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December 14, 2012

Indy Rezone begins education campaign

INDIANAPOLIS — The Greater Garden City Civic Association learned about the new Rezone Indy project being conducted by the City of Indianapolis. Tammara Tracy of the Department of Municipal Development spoke to a small group of people interested in the zoning of the Westside.

Tracy was welcomed to the GGCCA by the group’s president, Mary Anderson.

“I’d like to thank Tammara for being here,” Anderson said. “I’ve seen a similar presentation and it is very interesting.”

Tracy started her presentation by saying, “I’m a nerd. That’s why I’m here.”

She is in the Division of Planning for the Department of Municipal Development managed by the City of Indianapolis.

“I like to write code and tweak ordinances,” Tracy said. “We’ve been launching Rezone Indy which may seem a little unusual.”

She said the goal of the project is to make the zoning ordinances more sustainable for the population.

“I know that sounds like a snorefest,” she said. “But it’s really not. Zoning touches your lives every day in many ways. Every parcel of land is designated a zoning. That zoning tells you how that land can be used. That’s how it shapes our world.”

She said zoning helps to keep residents safe and sets a base level of development for all properties.

“Zoning basically sets the minimum and sets a level playing field,” she said. “We want you to tell us where to set that level playing field.”

Tracy explained that the Indianapolis zoning ordinance has not been updated for 50 years.

“We’ve changed a lot in 50 years,” she said. “We need to change the rules so we can create what we want.”

She explained one way a city can change zoning and impact the area.

“Baltimore increased the amount of trees it had by 10 percent,” she said. “That helped to lower the crime in the area by 12 percent.”

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