I will start off with an apology to my non Indy readers, I am going to be on this topic a bit in the near term. I will continue to post some videos and more broad scale articles in between, but this issue very much affects those of us who are trying to help people take back control of their food supply.
Now on to the meat of things.
I have read quite a bit more, and I am not happy.
The more I read, the more it looks like the city is making a concerted effort to prevent people from engaging in any kind of commerce which is not already successful, aka working for someone else.
Now since I am a reasonable person and I try not to wear my tinfoil hat too often, I am going to come out and say that is probably not the case. However, this proposed rezoning is just chock full of what I assume are well intended items which restrict innovation, small scale commerce and limit peoples ability to develop self reliance and build more resilient communities.
The biggest one I notice is not exactly food related but is of a similar nature and is definitely Permaculture related. Home scale business.
Over and over in this zoning package there are items which hinder a citizens ability to build a start up business unless he is already successful and can afford additional property in a commercial or industrial zone of the city. No offense to the successful, but as a city, we don’t need them to do better, we need people who cannot afford additional property to be successful and we need to give them tools to do so rather than limit their ability to engage in business.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
Daycare facilities are not allowed in 8 of the 15 residential areas…and only by special permit in those.
Vocational, technical or industrial school or training facilities are not allowed in any of the residential areas, only 3 of the 6 commercial areas and none of the mixed use or industrial areas. Now off hand I don’t know of anyone wanting to put a training facility in their yard (a garage or pole barn classroom for instance) but I am of the mindset that if you can help people find ways of leading productive lives, I can’t see any reason that you need to be zonally restricted…especially in commercial, mixed use and industrial areas.
Hair and body salons are not allowed in any but 2 of the residential areas and then only as an accessory use. To what end? Do we not want single parents to be able to build businesses where child care is not an issue? I know that is an inflammatory view, but that is the only thing I can see this restriction helping with.
Financial and Insurance services. Not allowed in residential areas at all under this proposal. My mortgage broker and insurance agent both work from home offices, are my rates going to go up if the city does this? Probably.
Printing services are banished from all residential areas and one each of the commercial and mixed use areas. Being that I personally ran a screen printing shop out of my garage with no complaints from my HOA Nazi neighbors, I can tell you that this business is not an issue for a home community. On top of that I know of two mid sized printers still in this city that started the same way. If we want to discuss paper printing, well you need a high end copier and some paper…can you think of a business more suited to home production? I don’t see any reason for this one either.
Service or Repair of Household or Consumer Goods are not allowed in any residential area. You know the guy that fixes the lawnmower you don’t take care of? Shut down. The neighborhood handyman? Needs an office. This one is particularly grievous as the people that this will impact are not just the ones who will be forced to stop doing business, but it will also impact the people who cannot afford to go to Jacks Repair Emporium on Washington Street or replacing the item…not to mention the people who do this work “on the side” are master up-cyclers … we need them doing what they do.
Eating Establishment or Food Preparation is also banished from the residential areas. Did you go through the rigors to get your kitchen state certified so you could cater out of your home? Tough luck, go rent a building.
Artisan Manufacturing is not going to be allowed in residential OR commercial areas. I know you don’t think you want someone building things in your neighborhood…but I am hear to tell you that you do. When I was growing up we had an old guy on our street that made wooden toys in a barn in his backyard. I don’t know where he sold them, but he did….never one issue about it…ever. As far as commercial areas, I can’t think of a better place for them. I think a small artsy shop that makes custom doohickeys and thingamabobs would do well in some of our trendy commercial areas (Fountain Square and Irvington come to mind), but what do I know?
And I am only halfway down the list of “use tables”
Folks we really need to pay attention to this. This zoning package is not good for our city the way it is currently written.
Remember you can register and comment at Indy Rezone
Tomorrow we will put some light on issues I see with the agricultural side of things…and there are some issues that directly affect my personal mission and the mission of this website… so be ready.
For now use the limited number of comments you get each day to let the folks at rezone know we do not approve.