Local realtors and landowners are still not satisfied with proposed changes to Monroe County’s zoning laws. Members of the public commented on the changes at a November 6th meeting of the County Plan Commission. The Commission is considering revisions to its rules for rural areas. The changes have sparked months of debate. Commission President John Irvine said the County has been responsive to concerns.
The new zoning rules set limits on how property owners can subdivide their land. County Planning Director Larry Wilson said residents have expressed the most concern about some of those limits.
The Bloomington Board of Realtors sent a representative to oppose the changes. Tracey Lutz (LUTEZ) said the rules would mean fewer new lots for development and a reduction in local property values.
Lutz’s comments challenged assertions by County officials that the proposed changes would actually reduce sprawl. Irvine referred to a new rule that would allow large-scale landowners to sell small portions of their properties, but only if they agree not to subdivide their land again for 25 years.
Monroe County Council member Marty Hawk, who is also a local realtor, warned the Commission might be miscalculating. Hawk said limiting development could hurt the County’s finances. She said that’s because of Indiana’s circuit breaker law, which is beginning to affect Monroe County.
Irvine responded by saying the circuit breaker law was QUOTE interrelated UNQUOTE to the other financial considerations, but he didn’t say how the Commission proposed dealing with the issue. Although realtors were unhappy with the newest version of the zoning rules, other rural businesses have stopped protesting. That’s because the Commission removed the rules that would affect those businesses. Jim Shelton from the Greater Bloomington Area Chamber of Commerce thanked the Commission.
The Commission did not vote on the rules at the November 6th meeting.