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Form Whitley County

Form Whitley County is an opportunity for everyone interested in the future of Whitley County to share their ideas and insight about the future. The community-driven comprehensive plan update will address the future character and land uses in the County and present updated recommendations for policies, programs, and projects on a range of topics.

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan establishes goals, policies, and recommendations for development. Both public and private sector decisions affecting the location, design, and quality of development are guided by this plan.

The primary intent of a comprehensive plan is to create a safe and harmonious environment for residents of the jurisdiction. The Plan is designed to:

•   Optimize the potential for future orderly growth,
•   Avoid land use conflicts,
•   Protect the environment,
•   Minimize traffic congestion,
•   Locate community facilities where people can best use them.

Community land use plans represent the preferences of the local populace and express how and where development should occur. Good planning recognizes the need to balance the demands of growth with the need to maintain existing development and at the same time protect the environment and overall quality of life. Good planning facilitates orderly development patterns that maximize opportunities for choice and at the same time reflects the wise expenditure of limited public funds and resources. Towards these ends, community plans establish general guidelines for development.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I expect at the 'Focus on the Future' workshop event?

You can attend the event by dropping in at any time during the specified hours. You will have the chance to view information on large visual display boards and provide written comments through interactive activities. Project staff will be available to answer questions. In light of COVID-19, masks and social distancing will be required per the requirements of Stage 5 for public events.

2. Why are we organizing this event?

We are holding this event to give you the chance to share initial ideas that can help shape a comprehensive plan update for the County.

3. What if I cannot attend the event?

We still want to hear from you! If you were unable to attend one of our public input events, take the online survey, or contribute to the online map, please know that there will be another round of public engagement in February 2021.

4. Why does Whitley County need to update its comprehensive plan?

The existing comprehensive plan was adopted in 2011. Updates will reflect current trends and priorities.

5. Will there be other opportunities for residents to get involved?

Everyone interested in the future of Whitley County is invited to participate and contribute their ideas and insight! Public input was collected in Round 1 meetings from October 26 through November 30. Another round of public engagement will take place in February 2021. We're also looking for help in several technical areas! Please complete the Form Whitley County volunteer survey found near the top of this page if you are interested in volunteering.

6. What is the timeline for completing the plan?

The plan is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2021.

7. How can I learn more?

For more information, please contact the Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning and Building Department at or 260-248-3112.

Round One Public Input Events

In collaboration with the County's consultant, planning NEXT, the Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning & Building Department hosted the following events to gather public input for Form Whitley County.

    • Jefferson Township
      • Monday, October 26 - 11:00 am - 12:30 pm - 4-H Community Center - 680 W. Squawbuck Road, Columbia City
    • Focus on the Future (all county)
      • Monday, October 26 - 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm - 4-H Community Center - 680 W. Squawbuck Road, Columbia City
    • Early Risers
      • Friday, October 30 - 7:30 am - 9:30 am - Whitley County Government Center - Meeting Room A/B (basement) - 220 W. Van Buren Street, Columbia City
    • Larwill
      • Saturday, November 7 - 9:00 am - 11:00 am - Larwill Town Hall - 108 N. Center Street, Larwill
    • Lakes Region
      • Tuesday, November 10 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Thorncreek Township Fire Station - 821 E. 500 North, Columbia City
    • Business Focus
      • Thursday, November 12 - 11:00 am - 1:00 pm - Whitley County Government Center - Meeting Room C (first floor) - 220 W. Van Buren Street, Columbia City
    • Early Risers
      • Friday, November 13 - 7:30 am - 9:30 am - Whitley County Government Center - Meeting Room A/B (basement) - 220 W. Van Buren Street, Columbia City
    • Southwest
      • Monday, November 16 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - South Whitley Town Hall Community Room - 118 S. Front Street, South Whitley
    • Northeast (CANCELLED)
      • Thursday, November 19 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Churubusco Scout Building - 501 N. John Krieger Drive, Churubusco

    How will Form Whitley County proceed?

    The planning process will span approximately nine months and will integrate technical analysis with public input.

    Form Whitley County Planning Process

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    2011 Whitley County Comprehensive Plan

    To view the 2011 Whitley County Comprehensive Plan click here.