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Meeting notes (3/25/11)

March 25, 2011

Attendees

Sarah Wiehe (IndyTilth project manager)

Isaiah Kuperstein (Double 8 Foods owner)

Matt Hostetler (KIB Project Greenspace manager)

Tyson Domer (IndyTilth construction manager)

Craig Flandermeyer  (Schmidt Associates landscape architect, RLA, LEED-AP)

Lauren Schmidt  (Schmidt Associates, landscape architecture intern)

Next Meeting

TBD week of 4/25/11, Double 8 store (Fairfield & Central) or Isaiah’s office

please reply with availability

The Project Team met at Sarah and Tyson’s on 3/25 to review Craig and Lauren’s initial design work.  Two site plan concepts were proposed:

Plan A seeks to channel stormwater along the eastern edge of the parking lot through a new infiltration trench to a central exposed rain garden in the southeast corner of the parking lot.  Stormwater would flow into the trench through permeable pavers, permeable asphalt or some other means.  Craig explained that he was concerned that the volume and velocity of sheet runoff coupled with the gradient in the area of Sarah’s proposed rain gardens (the existing paved tree lawn) may overwhelm the plantings.  Plan A proposes to retain the existing concrete curb in order to capture and direct stormwater into the trench but to remove the paving in the tree lawns so they may be used as planting strips.  New street trees are proposed along Fairfield Avenue and Park Avenue.  The recycling area remains in the southeast corner of the parking lot, but is somewhat masked by the rain garden and a new street tree along 34th Street.  New pavers in the tree lawn on Park Avenue will facilitate pedestrian access from the south and east.

Plan B proposes to address the sheet runoff issue by coupling the existing tree lawn area with space borrowed from the parking strip along the eastern edge of the parking lot.  Together these areas would be reconstructed as  a series of stepped weirs that would arrest the sheet flow while also providing space for traditional rain garden plantings and new street trees along Park Avenue.  Plan B would likely require the removal of the existing concrete curb.  Rain garden ‘islands’ are also proposed for the interior of the parking lot.  Plan B also proposes to shift the Fairfield Avenue parking lot entrance to the east in order to accommodate additional plantings on the east side of the building.  This would also require shifting the adjacent parking spaces to the east, which is leveraged to create space closer to the building for the recycling area.  In addition, Plan B proposes to eliminate the north Park Avenue entrance to the parking lot and relocate the south Park Avenue entrance in order to align it with the entrance to the Our Redeemer church parking lot.  This would at once accommodate the ‘natural’ pedestrian pathway to the store while also creating the potential for a larger rain garden in the southeast corner of the Double 8 parking lot.

Both plans propose using trench drains to capture and convey stormwater that would otherwise run out into the street through the parking lot entrances.  Both plans also propose creating an area for a new bus shelter at the northeast corner of Fairfield Avenue and Park Avenue.

After reviewing the pros and cons of each approach, the team came to consensus on a direction for the next design iteration:

We should eliminate the north Park Avenue parking lot entrance per Plan B.  This will prevent people from pealing out of the parking lot onto Park Avenue and continuing directly onto Fairfield Avenue at high speed.  This will also make the proposed bus stop location safer.  Matt will contact Annette at IndyGo to see about the possibility of moving the east-bound bus stop (route 4) to the corner of Park and Fairfield and adding bus shelters on both sides of Fairfield.  New shelters should help to mitigate loitering issues at the Double 8 entrance.

We should relocate the Fairfield Avenue parking lot entrance per plan B to better align the curb cuts with the drive aisle.  This will provide more buffer for pedestrians entering and exiting the Double 8.  Tyson, Lauren and Matt met with Allyson Pumphrey from the City Office of Sustainability on 3/31; Allyson coordinated the change through the Rebuild Indy Project manager, who contacted Isaiah to verify new curb cut locations on 4/2.  Thank You!

