Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Highlights from the 4 Dec 2006 PUBLIC MEETING on the Future Land Use Maps

Highlights from the 4 Dec 2006 PUBLIC MEETING on the Future Land Use Maps

About 50 people attended the first public meeting where 6 versions of draft maps for Dearborn County’s future land uses were unveiled. The meeting was held at Sunman Dearborn Middle School Cafeteria in the St. Leon area.

Mark McCormack, Planning Director gave an overview of the process and historical timeline of the Comprehensive Plan. The public could comment on written sheets last night, mail them later, or fax to the office. They also could speak orally to Plan Commission members and have their comments written by them, and lastly, they could vote with red, green, or yellow stickers on the land use definitions and principles as drafted so far.

McCormack asked the public to look at the current land use maps and report any errors to him as well. In his press release McCormack noted that the 60- person Advisory Board has dedicated over 320 hours to this project in the last 18 months. [NOTE: It should also be noted that of the 60-person panel, only about half faithfully attend the meetings and workshops. This means that the fate of the county is in the hands of around 30 people, who hopefully are trying to represent their areas and not just there for their own personal goals. That is why it is critical to get public input at these meetings. The more people who comment, the better our chances of getting a truly representative plan for the county.]

Dick Robertson of Vieste/Level 5 Engineering was present but again gave no public comments or presentation of their work on the I-74 Corridor development plans to date. [NOTE: This is unfortunate- as it would have been a golden opportunity for them to reach out and engage people in the area that they are “studying.” It would also have allowed them to gauge public response to some of their plans, which to date have not been publicly aired. ]

McCormack’s overview talked about the master plan process beginning in Dec of 2003 and adopted by September 2004 by the Commissioners. He added the Sewer Maps, Road Maps and Fiscal Impact study preliminary results from 2005. McCormack noted that the Woolpert Study on consolidating sewer services was waiting for the master plan to complete their overview. The transportation 2030 plan was placed out for the public to view and is available at the planning office also.

Preliminarily the fiscal impact workshop with FSG noted that a statewide average of $225,000 house was needed to provide enough taxes to pay for the public services that home requires. They recommended impact fees and parkland donations from developers. Preliminary county data analysis showed that for Residential development for every $1 taken in they need $1.18 in services. For Commercial/Industrial for every $1 taxed they require $0.64 and for Ag they only use $0.36. This data was given so that a proper balance of land uses in the county could be achieved and taxes could be controlled.

In late 2005, four focus groups met and devised some main ideas and maps, which were then combined into a series of overlays on a master map, which was also displayed last night. The focus groups were, Ag, Residential, Commercial/Industrial/ and Open space/Greenspace.

Lastly in Nov. 2005 the advisory board met again and compiled land use maps for the future. These were redone this year and presented as a series of 6 options last night.

McCormack also noted related efforts currently going on with regional sewer studies, The Gateway US 50 study on land uses, and the INDOT Us 50 Corridor study. He also brought up the 2030 Transportation Plan and the Capital Management Program, which the County has hired Vieste/Level 5 and London Witte to conduct. It looks at Economic Development, County Facilities, and Infrastructure. [NOTE: This was where Robertson could have done a presentation and apparently elected not to do so.]

All materials from last night are available at www.dearborncounty.org/planning or by calling the Planning Office at 537-8821.

We welcome any and all input from the public.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township
Citizen Member- County Master Plan Advisory Board.

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