The latest revisions to the city’s Comprehensive Master Plan work to keep the downtown from getting taller and protect single family neighborhoods from increased density.
Density has been a common discussion topic throughout the city’s review of its land use guidance document. Density is a measure of how many apartments, condominiums or other dwelling units are allowed per acre of land. Both amendments discussed during Wednesday’s city council meeting touched on how to handle Bloomington’s need for increased density in different parts of the city.
An amendment proposed by Isabel Piedmont-Smith, now the city council’s vice president, eliminated a portion of the Comprehensive Master Plan that would’ve called for taller buildings in the downtown’s core.
“There’s been a lot of public feedback that I’ve heard and other council members have heard that buildings downtown are at a maximum,” Piedmont-Smith said.
Though the language’s intent was to provide for higher residential density in the downtown, Piedmont-Smith and every other member of the city council voted to allow for diversified density, but not higher buildings.
As an example of diversified density, Piedmont-Smith pointed to the Bloomington Bagel Co.’s project that was approved in the summer of 2016. The project features microunits, a housing type smaller than a typical studio unit. Piedmont-Smith indicated such diversity in housing should be encouraged.