FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – “All in Allen” is getting public comment on its way to planning the next 20 years of development in Allen County.

Allen County and Fort Wayne government officials alike are hosting a series of open houses presenting the draft in its current state, diving into each of the draft’s ten focuses and taking public comment as the envisioned plan becomes reality.

The first took place Monday night in the Grand Wayne Center.

Officials emphasized the importance of the plan affecting all of Allen County, not just Fort Wayne.

People have seen the development in downtown Fort Wayne… We want it to continue, but it can’t be the only emphasis.

Brandon Nolin, Senior Project Manager Houseal Lavigne Associates

The ten points of the plan are as follows:

Land Use and Development

With consideration of public input and future trend estimates, the plan outlines the new development and future land use over the next two decades in which the plan will roll out to determine which areas can remain as-is and which are in need of continuing development. Market value, Fort Wayne utilities infrastructure, neighborhood completion and assessed value per acre will be considered within the development patterns.

Agriculture & Food Systems

The “All in Allen” plan hopes to foster a connection between the local economy and the agricultural and food systems in the community to establish agricultural lands as an integral part of the area’s landscape. By ramping up production and furthering economic prosperity, the Allen county farming community can strengthen its farming innovation and dominance.

By providing incentives and networking opportunities, the plan hopes to expand the reach of fresh, local produce and food options for healthier living. Local livestock sales will continue to expand nationwide.

Tom Miller, President of Allen County farm Bureau, was present and put a lot of emphasis on how important the farms outside of Fort Wayne are, “You know 66 percent of the county is farmland, still today. We create a lot of jobs, a lot of opportunity, and a lot of fresh foods for everyone in Allen County.”

Housing and Neighborhoods

In efforts to maintain its “safe, active and thriving neighborhoods,” the “All in Allen” plan will promote responsible and controlled development that preserves existing infrastructure and agricultural lands. A balanced mix of owner and non-owner homes will help to encourage long-term residents within the community.

The plan also hopes to encourage the revitalization of existing neighborhoods through creativity and innovation, with energy saving resources and development of local parks, trails and community spaces to promote equity, sustainability and health.

Economic Development

Through the connections made by local employers and education institutions, the “All in Allen” plan will foster local talent in order to draw in outside employers to the area. In collaboration with Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., and other prominent partners throughout the area, the plan encourages public-private investment. This economic growth will support accessible transportation services.

The plan will support continued development of the downtown Fort Wayne area, along with creating desirable amenities accessible to all neighborhoods. The plan will also focus on investing time and funds into world-class culture, entertainment, sports and local arts.

Transportation and Mobility

The focus on transportation will help to ensure that the public has affordable access to safe transportation throughout the area. This includes air travel, bicycle travel, passenger rail travel and motor vehicle and freight transportation. This will allow for connectivity among the community and bolster a navigable area to visit or live in.

Public Facilities & Infrastructure

Advancements in communication and public safety will ensure that there is better access to education, that information is spread more effectively and that there are more reliable disaster response measures. This will include wider education and communication regarding public safety issues and plans. Through collaboration, best practices and improvements, Allen County hopes to increase safety and reliability, along with community resilience.

Community Services & Education

The development of accessible and reliable educational institutions are the early childhood, secondary and higher levels is intended to create opportunities for existing and new residents and foster successful futures. By focusing on equity and inclusion, both the community and social service organizations can collaborate to strengthen experiences and the quality of life for residents. This will include offering education and services in a variety of languages.

By advancing in the current mental health care and community healthcare, the plan will also encourage high level, accessible health services.

Parks & Environmental Resources

The city of Fort Wayne and Allen County will continue efforts to advance the local rivers, trails and parks to encourage activity, health and community, including driving local tourism. By developing the local environment, the plan hopes to foster community interaction and appreciation for the outdoor space.

The community will ensure protection for high-risk flood areas and other areas that may be threatened. With continued education, particularly regarding Fort Wayne’s rivers and other preservation measures, the plan will promote healthy living for residents in the community.

Equity

Inclusion and equity will continue to be a focus for the county, especially as it grows and becomes more diverse. Enabling community members to overcome disadvantages by providing attainable and affordable housing will be a big focus.

Community Health

The health of the community as the draft puts it comes down to how neighborhoods are designed. Do they support access to healthy food? Provide outdoor recreation opportunities? Distribute information on how to live a healthier lifestyle?

The “All in Allen” plan looks to say yes to each of these questions.

Sustainability

Sustainability is mainly concerned with reusable energy sources and good agriculture practices. The draft looks to promote collaboration among environmentally minded originations in the county.


The next four open houses will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at varying places and times.

You can find out the details of attending one of those open houses and find the draft here.