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”

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”

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”

Radical Change – Not Affordable or Green

By Jan Sorby The Hamilton Administration’s plan to reintroduce multiplex housing into Bloomington’s core neighborhoods is being accomplished through a complex remapping of the city’s core neighborhoods — radically redefining what types of housing can go where. All the core neighborhoods (areas that were Ground Zero during last year’s UDO revision controversy) are converted fromContinue reading “Radical Change – Not Affordable or Green”

Whatever This Is, It Isn’t Democratic

By Peter Dorfman Bloomington’s Planning & Transportation staffers have been conducting public information sessions to explain and defend the newly proposed zone mapping and UDO amendments. Development Services Manager Jackie Scanlan has led these sessions. She generally has opened by acknowledging a specific criticism, in resident feedback, that the process she is taking us throughContinue reading “Whatever This Is, It Isn’t Democratic”

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”