The process for updating the city's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) began in February 2018 and is still moving forward. Most recently, the latest round of public comments on the consolidated draft - including input from the Chamber - are posted here.
Victor Lopez, the Chamber's advocacy intern, reviewed the 25 pages of comments. Nearly 80% of the comments from this round of public input discussed residential neighborhood concerns. The topic of single-family housing dominated the comments. This focus is reflected in a May 30 Indiana Public Media report: "Bloomington's UDO Sparks Controversy Over Single Family Zoning Changes."
The Chamber has provided input throughout the UDO process. Our most recent comments focused on ensuring that the procedures specified in the UDO are consistent and standardized.
The UDO's next phase is to move to the city's Plan Commission. That commission is expected to review the UDO draft later this summer. Following approval from the Plan Commission, the city council would have 90 days in which to act on the UDO. Stay tuned for additional updates!
The City of Bloomington is developing a five-year plan to identify affordable housing and community development needs. You can give input by taking this survey or attending any of the following stakeholder forums:
Click here for more information about this effort, which is being led by the city's Housing & Neighborhood Development (HAND) unit.
At its May 22 meeting, the Bloomington Common Council unanimously approved a new transportation plan for the city. The plan, developed by the Toole Design Group, was heavily amended during that meeting. (This Indiana Daily Student article reports on some of those changes, or you can watch the meeting on CATS here.)
When the plan was originally unveiled, it included a proposal to switch College and Walnut from one-way to two-way streets. The Chamber was one of many voices advocating strongly against this change, and it was removed from the plan. Whew.
Next steps: The city's Plan Commission will review the plan, signing off on it before it takes effect.
The final plan has not yet been posted online, but will be on the city's Transportation Plan site.
The Chamber hosted Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch at a May 20 luncheon attended by about 200 Chamber and community members. Following her remarks, she did a Q&A with Valerie Peña, assistant vice president and chief of staff for Indiana University Government Relations. Check out the Chamber's post about the luncheon for more photos!
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (left) and Valerie Peña of IU Government Relations during a Q&A at the Chamber's May 20 luncheon, held at Ivy Tech's Shreve Hall.
As I hope you've heard by now, I joined the Chamber in May as Director of Advocacy & Public Policy. The Chamber's efforts to promote transparency, consistency and accountability fit well with my background as a journalist covering business and local government, and as a nonprofit leader in civic engagement.
A bit about me: I grew up on the far east side of Indianapolis and attended Indiana University. After a stint in the Peace Corps and two years teaching English in China, I've spent the past 22 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My husband and I recently returned to Bloomington, where we met as graduate students many years ago.
In the coming months you'll see changes to Advocacy Matters, as we work to bring you timely, relevant and useful updates and resources. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Or if you'd just like to grab coffee and chat, I'd love that too.
I look forward to working with you to build a healthy, vibrant community for all.
- Mary Morgan