Local

Local Issues

Please contact Lynne Petersen or Gretchen White with feedback or questions on the below.

Update on EID Petitions

Economic Improvement Districts (EIDs) are beginning to pop-up around the state. The state law authorizing their use has existed since the 1980s but until recently very few communities have enacted them. This year there have been discussions surrounding proposals to create such districts in downtown Indianapolis, downtown Evansville, Fletcher Place/Fountain Square in Indianapolis, and Brownsburg. These are considered voluntary assessments since the petitions must have at least half of the property assessed value within the district and majority of owners. The assessments are billed on the property tax statement but fall outside of the property tax caps. IAA members need to be aware of these as they are typically authorized for ten years but the term is not limited by state statute. The local councils must adopt an ordinance to officially create the EID after the petition thresholds have been reached. The local council has the power to appoint board members and annually must approve, modify or reject annual budgets. These should be cautiously evaluated on the impact to affordable housing and other merits.

Evansville: The Downtown Economic Improvement District has been established after reaching the necessary petition thresholds and approval from the city council. The EID is expected to collect $625,000 from those within the District in 2018 and divided among Economic Development and marketing efforts, beautification and maintenance; and administration. The Board is comprised of 22 people who will serve in one, two and three-year terms.

Downtown Indianapolis: Wants to raise roughly $3M annually from downtown business owners and homeowners within the downtown mile square. Status: Petitions have been mailed but the thresholds have not been reached.

IAA is opposed to this EID as the case for why it is necessary has not been made to property owners. A letter to commercial business owners within the district was mailed on behalf of IAA and Americans for Prosperity raising some of the concerns that have not been addressed by organizers of the EID.

Fletcher Place/Fountain Square: Wants to raise roughly $85,000 annually from business owners and homeowners. Status: Petitions are expected to be mailed in the near future.

Brownsburg: There has been talk of creating an EID to fund transportation services to address workforce issues.

Bloomington reduces height of buildings in downtown

The Bloomington Common Council adopted Ordinance 17-45 which decrease maximum heights by 10 feet and divide the allowable density in half within some places. Language within the ordinances sets forth reasons a waiver can be granted.

View Ordinance 17-45

Carmel clarifies noise ordinance for construction hours

The Carmel City Council adopted Ordinance D-2378-17 to clarify its existing noise ordinance. The language struck “construction and repair equipment” from the exemption list which allows such noises between the hours of 6am and 10pm. The amendment was an attempt to clarify the 2014 ordinance which limited allowable hours for building construction noise to 7am-9pm.

View Ordinance D-2378-17

Elwood adopts rental registration program, begins January 1

The Elwood City Council adopted Ordinance 2284 which seeks to create a rental registration program for the city. There is no fee to register but initial registrations and annual renewals are to be submitted by January 1. There is also local discussion surrounding the creation of a Good Neighbor Ordinance and IAA contacted decisionmakers to be sure they are aware of recent state legislation that could impact their proposal.

View Ordinance 2284

Evansville Council establishes Downtown Evansville EID by ordinance

The Evansville City Council adopted Ordinance G-2017-33 which officially established the Downtown Economic Improvement District. Supporters of the EID previously sent a petition to property owners within the proposed District and garnered the support from more than half of the property owners and those with more than half of the assessed value. Receiving council approval was the final step in establishing the EID. Single-family residences are capped at $100 annually and $150 along the Main Street benefit zone. Commercial properties are assessed at 0.21 per $100 of assessed value plus those within the Main Street Benefit Zone are assessed an additional frontage fee of $7.35 per foot. It is recommended that properties owned by non-profit and used for a non-profit use contribute 50% of the commercial assessment rate but are not required to participate. This fee does not fall under the property tax caps and will appear on the 2018 property tax bill. The EID is effective for ten years.

View full ordinance

Evansville Council adopts new contractor licensing fee schedule

The Evansville City Council adopted Ordinance G-2017-28 which replaces the existing licensing fee schedule. The language established a new license fee, annual renewal fee and a two-year renewal fee option. All those with licenses within Evansville should review the proposal.

View Ordinance G-2017-28

Evansville Council to introduce new permit and construction fees

The Evansville City Council recently adopted Ordinance G-2017-29 which replaces the existing fee schedule for permits and construction fees. A number of increases were included in the proposal, including water heater or fixture replacement fees which are raised from $10 to $25 for residential and $50 for commercial.

