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1/18/2018 1:00:00 PM
City council amends, approves plan for Bloomington's future

Kurt Christian, Herald-Times

The Bloomington City Council adopted the Comprehensive Master Plan after 11 p.m. Wednesday, after five months and more than 170 amendments. The vote came after several final amendments were approved, including those that addressed future growth and housing turnover.

The document now returns to the city's plan commission for a review of the amended document as a whole.

The changes were designed to remedy both qualitative and quantitative issues in previous versions of the city's developing guidance document. All members of the council agreed on new language that refined previous data evaluating Bloomington's existing housing stock and addressed a perceived advocacy for physical growth.

Housing by the numbers

An amendment from council members Susan Sandberg and Steve Volan mitigated previous data provided by Ratio Architects Inc. that elicited fears of bulldozers and a call for existing low-occupancy homes to be replaced by massive development.

"You will note the word 'replace' does not exist in the language," Sandberg said.

The amendment incorporates information from Envision Tomorrow's Balanced Housing Model, which is a planning tool that incorporates data from the U.S. Census Bureau to provide a localized estimate of future housing needs based on population growth and other demographic factors.

Earlier data from Ratio Architects indicated Bloomington and its surrounding communities would need 13,100 additional units by 2030. Of those, 6,100 would replace existing obsolete units.

The new data set deals specifically with Bloomington and anticipates the city will need only 12,225 additional units to meet the growing population demand by 2040. That's a rate of about 556 units created or re-used per year. The new data also projects only 2,610 units will be obsolete by 2040, and a remedy for that problem might be as simple as renovating a unit instead of replacing a building.

Related Links:
• Herald-Times full text

Related Stories:
• Plan revisions seek to steer density away from downtown Bloomington, core neighborhoods
• Bloomington City Council approves height, density amendments for downtown

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