Westfield@87th

Nora Ranks High Among City’s Most Needed Sidewalks

For all its wonderful assets (like great schools, mature trees, shopping and Monon Trail), Nora still has some of the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure. A recent study maps Indianapolis’ missing pedestrian walkways (i.e., sidewalks and multi-use paths) and provides a tool to help identify where investment should be focused. It reveals the gaps in the pedestrian network and prioritizes each missing section based on proximity to destinations, population density, and demographic factors that may contribute to an area’s particular transit needs.

Note: The College Ave Trail from 86th St to 91st St, one of Indy’s highest ranked missing walkways, is nearing completion!

About the Map

Missing pedestrian walkway segments are color coded from low to high priority based on their proximity to available destinations, population density, and social indicators.

Using 2014 data of Indianapolis’ existing pedestrian network* as a reference (i.e., sidewalks and multi-use trails), missing walkway segments are mapped along primary and secondary arterial roads and collector streets that host major bus routes. The resulting map represent the gaps in the existing pedestrian network along the city’s main road corridors. Each missing walkway segment is then scored based its proximity to population density and social indicators (i.e., net social index concentrations). For example, segments shown in red (high priority) touch areas containing both high net population density and high scores for social indicators representing potential pedestrian infrastructure need, such as income, minority status, education, linguistic isolation, and age (2010 Census; 2013 ACS).

Additionally, missing walkway segments received scores for their proximity to 5- or 10-minute walk radius around destinations. Destinations include public libraries, college campuses, primary schools, secondary schools, vocational schools, museums, supermarkets, recreation facilities, greenways, parks, future Red Line bus rapid transit (BRT) stops, and city bus stops.

The scores for each segment are tallied and the results are used to rank the missing walkway segments from low to high in terms of their priority for future development.

City-Wide Efforts

Efforts are underway in Indianapolis to enhance walkability, as demonstrated by its recently adopted Complete Streets Ordinance and the Health By Design et.al. Indy WalkWays initiative. A large land area and limited budget require the City find tools and strategies to efficiently and effectively develop and maintain its infrastructure. This includes finding ways to prioritize the types of pedestrian infrastructure needed to enhance walkability, and the location of that infrastructure.

Westfield@87th

The map of Nora is part of a city-wide study of Indy’s Most Needed Pedestrian Walkways by Jill Saligoe-Simmel, Ph.D. Jill is a resident of Nora.

Nora Community Assets

NORA 2021 Community Survey Results

On September 26, 2015, the Nora Alliance held its first Nora 2021 meeting and collected dozens of comments on the community’s Liabilities, Assets, Needs and Desires (LAND).  The top ten most cited ideas in each category were used to develop an online survey made available online throughout the month of October.

In all, 124 people responded to the online survey. The results, presented below, provide a ranking of community Assets, Liabilities, Needs and Desires. They will be used as input to planning future projects for Nora 2021. Comments to the survey were also gathered and will be used as input.

 

86th Street & Monon Trail crossing

Better Crosswalks Mean a More Walkable Nora

Great crosswalks send the message that people who walk are important.

Improving walkability doesn’t always have to mean significant infrastructure investment. An important part of a more walkable Nora is enhancing the pedestrian infrastructure that we already have. This includes maintaining crosswalks that allow pedestrians to safely and comfortably cross busy street traffic.

nora-crosswalks-overview

The Nora Alliance recently submitted a request to the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) for crosswalk maintenance. The request addresses immediate needs at 6 intersections in central Nora with high volume of pedestrians in substantial conflict with vehicular traffic. These are primarily existing crosswalks in need of paint marking maintenance and minor enhancements. Most are already signalized for pedestrians.

 

nora-crosswalks-2

Monon Trail @ 86th St Crossing – Repainting the crosswalk for the Monon crossing at 86th St. This crosswalk is very heavily used. We request the width of the crosswalk be increased, if possible, to better accommodate the higher volume of people walking, riding bikes, skating, and wheelchairs often all crossing at the same time. Additionally, we request that new “piano key” (or diagonal) crosswalk lines be painted at the bank and shopping center parking lots ingress/egresses that crosses the trail.

