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Bloomington Considers Changes To Historic Preservation Code

New speed bumps will be installed along West Third Street in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood.

The Bloomington City Council is considering changing the city’s Historic Preservation and Protection Code for the first time in 13 years.

The city council plans to consider amending the code at its meeting this evening that would bring the city’s ordinance in line with state regulations.

Under current code, Bloomington neighborhoods can be designated conservation neighborhoods, which helps preserve certain aspects of the homes but is not as restrictive as a historic designation.

Assistant City Attorney Patricia Mulvihill says the city council determines if a conservation neighborhood becomes a historic neighborhood after three years, and hears objections from neighbors.

“What it’s being changed to is that after three years, it will automatically elevate unless a majority of the property owners in the district object to it becoming a full historic district in writing,” she says.

Mulvihill says state code also requires a specific procedure for removing district status.

The proposed changes come just months after Indiana University Foundation signed a deal with the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, or FIJI,  to move their house to an historic neighborhood.

The move would demolish six homes in that neighborhood to make room for the fraternity house at Eighth Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

But Mayor Mark Kruzan says these concerns are not related and the changes should not have any impact on the university’s plans.

“You know sometimes timing is everything, in good ways and bad ways,” he says. “In this case certainly I can understand why people might think this is related to the University’s decision and the Fiji’s, but it’s completely unrelated and it has no impact.”

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