Carmel OKs hike in park fee on new homes; shelves 4th of July parade change

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The City Council on Monday night voted on a pair of controversial proposals. One passed and one did not.

Park impact fee increase approved

The council voted unanimously to pass a park impact fee. It would impact people looking to build a new house in Carmel.

Right now, the fee is $2,972. The fee will increase to $4,882.

Supporters of the increase say as the population of Carmel grows, the new people moving to Carmel should contribute financially to the growth of the city and its parks. But, opponents of the ordinance said, the increase is just too much.

Council members said it’s a one-time fee not a tax increase for new-home builders. The fee would only apply to new-home development and not to someone looking to remodel or add on to their home.

The ordinance will go into effect in January and go until 2025.

Limits on saving spots at CarmelFest shot down

The issue of saving spots on the street to watch Carmel’s Fourth of July parade, which has elicited significant public discussion, was unanimously shot down by the council on Monday.

Council President Jeff Worrell, who sponsored the proposed ordinance, pulled it from the agenda after he said the land use committee put forth a negative recommendation. The proposal would’ve limited when people can stake out their spots ahead of the CarmelFest Parade.

Under the proposal, people could have reserved their spots for the parade at 6 a.m. the day before the event, rather than weeks in advance as they do now. The proposal was brought up after some complained chairs and spot markers not only made for unsightly clutter but also caused damage to grass and irrigation systems around the city.

Worrell said, “Maybe I was just too close to it? But my colleagues did not feel a sense of that this is something government should get involved with. I get that! I mean, I don’t want government where it shouldn’t be. But, my theory was that when something gets out of control or gets out of hand, we step in and set some guidelines, set some rules, and I think people generally appreciate that.”

As for what’s next, Worrell said he plans to do some more work on the ordinance, get more public feedback and perhaps make some tweaks before potentially bringing it back before the council.