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City of South Bend to create plan commission

NOW: City of South Bend to create plan commission

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Monday, the South Bend Common Council voted unanimously to create the city’s plan commission. 

The South Bend Plan Commission will go into effect on December 1. South Bend joins Mishawaka and Walkerton by taking control of how property development is done in the city. 

“Its a step for south bend residents to make planning decisions about south bend,” said Tim Corcoran, Director of Plan for the City of South Bend. 

Since 2009, South Bend has been a part of the St. Joseph County Area Plan Commission, which provides its services including honest opinions on land uses. Now, the Council has voted to part ways with the county and its nearly 50 years of expertise. 

Councilman Jake Teshka said people from the county have joined to the city as they move forward. 

“We’re going to have a lot of expertise and a lot of very innovative thinkers on the team that can help us develop well in the future,” said Teshka. 

The Council voted ‘yes’ to advisory plan commission made up of two parts: 

1. A board of zoning appeals, 

2. And a new zoning ordinance which affects everyone in the city. 

According to the new zoning law, the city will prioritize filling empty lots that have been left behind. 

“We’re down 30,000 people that used to live in south bend we have a lot of land we have a lot of space,” said Corcoran. 

According to its 2020 budget proposal, the price tag for the city’s plan commission is at about $200,000. Corcoran said the commission has hidden savings. 

“Having the ability to have more consistency a lot more hands on project,” said Corcoran. “That can save people time and hopefully help build things quicker faster and better is what we’re trying to do.”

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