Updated comprehensive plan almost complete

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — The city’s proposed updated comprehensive plan will likely be presented to the Huntingburg Common council later this month.

The steering committee met in January and reviewed a draft of the final plan.

“We prioritized the things that were included in the plan,” said Rachel Steckler, Huntingburg’s director of community development. “Everything in there was from the public information sessions and the survey we had out. All the community input went into this.”

The comprehensive plan, named “Your Home, Your Huntingburg,” will establish future goals for growth and development for the city. Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group of Indianapolis is facilitating and creating the updated plan.

Public, open-house meetings held in June and November gleaned information, comments and suggestions from the community.

At the June open house, people were asked what they saw as the city’s assets and challenges, as well as what’s needed for the city’s future. Some ideas shared were for physical developments, like having a community center, a fitness center and sidewalks that connect the city’s north side and south side, as well as bringing more retail stores and restaurants into the city, and installing more public restrooms.

Other ideas were focused on community development, such as creating programs to connect the city’s Hispanic community with the overall community, having more activities at the city’s parks, creating community classes for children and adults, having a community theater group and promoting clean energy.

A survey was also provided online to collect ideas.

All the suggestions were compiled under goal statements and a draft vision statement was created. That information was presented to the public via the November open house. People were asked for their feedback on the vision statement and the draft statements listed under four sections: land use and housing, transportation and utilities, economic development and tourism, and quality of life.

The consultants reviewed and compiled that information to include in a draft plan, which was presented to the steering committee in January. The committee rated the priorities for each section. Taylor Siefker will make any needed updates from the committee’s comments, and give the committee another draft of the plan to review.

Once the reviews are done, the plan will go before the common council, which Steckler suspects will happen in late February.

The next thing that will be done is updating the city’s development ordinances, Steckler said.

“That is more technical,” she said. “There will be public hearings for input on that. But that is going to be a major undertaking.”

The code was last updated in the mid-1990s. The comprehensive plan was last updated in 2014.




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