Complete Streets Nora Crosswalk Westfield Blvd at 86th St
86th & Westfield Blvd – This is the main intersection between the high school / middle school campuses and central Nora / Monon Trail. We request repainting the crosswalks with the “piano key” style.

Complete Streets Nora Crosswalk 86th St at NCHS
86th St @ North Central High School – We request “piano key” style painting of the signalized crosswalks at 86th St (a main entrance to North Central HS), and adding crosswalk painting on the northside of 86th St.

nora-crosswalks-5
Westfield Blvd & YMCA/Northview Middle School – We request repainting school crosswalk and adding crosswalk across the YMCA parking lot entrance/exit.

nora-crosswalks-6
86th St & Evergreen – We request repainting crosswalks in the “piano Key” style at this busy intersection just west of the Monon Trail.

nora-crosswalks-7
86th St & Guilford – We request repainting of crosswalks at the public library with “piano key” style, with the addition of crosswalk lines on the northside of 86th St at Guilford.

Of course, maintaining existing crosswalks is just one piece of the bigger picture. Want a more walkable Nora? Join us on November 21 as we identify potential projects for the Nora community #NORA2021.

College-ave-trail-progress_20151020

PROGRESS: College Avenue Trail

Construction is nearing completion on the College Avenue Trail! The project will provide a safe pedestrian off-street trail along this often congested section of College Avenue between 86th St. and 91st St. that currently has no sidewalks or shoulder.

Getting an off-street pedestrian trail or new sidewalks in a community can take years of hard work. Indeed, for the past 3- to 4- years several people in Nora have been advocating for an off-street trail along College Avenue between 86th Street and 91st Street. Some of the people spearheading the trail include George Robinson, former athletic director at First Baptist Church, Barry Wood, and members of Hope Church. It serves as an example of what community pro-active planning can achieve.

Early details on the project are provided by Benjamin Easley, Public Information Officer / Department of Public Works:

  • The College Avenue Trail will be an off-street asphalt trail similar to the one on 91stStreet.  The trail on 91st Street narrows down to a sidewalk at 91st/College
  • There will be a crosswalk connection at the signal at 91st/College
  • The College Ave trail will be on the west side of the road
  • There will be pedestrian signals at 86th/College as well as 91st/College

Thanks to ReBuildIndy, DPW, and all the people involved in making this trail happen.

There is a community sidewalk dedication/celebration at First Baptist Church on November 22 at 11:30 – the public is welcome!

ScottStulen

Nora 2021: Placemaking

At the October Nora 2021 meeting, we were joined by special guest speaker Scott Stulen. Scott is the Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and a resident of Nora.

Scott presented an exciting array of projects from Indianapolis and around the country, with particular attention to places that are similar in character to Nora’s suburban location. Some key takeaways from Scott’s presentation: start small, keep it fun, (art isn’t for everyone), just do it.

About Scott

Scott Stulen is a curator, artist, writer and dj whose work explores new forms of audience engagement, immersive experiences and collaborative platforms. He is the Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, former Project Director of mnartists.org at the Walker Art Center and Associate Curator at the Rochester Art Center. He is currently leading a new division at the IMA (ARTx) to engage new audiences with immersive experiences throughout the museum and grounds along with curating all performing art programs.

BradBeaubien-e1385064496779

Nora 2021: Where Are We Going?

We kicked off the first NORA 2021 event with special guest acting Director of Metropolitan Development Department, City of Indianapolis, Brad Beaubien. Brad is an award-winning certified urban planner with a commitment to community service, a passion for vibrant communities, and a focus on community empowerment, planning and design policy, and plan integration.

Brad’s presentation (provided below) was the perfect set-up to the larger conversation of how we as a collective community can influence and shape the future of Nora.

