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Warren works on comprehensive plan

The Town of Warren is working on a new comprehensive plan.

“A comprehensive plan is required for most grants,” said Kim Hostetler, Huntington County Community Development (HCCD) executive director.

The plan is available for review in the HCCD office and in the Warren clerk treasurer’s office.

There will be a public hearing on the plan at the June 8, 6:30 p.m. meeting of the Warren Plan Commission. That meeting will take place in the GAR Room of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The town is paying $10,000 for the plan.

The previous plan was done in 1997.

The 2022 plan is being written by Region 3-A in Kendallville.

“We’ve been working with the community on updating their plan for a year,” said Matt Brinkman, Region 3-A executive director.

“A comprehensive plan is a foundation policy document for local governments. It establishes a framework to guide public and private decisions about future growth, development, preservation and change to meet social, economic and environmental goals within a municipality over a designated planning horizon,” he said.

The first step in the process was establishment of a committee of community stakeholders.

That committee met several times to discuss ideas and concepts for the town. The primary community values identified by the comprehensive planning committee were:
• Warren is a safe small town that feels like home and is a great place to raise a family
•  There are volunteer opportunities in the community
• Warren residents can live a simple life, while having proximity to larger cities and roadways.
Residents also expressed that people can feel safe allowing their children to play outside.

Brinkman said that the steering committee identified the ultimate town plan as increasing economic opportunities.

“Residents rely on local employment,” he said. “Warren is situated in a largely rural area, but enjoys strategic interstate access, which is an asset to attracting business.”

Some of the ways identified to help Warren keep its small-town atmosphere while expanding economic benefits to increase employment opportunities include:
• Encouraging maintenance and preservation of existing downtown businesses and commercial properties
• Improving town aesthetics to attract new businesses
 • Promoting business investment in Warren
• Partnering with Huntington County and other towns to retain, expand and develop new business in the area

Resident feedback has been sought as part of the planning process, including an online survey and a public input session at a Warren Town Council meeting.

Some of the needs identified by residents included improving town walkability through sidewalk and trail expansion and continued parks improvements, as well as downtown business expansion.

Following approval of the comprehensive plan by the Warren Plan Commission, the plan will go to the Warren Town Council for final approval.