Monroe County is dedicating $250,000 to create a long-term plan for how it will develop land just outside of Bloomington.
The Monroe County Council Tuesday unanimously approved the funding for the Bloomington Urbanizing Area, the two-mile wide circle that surrounds Bloomington The city controlled prior to 1997.
Monroe County Council President Pro-Tem Rick Dietz says it is now time for the county to step in with some direction for how it should be developed.
“With all of the changes that are coming down the road, literally, with I-69 and with the city embarking on a substantial planning process as well, it makes sense as well, it makes sense for county government to look at these areas that haven’t had the attention they deserve,” he says.
The $250,000 agreed will be paid to an outside consulting firm, specializing in urban development. The firm has not been selected, but County Councilmember Shelli Yoder says it will assist the planning department in to create a sustainable growth plan for the next 20 years.
“I don’t just want to see buildings popping up all over; I want to make sure that it’s cohesive and consistent with the vision of what citizens of Monroe County want out of where they live. So we can attract other people to say, ‘this is the kind of community I want to live in,’” Yoder says.
The plan is also expected to provide affordable housing options, protect historic structures and create open spaces to preserve the environment and natural resources.