Bloomington city council (Dec. 21, 2022)
Parcel requested to be rezoned for jail.
Bloomington councilmember Jim SIms.
Monroe County commissioner Julie Thomas.
Monroe County attorney Jeff Cockerill.
This past Wednesday (Dec. 21), Bloomington’s city council denied a request from the county government to rezone an 87-acre parcel in the southwestern tip of the city, so that it could be used for a new county jail.
That city council’s denial came on a unanimous vote. The outcome matched the recommendation from the city plan commission, which had voted 6–3 in mid-November against the rezone.
The city council’s representative to the plan commission, Ron Smith, voted in favor of the rezone as a plan commissioner, but against it as a city councilmember.
The specific request was to change the zoning of the land on Fullerton Pike from mixed-use employment (ME) to mixed-use institutional (MI). Use of the property as a jail would not be allowed under ME, but could be allowed under MI. A jail is a “conditional use” under MI zoning.
The council’s vote came a few minutes before midnight, after about three hours of deliberation, which included about a dozen public commenters, who spoke against the rezone, and generally against the idea of building a new jail.
A couple of public comments were made in favor of the rezone.
For councilmembers, their main land use concern appeared to be the distance from the center of the city to the site and the lack of transportation access. The road that is to be built is not yet completed, and there is not currently any public bus service to the location.
But at least as big a question as land use was the dissatisfaction that councilmembers expressed about the failure to include city officials in the community justice response committee (CJRC).
That’s the group that is making recommendations on how to respond to the work of two consultants, who delivered two studies of Monroe County’s criminal justice system, which were delivered 18 months ago, in June 2021. Continue reading “Rezone for new county jail denied by Bloomington city council, with calls to include city in planning”