Brad offered lots of insights into the management of this vast city of ours from a planning and physical space perspective, also providing a razor-sharp look at where shifts are taking place in demographics and market demand and how that relates to the physical characteristics of suburban communities like ours. He wrapped up by discussing some of the tools available for communities, showing us exactly who our competition is, and giving us a parting charge.

So What Do We Do?

Brad left us with the following food for thought as he described the challenges and tools available to preserve and enhance our community:

  • City Government has very little funding for anything except maintenance. Our direct investment dollars are mostly limited to low and moderate income areas.
  • Sidewalks are absolutely critical, but destinations to walk to are what make walkable communities.
  • Private development is what builds neighborhoods and builds cities. Embrace it. Guide it. Leverage it.
  • The only significant way City Government has to invest in neighborhood transformation is through value capture mechanisms like TIF.
  • Put creative placemaking in everything you do. Suburbs were built to be the same. The future wants authentic.
  • Economic Improvement Districts are the way to regain the local focus erased by Unigov.
Parting Charge

Lastly, Brad left us with a parting charge as we consider the future for NORA 2021 and beyond:

  • Value is created by demand, not supply.
  • What the current and future market is demanding is changing.
  • How can Nora evolve to respond to this change and grow its value?
Next Up: Placemaking

Your invited to join us at the next NORA 2021 Event, October 24, where we’ll focus on… placemaking!

NORA2021-SLIDE

NORA 2021 Event #1 Recap

Many thanks to the crowd that gathered on Saturday morning at the Dean Evans Community & Education Center (WTSC) on Woodfield Crossing and 86th to discuss the future of the Nora community. We hope you came away feeling more informed, engaged and enthusiastic about the future of Nora within the city of Indianapolis. Thanks also to Washington Township Schools, Whole Foods and Brad Beaubien, for their gracious contributions.

The morning’s speaker, acting Director of City Planning, Brad Beaubien, was the perfect set-up to the larger conversation of how we as a collective community can influence and shape the future of Nora. See his full presentation here. Brad offered lots of insights into the management of this vast city of ours from a planning and physical space perspective, also providing a razor-sharp look at where shifts are taking place in demographics and market demand and how that relates to the physical characteristics of suburban communities like ours.

NORA 2021 is community-led planning focused on Nora’s future, and Brad gave us perspective to “play where the puck is going.”

The second half of the meeting participants provided fast-paced input to a community Liabilities, Assets, Needs and Desires (LAND) assessment. Click here to view the uncondensed list of ideas from the Sept 26 event.

LAND

NORA 2021: Vote for Our Community Priorities

On September 26th, a crowd that gathered at the Dean Evans Center (WTSC) on Woodfield Crossing and 86th Street  to discuss the future of the Nora community. NORA 2021 is community-led planning focused on Nora’s future. The morning’s speaker, acting Director of City Planning, Brad Beaubien, was the perfect set-up to the larger conversation of how we as a collective community can influence and shape the future of Nora (view Brad’s presentation).

 

 Nora Community Priorities Survey

The second half of the meeting participants provided fast-paced input to a community Liabilities, Assets, Needs and Desires (LAND) assessment. That input will feed the planning process and is provided below.

We want to know your priorities! Please click the button below and provide YOUR FEEDBACK (a brief survey of 4 questions).

 

THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. VIEW THE RESULTS.

 

Summary and Tally of All Responses

We collected and recorded every comment submitted on colored index cards during our group exercise, a Liabilities, Assets, Needs and Desires (LAND) analysis. On the asset side of the ledger, many comments revolved around the great neighborhoods and the amenity of the Monon Trail. On a related note, many of the desires centered on connecting those neighborhoods in a safe manner to one another and to the trail and capitalizing on the trail with more focused, ‘trail-oriented’ development as seen in some recent projects.

 

L.A.N.D. (summary)
Liabilities -weaknesses within the community, and within the context of the City and region, that we should remain aware of and mitigate as possible

86th (and Westfield, College at times) clogged, unsafe

Aging and subpar apartment stock.

