April 14 special session likely for some first readings of Bloomington zoning revisions

For Bloomington’s city council, a first glimpse of a 10-ordinance package of revisions to the city’s unified development ordinance (UDO,  and the citywide zone map, will come at a Friday (April 9) noon work session.

The image links to the planning staff’s web page for the UDO revisions project.

The city plan commission wrapped up its work on the package on Monday, with a 7–1 vote to send a revised citywide zoning map to the city council with a positive recommendation.

A sketch of the possible schedule for the city council’s consideration of the zoning package emerged at the end of Wednesday’s regular meeting.

Friday’s work session is expected to include a more detailed discussion of scheduling matters for the revisions to the UDO.

But the tentative plan appears to include setting up the following Wednesday (April 14) for a special session of the council to hear a first reading of the 10 ordinances.

April 14 is a date that would have otherwise meant a week off from city council business. That’s because no new legislation was introduced on Wednesday that could have been referred to a committee. Committees normally meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, if they have legislation to consider.

The April 14 special session is planned to be followed by a meeting of the council’s committee of the whole, to begin consideration of at least the first eight ordinances in the legislative packet.

Not expected to be included in the initial review, according to council administrator/attorney Stephen Lucas, are the two ordinances that were controversial when considered by the plan commission: an ordinance that would allow duplexes as permitted (by-right) uses in R1, R2, R3, and R4 districts; and the citywide zone map.

A week ago, city council president Jim Sims had pegged April 21 as a date when he thought the council could think about hearing a first reading of the UDO legislation. That probably seemed a little optimistic at the time. But plan commission wrapped up its work on April 5, without needing to schedule an extra meeting.

The city council’s incentive not to dawdle in its work on the 10-ordinance package stems from a 90-day clock that starts ticking when the plan commission certifies its positive recommendations to the city council. If the city council does not act within 90-days, the plan commission’s positive recommendations automatically become law.