We should relocate the south Park Avenue parking lot entrance per Plan B.  This will provide additional space for the central rain garden/water detention area in the southeast corner of the parking lot and also serve as a pedestrian pathway through the tree lawn.  There may be additional opportunity to include a lateral east-west bump-out at the parking lot entrance per Plan B which would help to slow sheet flow, provide space for a sidewalk to further enhance pedestrian safety, and serve as a traffic calming device for drivers entering the parking lot.

We should probably retain the existing concrete curb from a cost standpoint.  This may preclude pursuing the stepped weir approach from Plan B.  However, we should still plan to remove the pavement from the tree lawn so street trees and other decorative, low-maintenance plantings can be installed.  The existing concrete curb will still serve to capture and direct stormwater to a larger central rain garden area in the southeast corner of the parking lot (identified as a community garden in Plan B.)

We should not retain the permeable infiltration trench.  Craig noted that some type of maintenance is likely required every year or two, but that eventually the pores in the paving material will clog with fines.  Matt has used an industrial vacuum to maintain the permeable concrete parking lot at KIB.  Isaiah noted that he prefers not to perform any mechanical maintenance.  Sarah noted that using exposed rain gardens as facilities for both stormwater conveyance and infiltration is a low-tech solution that lends itself well to volunteer/community maintenance.  Tyson is willing to coordinate a field trip to see the new permeable alleys on the Near Eastside.   Per Allyson Pumphrey 3/31, the City has not yet decided on their preferred maintenance approach for permeable concrete and permeable asphalt surfaces.

We should adopt a configuration for the recycling bins similar to that proposed in Plan A since the recycling company needs space for two adjacent 40’ roll-off dumpsters in order to drop off an empty dumpster before picking up the full dumpster.  Sarah noted that we will likely need to find a temporary location for the recycling dumpsters during construction.  Sarah or Tyson will contact Our Redeemer church to see if we can use their parking lot during construction.  Isaiah noted that it would be OK for Our Redeemer parishioners to park at Double 8 on Sundays during construction.

We should eliminate the planting strip along the east wall of the building since Isaiah noted that it will catch litter and debris, require additional maintenance by Double 8, and add to overall project cost.

We should revisit the idea of including a cistern to catch stormwater runoff from the roof.  Matt noted that any trees provided by KIB must be supported by a watering and maintenance plan.  Isaiah noted that water costs could be significant and there is no exterior hose bibb at Double 8.  Craig noted that Firestone Specialty Products produces a ‘subterranean irrigation system’ product that may be useful to direct downspout water to trees in lieu of hand-watering from a cistern.  Sarah noted that the cistern provides a more consistent, low-tech water supply for the trees and other plantings.

The southeast corner of the  building may be an ideal location for a cistern since the three main roof drains shunt water to downspouts on the east side of the building.  The dumpsters would need to be accessed by employees working outside on the main loading dock.  The loading dock, dumpster and cistern could be shielded by a new ‘green screen’ planted with arborvitae, juniper, or some other evergreen.  This may also satisfy the City requirement that dumpsters be enclosed.  There is also opportunity to add a dedicated cardboard dumpster in the  public recycling center. 

Matt noted that through a KIB partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis there is an opportunity to pay an artist up to a $10K commission to paint a mural on the east side of the building.  Isaiah noted that he engaged an artist to paint the existing ‘old fashioned’ signage.  Craig noted that there is also an opportunity to reopen the windows which have been filled with masonry, but Isaiah noted that he has had issues with break-ins and vandalism.

Tyson, Lauren and Matt met with Allyson Pumphrey from the City Office of Sustainability on 3/31 to see if the City could complete any of the anticipated work as part of the Fairfield Avenue Rebuild Indy project.  Allyson noted that the City will likely not be able to complete work that is not directly adjacent to Fairfield, including removing asphalt from the tree lawns, excavating the main rain garden/water detention area, or providing a topographic survey.  She noted that it may be possible to get concrete pads poured for bus shelters if we could coordinate quickly with IndyGo.  Allyson offered her assistance coordinating plan and drainage review and suggested that we should emphasize the elements of the project that will reduce City maintenance responsibilities.

