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Sunday, May 26
The Indiana Daily Student


Bloomington City Council bans right turns on red in 77 places, approves more affordable housing


The Bloomington City Council approved five ordinances and one resolution at a meeting Wednesday night.

The ordinances concerned a new development near Switchyard Park, restricted turns on red lights at signalized intersections, the addition and removal of “no parking” zones and changing of language in the municipal code and previously-adopted ordinance which amended city code.

Ordinance 21-07: Housing development next to Switchyard Park 

Councilmembers voted 9-0 to approve an ordinance to allow for the construction of 19 townhomes and 104 multi-family residences in a lot bordering Switchyard Park. 

The lot is the location of the Storage Express building and the McDoel Business Center parking lot, which both run parallel to the B-Line Trail and South Madison Street. Two thirds of the Storage Express building will be torn down to make space for the development of seven buildings. Four of the buildings will be townhomes and three will be apartment buildings, two of which will have commercial space on the ground floor.

In line with affordable housing guidelines in Bloomington’s Unified Development Ordinance, a minimum of 15% of each apartment building and 15% of the townhomes will be reserved for people who earn between 70 and 110% of the area median income, which is the midpoint of a region’s income distribution. 

The homes also have to receive a silver certification based on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a green building rating program.

“I think that this is a great project for affordable housing,” said Councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith, who lives in the area where the development will be built. “It’ll be, I think, a good showcase for a green building in a residential development here in Bloomington.”

The councilmembers passed six addendums for the project, many of which reiterated ideas already adopted into petitioner Tom Brennan’s updated plans at the meeting, such as adding pedestrian connections from the development to the B-Line Trail.

Ordinance 21-12: More restricted turns on red at signalized intersections

The council also voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance making it illegal to turn right at a red light at 77 intersections in Bloomington. This original ordinance included 78 intersections, but the intersection of Sixth Street and Walnut Avenue was removed because cars cannot turn right there.

The cost of purchasing and installing the signs for the intersections would be about $100 each, or $8,000 total, according to a memo from the council.

Councilmember Kate Rosenbarger, one of the ordinance’s sponsors, said having restricted turns on red at these intersections will improve pedestrian and biker safety because it will provide clear walkways for pedestrians crossing the street.

Ordinance 21-11: Updating portions of municipal code

The council also unanimously approved an ordinance updating language in the “Administration and Personnel” section of the city code to reflect changes such as the structure of the Planning & Transportation Department. It also cleaned up the section setting forth the Board of Housing Quality Appeals.

Ordinance 21-13: Changes to no parking zones 

This ordinance removes three no parking zones on Sixth Street and adds 10 no parking zones on Eva Hill Drive, Hawksmoore Drive, Melville Circle, Ramsey Drive, Renwick Boulevard and Seminary Drive. The legislation also adds two loading zones at 416 South Washington St. and 1022 North College Ave.

Ordinance 21-27: Corrects language in another ordinance

The council members voted unanimously in favor of this ordinance, which corrects two errors in the table of rates for private fire connections that was included in an ordinance which amended the “Private fire connections per connection” section of city code. This legislation corrects the spelling of “annually” and changes the annual rate listed for the four-inch or smaller fire line from $142.32 to $141.96, which reflects 12 times the monthly charge of $11.83.

Resolution 21-07: Exempts nonprofit organization from imposed tax

This resolution, which was passed with a vote of 9-0, acknowledged that the Flywheel Fund, a capital fund for early-stage and high-potential startups managed by Dimension Mill, Inc., is within its charitable mission. The passage of this resolution exempted the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is a center for coworking and entrepreneurship, from a tax. The tax was issued because the Flywheel Fund did not fall under the organization's mission, according to the IRS’s 501(c)(3) guidelines, because Dimension Mill, Inc. made money from investing in the startups, attorney Ryan Waggoner said.

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