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Bloomington Briefing

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Planning Division


Potential code amendments for accessory dwellings

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Bloomington Briefing Published May 3, 2022
Updated on November 2, 2022

The City is considering changes to its regulations of accessory dwelling units, commonly referred to as in-law suites or carriage houses, which are associated with single-family houses.

The City currently only allows accessory dwelling units that are attached to or inside houses. The City began allowing accessory dwelling units in 2009 to expand housing options for residents.

“Because current regulations are fairly restrictive, City staff requested input from the Planning Commission, Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board and City Council regarding possible code amendments to allow more flexibility to create accessory dwelling units,” Planner Shawn James said.

The key change being considered is to allow accessory dwelling units that are physically separate from the main house. Accessory dwelling units will still be subject to many of the same standards required of home additions. Before drafting an ordinance and conducting public hearings, staff would like to receive feedback from residents about concerns or support for detached accessory dwelling units. To learn more, visit the project webpage at

Questions and comments can be submitted online at or to the Planning Division at or 952-563-8920.