Council holds special session on duplexes, and triplexes in core neighborhoods

Bloomington City Council member Isabel Piedmont-Smith, listens as the public comments on an amendment to “Ordinance 19-24, which Repeals and Replaces the Entire Text of Title 20 of the Bloomington Municipal Code Entitled Unified Development Ordinance,” during a special city council session, Wednesday, November 13, 2019 in Bloomington, Ind. Piedmont-Smith wrote a compromise amendment to the legislation but it was defeated. The amendment would have limited the number of rooms to 2 in each unit of a duplex or triplex. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

During a four hour special session Wednesday night, members of the City Council heard from the public and voted on 2 amendments of legislation described as “Ordinance 19-24, which Repeals and Replaces the Entire Text of Title 20 of the Bloomington Municipal Code Entitled “Unified Development Ordinance.””

After hearing from members of the public, amendment 3 to the UDO was defeated by a vote of 5-4. A description of amendment 3 reads, “Reduces the maximum number of bedrooms in a duplex (from 6 to 4) and in a triplex (from 9 to 6).” The council then passed amendment 5 by a vote of 6-3. The description of amendment 5 reads, “Limits “plexes” on property in R1, R2 & R3 districts where demolition of at least 35% of the principal dwelling structure occurred within the previous three years and the construction of the duplex structure would exceed the gross square footage of the original structure by more than 25%.”

The council heard a summary of amendment 1 which, “Prohibits “Plexes” on property zoned R1, R2, or R3 on the effective date of the UDO,” but ran out of time after members voted not to extend comment to 11 p.m. after agreeing earlier to end the meeting at 10 p.m. sharp.

The special session will pick up where it left off Thursday at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, and council members are expected to consider several other amendments to the UDO. The amendments considered Thursday will also include council member Steve Volan’s amendment 2 which, “Permits “plexes” by right where currently allowed via conditional use approval.”

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