Indianapolis panel overreached in adopting Millersville Plan

August 12, 2015

A landowner has successfully challenged the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission’s adoption of a plan that reduced potential residential development on 21 acres in the northeast-side community of Millersville.

The Millersville Plan sprang from the Millersville at Fall Creek Valley Community Organization’s efforts to promote the community’s history and culture, connect its parks to greenways, shops and trails, and improve the community for its residents.

Fifty Six LLC, whose agent of record is attorney Rosemary Adams Huffman, owns the acreage in the enclave near East 56th Street and Emerson Way. The landowner sued after the commission adopted a plan that would have reduced residential density on the property from five or six units per acre to one-and-a-half units per acre, according to the record.

A Marion Superior Court ruled in favor of the city, but the decision was reversed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The city failed to provide required public notice of changes to the plan, and the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of the city and denying Fifty Six’s motion to correct error.

“The designated evidence shows that, although Landowner received a copy of the Revised Description on April 25, 2012, the final draft of the Millersville Plan was not available to the public until, at the earliest, May 11, 2012, was available on the City’s website on May 14, 2012, and was adopted on May 16, 2012, five days after publication of the final draft,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel.  

"We conclude that the Millersville Plan did not comply with the requirement that the plan be published in its entirety ten days prior to a hearing pursuant to Ind. Code § 36-7-4-507. On this basis, we reverse the trial court’s order granting the MDC’s cross-motion for summary judgment and its order denying Landowner’s motion to correct error and remand for further proceedings.”

The case is Fifty Six LLC, individually and, alternatively, in the name of the State of Indiana on relation of Fifty Six LLC v. The Metropolitan Development Commission of Marion County, 49A05-1407-PL-323.



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