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Bloomington Discusses Multiplex Housing In Ongoing UDO Forums

A detailed map of Bloomington's UDO showing urban residential zones.

The Residential Urban (R4) zones in dark green are mostly scattered outside the downtown area in dark blue. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

Bloomington continued to discuss the proposed changes to its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Thursday night by going over R4 zones.

These zones are specifically to be used for residential urban living within the UDO.

READ MORE: City Resumes Public Talks On UDO, Discusses Student Housing

City development services manager Jackie Scanlan said these areas are mapped out in the proposal as a buffer between downtown and residential neighborhoods.

“Building downtown is obviously closer to amenities and existing infrastructure than possibly building on the edge of town or in the county, and so we’re trying to find the balance of where those lines should be drawn," Scanlan said.

The R4 zones in the proposal also contain a Plex Amendment. Plexes, also referred to as multiplexes, are homes with multiple living units including duplexes and triplexes.

Scanlan said plexes are being considered because they allow residents to find affordable housing, which can be difficult in Bloomington’s competitive housing market.

“We think that the inclusion of the plexes does have a positive influence toward goals of providing more opportunity across racial and socioeconomic lines for diversity, but also sensitively protecting the neighborhoods that we have now that are beloved," Scanlan said. 

The Plex Amendment was controversial during last year’s UDO process. Many residents worry that allowing more multi-unit housing will lower property values.

READ MORE: City Officially Adopts UDO

Discussions will continue next week on Monday, Nov. 16 when members of the public can ask questions.

That meeting will be held virtually at 5:30 p.m. on the city's website. Those who cannot attend may send in their questions online. 

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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