View Ordinance G-2017-29

View previous fee schedule

Evansville adopts lead poisoning amendment

The Evansville City Council has adopted Ordinance G-2017-23 which strikes existing municipal code dealing with lead poisoning and replace it with references to the Indiana State Department of Health’s administrative rules and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations surrounding lead poisoning and lead-based paint. IAA has previously expressed concerns regarding a proposal in Evansville which would have made lead-based paint regulations and lead poisoning thresholds more restrictive than the rest of the state. IAA is supportive of this ordinance which should halt discussion of more stringent lead requirements in Evansville.

View Ordinance G-2017-23

Evansville Council adopts resolution outlining abatement scoring criteria

Members of the Evansville City Council recently Resolution C-2017-16 to ratify criteria to be used when the City Council is considering tax abatements. Of interest was language under the residential section establishing the threshold of requiring projects with “5 unit (or more) multifamily dwelling(s) with at least 20% low-income units.” Further when determining the appropriate number of years for such an abatement the document says to consider “percentage of units dedicated to low or moderate-income households.” The final page in “Exhibit A” highlights the overall scoring differences which are significant. The language goes along with proposed.

View Ordinance F-2017-13.

Fishers Plan Commission and Council adopts open space requirements

The Fishers Plan Commission and Council adopted Ordinance 071717 amending a portion of the Comprehensive Plan and Ordinance to set open space standards. The language sets specific minimum open space requirements (listed below) and also provides examples of acceptable open-space amenities. Please note detention and retention areas will not count towards the open space percentage unless it includes a site design amenity, as determined by the Plan Commission or Mayor’s Designee.

Minimum Open Space required for each development as a percentage of its gross acreage:

Residential, All Non-Conservation Subdivision Types: 20%

Residential, All Conservation Subdivision: 40%

Non-Residential, Strip Commercial Center: 10%

Non-Residential, Commercial District Subdivision: 15%

Non-Residential, Employment Node District: 15%

Non-Residential, Industrial Park Subdivision: 20%

Non-Residential, Planned Unit Development: 20%

Mixed Use, Planned Unit Developments: 20%

View Ordinance 071717

Fort Wayne Council adopts ordinances targeting problem properties

The Fort Wayne City Council adopted Ordinances G-17-09-19 and G-17-09-20, targeting problem properties. The first proposal, G-17-09-19 targets Commercial Chronic Problem Properties and does not include residential uses. This language allows: 1) 12 valid complaints for any offense under Federal, state or local law which occurred on the property; 2) 12 code violations; or 3) a combination of complaints and code violations which together total 12 or more in number within a 90-day period. After six complaints, the Fort Wayne Police Department will issue a Warning Notification to the owner. If the commercial property then trips the threshold the owner will receive another letter stating that the address has been designated as a Commercial Chronic Problem Property, notify the owner of the costs which may be incurred for future violations, details on how long the designation will last and terms and conditions which must be met for the removal of the designation. The proposal also sets forth conditions for remediation programs and the overall program would sunset after three years, unless readopted by the Council.

View Ordinance G-17-09-19

The second, G-17-09-20 seeks to amend the existing drug house ordinance which currently targets the use or sale of illicit narcotics or controlled dangerous substances, gambling, or prostitution to include “or conduct constituting a nuisance pursuant to state law.” This proposal impacts multifamily properties and is in response to the Chronic Problem Property language that was introduced last fall and subsequently tabled due to concerns surrounding fair housing implications. The ordinance does appear to comply with recent state legislative changes surrounding these types of ordinances.

View Ordinance G-17-09-20

Fort Wayne: The City Council adopted an increase and change in calculation for their stormwater fee. Currently non-residential properties, which include multifamily properties with four or more units, pay a monthly fee based on the number of Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) and the cost per ERU is tiered. Effective July 1st all non-residential properties will be assessed a flat $3.85 per ERU which equals 2,500 square feet. The Council also approved increases effective in 2018 and 2019.

Approved Non-Residential Stormwater Fee per EDU

Rate per month                                        Effective Date

$3.85                                                                 July 1, 2017

$4.25                                                                 July 1, 2018

$4.75                                                                 July 1, 2019

View Ordinance G-17-03-11

Fort Wayne Council to consider housing ordinances

The Fort Wayne Common Council adopted two ordinances which seek to repeal and replace existing minimum standards and housing regulations.

G-17-03-26 repeals and replaces Chapter 150: Minimum Conditions and Maintenance of Commercial, Industrial and other Property or Premises

G-17-03-27 repeals and replaces Chapter 152: Housing and Building Standards

Fort Wayne considers trash fee increase for properties with 2-4 units

The Fort Wayne City Council adopted Ordinance G-17-05-20 which increases the trash user fee for both residential and those properties with 2-4 units. The proposed increase is $2.05 for residential and $4.10 for those properties with 2-4 units. The increase would bring the user fee to $12 per month for residential and $24 per month for properties with 2-4 units, effective January 1, 2018.