Weak sense of community across cultural, generational lines

Limited pedestrian-friendly areas

Lack of an understood ‘center’ or ‘focus’

History of favor toward strip mall format of development

Lack of identity

Lack of control or input over development

Poor infrastructure: sewers, streets, noise abatement, streetlights, street, street services

Assets – the individuals, associations, and institutions in our community, as well as its physical characteristics–the land, buildings and infrastructure upon which the community rests

Monon Trail

St. Vincent Hospital, IU North: proximity

465 proximity and accessibility by car to highway system

Target (not Walmart)

Jordan Y, FBA Athletics, et al.

Cultural, generational diversity

Washington Township Schools

Neighborhood character defined by mature trees

Shopping nearby; grocery choices

Library branch

Needs – gaps in our human capital, as well as the physical the land, buildings and infrastructure upon which the community rests.

Identity, branding, placemaking

Walkable streets, crosswalks and parking lots

Traffic calming

Center or focus of village

Access to Monon from neighborhoods/Connectivity

Developers who will maintain, build value

Public areas, parks

Efficient alternate transportation options

Basic services: noise, sewers, streetlights. Attention from city

Integration of diverse population into fabric of community life

Desires – our aspirations as  individuals, associations and institutions in our community. A positive statement of things you envision for your community.

Safe, efficient connections to Monon Trail; especially 91st St.

Improved infrastructure: sound(465), sewer, streets and sidewalks.

Public gathering place or center

Passable 86th St for foot and bike traffic

Improved transportation options

Reimagined retail – less strip, chain-based stand-alones (switch: form-based code)

