At its Nov. 15 meeting, the Bloomington Plan Commission approved the next step in the Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County's Osage Place development. The approval related to 5.34 acres for 30 residential houses and three common areas. The site is located at 650 W. Guy Avenue and is part of a larger 12.5-acre project there.
Construction has already begun and the first houses are expected to be completed by early 2022.
Watch the Plan Commission discussion on CATS here. Read the proposal from the meeting packet here.
An advisory group has recommended boundary changes to precincts in Monroe County as part of this year’s redistricting process. The changes need to be approved by the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. Click here for details.
The Indiana Elections Division deadline for changes to precinct boundaries is Nov. 12. Monroe County Commissioners are expected to vote on the recommended changes on Nov. 10. When the county sets the precinct boundaries, the Bloomington Council will address redistricting of city council districts. The city also has an advisory group to make recommendations, though no appointments have been made to that group yet.
The state’s deadline for making changes to districts is Dec. 26.
A revised residential development next to the Johnson Creamery Building received site plan approval at the Oct. 18 Bloomington Plan Commission meeting.
The residential development will be built in the parking lot north of the Creamery building and south of 8th St. It will include 51 apartments of mostly studio and one-bedroom units, with a few two- and three-bedroom apartments. The ground floor, which can be accessed via the BLine, will include a fitness center and office space.
More details are available in the Plan Commission's meeting packet here. Watch the discussion on CATS here.
A new advisory commission will help Monroe County with its redistricting process. On Oct. 13, Monroe County Commissioners made appointments to the four-member precinct and district boundary advisory commission (PDBAC): Regina Moore, Ed Robertson, Joyce Poling, and Hal Turner.
Based on results of the 2020 Census, the county is responsible for redrawing boundaries for precincts, as well as for county council and county commissioner districts.
The City of Bloomington also has a citizens redistricting advisory commission, which they created last year. However, no appointments have been made to that nine-member group.
At an Oct. 6 working session, the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Commission members discussed the county's approach to increasing the supply of housing.
Two of the three county commissioners – Penny Githens and Lee Jones – attended. Commission Julie Thomas was absent. AHAC members included Cathi Crabtree (chair), Will Smith (vice chair) and Deborah Myerson.
Watch the Oct. 6 discussion on CATS here. It will continue at the next Board of Commissioners' working session on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The working session immediately follows their regular meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. via this Zoom link.
At the Sept. 21 meeting of the Monroe County Convention Visitors Commission, the group got positive news about the hospitality sector and discussed the possible restart of the convention center expansion project.
Mike McAfee, executive director of Visit Bloomington, reported that hotel occupancy reached 70% in August 2021, on par with the industry's pre-pandemic rate in 2019. Short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, are also growing significantly.
McAfee also asked whether it's time to start talking again about the convention center expansion, a project that was halted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Kate Wiltz, a Monroe County Council member who serves on the CVC, said she supported restarting the conversation. She noted that the county continues to collect the Food & Beverage Tax, which is intended to help fund the project.
Watch the Sept. 21 CVC meeting here. The issue of the convention center expansion was also raised as part of the Monroe County Council budget presentations on Sept. 15. Watch that discussion here.
Monroe County and the City of Bloomington are accepting applications for their respective advisory committees related to upcoming redistricting.
Monroe County will be redrawing precinct boundaries for the county, and possibly district boundaries for the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Council. Redistricting occurs every 10 years, following the U.S. Census results. Results of the 2020 U.S. Census were released in mid-August. To apply for the Monroe County redistricting advisory committee, click here.
Bloomington Council will be redrawing its six districts. More information about the council's Citizens' Redistricting Advisory Commission, including an application, is here.
Local redistricting work can’t be finished until the state-level districts are drawn. If an existing precinct is split by a state legislative or congressional district, it has to be redrawn so that it is not split. Indiana’s state legislators are expected to complete that work in mid-to-late September.
Lee Marchant, a local businessman who has served on the Monroe County Convention Center Building Corporation Board of Directors and was president since its inception 30 years ago, resigned in August. The announcement was made at the board's Sept. 7 meeting.
"We just really are deeply moved by Lee's leadership and we thank him so very much for that," said Jim Murphy, the board's vice president. The Building Corporation Board oversees the Convention Center facilities and operations.
At the Sept. 7 meeting, the group also elected new officers. They are: Cindy Kinnarney, president; Jim Murphy, vice president; Jerry Neely, treasurer; and Joyce Poling, secretary.
The Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Commission has three vacancies. The AHAC makes recommendations to the county Board of Commissioners, which appoints the members.
The commission meets on the third Friday of each month from 8-9 a.m. Meetings are currently held via Zoom.
Learn more about the AHAC here. Find the application form here.
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association is seeking applicants to serve on its board, which meets monthly. The applicant must live in the BUEA zone and be affiliated with the non-dominant political party. (In Bloomington, the Democratic Party is the dominant political party.)
More information about the BUEA's work and how to apply can be found at https://bloomington.in.gov/business/buea.