Ward 5 Councilmember Dick Haines admitted this week that he and Ward 2 Councilmember John Hendrickson are part of the anonymous group circulating a petition protesting the city’s proposed new zoning code.
“There’s probably five or six of us that are involved in this thing,” he told the Indy, noting that the petition represents a last resort. “Several of us council people have shown up down there at the planning board meetings and we might as well talk to ourselves or the radio or something because they’re not paying attention to us.”
Haines says the petition doesn’t aim to block the proposal, but makes sure the minority has a place in the discussion. Specifically, he wants the zoning rewrite to require a supermajority vote from the City Council.
“[The progressive members of council] won’t be able to get [a supermajority] because there’s about five of us that won’t come over to their side until we have a chance to talk about things,” he said.
The petition lists 10 consequences that residents will allegedly see if the current zoning rewrite is approved. The list includes accessory dwelling units, three story buildings up to 35 feet and a dramatic increase in on-street parking.
Roger Millar, director of the Office of Planning and Grants, immediately responded to the petition in a point-by-point memo. Additional dwelling units, for example, do not change under the new ordinance, Millar wrote.
Haines acknowledged that other members of City Council besides he and Hendrickson are involved in the petition effort, but he stopped short of naming them.
“I’m not sure they want to be identified at this point,” he said.