Lewis has a history of controversy in his developments. In 1991 he received a "plat adjustment" on some homes in the Highland Homes subdivision, allowing him to take down several healthy trees and replace them with extremely tiny student housing.
In 2002, Lewis received approval to build a 56-unit apartment structure with 26,000 square feet of commercial space on the northwest corner of West 10th Street and North College Avenue. The property then held an old A&W building and a limestone bungalow, which the city planning department had hoped could be moved to a new location. The bungalow had held several businesses, including First Security Insurance and A Glimpse of Nature, an exotic fish store. The lot also held several old trees, including a hundred-year-old sycamore, the preservation of which was a condition for zoning approval.
That October, the tenants received eviction notices with just a few days notice. A Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission meeting had been called for 3:30 PM on the 17th where the commission was going to discuss giving the property a historic designation, but the bungalow was demolished before the meeting could take place. Later that week, the sycamore was also cut down with the claim that the tree was unsavable.