Big, identifiable Nora event

Strong, positive, open neighborhood groups

Parks, preservation, conservation

Strong identity as a place of Indy’s future

Liabilities (all comments)
Car-centric design of Keystone Crossing. Keystone Ave “wall” only passable by car.
Limited interaction between the diversity that exists. (Overwhelmingly caucasian at community meetings).
Public transit could be more integrated into landscape.
Slim on public park land.
Nora Elementary
Lack of proactive planning
Traffic on 86th St.
Lack of specialty shops
Too many fast food joints
Not walkable enough
Fire hydrants
Long term residents
Elementary school not as desirable as it was at one time
Crowed streets: 86th, Westfield
Large number of apartments, not desirable for home values
Too many apartments, some of which are not well maintained
9 large complexes between Westfield and College (91st to 96th)
Hurting schools
No type of housing like zero lot lines i.e. Walden Pond at 99th St. and Westfield
Lack of sidewalks
Not enough parkland, greenspace
Interstate noise
traffic on 86th St.
traffic on Westfield, 91st
real sense of community is lacking
conflict in development and building plans between city and residents
lack of sidewalks
lack of city services: water, sewer, street lights
poor traffic planning, streets, signals
noise from interstate
walkability – sidewalks
traffic
schools, tipped over to
lack of alternative transportation options
traffic
sidewalks
identity
negative & ignorant attitudes toward immigrants, refugees (reference: many success stories)
traffic
lack of sidewalks, bikability, walkabiltiy
ineffective public transit
community center/focus
lack of sidewalks
mobility issues
traffic
lack of center
sidewalks
walkability and bikability
transit
parks
traffic on 86th St.
strip mall format
crosswalks on 86th
lack of ability to direct the form of commercial development
lack of identity
lack of physical space
lack recognition
lack of ped infrastructure
too much rental density, too little home density
lack of leadership
town council?
no one to engage city, developers
growth limitations due to age, size
traffic limitations
population demographics
strip mall aspect
declining school performance
increasing crime
no sidewalks
traffic
glut of apartments
traffic
condition of roads, streets
run down apartments
No center attraction other than a strip mall
No parks
sidewalks
few sidewalks
no parks
minimal street lighting
lower standards in schools teaching to lowest common denominator (ESL students)
traffic/congestion
land availability for new growth
lack of walkability south of 86th(nora)
lack of parks
apartments too prominent
strip mall format
lack of city center
Assets (all comments)
Traffic on 86th St. (good for my business)
Kid-friendly neighborhoods
Monon Trail
Proximity of St. Vincent
Local restaurants
Schools
86th St. corridor
Monon Trail
St. Vincent
Monon Trail
Local Flavor
Brand Businesses
Convenience
Inside 465
the foundation of a heart of nora (high probability of success)
Economic power: income
transportation
density
restaurants and businesses
school density
jordan y
Ease of commute
character of homes
library
cultural diversity
age diversity
schools
trail
target plus local shops
location
safety?
character, not cookie-cutter
library
retail: bars/shops
family friendly
medical access: Meridian + St V
school system
Monon Trail
Some unique retail
Target instead of Wal Mart
Jordan Y
North Central
Proximity to 465
First Baptist Athletics, Dynamo
Monon Trail
Local business, retail
Schools
Vibrant, engaged neighborhoods
Cultural, generational diversity
school system
monon trail
Nora Plaza
trees and neighborhood character
increasing restaurant options
accessibililty to Indpls and suburbs
accessibility north and south by bike on Monon
Target location
Library
Location
Trees, character
Walkability, sidewalks
convenience
central location
monon trail
diversity
diversity of housing stock
monon trail
sidewalk on 86th St.
diversity of neighborhoods, ages
St. Vincent
Proximity of restaurant options
Wash Twp Schools
Location, proximity to shopping, dining
diversity
trees and wildlife (ecotherapy)
proximity to downtown and interstate
safety
clean properties
close to, but removed from highway
Monon Trail
schools
Longtime residents
Hospitals close by
Shopping nearby
Variety of industries
Monon Trail
Strong community
Diverse population
Reasonable retail/business base
The Monon
General location
NCC, Nora Alliance
Convenient to 465
Post office
banks
groceries, shopping
Monon Trail
long term residents
shopping nearby; keystone at the crossing
near 465
private and public schools
homes often in wooded areas, large lots
good home value
Monon Trail
ymca
library
North Central
trees
close to everything
First Baptist sports
abundance off grocery options
Fashion mall, commons
465
Monon Trail
Plenty of grocery options
Lots of housing options
superior schools
active community involvement
single family homes
quick stop shopping
Needs (all comments)
Access to Monon Trail (from neighborhoods)
Soundproof wall on 465
walkability
connectivity
Sidewalks/walability
ability to walk across 86th
traffic on 86th
promotion of hidden jewel that is Nora
Additional school (charter or cfi)
Developers who will maintain or create value
Better traffic flow
Charter school?
Sewers
city water, sewers
sidewalks
flood abatement in n’hoods next to 465
public areas: parks and other spaces
improvements in alternative transportation
sidewalks and crosswalks
community garden
sidewalks
traffic calming
community garden
sidewalks, streetlights, city water and sewer across the board
improved traffic flow on 86th
noise reduction from i465
improved drainage from i465
need improved stoplights on 86th/haverstick
footwalk to monon from neighborhoods (91st/Haverstick)
more effective partnership w city
plan for streets and infrastructure
guided development of residential and commercial
more people
defined plan of physical environment e.g. where should the apartments be
Identity, branding, placemaking
definitions of acceptable levels of rental density
maintenance of high quality schools
community engagement
cross-culture engagement
maintenance of our existing infrastructure/Monon
safe pedestrian access on thoroughfares
village/city center
reliable city services
better traffic flow
sidewalks
sidewalks
sidewalks
better walking access to points of interest
city center
walkability, safety – (along 91st St.)
infrastructure (sewer, updated power)
identity
connectivity between neighborhoods
refugee population integration
refugee population integration
better connectivity
community center
need to have feeling of safety
Desires (all comments)
91st St for ‘local only’
Monon trail – haverstick to westfield
wildlife preservation
sidewalks
fewer lights, more roundabouts
crosswalk for NC
no more retail business development between Keystone and Westfield Blvd (northside of 86th)
parkland
walkability/connectivity
community center/hub focused place for community functions
sound barrier from 465
public transportation improvements
gathering place
better communication (newspaper?); what’s going on at the Y, St Lukes, WTSC?
guided, cooperative development
Village Center
small homes (like walden) (96th behind Sherwood Forest, 86th and Haverstick)
school choice
monon overpass on 86th
sidewalks
noise abatement
form based code (as opposed to zoning code by use)
identifiable event as “Nora” event
Strong neighborhood groups that are open and positive
preserve and encourage economic diversity
Public space/parks
access to monon trail from neighborhoods
non-commercial civic plaza
sidewalk connectivity – library to North Central; n’hoods to trail
development that is pedestrian oriented; oriented toward trail
redevelopment of nora center (Marsh)
public transit downtown – improved
fewer chains; more local/unique businesses
parks for children
more roundabouts
parks 
more complete infrastructure
a gathering place
community events and space
more culturally inclusive events
better inter-city transit
Nora-CompPlan2005

