For the past several months, the city of Martinsville and HWC Engineering have been working to update the comprehensive (comp) plan, which is intended to help guide the city’s future planning and growth. HWC focused on five areas of the city in its plan, including the Liberty Church Road area, the Ind. 39/Morton Avenue area, Ohio Street/Grand Valley Boulevard area, Ind. 252/44 area and the downtown area.
“It kind of makes your city flow nicely,” Kohl said.
The last time the city updated its comp plan was in 2010 and the size of Martinsville has since grown with the recent annexation in 2015.
Liberty Church Road area
Areas around Liberty Church Road were annexed by the city, and the new comp plan has a section devoted to that area.
Right now, according to Kohl, there is no plan for the Liberty Church area of the city, but she would like to see that change.
“It would be unfair to the people that live there to not have some sort of plan in place and not have some sort of say,” she said.
The Liberty Church area of the city is part of Section 5 of the Interstate 69 (I-69) project, which is scheduled to be complete in August 2018 and runs between the city of Bloomington and Indian Creek Bridge in Martinsville.
When the city annexed the area, residential houses were left out of the city and only agricultural land and wooded areas were annexed.
Land use in the Liberty Church area is divided into various categories, including commercial, light industrial, mixed use and residential.
While the residents in the area are not technically Martinsville residents, their voice is important to Kohl.
“It would be completely unfair to not include them in this discussion,” Kohl said.
She said she believes the comp plan is protection for residents in that area because, if a property owner sells land, having proper planning and zoning would keep certain types of development out of the area.
According to the plan, the west side of the future Liberty Church Road interchange is a limited-development area, largely due to the flood plain.
The area nearest to the future interchange is expected to host more commercial opportunities, including retail and other services.
Land directly north and south of the commercial use areas is identified for light industrial uses.
The plan said the light industrial uses could include light manufacturing, assembly, advanced manufacturing, research and development, and other general manufacturing uses.
About 150 acres south of Liberty Church Road is planned for a potential mixed-use area, which may include a mix between residential and industrial uses.
There are about 400 acres of residential land uses on the south and east sides of the Liberty Church Road area.
The downtown area is currently under a multi-million dollar revitalization project with the goal of attracting new businesses to the area.
There are several goals listed for the downtown area to make it desirable for commercial and residential uses, including making downtown walkable, making the downtown area a destination, and encouraging local independent business opportunities.
The types of businesses the comp plan suggest include a variety including restaurants, retail and office.
Having residential units is also mentioned in the plan as a way to utilize upper floor spaces of downtown buildings.
Ind. 39/Morton Avenue
The current interchange at Ind. 37 and 39 will remain once I-69 is constructed.
The Ind. 39/Morton Avenue area of the city also includes the areas of the city near Burton Lane, which will dead end at the interstate.
Currently, the businesses in this area of the city are oriented away from the interchange at Ind. 39 and according to the plan retail and business uses will likely migrate to Ohio Street, Grand Valley Boulevard and Ind. 252.
This area of the comp plan includes industrial, commercial and residential uses.
Ohio Street/Grand Valley Boulevard
In March, the Indiana Department of Transpiration released its preferred alternative route, which included an interchange at I-69 and Ohio Street and an overpass at I-69 and Grand Valley Boulevard, which will connect to South Street.
The plan says that Ohio Street is one of the many access points to downtown Martinsville.
It is proposed that this area of the city will see mixed use, residential and commercial uses.
According to the plan, the area is also gives good opportunities for relocation of businesses impacted due to the I-69 project.
Ind. 252 and 44
On the north side of the city, one interchange with two sets of on- and off-ramps has been proposed to allow access to and from Ind. 252 and 44 onto I-69.
It is proposed that this area will mostly see residential and commercial uses.
This area of the city also gives access to IU Health Morgan and Martinsville High School.
The plan also outlines economic development goals for the city of Martinsville.
Quality of place is one of the principles discussed in the plan and is defined by characteristics like quality schools, diverse neighborhoods, parks, strong public safety and community activities.
According to the comp plan, people are moving to cities and towns that offer amenities associated with a high quality of life.
Investing in the city’s infrastructure and developing small businesses are encouraged in the plan for Martinsville to consider.
Small business owners tend to live in the communities they work in and support the local tax base.
Attracting new businesses and keeping old existing businesses — and helping them expand — are also laid out in the plan.
The plan also discusses other important topics such as housing, utilities and transportation, natural resources and more.