The way a town looks can be important, and for Bloomington, it's important enough to put regulations on chain businesses. Mayor Mark Kruzan originally proposed banning chain restaurants from the downtown area, but the ordinance that unanimously passed in June is even broader than that.
The City Council amended the proposal to include all chain businesses, not just restaurants. While it doesn't ban the incoming businesses, it does require any chain business to apply for a permit to start a business downtown or in the Kirkwood Avenue area just west of IU's campus.
The main concern for the council was keeping the look of the town authentic. The ordinance states that chain businesses must visually complement their surroundings on both sides of the street with its architecture, façade, scale and signage, in addition to paying $250 to file a permit.
To read more about the regulations and background of this development, click here.