View Ordinance G-17-05-20

Indianapolis Council adopts changes to rental registry program

Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council adopted Proposal 114 without discussion by a vote of 19-3. The language impacts units being advertised as rentals and those offered for sale as rent-to-own, added the collection of a phone number to the information required to be collected on the registration form and provided an exemption for certain short-term rentals.

View Amended Proposal 114

Indianapolis Council adopts recording fee increase

The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved Proposal 133, authorizing the Marion County Recorder to charge a flat fee of $10 for each document recorded with fees collected being deposited into the housing trust fund. The proposal is effective on August 1, 2017.

View Proposal 133

Indianapolis amends ‘ban the box’ ordinance 

In response to a new state law, the Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously adopted Proposal 177 which amends their existing ordinance outlawing the city and vendors from requiring an applicant to disclose or reveal any arrest or criminal accusations. The Indiana General Assembly adopted legislation during this past session prohibiting the state and municipalities from passing laws and ordinances requiring employers to remove the check box on applications that asks if job seekers have a criminal record.

View Ordinance 177

Alert: Indianapolis properties make sure communities are listed on landlord registry

IAA has been informed (by a City County Council member) that some of the larger rental unit communities are not currently listed on the Indianapolis landlord registry, meaning properties were either unaware of the program or possibly forgot to renew. The administration is working to ensure all rental properties are included and are researching names of communities for enforcement letters to be sent. The Indianapolis Registration renewal is due by January 1 of each year. IAA previously expressed concerns to the Head of the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services as many members reported only receiving one e-mail reminder about needing to renew. The cost is $5 per property and ask that properties check their status and renew accordingly.

General Landlord Registration Information (scroll to bottom of webpage)

Landlord Registration Renewal Instructions

Lawrence (Indianapolis): The Council adopted a water rate increase on May 1 by a vote of 6-2. The amended proposal seeks to implement the increase over three phases, with the initial increase effective one-month after the ordinance is adopted. Phase II is effective on January 1, 2019 and Phase III is effective January 1, 2020. Language in the proposal also requires a new rate design that results in a fair allocation of costs to residential, commercial and industry ratepayers to be presented to the Council not later than August 31, 2018.

View amended Ordinance 7

Lafayette Council introduces amendment to enforcement of traffic ordinances on private property

At the urging of IAA, the Lafayette City Council introduced Ordinance 2017-34 to amend the traffic enforcement language that was adopted several months ago. Ordinance 2017-26 established the framework for the Police Department to enter into Enforcement Contracts with owners of multifamily properties but ignored provisions of state law that provide much needed protections to owners of such properties. The language requires that the owner make the request for a contract in writing; includes language regarding protections to multifamily properties, ensuring they cannot be liable, sanctioned or subject to adverse legal consequences for any law or injury resulting from the Police Department’s enforcement of the contract; and protections afforded to any owner that decides it does not want to enter into an enforcement contract. IAA successfully advocated for these protections in the state law and believe it is important for this language to be included in local ordinances. The Council unanimously supported Ordinance 2017-34.

View Ordinance 2017-26

View Ordinance 2017-34

South Bend Council approves tax abatement eligibility amendment

The South Bend Council adopted amended Ordinance 48-17 requiring applicants for a base tax abatement to pay all company employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary) a minimum wage of at least as high as the minimum wage paid to all employees of the City of South Bend. An amendment clarified that the minimum wage would be inclusive of tips received by employees who receive tips and amended the effective date to January 1, 2018. Indiana state law prohibits locals from establishing a minimum wage impacting private business and this appears to be the first city to attempt to go around this by tying wages to their local tax abatement application.

View Ordinance 48-17

South Bend adopts amendment to disorderly house code

The City of South Bend City Council recently adopted Ordinance 46-17 which adds dealing a synthetic drug lookalike substance such as cannabinoid to prohibited conduct within their existing disorderly house code.

View Ordinance 46-17

South Bend outlines timeline for changing Chronic Problem Property Ordinance

In response to language IAA successfully advocated for at the Statehouse, South Bend City Attorney told IAA that they plan to introduce and adopt an amendment to their existing Chronic Problem Property ordinance which is no longer in compliance with state law by early 2018. The legislation ensures victims or potential victims of crime or abuse and those calling their behalf not penalized for requesting emergency assistance by prohibiting such penalties. The language also says that ordinances establishing penalties for requesting law enforcement assistance are capped at $250 and must be assessed to the resident, as opposed to the property owner.  The South Bend attorney told IAA that absent a revised ordinance they are no longer enforcing provisions of the ordinance that conflict with the state law. The local ordinance does not thoroughly explain who is eligible for their victim exception and penalties for police runs that trip their set threshold are assessed against a rental property owner.

