Arsenal Park Upgrades

Indy Parks is prepared to invest some of its limited capital budget in Arsenal Park, 1400 E. 46th St. Plans call for replacing a dated splash pad and adding amenities like shade structures, benches, and drinking fountains. Three red maples will also be planted. According to deputy director Don Colvin, the walkway from on-street parking to the spray pad will be repaved and parking along Indianola Avenue will be expanded by 10 spaces. “Bids opened on October 17, 2019, and were approved by the DPW board at its November 13, 2019, meeting,” he said, adding that the $600,000 project will include a recirculating system that filters and reuses water in the spray pad.

According to Indy Parks, the City acquired property for the 12.32-acre park in 1921, though DMD staff found historical maps that identified the site as a park in 1915. The original spray pool was installed in 1935 and several structures, including a brick shelter, were built in the early 1940s as WPA projects but no longer remain. The neighborhood park sits in close proximity to the Monon Trail and is within a one-half mile walkable radius of the Red Line station at 46th Street. The park primarily serves Keystone-Monon Neighborhood residents with facilities such as a basketball court, playground, and community gardens. The tennis courts were converted to a bike polo field in 2012 and have contributed to the park’s user base.

Knights on Shining Armor

After receiving DPW approval, Indy Parks filed petitions in December with the Department of Metropolitan Development to allow for variance of development standards. Indy Parks seeks to legally establish the existing parking that encroaches on public right-of-way. New parking spaces (including two for people with disabilities) also lack the required 25-foot setback and thus require a variance. Additionally, the proposed 30 total spaces would be insufficient under current zoning regulations. In justifying its support, DMD current planning staff noted, “Available parking would be appropriate and adequate because it is likely that many of the park users would either walk or bicycle to the park.” Further, “The location of the existing parking spaces has been in place without any apparent negative impact on the adjoining residences and has minimized encroachment into the park itself.”

Colvin said that upon receiving approval for variances from development standards and weather permitting, the project is scheduled to finish in June 2020.