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Central Indiana county looking for I-69 development variety

August 29, 2018

BARGERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Years ago, when local leaders envisioned the future Interstate 69 traveling through northwestern Johnson County, the entire route was lined with businesses.

Now, that vision has changed, and those developments would be centralized around certain interchanges.

And what would be built would depend on its location, since officials have different ideas for the three different I-69 interchanges planned in Johnson County.

What you won’t see: truck stops and gas stations that have been developed around other nearby interstate exits.

Guiding development is a key purpose of the plan the county and Bargersville recently created to prepare for I-69 to be built along the current route of Indiana 37.

The goal is to have room for multiple types of development, from residential to retail and offices to park land, according to the plan.

But officials also want to be picky about what is developed, Johnson County Planning Director David Hittle said.

“There is a desire to not just sort of settle for the first proposed user that wants to move in there,” Hittle said.

“It’s going to require higher caliber, higher design than just your bare bottom design.”

Once the plan is given final approval, it will be used by local communities when a development is proposed to make sure it fits in with the overall plans for the area, Hittle said.

But at the same time, local leaders don’t want to limit their requirements for development along the interstate and not be able to approve something unique and different that fit the area, but doesn’t necessarily follow exactly what the plan says, Hittle said.

“We don’t want to hamstring the planning commission in making these decisions,” Hittle said.

That’s a key reason why multi-use development is a big part of the plan, Hittle said.

In general, the vision is for residential development on the east side of the interstate and industrial development on the west side, but several other development possibilities are also identified, including park space and development that would incorporate both businesses and homes.

What local officials would like to see built in those industrial areas would be different from other interstates in central Indiana, Hittle said. For example, around Plainfield, several large distribution and warehousing facilities have been developed, which makes sense due to the proximity to the airport, he said.

In the Center Grove area, much of the population is well-educated professionals who want to live in the area with their families because of the schools, Hittle said. That demographic could allow Johnson County’s section of I-69 to draw technology-focused industrial businesses, which is what officials would like to see built there, Hittle said.

Each of the interchanges in Johnson County has room for that development, along with other uses, according to the plan.

For example, at the County Line Road interchange, officials envision as many as 10 technology-focused industrial buildings west of the exit, and then retail and office space on the east side and room for homes as well. Further east would be an area prime for redevelopment in the future, but a developer would likely need to acquire a significant piece of property to develop at once, rather than piece by piece, the plan said.

Further south, at the Smith Valley Road interchange, more options for development exist, the plan said.

Officials envision at least three retail properties at the northwest corner, technology-focused industrial buildings on the southwest side and more retail space at the southeast corner, according to the plan. And south of the exit, residential development could be built.

The interchange at County Road 144 is viewed as a unique opportunity, since it is the southern gateway into the county and has the most open ground of the three exits, the plan said.

But a key issue here is sewer access, since much of the area is not served by sewer service. That will be a key issue for local governments to sort out, the plan said.

Once sewers are connected, multiple development options are possible. Local leaders would like to see technology-focused industrial development at the northwest corner, and retail space at the northeast corner, the plan said.

But part of the intersection has already been purchased by the Morgan County Memorial Hospital Foundation, and could be used as a medical facility. And the southeast section is being looked at by a developer who wants to include a mix of uses, including retail shops and homes, the plan said.


Source: Daily Journal


Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net

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