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JB Salvage is NOT ZONED for a Solid Waste Processing Facility

Disinformation from Bethany Stevens and the Herald-Times

Since the community notification (as required for IDEM permit approval) of the plan to operate a Solid Waste Processing Facility, there has been a blatant disinformation campaign involving our local media outlets.

The most salient parts of this campaign are to indoctrinate the Citizens of Bloomington with the illusions that:

Indiana "Recycling" Resource makes claims about the support of local government

Herald-Times (February 5, 2013)

Plans for Trash Transfer Station at JB's Salvage Upset Neighbors
  • No zoning changes or city approval are required for the project to proceed.

WFHB Daily News (February 19, 2013)

Plans for Garbage Station Angers Neighbors

Herald-Times (March 5, 2013)

Volan Proposes Public Trash Transfer Station as Alternative to Vernal Pike Business

WFHB Daily News (March 5, 2013)

The Controversy Over a Local Business’ Proposal to Open a Waste Transfer Station on Bloomington Near West-Side Generated a Public Meeting

What's behind these claims?

That is a good question.

Why are they making these claims?

In 1984 a use variance was requested by the property owners, George and Mary Green, solely to bring the legal non-conforming non-complying business (Ed Green & Sons) that was operating in a residential district into compliance. This was done so that the property could be sold to John Robinson (aka JB) with the assurance that the city could not shut down the business for the pre-existing non-compliance at a later date. John Robinson has recently leased this property to Bethany Stevens (aka Indiana Recycling Resource) and applied for the permit to operate a Solid Waste Processing Facility.

As soon as IDEM approves the permit, they want to have the Solid Waste Processing Facility built before the Citizens of Bloomington realize that we were lied to about the zoning. Then they can apply for non-conforming use variance to bring the illegal operation into compliance as a fait accompli where they can argue that "the strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will constitute an unnecessary hardship."

Can an old use variance surmount the Uniform Development Ordinance?

No, of course not.

The variance granted in 1984 does not allow a Solid Waste Processing Facility to be built on the site.

In fact, it expressly prohibits any change is use without a proper site plan review.

(Also be sure to check out the the 1995 variance request where JBs expressly states that "The salvage yard will remain intact at 1803 W. Vernal. . ." & "Salvage operations will not be expanded. . .")

Can I read the 1984 variance for myself?

Vernal Pike: A Trip Through Time

Yes. I invite you to download and read through the 1984 BZA REPORT to see if you can spot any of these statements:

  • "VARIANCE TYPE: Use to allow salvage yard in a RS zone."
  • "The houses in the area were built after the business."
  • "Francis Farrell (original owner's daughter) stated that she is surrounded by a salvage yard on three sides. Expansion over the years has increased the noise and fumes." [This is the lower parcel labeled A in the video.]
  • "Petitioner [Ed Green & Sons] considered rezoning. . . [but a variance] was selected as it would limit the use to a known use with low traffic and density requirements."
  • "Rezoning alone would open the land for uses, some of which would create heavy demands on the roads and utilities."
  • "Rezoning and PUD [Planned Unit Development] were not chosen because [John Robinson of JBs Salvage] is not prepared. . . to make the kind of decisions necessary to support a PUD request."
  • "The use variance is requested to eliminate the non-conforming aspect of the business; site plan review requirements will be imposed on the property when any expansion or modernization occurs."
  • "No expansion is planned by the current owner [Greene & Sons Salvage Company]."
  • "Peculiar condition in this case is that the property has existed as a salvage yard since well before the enactment of current zoning."
  • "The approval does not interfere substantially with the comprehensive plan."
  • ". . . the code intends for non-conforming uses to be brought into conformance. . ."
  • "The approval will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community."
  • "In fact this request will allow the clean-up of a potentially injurious situation."

And, in case you missed it, here it is again as it is clearly spelled out in the 1984 BZA REPORT:


Let me also point out that the residential parcel that they are planning to build the "recycling drop-off" center on is not covered by this 1984 variance at all, as it was purchased in 1990 and was never owned by Ed Green. [This is triangular parcel at the lower right labeled C in the video.]

See also

Vernal Pike,
Mar 29, 2013, 12:34 PM
Vernal Pike,
Jun 21, 2013, 6:53 AM