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Bloomington to withdraw from Fourth Street Garage legal battle



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Construction railing lines the outskirts of the Fourth Street Parking Garage development Feb. 24 in Bloomington. Bloomington recently lost a legal battle concerning the city's right to acquire private land and is redesigning the Fourth Street garage because of it. Alex Deryn

After losing a legal battle concerning the city's right to acquire private land and redesigning the Fourth Street garage because of it, Bloomington is officially moving to halt further action on the lawsuit.

The city announced its intention to withdraw the appeal in a Thursday press release. The city is exiting the legal battle because of the approval of the garage’s new design by Bloomington's Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals on March 9. The judge now has to approve the motion to withdraw for it to be finalized.

“We believe it prudent to focus the City’s time, energy, and resources on the construction of a public parking facility,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the press release.

The redesign of the garage came after the city was legally prevented from acquiring the property where the business JuanSells.com Realty resides, a property that was a part of the original garage. Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Holly Harvey ruled Dec. 20 that the city couldn’t use eminent domain, the government’s right to seize private land for public use. According to court documents, the property would be filled by other businesses, which would not constitute public use.

Removing the commercial space would go against Bloomington code, which requires garages have some area on the ground floor for commercial use.

The garage is slated to have about 540 parking spaces spread across seven floors, a change from around 510 spaces across six floors.

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