City roundup: planning


Noblesville’s current housing makeup. (Submitted image)

The City of Noblesville recently released its year-end annual report. The report details major accomplishments from every city department and within the community during 2016, and each week, Current in Noblesville will be highlighting a portion of the report. To see the full report, visit


Throughout 2016, the planning department focused on implementing changes in the development processes, engaged in team-building exercises and conducted a Residential Market Analysis. The department worked to improve the consumer experience for applicants and citizens. While establishing a more business-friendly environment, department staff continues to seek opportunities to create efficiencies as Noblesville grows.

The department saw a 5 percent decrease in single-family, detached, residential permits from 2015 to 2016, a trend partly attributed to the ongoing implementation of the Residential Market Analysis. However, the department experienced a 52 percent increase in plan commission filings – part of a 27 percent increase in overall public hearing filings – and a 152 percent increase in commercial square footage from 2015.

The city voluntarily annexed 79.1 acres in 2016. The largest area added to the city limits was Fiore Nursery at 44 acres. Imminent projects included creating a housing vision, increasing base architectural standards for all new residential developments, updating the city’s Unified Development Ordinance and Comprehensive Master Plan and implementing an online process for applications.


The 2016 residential market analysis delivered an inventory of approved and built residential developments, provided a forecast of future needs and demand, identified the gap between present built and approved housing units and future housing demands and recommended strategies to provide the underserved and missing housing types for current and future Noblesville residents.

The completed analysis revealed that the current housing inventory in Noblesville lacks the “missing middle” – attached housing types such as two-unit structures, courtyard apartments, bungalow courts, townhouses, multiplex and live/work units. The analysis also noted a largely homogenous residential housing inventory in Noblesville with regard to the styles and costs of housing units in recently approved residential developments.


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