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IU Urban Design Prof: Montgomery County Planning Docs Need Local Support To Succeed

Montgomery County Website

Montgomery County lawmakers are preparing to approve the county’s first comprehensive plan for economic development. The final draft of the plan was published to the county website last week.

But county commissioners have faced pressure over the possibility of bringing wind farms to the area. Commissioners say they need the plan to enact zoning before they can address residents’ concerns about the developments.

Indiana University professor Frank Nierzwicki works with Indiana communities to create comprehensive plans. He says making one can take time, because each needs community input.

“It’s easy for two people to agree on something and then just try to do it,” Nierzwicki says. “It’s really difficult then to try to implement that plan if you don’t have public support.”

Nierzwicki says faster-growing communities need to regularly update their plans, but it’s not uncommon for less-populated areas not to have one.

“A comprehensive plan is actually probably updated five to ten years,” Nierzwicki says. “Sometimes it’s been more often especially if there’s actually rapid development.”

The Montgomery County Plan Commission will review the document at its April 3 meeting. That meeting will include a public hearing.

Depending on the commission’s recommendations, county commissioners could vote on the document as soon as April 8.

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