The Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission approved a new citywide zoning code called Indy Rezone on Wednesday.
The last time the code was rewritten was in 1970, with the adoption of UniGov. For the past four years, planners, committees and the public have had helped craft the draft. The new code aims to make Indianapolis more livable and sustainable, now and in the future.
John Neal, senior planner with the Department of Metropolitan Development, said much of the focus has been placed on enhancing neighborhoods.
“We’ve addressed things like sidewalks, for new subdivisions we’ve addressed open space, construction and configuration of streets, connectivity to existing through-fares,” he said.
The code attempts to lay the groundwork for a better-built environment that directly impacts the people living in it. It covers thousands of changes but some of the highlighted ordinances promote walkability, protection of water supplies, transit readiness, safety and mixed-use development.
New aspects of the code include a green factor that incentivizes low impact development techniques and a vacant provision allowing for more flexible reuse options of existing structures.
The new code is also simplified to make it easier to use with a completely different structure and format.
“It used to be if you were thinking about industrial you had to look in one part of the ordinance, if you were asking about downtown it was a seperate ordinance,” Neal explained. “Now everything will be in a single ordinance, we’ll have one source of definitions, one source of calculations.”
The draft now goes to the City County Council for consideration.