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Shelbyville to have new Comprehensive Plan by year's end

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Adam Rude, deputy director of the Shelbyville Plan Commission, center, and other city officials talked with attendees to get feedback on the city’s proposed new Comprehensive Plan after a presentation of the plan’s main elements. About 50 peoplecame to thepublic meeting at the Strand Theatre, 215 S. Harrison St., on Thursday evening.
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Cory Daly, a partner at HWC Engineering, the city’s consultant on developing the new comprehensive plan, discussed the main elements prior to a break-out session to get input from those attending a public meeting Thursday. On the screen are“subplans” the city has done that contributed to the comp plan; the subplans are available on the city’s website at www.cityofshelbyvillein.com.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

Planners are set to work on a final draft of Shelbyville’s new Comprehensive Plan following public input on the plan’s main elements.

About 50 people braved a cold, rainy evening to attend the meeting at the Strand Theatre, 215 S. Harrison St., hosted by the city’s planning department.

Cory Daly, a partner at HWC Engineering, the city’s consultant on drafting the new comp plan, presented the main elements to the audience.

“What I’m going to present tonight is a culmination of 9 months work,” said Daly, at the event Thursday evening, the second and final public meeting about the comp plan.

Daly cited demographics as the starting point for developing the plan, calling them a “benchmark” of the community.

He said Shelby County’s growth has been flat compared to the rest of the state, but on the plus side, there hasn’t been a population decline.

The community’s biggest advantage is location, near Indianapolis on the Interstate 74 corridor to Cincinnati, said Daly.

“You guys can become a regional place,” he said.

Summaries of a survey, a public workshop and stakeholder meetings are posted on the Plan Commission’s website. Go to www.cityofshelbyvillein.com and click on Planning & Building under the “Departments” tab.

Then click on 2018 Comprehensive Plan Update under “Quick Links” on the right.

“I think the most important was the public survey,” Daly said, because the 780 responses were more than received by other communities.

Running through a PowerPoint slideshow, he said Shelbyville’s small town feel, history and architecture, friendly people and proximity to Indianapolis and Cincinnati were the top things mentioned in the survey.

Those items led to the vision statement for the new comp plan, to make Shelbyville “the premier hometown” on the east I-74 corridor.

“That’s thinking down the road,” said Daly.

In the near term, the plan’s Mission Statement is to keep focused on vigorous community development, good economic opportunities and a quality lifestyle, he said.

A slide titled “Expected Outcomes” had the longest list of items; Daly said they’re the things people surveyed want to see:

n Increased property values

n Greater connectivity

n Stronger partnerships 

“The city can’t do this alone,” said Daly.

Also on the list of Expected Outcomes from the new comp plan:

n State-leading job opportunities

n New business opportunities

n Private investment

n Quality of life

n New neighbors

“You’ve got to do something with population ... find a way to get people here.” Daly said.

His slide presentation is to be posted on the city planning department’s website noted above.

An “Action Plan” part of the comp plan will be developed based on feedback from people attending the presentation at the Strand.

Thursday’s event was the second and last formal public meeting on the matter; the first was held May 4 during First Friday on the Public Square.

Public presentations of the document are due to be made to the Plan Commission and Shelbyville Common Council at upcoming meetings.

City officials hope to have the new comp plan approved by the end of this year.

Shelbyville Comprehensive Plan

Public Survey April-May, 2018 Result highlights:

n 2/3 female, 1/3 male respondents

n 20.2 percent age 35-44 (largest)

n 4.4 percent age 20-24 (smallest)

n 17.8 percent aged 60+ (2nd largest)

n 31.88 percent college grads 

n 52 percent work in Shelbyville

n 20.7 percent household income $50-$75,000 (largest)

n 80 percent favor preserving historic buildings

n 51 percent don’t use the rivers

n 31 percent lived here 40+ years

n 34.5 percent said “Community” (pollution, crime, drugs, lack of involvement) is most troubling about living or visiting the city (largest)

n 24.3 percent cited “Maintenance” (junky cars, blight cleanup, enforcing zoning, repairing old buildings) as most troubling (2nd largest)

n 55 percent said more upscale housing needed

n 3.7 percent “strongly agree” recently built homes in city are affordable

Source: www.cityofshelbyvillein.com/compplanupdate/ - “Community Survey Update”