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?”

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”

Let’s Talk About ‘NIMBY’

By Peter Dorfman When are supporters and opponents of Bloomington’s proposal to upzone neighborhoods going to stop talking past one another? An important first step will be for those engaged in the conversation to start seeing each other as individuals instead of dismissing the people they disagree with as abstract, opaque memes.  This will getContinue reading “Let’s Talk About ‘NIMBY’”

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”

Call It ‘Rentrification’

By Chris Sturbaum Real estate is like mathematics. It is like science. You make single family zoned property eligible for conversion into multi-unit housing — now it represents multiple rental streams from the same footprint, and its value increases. This action alone prices many homes out of the range of potential homeowners.  Then increased rentalContinue reading “Call It ‘Rentrification’”

Short Take: The More Progressive Housing Stance is AGAINST Upzoning

California Democratic State Senator Scott Weiner has advocated elimination of zoning restrictions on multi-family housing. He’s pushed for SB 50, a measure that would have made it easier for multi-family homes and apartment complexes to be built near transit hubs in areas zoned for single family homes. Considered a progressive, Weiner faced a re-election challengeContinue reading “Short Take: The More Progressive Housing Stance is AGAINST 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?”