Bloomington’s city council used two sessions last week to debate and vote on some amendments to the unified development ordinance that directly dealt with density.
Key outcomes were the outright prohibition of duplexes and triplexes from core neighborhoods and the elimination of the conditional use public process for accessory dwelling units.
The council is nowhere near finished with amendments to the UDO. Two sessions are scheduled this week, for Tuesday and Wednesday. The sole focus of the council’s work for those two days will be on the UDO.
Highlights include an amendment sponsored by Councilmember Piedmont-Smith that would remove the payment-in-lieu option of providing income restricted housing onsite in a planned unit development. The amendment eliminating payment-in-lieu was on the list already released by the council administrative office before last week’s sessions. It’s likely to see pushback from the city’s administration, because such payments-in-lieu are revenue for the relatively new housing development fund.
Other highlights include a pair of amendments that are in conflict, which have been proposed by councilmembers Chris Sturbaum and Steve Volan. That repeats the same kind of scenario from a week ago. Last week Sturbaum and Volan had proposed conflicting amendments on plexes. Sturbaum’s amendment eliminating plexes from core neighborhoods was approved. So Volan’s amendment, which would have made plexes by right, was withdrawn.
This week, the conflicting amendments are about parking. Sturbaum wants to increase the minimum number of on-site parking spaces that developers have to provide. Volan wants to eliminate the requirements.
Not a part of that pair of UDO amendments, but related to recent deliberations by the council’s land use committee on an Adams Street planned unit development, is the idea of requiring developers to offer parking spaces à la carte, instead of bundling them into rent. The à la carte parking option will probably get some air time on Dec. 4, when the full council is scheduled to consider the Mark Lauchli’s planned unit development at 1201 W. Allen Street.
Other UDO amendments include some sponsored by Sturbaum, which are related to allowable finishing materials, the step-down requirements for buildings in historic districts, and requirements for a demolition delay when a request for a partial demolition involves a “contributing” structure.
Volan has also sponsored an amendment designed to allow bigger projection signs—signs that stick out from buildings—of the kind that were popular in the 1960s and before.
Listed on the agenda are 33 of the additional amendments that councilmembers have submitted by their first deadline on Nov. 4. But that’s not all of the amendments that councilmembers put forward by the first deadline. According to the information packet, “there are additional round one amendments yet to be fully processed and released by the council office.”
A second deadline, for “round two” amendments, comes on Monday (Nov. 25) of Thanksgiving week.
The advice from the council’s administrator/attorney reflected in the information packet is that the council “should consider scheduling an additional meeting to complete any unfinished amendment work before taking up round two amendments.”
That could mean that on Tuesday, the council agrees to schedule an additional meeting for Friday Nov. 22.
If the council puts a Friday meeting on the calendar, it won’t be a surprise. Last Wednesday, on first night of deliberating amendments to the UDO, the council agreed to adjourn by its agreed-upon 10 p.m. time, instead of voting to extend the meeting. At that point, council president Dave Rollo predicted, “Friday meetings are in our future.”
Second round meetings on the UDO have already been scheduled for Dec. 10, Dec. 12 and Dec. 17, with a final vote on the amended UDO expected on Dec. 18.
One device the council can use to quickly dispatch a whole set of amendments is to assign them to a “consent agenda,” which means they’ll be heard and voted as a group instead of one-by-one. Some sponsors have requested that their submitted amendments not be placed on the consent agenda for this week.
Amendments for Nov. 19 and Nov. 20
In the following list of amendments, those in bold with asterisks (**) are those that have been requested by a sponsor to be heard individually—that is, not placed on a consent agenda. Which amendments will or won’t appear on the consent agenda hasn’t been finalized.
[Most links are to the same pdf file using the syntax URL#page=N to point to the specific page where the amendment starts.]
- Am 08** (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.02.050 (Planned Unit Developments) (b) (3) – Removes the payment-in-lieu of providing income restricted housing onsite Bloomington’s city council in regard to PUDs.
- Am 09** (CM Volan – at request of P&T staff) – Affects 20.30.030 (Use-Specific Standards) (i) and 20.07.010 (Defined Words) – Defines “cooperative housing” and treats this use as other similarly situated household living arrangements in regard to whether it is a conditional or permitted use.
- Am 10 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.01.010(b) (Purpose) – Adds reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change to the purposes of the UDO.
- Am 11 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.02.020(b)(2), Table 2-3, 20.04.020(c) and Table 4-2 – Keeps impervious surface maximum in RE district to existing standard.
