Monday, April 8, 2013

Indianapolis Airport Doesn't Care About the Law

For those interested in the growing power of the Mayor's office, you might want to keep an eye on the alarming autonomy being handed to the Airport Authority.

A recent ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals held that Airport Authorities do not have autonomy over the zoning on their property, but rather must go through the local municipality's zoning process.

That was last fall.  The Indianapolis Airport didn't care what the law was.  They did not file a land use petition with the City of Indianapolis for the new solar park on which City officials gathered to break ground last month.  No, they just did what they always do - what they damn well please.

HB 1045, introduced to pull military airports located in Indiana, into the State's airport systems plan if an airport is also used for civilian air traffic, has been totally transformed to give the Airport Authority unfettered access to do whatever they want.

As it now stands, HB 1045 has passed the House, the Senate, and is returned to the House to okay amendments.  It no longer contains the joint military/civilian airports at all.  Now it allows Airports to legally do what they already have been doing - using their land for any purpose they want without public review and without regard to local zoning laws.  Additionally, they will be able to enter into leases greater than 15 years for more than just the land, extending to 40 years the lease of buildings as well.  They can also use building funds to assist in interstate transportation, not just for intrastate benefits.

For anyone who has to live near the airport, the fact that this bill will let the Indianapolis Airport to run rough shot over uses on private land is disturbing.

Look at the airport perimeter - one billboard after another, showing how little regard the Airport gives to local laws and the public aesthetic behind those laws.

All those private businesses who have to compete on an unfair playing field because of the Airport's tax free status will continue to suffer.  Add on top of that the Airport's complete disregard of the effect of allowing incompatible uses on land it owns abutting private property, as long as they can make a buck in the process, and you have a recipe for degradation of land values next to the Airport.

I have been waiting for the City to follow the law and insist that the Airport run its zoning through the local public process - as determined by the Courts.

But, I guess they were all in on this hijacking of the Legislative Session to pull this fast one on an unsuspecting public.


Jon said...

So we wait until the legislative session is almost over and then we drop this piece of crap legislation into the mix.
What the benefit of a totally unfettered airport? Is there any other legislation that "trumps" local zoning? Why is this legislation necessary?
Just another crummy law benefiting an "elite group" at the expense of everyone else.

Had Enough Indy? said...