Union City officials discussing rental registration and inspection program

IAA has learned that Union City’s Mayor and Council are discussing the creation of a rental registration and inspection program. The language, to IAA’s knowledge has not been introduced at this point but key decisionmakers are aware of the $5 per property cap and must provide an opt-out of their inspection program for properties already undergoing certain 3rd party inspections per IAA’s advocacy at the statehouse. Local elected officials put together a second draft of a possible ordinance, included below.

View Draft Union City Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance

Warsaw council increases sewer rate

Members of the Warsaw Common Council adopted Ordinance 2017-10-09 to increase local sewer rates.

As previously reported, IAA had concerns with the initial proposal seeking to drastically increase fees being paid by multifamily properties. The council initially sought to assess multifamily units a $12 base fee equal to a single-family residence plus a fee based on water usage. The base fee included a $3.79 billing fee, which was to be collected from each individual unit, but IAA raised concerns as bills are not generated by the utility for each unit and their cost of service study indicated billing revenue was based on the overall number of bills generated. The compromise was to waive the $3.79 billing fee from within the base fee for multifamily properties.  The mayor and council has indicated that they will seek a new cost of services study next year before requesting an additional rate increase.  IAA believes the utility should be charging a base fee based on the size of meters present on a property (similar to commercial properties) and a fee based on water usage. IAA will continue to advocate for this change with council members as discussions on Phase II begin next year.

Current sewer fee: $10 per unit

New sewer fee: $8.21 per unit plus $5.65 per 1,000 gallons of water used

View full ordinance

2016 IAA Local Issues

Bloomington: The mayor has publicly expressed interest in adopting an ordinance to mandate inclusionary zoning for all types of housing. IAA understands the mayor has been demanding developers to participate in this program before having their projects approved which is very troubling. This is the first such attempt within the state but many cities across the nation have mandated similar language which require developers to set aside a certain percentage of units in all new projects for affordable housing (typically defined by a set percentage of the Area Median Income). Some programs include language which allow a payment in lieu of fee which allows a developer to bypass including affordable units in exchange for paying the city a set per unit fee for each unit that would otherwise become affordable housing. IAA and several other groups are currently working with the Indiana Business Research Center on a housing study to better understand the needs of the area. Existing data appears to include student housing which can lower the average income and increase the average rents.

Bloomington: The Council recently approved a proposal to create an Affordable Housing Fund which will be administered by the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department. The purpose of the fund will be to provide financial assistance to support individuals and families with income at or below 130% of the county’s median income to enable those individuals and families to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire or occupy residential units within the city; purchase property to be used for affordable housing, and develop that property as affordable housing serving those with income at or below 130% of the county’s median income; make grants, loans, and loan guarantees for the development, rehab, or financing of affordable housing serving those at or below 130% of the county’s median income for those including the elderly, persons with disabilities, and homeless individuals; provide technical assistance or other support to nonprofit developers of affordable housing; and pay expenses of administering the fund. View Ordinance 16-41

Bloomington: The Council approved sewer rate increases to begin in 2017 and will ask the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to approve a water increase. The sewer increase will result in an increase of 22% beginning January 1, 2017 and the local utility must receive approval from the IURC before implementing any water increases. View Ordinance 16-10

Bloomington: Circulated a draft regulating short-term rentals. The draft targeted residents who sublease their units and homeowners posting their homes on websites such as Airbnb. The draft stopped short of outlawing such practices but created a number of restrictive measures which could make it more difficult for offering local short-term rentals. The draft was supposed to be introduced in November but council members indicated it would not introduced until it was reworked at a later date. View Draft

Carmel: Council approved an ordinance which recommends new projects include long-term bicycle parking and in some instances showers. The language was initially proposed as a mandate but council members were sympathetic to the potential cost of complying with the language. View Introduced Ordinance Z-613-16

Crawfordsville: Considering an ordinance to create a rental registration and inspection program. The rental registration program would require a $5 per property annual fee to be paid by January 31 going forward. The inspection program requires rental units to be inspected at least every five years and includes an exemption for those multifamily properties that have passed certain 3rd party inspections. Originally the proposal included a $100 per inspection fee but this was amended out during second reading. View Proposal

Evansville: The City has been seeking to increase both water and utility rates. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) recently approved increases to water rates in two phases. The Council is currently discussing a proposal to increase sewer fees from 2017-2020. View IURC Settlement Agreement View Ordinance F-2016-31

