The Revised Upzoning Proposal is On Its Way

On February 10, City Council members received the following notice from the Mayor’s office: CITY OF BLOOMINGTON OFFICE OF THE MAYOR MEMORANDUM TO: Members of the Bloomington Common Council FROM: Mayor John Hamilton RE: UDO Revisions and Timeline DATE: February 10, 2021  Since Planning & Transportation (P&T) staff initiated the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) zoningContinue reading “The Revised Upzoning Proposal is On Its Way”

Zoning is a Sledgehammer; Bloomington Deserves a Form-Based Approach

By Jim Rosenbarger Conventional land use zoning is a blunt-edged tool, especially for existing, unique neighborhoods. Synonyms for “zone” include area, sector, section, belt, region or territory. These terms describe something generic, something broad. Bloomington’s neighborhoods have names: Prospect Hill, Green Acres, Hyde Park, etc. Each has varied street types, lot sizes and shapes, andContinue reading “Zoning is a Sledgehammer; Bloomington Deserves a Form-Based Approach”

Reliving ‘Urban Renewal: Again, Bloomington Risks Its Sense of Place

By Jan Sorby The front page headline of the Herald-Telephone in December of 1959 read, “Wants a Six-Story Building: Tear Down the Courthouse Councilman Turner Declares.” The article reported a suggestion on the part of Councilman Robert Turner “that the county tear down ‘this monstrosity of a Courthouse’ and build a six-story modern office inContinue reading “Reliving ‘Urban Renewal: Again, Bloomington Risks Its Sense of Place”

Put the Brakes on the Latest Round of Misguided Modernizing

By Lori Hoevener I’ve spent many hours, during these months of the pandemic, walking in Bloomington’s lovely old core neighborhoods near where I reside. I’ve always felt immensely lucky that our small city still has that increasingly rare connection with the past that makes present-day Bloomington such an attractive place to live.  The term “core neighborhood”Continue reading “Put the Brakes on the Latest Round of Misguided Modernizing”

Don’t Put Workforce Housing Ahead of Rentals for Our Neediest

By Michelle Henderson When the Shalom Center, one of Bloomington’s most important shelters for people experiencing homelessness, was first located at the First United Methodist Church in 2000, we had only one room to provide space for our guests to gather and gain access to services and resources during the day. One of my favoriteContinue reading “Don’t Put Workforce Housing Ahead of Rentals for Our Neediest”

The Boxifying of the Built Environment

By Ramsay Harik There are so many reasons to resist the city’s latest attempts at upzoning the core neighborhoods that it’s hard to know where to begin. Others here have written compellingly on everything from zoning history to basic real estate economics;  for my part, I’d like to address what is for me a central considerationContinue reading “The Boxifying of the Built Environment”

Why Again? Respect Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan

By Jim Rosenbarger When the Bloomington City Council debated amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance in 2019, the proposed reintroduction of multi-plex housing into what have been single family zoned neighborhoods took center stage. One of the recurring points of contention was over whether concentrating development in the core neighborhoods is consistent with the City’sContinue reading “Why Again? Respect Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan”

Planning, Not Upzoning

The proposed amendment to the UDO (zoning ordinance) and the new zoning map will allow multiplex housing to be a permitted use in all of Bloomington’s residential zones by blanket upzoning. It is an incorrect and simplistic response to a complex planning issue. Advocates tout the plex idea as consistent with a national trend inContinue reading “Planning, Not Upzoning”