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Courthouse Square stands at the center of Crown Point's rich architectural history

The old courthouse is the heart of Crown Point's Architectural Heritage. 

CROWN POINT — Mayor David Uran contends the community has been involved every step of the way in developing an updated Comprehensive Plan for the city, and he invites the public to attend the Plan Commission meeting Monday to talk about it.

The Plan Commission holds a public hearing on the plan at 7 p.m. Monday. The public can see the rough draft of the plan at:  https://crownpointcompplan.wordpress.com/documents/.

The city hired Illinois-based firm Teska Associates. Kon Savoy, principal of Teska, will make the presentation to the public.

Planners said the purpose of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan update is to build on previous goals and acknowledge the city’s success in building a stronger economic base and civic institutions over the past 15-plus years.

The plan addresses the challenges Crown Point faces, as well as its future potential, by providing a coordinated, sensible framework for community improvement, development and redevelopment.

The plan also addresses an efficient transportation network, a variety of housing options, increased economic development, the continued viability of the downtown square, access to open space and recreation activities, a preserved and enhanced natural environment and reliable public services.

The comprehensive planning process provided opportunities for public input throughout with an online survey, an interactive project website, community workshops, open house and interviews with community stakeholders.

City leaders say the Crown Point Comprehensive Plan is a long-term document that will be used by elected and appointed officials, community leaders, property owners and developers to guide planning and development decisions over the next 10 to 20 years.

The plan should be revisited and updated every five years to ensure that goals are being met and objectives continue to be realistic, officials said.

Uran points to many economic development accomplishments in the last few years including the Crown Point Sportsplex. It is a 95-acre multiuse outdoor sports and event destination conveniently located off Interstate 65. The facility currently features two synthetic turf multipurpose fields, 10 natural grass, illuminated fields and champion field with stadium seating. Accompanying these sports amenities, are two fully equipped support buildings that include restrooms, concessions and storage.

The Sportsplex hosts a variety of sports, including football, lacrosse, soccer and softball as well as variety of adult and children’s programs.

Plan will focus on areas of significant development

The city's plan also will focus on areas that have seen significant change and opportunities for development, including 109th Avenue, Broadway and the I-65 corridor which could include a hotel, a shopping area and other businesses.

Planning Administrator Anthony Schlueter has said those areas have seen much evolution since the creation of the interchange at 109th and I-65.

"When the interchange came in, that was game changer for us," he said. "It opened up development for a new business corridor right there. Hopefully, this will provide a future vision for the city, build a stronger economic base, continue a viable downtown and provide adequate parks and recreational amenities along with other reliable services."

According to the plan over the last 17 years, Crown Point experienced growth in the age groups representing families, and in the percentage of people referred to as "empty nesters" or households without children.

The largest segment of the population, though, is 25 to 45 years old, it said.

These trends suggest Crown Point continues to be a community of choice for families, while remaining the home of current residents as they age.

As the number of retirees increases over the next several decades, housing, recreation and healthcare facilities for senior citizens will be important to Crown Point. The community also has many families with children.

More families with children can be expected based on the development projected in the Comprehensive Plan. Development planning should anticipate the needs for schools and parks for younger residents.

The plan also said the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, in its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan publication, reported the 2014 population in Crown Point was 28,623. NIRPC projected the population of Crown Point could reach 42,000 by 2040.

This potential population growth has implications for a wide range of infrastructure and service needs, including schools, parks, water, sewer and transportation.

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.