By Sam Elliott
This is the second entry in a Current in Fishers series on the city’s Fishers 2040 comprehensive plan, this week covering chapter of the plan focusing on land use.
When the steering committee for the Fishers 2040 comprehensive plan was creating the task forces to build its final plan, they knew the effects of that chapter of the plan would be felt by the others.
“The land use really becomes the foundation not just for future decision making with development proposals, but it becomes the foundation for our transportation plan because what those roads ultimately look like is very related to how the land is used there,” Deputy Mayor Leah McGrath said. “Commercial warrants four lanes versus two lanes for traffic patterns, for example.”
So the land use task force was set to play an important role in the city’s overall plan for the future of Fishers.
The task force was co-chaired by Fishers City Council President and Principal at Peachin Schwartz & Weingardt John Weingardt and Faegre Baker Daniels Partner Steve Harden. The task force also included city councilors Rich Block and Eric Moeller, plus Hamilton Southeastern Supt. Dr. Allen Bourff, Leech-Hensley Architects President April Hensley, Mays Chemical President Kristin Mays-Corbitt, CloudOne CEO John McDonald and Fishers High School student Sarah Congress.
“We got together as a group and talked about how we have this one shot to develop Fishers in the right way,” Weingardt said. “You only have one opportunity to really go out and really have it where it fits very well from a number of perspectives — from a use perspective, the type of property, the type of developments you want — but also going even bolder than that and talking about will the land use as we’ve talked about create the sustainability from a tax base to be able to support our community.
“There is a lot of land that’s out there and no developed, land that might be redeveloped or land that we have some ideas for like at the airport with maybe a special study on that,” he added.
Weingardt has been a city councilor since 2012 and was named president in January. He credited looking long-term at Fishers’ future as a highlight of the Fishers 2040 process.
“We’re looking out to 2040 and you kind of take that end and backtrack to say, ‘OK what are the building blocks to get us there?’” he said. “That’s what this whole plan is all about, especially the land use piece. If you don’t have good land use, the rest of it isn’t going to work.”
For more, or to view the draft of the plan, visit Fishers2040.com.