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Form Whitley County

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

How can you help Form Whitley County?

Please join our email list to be kept informed about ways to participate. The first public engagement opportunity (in person and online) will begin on Monday, October 26 with a Focus on the Future workshop event, held at the 4-H Community Center at 680 W. Squawbuck Road from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., along with an online survey to capture additional public input, also launching on Monday, October 26.

Focus On The Future rack card

Register for the Focus on the Future workshop

Join our email list

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

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A Comprehensive Plan establishes goals, policies, and recommendations for development in the jurisdictional area of the governmental unit. 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! Take the survey at starting October 26.

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

The existing comprehensive plan was adopted in 2011 and needs updated to reflect current trends and priorities.

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

Anybody who cares about the future of Whitley County will be able to participate and contribute their ideas and insight. An online survey will be launched at and another round of public engagement will take place in February 2021.

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 contact the Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning and Building Department at or 260-248-3112.

2011 Whitley County Comprehensive Plan

To view the 2011 Whitley County Comprehensive Plan click here.