Boone County Commissioners hire land use planner for tech district

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The Boone County Commissioners have awarded a contract to land use planner Rundell Ernstberger Associates. The firm will assist Boone County in creating a planned unit development ordinance in response to the proposed project by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. northwest of Lebanon.

The PUD is in response to the LEAP project, or Limitless Exploration/Advanced Pace, being proposed by the IEDC. Eli Lilly and Co. announced in May that it would become the first potential user, investing $2.1 billion into new facilities. 

Local governments use a PUD as a tool to define and regulate proposed development. It is an ordinance to guide developers on permitted uses and design standards. The PUD ordinance will provide for commercial, industrial, residential and agriculture uses along with community amenities. 

“The Commissioners believe hiring a professional outside firm is the best way to protect and promote the interests of our citizens, particularly those affected in the unincorporated areas,” Boone County Commissioners President Jeff Wolfe stated. “The proposed development needs to be fully vetted, and we also need to ensure we are listening to stakeholders and landowners in the community.”

In the event the development moves forward, REA also plans to help update Boone County’s Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Plan. 

The commissioners and REA will conduct stakeholder meetings that will include individual members of the community, school districts, public safety officials and municipalities.

“We have heard constituents’ concerns about the environmental impacts of this proposed development. Aspects of the PUD ordinance will specifically address environmental sustainability, preservation, and developmental flexibility,” commissioner Tom Santelli stated. “Additionally, the PUD will focus on compatibility with existing public amenities.”

For more, visit boonecounty.in.gov.

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