Indy’s Comprehensive Plan and Nora’s Critical Areas

The Indianapolis Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2005, defines several Critical Areas in Washington Township. New development proposals are measured against this plan. Here we zoom-in on Nora, and highlight our three most Critical Areas as defined by that plan.

 

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP CRITICAL AREAS

Critical Area 1

Location: 86th Street between Meridian Street and College Avenue.

Why critical: This portion of 86th Street is primarily residential in nature, and includes two churches in the area. The residential areas are under development pressure from commercial expansion. If commercial development were allowed on any of these parcels, several more parcels on 86th Street could be in line to convert to commercial development as well. It is critical to protect the existing residential nature of this portion of 86th Street from any commercial development encroachment.

Recommendations:

  • Restrict commercial development from this portion of 86th Street and its cross streets as shown on the plan.
  • Any new development should be sensitive to the existing high water table, and lack of adequate drainage. No new development should occur without sewer hookups that include additional capacity to allow surrounding properties to hook up. Storm water runoff should be controlled by the use of retention or detention ponds where applicable.
  • If the church at 8600 North College Avenue relocates and the site is not occupied by another Special Use, this site should be developed as a park if feasible. If a park is not feasible, the residential housing in the density of 3.5 to 5.0 units per acre should be developed with some land set aside for open space. There is a critical need for parkland in this area. Commercial development should not occur on this site.
  • The Land Use recommendation for the southeast corner of 86th and Meridian Streets is residential development greater than 5.00 and equal to or less than 8.00 units per acre. The preferred form of this land use recommendation is condominiums. Should this site be developed according to this land use recommendation, it should conform to the following:
    • It is recommended that all twelve parcels be developed in a compatible way, as one project if possible, and avoid piecemeal development.
    • Design of the buildings on site should be respectful of, and in character with, the quality of nearby residential structures. This includes building height, setback requirements, enclosed attached parking, drainage, location of services, low level signage, and lighting contained on site.
    • Conservation of the surrounding trees and the trees on the Meridian Street and 86th Street frontages is of particular importance. These should be adapted into any future development plans for the site, whether as one development, or as parcels are developed individually. Large, native trees are of special concern.
    • Sidewalks should be provided.
    • All parcels should share a single exit/entrance on 86th Street, and a singleexit/entrance on Meridian Street.
    • Residences should face outward, towards Meridian Street and 86th Street withvehicular access to the rear.
Critical Area 2

Location: North side of 86th Street between Cholla Road and Keystone Avenue.

Why critical: The north side of 86th Street is primarily residential in nature. The residential areas are under development pressure from commercial expansion. There is no significant barrier west of Keystone Avenue to stop the process of commercial encroachment on 86th Street. If commercial development were allowed on any of these parcels, several more parcels on 86th Street could be in line to convert to commercial development as well. It is critical to protect the existing residential nature of this portion of 86th Street from any commercial development.

