Policies & Procedures, Section 2
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IHPC Policies and Procedures

Section Two


CONTENTS

SECTION ONE (Rules of Procedure for IHPC)

SECTION THREE (Outlines the levels of approval for various types of work)

SECTION TWO
INDIANAPOLIS HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
ACTING AS THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
RULES OF PROCEDURE

APPROVED     February 7, 1996
Prepared by:  The staff of the IHPC

INTRODUCTION

The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "IHPC") is authorized to exercise the powers of a Board of Zoning Appeals within a historic area or historic zoning district established under IC 36-7-11.1-6. However this authorization does not eliminate the need for the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness before the approval of a variance by either:

1) a Board of Zoning Appeals; or,

2) The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission exercising the powers of a Board of Zoning Appeals.

GENERAL RULES

TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION- The IHPC shall have jurisdiction within any historic preservation area designated by the IHPC pursuant to IC 36-7-11.1, except within the territorial limits of any excluded city which has created a board of zoning appeals pursuant to the provisions of the Indiana Acts of 1981, P.L. 309, sec 23, as amended.

POWERS OF THE IHPC ACTING AS THE BOARD - The IHPC acting as a Division of the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals has the power to:

(a) Hear and determine:

1. Any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official, hearing officer, or staff member under the zoning ordinance:

2. Any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative board or other body except the Metropolitan Development Commission in relation to the enforcement of the zoning ordinance; or

3. Any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative board or other body except the Metropolitan Development Commission in relation to the enforcement of an ordinance adopted under I.C. 36-7-4 requiring the procurement of an Improvement Location Permit.

(b) Approve or deny all:

1. Special Exceptions;

CATEGORIES OF PETITIONS AND REQUESTS - The Indianapolis HistoricPreservation Commission may take action relative to the following matters:

(a) Use Variance Petition - A variance for a use or structure that is not permitted in the zoning district.

(b) Development Standards Variance Petition - A departure from the provisions of a zoning ordinance relating to frontage, yard, area, coverage, setback, height, size, parking, loading or other requirements of the applicable zoning district, but not involving the actual use.

Note: The following are exempt from seeking a variance of development standards for setbacks when approved by the IHPC with a Certificate of Appropriateness.

  • Side and rear setbacks
  • Front yard setbacks when property frontage abuts a street that is not listed on the Marion County Thoroughfare Plan.

(c) Special Exception Petition - An exception to the standard terms, regulations and requirements of an ordinance, as specified in the ordinance, relating to frontage, yard, setback, height, distance, use or other requirements of the applicable zoning district.

(d) Administrative Appeal Petition (to be filed as an approval petition) - The review by the IHPC of any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official, hearing officer, or other body except the Metropolitan Development Commission, or staff member under the zoning ordinance or in relation to the enforcement of an ordinance adopted under I. C. 36-7-4 requiring the procurement of an improvement location permit.

(e) Approval Petition - Various approvals involving the modification or termination of commitments, modification of an approved site and development plan or waiver of the waiting periods before refiling after an adverse decision or the dismissal or withdrawal of a petition.

(f) Continuances and other Special Requests.

FILING OF PETITIONS:

WHO MAY FILE - No variance, special exception or approval petition may be accepted for filing unless signed by the owner of the subject parcel or his or her duly appointed agent or representative. Any authorization to sign the petition or otherwise act on the owner's behalf with respect to the variance, special exception or approval request shall be in writing, signed by the owner and submitted at the time of filing the petition.

For purposes of this paragraph, owner is defined to include:

(a) The person(s) who holds either fee simple title to the property or a life tenant in possession as disclosed in the most recent records of the township assessor;

(b) A contract vendee;

(c) A long-term leasee (but only if the lease is recorded among the records of the county recorder and has at least twenty-five (25) years remaining before its expiration date at the time of filing the petition).

MINIMUM FILING TIME FOR HEARINGS Completed petitions are due in the IHPC office as follows:

BY 5:00 P.M. THIRTY-FIVE (35) DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING. (Hearing schedules are available from the IHPC office)

FILING ON THE IHPC'S FORMS REQUIRED - All petitions to the IHPC shall be made on forms to be supplied by the IHPC and shall include one copy of the applicable petition, one copy of the legal description of the subject property and three copies of the exhibits, material and information required by and specified on said forms. Any communication purporting to be a petition not on forms furnished by the IHPC or not containing the information called for on said forms shall be regarded as a mere notice of intention to petition and shall be of no force or effect until it is filed in the form required.

