Judge reverses Bloomington BZA on variance for downtown condos, orders re-hearing at next meeting

Monroe County circuit court judge Emily Salzmann has reversed last year’s decision by Bloomington’s board of zoning (BZA) to deny a variance for a proposed development on what is now a surface parking lot west of the CVS building on Kirkwood Avenue.

Developer Randy Lloyd’s Cutters Kirkwood 123 had proposed a four-story building with 15 owner-occupied condos on the site, which would have included just 19 percent of the ground floor as commercial space.

That’s why the BZA was asked to grant a variance from a requirement in Bloomington’s downtown overlay—that at least 50 percent of the ground floor square footage be designed for non-residential and non-parking uses.

The BZA denied the request of a variance at its Oct. 20, 2022 meeting.  On Nov. 18, 2022, Lloyd filed a legal action for a judicial review of the BZA’s decision.

The order from Salzmann, which was issued on Tuesday, reverses the BZA’s denial. Tuesday’s order is based on a determination that the city’s legal department and planning staff gave BZA members incorrect advice about the factors that BZA members could consider, in their decision about whether to grant a variance.

So Tuesday’s order returns the question to the BZA “to be heard at their next meeting and decided on at that meeting.”

It’s not clear if “next meeting” means the Thursday, Nov. 16 meeting that is on the BZA’s calendar. Before publication, The B Square was not able to reach Bloomington planning department staff on the question of whether the Cutters variance would be heard and decided on Thursday. Continue reading “Judge reverses Bloomington BZA on variance for downtown condos, orders re-hearing at next meeting”