A duplex on Oaklawn Circle Drive in Bloomington. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
A duplex on Oaklawn Circle Drive in Bloomington. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
The Bloomington City Council Wednesday night (April 28) will discuss a controversial proposal to change zoning laws that city leaders hope will help make housing more affordable and sustainable but that critics fear will instead make many problems worse.

While some limited areas in the city will allow for more construction of multiplexes, the most controversial aspect of the proposal would allow for the construction of duplexes in neighborhoods that in recent decades have allowed only detached single-family homes.

City leaders hope that changing zoning laws to allow for greater population density — an approach sometimes called up-zoning because it allows for more homes on the same piece of land — will increase the supply of homes and offer more local residents more housing options and in the process at least decrease the speed at which home prices are rising.

Mayor John Hamilton told The Herald-Times his administration is pushing for the changes primarily to increase inclusion and improve sustainability.

The mayor said he wants Bloomington to be a community that works for people from all walks of life, offers all people opportunities to work, play and thrive and does so by lowering the residents’ carbon footprints. While those goals are difficult to achieve and require cooperation and complex solutions, he said local zoning laws have to play a role.
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