Plan 2020 is a pioneering planning process to create and update seven plans for Indianapolis-Marion County. Plan 2020 elevates the vision pioneering planning process to define the next century for the city and is driven by a team of community leaders. Plan 2020 will result in a visionary yet strategic Bicentennial Plan for Indianapolis as well as bring updates to six local government plans. Complete information, including information on events, newsletters, and other community engagement opportunities, is available at plan2020.com.
The Plan 2020 Regional Center Plan update began in 2015 and is scheduled to wrap up in early 2017. The Regional Center Plan, an element of the Comprehensive Plan for Indianapolis and Marion County, promotes the sustained growth of Indiana’s economic engine, the Downtown central business district. Learn more at plan2020.com/plans/rc.
The Plan 2020 Land Use Plan update begain in late 2016 and will continue into 2018. The Marion County Land Use Plan, an element of the Comprehensive Plan for Indianapolis and Marion County, establishes policies regarding the use, preservation, development, and redevelopment of all land in Marion County. All of the County, with the exception of certain geographies covered by Specific Area plans prepared since 2008, will be addressed in this plan update. Mayor's Neighborhood Advocates and DMD city planners will be in neighborhoods across Marion County to discuss land use for specific areas that have experienced or are likely to experience change. A new training program, the People's Planning Academy, will be launched as part of this effort. In addition to on-site meetings, an online mapping application will allow for engagement without attending in-person meetings, and Township Advisory Committees will be convened. Learn more at plan2020.com/plans/lu.
This process will engage community development stakeholders to typologize neighborhoods and develop a coordinated public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic investment strategy for each typology. This process is an implementation step for several recent discussions, including Plan 2020 and the Community Development System Advisory Group convened by LISC, United Way, and INHP.
The Transportation Integration Plan will involve a public conversation about the future of Marion County's transportation network. For the first time, it will identify a vision, goals, and modal targets for our system, and bring all modes of transportation together into a comprehensive transportation plan. It will also include an update to the roadway expansion plans, last made in 2002 under significantly higher funding and travel demand assumptions. The plan will also include an implementation component, including better definition of the roles and responsibilities of the city departments that touch transportation as well as updates related to zoning, such as modernizing the traffic impact study process.
MU-3/4 ZONING PLANS
In partnership with the International Marketplace Coalition, consultants will assist DMD in developing a model process and plan for use in two new zoning districts provided by IndyRezone: Mixed-Use 3 and Mixed-Use 4. These districts are not parcel-based zoning like all other zoning categories and IndyRezone prescribes certain plan components. The process will result in such a plan for a portion of the International Marketplace as well as a model process that DMD staff can replicate in future MU planning processes. Learn more at imvillageplan.com.
In partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Organization, consultants will assist DMD in exploring up to two MU3 or MU4 districts in the vicinity of IU Health Methodist Hospital along the proposed IndyGo Red Line in conjunction with announced plans to consolidate IU Health medical facilities in the area.
In 2017, DMD is building a computer mapping application for its plans, allowing anyone the ability to view a specific location and see the recommended land use, transportation system plans, and related information currently only found in more than 100 different PDF or paper documents. This portal is intended to promote efficiency and transparency in the Marion County planning system by making information much more accessible. Plans including land use plans, transportation plans, the thoroughfare plan, park plans, TIF and redevelopment areas, historic preservation plans, and redevelopment areas will all be accessible.
As part of larger city planning system reforms, the Department of Metropolitan Development is exploring ways by which plans prepared outside of city government, such as and exemplified by the LISC-sponsored Quality-of-Life Plans, can influence officially adopted city plans.
One challenge, however, is that DMD must be able to “trust” that a plan prepared by an outside group is a legitimate manifestation of the neighborhood residents and other stakeholders wishes and is not simply one of many competing visions. DMD cannot find itself in a position where two competing visions and plans for the same area are brought before it for consideration.
To address this issue, and to institutionalize the robust engagement and planning process exemplified by Quality of Life plans, DMD is considering developing a “Certification” process by which plans, and the process by which they are developed, are vetted. Plans that meet the criteria of this certification process would be “trusted” by DMD, and while they would not be adopted, DMD would consider updating the relevant city plans so that the policies of the plan could become official city policy. At this time, three different types of plans are participating in a pilot phase of the program, auditing and testing the Certification expectations: Southside Quality of Life Plan, Mass Ave Industrial Corridor Strategic Plan, and the Holy Cross Neighborhood Land Use Plan. Download a draft of the Certification Handbook here.
Following the completion of the Plan 2020 Regional Center Plan update staff intends to convene a process to update the Regional Center Design Guidelines that are used to perform design review through the Regional Center Zoning Overlay ordinance. Stay tuned!
Working with the Great Places initiative, staff is also in the very early stages of considering an optional design guideline element to the Marion County Land Use Plan, which would provide neighborhoods some basic level of design review for any project requiring an approval such as a variance or rezoning. Staff will be working with the RiverWest Great Place as a case study before convening a broader public process in future years.