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Special Noon Edition: The Future Of Bloomington Development

Development

Photo: Tyler Lake

Some residents don't like what they see popping up in downtown Bloomington.

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at 12:00 p.m. on WFIU. 

The city of Bloomington is experiencing rapid growth and development. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population has grown by 15,000 in the last decade. But some residents don’t like what they see popping up in the downtown area.

City Council members will vote Wednesday on whether or not to adopt a controversial development plan. Mayor John Hamilton’s administration announced the proposal a couple weeks ago that would, among other things, reduce the height and density a developer can automatically build.

Hamilton says the changes will ensure quality developments in the future. A number of people have criticized the city for not being transparent and say the development changes will increase housing costs.

Our panelists will discussed how the proposal will impact city growth for a special Noon Edition.

Guests:

Mayor John Hamilton: (D) Bloomington

Mark Levin: Professor, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Randy Lloyd: Advocacy Division Leader, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

Conversation: The Future of Bloomington Development

The city is currently in the process of updating their comprehensive master plan which outlines goals for development.

Mayor Hamilton says developers are wanting to build under an outdated plan which is causing stress.

“The new plans–underway, not quite done–indicate new goals, and yet we have these really old zoning rules that let old goals be met.”

Hamilton says his temporary proposal to restrict developers and to institute a thorough vetting process is meant to ease the transition between the master plan update.

Randy Lloyd is the Immediate Paste Chair for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Lloyd takes issue with the proposal says it is rushed and unwarranted.

“There is not a crisis in our current rule of the law, which has worked and continues to work, that requires us to do something as radical as this, particularly in the time frame that the city has done it.

Mark Levin is a professor at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He and Lloyd both agree there needs to be more certainty in the approval process.

“It seems to appear that there are just way to many places where somebody gets a bite of the apple,” Levin says. “And so, as a developer, you don’t know when the process will end.”

See full proposal: 

Memo to Plan Commission: Interim Downtown Changes by Indiana Public Media News on Scribd

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