The Bloomington City Code provides for an “HX-R” zoning district (high intensity mixed use with residential) that aims to reduce vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled by maximizing high-intensity development in close proximity to transit. The ordinance prohibits drive-through and other car-oriented uses. It provides a minimum density of 30 dwelling units per acre of gross site area for residential development in order to promote a critical mass of dwelling units in an area that can support neighborhood-oriented retail and service uses (thereby reducing car-dependence). The assigned minimum density also helps ensure that requirements are low enough to allow a mixture of non-residential uses within the area while presenting a realistically achievable development alternative. Further, the HX-R zone contains a phasing provision requiring developers to proportionately construct the commercial and residential uses of phased development as such development progress. The HX-R zone also provides a minimum FAR of 1.5 and a maximum of 2. This maximum may be increased through bonuses for retail and service uses, below grade parking, development of plazas or parks, affordable housing, public art, and sustainable design (discussed in more detail below). Parking is restricted in the ordinance in order to promote walking, biking, and transit use (capped at 130% of the citywide minimum). Parking must be located below grade, within structured ramps, or in individual on-street spaces parallel with and adjacent to low volume streets. Short-term surface parking spaces are minimally allowed but may not exceed 1 space per 20,000 sq. ft. of floor area. Bicycle parking facilities commensurate with anticipated demand must be provided near building entrances. Development must also provide sidewalks and bikeways and development sites that contain a transit station must provide these sidewalk and bikeway connections between the transit station and buildings on site as well as to adjacent sites. Final development plans for office uses must include a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan prepared by an independent TDM professional under the supervision of the City and paid for by the applicant.
The sustainable design bonus contained in the ordinance is designed to minimize the negative impacts of the environment uses the LEED rating system as a guide. Increases in floor area depend upon square footage in LEED certified buildings, with increased ratios allowed for a higher LEED rating, up to Platinum. Applicants must successfully obtain a report from a LEED accredited architect or engineer, and will not be issued a building permit until the construction plans are proven to include necessary elements to receive the prescribed LEED certification level for the sought after ratio bonus. Also, a Certificate of Occupancy will not be awarded by the city until the building has achieved the appropriate certification.