Law would limit Triple S involvement in historical district

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By Brent Schanding

Planning and zoning commissioners could play a lesser role in setting the city's historic district boundaries if Shelbyville City Council approves a measure next month to abolish some of their authority.

The legislation comes after a contentious vote last year to cede parts of 10th Street, Bland Avenue and surrounding corridors into the city's roughly 20-block historic district.

Council spent several months debating that measure, which was partly stalled by planning and zoning stipulations, said City Attorney Frank Chuppe. City regulations required consent from the Triple S Planning and Zoning Commission before the council could take action on the plan.

"But {Triple S} didn't think it was a planning and zoning issue," Chuppe said. "They thought it was a council issue."

Initial plans for the revised ordinance also called for the elimination of the city planner's involvement in the decision-making process, a point councilman Mike Miller contested.

"That's the person with the expertise and ability to say this is what Shelbyville will look like 10, 20 years from now," said Miller, who pushed to keep the planner involved. "I just think it would be a prudent action."

As outlined under the proposed ordinance, council consented to keep the planner as an adviser in historic district boundary issues.

"But ultimately, we would have the final decision on the boundary of the district," said Mayor Tom Hardesty.

Council is expected to vote on the proposed amendment at its Feb. 7 regular meeting.