Westfield to update comprehensive plan


Westfield Mayor Scott Willis said planning is underway to update the city’s comprehensive plan.

A comprehensive plan is a nonbinding document that municipalities use to guide decisions on growth, attracting businesses, zoning, residential developments, safety, park planning and just about anything else that may happen within its boundaries.

Willis told residents at a town hall meeting June 20 at Westfield Washington Public Library the city’s current comprehensive plan was developed in 2007 by a citizen-led process prior to Westfield changing municipal status from a town to a city. Since then, the plan has undergone several amendments, but is still far behind the city’s actual growth.

“There has not been a holistic change to the vision or the comprehensive plan since it was implemented,” Willis said. “In 2007, Grand Park wasn’t even built. When we developed this vision, the elephant in the room in Westfield today wasn’t even born.”

Willis said the plan lists the west border of the city as Towne Road. However, the city has annexed land along Ind. 32 to the Boone County border.

“Builders are coming to us with projects. Farmers are getting encroached on; they can’t farm like they used to. It’s too expensive, there are too many people on the roads, it’s not safe,” he said. “They’d like to cash out and rightfully so. But we haven’t really thought about what the future would look like.”

Willis said the city is in the process of selecting a consultant to guide the creation of a new plan. The goal is to create a comprehensive plan not just for Westfield, but for all of Westfield Washington Township.

“That may not happen for 50 years, and that’s okay. We’re not in a hurry,” Willis said. “But, if you look at Carmel and you look at Fishers and you look at Noblesville, our sister cities, they have consumed their townships.”

Willis said the plan will include community input.

“We’re going to have people engaged throughout this community to help us build that vision for the future,” he said. “It will also strategically align with our infrastructure… This comprehensive plan is going to help us identify future needs around roads and bridges and trails, and we’re going to be able to start planning.”

The plan also will address commercial development in Westfield.

When a firm is selected, the Westfield City Council will approve the expenditure for the comprehensive plan. A cost estimate is not yet available.