redevelopment approval, etc.

All agencies involved in the process were there to help this project through the necessary requirements along with providing detailed information from each agency.  On October 29, 2018, 7 months later, the first set of plans were submitted for review by the Site Review Committee, i.e. Phase 1 of the project.  During a walkthrough by the Building Commission, Fire Department, and the Area Plan Commission, it was discovered that the owner had already done some extensive work without having any permits.  Even though this activity had happened, the Site Review Committee moved forward to try and keep this project on track.

On November 7, 2018, an Improvement Location Permit was issued for the project so that it could continue to move forward.  At that time, several items were discussed with the owner including parking requirements for future Phases along with items required by the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility since the facility did not have easements for the sanitary sewer system.  Since that time multiple sets of plans along with multiple different scenarios have been presented to the agencies that sit on Site Review.

On February 25, 2019, Phase 2 of the project was submitted for Site Review Approval.  During the time between Phase 1 and Phase 2, a variance request was approved for parking on the project which would relax the number of required parking spaces from 122 to 86, which allowed for additional units to go in along with 4 hotel units and office space.  Based on the plans that were provided, which showed an additional parking lot to be built to meet the variance approval, a permit was issued on February 28, 2019.  The existing parking lot that is currently in place has a total of 71 parking spaces.

Based on the variance that the owner requested and showed on the plan that was provided and approved by the BZA and the Site Review Committee, the additional parking lot would provide the 86 spaces required.  To date, that parking lot has yet to be built and has been shown on several different locations on the site. In addition, the shared parking agreement with Culver school that was recommended by the City government to help the owner in their future plans has yet to be provided for approval.  By no means has any agency tried to slow this project down, and in fact, each agency has tried to help nail down a moving target.

To date, the Area Plan Commission has approved each request for a Certificate of Occupancy after the proper information has been submitted.  If you would like to discuss this project in more detail, I would be happy to meet and pull all the information on the project along with the multiple sets of plans that we have had to work with.

Additionally, since I have become the Area Plan Commission Director, the parking requirements in the downtown business district have been eliminated for all commercial developments and the residential component has been greatly reduced by the addition of the ability to share parking or to be within 300’ feet of a public parking area.  The Arts Overlay Zone, Jacobsville Overlay Zone, and West Franklin Street Overlay Zones have been created, have helped reduce parking requirements and have been completed through a properly vetted process by the entire community.  Pushed for the last several years, we have finally received funds this year by the County and City Councils to hire a consultant to update our antiquated codes.  I could not agree more that this review has needed to occur.  We look forward to working with everyone through this process, which should include our entire community since it will affect everyone!

Thank You,

Ronald S. London, P.E., CFM Executive Director