At the July 21 Bloomington Council meeting, results from the 2021 Community Survey were presented. Among the key findings:
Read the full report here. Watch the consultant's presentation to council on CATS here.
United Way of Monroe County, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and the South Central Housing Network (SCHN) have released the “Heading Home 2021: A Regional Plan for Making Homelessness Rare, Brief, and Non-Repeating.” This plan is intended serve as a community guide to support long-term initiatives in reducing and eliminating regional housing insecurity and homelessness in Monroe County.
The plan focuses on the Housing First model, a broad philosophy to house people impacted by homelessness as quickly as possible. Having stable housing creates a foundation that better equips households to address the underlying issues that resulted in housing insecurity and/or homelessness.
Recommendations include creating two full-time positions, housed initially at the United Way, to help implement the plan. Organizers are seeking funding from the City of Bloomington, Monroe County and other sources.
Read the Heading Home 2021 report here.
The City of Bloomington has released survey results showing preferences for how to spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that the city is receiving.
Of the 147 responses, priorities were: 36% housing insecurity, 31% public infrastructure, 23% jobs/economic recovery, and 10% city revenue replacement. The choice of these "bucket" categories had already been determined by the city.
Read more about the survey here.
A development that will add 340 apartments with a total of 900 bedrooms on the former Kmart site was unanimously approved at the July 12 meeting of the Bloomington Plan Commission. No city council approval is required.
Called the District at Latimer Square, the nearly 12-acre property at 3216 E. 3rd St. is being developed by Trinitas Ventures. The site includes the Bloomingfoods East store, which will remain in place. The plan calls for five residential buildings, one leasing and amenity building, and a 385-space parking structure. Trinitas expects the project will be finished by mid-2023.
Read materials in the Plan Commission packet here. Watch the July 12 meeting on CATS here.
At their June 16 meeting, Bloomington City Council unanimously approved a 10-year abatement for the Retreat at Switchyard, a residential development at 1730 S. Walnut St.
The development involves construction of 64 residential units. Of those, 48 units will be devoted to households with low to moderate-incomes for a period of 99 years. Ten of those 48 apartments are set aside for clients of StoneBelt. The five-story building, adjacent to the Switchyard Park east entrance, includes a 3,000-square-foot first-floor retail space. The abatement, which is applicable only to the 48 affordable units, would start at 100% and step down to 5% in year 10.
The developer is Real America. The city's Redevelopment Commission intends to convey the land and structure to Real America for $1. That's a value of about $975,000, according to Alex Crowley, director of the city's Economic & Sustainable Development department.
Watch the council's June 16 deliberations on CATS here. Read abatement-related materials from the council's meeting packet here.
On June 16, Bloomington Council approved a new ordinance requiring landlords to sign and maintain an affidavit listing occupants of their rental properties. Tenants must also sign. The law applies to buildings with four or fewer units.
The original proposal, which council amended, was submitted by the city's Housing & Neighborhood Development (HAND) department and would have required the document be turned into the city. It also would have required tenants to disclose their relationship with each other. Questions about privacy issues prompted revision of the ordinance.
The affidavit is intended to help the city track compliance with occupancy limits. Certain zoning districts set a limit of three unrelated adults who can live in a rental unit. Watch the council's June 16 deliberations on CATS here.
Southern Meadows, a project to add 190 residential units on 37 acres in the Clear Creek area, was rejected by Monroe County Commissioners at their June 9 meeting. Commissioners Julie Thomas and Penny Githens voted against it. Commissioner Lee Jones was absent.
Builder Tom Wininger is already approved to build 90 single-family homes on that lot, but wanted to increase density in order to make each unit more affordable. Among other things, commissioners objected to density in that part of the county.
Watch the project discussion on CATS here. Click here for meeting materials related to Southern Meadows.
An ordinance requiring landlords and tenants to sign annual occupancy affidavits was postponed by Bloomington Council to their June 16 meeting.
The ordinance, intended to better monitor occupancy for smaller residential rentals, would require disclosure of the relationship between tenants (family or unrelated), as well as contact information and signatures. Non-compliance could result in fines and possible felony charges.
John Zody, director of the city's Housing & Neighborhood Development department, said that the ordinance is a priority for the administration. Mark Figg, president of the Monroe County Apartment Association, expressed concerns and said landlords hadn't been aware that this ordinance was in the works.
Watch the June 2 council deliberations on CATS here. Read the relevant meeting materials here.
In a unanimous vote at their May 12 meeting, Monroe County Commissioners rejected a proposal for housing and retail on South Rogers, known as Clear Creek Urban. The three commissioners objected to the density of the development and possible traffic congestion, and felt there wasn't enough parking.
"We are the county. We are not the city," Commissioner Julie Thomas said. She wants the developer, Tamby Wikle-Cassady, to bring back a scaled-down version of the project, which included townhomes, apartments and commercial/retail space.
Several people spoke in support of the project, including County Councilor Geoff McKim, County Surveyor Trohn Enright-Randolph, and Cathi Crabtree, chair of the Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Commission. Representatives of the Chamber and the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. spoke about the need for more housing. One person spoke against it.
Click here to watch the Commissioners' discussion on CATS. Click here to view the project packet.
A multi-family housing project with 906 beds is being proposed by Trinitas Ventures for the former Kmart site at 3216 E. 3rd St. Called the District at Latimer Square, it is on the agenda for the Bloomington Plan Commission's May 10 meeting.
The development would include five residential buildings, one leasing and amenity building, and a 385-space parking structure. Three student-oriented apartments would be built on the site's northern section. Two buildings on the south side would have multi-family housing.
Click here to visit the project's website. UPDATE: The Plan Commission continued discussion of this project to its June 14 meeting.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy