2020 Comprehensive Plan
Residents and leaders of Hamilton County shape a land use vision that strikes a healthy balance between environment, community, culture/values, and economy for the Hamilton County Plan Commission to implement over the coming decade.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is a long-range, all-inclusive planning document that allows the county’s vision to be strategic, thoughtful, and adopted for implementation. This document provides a foundation for all land use, transportation, and environmental policies, projects, and activities. All governing bodies of the county will refer to this plan when working on future projects.
Indiana code IC 36-7-4-500 allows Plan Commissions to adopt a comprehensive plan that is a “promotion of public health, safety, morals, convenience, order, or the general welfare and for the sake of efficiency and economy in the process of development.” By code, the plan must contain these three elements:
- A statement of objectives for the future development of the jurisdiction.
- A statement of policy for the land use development of the jurisdiction.
- A statement of policy for the development of public ways, public places, public lands, public structures, and public utilities.
Comprehensive Plan History
The last Hamilton County Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2006; and prior to that, 1990. The previous mission statement was:
“The citizens and elected officials of Hamilton County put forth this Comprehensive Plan so that it may guide future land use and development decisions within the Plan Commission’s jurisdiction and influence. This plan is based upon common vision for residents living in the jurisdiction of the Hamilton County Plan Commission that strikes a healthy balance between ecology, community, culture, and economy. Rapid growth and development must be moderated with sound, long-range planning for natural resources, transportation, homes, businesses, and other community infrastructure. The citizens of this area of Hamilton County and their elected officials are committed to carry through with the recommendation of the Comprehensive Plan.”
Today’s comprehensive plan goals are:
- Develop a plan that is rooted in citizen input.
- Create development strategies for the right development in the right place.
- Listen to leaders of Hamilton County and incorporate their vision in the plan.
- The range of this plan is intended to be ten years.
The Planning Process
This project was completed in an unprecedented time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The planning team, Innovative Planning, Christopher Burke Engineering, and Peterson Architecture, led the Steering Committee and Plan Commission staff through the project. The project was broken into three phases: 1) analysis/discovery, 2) public engagement, and 3) exploration.
A detailed examination of existing plans, maps, and other resources were completed. This information was used in conversations with stakeholders.
Public engagement consisted of nine public meetings- three in each township, mailed and online surveys, and public presentations at Steering Committee, County Commissioners, County Council, and Plan Commission meetings. The team incorporated public ideas into concrete concepts for land use or other planning jurisdiction issues like transportation and water access. Finally, the exploration phase consisted of in-depth research of planning trends, best practices for rurality, and reviews of peer county policies and discussions with elected/appointed officials.