City of Bloomington with inset for area of Curry Urban Properties PUD proposal.
The orange area is the parcel where Curry Urban Properties is proposing a planned unit development.
Last Wednesday, the Bloomington city council’s four-member land use committee met to review a planned unit development (PUD) proposed for the empty lot on the north side of the Longview Avenue, between Pete Ellis Drive and 7th Street.
The zoning proposal from Curry Urban Properties would allow for construction of a single four-story building with 344 bedrooms and 19,000 square feet of commercial space, enclosing two interior courtyards on the east and west sides of a structured parking garage with a total of 306 parking spaces.
Of the 264 dwelling units, 15 percent of them would have rents keyed to either the same as the area median income (AMI) or no more than 120 percent of AMI.
At its regular Wednesday meeting, Bloomington’s city council voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $11 million in economic development notes to support the renovation of Bloomington’s public housing stock.
The bond issuance approved this week was for rehabbing two of the three Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA) properties—the Walnut Woods and Reverend Butler sites. BHA’s executive director, Amber Skoby, told the council that planning will start this summer for similar work on the third BHA site—the Crestmont Community.
“After that’s done, we won’t have any more public housing in Bloomington,” Skoby said.
Several Bloomington and Monroe County officials met Monday evening to push ahead the $44-million convention center expansion project. They reviewed a draft interlocal agreement, circulated shortly before the meeting, that is intended to supplement statutory requirements for the eventual formation of a capital improvement board (CIB).
The three county commissioners, in addition to several members of the city and county councils, were joined by Bloomington’s deputy mayor, Mick Renneisen at the meeting they’d set at the end of last year.
If you leave your car in a private lot where you’re not allowed to park, you risk getting your vehicle towed at your own expense. That’s not really news—for Bloomington or any other place.
What is new for Bloomington is a proposed ordinance to regulate companies that provide towing service to parking lot owners. Such companies would have to pay the city $350 a year for a “non-consensual tow business license” and face, on first offense, a $2,500 fine for failure to obtain a license.
The $350 license fee is the same as what a one-year license cost for mobile food vendors in Bloomington, according to the staff memo in the city council’s information packet.
“Is council a co-equal branch of government or isn’t it?” That’s a rhetorical question posed by Steve Volan, this year’s president of Bloomington’s city council, about the relationship between the council and the city’s administration.
Volan asked the question during a contentious work session held last Friday afternoon in city hall’s Hooker Conference Room. All nine councilmembers attended at least part of the session, along with a dozen and half staff members, among them several department heads and deputy mayor Mick Renneisen.
Six of the nine councilmembers, led by outgoing council president Dave Rollo, wanted to postpone a vote on Volan’s proposal for three weeks, until Jan. 29. Susan Sandberg was vocal in her opposition to establishing standing committees, pointing out that she’d heard similar proposals three times before from Volan, during her time serving on the council.
Three councilmembers, including Volan, would have been content to postpone the question until next week, Jan. 15. But they thought the three-week wait was unnecessary. The 6–3 vote to postpone until Jan. 29 came after about 90 minutes of debate.
On December 20 last year, a Monroe County circuit court judge ruled that Bloomington could not use eminent domain to take the JuanSells.com building (222 Hats) in order to build a replacement garage on a larger footprint. The building is just south of the site where the 352-space 4th Street parking garage once stood.
The ruling hinged on the fact that the proposed design of the replacement garage would include non-residential commercial space on its ground floor, disqualifying it from the public purpose that such a taking is supposed to serve.
Harvey found that “the retail use of the proposed Project, which cannot be separated from the public aspect, prohibits the taking of the 222 Hats Real Estate.”
On Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council kicks off 2020 with its first meeting of the year, when it handles organizational matters like the election of new officers.
Some other non-organizational action items also appear on Wednesday’s agenda, among them a $350K interlocal agreement between Bloomington, Ellettsville and Monroe County on splitting costs for Bloomington’s animal shelter. It’s a routine agreement that’s been ratified for several years based on an agreed-upon formula that assigns costs on a per-animal basis.
Another routine interlocal agreement, under which Monroe County administers the building code for the city and the county, also appears on Wednesday’s agenda. It dates back to 1996 and has been extended at regular intervals for the last quarter century.
At a work session held on Friday, Bloomington city councilmember Steve Volan introduced a proposal he’s put on the agenda for the council’s first meeting of the year, on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Volan’s resolution would use existing city code to establish several four-member standing committees, adding to the already-existing land use committee. The land use committee is the subset of councilmembers to which planned unit developments (PUDs) have been referred for the last couple years, after getting a first reading in front of the council.
The half percent increase would bring the total income tax levy to 1.845 percent from the current total of 1.345 percent. It’s estimated to generate about $8 million for allocation by Bloomington’s city government and another $8 million for Monroe County government officials.