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Habitat for Humanity Pushing to Develop on Controversial Land

The Bloomington Plan Commission voted February 24 to fast-track approval for a 35 home subdivision in what is currently an urban forest along the B-Line Trail.

Habitat for Humanity is seeking to develop the wooded area north of downtown between the B-Line and Reverend Ernest D. Butler Park.

Kerry Thompson, the president of Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, said her organization is running out of spaces to build in Bloomington.

“The largest obstacle for Habitat in recent years has been land,” Thompson said, “There simply are not enough infill lots remaining in the city of BLoomington to meet the needs of families. There is no affordable home ownership option close to the city center.”

The project would require the organization to cut down 64 percent of the trees in the area, which concerned many neighbors who attended the meeting. Some also questioned the high density of the proposed neighborhood and the revelation that soil is contaminated with lead, coal ash and other pollutants.

Marti Crouch, a biologist who lives near the site, said some might undervalue the wooded area in its current state.

“We have very