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”

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?”

Devil in the Details: A First Look at the City’s Revised Upzoning Proposal

The City of Bloomington has released the revised version of its plan to upzone its residential neighborhoods. The revised zoning map, which sharply reduced the city’s radical overlay of Residential Urban (R4) zoning on much of the core neighborhoods, came out the second week in February. The Mayor’s planning staff posted the clarifying text amendmentsContinue reading “Devil in the Details: A First Look at the City’s Revised Upzoning Proposal”

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”

League of Women Voters Urges the City to Slow Its Roll on Upzoning

At the end of 2020, the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County wrote to Mayor John Hamilton, the Common Council, and the Plan Commission urging a slower, more transparent, thoughtful, and considered process in evaluating the proposal of plexes in core neighborhoods. Ann Birch, president of the League, called on the administration to involveContinue reading “League of Women Voters Urges the City to Slow Its Roll on Upzoning”

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”