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Knightstown Plan Commission Okays Development Draft Plan
September 19, 2007 - The Knightstown Plan Commission approved a rough draft of a comprehensive plan for the town's growth and development last Thursday, and voted to send it to the town council for further consideration.
The plan, approved by a 5-0 vote during a special plan commission meeting last Thursday, includes proposed goals for the town to meet within two, five, 10, 15 and 20 years. Tasks to accomplish within two years of the plan's adoption by the town council include annexation of a two- to three-mile radius of contiguous land around the town's current boundaries, and planning for the extension of water and sewer services to these areas.
The plan also calls for pursuit of grants for growth and development of services within the first two years. Other goals for the first 24 months include planning for residential neighborhoods, light industrial parks and recreational areas, in town and along the State Road 109 corridor up to Interstate 70.
Within five years, the plan calls for the expansion of commercial and light industrial development, and additional park and recreation venues. Under the 10-, 15- and 20-year plans, the town would continue planning for future growth and annexation to the north and west, and implement needed improvements to the town's infrastructure to handle this growth.
Two-thirds of a more immediate goal listed in the plan - annexation of the properties of three local schools -has already been accomplished. Last year, the town annexed the Knightstown High School and Knightstown Intermediate properties, and efforts to secure the annexation of the Knightstown Elementary land are ongoing.
Following last week's vote, plan commission member Erma Keller offered to present the plan to the town council at the council's regular monthly meeting tonight. She said she expected the council would give the plan to the town's attorney to review, and possibly revise, before drafting an ordinance for the council to adopt.
Clyde South, the plan commission's president, told The Banner on Tuesday, however, that the plan commission may have been required to hold a public hearing before taking last week's vote. He said the town's attorney will be consulted to see if a hearing was needed, and that one will be scheduled and held if necessary.
In other business last week, town resident Alan Jackson asked the plan commission about the steps he would need to take to get his land on the south end of town rezoned to permit some agricultural uses. While Keller said she thought Jackson would need to go before the BZA to get a variance, South said the BZA's secretary, Linda Glenn, told him the plan commission is supposed to make a recommendation regarding Jackson's request to the town council. South told Jackson he would look into the matter further and get back to him with an answer about the proper procedures to follow.
Only five of the plan commission's seven members attended last week's meeting. Cort Swincher and Valerie Trump, town council members who also sit on the plan commission, were absent. Trump told The Banner she had not been advised of the meeting until just hours before it was to begin and had another commitment.
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