About Comprehensive Plans

Why Plan?

Planning is essential in order for a community to define its collective vision for the future.  The purpose of the comprehensive planning process is to:

  • Review and evaluate existing conditions.
  • Establish a collective vision as determined by residents and business owners.
  • Identify clear goals and objectives for achieving that vision. 

What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan is a guidance document, used by elected officials and community leaders, to create a long-term vision for the community and to inform land use, infrastructure, and other community development decisions. 

What topics will the comprehensive plan address?

The Owen County Comprehensive Plan will cover a wide range of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Land Use
  • Transportation and Utilities
  • Economic Development
  • Housing
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Natural Features
  • Quality of Life

What timeframe are we planning for?

The plan will look out 10-20 years. 

Yes. Comprehensive Plans are governed by Indiana Code 36-7-4.  According to the Code, the plan must contain a statement of objectives on future development, a statement of policy for land use development, and a statement of policy for the development of public ways, public places, public lands, public structure, and public utilities.

Is there a difference between zoning and a comprehensive plan?

Yes.  The comprehensive plan is a guidance document, but it is not binding.  It is enforced through the adoption or amendment of local development ordinances, such as zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Is a comprehensive plan only about managing growth?

No.  Even if a community is not growing rapidly, it still needs to proactively manage the changes that can happen over time.  Without a clear plan, change is managed with piecemeal, reactive decisions that are not always in the community’s long-term best interest.

Who puts the plan together?

A steering committee that represents the many facets of Owen County has been selected to guide the planning process along with a consultant planning team led by SB Research and Planning.

Who approves the plan?

The plan will be presented to the Owen County Plan Commission for review.  The Plan Commission may recommend the adoption of the plan to the County Commissioners. Final plan adoption will be completed by the Owen County Commissioners.