Change To Board Of Zoning Appeals Voting Procedures Increases Transparency

INDIANAPOLIS – City-County Councillor Aaron Freeman and Department of Metropolitan Development Director Maury Plambeck announced today that they have worked with the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to provide more transparency on the BZA decisions. Effective June 7, the secretary of the BZA will now read each board member’s name and vote after each vote.

Prior to this change, the BZA’s votes were available for public inspection after the meeting. Though this process complied with state law, it had the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for the public to know the outcome of a BZA decision.

Councillor Freeman, who represents District 25, which includes all of Franklin Township and portions of Warren Township, spearheaded this change with Director Plambeck.

“The shift to a more immediate presentation of each vote at the Board of Zoning Appeals is a small step, but it is yet another step forward in our quest for more transparency,” explained Councillor Freeman. “I am pleased we moved forward with this change, and I will continue to be work closely with Mayor Ballard’s administration to find any opportunity to find ways to be more open and transparent in each and every part of local government.”

The BZA holds public hearings and makes decisions on variances of the zoning ordinances, special exceptions specifically allowed by the zoning ordinances, appeals of administrative decisions, and approval petitions for modifications of previously approved petitions. Because of the large number of petitions filed in Marion County, there are three divisions of the BZA.

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