Does a Housing Shortage Justify Upzoning? Surprise: We Don’t Have One

By Peter Dorfman Bloomington’s administration has tried just about every conceivable rationalization for upzoning the city’s  dense core. “Walkability to downtown” didn’t overcome constituents’ objections to the plan in 2019. Nor did Bloomingtonians buy into the pretext that an influx of market rate apartment development would generate new affordable housing. The city’s own planners regularly admitContinue reading “Does a Housing Shortage Justify Upzoning? Surprise: We Don’t Have One”

Zoning Didn’t Segregate Bloomington. It Won’t Fix Us Now.

By William Coulter In the current debate over upzoning of core neighborhoods, supporters have asserted without evidence that upzoning will increase racial equity and neighborhood diversity. A closer examination of the history of zoning in Bloomington does not support that assertion. Segregation in Bloomington has a long history, but zoning ordinances did not segregate Bloomington.Continue reading “Zoning Didn’t Segregate Bloomington. It Won’t Fix Us Now.”

Could Your Next Neighbor Be a Frat House? (Spoiler: It Could)

By Cappi Phillips One of the unintended but potentially harmful consequences of allowing plexes is that you too could have a fraternity on your block. According to the current code, fraternities and sororities are permitted only in areas zoned institutional. However, nothing prohibits a landlord or investor from signing individual leases with multiple members ofContinue reading “Could Your Next Neighbor Be a Frat House? (Spoiler: It Could)”

Your opportunities to sound off on Bloomington’s upzoning

The Planning & Transportation Department is conducting a series of information sessions, ostensibly including time for Q&A. The first session, featuring a presentation by staffer Jackie Scanlan, provided for a closely controlled feedback session — participants’ cameras and microphones were turned off, and all questions were submitted through the Zoom chat window. Still, these areContinue reading “Your opportunities to sound off on Bloomington’s upzoning”

Is this your new neighbor?

The City of Bloomington’s new zoning map, and the proposed amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), would upzone many of the city’s single family neighborhoods to allow new multiplex apartment buildings as permitted uses. The new R4 zoning category allows the conversion of many areas, including Bloomington’s Historic Core Neighborhoods but also subdivisions acrossContinue reading “Is this your new neighbor?”

Upzoning in the administration’s own words

What is the Hamilton Administration telling us when it proposes to urbanize Bloomington’s traditional single family neighborhoods? Remember, this isn’t just the core neighborhoods — it’s many other areas and subdivisions around the city, some of whose residents believe they are covered by protective covenants that prohibited multiplex development, as indeed they did before thoseContinue reading “Upzoning in the administration’s own words”