We recently mailed out post cards with the results of the community feedback survey and our plans going forward. There are likely questions that people have, and we will address those questions as best we can. We want to take this opportunity to offer a summarized version of where we’ve been and how we got where we are today.
To start, everything from the first brick laid in the 1920s to today has been haphazardly organized and never unified. We can point to a number of reasons as to why, but for our purposes with this post that doesn’t matter. The fact is that it’s never been fully addressed. Though there have been valiant efforts to do so.
For reference, the map below is of our community as shown by the official county records. You will see that there are 7 distinct subdivisions shown (8 if you include section A amended). Of the 7 subdivisions, there is not a single valid CC&R filed with the county. They have either expired or were written too vaguely to apply to any one subdivision, let alone multiple subdivisions, or flat out disregard Indiana state law.
Map Source: https://www.acimap.us/viewer.html
The common question is about the 91/98 covenants, don’t they apply? While these were indeed filed with the county and approved by a judge at the time, they did not unify all the subdivisions, because there was no Indiana state code allowing it. Reviewing those county documents shows that they just filed all the previous CC&Rs together. The mechanism to legally unify multiple subdivisions in Indiana did not exist until 2014. The association at the time worked on that new law with our state assembly representative to specifically address that issue. For all their hard work, once this was passed into law, there was not enough support in the community to see it through to unifying into one neighborhood.
Sure, we can ignore this fact and attempt to enforce the 91/98 covenants, but that would leave the community open to lawsuits which would not go in our favor and cost everyone money they don’t want to spend. We have been fortunate that there hasn’t already been a lawsuit on this very thing.
More on the results
While we surveyed both owners and renters, we only counted the owner votes on the question of mandatory vs voluntary association. Renters were only included in other survey result questions.
Correction: Earlier we stated that there were 157 respondents. While this remains true, two votes against have been removed from the official count because they did not include verifiable addresses. The official count of respondents is now 155. Please note that all respondents are weighed against the number of properties in the community as required by Indiana state law, which totaled 495 for this survey.
We pledged to pursue the direction as indicated by our community. In the near term, the board will act to update and clarify the standing of the legal entity, Indian Village Community Association, Inc. This means updating our bylaws to be inline with Indiana state law, updating our articles of incorporation with the state and maintaining a positive relationship with the City of Fort Wayne and other related organizations.
Communications in general will be handled using this website as a “source of truth” for the association and email and social media to update our residents. Postal mail will still be used by those who requested it or when Indiana state law requires it.
Based on our community feedback results, there are a number of things we can do. Some of these things, however, will require volunteers and community participation. We, as the board, are 5 of your neighbors, just like you, with daily obligations. We will support any effort within our abilities, but our abilities are limited without the help of others.
The areas as outlined in our survey will need interested residents to make them a reality.
Being vigilant and keeping an eye out for your neighbors is always important. We can improve safety in the neighborhood by making sure to communicate and report crime to the police department. Often times people do not want to do this because they feel it’s a waste of time. Even if the police won’t help or are unable to help, having a report filed can benefit the community in the long run. Reports are used by the department and city council to appropriate funding and assign resources (patrol officers) to the areas of the city in need.
Safety isn’t just about crime. It can be about dangers in our everyday life. Home maintenance, bike safety, swimming lessons are just a few examples.
A volunteer for safety could…
- Act as a liaison between our community and the police department to build a better relationship.
- Provide general safety information for the community.
- Organize neighborhood safety events to teach, inform and engage our community.
#2 Staying Informed
Communication is one of the most important things we do in life. It can offer reassurance, support, or warn us of potential disruption to daily life or dangers in the community. The primary goal of this website should be to serve as a means of communication for our community.
A volunteer for staying informed could…
- Provide content for the website.
- Act as a block captain or neighbor canvasser.
- Help liaise with the City of Fort Wayne.
- Information can be anything from spring-cleaning tips, to railroad activity notifications, to new city programs or announcements.
#3 Historical Preservation
It’s probably accurate to assume that most people think about the teepees and Indian Village sign when they think about historical preservation. They could fall into this category, yes, but it doesn’t have to be limited to those items.
A volunteer for historical preservation could…
- Organize fundraising to repair and preserve the teepees and sign.
- Liaise with the Historical Preservation Commission.
- Build a relationship with the Miami of Oklahoma and Miami of Indiana tribes, to learn more about the land we now live on from its original inhabitants.
- Work with homeowners to help preserve the historical architecture of their homes during renovations.
#4 Community Events
While 4th on this list, it’s probably the one we’ve heard the most noise about. Fourth of July picnics, bike parades, yard contests, Easter Egg hunts and other holiday decorating contests all sound like a lot of fun. All of these require willing neighbors to coordinate and plan events like this.
A volunteer for community events could…
- Organize others in event planning.
- Build relationships with other community resources like Poco Pool, Indian Village Elementary and Kekionga Middle School, Allen County Public Libraries or the Waynedale News. Many already have events they want to bring to local communities.
- Work with volunteers in other areas to organize their events, such as safety.
#5 Community Assistance
Being a good neighbor can make a good neighborhood. Sometimes our neighbors could use some help. Clearing a sidewalk of snow or raking leaves for a disabled or elderly neighbor, or fixing a broken light fixture or a running toilet for a neighbor who can’t afford a professional, are a few of the things that come to mind. For things bigger than that, there are many community resources available to those in need.
A volunteer for community assistance could…
- Organize others to help with leaves or snow.
- Interact with organizations who offer assistance, such as United Way or NeighborLink.
- Find grant assistance programs.
- Help a neighbor in need with applying for aid programs.
- Work with the City of Fort Wayne to find those in our community in need to see if we can help in some way.
Are you ready to lend a hand?
If any of these areas interests you, and you have the ability and desire to help, please let us know. If you have suggestions for other areas that we could get involved with, let us know.