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Bloomington Council To Consider Ordinances For Downtown TIF, 'Complete Streets'

Paul Sableman

At Monday's meeting of the Bloomington City Council, Aldermen will vote on a formal rejection of the downtown hotel proposal brought forward by developer Jeff Giebelhausen.

The measure stems from a report presented by consulting firm SB Friedman at last week's work session. At the meeting, Alderman Karen Schmidt said the report also gives the council a list of steps to continue encouraging downtown development.

"I really appreciated the way that SB Friedman put this together," she said. "It brought some closure to the development proposal for Front and Center, but it also moves us into the future."

SB Friedman suggests creating a TIF district, which is also under consideration tonight, as well as promoting downtown development, identifying and pursuing priorities for downtown and establishing a process for reviewing development applications.

A Complete Streets ordinance will also be brought to a vote. If approved, all forms of transportation would be taken into consideration when building new roads or reconstructing current roads.

Speaking on Sound Ideas last month, Alderman Scott Black said the ordinance brings together the city's master plans for streets, sidewalks, sewers and bicycles. He said approving the measure is one way to show these plans won't collect dust.

"People are going to see how they can connect, in a multi-modal way, around Bloomington," he said. "From my perspective, it looks like cars have a monopoly. I'm not saying that we should be having bike lanes everywhere, but I'm also saying that we can be strategic in how we spend our resources."

Black said establishing a Complete Streets policy promotes responsible spending on infrastructure. The Town of Normal approved a similar measure earlier this month.

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