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Bloomington Business Group Opposes Changes To Development Rules

The Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that promotes business interests in the community.

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, which represents nearly 900 businesses, announced Wednesday that it opposes the city’s proposed changes to Title 20 of the Unified Development Ordinance.

The changes would reduce the height and density allowed for automatic approval of development proposals. The city says buildings that fall outside those new requirements would be subject to more scrutiny. Mayor John Hamilton says specifically, officials will look closely at three things when reviewing: design, the impact on the environment and affordable housing.

But the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce says it allows the city to have leverage over the developer’s provision of affordable housing. The group also criticizes the city’s lack of transparency.

“This is an example of the City Administration trying to quickly and quietly make significant changes to the UDO and circumvent the ongoing process without any real opportunity for public input,” Anne Bono, the interim president and CEO of the organization said in a statement.

Hamilton says he wants the changes approved now because it would prevent developers from rushing to get approval under the old rules before a new comprehensive master plan is approved next year.

The Bloomington Plan Commission takes up the proposed ordinance on Dec. 11. The vote then goes to the city council two days later and a final vote is expected on Dec. 20.

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