While the Planning Commission has official review responsibilities and the City Council maintains decision-making authority on the Comprehensive Plan, input from a community-based Advisory Committee was sought to ensure that a range of perspectives reflecting Bloomington’s diversity were factored into the City’s long-term vision and implementation priorities.
The Advisory Committee convened monthly meetings from November 2016 through March 2018.
The Advisory Committee consisted of 14 individuals, with half being appointed community representatives and half being members of the City Council and its advisory boards and commissions. Council and Advisory Commission members were appointed by each represented body. Community representatives were appointed by the City Council to reflect the diversity of Bloomington, including representation across:
Demographics (age, gender, race, ethnicity)
City Council District (at least one member from each of the four districts)
Business community sector (may live outside the City if they own a business in Bloomington)
The Advisory Committee was tasked with providing input to assist staff in preparation of the comprehensive plan update, relevant to:
Local, regional, national/global trends and their implications for Bloomington over the next 20 years.
Citywide vision and goals.
Implementation priorities related to required plan elements (e.g., land use, transportation, utilities, parks, housing, etc.).
Topics of discussion also included: potential approaches to achieve the Thrive MSP 2040 outcomes (stewardship, prosperity, equity, livability, sustainability); community values and guiding principles for decision-making related to public investment priorities.
Consistent with Bloomington’s commitment to transparency, Advisory Committee meetings were open to observers who are not members of the committee. However, the meetings are not public hearings.
While the Advisory Committee’s primary responsibility is to provide input to staff, a full record of their meetings was provided to the Planning Commission and City Council.
Committee members were expected to: become knowledgeable about the project and its scope; listen to the ideas of others; express their points of view while working toward consensus; contribute to the development of feedback that assisted staff in preparing the Comprehensive Plan update; and follow the Advisory Committee Protocols.
Members committed to 2-5 hours per month for meetings, plus additional time for meeting preparation and electronic communication outside of meetings. Meetings were generally organized around a topic designed to allow review and input on all major elements of the full Comprehensive Plan.