UDO Update: Bloomington’s plan commission OKs city council amendments, elects officers, moves Trinitas PUD forward

Plan commission Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 11.47.16 PM
Jillian Kinzie adds the vice president tab to her nameplate, a position on Bloomington’s plan commission to which she was elected Monday night. (CATS screen grab)

At a meeting that took less than an hour Monday evening, Bloomington’s plan commission voted unanimously to approve the version of the updated unified development ordinance (UDO) that the city council adopted last year.

Commissioners also elected officers. Brad Wisler will continue as president, and Jillian Kinsey will serve as vice president.

The plan commission also sent a proposed planned unit development, from Trinitas Development, to the city council with a unanimous positive recommendation. The proposed project is on 39.29 acres on West 17th Street, southeast of the I-69 and SR 46 interchange.

The Trinitas development proposes to include 387 housing units, with a total of 825 bedrooms and 458 parking spaces. Trinities is proposing to turn over to the city 45 single-family lots to be used was whatever housing the city sees fit. Continue reading “UDO Update: Bloomington’s plan commission OKs city council amendments, elects officers, moves Trinitas PUD forward”

UDO Update: Text finalized after final skirmish on parking mins, effective date depends on map adoption

Bloomington’s city council voted 9-0 on Wednesday night to approve an update to its unified development ordinance (UDO), which is the basic zoning and land use document for the city.
Continue reading “UDO Update: Text finalized after final skirmish on parking mins, effective date depends on map adoption”

UDO Update: Bloomington city council poised Wednesday for UDO adoption after final four amendments

On Tuesday this past week, Bloomington’s city council dealt with 11 amendments to its unified development ordinance (UDO). They were thought to be the final amendments to the UDO. The first of the council’s special sessions devoted specifically to UDO amendments took place on Nov. 13.

But the council’s work on the update to the city’s basic planning and zoning document is not quite done.

Four new amendments appear on the council’s agenda for its final session on the UDO. Three are technical or semantic in character, but one is substantive. The substantive amendment, sponsored by councilmember Piedmont-Smith, would allow a flat-roofed building in a residential district, if the building has more than 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

The final UDO session will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 18—just before the last regular city council meeting of the year. Other scheduled sessions on the UDO have been cancelled

After the last of the four amendments are considered on Wednesday, the council will consider the UDO, as amended, for final adoption. That comes after consideration of 72 proposed changes to the document that the city’s plan commission had recommended in late September on a 9–0 vote. Continue reading “UDO Update: Bloomington city council poised Wednesday for UDO adoption after final four amendments”

UDO Update: City council OKs amendments impacting driveways, payment-in-lieu, ranch porches

cropped Am 60 illustration R1
A drawing that helps illustrate the change to setbacks for front-loading garages, which had an impact on the length of driveways. 

The penultimate batch of amendments to Bloomington’s updated unified development ordinance (UDO) were dispatched by the city council in less than 90 minutes on Tuesday (Dec. 10).

The council handled 11 amendments on Tuesday, six of them on a consent agenda.

That sets the stage for final adoption of the UDO on Wednesday, Dec. 18, after four additional amendments are heard. The four new amendments are likely to be non-controversial.
Continue reading “UDO Update: City council OKs amendments impacting driveways, payment-in-lieu, ranch porches”

UDO Update: Last proposed amendments to updated zoning include increased height for R4, timeline for payment-in-lieu procedures

R4 Zone Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 9.21.04 PM
Illustration of building forms for the new R4 (residential urban) zoning district in the update of Bloomington’s unified development ordinance.

This Tuesday’s special session of Bloomington’s city council could wrap up the last of 69 numbered amendments to be considered to the update of the city’s unified development ordinance (UDO).

The council started considering UDO amendments in mid-November, during special sessions dedicated just to such amendments. Continue reading “UDO Update: Last proposed amendments to updated zoning include increased height for R4, timeline for payment-in-lieu procedures”

UDO Update: Height limit for residential single-family stays 40 feet, multi-family use still permitted in multi-family zones, parking maxes same

Bloomington’s city council dispatched with 20 more amendments to the updated unified development ordinance (UDO) on Tuesday night. That brought the total to almost 60 since the council started convening some sessions in mid-November dedicated only to UDO amendments. Continue reading “UDO Update: Height limit for residential single-family stays 40 feet, multi-family use still permitted in multi-family zones, parking maxes same”

UDO Update: Dec. 3 amendments include height and parking maximums, conditional use for some multi-unit dwellings

building height diagram Screen Shot 2019-11-26 at 11.54.00 PM
A revised figure to illustrate how building height is measured in the unified development ordinance. The image is proposed to be inserted in place of a previous one so that it’s clearer how building height is measured.

Cued up for the Bloomington city council’s consideration next Tuesday are 20 more amendments to the draft update to the unified development ordinance, which is the city’s basic zoning and development document. Continue reading “UDO Update: Dec. 3 amendments include height and parking maximums, conditional use for some multi-unit dwellings”

UDO Update: How payment-in-lieu of building affordable housing could still be in the mix

The first two days of the Bloomington city council’s work on amendments to the unified development ordinance update were dominated by two contentious questions.

spreadsheet Screen Shot 2019-11-25 at 5.34.08 PM
Screenshot of extracted transactions for Bloomington’s housing development fund from the city’s online financial portal.

Should duplexes and triplexes should be allowed in core neighborhoods? Should accessory dwelling units should be subject to the conditional use public process?

Both questions related at least indirectly to the issue of the availability and affordability of housing. The council chambers were packed each night.

The following week, the council’s docket started off with another amendment related to the affordability of housing.

Sponsored by councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Amendment 08 changed the planned unit development (PUD) qualifying standards, by eliminating the option for a developer to donate a sum to the city’s housing development fund, instead of building income-restricted affordable units on site as a part of the project.

PUDs are projects that depart significantly enough from existing zoning standards that they require their own custom zoning, which means that unlike by-right projects, they have to win approval from the city council.

The UDO update builds a 15-percent affordable housing requirement into the qualifying standards for a PUD. So elimination of the payment-in-lieu option means that the only way a PUD could be approved without including affordable units as a part of the project is through waiver of the PUD qualifying standard.

Judged by the smattering of attendees at the following week’s meeting, and the council’s 8–0 vote, the amendment on payment-in-lieu (PIL) for PUDs was not controversial.

But the council’s decision was disappointing to the city’s administration. Responding to a query from The Beacon, Bloomington’s communication director, Yaël Ksander, said, “The City plans to work with Council to suggest they reconsider PIL as a viable option…” Continue reading “UDO Update: How payment-in-lieu of building affordable housing could still be in the mix”

UDO update: Parliamentary prickliness as Bloomington stands pat on parking minimums

On Tuesday night, Bloomington’s city council dispatched about a dozen amendments to its draft unified development ordinance, setting itself up for a realistic shot at handling all the amendments released so far by the end of its Wednesday session.

[For a linked list of all those amendments see The Beacon’s previous coverage.]

Several amendments were adopted by unanimous votes, including one that removes an option for payment-in-lieu of providing income-restricted housing onsite, as part of the public benefit for a planned unit development.

The idea is that developers should incorporate affordable housing into a project, instead of donating a sum to the city’s housing development fund, which the city could then use to build affordable housing elsewhere.

Rejected with support only from its sponsor, councilmember Chris Sturbaum, was an amendment that would have required new buildings to “step back” not just from those with ratings of “outstanding” and “notable,” but also those with ratings of “contributing.”

The most contentious issue of the night was one involving a pair of conflicting amendments on parking minimums, the first sponsored by Sturbaum and the second by councilmember Steve Volan.

Neither amendment passed. Volan’s amendment might have had a chance if the council had been at its full complement of nine members, but failed on a 4–4 tie.

A procedural quarrel over parliamentary matters stemming from the tie vote did not result in a changed outcome. Continue reading “UDO update: Parliamentary prickliness as Bloomington stands pat on parking minimums”

Plenty more first round UDO amendments: Payment in lieu, parking minimums, projecting signs, partial demolition, and more

Banner Plain Sign Photo Ams-10-39-City_Council-20191120-Packet copy
This is a cropped image from a photo in the information packet for the Tuesday (Nov. 19) and Wednesday (Nov. 20) sessions of the Bloomington city council. An amendment to the UDO to allow signs like these, from circa 1963, on the east side of the courthouse square, is one of 33 amendments on the agenda, with more to come.

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. Continue reading “Plenty more first round UDO amendments: Payment in lieu, parking minimums, projecting signs, partial demolition, and more”