Evansville: IAA participated in a workgroup formed by a Council member requesting changes to the Good Neighbor Ordinance. The amendment included changes to what types of offenses are classified as tier one or tier two within the strike system, eliminated small amounts of marijuana possession from the list of offenses, clarified that if a property has already initiated an eviction or if the resident already vacated then the property is not required to initiate eviction proceedings after receiving notice from the Police Department, required a property initiating an eviction proceeding due to an Eviction Filing Order from the Police Department provide proof of the complaint within three business days of its filing, and clarified that if an address for an owner listed in the rental registry and Vanderburgh County Assessor’s office differs then notice shall be sent to both addresses. Additionally the amendment tightened up some language requiring the Police Department to base their violations based on the preponderance of evidence and added language regarding victims of domestic violence. The ordinance amending the existing Good Neighbor Ordinance was adopted and effective upon passage in April. IAA remains very concerned about potential discrimination and disparate impact on protected classes. View Ordinance G-2016-10

Fishers: Adopted an update to their park impact fee Zone Improvement Plan and increased the existing Park Impact Fee. A report from Umbaugh recommended multifamily be assessed a flat per unit impact fee as opposed to setting the fee based on the number of bedrooms in each unit. View Ordinance 041816E

Indianapolis: Adopted the Public Art for Neighborhoods Program ordinance requires developers receiving awards utilizing TIF funds in projects with construction costs of more than $100,000 to contribute 1% of the value of the award to the Public Art for Neighborhoods Program. Developers including public art on the specified project may receive a credit toward what would otherwise be owed. Section 42 projects and portions of projects with Section 42 properties are exempt. View Ordinance 1

Indianapolis: Reorganized various local departments and renamed the existing Department of Code Enforcement to the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. View Ordinance 207

Kokomo: Introduced a proposal to create a “Chronic Nuisance Property” designation for properties who have three police runs in a calendar month for thefts under $50 and/or three ordinance violations or verified complaints of Prohibited Conduct in any 60 day period. Once the threshold has been reached the penalties are: $250 for the first violation at the property, $500 for the second violation; and $2,500 for the third and any subsequent violations. View Ordinance 6825

New Albany: Adopted an annual rental registration program effective January 31, 2017. There was initially an inspection and compliance component included in the proposal but was later amended out. IAA attended the Council meeting to voice numerous concerns with the inspection and penalties provision which likely contributed to the language being removed. View Ordinance

New Albany: Adopted language to amend its existing municipal code impacting maintenance and inspections. Existing code allowed for complaint-based inspections of rental units and was amended to include all types of housing. Language also required screens in windows, amended egress requirements, increased penalties from $10 to $50 per day for each offense but not more than $4,500. View Ordinance G-16-2

South Bend: Adopted a rental registration program, including a $5 per property annual fee. Fines and penalties collected go towards the replacement of sidewalks and curbs. The ordinance requires units to be registered annually not later than September 15th although the date is extended to December 30, 2016 for the first year. View Ordinance 10427-16

Terre Haute: The Council recently amended Proposal 15 to increase sewer rates effective December 1 and January 1, 2018. The amended proposal was adopted by a vote of 6-3. Effective December 1 the sewer rate will be equal to $8.58 per one hundred cubic feet. Effective January 1, 2018 sewer rates increase to $9.01 per one hundred cubic feet. Sewer rates were last increased on July 1, 2015 and are currently equal to $7.40 per one hundred cubic feet. Throughout the year Terre Haute has been discussing a variety of proposal to increase revenue including the creation of a storm water user fee which ultimately was voted down unanimously. View Ordinance 15

2017 IAA Local Issues

Update on EID Petitions

Economic Improvement Districts (EIDs) are beginning to pop-up around the state. The state law authorizing their use has existed since the 1980s but until recently very few communities have enacted them. This year there have been discussions surrounding proposals to create such districts in downtown Indianapolis, downtown Evansville, Fletcher Place/Fountain Square in Indianapolis, and Brownsburg. These are considered voluntary assessments since the petitions must have at least half of the property assessed value within the district and majority of owners. The assessments are billed on the property tax statement but fall outside of the property tax caps. IAA members need to be aware of these as they are typically authorized for ten years but the term is not limited by state statute. The local councils must adopt an ordinance to officially create the EID after the petition thresholds have been reached. The local council has the power to appoint board members and annually must approve, modify or reject annual budgets. These should be cautiously evaluated on the impact to affordable housing and other merits.

Evansville: The Downtown Economic Improvement District has been established after reaching the necessary petition thresholds and approval from the city council. The EID is expected to collect $625,000 from those within the District in 2018 and divided among Economic Development and marketing efforts, beautification and maintenance; and administration. The Board is comprised of 22 people who will serve in one, two and three-year terms.

