Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 8 meeting minutes

Ellen Lyon opened the meeting and welcomed the invited speakers: Tom Micuda from the Bloomington Planning Committee and Lisa Abbott, director of HAND. Mayor Kruzan had planned to speak to us but had to cancel due to illness.

Tom answered questions about the Ivy Chase development. Many in attendance had been in the neighborhood when it was first proposed. Mr. Micuda had also been on the planning committee when this developer put forth his proposal. It had unusual aspects (such as: the length of the cul de sac exceeds code and there is only one entrance) but was approved in the 1990’s. It is 16 acres south of Sowder Square off Walnut Street Pike. The proposal included 41 single family homes that can be used as rental property. The developer has the right to start construction but the city has not heard from him since 2007. However, the developer would need to contact the city for certain permits before beginning. Tom says “In response to your questions, I will make sure to email you if we receive any permit inquiries from Jeff Jones. I will also make sure that you are added to our email list we use to distribute agendas for our Plan Commission meetings.”

It was understood that as a neighborhood we have no say in this particular development. There was frustration from attendees that we were not consulted in this or other new development. A developer need only contact the adjoining properties- 2 deep, I believe. Also, Ellen pointed out that the south side doesn’t seem to have a voice and that our association can be a voice that affects change. This is why we conceived of this meeting topic. Our neighborhood is comprised of nearly 500 homes and can be of great influence in the future.

Lisa Abbott spoke to our concerns on rental properties in general. She suggested we be proactive about concerns in our neighborhood, in terms of code enforcement. She said that any individual can cite a complaint on a rental property under Title 16. You would need to sign your name. Under Title 6, that enforces refuse or excessive growth, one can issue a complaint anonymously. On November 7th, there will be a public meeting with the city council to discuss code changes to Title 16. If you wish the code to be stricter, here’s your chance for input!

Also, there are plans for modifications to the roundabout on High. If you have questions, contact Susie Johnson,

(Let me say that our association IS NOT a code enforcement body and we do not issue any rules or restrictions for the neighborhood. Lisa’s suggestions were geared towards the individual. In the event that you wish to report an incident or concern, please contact the city directly.)
Three other developments were brought up. 1. - Affordable housing apartment complex on South Walnut. 2. - Life Designs apartments to be built in the Restore parking lot. 3. - Possible development on the SE corner of Sare and Rogers.
An e-mail was sent out about the apartment complex on South Walnut. There was a Zoning Appeals meeting on October 18th which members of our executive committee attended. Any information we get will be sent out to the e-mail list.

The Life Designs project is approved. It will be a 25 unit apartment building; all one- bedroom apartments. Life Designs describes itself on their website as-

Advance with us into a new era of inclusive communities in which people with disabilities are designing engaged and fulfilling lives. We’ve brought together two leading-edge organizations, Options and Christole, to form LIFEDesigns, an innovative service provider creating opportunities for people with disabilities to learn, work, contribute, and thrive.

By combining forces, Options and Christole draw on their stellar reputations to forge a path toward comprehensive, holistic support for people with disabilities in south central Indiana. From primary education and behavior support to employment, housing, health care, and technology assistance, LIFEDesigns looks ahead to consider the complete picture of an individual’s evolving needs and goals.

These apartments are being built to provide housing to those with disabilities. There will be counselors, management and security on site. Ellen Lyon agreed to contact Life Designs to find out more. She will report back to the neighborhood.

Barb Fischer spoke to us about the plan for tree planting. Our neighborhood won a grant for 20 trees! The funding was provided in part, through the City of Bloomington's Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Neighborhood Improvement Grant. The planting took place this past Saturday at 9 am. Please take a look at our Facebook page or blog for pictures and a description of the successful event.

Ellen Lyon brought up the financial concerns of running a neighborhood group. For the first year, the executive committee has used their own money to fund flyers, signs etc. Our by-laws state that we have a $5 annual voluntary fee. She left a basket by the door for donations. The group was generous; we now have some money in the fund for future projects. Our treasurer Bob Boch will begin providing reports on spending/donations at meetings. Thank you to everyone that donated!

Our last piece of business was discussion of our “FIRST ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUMINARY DISPLAY” We have a committee planning this event. Lisa Wrasse has donated the sand. We will need to purchase white bags and votive candles. We’d like to put 3-4 luminaries on the sidewalk in front of each house on Allendale and Bainbridge. If we get more volunteers- we’d love to cover the whole neighborhood. We will advertise this event in the paper to attract visitors to our neighborhood. Please look for future e-mails about this project and how you can help.

The meeting was brought to a close and many neighbors stayed to chat. The executive committee members present were: Juan Carlos Carrasquel, David Hart, Ellen Lyon and Brenda Ogborn.

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering or have ideas for future grants or events! --

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