REQUIRED FINDINGS OF FACT - At the time of filing a petition, proposed detailed written findings of fact shall be filed.

Findings of Fact are the basis for the IHPC's decision on a variance, and are unique circumstances related to the site in question. Findings of Fact shall be submitted on forms provided by the staff, with the petition. The IHPC must adopt Findings of Fact in a decision to approve or deny a variance.

Any other interested party may file proposed findings of fact at any time prior to the hearing or in initial testimony at a hearing.

DOCUMENTATION OF PETITIONS- All petitions must be fully documented (as outlined within the petition packet) to allow for proper and timely review. Petitions not fully documented or for which full documentation is received late, are subject to delays in decisions or continuances of hearings.

NOTICE REQUIREMENT

IHPC'S RESPONSIBILITY

1. NOTICE BY PUBLICATION - At least ten (10) days before a public hearing of the IHPC or its hearing examiner on any petition, notice is published by the IHPC.

2. INDIANA OPEN DOOR LAW - All other postings and notices required by the Indiana Open Door Law will be done by the IHPC.

PETITIONER'S RESPONSIBILITY

NOTICE TO SURROUNDING PROPERTY OWNERS - Notice of each petition MUST be given by the petitioner in the following manner:

  1. NOTICE LETTER: A letter from the petitioner(or standard form available at the IHPC office) which must state:

    • the petition number

    • substance of the petition

    • the location by address of the subject property

    • the name and address of the petitioner

    • time and place the petition will be heard

    • statement that the petition and file may be examined in the office of the IHPC

  2. NOTICE PLACARD: Further notice, on a form prescribed by the IHPC shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the subject property at least twenty-three (23) days before the date of the hearing and shall remain posted until after final disposition of the petition.

  3. WHO TO NOTIFY: All owners (not renters)of adjoining parcels of ground to a depth of two (2) ownership's within six hundred and sixty (660) feet of the perimeter of the subject property lines.

  4. NOTE 1: Subject property includes the parcel(s) subject to the petition and any contiguous parcels owned by the petitioner.

    NOTE 2: For large multi-unit condominium projects, notice may be given to the condominium association's president or its hired manager

    NOTE 3: For the purpose of compliance with this rule, the owner of a property, and the owner's address, shall be the same as the record in the applicable Township Assessor's office at the time notice is sent.

  5. HOW TO SEND: Notices may be delivered TO THE OWNER of the property requiring notice in ANY of the following ways:

    • by hand (to the owner, not necessarily the occupant)

    • first class, registered or certified mail

    • FAX

    • May be sent in same envelope with notice for IHPC Certificate of Appropriateness hearing

  6. WHEN TO SEND: At least twenty three (23) days prior to the date of the hearing.

NOTICE TO NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS - Notice MUST be given by the petitioner to neighborhood organizations in the following manner:

  1. TYPE OF NOTICE: Same notice sent to property owners.

  2. WHO TO NOTIFY: Each neighborhood organization whose boundaries include the property of any adjoining parcels of ground to a depth of two (2) ownership's within six hundred and sixty (660) feet of the perimeter of the subject property lines. Names of such organizations are available from the IHPC office.

    NOTE: This rule applies equally to individually designated properties, even if not in a historic district.

  3. HOW TO SEND: In the same manner as notices sent to property owners.

  4. WHEN TO SEND: At least twenty-three (23) days prior to the date of the hearing.

NOTICE TO CITY COUNTY COUNCILOR: - Notice MUST be given by the petitioner to the City County Councilor in the following manner:

  1. TYPE OF NOTICE: Same notice sent to property owners.

  2. WHO TO NOTIFY: Each City County Councilor whose district boundaries include the property of any adjoining parcels of ground to a depth of two (2) ownership's within six hundred and sixty (660) feet of the perimeter of the subject property lines. Names of Councilors are available from the IHPC office.

    NOTE: This rule applies equally to individually designated properties, even if not in a historic district.

  3. HOW TO SEND: In the same manner as notices sent to property owners.

  4. WHEN TO SEND: At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the hearing.

NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR APPROVAL PETITIONS - Notice of all approval petitions to be heard by the IHPC shall be given in the following manner:

  1. NOTICE BY PUBLICATION - At least ten (10) days before a public hearing of the IHPC or its hearing officer on any petition, notice is published by the IHPC.

