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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Indianapolis airport racks up legal bills in third attempt to stop off-site parking lot"

Updating this ILB entry from April 29th, Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star reported May 10th:

The Indianapolis Airport Authority is dropping its legal fight against a company’s plans to build a competing private off-site parking lot.

Executive Director Robert Duncan confirmed the airport’s change in course Friday to The Indianapolis Star.

The decision to press the case after losing a land-use decision by the Metropolitan Development Commission and an appeal in Marion Superior Court had drawn criticism from City-County Council members and others.

Airport officials were seeking to protect a lucrative revenue stream. The Indianapolis International Airport draws more than a quarter of its operating income from its parking operations.

Airport officials also contended that the 3,700-space parking development planned by Cincinnati-based Chavez Properties and Parking would be a poor fit for the site, an industrial park just south of the airport.

Airport officials argued that the City-County Council had the legal right to decide the issue, not the Metropolitan Development Commission, whose members are appointed.

Authority Board President Mike Wells discussed the issue with other board members and found consensus to drop the lawsuit, Duncan said Friday.

“When you look at it, we still think, to some extent, that our legal position is accurate,” Duncan said. “But the reality of it is that it’s apparent — certainly from comments we’ve gotten from council members and others — that even if we were to prevail in the case,” Chavez Properties’ plans would become reality in the long run.

“At this point, it’s probably OK to drop the appeal.”

It’s unclear how soon Chavez Properties might break ground on the project’s first phase.

The Star reported in late April that the airport’s legal fees in the case had reached at least $45,000. The airport’s case has been pending in the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The council planned this Monday to consider a special resolution urging the Airport Authority to drop its legal fight. Thirteen members from both parties signed on as co-sponsors.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 12, 2013 09:42 AM
Posted to Indiana Government