Downtown Indianapolis: Wants to raise roughly $3M annually from downtown business owners and homeowners within the downtown mile square. Status: Petitions have been mailed but the thresholds have not been reached.

IAA is opposed to this EID as the case for why it is necessary has not been made to property owners. A letter to commercial business owners within the district was mailed on behalf of IAA and Americans for Prosperity raising some of the concerns that have not been addressed by organizers of the EID.

Fletcher Place/Fountain Square: Wants to raise roughly $85,000 annually from business owners and homeowners. Status: Petitions are expected to be mailed in the near future.

Brownsburg: There has been talk of creating an EID to fund transportation services to address workforce issues.

Bloomington reduces height of buildings in downtown

The Bloomington Common Council adopted Ordinance 17-45 which decrease maximum heights by 10 feet and divide the allowable density in half within some places. Language within the ordinances sets forth reasons a waiver can be granted.

View Ordinance 17-45

Carmel clarifies noise ordinance for construction hours

The Carmel City Council adopted Ordinance D-2378-17 to clarify its existing noise ordinance. The language struck “construction and repair equipment” from the exemption list which allows such noises between the hours of 6am and 10pm. The amendment was an attempt to clarify the 2014 ordinance which limited allowable hours for building construction noise to 7am-9pm.

View Ordinance D-2378-17

Elwood adopts rental registration program, begins January 1

The Elwood City Council adopted Ordinance 2284 which seeks to create a rental registration program for the city. There is no fee to register but initial registrations and annual renewals are to be submitted by January 1. There is also local discussion surrounding the creation of a Good Neighbor Ordinance and IAA contacted decisionmakers to be sure they are aware of recent state legislation that could impact their proposal.

View Ordinance 2284

Evansville Council establishes Downtown Evansville EID by ordinance

The Evansville City Council adopted Ordinance G-2017-33 which officially established the Downtown Economic Improvement District. Supporters of the EID previously sent a petition to property owners within the proposed District and garnered the support from more than half of the property owners and those with more than half of the assessed value. Receiving council approval was the final step in establishing the EID. Single-family residences are capped at $100 annually and $150 along the Main Street benefit zone. Commercial properties are assessed at 0.21 per $100 of assessed value plus those within the Main Street Benefit Zone are assessed an additional frontage fee of $7.35 per foot. It is recommended that properties owned by non-profit and used for a non-profit use contribute 50% of the commercial assessment rate but are not required to participate. This fee does not fall under the property tax caps and will appear on the 2018 property tax bill. The EID is effective for ten years.

View full ordinance

Evansville Council adopts new contractor licensing fee schedule

The Evansville City Council adopted Ordinance G-2017-28 which replaces the existing licensing fee schedule. The language established a new license fee, annual renewal fee and a two-year renewal fee option. All those with licenses within Evansville should review the proposal.

View Ordinance G-2017-28

Evansville Council to introduce new permit and construction fees

The Evansville City Council recently adopted Ordinance G-2017-29 which replaces the existing fee schedule for permits and construction fees. A number of increases were included in the proposal, including water heater or fixture replacement fees which are raised from $10 to $25 for residential and $50 for commercial.

View Ordinance G-2017-29

View previous fee schedule

Evansville adopts lead poisoning amendment

The Evansville City Council has adopted Ordinance G-2017-23 which strikes existing municipal code dealing with lead poisoning and replace it with references to the Indiana State Department of Health’s administrative rules and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations surrounding lead poisoning and lead-based paint. IAA has previously expressed concerns regarding a proposal in Evansville which would have made lead-based paint regulations and lead poisoning thresholds more restrictive than the rest of the state. IAA is supportive of this ordinance which should halt discussion of more stringent lead requirements in Evansville.

View Ordinance G-2017-23

Evansville Council adopts resolution outlining abatement scoring criteria

Members of the Evansville City Council recently Resolution C-2017-16 to ratify criteria to be used when the City Council is considering tax abatements. Of interest was language under the residential section establishing the threshold of requiring projects with “5 unit (or more) multifamily dwelling(s) with at least 20% low-income units.” Further when determining the appropriate number of years for such an abatement the document says to consider “percentage of units dedicated to low or moderate-income households.” The final page in “Exhibit A” highlights the overall scoring differences which are significant. The language goes along with proposed View Ordinance F-2017-13.

Fishers Plan Commission and Council adopts open space requirements

The Fishers Plan Commission and Council adopted Ordinance 071717 amending a portion of the Comprehensive Plan and Ordinance to set open space standards. The language sets specific minimum open space requirements (listed below) and also provides examples of acceptable open-space amenities. Please note detention and retention areas will not count towards the open space percentage unless it includes a site design amenity, as determined by the Plan Commission or Mayor’s Designee.

