Request for Qualifications

Bloomington Urbanizing Area Plan

Monroe County Indiana Plan Commission

Bloomington, IN

Posted: 03/11/2013
Submittal Deadline: 03/29/2013


Monroe County, Indiana, through its Plan Commission, seeks to create a new and innovative area plan for the continued development of the Bloomington Urbanizing Area (BUA). The Commission desires to solicit Statements of Qualifications from urban planning and design firms interested in partnering with the County to accomplish this. This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) contains questions regarding qualifications, experience and interest relevant to this project and instructions on response and submittal.

Each prospective respondent must submit a statement of qualifications including the following:

1. Name, address and brief description of firm.
2. Resume of persons to be assigned to this project.
3. Description of relevant expertise and experience with comprehensive or area land use plans similar in nature.
4. Description of firm’s knowledge of development and land use planning issues.
5. Detailed examples of relevant projects.

Respondents are asked to submit their qualifications packet by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2013. Each respondent should submit one (1) hard copy and one (1) electronic copy as a .pdf. Please submit qualification packets to:

Larry J. Wilson, AICP,
Director, Monroe County Planning Department
Monroe County Government Center
501 N. Morton St., Suite 224
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 349-2561

Upon review of respondent’s qualifications, the Monroe County Plan Commission will select a preferred consultant to develop a scope of services to complete the area plan.


The Bloomington Urbanizing Area (“BUA”) is area surrounding Bloomington over which the City of Bloomington exercised statutory planning jurisdiction prior to 1997. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding, the former the two-mile fringe area is governed by the terms of the 1997 Bloomington Growth Policies Plan and the Monroe County Zoning Ordinance Chapter 830 which incorporates the definitions, zones and development standards of the Bloomington Zoning Ordinance which were in effect at that time.

Area Plan Elements
The goal of this area plan is to create a new vision to guide the growth, re-use and sustainability of the Bloomington Urbanizing Area for the next twenty (20) years.

The following is a list of plan elements that will form much of the foundation of the new plan. The consultant may suggest additional elements as part of the RFQ response. The
consultant shall be responsible for including how each of the following will be addressed and/or accomplished in the new plan.

Bloomington Urbanizing Area Plan

A formal Bloomington Urbanizing Area Plan should be developed engaging key stakeholders in the areas immediately adjoining the City of Bloomington in an effort to develop a more detailed recommended land use plan for these areas.

The Bloomington Urbanizing Area Plan should consider the following proposals:

• Focus new growth and development within and near the core of the existing community;
• Promote dense and compact form of development;
• Capitalize on existing infrastructure;
• Maintain a distinctive edge, separating urban areas from rural areas;
• Provide for future growth areas;
• Encourage reinvestment, infill, and redevelopment;
• Increase employment opportunities;
• Interconnect streets where practical;
• Establish design guidelines;
• Develop alternative transportation and recreation opportunities connecting to surrounding areas;
• Protect vulnerable lands from encroachment;
• Provide a range of housing choice and increase affordability;
• Improve opportunities for Mixed-Use development; and
• Integrate open space, natural, and historic resources into the land use and development patterns.

Further, the plan should propose to:

Encourage business development in both the Bloomington and West Side Tax Increment Finance Districts and in the areas served directly by State Road 46, State Road 48, State Road 45 and Curry Pike;

Focus on meeting the needs of existing business uses and continue to promote a full range of employment growth opportunities from small to large scale;

Capitalize on the investments made into the Karst Farm Greenway, Vernal Pike, and Curry Pike to attract and retain business and employment opportunities;

Identify key Reinvestment Areas for both residential and employment growth;

Develop capital improvement and service plans for the Bloomington Urbanizing Areas.

The County has also plans that complement the proposed plan and should, therefore, be considered as potential supplemental plan elements as they relate to the overall goals and are associated with the Area Plan.

These plans are:
• The Monroe County Comprehensive Plan, 2012;
• Bloomington Growth Policies Plan, 1991;
• Bloomington Growth Policies Plan, 1997;
• The Monroe County Thoroughfare Plan, 1995;
• The Ellettsville Rural Community Land Use Plan, 2003;
• The Monroe County Alternative Transportation Plan, 2006;
• The State Road 37 Corridor Study, 2010; and
• The Monroe County Parks & Recreation Plan, 2008-2012.

