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November 16, 2013

Plan commission tables Borden plan

Draft of plan calls for TIF district, ‘riverfront’ development district

BORDEN — After working for eight months to develop a blueprint for the future, Borden officials will need to wait just a bit longer before their plans are finalized.

The Clark County Plan Commission tabled adopting a draft of a new comprehensive plan for the town of Borden on Wednesday, but the hang-ups appear to be minor.

Borden received a grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs earlier this year to develop the plan, which will open the door for the town to apply for more grants, said Town Council President Rudy Cook.

But the proposal is much more than just a tool for obtaining grants.

The plan, which was developed by a steering committee consisting of members of the town council, the Borden Community Development Committee, the Borden Park Board, members of the business community and a consultant team led by Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, calls for the town to work toward several goals and objectives. It took about eight months, three steering committee meetings, two public workshops and a public comment session at the town council to develop the plan, said Amy Williams, principal with Taylor Siefker Williams.

“I like the fact that it got people in the town and in our community thinking about the future instead of just letting things happen,” Cook said. “Sometimes things that happen aren’t what you’d expect or necessarily what you want. But it actually got people excited about the future, identifying things that we’d like to have.”

The goals listed in the plan include building Borden as an agricultural tourism destination, reinforcing Borden’s rural character and identity, promoting economic development, providing entertainment and activities, improving quality of life for residents and providing a communication network that unites the region, according to the plan.

But some elements of the plan were cause for concern among plan commission members. One action step within the plan calls for the town to “revise the zoning and subdivision control ordinances to be consistent with the comprehensive plan.”

“The Clark County zoning ordinance and the Clark County subdivision control ordinance should be updated to reflect the policies and recommendations set for in this plan for Borden,” the plan states.

That was a major hitch for David Blankenbeker, county surveyor and a member of the plan commission.

“We wanted to make sure that the burden on the county and the county’s staff to enforce regulations in Borden wasn’t increased due to the passage of that comprehensive plan,” Blankenbeker explained. “In other words, we have ordinances that we have to enforce throughout the county, and we’d like those to be uniform.”

There are also clauses within the plan governing lot sizes and prime farmland that will need to be revisited, Blankenbeker said, but the overall plan has plenty for Borden residents to smile about.

“I think the concept is good, the ideas are good,” Blankenbeker said. “I just wanted to make sure that everything is thought through before we pass something without making the changes and the tweaks that make it right for the county as well as Borden.”

Cook is fine with the commission’s decision to delay the adoption of the comprehensive plan, he said.

“ I’m glad that they wanted to know more about certain areas,” Cook said. “I think overall, they were happy with the plan. I think overall they understood why we’re doing what we were doing.”

The commission has a workshop scheduled for Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss a revision to the plan. The next scheduled regular meeting of the plan commission is Jan. 8, which is the day after Borden’s regular council meeting.

Cook said the town council may schedule a special meeting to adopt the plan after the plan commission adopts it.

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