  2. ADDITIONAL NOTICE BY PETITIONERS - Additional notice shall be provided as follows:

    1. Additional notice, on a form prescribed by the IHPC, shall be given by the petitioner, by registered, certified or first class mail at least ten (10) calendar days before the date of the hearing, to all neighborhood organizations notified in the original petition, to all remonstrators' attorneys who appeared at the hearing in the original petition or, if none appeared, to the first two persons who spoke on behalf of the remonstrators.

    2. If the approval petition is not filed within twelve (12) months from the date of the decision by the IHPC on the original petition, ten (10) day notice shall also be given to owners of adjoining land as outlined above.

AFFIDAVIT OF NOTICE - The petitioner or his representative MUST furnish evidence of compliance with the above notice requirements by filing with the IHPC a notarized statement listing the names and addresses of property owners and neighborhood organizations and City-County Councilors to whom notice was given. This notarized statement must be filed with the IHPC within three business days of the mailing of the notice. "Business day" shall be defined as any day the IHPC office is open to the public during normal business hours.

NOTE: Petitioners are responsible for providing adequate notice to surrounding property owners and neighborhood organizations and are responsible for any errors in providing notice. Petitions without completed affidavits WILL NOT be heard at a hearing.

WAIVER OF NOTICE - If proper notice to surrounding property owner's neighborhood organizations and City-County Councilors has not been given, the IHPC or Hearing Officer may continue the case to a later date to allow time for the unnotified person to prepare for the hearing. Personal appearance shall waive any defect in personal notice unless said defect is raised at the hearing.

MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

RULES FOR ALL MEETINGS AND HEARINGS WHEN IHPC ACTS AS THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - All meetings and hearings of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and all Hearing Officer hearings are open to the public (with the exception of Executive Sessions as allowed by the Indiana Open Door Law.) Both petitioners and remonstrators have the right to give testimony in accordance with these rules.

APPEARANCE IN PERSON, BY AGENT OR ATTORNEY - At all hearings any party may appear in person, by agent, or by attorney. An attorney or other representative of any petitioner or remonstrator, may testify and will be sworn in and subject to cross examination. The Administrator of the IHPC has the right to appear in person, by agent, or attorney and present evidence, statements, and arguments in support of or in opposition of any case or other matter being considered.

TESTIMONY UNDER OATH All testimony before the IHPC is given under oath or affirmation, which is administered by a person qualified to administer oaths.

TIME ALLOWED FOR TESTIMONY - Petitioners and remonstrators, respectively, are permitted a total of twenty (20) minutes for the presentation of evidence, statements, and arguments at the public hearing of every case before the IHPC or Hearing Officer. A reasonable amount of additional time is then allowed by the IHPC (or Hearing Officer) for questions, and for staff comments. The petitioner may then be permitted ten (10) minutes for rebuttal. The Chairperson of the IHPC or the Hearing Officer, respectively, may waive the above time limit.

CONTINUANCES - The IHPC or its staff may request continuance of any petition. One continuance at the request of the petitioner will be granted as a matter of right and without cause shown. No other continuance will be granted at the hearing to petitioners or remonstrators except for good cause shown.

RULES FOR HEARINGS WHEN THE IHPC ACTS AS THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

TIME AND PLACE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS - Regular meetings and public hearings of the IHPC are held in the City-County Building, Indianapolis, Indiana (or at another announced location) at 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. If the regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the meeting will be held on the next day that is not a legal holiday.

SPECIAL MEETINGS AND HEARINGS - A special meeting of the IHPC may be held if called by the President or by five members. Written notice of a special meeting is not required if the time of the special meeting is fixed at a previous regular meeting.

QUORUM AND OFFICIAL VOTE - A majority of the members of the IHPC constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the IHPC is necessary to authorize any action.

INDECISIVE VOTE - In any case where a vote of the IHPC does not result in official action of the IHPC as set forth in the previous section, the petition will automatically be redocketed and heard at the next regularly scheduled hearing of the IHPC.

WAIVER OF RULES - The IHPC shall have the right to waive the Rules of Procedure upon its own motion, or upon request of an interested party, for good cause shown.

FINAL DISPOSITION OF PETITIONS-IHPC ACTING AS THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

DISMISSAL OF PETITIONS - The IHPC may dismiss a petition for want of prosecution or for lack jurisdiction.

WITHDRAWAL OF PETITIONS - No petition may be withdrawn by the petitioner after that petition has been called for a vote.