Desired Qualifications

Demonstrated expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas is highly desirable:

• Experience with the principles of new urbanism, revitalization of older urban areas, form-based codes, green building and infrastructure, and sustainability;

• Urban design, architecture and master planning, including project management and coordination of sub-consultants;

• Transportation and multi-modal planning, including transit-oriented development, bicycle and pedestrian access, shared parking implementation and Transportation Demand Management strategies;

• Economic feasibility and market demand analysis, including consideration of affordable and workforce housing, small business development, and “community benefits”;

• Infrastructure and utilities analysis, including capacity analysis and cost estimating;

• Experience with charrettes and dynamic planning;

• Experience engaging local and area stakeholders in a planning process;

• Experience utilizing creative methods to generate public interest and involvement from diverse constituents in the planning process; and Implementation, phasing and funding strategies.

Tentative Project Scope

The consultant will take a lead role in all public forums, workshops, meetings, and hearings. Consultants may contract with sub-consultants on the new plan, but a lead consultant must be identified and must take responsibility of all deliverables. Sub-consultants must be identified in the RFQ.

County staff will be available to the consultant in a supporting role during the entire process. The Assistant Planning director for the Department of Planning shall be the main consultant liaison for the County.

Following is a list of expected tasks of the consultant to be detailed in the final contract with the selected consultant.

1. Initial meeting with the Staff to review and refine the project scope and schedule, as well as schedule initial meetings and begin the process of data compilation.

2. Obtain and review existing plans, maps and other documents relevant to the project.

3. Meet with the Plan Commission to get their input and to solicit their ideas and thoughts and to provide them regular updates.

4. Conduct meetings with key elected officials and stakeholders.

5. Conduct periodic review meetings (either in person, via telephone or email) with the Monroe County Planning Department to discuss project status.

6. Plan and manage extensive and diverse public participation processes, including, but not limited to: public meetings, informational brochures, website materials, and other
outreach mechanisms.

7. Provide materials to Planning Department Staff for a website that provides information on the plan process and provides draft documents, maps and other useful information to the

8. Conduct public meetings and topic-specific focus groups as necessary.

9. Create material for the public meetings and media venues to inform and educate the public on the new plan.

10. Consultant will be responsible for the production of GIS maps and materials; County Staff will provide supporting information as requested.

11. Develop goals, objectives, implementation strategies, as well as benchmarks to measure implementation progress of the updated new plan.

12. Analyze the consistency of current County ordinances and policies in relation to the goals and objectives developed through this planning process and create an implementation program.

14. Analyze the current Urbanizing Area boundaries and make recommendations on expansion of those boundaries. This will require input from Plan Commission, Planning Department and the public.

15. Draft elements are to be completed and submitted to the County for review, comment, and approval individually based upon a schedule developed at the beginning of the planning process.

16. Make periodic reports to Plan Commission as requested by the Planning Department.

17. Prepare a “Public Draft” of the Updated Plan, complete with any necessary supporting documentation, and present the draft to Plan Commission and Board of Commissioners as necessary to accomplish formal adoption of the new area plan.

18. Prepare a “Final Draft” document and conduct a final presentation at public hearings and all associated meetings to secure adoption of the new area plan.

Additional Information

Questions about the project should be directed to:

Larry J. Wilson, AICP,
Director, Monroe County Planning Department
Monroe County Government Center
501 N. Morton St., Suite 224
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 349-2561

In order for consultants to become familiar with Monroe County, planning documents are available for review at the following website:

Additional maps and documents will be available electronically upon request.

Public Disclosure

As a general rule, all documents received by the Monroe County Plan Commission are considered public record and will be made available for public inspection and copying upon request. If you consider any documents submitted with your response to be proprietary or otherwise confidential, please mark those pages CONFIDENTIAL.

Right to Reject Submittals

Issuance of this RFQ does not commit the Monroe County Plan Commission to award a contract, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a response to this request, or to procure a contract for services. All respondents should note that the execution of any contract pursuant to this RFQ is dependent upon the approval of the Monroe County Plan Commission in a public meeting.

Monroe County will not reimburse any firm or individual for any costs associated with the submittal of qualifications or in the negotiation of a final agreement for the work being considered.

The Monroe County Plan Commission retains the right to reject all submittals for any reasons. Selection is also dependent upon the negotiation of mutually acceptable contract with the successful respondents.