CONA: The Mayor is interested in adding two Neighborhood Resource Specialists to the budget, and also mentioned the The Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA). This will be discussed at the next CONA meeting. Our CONA representative Sandi Clothier would like some feedback from neighbors about how this resource person might be used, and what sort of things you want to have officers do. You can send your ideas directly to Sandi at email@example.com and she can then bring these ideas to the next CONA meeting.
Radon: Does anyone have a radon gas mitigation service to recommend? Margaret Key knows of VET Environmental Engineering (https://www.vet-env.com/) but would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used VET or any other local company.
Thanks in advance,
Margaret Key, 811 W. 8th St.
Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes
Alan Balkema, Sandi Clothier, Olivia Dorfman, Bill Baus, Vernon Sweeney, Cheryl Sweeney, Michelle Henderson, Karen Duffy, Rocky Festa, Jean Graham, Karlyn Grise, Bob Grise, Sheri Benham, Sita Cohen, David Ferrand, Steve Schatz, Ren Campbell
–Your Neighborhood, Your Story –
Alan Balkema presented a flyer from the Your Neighborhood, Your Story project, a collaborative effort by the Bloomington Storytellers Guild and South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities to collect and share stories from residents of various Bloomington neighborhoods. The project will culminate in a photography exhibit at the Monroe County Public Library and a storytelling program at Fairview Elementary School. If you would like to discuss the past, present and future of our neighborhood, contact Jennifer Perry at 812-360-5191 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
–Follow-up on Meeting with Bloomington Cooperative Living –
Representatives of the co-housing group Bloomington Cooperative Living attended our July meeting to discuss their proposal to purchase the building at 921 W. 9th St. and develop it into from 16 to 26 units with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. Sandi Clothier reached out to members of CONA who gave her the following feedback: CONA members recommended that we not support the proposal since it would require that the building be rezoned. This could set a precedent for the rezoning of other larger buildings in our neighborhood. CONA members advocate locating high-density housing on the edges of neighborhoods or on busy streets, not in the heart of neighborhoods. Sandi noted that the cooperative is not true co-housing since the tenants are not owners, but more like renters, that the issue has to do with ownership.
Cheryl Sweeney noted that the neighborhood has been adamant not to have more than three unrelated people living together in a house.
Rocky Festa asked how long the house has been empty and whether it could become an attractive nuisance.
Bill Baus commented that the building would be a perfect place for a group home.
The neighborhood association sent a letter to Bloomington Cooperative Living stating that we do not endorse their proposal.
–Historic Preservation Committee –
Alan talked about the rationale behind having our neighborhood designated as a local historic district. He mentioned that the Bloomington Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) talks about increasing density in the city, and said that our district representative Chris Sturbaum warned that our neighborhood would be ground zero for development with the trades district so close by. He noted that developers won’t be able to build in Prospect Heights or McDoel Gardens as those neighborhoods are already protected. Alan said we would need more teeth in our tool kit when demolition orders come, and that since we live in a consumer society, the pressure to develop our neighborhood is strong. Since Rachel Ellenson is no longer the Historic Preservation Program Manager for the city, Sandi has been trying to arrange a meeting with other members of HAND (The City of Bloomington’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department) so that we can move the process forward. There was some discussion of the required public meetings presenting the proposal, but dates have not been set since more information is needed from HAND.
–Sharing Neighborhood Information –
Rocky Festa noted that she has set up a Facebook page for the Near West Side, a public group called Near Westside Neighbors-Bloomington, and that she posts the meeting minutes there as well as other information of interest to people in the neighborhood.
–Other Business –
Jean Graham said she wants to be on the Historic Preservation Committee and was welcomed to join that group. Rocky Festa said she would like to be an at large member of the board. Sandi nominated Rocky, and Sita seconded the nomination. Rocky was unanimously approved as a board member at large.