There are always plenty of things to do in Zionsville in December, and this year seems more packed than usual, as you can see from the abundance of information in this newsletter!
It’s holiday time, which means Christmas in the Village. The annual event technically started on November 26, and continues with Ladies night on December 8. The fun evening invites women enjoy special drinks and snacks while they shop. December 10 is Family Day, with many activities TBD (visit the Chamber website for more information). Finally, December 15, the Christmas Crawl continues with drinks and activities around the Village as shops stay open late for revelry and shopping.
For both residents and businesses in the Village, our VRA annual holiday decorating contest returns. Every VRA member is invited to be part of the judging – send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Judging will occur on December 17 / 18, and we’ll post the results on the website and on social media so you can spend the days leading up to the holiday checking out all of the decor. Find the link with information for homes and businesses here, then send an email to register.
In the October 2021 Village Voice, I wrote about zoning. You can re-read it here. In summary, a consultant group out of Michigan (McKenna) was hired to help restructure Zionsville’s zoning for several reasons including efficiency with our planning department. Some of their presentation can be seen on the town’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2v54pBwbdc or watch the plan commission meeting on November 21 for an overview. The next public meeting is expected to take place in January when they’ll seek public comment. I’ll make sure a link to their draft can be found on the VRA website as soon as it’s publicly available.
Read more about the town redistricting of voting areas in Josh’s letter below. The project must be completed by the end of the year. Town council meets December 5 at 7pm and 19 at 8am in case you’d like to share input.
In 2023 we’re starting a campaign to reinvigorate our VRA meetings. A goal is to include more informational opportunities, something that has been lost the last few years when we were unable to gather consistently in person. We already have two program ideas set, with many others coming soon. Look for details and meeting dates in January, and I hope everyone can try to attend.
Finally, the town has a number of other activities in December. I’ve listed them below with links where to find more information.
from Heather Lusk
From Town Council
At our recent Town Council meeting, we heard a presentation on the need for the Council to re-district which comes every decade with new census numbers. There are currently 5 districts that represent all of Zionsville, with 2 additional at-large Councilors that serve all of the Town but do not have districts. The Village is represented by District 4 (Joe Culp), District 5 (myself), and the two at-large Councilors (Brad Burk and Alex Choi).
As the Town continues to grow, that growth is not equal in all districts. The goal is that each of the five districts have roughly 20% of the population of our Town. As of the 2020 cencus, each district has the following populations:
District 1 (Bryan Traylor) – 6,265 (2.36%)
District 2 (Jason Plunkett) – 6,042 (-1.28%)
District 3 (Craig Melton) – 5,207 (14.93%)
District 4 (Joe Culp) – 5,725 (-6.46%)
District 5 (Josh Garrett) – 7,264 (20.32%)
The percentage after each population number represents how much more or less people are represented by that district. You can see that my district has 20% more people than it should, while Councilor Melton is lacking by 15%.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as moving a few lines around to make things equal. There are a lot of State rules around redistricting including:
- Districts must be as compact as possible.
- Districts must have equal representation
- Districts may not cross census block boundaries
- Districts may not cross precinct lines
- Districts must be contiguous
- Population deviation between districts may not exceed 5% (plus or minus)
- Respect barriers and building patterns including rivers, streets, shopping areas and neighborhoods
We also included in our ordinance wording that no plan should be based on political groups or other minority representation. It was important to me that we balance out these districts based on population (and the State rules), but these lines not be gerrymandered to protect any individual or party.
This process will be going on over the rest of the year and is a public process. Feel free to keep updated and all discussions and votes will be open to the public.
from Josh Garrett
He Knows When You’re Awake
Santa can’t resist spending some extra time in Zionsville each winter. And why not? With our brick streets and holiday decorations at every store, it’s a great way to fill up on holiday cheer.
Throughout December, Santa will assist the fire department as they perform their required area familiarization through the community. Check the schedule here to see when he’ll be in your neighborhood.
Many weekends, Santa can be found at the corner of Main and Cedar Streets. Check the Chamber calendar to confirm times and dates.
Zionsville Winterfest returns after last year’s inaugural effort. Plagued by unseasonably warm weather in 2021, take advantage of any cold days this year to ice skate, drink hot cocoa, or visit Maplelawn. There are a wide number of December activities planned. The complete schedule can be found here.
We Didn’t Start the Fire (or did we?)
The Zionsville Fire Department has recorded a list of fire safety tips on their YouTube channel. You can watch it here.
They’ve already made a few fire runs related to fireplace issues, so take a moment to watch and remember these tips. With Villages homes being so close to one another, a fire in one house could easily and far too quickly impact neighbors.
Everyone’s a Great Artist When Wine is Involved
Looking for a fun winter activity with friends and family? Try Cocktails and Canvas at SullivanMunce. It takes place the second Friday of every month, with the next event on December 9. Register on their website. (hint: it also makes a great gift).