Bloomington puts new rules on chain businesses

(WANE Photo, file)
(WANE Photo, file)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — City officials in Bloomington are creating new rules for chain businesses looking to open in the downtown area.

The City Council voted Wednesday night to require what it calls standardized businesses seeking to open a downtown storefront to obtain a special zoning permit that specifies details of the building’s look and design.

Supporters say the step is intended to protect the downtown’s appearance. The Herald-Times reports  the rules will apply to a nine-block area around the courthouse square and a 12-block zone west of the Indiana University campus.

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposed earlier proposals that could’ve blocked new chain businesses if officials believed there was an over concentration of them. Chamber president Jeb Conrad says the group is excited about the spirit of the new ordinance.

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