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Bloomington City Council approves new apartment complex, discusses towing fees


The Bloomington City Hall building is seen Dec. 15 at 401 N. Morton St. The Bloomington City Council approved ordinances requiring a cap on administrative and towing fees for residents at Wednesday night’s meeting. Izzy Myszak

The Bloomington City Council approved ordinances requiring a cap on administrative and towing fees for residents and a plan to build a new apartment complex at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The council voted 8-0 for an ordinance rezoning 3.2 acres of land on the east side of the city located at 105 S. Pete Ellis Drive. The area will be rezoned, and Curry Urban Properties will build a new four-story apartment complex building there. The new apartment complex is still in the preliminary planning stage. The initial plan includes 264 units, 344 bedrooms and more than 300 parking spaces.

Tyler Curry, petitioner for Curry Urban Properties, said he hoped Bloomington residents would see a positive effect on the community with the addition of the new complex. 

“We’re promoting walking, we’re promoting bus routes and we’re promoting bike routes and I think that increases the quality of life,” Curry said. “This will be the nicest building anywhere close to that area.” 

The council did not approve every condition necessary to begin construction, as they were unable to agree upon the parking-to-tenant ratio within the building.

The council also discussed an ordinance that would require a cap on administrative and towing fees for Bloomington residents. The council voted 7-2 to send the ordinance back to a committee to consider changes to it.

The ordinance outlines a requirement for accredited towing companies to apply for or renew their licenses to operate business. It also would require a cap on fees for non-consensual tows and storage. Before, no rules regulated these issues.

Four community members commented on the towing ordinance, three of them representing local towing companies. Although they disagreed on certain provisions within the ordinance, three said the it could negatively affect towers trying to support their families.

Jacob Padawan, a representative of Tow Time Solutions, LLC, said limiting the fees towing companies could impose on parking violators could hurt people who make a living in the towing business.

“We need an administrative fee to be able to employ people,” Padawan said.

Towing a vehicle would cost parking violators various fees, according to the ordinance . One fee for picking up a vehicle that has been towed is a maximum of $125. There’s also a $25 fee to be paid by the person whose car is towed if the company has to store the vehicle for more than 24 hours and a $25 administrative fee that covers towing utilities, equipment and or special treatment.

Padawan said he once lost money on a tow that required more than six hours of manual labor, further justifying the need for higher fees.

Council member Jim Sims said although he sympathized with towers, he felt it necessary to address the financial situation of many Bloomington residents.

“Our community can be divided almost into a community of haves and have nots with regard to local income streams,” Sims said. “This is not intended to — nor will it hinder any commerce of — the tow companies affected by this. Through this discussion, we want to change things and promote balance.”

The meeting to consider changes to the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 12.

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