Recommendations:

  • Restrict retail and office development to the south of 86th Street, and east of Woodfield Crossing Boulevard as shown on map.
  • Retail and office development should not encroach upon areas of existing or planned residential development.
  • If the church at 2720 East 86th street relocates and the site is not occupied by another Special Use, this site should be developed as residential housing in the density of 3.5 to 5.0 units per acre. Commercial development should not occur on this site.
  • The Land Use recommendation for the northeast corner of 86th Street and Haverstick Road is residential development greater than 8.00 and equal to or less than 15.00 units per acre. The preferred form of this land use recommendation is multi-family units. Should this site be developed according to this land use recommendation, it should conform to the following:
    • It is recommended that all five parcels be developed in a compatible way, as one project if possible, and avoid piecemeal development.
    • Design of the buildings on site should be respectful of, and in character with, the quality of nearby residential structures. This includes building height, setback requirements, enclosed attached parking, drainage, location of services, low level signage, and lighting contained on site.
    • Have exit/entrances only on Haverstick Road that line up with the exit/entrances of the church to the west.
    • All parcels should share these exit/entrances whether as one project development or as piecemeal development.
    • Conservation of the surrounding trees is of particular importance. These should be adapted into any future development plans for the site, whether as one development, or as parcels are developed individually.
    • In some places steep slopes greater than 10% exist. These slopes should be minimally developed, if at all, so that they may retain any forest cover and avoid soil erosion.
Critical Area 9

Location: Westfield Boulevard from 79th Street to Oxbow Way

Why Critical: The eastside of Westfield Boulevard is predominantly residential with a few parcels of commercial uses between Helen Drive to the north and 74th Street to the south. North of 75th Street, both sides of Westfield Boulevard are residential. There is some pressure along Westfield Boulevard and throughout the Critical Area to convert existing single-family residential properties to commercial uses or higher intensity residential uses. Contributing factors are the heavy use of the Monon trail, heavy traffic on Westfield Boulevard and expansion of commercial and higher intensity residential land uses from the south out of Broad Ripple. Demolition of multiple, adjacent, existing single-family properties would have a destabilizing effect on the character of the neighborhood. It is critical to protect the residential areas between the Monon Rail-Trail and the river and to avoid the incremental increase of office and commercial uses along Westfield Boulevard.

The significant amount of natural open space and wildlife habitat which remains along the White River and within Marrott Park also contribute to this area’s unique character. A considerable amount of woodland, steep slopes and the 100-year floodplain make it critical that development in this area be sensitive to the environment. Park recommendation in the lower portion of the area has potential to provide good canoe access to the White River. It is critical to provide adequate parkland for existing and future population.

Recommendations:

  • Limit expansion of the non-residential uses that exist near 75th Street and Westfield Boulevard as shown on map. Commercial and industrial development should not encroach upon areas of existing or planned residential development.
  • Develop the vacant parcel in the southern portion of this area as a park as shown on map.
  • Intensification of housing densities should not occur within the 100-year floodplain.
  • Preserve areas in the floodway as conservation areas. Dense vegetative cover along stream banks is important for erosion control, contamination capture, water cooling (critical for retaining oxygen levels) and habitat preservation.
  • The wooded areas designated as Environmentally Sensitive should be preserved.
The Future: Plan 2020

2016 Comprehensive Plan Update: Countywide Update

The full update to the countywide Comprehensive Land Use Plan is being held until 2016.  Internal development of the land use classification system and design of the public process is underway.

Looking Ahead

Plan 2020 seeks to create a unified, countywide comprehensive plan that updates, incorporates, or replaces the existing 135 planning documents.  It will include performance indicators for land use types, providing more clarity about how different uses perform on transportation, economic, tax base, and environmental criteria. The updated plan will focus on keeping and attracting residents to Marion County by planning for 21st century amenities and lifestyles.  Particular focus will be paid to places in the county likely to see change, including transit corridors and cultural districts, and to integrate land use planning with transportation, economic development, Downtown, parks and recreations and strategic public investments.