Redevelopment of the 24-acre Bloomington Hospital site is taking a step forward with the selection of a master planning team to oversee the project.
Last fall, the City of Bloomington issued a Request for Information (RFI) and received responses from 23 organizations in December. Of those, eight were selected for interviews by a Technical Review Committee on Jan. 16-17. The committee is chaired by former state Senator Vi Simpson and is a subset of the Hospital Re-Use Committee, on which Chamber CEO Erin Predmore serves.
Click here for details about the proposed work of the master planning team. Click here for more info about the redevelopment project.
Monroe County is in the process of selecting a consultant to overhaul the county's zoning code.
At their Dec. 18 work session, Monroe County Commissioners heard from Larry Wilson, the county's planning director. He said that staff and the county Plan Commission recommended hiring Clarion Associates for the new County Development Ordinance (CDO).
Clarion recently did the City of Bloomington's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The firm also has done work for Indianapolis/Marion County, Fort Wayne/Allen County, and hundreds of other communities nationwide.
Wilson said that $105,000 remained from the previous CDO appropriation. The county previously hired Calfee Zoning, but that firm was unable to complete the project and reached a settlement with the county to end their contract.
Commissioner Julie Thomas, who also serves on the county Plan Commission, said she preferred the other finalist, Clearzoning, because she thought their writing was clearer. "But I'm happy to go with the majority of my colleagues," she added.
Wilson reported that Clearzoning, which is based in Michigan, had no experience with projects in Indiana, and would need to learn Indiana statutory requirements.
The three-member Monroe County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the contract at their Jan. 8 meeting. The seven-member County Council would then be asked to appropriate funds for the work at their Jan. 14 meeting. Wilson told commissioners that he hoped the bulk of the CDO could be completed in 2020.
Click here to watch the Dec. 18 working session on CATS.
The City of Bloomington is seeking input on how to redevelop the site of the current Bloomington Hospital, a 24-acre area that the city is buying from IU Health.
The committee that's working on this project got an update at an Oct. 28, 2019 meeting. Click here to see the slidedeck from that meeting. Erin Predmore, the Chamber's CEO, serves on the reuse committee.
Per terms of the agreement with IU Health, the city needs to make a decision by Nov. 21 about whether to keep the Kohr Administrative Building and/or the four-story parking garage, which was built in 1989 and has 480 spaces. The main hospital building must be demolished. The site is located at West 2nd and Rogers.
The site will be transferred to the city when the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center opens in the fall of 2021 along the 45/46 Bypass. Options for residential, retail and office development are being considered.
For additional background about this project, check out the city's IU Health Hospital Redevelopment Site website.
Click here to take a survey about the site redevelopment.
The City of Bloomington has hired RDG Consultants to conduct an in-depth housing study, examining the city's existing rental and owner-occupied housing stock, its location, price points and condition. Based on this analysis, the city plans to complete an assessment of future housing needs.
As part of this effort, the city is holding "listening sessions" to get input on Bloomington's current and future housing needs. Sessions will be held Oct. 21 through Oct. 24. For details on specific times and to sign up to attend a session, please click here.
Bloomington's housing study is building on the recent Indiana Uplands Regional Housing Study, which was also conducted by RDG Consultants and includes an assessment of Monroe County. Click here for more information on that effort.
The Bloomington City Council has scheduled a series of meetings to work on the draft Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), a major overhaul of the city's zoning code. A new page on the city's website will track all council action on the UDO.
All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. at city hall council chambers, 401 N. Morton, and will include opportunity for public comment. Click here for the memo outlining the council's UDO process.
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
Staff presentation on Chapter 1 (Ordinance Foundation) and Chapter 2 (Zoning Districts)
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019
Staff presentation on Chapter 3 (Use Regulations). This section includes regulations related to duplex/triplex/quadplex development and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in core neighborhoods.
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019
Staff presentation on Chapter 4 (Development Standards & Incentives) and Chapter 5 (Subdivision Regulations). Chapter 4 includes regulations related to the affordable housing payment-in-lieu process.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019
Staff presentation on Chapter 6 (Administration & Procedures) and Chapter 7 (Definitions)
Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 at noon
First deadline for council to submit amendments
Council will consider proposed amendments at meetings on the following dates:
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
Second deadline for council to submit amendments: Monday, Nov. 25 at noon.
Additional UDO meetings might take place on the following dates:
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019
The Chamber's Advocacy Team has been tracking this process since it began in early 2018. Our current advocacy efforts are focused on zoning that eliminates barriers to address this community's residential housing shortage. We're also advocating for greater transparency and clarity in the city's affordable housing payment-in-lieu process.
An 11-county study of workforce housing needs has been released this week, assessing the regional housing market and proposing strategies for addressing challenges.
The 339-page Indiana Uplands Regional Housing Study includes the Bloomington/Monroe County community. Reports for individual counties also can be downloaded on the housing study's website.
Six main strategies are identified by the report (pp 318-337):
ROI is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and is funded through a $25.87 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
The Monroe County Public Library board has taken several steps toward building a new branch in the southwest area of Monroe County, though a specific location hasn't yet been announced.
At its Sept. 18 meeting, the MCPL board unanimously approved issuing a 20-year bond for up to $5 million for the project, which is estimated to cost about $10 million. The total financing would include cash from reserves as well as operating receipts. The library plans to fund this project without a tax increase.
On Sept. 18, trustees also approved hiring Bose McKinney & Evans LLP of Indianapolis to serve as bond counsel and Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, headquartered in Chicago, to serve as municipal a advisor for the library.
Gary Lettelleir, MCPL finance manager, told trustees this was the "first step for issuing a bond to pay for the new southwest branch construction."
