The control the city of Bloomington government exercises over housing near IU was demonstrated last week at a meeting of the city Board of Zoning Appeals. Local property owner Derk Brewer asked the Board for permission to have more than three unrelated adults live in his house on State Road 46. According to Planning and Transportation Director Tom Micuda, the request was unusual.
Brewer’s house is west of the commercial area at the intersection of State Road 46 and North Walnut, which is just northwest of the I.U. campus. Brewer plans to add two additional bedrooms to what is now a three bedroom house. It’s legal for Brewer to add on to the house, but Micuda says the city only allows three unrelated adults to live on properties with residential single family zoning.
The city asked Brewer to sign a commitment that he would not allow more than three unrelated adults to live in the house. The area has a history of houses being converted to student rentals. That was prior to the city’s introduction and enforcement of stricter zoning regulations. Brewer was also cited in 2011 for allowing too many people to live in other properties he owns. Assistant city attorney, Patty Mulvihill, says the city is within its rights to ask Brewer to sign the commitment.
The board voted unanimously to deny Brewer’s request. That means that in order to get a building permit, he will have to sign the commitment to allow no more than three unrelated adults to live in the house.