September 2020, Meeting Minutes

DGNA Meeting Minutes 9/3

The meeting took place online and 8 neighbors were in attendance as well as one guest – Lea Cline from the Historic Preservation Commission. 

Karen Schmidt motioned to approve the July meeting minutes.  Melanie hunter seconded and the vote passed unanimously.

Treasurer Melanie Hunter has not yet received the bank statement but reported that the proceeds of the bake sale had been deposited (sales reported as $434.50 at July meeting).

Old Business:

The last update for the walking tour pamphlets was that they files were on LJ’s computer at Heartland which she did not have access to at the time.  There is no new update on their status at this time.

The meeting for R3B zoning is upcoming. The city is reported to be taking the DGNA Plan recommendations seriously and are redrafting the residential zoning. City Planner Katie Simpson will be sending the draft of the zoning to DGNA to allow us to review the language.

We will be installing a total of 15 signs for the DGNA Historic Sign Project this fall.  The test for the signs was sent to the printer today (9/3). Estimated timelines for installation is tentatively set for October. The topic was discussed around house histories and questions asked what needed to be done to start getting content added to the website. 

Due to the pandemic, DGNA Socials are being placed on hold until it is safe for them to resume.

Prior to the meeting, Pam Eaton shared two coupons from local businesses that will be added to the welcome packets from Green Top Grocery and Grove Street Bakery.

The discussion around DGNA boundaries was tabled for a future meeting.

Based on the recent demolition of a house on Mill Street there are new demolition zoning rules in the city.  Brad Williams and Lea Cline, President of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) met with the City Planner and Director of Community Development for the City of Bloomington regarding concerns about the handling of the demolition of the Mill St house.  Based on that conversation and additional conversations with the city by the Historic Preservation Commission, any house in a neighborhood with a historic preservation survey (like Dimmitt’s Grove) will now have a public hearing, which requires a 60-day notice) before being torn down. In addition to some neighborhoods, many historic utilitarian buildings (warehouses) have been surveyed. 

A meeting also took place with Todd Keil, the President and CEO of Bloomington Municipal Credit Union. The house on Mill was torn down as part of a larger plan to build a new building to house the Credit Union, however it has not been made clear why since the new building will not occupy that land. Mr. Keil was informed of DGNA’s interest in weighing in on the external design of the building to ensure it fits with the architecture of the neighborhood. Cathy Sutliff asked if the plans for landscaping were discussed since the demolition of the house has now exposed views of the dump to the other residences on Mill St. Brad Williams will follow up on the landscaping question. 

Lea Cline mentioned her lack of satisfaction with owners granted permission to demolish historic structure’s follow through on salvaging historic features. Presumably due to the pandemic, the Old House Society did not respond to requests to come remove historic artifacts from the house so any that existed were demolished with the house.  There is currently no policy in place to enforce the salvaging of historic features for owners who don’t follow through in doing so prior to demolition. Additionally, the is no policy in place for salvaging historic features uncovered during renovation that were not previously known to exist.  The HPC is working re-draft the city’s Historic Preservation Plan to incorporate these changes.

Lea Cline also announced that the Dimmitt’s Grove Neighborhood Association has been awarded the City of Bloomington’s 2020 Preservationist of the Year Award for all of our preservation efforts.  Usually given to individuals, this is the first time this has been awarded to an organization. There will be an upcoming formal announcement in the news.  Lea asked for our input on how we might want to commemorate this achievement in the vein of yard signs, etc. Karen Schmidt offered the idea of circling back to the Bloomington Normal Area Realtors (BNAR) who she and Sarah Hanzel met with earlier this year.  BNAR had mentioned the possibility assisting with “placemaking signs” of some sort. One idea was to circle back with them to make them aware of the award and revisit options for the placemaking sign idea that would incorporate the award such as signs at boundary corners or main entry points into the neighborhood with the neighborhood name and secondary wording below along the lines of “City of Bloomington’s 2020 Preservationist of the Year Award Recipient”.  Jerica will coordinate with Sarah Hanzel and Karen Schmidt to move discussions forward.

The next DGNA meeting will take place on Thursday, November 5th at 7pm.  Due to the pandemic and cooler weather/earlier sunset, the meeting will take place online via Zoom.  Karen Schmidt has offered to host the Zoom call again.  

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