Click here to view the supporting documents, including a project timeline, provided in the board packet. Marilyn Wood, MCPL director, told trustees that the timeline is "more aggressive than we anticipate."
The board has previously approved hiring Matheu Architects for this project. That firm also designed the Ellettsville branch.
Click here to watch the bond presentation at the MCPL board's Sept. 18, 2019 meeting.
On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the MCPL board will hold a public hearing on its 2020 budget. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown library, 303 W. Kirkwood Ave., Room 1B.
The Bloomington Plan Commission has scheduled three additional meetings to consider amendments to the draft Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). All meetings start at 5:30 p.m.:
1) Duplexes, Triplexes and Quadplexes (Amendments 4A and 4B). In a six-hour meeting on Sept. 5, commissioners heard from 37 residents during a public hearing on the "plexes." In the draft UDO, plexes are a "conditional use" in core neighborhood zones, meaning that the project must go through the city's approval process in order to be built.
About half of the speakers were concerned about the additional density that such units would bring to the city's core neighborhoods, and argued that they shouldn't be allowed at all in those parts of the city. An equal number of speakers believed the city needs more housing stock of all kinds, and that this is one way to achieve that goal.
OUTCOME: Plexes will remain as a conditional use in core neighborhoods (in the UDO draft), after a Plan Commission amendment to make them permitted use (by right) failed on a 4-5 vote. Voting for by right were Brad Wisler, Nick Kappas, Flavia Burrell and Neil Kopper. Voting against were Beth Cate, Joe Hoffmann, Jillian Kinzie, Susan Sandberg and Karin St. John. Watch the deliberations on CATS here.
2) Accessory Dwelling Units (Amendments 5A and 5B). Plan Commissioners considered these amendments on Sept. 10. In the draft UDO, ADUs were allowed by right. Amendment 5A – making ADUs a conditional use – passed on a 5-4 vote. Voting in favor: Joe Hoffmann, Susan Sandberg, Beth Cate, Jillian Kinzie, and Karin St. John. On an 8-1 vote (with Susan Sandberg opposing), Plan Commissioners also approved Amendment 5B, which increased the number of bedrooms and the permitted size of an ADU. As amended, ADUs will be allowed with up to 2 bedrooms and a maximum 840-square-foot size.
OUTCOME: In the UDO draft, ADUs will be a conditional use with up to 2 bedrooms allowed and an 840-square-foot maximum size. Watch the deliberations on CATS here.
3) Payment-in-Lieu (Amendment 7). This amendment was brought forward by Commissioner Flavia Burrell, responding to a recommendation by the Chamber. The intent was to make the process of determining a payment-in-lieu more transparent by requiring approval from the Common Council. Staff objected to that process, however, so on Sept. 10 the Plan Commission amended out the approval requirement. The resulting language is vague and does not specify how the city determines the payment-in-lieu amount.
OUTCOME: Amendment 7 passed without the requirement that the Common Council adopt administrative procedures for calculating, collecting, accounting for and spending payment-in-lieu funds. Watch the deliberations on CATS here.
Click here to see the city's UDO update site, with details about other amendments, links to the full UDO draft and ways to submit written comments.
At its Aug. 29 special meeting, the Bloomington Plan Commission 1) passed one “clean-up” amendment to the draft Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), 2) asked staff to develop six amendments for consideration on Sept. 5, and 3) directed staff to prepare another 11 UDO amendments to consider on Sept. 10 or at subsequent meetings.
Here’s a roundup of amendments that planning staff will be drafting for the Sept. 5 meeting. They were proposed by Planning Commission chair Joe Hoffmann and unanimously supported by the rest of the commission. The substance of the amendments will be debated and likely voted on at the Sept. 5 session, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at city hall council chambers.
UPDATE: It's likely that on Sept. 5 commissioners will only be deliberating on amendments related to duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes. The first set of draft amendments are now posted on the city's UDO update site.
For Sept. 10 or later meetings, here are amendments that planning staff will be drafting, based on Plan Commission requests (the name of the commissioner who proposed each amendment is indicated in parentheses):
Draft amendments are expected to be posted on the city's UDO update site before the Sept. 5 meeting.
The following were considered "clean-up" amendments and were passed unanimously by Plan Commissioners at their Aug. 29 meeting. The amendment allows duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes as permitted uses for new subdivisions and undeveloped locations of the city, while keeping these "plexes" as conditional uses for other areas. The most recent draft had inadvertently designated all duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes as conditional uses.
With an overflow crowd in the council chambers balcony, the Bloomington Plan Commission held its first public hearing on the city's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) adoption draft on Monday, Aug. 26.
During the public commentary part of the meeting, 37 people gave input on the UDO draft. Almost all speakers addressed issues related to housing, evenly split in support of higher density or opposed to denser housing options in single-family neighborhoods.
(The final speaker asked that goats be removed from the UDO's definition of "medium livestock," which now also includes burros, sheep and swine. She suggested several changes to better accommodate keeping goats within city limits.)
Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, spoke in support of changes that encourage building more housing for all income levels. "As local businesses attempt to recruit and retain staff, one common challenge is a lack of housing that's affordable for their workforce. We also need to provide more housing options for the younger generation, people in their 20s and 30s who are starting to put down roots here. This UDO helps achieve that goal."
She also advocated for a more transparent process related to the proposed payment-in-lieu option for affordable housing. Read Mary's full remarks here.
At their next hearing on Thursday, Aug. 29, Plan Commissioners will be asking staff to draft amendments based on feedback from the public. Those amendments will then be considered at their Sept. 5 meeting. The public can weigh in at both of those meetings, or can submit additional comments by emailing email@example.com.
Watch the Aug. 26 meeting on CATS here. Get more info on the UDO process here.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy