Bloomington Plan Commission to Consider UDO Adoption Draft in Upcoming Meetings

(BLOOMINGTON) – The latest draft of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) will be presented to the City of Bloomington Plan Commission at public meetings August 26, 29, and September 5 in Council Chambers at City Hall (401 North Morton St.), beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

The UDO governs land use and development throughout the City of Bloomington. This draft — the UDO Adoption Draft — is based on the City’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan and incorporates more than 1500 changes based on public comment made since February 2018.

The draft is available for public review here, where additional comments may be made until 4 p.m on August 26.  Additional copies of the Adoption Draft are available at the public library and at the Department of Planning and Transportation, Suite 130 at City Hall.   

“We are glad that the community has been so active in sharing their vision for land use and development in Bloomington,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “The new UDO will help implement our commitment to affordable housing and climate action, and encourage development that aligns with our community’s long-term goals.”

Designed to create new opportunities for affordable housing, promote environmental sustainability, and make the development process more effective, efficient, predictable, and user-friendly, the UDO Adoption Draft includes the following changes to current standards and regulations:

  • Affordable housing incentives have been established to increase its production by the private sector.
  • Duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes may be built in certain single-family residential zoning districts, with limitations set on the number of bedrooms (three) and occupancy (no more than two unrelated adults) within each unit.
  • A new Student Housing or Dormitory use has been added, to clearly distinguish these housing types from general workforce multifamily housing and to better control the impacts of student housing.  The draft UDO limits student developments with regard to size, height, and proximity from one another.
  • Zoning districts, site, and building layout regulations, quality standards, and permit application procedures have been more objectively defined for ease of use and to encourage adherence to the City’s development standards.  
  • Eligibility criteria for the individualized projects known as Planned Unit Developments have been narrowed, also in the interest of community goals.
  • Protection of trees during construction has been strengthened.  
  • Requirements for access, connectivity, and walkability have been enhanced.
  • Minimum parking requirements have been significantly reduced to support carbon-reduction goals and increase land-use efficiency.  
  • Requirements for ground-floor retail space have been relaxed. 

The process of updating the UDO has been underway since February 2018, to bring it into better alignment with the City’s Comprehensive Plan as well as other recently approved plans, including the Sustainability Plan and the Transportation Plan.  Like the Comprehensive Plan, the UDO prioritizes health and safety, environmental sustainability, affordable housing, aesthetics, sense of place, and quality of life. The UDO update process has involved hundreds of meetings to share the draft and elicit ideas and concerns from the public. 

Members of the public may continue to make comments during the upcoming round of Plan Commission meetings, after which the Commission will make a recommendation on the Adoption Draft.  Within 90 days of this recommendation, the City Council will vote on the document.