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Plan Commission Sends East Side Development To City Council Without Recommendation

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Bloomington Plan Commission hears proposals for several new housing developments. (Tyler Lake, WTIU/WFIU News)

Two proposed developments, one on Bloomington’s far east side and one on the north side, could add more than 1,400 new bedrooms to city housing stock.

The proposal on the east side is a 14 acre site next to state road 446 on East Third St. The Texas company behind that development wants to put 240 units and 600 bedrooms on a site originally zoned for only 50 units.

The site would break up the units across four 3-story building skirting the edge of the property and eleven 4-story structures set further back from the road.

A number residents came out to express their concern over traffic, sight lines and congestion around the proposal. Bloomington Resident Sherry Knighton-Schwandt says she fears the developments will change the face of the city.

“When you have these developments built you can’t go back on that decision,” Knighton-Schwandt says.

After a vote to approve a recommendation to City Council failed by one vote, Commission members voted unanimously to send the proposal to City Council without any recommendation. Plan Commission member Joe Hoffman says the fate of such a large development should be in the hands of the city’s elected officials.

On the north side, a 42 acre site couched between highway 37 and State Road 45, is slated to add 253 units and 855 bedrooms. The proposed Chandler Glen development would see dozens of townhomes come to the city’s north side. The site would have 100 four bedroom units and around 30 five bedroom units.

A form of the proposal went before city agencies in 2013 and 2014 but was never forwarded to City Council for further review. City staff said the development falls short of compliance with the comprehensive plan.

The commission voted to postpone the proposal until the Plan Commission’s September meeting.

Terri Porter, the director of the Planning and Transportation Department says there are still lots of questions to be answered about how the city is to grow, because much of the language isn’t settled. The city’s Unified Development Ordinance, which should be done in the next twelve months, will define those things once it is finished. She says these developments aren’t opening the door to a rash of new apartments because the new UDO will change the rules for development in the city.

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