Minimum Open Space required for each development as a percentage of its gross acreage: Residential, All Non-Conservation Subdivision Types: 20%

Residential, All Conservation Subdivision: 40% Non-Residential, Strip Commercial Center: 10%

Non-Residential, Commercial District Subdivision: 15% Non-Residential, Employment Node District: 15%

Non-Residential, Industrial Park Subdivision: 20% Non-Residential, Planned Unit Development: 20% Mixed Use, Planned Unit Developments: 20% View Ordinance 071717

Fort Wayne Council adopts ordinances targeting problem properties

The Fort Wayne City Council adopted Ordinances G-17-09-19 and G-17-09-20, targeting problem properties. The first proposal, G-17-09-19 targets Commercial Chronic Problem Properties and does not include residential uses. This language allows: 1) 12 valid complaints for any offense under Federal, state or local law which occurred on the property; 2) 12 code violations; or 3) a combination of complaints and code violations which together total 12 or more in number within a 90-day period. After six complaints, the Fort Wayne Police Department will issue a Warning Notification to the owner. If the commercial property then trips the threshold the owner will receive another letter stating that the address has been designated as a Commercial Chronic Problem Property, notify the owner of the costs which may be incurred for future violations, details on how long the designation will last and terms and conditions which must be met for the removal of the designation. The proposal also sets forth conditions for remediation programs and the overall program would sunset after three years, unless readopted by the Council.

View Ordinance G-17-09-19

The second, G-17-09-20 seeks to amend the existing drug house ordinance which currently targets the use or sale of illicit narcotics or controlled dangerous substances, gambling, or prostitution to include “or conduct constituting a nuisance pursuant to state law.” This proposal impacts multifamily properties and is in response to the Chronic Problem Property language that was introduced last fall and subsequently tabled due to concerns surrounding fair housing implications. The ordinance does appear to comply with recent state legislative changes surrounding these types of ordinances.

View Ordinance G-17-09-20

Fort Wayne: The City Council adopted an increase and change in calculation for their stormwater fee. Currently non-residential properties, which include multifamily properties with four or more units, pay a monthly fee based on the number of Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) and the cost per ERU is tiered. Effective July 1st all non-residential properties will be assessed a flat $3.85 per ERU which equals 2,500 square feet. The Council also approved increases effective in 2018 and 2019.

Approved Non-Residential Stormwater Fee per EDU

Rate per month                                               Effective Date

$3.85                                                                        July 1, 2017

$4.25                                                                        July 1, 2018

$4.75                                                                        July 1, 2019

View Ordinance G-17-03-11

Fort Wayne Council to consider housing ordinances

The Fort Wayne Common Council adopted two ordinances which seek to repeal and replace existing minimum standards and housing regulations.

Fort Wayne considers trash fee increase for properties with 2-4 units

The Fort Wayne City Council adopted Ordinance G-17-05-20 which increases the trash user fee for both residential and those properties with 2-4 units. The proposed increase is $2.05 for residential and $4.10 for those properties with 2-4 units. The increase would bring the user fee to $12 per month for residential and $24 per month for properties with 2-4 units, effective January 1, 2018.

View Ordinance G-17-05-20

Indianapolis Council adopts changes to rental registry program

Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council adopted Proposal 114 without discussion by a vote of 19-3. The language impacts units being advertised as rentals and those offered for sale as rent-to-own, added the collection of a phone number to the information required to be collected on the registration form and provided an exemption for certain short-term rentals.

View Amended Proposal 114

Indianapolis Council adopts recording fee increase

The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved Proposal 133, authorizing the Marion County Recorder to charge a flat fee of $10 for each document recorded with fees collected being deposited into the housing trust fund. The proposal is effective on August 1, 2017.

View Proposal 133

Indianapolis amends ‘ban the box’ ordinance

In response to a new state law, the Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously adopted Proposal 177 which amends their existing ordinance outlawing the city and vendors from requiring an applicant to disclose or reveal any arrest or criminal accusations. The Indiana General Assembly adopted legislation during this past session prohibiting the state and municipalities from passing laws and ordinances requiring employers to remove the check box on applications that asks if job seekers have a criminal record.

View Ordinance 177

Alert: Indianapolis properties make sure communities are listed on landlord registry

IAA has been informed (by a City County Council member) that some of the larger rental unit communities are not currently listed on the Indianapolis landlord registry, meaning properties were either unaware of the program or possibly forgot to renew. The administration is working to ensure all rental properties are included and are researching names of communities for enforcement letters to be sent. The Indianapolis Registration renewal is due by January 1 of each year. IAA previously expressed concerns to the Head of the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services as many members reported only receiving one e-mail reminder about needing to renew. The cost is $5 per property and ask that properties check their status and renew accordingly.

