It’s On.

We’ll be hearing a lot about Sandberg’s bona fides as the election season gets underway. What matters today is that John Hamilton has a serious, committed primary challenger with a team and an infrastructure forming to conduct a credible campaign. Perhaps now that the ball is officially rolling, candidates with similar objectives will feel comfortable jumping into the races for City Council seats — especially those held by the ideologues who imposed the upzoning on the city.

Where Do We Put the New Catalent Workers? It’s a Trick Question

It’s tempting to point out that proposing tax abatements worth more than $29 million for a large corporation and then immediately turning around and hitting the rest of us poor suckers up for another local income tax hike (all of this immediately on the heels of the Mayor’s unpopular and still-very-iffy annexation of the suburbs) is a very bad look.

Must Bloomington Grow?

It’s too late to avoid the eventual responsibility of maintaining the new parks, bike infrastructure and other amenities Bloomington has created over the last decade. But we can consider alternative strategies for managing the city’s assets and future liabilities. We can stop blindly accepting that urban growth is an inherent good.

The Penny Drops: Evidence for Upzoning Benefits is Full of Holes

By Peter Dorfman Ever since the beginning of the upzoning controversy in Bloomington, ideologues in the community and on the City Council have touted published research that purports to show eliminating single family zoning brings down housing costs. So-called “Supply Advocates” argue that allowing developers to densify core neighborhoods will eventually create enough new apartmentsContinue reading “The Penny Drops: Evidence for Upzoning Benefits is Full of Holes”

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”

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?”

High Rents in Bloomington: It’s Not About Supply. Seriously. It’s Not.

By Peter Dorfman In an article in the April 25 Herald-Times, local realtors complained about the lack of houses available to sell in Bloomington. It would be unfortunate if this chorus of woe bolstered a more general perception that we have high housing costs in Bloomington because of a lack of supply. That would beContinue reading “High Rents in Bloomington: It’s Not About Supply. Seriously. It’s Not.”

Try This Yourself: Impact of Upzoning Debate on Local Home Valuations

By Jean Simonian One of the enduring claims among upzoning proponents in Bloomington has been that adding more multiplex houses to neighborhoods will improve affordability by adding less expensive options to the housing supply. When we examine this claim pragmatically, it quickly falls apart. But it has never gone away. So here’s an experiment youContinue reading “Try This Yourself: Impact of Upzoning Debate on Local Home Valuations”

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”