Whiteland Residents Help Plan Town Development at June 18th Community Workshop

By Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance | | 7.10.24

Whiteland residents gathered at the Nire Event Center on Tuesday, June 18th to share their ideas as part of the comprehensive planning process. The Town of Whiteland, in collaboration with HWC Engineering, hosted a community workshop to gather feedback for a new comprehensive plan.

Adam Peaper, project manager at HWC Engineering, described the plan as a “long-range guide to development, redevelopment and community investment” that will aid town officials in decision-making and serve as an information and marketing tool.

The majority of the plan's development is funded by a grant from the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs (OCRA). This initiative marks the first update to Whiteland’s comprehensive plan since its adoption in 2011.

Approximately 20 community members attended the workshop, providing insights into the town's direction and suggesting elements they hope to see included in the plan. The workshop aimed to gather resident input to help establish a vision and set goals for Whiteland.

“What we’re going to do through this process and kind of the purpose is to evaluate the existing conditions that are present in the community now,” said Peaper in the Daily Journal.

“We will use your input to establish a clear vision and set of goals for the community. Like I said, more importantly, it’s identifying the recommendations and how we translate the broader goals into the day-to-day recommendations, actions for Carmen, her staff, town council.”

Participants discussed various topics with HWC Engineering facilitators, including the town’s vision, current issues and opportunities, and potential solutions. Ideas were noted on sticky notes and posted on large stand-up notepads.

Key themes from the discussion included preserving Whiteland’s “small town feel,” sustainability, transparency, and community identity.

Residents expressed desires for a recreation center, quality of life initiatives, and the preservation of green spaces and farmland. Infrastructure improvements, such as road maintenance and connectivity, were also highlighted.

According to Peaper, the comprehensive plan must address specific topics mandated by Indiana law, including future development objectives, land-use policy, and public infrastructure development.

The plan must also meet additional requirements set by OCRA, covering areas such as government facilities, economic development, housing, and broadband access.

HWC Engineering also presented a demographic snapshot of Whiteland, indicating growth in population, educational attainment, median home values, and median rent.

The comprehensive plan development will continue through July and August, featuring a Big Ideas Open House and the first draft of the plan.

The final draft is expected to be completed between September and November. Residents can provide feedback via a Survey Monkey link at shorturl.at/0QH5P or stay connected to the planning process by visiting www.planwhiteland.com