Land Use Plan



2016+ Land Use Plan Update: Countywide Update
The full update to the Marion County Land Use Plan kicked off in November of 2016 and will continue into 2018. Our People's Planning Academy has kicked off (see information in the links above! And the Land Use Pattern Book is available for download.

2015 Land Use Plan Update: TOD Strategic Plan
The 2015 update was the adoption of the Red Line Transit Oriented Development (TOD)Strategic Plan. Download the plan.

The Marion County Land Use Plan is one element of the Comprehensive Plan for Indianapolis and Marion County.  The update of the Land Use Plan is part of the broader Plan 2020 Initiative and is guided by the Plan 2020 Bicentennial Agenda.  The plan is required by state statute as a basis for zoning and must include objectives and policies for future land use development.  It is a policy document, not law, designed to promote the orderly development and redevelopment of the county.

Planning Process

The planning process began in late 2016 and is expected to be complete in 2018 and is designed to allow residents to engage in the element or elements of the process they are most interested in through both organized, in-person events as well as online, at-your-convenience options.  While different than previous efforts, the process will increase the quantity, quality, and representativeness of engagement.

Values Phase:  Values are the guiding principles that inform the entire planning process.

  • Bicentennial Planning Process:  The Plan 2020 Bicentennial Planning process resulted in creation of the Comprehensive Plan’s vision and values element, the Bicentennial Agenda.  The Agenda lays out four core values that all other elements of the Comp Plan, including this Land Use Plan, are charged with implementing.  Learn more about these core values.
  • Listening Sessions:  Between December 2016 and April 2017, listening sessions were conducted by Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocates at existing meetings of registered community organizations and by DMD staff for organizational partners representing voices typically under-represented in planning processes.  Online participation was also offered.  Learn more about the listening sessions.

Pattern Book Phase:  The unified land use classification system that will be applied during the mapping phase of this process as well as any future land use or specific area plans in Marion County.

  • Technical Review:  A two-week peer review from a technical expertise perspective was held with environmental, community development, public health, and city planning professionals.
  • Public Review:  An open, online and interactive three-week public review was held on DMD’s CiviComment platform before adoption of the document by the Metropolitan Development Commission on November 15, 2017.  Download the Pattern Book.

Public Education Phase: A long-term and in-depth investment in resident capacity to engage in the planning process and be stronger advocates for their neighborhoods.

  • People’s Planning Academy: Developed in partnership with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center and offered in-person and on Channel 16 during October and November 2017 and online until the beginning of the Stakeholder Committee process in 2018, the free Academy provides training on planning and zoning, how planning addresses the four core values of health, resiliency, inclusion, and competitiveness, and on the Land Use Pattern Book.
  • Advisory Committees:  Statutory-required township-based Citizens Advisory Committee members are appointed by the Mayor, City-County Council, Metropolitan Development Commission, and Township Boards.

Mapping Phase:  Development of the actual Marion County Land Use Plan that maps the Pattern Book classifications to actual geographies in Marion County.

  • Stakeholder Committee:  Graduates of the open People’s Planning Academy as well as appointed members of township Citizen Advisory Committees will participate in mapping review sessions with city planners.
  • Public Engagement
    • Online:  Primary public participation will occur through an online mapping system, allowing all residents the ability to see the land use maps as they evolve and provide critical input into the process at their convenience
    • Remote Offices:  City planners will hold scheduled daytime and evening office hours at several locations across Marion County, allowing for personal interaction of the public with city planners.
    • Public Meetings:  Open public meetings will occur throughout Marion County.

Review Phase:  When the maps are all complete, a final review phase brings it all together.

  • Exhibition on City Planning: An exciting partnership with the arts community, the Exhibition on City Planning will take advantage of a “First Friday” Gallery Tour in the fall of 2018 to kick off the final public review period of the land use plan.  The Exhibition event will cover the past, present, and future of planning in Indianapolis and feature artistic interpretations of key planning issues.
  • Online Review:  The Exhibition will kick off a final online public review and comment period.