The Penny Drops: Evidence for Upzoning Benefits is Full of Holes

By Peter Dorfman Ever since the beginning of the upzoning controversy in Bloomington, ideologues in the community and on the City Council have touted published research that purports to show eliminating single family zoning brings down housing costs. So-called “Supply Advocates” argue that allowing developers to densify core neighborhoods will eventually create enough new apartmentsContinue reading “The Penny Drops: Evidence for Upzoning Benefits is Full of Holes”

Is Bloomington Planning Ahead for the Coming Housing Glut?

By Vincent Herring I am interested in getting a better idea of what is necessary for a healthy and sustainable civic design for Bloomington. From my research, as much as 30-40% of the homes in the US will be coming on the market over the next 20 years. Roughly half a century’s worth of home building seasonsContinue reading “Is Bloomington Planning Ahead for the Coming Housing Glut?”

Yes, I’m a New Homeowner. No, I’m Not Ready to Sell Yet

By Anne Stephenson Having lived in Bloomington since May 1982, I rented until just six months ago. The purchase of my home came about from hard work, many struggles, and the miracle-working of a real estate agent and a loan officer who took on my case as if it were their own. I rented inContinue reading “Yes, I’m a New Homeowner. No, I’m Not Ready to Sell Yet”

Matt Flaherty Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

By Peter Dorfman A couple of weeks on from the disheartening finish of the City Council debate on upzoning, with annexation hanging in the cicada-thick atmosphere over the suburbs, Bloomingtonians are waiting for the next shoe to drop. Our local NPR affiliate, WFIU, organized a May 27 Noon Edition panel discussion, hoping for fresh perspectivesContinue reading “Matt Flaherty Says the Quiet Part Out Loud”

Wasn’t Housing Affordability Supposed to Be the Whole Point? Oh Well. On to 2023.

The city’s upzoning process has come to its predictable ugly end. It got intense toward the end. And personal.  Planners, pro-density Council members and upzoning fans in the public (as always, a minority among the people who turned out for the meetings) flexed their muscles. They made it clear that conditional use, annual caps andContinue reading “Wasn’t Housing Affordability Supposed to Be the Whole Point? Oh Well. On to 2023.”

Where Are We Now?

By Peter Dorfman There’s no point in trying to sugar-coat what’s been going on in the City Council. Opponents of the city’s upzoning plan turned out in large numbers to support Amendment 1, to remove the plexes from the amendment to the UDO. By Council Member Dave Rollo’s count, upzoning opponents who spoke during theContinue reading “Where Are We Now?”

High Rents in Bloomington: It’s Not About Supply. Seriously. It’s Not.

By Peter Dorfman In an article in the April 25 Herald-Times, local realtors complained about the lack of houses available to sell in Bloomington. It would be unfortunate if this chorus of woe bolstered a more general perception that we have high housing costs in Bloomington because of a lack of supply. That would beContinue reading “High Rents in Bloomington: It’s Not About Supply. Seriously. It’s Not.”

Ask the Mayor? Why Bother?

By Peter Dorfman John Hamilton is featured today (April 21, 2021) in another WTIU “Ask the Mayor” interview. After the usual round of self-congratulation on the city’s adequate but undistinguished handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton launches into a dialog about his administration’s upzoning push that is so full of dreary platitudes, misleading data, misstatementsContinue reading “Ask the Mayor? Why Bother?”

Try This Yourself: Impact of Upzoning Debate on Local Home Valuations

By Jean Simonian One of the enduring claims among upzoning proponents in Bloomington has been that adding more multiplex houses to neighborhoods will improve affordability by adding less expensive options to the housing supply. When we examine this claim pragmatically, it quickly falls apart. But it has never gone away. So here’s an experiment youContinue reading “Try This Yourself: Impact of Upzoning Debate on Local Home Valuations”

Plan Commissioners Punt Upzoning to the Council — Along With Its Risks

By Peter Dorfman In its April 1 hearing, the Plan Commission — having been assailed by a largely critical audience and obviously realizing they had changed absolutely no one’s mind on upzoning Bloomington’s core — voted 6-3 to send the UDO amendment eliminating single-family zoning to the City Council with a recommendation to approve. ToContinue reading “Plan Commissioners Punt Upzoning to the Council — Along With Its Risks”