West Lafayette ban on facial-recognition technology tabled

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An ordinance banning the governmental use of facial-recognition technology was tabled once again at Monday night’s West Lafayette city council meeting. The ordinance was previously tabled at the March council meeting.

A similar ordinance was passed by the board with a 5-4 vote at the November 2021 city council meeting, but was vetoed by West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. Changes to the ordinance’s language, such as allowing use of this technology in cases of, “A West Lafayette official (investigating) or assisting in the investigation of the commission of a ‘crime of violence,'” have been added to improve the possibility of passage.

However, due to one of the council members, Shannon Kang, being absent at Monday night’s meeting, David Sanders moved that the ordinance be tabled to the May 2, 2022, city council meeting.

“Nevertheless,” Sanders said, “because Shannon Kang was unable to join us today, I am going to move … that we table this once again so we can have a full discussion of this with all councilors present.”

David Sanders speaks during the April 4, 2022 West Lafayette City Council meeting.

West Lafayette rezoning

A set of 3.11 acres located at the southeast corner of McCormick Road and Third Street in West Lafayette was approved to be rezoned to allow for the building of a 402-unit apartment complex.

“The site, along with all the Discovery Park District except the various planned development zones,” the staff report for this ordinance says, “was rezoned in the fall of 2020 to CBW as part a neighborhood-wide rezone … Apart from some small, paved areas, the site is currently unimproved. Campus development surrounds the subject property including dormitories, parking facilities, intramural fields and the Purdue West shopping center. “

The potential apartment complex the land was approved to be rezoned for is a single building consisting of five stories.

“It ranges from, kind of studio apartments to one bedroom, two bedroom and four bedroom with a number of different baths.” Jeremy Slater, vice president of Capital Projects & Facilities at Purdue Research Foundation, said to the board.

A layout of the potential apartment complex coming to the 3.11 acres of land located at the corner of McCormick Road and Third Street in West Lafayette.

Sanders addressed Slater and attorney Marianne Owen, of Stuart & Branigin LLP, with a question regarding “future fire department needs” in the area, especially regarding the time it would take nearby fire stations’ firefighters to arrive in the event of an emergency. Mayor Dennis stepped in to reply.

“… because the geographic footprint of this area is so small,” Dennis said. “that response (from emergency services) would be timely and would be time efficient …”

This ordinance unanimously passed the board’s vote.

“Single-chair” physicians in the West Lafayette area were approved to conduct business out of their homes at Monday night’s meeting as well.

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