Take the sentence:

Isn't there a bunch of laws around who can stay open until what time though based on location and # of residential buildings around the bar?

Bunch is singular, and the sentence is referring to a bunch of laws.

Another example, not using bunch:

Isn't there a collection of paintings?

That uses "Isn't" not "aren't"

Can you throw the prepositional phrase, and consider what comes directly after is irrelevant in terms of plurality?

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    There are far more Google hits for "a bunch of people were" than for "a bunch of people was". Number transparency with quantifiers and notional agreement with collective constructions have both been covered on ELU. But usage is not predictable; I'd not use 'Aren't there a collection of paintings?' – Edwin Ashworth May 10 '18 at 19:22
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    Answered in general at Why can we add "a number of" before nouns? (see answer). There are other threads addressing number-transparent quantificational nouns, and many addressing notional concord with collective constructions. – Edwin Ashworth May 10 '18 at 19:25
  • There is a bunch of laws around who can stay open until what time and they are not based on location or number of residential buildings around the bar; not as you asked, they’re not. Of course you can throw the prepositional phrase and consider what comes directly after to be irrelevant in terms of plurality and how does that change your original premise, please? – Robbie Goodwin May 12 '18 at 18:05
  • "Bunch of flowers", but not "bunch of laws". Please. This is a site about the English language, not about destroying it. – David May 16 '18 at 18:14

Isn't would be correct as you are referring to "a bunch". A good way to remember this is to think about what comes after there. If "a" comes after, it's Isn't, but if there is no article, it's Aren't

Isn't there a bunch of laws...


Aren't there cars in this city?

Sorry for the bad example, but you get the idea.

  • This doesn't take into account the fact that sometimes 'fuzzy quantifiers' (and others), perhaps grading into collective nouns, can be treated as number transparent. One wouldn't argue against 'a bunch of flowers was left in the vase' being the only sensible choice, but 'a bunch of teenagers were kicking a ball around in the street' would be normal in the UK. – Edwin Ashworth May 10 '18 at 19:17

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