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Allen County Commissioners adopt comprehensive plan

All In Allen County is the comprehensive plan the Allen County Commissioners passed Friday morning.

The passage gives the commissioners a guide for development for the next ten to 20 years.

“One of the main values here is we’re getting everyone to row in the same direction,” said Brandon Nolan of Houseal Lavigne Associates, an advisor for the development of the plan. “It’s going to be a common playbook for the next decade or so.”

Nolan and his team got input from 140 organizations and 3,300 people throughout the county to put together this plan. It calls for dedicating more resources to education, community services, workforce development, walkability and accessibility, public transit and infrastructure.

Through Nolan’s fact findings, he found Baby Boomers and Millennials alike both felt walkability needs to be a priority.

County Commissioner Therese Brown said given Allen County’s demographics, that makes sense.

“You’ve got kids coming off of, and I say kids,” Brown said. “Younger individuals coming from college campuses, and they’ve been walking. They haven’t necessarily been using transportation. So, they’re used to that.”

The plan does not establish policy. It will guide the County Commissioners and each municipality that also adopts it, but Nolan says it can do more than just give policymakers ideas.

“If you can say you have an updated comprehensive plan and that the project you’re seeking funding for is in this plan, that’s two good checkmarks to get to the top of a grant proposal review process,” Nolan said.

Municipalities in Allen County will now consider adopting the plan as well before it goes into effect March 13.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.