Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Living With Urban Wildlife Seminars

The Indiana DNR Urban Wildlife Project will host 3 seminars on Living With Urban Wildlife.  The free seminars will cover vairous aspects of wildlife management, including relevant laws, basic biology and methods to control wildlife damage.  All seminars run 6-8 p.m.  The first seminar will be Oct. 8 at the Monoe County Library auditorium, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., in Bloomington.  No registration is required.  Call 812-334-1137 or email

(copied from the H-T Outdoor Calendar)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kroger Reno & New Proposed Construction: 10/5/09 Plan Meeting

The Seminary Square Kroger is going to be remodeled and updated.  This means Kroger will remain in its current location.  Kroger will most likely add gas pumps, which will greatly change the flow of traffic in that area.  The upcoming changes will be discussed at the next City of Bloomington Plan Commission Meeting, on October 5. 

Another PC meeting topic relevant to McDoel Gardens is the Bryan White project proposed for 223 W. Dodds St.  It would involve a rezoning of 1.6 acres from commercial limited to a PUD, where the developers would build up to 20 single-family homes.  This has been discussed on the blog in previous entries.  For the report from the last Plan Commission meeting regarding the development, go to:
Look in the right hand task bar, under 'Attachments,'  & click on  '8-31-2009.'  Your plan commissioners will vote on this project at the October 5 meeting, so make your opinion heard.  Currently Jack Baker and Isabel Piedmont-Smith sit on the commission, are your neighbors, and want to know what you think.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tenth Street Mobility Study Workshops

From City of Bloomington HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development)

This message is to inform you that there will be two public workshops to discuss the 10th Street Mobility Study (also referred to as the North Campus Area Study):
  • Thursday September 10, 2009 from 11:30am-1:30pm in the auditorium of the Monroe County Public Library (303 E. Kirkwood Ave.);
    • Getting there by bus:  Bloomington Transit routes 1, 3, 4, or 5
    • Parking:  parking is available at the library or the adjacent streets
  • Thursday September 10, 2009 from 5:00pm-7:00pm in Room CG2061 of the Kelley School of Business Graduate and Executive Education Center (NW corner of N. Fee Ln. and E. 10th St).  Room CG2061 is on the second floor in the NW corner of the building.
    • Getting there by bus:  Bloomington Transit routes 1, 6, or 9; IU Campus Bus routes A, B, D, or E
    • Parking:  paid parking is available in the Fee Lane Parking garage (attached to the northern side of the Kelley School of Business)
The information presented at both workshops is intended to be identical.  The anticipated format of the workshop will be a brief open house, followed by a presentation, and then group discussions about the study area.
Stay Connected
You can get information about the 10th Street Mobility Study online:

The Hand Update (Housing and Neighborhood Development)

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT GRANTS (link to website)  Meeting tonight!
These grants provide funds for neighborhood physical improvement projects that require $2,000 or more – click here to see neighborhood projects.
§         Neighborhood Signs
§         Restoration of brick and WPA sidewalks
§         Landscaping, benches and trash receptacles on public right of way
§         Historical markers
Overview and Distribution of Applications: Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 6:00 p.m. John Hooker Room
Letter of Intent: Friday, Sept.25, 2009, by 4:00 pm.
Applications Due: Friday, November 6, 2009, by 4 pm.
For more information about this program, contact Vickie Provine at or 349-3505

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wylie Woodchuck

We have a neighborhood woodchuck (groundhog) living near the 600 block of West Wylie Street.  Thanks, Glee, for the photo!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Neighborhood Meeting Sept. 10

Please join your neighbors at the McDoel Baptist Church (basement) at 6:30 on Thursday, September 10.   The church is at 1006 South Rogers Street.

Summary of Plan Commission with Comments from Jack Baker

     Brian White is proposing a 19 lot subdivision on the lot at Morton and Dodds. The first hearing with Bloomington City Plan Commission was on Monday Aug 31. A second hearing and most likely a vote accepting or denying the project will be held on October 5th
     Plan Commissioners heard from Mr. White and his local engineer. He wants to build 19 homes using several traditional designs including Queen Anne and Craftsman and place them on narrow lots, with all homes a short distance from, and facing, the phase II B-line trail. The homes would range in cost from about $170000 to $300000 and approximately 40% would be eligible for an affordable housing program that reduces the cost to a home buyer depending upon their income and family size.  
     Commissioners questioned all aspects of the project including density (number of homes), house spacing, materials and design, driveways, tree preservation and new tree plantings, and the extent of passive solar and the ‘green’ details. The Public questioned density and spacing of the homes, timing of the project, and tree preservation. The Planning staff questioned some of Mr. White’s project details including roof pitch, porch depth and building set-backs.
     My reading of the public commentary at the PC meeting and consensus at our last neighborhood meeting is most of the neighborhood is in favor of the project, with a few persons still concerned about the number of homes proposed for the property size. My reading of the Plan Commission is that it is also favorable to the project although there is some concern about the quality and density of the homes.
     While I too would rather see fewer homes on larger lots I believe it is not an option in this project – the developer considers it uneconomic to reduce the number of homes. But, if we can be assured the homes will be built with high aesthetic and material qualities I think the worry about density and closeness will be offset. As usual the recipe for a successful project is in the details. The Plan Commission staff noted all of our criticism at the Aug 31 meeting and is working with the developer to improve the proposal. For example we have asked that vinyl siding not be allowed as a building material (poor quality, lack of color range and paint holding), metal roofs be of a specific type, and roof pitch must be steeper. We are working on a commitment that the styles built will be true to the originals. 
This is the first project along the B-line trail and we need it to be a good one.

Planned Construction Goes to Second Commission Meeting

The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed housing project (along Dodds & the B-line) that could have impact on McDoel Gardens neighborhood at their meeting on August 31.  The developers had hoped to bypass the need for a second hearing in order to begin construction this season.  As many details were not agreed upon, and several neighbors voiced concerns, the Commission voted to go to a second hearing.

You can still catch the broadcast of the Aug. 31 meeting on CATS local channel 12.  Click here for this week's schedule.