Friday, January 4, 2013

Neighborhood Services

Happy New Year!

The Housing and Neighborhood Development Department (HAND) wants to thank you and all the folks in your neighborhood for the work you do to make your neighborhood a great place to live. 

With a new year HAND wants to make you aware of our 2013 Neighborhood Services programs and services along with updates to Bloomington ordinances that have a direct impact on your neighborhood.  If you would like to have a HAND staff member attend your meeting in 2013 or you have any neighborhood related questions, please feel free to contact me, Vickie Provine at or 349-3505.  

Neighborhood Services
What’s new in 2013?
  • HAND, CONA and United Way is bringing Paul Schmitz, the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up” on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Learn a new approach to leadership including defining leadership as an action everyone can take, not a position to be held; how to be more effective at bringing diverse people and communities together to solve problems; and taking personal and social responsibility to work with other on common goals. For more information you can link here to the website.
  • Blooming Neighborhoods has a new twist for 2013, the awards have been replaced with “My Neighborhood Pot Luck Idea.”  The neighborhood “Pot Luck” gives neighborhoods the opportunity to share good ideas with one another. For more information you can link here to the website.
  • 2013 Neighborhood Improvement Grants are available through application – click here for further information and check out great projects from Bloomington neighborhoods.
  • Snapshot of 2013 Programs and services attached (according to date)
  • 2013 Neighborhood Calendar attached.

New Title XVI: Residential Rental Unity and Lodging Establishment Inspection Program

Here is a link to the new Title XVI Code: Residential Rental Unit and Lodging Establishment Inspection Program

What is new in 2013? 

Highlights that pertain to neighborhoods:
16.04.040 Exterior Property Areas.  This requires that the exterior be maintained -- including sidewalks. New to the code, "Furniture not generally intended to be used for outdoor purposes (typically upholstered furniture) shall not be permitted to be stored on the exterior of the premises of residential rental units, this includes both screen-in and non-screened porches."  Neighborhoods have been asking for that for years.

16.040.050 Exterior Structure.  Requires that the structure be maintained -- including painting which has to be done in accordance with EPA rules.  It also doesn't allow graffiti on rental property.  If it happens, it needs to be cleaned up, fixed, restored, etc.

16.040.080 Rubbish and Garbage.  Requires that all rental units and their accessory structures to be maintained free from rubbish or garbage. For example, if we find a garage or other structure on the property to be full of trash, we would cite it and they would need to clean it out.  We do find garages and other structures to be full of trash and that attracts rats and other unwanted pests.

This code is instrumental in maintaining our neighborhoods as 67% of our occupied housing is rental. 

Title VI “Weeds and Trash Enforcement”

What is new for 2013?
The Bloomington Common Council passed an ordinance which made significant changes to Title 6 of the Bloomington Municipal Code as it relates to Refuse and Weeds.  Below is outlined some of the most significant changes that the HAND Department feels you should be aware of.  To read the changes in its entirety, you may go to  Look for Ordinance 12-23 in the council packet dated September 19, 2012. 
Synopsis of changes to Chapter 6.06 of the Bloomington Municipal Code titled, “Garbage and Weeds”
1.       The word “weed” has been defined as any plant or vegetation classified by either the State of Indiana or the United States government as a detrimental plant, exotic plant, exotic weed, invasive plant, noxious weed or weed.
2.       Added a new provision which prohibits the dumping of trash into a private dumpster without the owner’s permission.
3.       Adopted a new escalated fine schedule within a 12 month period of the initial fine of $50, which can increase up to $100, and then $150.
4.       Eliminated the 7 day grace period to clean up non-possessory residential rental property.  The fine remains, however, in order for the tenant to be responsible for the fine, a lease needs to be received within 7 days of the violation notice.

Vickie Provine
Program Manager
Housing and Neighborhood Development
City of Bloomington
fax 812-349-3582