Monday, September 10, 2012

Judge's Ruling Clears Way for Fast Park Facility in Ameriplex

On August 29, Superior Court Judge Michael Keele ruled against the Indianapolis Airport Authority's lawsuit that claimed the Metropolitan Development Commission lacked the authority to modify the land use plan for Ameriplex.  This ruling was unequivocal, ceding no iota of the IAA's arguments as holding legal water.

I uploaded the opinions to Google Docs (here and here)

By ruling against the Airport, Judge Keele has cleared the way for the construction (FINALLY) of the Fast Park facility that was the basis of the MDC's decision way back in February (see "Yesterday's Zoning Case - Its About Far More Than a Parking Facility").

The Fast Park has seen it's entry into the Indianapolis market greeted with legal maneuvers against it by Airport parking facilities who simple did not want Fast Park's competition.  First, Indy Park Ride & Fly over in Plainfield, hired attorney Brian Tuohy to try to shut down Ameriplex's land use petitions filed with the MDC.  The MDC's approval, by an overwhelming vote of 6-2, should have been the end of it.  But, by this time Tuohy had landed a client with even deeper pockets - the Indianapolis Airport.  They filed this lawsuit in March and we finally have a decision, reaffirming the February decision of the MDC and its authority to render that decision.

This is great news for Decatur Township.  I outlined in a five part series how the Fast Park facility will provide us with property taxes outside of the TIF district that consumes most of Ameriplex and will divert tax revenues until at least 2023.  (see "The 800 Pound Gorilla - Indianapolis Airport", "Decatur Township", "Ameriplex", and "Fast Park Project")

It is also great news for those who think the Airport should not use its unlimited resource of other people's money to squelch competition.  Its not even like it's hurting for money and needs the parking revenues from its own operations (see "Mike Wells, Indy Airport Board President, Misled Press and Public on Airport Finances").

Ultimately, it is great news for central Indiana residents who can use another option when deciding where to park their cars when on a flight out of town.  Yelp reviews of the Fast Park operation, in other cities where it is located, give it an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 for 652 reviews.

And last but not least, it must be noted that the Fast Park & Relax facility will be green - with canopies over every parking spot to protect the cars as well as reduce the heat island effect and for solar panels to be affixed to the top.  They capture and use rain water for irrigating their landscaping.  They will have electric charging stations for folks with those kinds of cars.  And, they will help show the way for local businesses to adopt a green approach while still building a business that works.  For, if a parking facility can do it, everyone can.

Its been a long road to reach this victory.  But, we have.  Now, time to celebrate !!!


Anonymous said...

We are now number 8, per MSN, Indianapolis is now the 8th most expensive city to vist as a traveler. In Indianapolis those taxes go to support the Simons and the Irsays why should the airport be any different?

Anonymous said...

It's not over yet. The IAA may consider filing an appeal to further drag this situation out in hopes that Fast Park will go away.
I believe the IAA was duped into doing the legal battle for Park Ride and Fly by their attorney Brian Tuohy, in scaring the IAA into believing the airport would lose substantial revenue, to which Brian subsequently was then hired by the IAA. In this case, Brian’s only winning argument after losing a decision from the MDC and Judge Keele in a judicial review. If the MDC did not have authority to approve this land use, then many past decisions approved by the MDC may be challenged, perhaps like other major development projects such as the industrial Park 100 or retail development of Keystone at the Crossing.
Then to the airport losing significant revenue. There are seemly reasonable facts to support an established defined market for offsite parking with Park Ride and Fly running less than 100% capacity, that hypothetically even having 10,000 offsite parking would not significantly change consumer behavior. Otherwise Park Ride and Fly would be looking to expand. The airport has an established competitive advantage. Although, consumers should have a choice.
I submit that Fast Park having a site closer to the airport, having no stop lights vs 3 and offering covered carports would be more than likely be a bigger competitive threat to Park Ride and Fly than the airport. It seems that Indianapolis and IAA would want to support a Marion county business generating an estimated $500,000/yr in tax revenues over an adjacent competing county. The City of Indianapolis had been supportive of the Fast Park development and the Airport had a neutral position prior to Brian Tuohy creating an unjustified paranoid situation. There is a strong national and local support for free enterprise, fair competition and the success of small business. Though now the IAA as an 800 lb gorilla wants to quash competition and inadvertently not only take sides with a competitor in the next county, but also pick up the legal tap too. The airport should not be overly concerned about their competitive position and allow consumers a choice through fair competition.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Well said !

Anonymous said...

Decatur Township council and Holliday Properties does what they want, when they want. I am embarrassed I moved to Decatur Township without going to these meetings and knowing better what I was in for. Pat Andrews will whine, cry and stomp her feet til she gets what she wants. Unfortunately, I was told about Holliday Properties and the council after I moved and have many neighbors who no longer go to these meetings because they know it is not the "people" of the neighborhood that make decisions, it is the council board and Holliday properties. Now, lets see if this gets posted in your little blog, because several people have sent comments to this affect that you do not post. Tells me something.

Had Enough Indy? said...

You obviously don't know what you are talking about. For instance, comments post automatically on this blog. Time to go stomp my feet some.