Robinson confirmed as head of Bloomington’s planning and transportation department

On Monday night, Scott Robinson was confirmed by the city plan commission as director of a Bloomington city department that, for the time being at least, is called the planning and transportation department.

The unanimous vote by plan commissioners came after a rare appearance by the mayor at a plan commission meeting, who introduced Robinson as his appointment to head the department.

Mayor John Hamilton intends to rename the department, to eliminate the word “transportation.” The intended move provoked the ire of some city councilmembers, when it was revealed at a recent public meeting of the city council about the proposed 2021 budget. Councilmembers had some objections based on substance, but were also annoyed because the news came as a surprise.

Not a surprise was Hamilton’s introduction of Robinson to the plan commission on Monday night. For one thing, a press release issued a couple of weeks ago announced that Robinson, who was assistant director of the department, was the mayor’s choice to replace Terri Porter. She retired on Sept. 25 after serving as director for about three and a half years. Continue reading “Robinson confirmed as head of Bloomington’s planning and transportation department”

Habitat for Humanity PUD, Trinitas site plan OK’d by Bloomington plan commission, as seat remains disputed

Bloomington’s plan commission gave approvals to two significant petitions at its Monday night meeting.

The first was a request to rezone about 12.5 acres just east of RCA Community Park, as part of a planned unit development (PUD), so that 70 single-family homes can be built there. As a rezoning, the PUD will now be considered by Bloomington’s city council.

The second petition was the final plan approval of a roughly 1,000-bedroom project proposed by Trinitas Development, for 39 acres nestled in the southeast corner of the I-69 and SR 45/46 interchange. The plan commission had previously recommended approval of the project’s rezoning. Bloomington’s city council agreed, on a unanimous vote in early March.

Monday’s meeting was Chris Cockerham’s first as plan commissioner since receiving an appointment from the city’s mayor, John Hamilton, to replace Nick Kappas, who served through the end of 2019, but was not re-appointed.

The fact that Cockerham’s seat is still disputed was evident from the message conveyed on Monday during the plan commission’s meeting by Andrew Guenther, using the chat feature of the Zoom videoconference platform, on which the meeting was conducted.

“On April 16th, 2020, in accordance with IC 36-1-8-10, Monroe County Republican Party Chairman William Ellis appointed me, Andrew Guenther, to the Bloomington Plan Commission,” Guenther wrote.

Guenther added, “Mr. Ellis and I make a final request today that Planning & Transportation, as well as the Plan Commission, deny Mr. Cockerham’s appointment and recognize myself, Andrew Guenther, as the legal and rightful appointee to the Bloomington Plan Commission.”

A lawsuit over the appointment could be filed as soon as Tuesday. Continue reading “Habitat for Humanity PUD, Trinitas site plan OK’d by Bloomington plan commission, as seat remains disputed”