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Bloomington Plan Commission Approves Of Development Proposal

Commissioners pic

Bloomington officials are pushing forward a proposal to more strictly regulate downtown development.

The Plan Commission approved the plan Monday night. It would reduce the baseline approval for the height and density of new buildings.

The proposal is a response to Bloomington’s rapid growth. Mayor John Hamilton says it’s "not to deter development, but enhance it."

Jeff Goldin, the president of the Bloomington Board of Realtors, says the process has been rushed and the language in the proposal is vague.

"What does a high degree of best practice sustainable development design features mean? The point of an ordinance is that it’s a regulation that shouldn’t allow for creative interpretation," Goldin says.

Several community members echoed Goldin’s concerns. Brad Wisler, the only commissioner to vote no, says the changes will work against affordable housing, something the city says the proposal aims to help.

Commissioner Jillian Kinzie says it’s a good first step toward raising the city’s development standards. She says that’s a concern residents have voiced.

"I think we have been operating under many of these principles, we just haven’t been able to be explicit about it," Kinzie says.

Commissioners made one change to the proposed ordinance to ensure it would be temporary; the group voted to add an amendment that would terminate the rule in one year.

The City Council will discuss the proposal at its meeting Wednesday.

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