- Am 12 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.02.020(a), Table 2-2, 20.04.020(c) and Table 4-2 – Reduces impervious surface maximum for the new R1 district.
- Am 13 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.02.020(f)(2), Table 2-7, and 20.02.020(g)(2), Table 2-8 – Changes the dimensional standards for the “plexes” from R2 to R4 to provide for higher densities in the RM and RH districts.
- Am 14 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.02.030(b) – Adds “pedestrian oriented design and multi-modal transportation availability” to purpose for the Mixed-Use Neighborhood Scale (MN) district
- Am 15 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.02.050(a) – Adds “enhanced ecosystems services” to the purpose of Planned Unit Developments (PUDs).
- Am 16 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.02.050(b) – Moves two important environmental standards for PUDs from optional to required
- Am 17** (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.03.020, Table 3-1: Allowed Use Table – Allows Methadone Treatment Clinic by right in the Mixed-Use Corridor (MC) district.
- Am 18 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.03.030(c)(5)(C) – Clarifies that soils must be tested under Non-Commercial Agriculture use only when the produce is sold.
- Am 19 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.03.030(f)(2) – Allows solar panels anywhere behind the setback line of the applicable lot.
- Am 20 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.04.030(c)(9) – Clarifies “soil constraints” on steep slopes.
- Am 21 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.04.030(f)(1) & (9) – Lowers the lot size subject to riparian buffer standards from one to one-half acre and moves related maintenance standards to the same provision.
- Am 22 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.04.030(f)(7)(D) – Limits the construction of streets over riparian buffers to when the need for the street is established and no reasonable alternative route can be identified.
- Am 23 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.04.030(f)(9) – Prohibits use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides within the riparian buffer and requires all new plants to be kept alive and maintained in a good condition.
- Am 24** (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.04.040(d) – Clarifies that the construction of a building in a flood plain requires conditional use approval and removes uses not defined in 20.07 (Defined words).
- Am 25 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.04.050(c)(3)(B) and 20.04.060(i)(2) – Reduces driveway widths in R1 districts and for Single-Family, Duplex, Triplex, and Fourplex residential uses
- Am 26** (CM Sturbaum) – Affects 20.04.060(d) – Increases the minimum parking requirements for the “plexes,” multifamily dwellings, and student housing or dormitories. Note: This amendment conflicts with the next amendment.
- Am 27** (CM Volan) – Affects 20.04.060((c), (d), (g) & (n) – Eliminates the minimum parking requirements and reflects that change as it is mentioned elsewhere in this section. Note: This amendment conflicts with the above amendment.
- Am 28 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.04.060(m)(1)(B) – Requires that bicycle parking allow room for ADA compliant pedestrian pathways.
- Am 29** (CM Sturbaum) – Affects 20.04.070(d)(1)(C) & (2)(B)(iv) – Distinguishes between Primary and Secondary Exterior Finish Material in Mixed-Use and Non-Residential zones and, among other changes, removes EIFS as a Primary material.
- Am 30** (CM Sturbaum) – Affects 20.04.070(e) – Applies the step-down requirement for buildings in mixed-use districts to historic structures with a rating of “contributing” as well as with ratings of “outstanding” and “notable.”
- Am 31 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.04.080(c)(2)(C) – Changes the term “species” to “genus” to foster greater tree diversity.
- Am 32 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.04.080(m) – Removes screening requirement for ground-mounted solar panels.
- Am 33 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.04.080(n)(1) & (3) – Requires the portion of fences exceeding 5’ on corner, interior, and through lots to be of “open construction” and increases the maximum height of fences protecting gardens from 8’ to 12’.
- Am 34** (CM Volan) – Affects 20.04.100(l)(3) – Increases maximum size of projection signs in MixedUse Downtown (MD) district.
- Am 35 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of P&T staff) – Affects 20.04.110(d)(3) – Clarifies that single-family and “plex” uses are not eligible for the height incentives associated with sustainable development.
- Am 36 (CM Piedmont-Smith at the request of the EC) – Affects 20.05.040 (e) (3) & (9) – Prohibits use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides in drainage and conservation easements.
- Am 37 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.05.050(j)(5)(N) – Removes street “eyebrows” (a form of widening a street) as a component of street design.
- Am 38** (CM Sturbaum) – Affects 20.06.050(c) & (c)(3)(C) ii 2 [c] – Requires review of partial demolition of “contributing” historic structures and clarifies the standard of review in those instances. Note: This a Revised version of PC Am 09.
- Am 39 (CM Piedmont-Smith) – Affects 20.07.010 – Elaborates on the term “Intermittent Stream” and clarifies the term “Perennial Stream.”