City Department Reviews Proposed Large-Scale PUD for Bloomington

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — August 12, 2023

The Planning and Transportation Department in Bloomington is currently reviewing a substantial Planned Unit Development (PUD) proposal for a 6,000-unit housing development with no height restrictions on a large piece of property within the city. The project aims to develop land that has remained largely undeveloped since the original PUD was approved back in 1999.

The current proposal, submitted by the petitioner, is a comprehensive plan that raises several questions and considerations regarding zoning, environmental impact, accessibility, workforce and affordable housing, among other factors. The Department is closely examining various aspects of the proposal and will make recommendations accordingly.

One of the primary concerns raised by the Department is the petitioner’s intention to amend primary materials without addressing secondary materials. This has sparked questions about the petitioner’s expectations regarding secondary materials and their compliance with the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

The proposed PUD is quite extensive and covers a significant area of land. Some of the key points being scrutinized include:

  1. Use Table: The Department has requested the petitioner to align the number of use areas with the number of development-regulations areas.
  2. Parking: There is a discussion about allowing stand-alone parking lots and their impact on the site’s development.
  3. Environmental Protection: Concerns have been raised about reducing environmental protection standards in areas such as steep slopes, riparian buffers, and tree preservation.
  4. Access and Connectivity: The proposal includes changes to driveway requirements and connections to roads, which are being evaluated.
  5. Affordable Housing: The petitioner’s proposal includes incentives to gain increased height without necessarily providing additional affordable housing units, leading to discussions about the balance between incentives and affordable housing.
  6. Comprehensive Plan: The project’s alignment with the city’s Comprehensive Plan is under scrutiny, particularly in terms of neighborhood residential designations, road systems, and public services and facilities.

The Planning and Transportation Department acknowledges the significance of developing this piece of land and sees it as an important opportunity for the city. However, they emphasize the need to carefully evaluate various aspects of the proposal to ensure that it aligns with city regulations and addresses concerns related to zoning, the environment, and public services.

The proposal will be further discussed at the upcoming November Plan Commission hearing, and additional details and changes may emerge as the project is refined.

The Department continues to collaborate with the petitioner to ensure that the development aligns with the city’s goals and objectives and provides high-value design features that benefit the community.

Note: This news story is based on a review of the PUD proposal by the Planning and Transportation Department in Bloomington, Indiana, and represents their preliminary findings and recommendations. Further discussions and revisions are expected in the coming months.

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