PROCEDURE FOR APPEAL OF IHPC'S DECISION TO THE METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION - An official designated by the metropolitan development commission may appeal to the metropolitan development commission any decision of a board of zoning appeals regarding an administrative appeal, or approving a special exception, a special or conditional use, or a variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance. The official must file in the office of the department of metropolitan development a notice of appeal within five (5) days after the board file a copy of the decision in the office of the board. However, if a representative of the department of metropolitan development appears at the hearing at which the administrative appeal is decided, or the special exception, special or conditional use, or a variance is approved, then the official must file the notice of appeal within five (5) days after the board has rendered its decision. The notice must certify that the decision raises a substantial question of zoning policy appropriate for consideration by the commission. The commission shall hear the appeal at its next regular meeting held not less than five (5) days after the notice of appeal is filed.

LETTER OR GRANT OR DENIAL - Following the IHPC's action on an administrative appeal, a special exception, an approval or a variance petition, the Administrator shall notify the petitioner of the IHPC's decision by sending the petitioner a letter of grant or denial which shall include, if a letter of grant, all conditions imposed by the IHPC. A letter of grant will not be sent until any commitments required by the IHPC are submitted and are properly executed and recorded.

CONDITIONS AND COMMITMENTS - AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLIANCE

CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY IHPC - AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLIANCE - Whenever the decision of the IHPC is conditioned upon petitioner's compliance with a requirement imposed by the IHPC concerning construction or site development (e.g., installation of landscaping, fencing, paving, curb stops or any comparable requirement) and such condition is recited in the letter of grant, petitioner shall be required to notify the IHPC of the timely fulfillment of such requirement by filing an affidavit of compliance in the offices of the IHPC. If the time for fulfillment of the condition is stated in the IHPC's decision, such affidavit shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the time allowed for fulfillment. If the time for fulfillment is not stated in the IHPC's decision, the affidavit shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the commencement of the use or completion of construction authorized by the IHPC's decision, whichever is earlier.

Failure to comply with any conditions imposed by the IHPC acting as the Board of Zoning Appeals shall constitute a violation enforceable by governmental authority pursuant to the provisions of I.C. 36-7-4-1014.

COMMITMENTS - RECORDS - If deemed advisable, the IHPC may require or permit the petitioner to make written commitments concerning the use or development of the subject property.

The commitments shall be reduced to writing in recordable form and signed by the owner(s) of the real estate. The commitments shall authorize their recording by the Neighborhood and Development Services Division in the office of the Recorder of Marion County, Indiana, upon the grant of the variance, special exception or approval petition by the IHPC. Following the recording of the commitments, the Neighborhood and Development Services Division shall return the original recorded commitments to petitioner and shall retain a copy of the recorded commitments in its file.

The IHPC may require in such commitment the designation of any specially affected persons or categories of specially affected persons, who (in addition to persons entitled to receive notice of the hearing shall be entitled to enforcement thereof pursuant to I.C. 36-7-4-1015.

The commitments may be modified or terminated by a decision of the IHPC made at public hearing pursuant to an approval petition filed and considered pursuant to these Rules of Procedure. Any modification or termination of the commitments approved by the IHPC shall not be in full force and effect until reduced to writing by the present owner(s) of the real estate, approved by the IHPC, and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Marion County, Indiana.

APPEAL PROCEDURE

JUDICIAL REVIEW BY CERTIORARI - Every decision of the IHPC shall be subject to review by certiorari, in accordance with Indiana Code 36-7-4. Such petition for certiorari shall be presented to the court within thirty (30) calendar days after the decision of the IHPC. The petitioner for certiorari shall pay the costs of preparation of the transcript of the hearing before the IHPC if the writ of certiorari calls for a transcript of evidence before said IHPC.

ADMINISTRATOR'S APPEAL TO THE COMMISSION - An official designated by the metropolitan development commission may appeal to the metropolitan development commission any decision of a board of zoning appeals regarding an administrative appeal, or approving a special exception, a special or conditional use, or a variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance. The official must file in the office of the department of metropolitan development a notice of appeal within five (5) days after the board file a copy of the decision in the office of the board. However, if a representative of the department of metropolitan development appears at the hearing at which the administrative appeal is decided, or the special exception, special or conditional use, or a variance is approved, then the official must file the notice of appeal within five (5) days after the board has rendered its decision. The notice must certify that the decision raises a substantial question of zoning policy appropriate for consideration by the commission. The commission shall hear the appeal at its next regular meeting held not less than five (5) days after the notice of appeal is filed.

EXHIBITS

All exhibits, whether submitted by petitioner or remonstrator, shall be given an exhibit number and may be retained in the files of the IHPC.

Contents | Section One | Section Three