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Meeting notes (2/16/11)

February 16, 2011

Attendees

Sarah Wiehe (IndyTilth project manager)

Isaiah Kuperstein (Double 8 Foods owner)

Matt Hostetler (KIB Project Greenspace manager)

Tyson Domer (IndyTilth construction manager)

Craig Flandermeyer  (Schmidt Associates landscape architect, RLA, LEED-AP)

Lauren Schmidt  (Schmidt Associates, landscape architecture intern)

Next Meeting

Friday 3/25/11, 5:00pm, Double 8 store (Fairfield & Central)

The Project Team met at Double 8 with Craig and Lauren from Schmidt Associates to review existing site conditions, design considerations, and opportunities.  Tyson noted that Craig and Lauren should think about the site holistically since we will continue to work with stakeholders on the Fairfield corridor and “Fairfield Triangle” in the future.  Isaiah noted that the bus stops on Fairfield are well-used and Matt noted that KIB has worked with IndyGo in the past to place bus shelters.  Sarah noted that many pedestrians access the Double 8 through the parking lot by cutting across the “tree lawn” directly across from the curb cut on Park Avenue that leads to the Our Redeemer parking lot.  Site lighting is achieved through a combination of City street lights, IPL pole-mounted security lights, and building-mounted security lights.  There are a total of 13 lights, of which Isaiah pays for 8.  Sarah noted that there is an opportunity to address waste management issues and increase public recycling opportunities since the garbage dumpster is used mostly for cardboard.  Isaiah will investigate the possibility of downsizing the garbage dumpster and adding a cardboard dumpster.  Both dumpsters would need to be accessed by employees working outside on the main loading dock.  Matt noted that there is potential for a painted mural on the side of the building through a KIB partnership.  Isaiah noted that it would be desirable to incorporate plantings along the north edge of the parking lot.  Matt noted that the City can often remove concrete and asphalt to accommodate new street trees that are planted through KIB programs.  Isaiah noted that tree watering requirements may be an issue due to cost and manpower.  Sarah noted that trees may be watered by volunteers if rainwater is available from a cistern.  The group also toured the Double 8 in order to better understand how the flat roof drains, an important consideration for a potential rainwater cistern.  Isaiah noted that he will be completing some emergency roof repairs, and that there may be opportunity to rework roof drains if he has to do more extensive roof work in the future.  Isaiah will know more about the roof drains once he meets with his roofing contractor.  Most of the roof drains to the east (parking lot) and south (loading dock) sides of the building, which would facilitate downspout modifications to accommodate a cistern.  Tyson noted that the NRCS soil report for the general area indicates that the soil is classified as “Ug – Urban land-Genesee complex” which generally has a moderately-high to high capacity to transmit water.  Craig noted that soil bores and percolation tests for specific infiltration locations will likely be required for permitting.  Craig noted that for past rain garden projects Schmidt has had success specifying native plant plugs at 18”on center as long as they are maintained.  Sarah noted that volunteer work days to complete plant installation and maintenance is part of the project plan.  Tyson will contact Allyson Pumphrey (City Office of Sustainability) and Anna Jetmore-Vargas (Rebuild Indy) in order to investigate possible synergies and opportunities available through the City.

Meeting notes (1/6/11)

January 6, 2011

Attendees

Project Team

Sarah Wiehe (IndyTilth project manager)

Isaiah Kuperstein (Double 8 Foods owner)

Matt Hostetler (KIB project manager)

Tyson Domer (IndyTilth construction manager)

Next Meeting

Wednesday 2/2/11, 6:00pm, Double 8 store (Fairfield & Central)

Project Team & landscape architect only

Sarah announced that IndyTilth will be planting trees in the Broadway Area in partnership with KIB’s 2011 Neighborwoods program.  Matt added that through the Neighborwoods program KIB may also provide appropriate trees for the Double 8 Rain Garden project.  Matt and Sarah will coordinate with Andrew Hart (KIB Neighborwoods Program Director) as tree needs for the rain gardens become more clear.

