Many residents in Bloomington’s core neighborhoods are breathing a sigh of relief because the city council on Thursday took steps to slow a potential proliferation of duplexes.

The council altered its zoning proposal, capping the number of new duplexes at 15 per year for areas that largely have been zoned only for single-family homes in recent decades. In addition, once a new duplex has been approved, no other new duplex will be approved within 150 feet of the initial property for a period of two years.

Proponents of those changes said given that no one knows for sure how many new duplexes would be created by the zoning changes, where they would be created and by whom, or who would live in them, it makes sense to limit the structures’ potential impact. However, opponents of the changes said they were not necessary and undermined the council’s plans to create more housing opportunities.

“We don’t know the outcome … of this experiment and what this policy will yield. … There are valid reasons to exercise caution,” said Dave Rollo, District 4, who was among seven council members who supported the changes.

Council member Ron Smith, District 3, who voted with the majority, said the proposal would not stop duplex development but would put in some controls to prevent a worst case scenario.
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