Math Journal: Geometry of annexation isn’t a completely gray area

Bloomington’s litigation over a 2017 law that stopped its effort to annex some land into the city is grinding its way towards a hearing in front of the Indiana Supreme Court.

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Bloomington won a ruling from a lower court in April that found the law was unconstitutional on two grounds.

One of the State of Indiana’s allegations is that Bloomington “gerrymandered” the areas it chose for its planned annexation. For this edition of the Beacon’s Math Journal let’s not dive into the specifics of the parcels Bloomington planned to annex.

Instead, let’s take an abstract look at a geometric requirement that the state statute imposes on the possible shapes of annexed territory. The statute puts some limits on how much the shape of an annexed area can be gerrymandered.

Continue reading “Math Journal: Geometry of annexation isn’t a completely gray area”

Math Journal: Converting percents to dollars for Housing Development Fund

On Wednesday (July 31, 2019) Bloomington’s city council will consider the first reading of a rezoning request from the Collegiate Development Group to build an 820-bedroom student housing project on North Walnut Street at the site of the current Motel 6.

CDG location map iso Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 11.01.38 AMOne point likely to be raised is the amount of money CDG has committed to pay into the city’s Housing Development Fund, in connection with the proposed project. It’s a fund that was created by unanimous city council vote on Nov. 16, 2016.

The amount of CDG’s commitment to the Housing Development Fund is not expressed as a fixed dollar amount. The amount depends on a percentage of the number of bedrooms that are built.

Doesn’t CDG know already how bedrooms are in the project? It’s probably fair to say that CDG knows how many bedrooms it would like to build into the project, namely 820. But based on some early reaction from some councilmembers, at their July 19 work session, they might want to see the number of bedrooms reduced in order to approve the re-zoning. Continue reading “Math Journal: Converting percents to dollars for Housing Development Fund”

Math Journal: Bedroom arithmetic

New building projects in Bloomington can be controversial, especially when the proposed new apartments are marketed to students at Indiana University. Typical for such projects are higher numbers of bedrooms for each apartment.

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A rendering of Collegiate Development Group’s proposed project on North Walnut Street viewed from the southwest.

A recently proposed 820-bedroom housing development on North Walnut, at the current Motel 6 site, prompted this comment from one city councilmember about the number of four-bedroom units in the proposal (compared with other, smaller apartments):

“All I can say is, Wow!”

Collegiate Development Group’s proposal will be in front of Bloomington’s city council for a first reading on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. In mid-June the city’s plan commission voted unanimously in favor of the site plan. Continue reading “Math Journal: Bedroom arithmetic”

Math Journal: Saw marks on old wood in tables at Crumble Coffee & Bakery

The tabletops in Crumble Coffee & Bakery on the southeast corner of 10th Street and College Avenue look like they’re made of old wood. The boards hint at a life before they were crafted into furniture, but after they were milled from timber.

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A cup of coffee at Crumble Coffee & Bakery sitting on a table crafted from reclaimed barn and hotel stable lumber. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

The twice-over reclaimed character of the tabletops was confirmed by Crumble Coffee owner Scott Reynolds in an email to The Beacon. The wood was “first used in a hotel stables in Plainfield over a hundred years ago,” he wrote. After that, the wood was reclaimed for use in a barn in rural Monroe county. More recently, Reynolds said, “that barn wood was again reclaimed and refashioned into our tables.”

Among the hints that the wood is old are the kerf marks left by the circular saw that milled the wood.

How big was the saw? There’s enough information in the narrow boards to calculate the blade diameter. And that’s the problem for this edition of the Math Journal. Continue reading “Math Journal: Saw marks on old wood in tables at Crumble Coffee & Bakery”