Matt explained that KIB’s interests in the project are related to placemaking and community building; the possible addition of tree canopy is a bonus.  Moving forward, the Project Team should use these objectives as a touchpoint when developing plans, coordinating events, etc.  Sarah reiterated that the project will help cement the Double 8 as a community destination because it is the neighborhood grocery and community recycling hub; developing and implementing the educational components of the project will contribute to relationship building.  Matt will check to see if KIB has any “one-pager” informational materials on rain gardens that can be used to help with community outreach.

The team wants to start the design process by Thinking Big!  This means looking at the entire Double 8 site comprehensively, since this will increase our chances of leveraging the initial investment in this project to attract additional future investment to the “Fairfield Triangle” and Broadway Area.  The team agreed that developing a comprehensive master plan is a good idea, even though the project budget may not be sufficient to implement all of the ideas in this phase of construction. Matt will identify community partners that are interested in contributing to the project, specifically a landscape architecture firm.  Additionally, Isaiah expressed interest in eventually acquiring the vacant lot behind his store; Tyson will follow up with Isaiah and Doressa at MFCDC regarding identifying and contacting the current owner.

Matt will be meeting with Allyson Pumphrey from the City Office of Sustainability the week of January 10th to discuss ways that the City can interface with KIB and their project partners on green infrastructure projects like the Double 8 Rain Garden.  Again, opportunity exists to leverage investment in this project for potential City infrastructure investments such as bus shelters (there is a loitering issue at Double 8 since there are currently no shelters at the bus stops), new curbs and sidewalks, and street paving.  Tyson noted that Fairfield Avenue is scheduled to be resurfaced as part of the Rebuild Indy work.  Tyson will follow up with Matt and Allyson after January 15th.

We will employ an “integrated design process” involving the Project Team, landscape architect, general contractors, and community members.  This will help to keep the process transparent and make sure we are engaging the appropriate stakeholders.  Matt will seek to engage a landscape architecture firm with the experience and capacity to provide accurate construction cost estimates.  By also inviting interested contractors to participate directly in the design process, the Project Team will realize greater opportunity to value-engineer the project and fast-track the competitive bidding process.

Schedule Benchmarks & Tasks

2/2/11           site visit with landscape architect and Project Team

determine need for a soil percolation test

determine design meeting schedule

distribute design meeting schedule to community stakeholders (Sarah)

4/1/11           conceptual design complete

distribute bid package to general contractors (Tyson)

review potential KIB material contributions (Matt)

*4/24/11*   Easter (D8 high-volume retail)

5/1/11           receive bid packages from general contractors

review bids

additional design & value-engineering

review potential KIB material contributions (Matt)

*5/8/11*     Mother’s Day (D8 high-volume retail)

*5/30/11*   Memorial Day (D8 high-volume retail)

6/15/11        sign contract with general contractor

GC must name Double 8 Foods as “additional insured”

*7/4/11*     Independence Day (D8 high-volume retail)

7/15/11        general contractor begins heavy construction

GC must maintain unobstructed access to D8 loading dock and customer parking

615 E 34th Street (vacant lot) may be used as an additional staging area

8/15/11        general contractor completes heavy construction

*9/5/11*     Labor Day (D8 high-volume retail)

9/11/11        (tentative) volunteer prep day

confirm commitment from 50% of volunteer crew (Sarah)

confirm parking at Our Redeemer Lutheran church (Sarah/Tyson)

confirm Port-o-Let (Tyson)

9/12/11        (tentative) volunteer planting day

provide food & water for volunteers (Isaiah)

Green Infrastructure Grant awarded!

November 18, 2010

We were thrilled to find out that we were one of six awardees of the United Water, City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability, and LISC Green Infrastructure Grant awardees.  After submitting the grant, we were notified and presented a check (large and cardboard!) by the mayor within a week.  These folks do not mess around.  Now we are awaiting one more possible award and then we are off to the races.  Can’t wait!