Historic house teardown technicalities could add fuel to upcoming UDO debate

The demolition late last week of the house at 523 W. 7th Street was initially analyzed as a flagrant flouting of Bloomington’s due process  for assigning historic designation to a property. That’s because the city’s historic preservation commission passed a resolution on Aug 8, recommending to the city council that it vote to designate the house as a separate historic district.

Conor Herterich, the city’s historic preservation program manager, told The Beacon on Monday that the demolition violated the property’s interim protection against demolition—a protection provided by the commission’s resolution.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, however, it appears that the commission’s resolution, initially believed by city officials to have given the house interim protection, was not worded so that the intended protection was given. The meeting minutes from the Aug. 8 meeting say: “…the HPC recommends its historic designation under Title 8 of the BMC to the Common Council with the attached map.” There doesn’t appear to have been any explicit mention of “interim protection.”

Based on information from a source with the city, there’s been an preliminary conclusion by city staff that the property owners did not flout any interim protection, because the wording of the resolution didn’t explicitly mention “interim protection.” According to the source, there’s a second technicality that’s apparently in favor of the property owner, David Holdman. The second technical glitch is the city’s possible failure to give Holdman proper notice of the HPC’s finding and recommendation. Continue reading “Historic house teardown technicalities could add fuel to upcoming UDO debate”

Photo: Demolition of 4th Street parking garage starts in earnest

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Demolition of the 4th Street parking garage in downtown Bloomington started in earnest on Thursday morning. Streets have been blocked off since early September of the work. The city issued a press release earlier this week with some details of the work that has gone on mostly out of view, alerting members of the public that the garage would soon start crumblin, tumbling down. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

4th Street parking structure site plan review pushed to October

The Bloomington plan commission’s already-started review of the city’s 4th Street parking garage site plan proposal has been given another continuance, according to the planning department’s development services manager, Jackie Scanlan.

Calendar Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 2.21.30 AMIt’s the second continuance approved by the department under Article VIII (B) of the plan commission’s rules and procedures. The first one bumped the review from the August to the September meeting.

This time, the delay is from Sept. 9 to Oct. 7.

The plan commission considered the site plan at its July meeting. Commissioners took a 3–4 vote to continue the matter, but no commissioner made a motion to recommend approval. So the commission was left without having passed a motion. That meant it was continued by default to August. Continue reading “4th Street parking structure site plan review pushed to October”

Sept. 3 start for $1.48M demolition of Bloomington’s 4th Street parking garage

At Monday evening’s meeting of Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission, a guaranteed maximum for the demolition of the city’s 4th Street garage was approved: $1,482,393.

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Dan Fetz, with F.A. Wilhelm Construction, the construction manager for Bloomington’s 4th Street replacement garage, opens bids for the demolition  of the existing garage July 9, 2019 (Dave Askins/Beacon)

The timeline for demolition was also laid out, which includes a start date of Sept. 3, the day after the Labor Day holiday. The week before, starting Aug. 29, downtown visitors will see lane closures on Walnut and Fourth streets, to prepare for the demolition.

The roughly $1.48 million guaranteed maximum for the demolition is the figure that the city staff negotiated with the construction manager for the project, which is F.A. Wilhelm Construction. The amount is based on a low bid from Denney Excavating out of Plainfield.

Wilhelm received bids from three companies, which were opened on July 9. Base bids at the opening were read as follows: Renascent, Inc. ($1,267,000); Denney Excavating ($810,000); and O’Rourke Wrecking Company ($1,037,000).

Those amounts were all adjusted upward after the scope of the demolition project was adjusted. Denney’s base bid, with the scope adjustment, was accepted at $1,025,400. Continue reading “Sept. 3 start for $1.48M demolition of Bloomington’s 4th Street parking garage”