October 22, 2012


The regular meeting of the City of Mishawaka Redevelopment Commission was called to order at 6:30 p.m., Monday, October 22, 2012, in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka, Indiana. Commissioners Eberhart, O’Dell, Troiola, Pingel, and Stillson were present. Commissioner Ermeti was absent. In addition to members of the public, the following were also in attendance: Dave Thomas, Community Development Director; Gary West, Engineering Director; John Gourley, Legal Counsel; Kari Myers, Administrative Planner; and Joe Dits, South Bend Tribune.

Commissioner O’Dell moved to approve the minutes of September 24, 2012, as circulated. Commissioner Pingel seconded; motion carried.

Underpass Properties
Gary West, Engineering Director, talked about the 74 remnant properties along Main Street corridor leftover from Main Street Underpass project (passed around spreadsheet listing properties). He said the biggest issue was determining if the properties are buildable or can they be sold to adjacent property owners and get back on the tax rolls.

Mr. West said the process started in 2004 and over a 3-4 year period the City acquired 150-175 pieces of property for the underpass. They determined that instead of having the new right-of-way being right at the homes front door, they relocated those folks and demolished the houses. He said the properties begin at Broadway and go through the intersection of McKinley.

Mr. West also said it isn’t as simple as it seems. There are some areas that need to be dedicated as right of ways; connector roads were built off of Jefferson, and utilities had to be re-routed as part of construction. He said it’s part of a puzzle to identify. He said some properties may be used as First Time Homebuyer properties, or Habitat

The northwest corner of Main and McKinley was discussed. Mr. West said these could be commercial or residential lots and indicated there is a 1’ non-access easement and no curb cuts would be given. He said the same requirement applies to the southeast and northeast corners. The question then becomes: What do you do with property that you can’t get to? He said there has been some interest from adjacent property owners; both Dairy Queen and Hall have expressed interest.

Commissioner Stillson asked if the City was holding Dairy Queen back from utilizing that property. Mr. Thomas said the Redevelopment Commission is structured specifically for acquisition and disposition of property. If we can get an adjacent property owner to buy and blend with their property without the curb cut, great. If that falls apart, then we’ll come back and re-study the properties.

Mr. Gourley said right now the property is owned by the City and we have no control as to how the land will be used. By transferring the property to the Redevelopment Commission they have the flexibility and can be more restrictive on the use of the property thereby having more control of the end result.

Mr. Thomas said the properties go from Broadway up to Omer. When you own property in the City you are responsible for maintaining the property be it shoveling the snow or controlling weeds. The City has performed those services since 2004 and it’s a massive undertaking. We have to comply with the same laws as residents.

Commissioner Pingel asked if the Redevelopment Commission would assume maintenance of the properties. Mr. Thomas said not right away. Roger Shields is putting together a list of properties we currently maintain.

Commissioner Stillson asked if the Commission was going to have someone market the properties. Mr. Thomas said yes, and would rather have a professional take care of it.

Mr. Thomas presented Resolution 2012-09 Accepting the Transfer of Real Property from the City of Mishawaka Board of Public Works and Safety to the Redevelopment Commission. Commissioner O’Dell moved to approve Resolution 2012-09. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

First Time Homebuyer Program
Mr. Thomas said the Commission approved a homebuyer at September’s meeting and it has since been determined they do not qualify. He said they have three houses ready to start construction in November after variances are approved.

Anything Else Brought Before Commission
Mr. Thomas said the City purchased the Squad’s properties at auction… we were the only bidder. All three lots were purchased for $15,000.00.

Mr. Thomas said a new Memorandum of Understanding will be required for the Habitat house at 7th and Taylor. The address needed to be changed and Habitat asked for a new MOU to reflect the correct address.

Next Meeting
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held Monday, November 26, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted: 

Kari Myers, Administrative Planner

David Thomas, Community Development Director

M. Gilbert Eberhart, President

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