General Landlord Registration Information (scroll to bottom of webpage) Landlord Registration Renewal Instructions

Lawrence (Indianapolis): The Council adopted a water rate increase on May 1 by a vote of 6-2. The amended proposal seeks to implement the increase over three phases, with the initial increase effective one-month after the ordinance is adopted. Phase II is effective on January 1, 2019 and Phase III is effective January 1, 2020. Language in the proposal also requires a new rate design that results in a fair allocation of costs to residential, commercial and industry ratepayers to be presented to the Council not later than August 31, 2018.

View amended Ordinance 7

Lafayette Council introduces amendment to enforcement of traffic ordinances on private property

At the urging of IAA, the Lafayette City Council introduced Ordinance 2017-34 to amend the traffic enforcement language that was adopted several months ago. Ordinance 2017-26 established the framework for the Police Department to enter into Enforcement Contracts with owners of multifamily properties but ignored provisions of state law that provide much needed protections to owners of such properties. The language requires that the owner make the request for a contract in writing; includes language regarding protections to multifamily properties, ensuring they cannot be liable, sanctioned or subject to adverse legal consequences for any law or injury resulting from the Police Department’s enforcement of the contract; and protections afforded to any owner that decides it does not want to enter into an enforcement contract. IAA successfully advocated for these protections in the state law and believe it is important for this language to be included in local ordinances. The Council unanimously supported Ordinance 2017-34.

View Ordinance 2017-26 View Ordinance 2017-34

South Bend Council approves tax abatement eligibility amendment

The South Bend Council adopted amended Ordinance 48-17 requiring applicants for a base tax abatement to pay all company employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary) a minimum wage of at least as high as the minimum wage paid to all employees of the City of South Bend. An amendment clarified that the minimum wage would be inclusive of tips received by employees who receive tips and amended the effective date to January 1, 2018. Indiana state law prohibits locals from establishing a minimum wage impacting private business and this appears to be the first city to attempt to go around this by tying wages to their local tax abatement application.

View Ordinance 48-17

South Bend adopts amendment to disorderly house code

The City of South Bend City Council recently adopted Ordinance 46-17 which adds dealing a synthetic drug lookalike substance such as cannabinoid to prohibited conduct within their existing disorderly house code. View Ordinance 46-17

South Bend outlines timeline for changing Chronic Problem Property Ordinance

In response to language IAA successfully advocated for at the Statehouse, South Bend City Attorney told IAA that they plan to introduce and adopt an amendment to their existing Chronic Problem Property ordinance which is no longer in compliance with state law by early 2018. The legislation ensures victims or potential victims of crime or abuse and those calling their behalf not penalized for requesting emergency assistance by prohibiting such penalties. The language also says that ordinances establishing penalties for requesting law enforcement assistance are capped at $250 and must be assessed to the resident, as opposed to the property owner. The South Bend attorney told IAA that absent a revised ordinance they are no longer enforcing provisions of the ordinance that conflict with the state law. The local ordinance does not thoroughly explain who is eligible for their victim exception and penalties for police runs that trip their set threshold are assessed against a rental property owner.

Union City officials discussing rental registration and inspection program

IAA has learned that Union City’s Mayor and Council are discussing the creation of a rental registration and inspection program. The language, to IAA’s knowledge has not been introduced at this point but key decisionmakers are aware of the $5 per property cap and must provide an opt-out of their inspection program for properties already undergoing certain 3rd party inspections per IAA’s advocacy at the statehouse. Local elected officials put together a second draft of a possible ordinance, included below.

View Draft Union City Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance

Warsaw council increases sewer rate

Members of the Warsaw Common Council adopted Ordinance 2017-10-09 to increase local sewer rates. As previously reported, IAA had concerns with the initial proposal seeking to drastically increase fees being paid by multifamily properties. The council initially sought to assess multifamily units a $12 base fee equal to a single-family residence plus a fee based on water usage. The base fee included a $3.79 billing fee, which was to be collected from each individual unit, but IAA raised concerns as bills are not generated by the utility for each unit and their cost of service study indicated billing revenue was based on the overall number of bills generated. The compromise was to waive the $3.79 billing fee from within the base fee for multifamily properties. The mayor and council has indicated that they will seek a new cost of services study next year before requesting an additional rate increase. IAA believes the utility should be charging a base fee based on the size of meters present on a property (similar to commercial properties) and a fee based on water usage. IAA will continue to advocate for this change with council members as discussions on Phase II begin next year.

Current sewer fee: $10 per unit

New sewer fee: $8.21 per unit plus $5.65 per 1,000 gallons of water used View full ordinance