Plan Commission

The planning statutes found in the Indiana Code provide the authority for each city, town, and county in the state to create a plan commission. Once established, this body becomes the unit of local government with the authority for comprehensive planning and zoning. In developing planning laws, the legislature carefully defined the responsibilities and duties of the plan commission and placed great emphasis on two points: 1) planning must be comprehensive, 2) it must be on a continuing basis.

The Vigo County Area Plan Commission is in a unique position in local government. It is a semi-independent commission made up of elected and appointed officials as well as private citizens. Primarily, it is an advisory to the governing body, other local governmental departments and officials, public agencies, such as park boards and school boards and to private developers and other individuals on matter related to the physical development of the community.

The potential for the plan commission to carry out this advisory function is greatly enhanced by its position in the structure of local government. It has been placed in midstream of the flow of information throughout the community. Plans and proposals from individuals and groups, who help develop the community such as business people, developers, manufacturers, private citizens, and governmental units, pass through the plan commission. Any one of these can be made aware of the plans and proposals of the other. This central coordination function can be extremely valuable to the community and its elected and appointed officials.

Functioning as an advisory arm of local government, the Vigo County Area Plan Commission has many important responsibilities, which include:

-- To prepare and recommend to the legislative body a comprehensive plan for the physical development of the City of Terre Haute, Town of Riley, Town of Seelyville, Town of West Terre Haute, and Unincorporated Area of Vigo County.

-- To prepare and recommend to the Common Council of Terre Haute, Town Board of Riley, Town Board of Seelyville, Town Board of West Terre Haute, and Vigo County Commissioners zoning and subdivision control ordinances.

-- To develop and recommend for adoption other tools useful for implementing the comprehensive plan (i.e. housing and building codes).

-- To review and approve or disapprove all subdivision plats.

-- To review all petitions for amendments to the zoning ordinance and map, and recommend their approval or disapproval to the legislative bodies.

-- To participate in the preparation of a capital improvement program (CIP) for the jurisdiction, based upon the comprehensive plan.

-- To do special studies as requested by the legislative bodies and develop special plans, surveys, and reports treating new problems as they arise.

-- To hold public hearings, as necessary.

-- To receive comments from the public concerning changes to the plan, zoning ordinance, subdivision control ordinance, and other land use control regulations.

-- To review and revise the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, subdivision control ordinance, and capital improvement program to keep them up-to-date and adjusted to changing conditions.

-- To review and approve, modify, or disapprove a redevelopment or economic development plan submitted by the local redevelopment commission for conformity with the comprehensive plan.

-- To review and make recommendations to the governing bodies on certain issues related to the physical development of the jurisdiction. Many times a legislative body will ask for recommendations on how the community should respond to federal and state directives dealing with highways, parks, conservation areas, airports, schools, public buildings and structures, solid waste disposal, public water, housing rehabilitation, community development, and other activities involving public facilities or services.

-- To inform and educate the public about the purpose of planning and how specific local problems are being resolved.

-- To name and number streets and structures.