The Planning and Community Resources Team engages the public and convenes groups with diverse opinions to develop and implement strategies for neighborhoods, commercial areas, and underutilized land in the city. The team creates short and long term plans and policies that promote distinct character and a sense of place for the community. The team also conducts research and analysis of local, regional and national planning issues and advises other City departments and partner agencies on land use and zoning topics.
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The Planning & Community Resources team also includes the Historic Preservation Commission.
To continually improve its competitive position on a regional and national level, the City will occasionally explore expanding through annexation. Annexation of adjacent areas allows the city to offer its services and infrastructure to a wider area, creating more opportunities for residential, commercial and industrial development.
Indiana Law: Indiana law (IC 36-4-3) specifies the methods and requirements that municipalities must follow in order to pursue annexation of contiguous territory. To meet the standards set out in Indiana law, voluntary annexations may take three to six months to complete.
When Services are Provided: Services of a non-capital nature will be provided within one year of the effective date of the annexation. Services of a capital nature, if applicable, will be provided within three years of the effective date of the annexation.
Fiscal Plan: The city prepares a fiscal plan in preparation for an annexation. The fiscal plan contains information pertaining to the unique situations of the annexation area under consideration.
Property Taxes: Property taxes will increase. When those taxes will become due is dependent upon the annexation’s effective date and the cut-off date established by the County Auditor’s office for assessment of properties for the upcoming tax year. It is possible that full city taxes may not be payable until a year or more after the effective date of the annexation.
All St. Joseph County property owners pay state, county, township, school, library and airport property taxes. Those who live within municipalities also pay the municipal tax rates. Total tax rates vary depending on the township, school district, and library district that the property is in. City residents do not pay into the township fire rate funds because the City provides fire service. Property taxes represent the only tax increase related to annexation. There is no increase in income tax, vehicle tax, or any other tax.
Water and Sewer: Properties connected to the City’s water and sewer system prior to annexation will see the 20% surcharge removed from their bills. In addition, trash service is provided to residents at a lower cost than provided by private haulers. Other costs may go down depending upon individual situations.
Zoning: Annexed properties will be zoned SF1 Single Family and Two Family Residential. Properties that were zoned other than “R” Residential (single-family) in the County will also be zoned SF1 Single Family and Two Family Residential. The City Code provides for a zoning plan to be submitted to the City Council by the Area Plan Commission. Properties that were legally used for other than residential purposes in the county will be considered as legal, non-conforming, until the approval of a zoning plan, if any.
Address Change: Addresses of annexed properties will eventually be changed to a four-digit number. The city will notify the property owner of the new number. It would be unlikely that the street name, Post Office designation or the zip code would change.
To learn more about the processes involved in annexing your property into South Bend, see the Annexation Procedure Manual.
Residents and property owners in annexed areas receive the same services as other residents and property owners within the city limits.
West Side Main Streets
Lincolnway West and Western Avenue
The City of South Bend has begun implementation of the recently completed West Side Main Streets Plan.
The West Side Main Streets Plan, adopted by the Area Plan Commission and Common Council in late 2014, is a market-based strategic revitalization plan for Lincolnway West and Western Avenue. The plan serves as a guide to business and property owners, residents, developers, the City, and others in making investment, land use, and design decisions along these two corridors.
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION / PROJECT UPDATES
- Lincolnway West-Charles Martin Sr. Drive Streetscape Plan
- Lincolnway West-Charles Martin Sr. Drive Streetscape Improvements Fact Sheet
MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM DOCUMENTS
In partnership with the City of South Bend, the Urban Enterprise Association is offering a West Side Main Streets Matching Grant Program that provides up to a 50% reimbursement for qualifying exterior improvements to commercial, mixed use, and industrial buildings located on Lincolnway West and Western Avenue. Detailed information may be found below:
- West Side Main Streets Matching Grant 2018 Program Guidelines
- West Side Main Streets Matching Grant 2018 Pre Application
The West Side Main Streets Plan, which includes a land use plan, streetscape plan, and implementation plan, may be found below:
- West Side Main Streets PlanDepending on browser settings, plan images may not be visible when viewed in Google Chrome. Try using Internet Explorer or another browser.
- West Side Main Streets Design Guidelines
The basis for the Plan was developed at a charrette workshop held April 23-26, 2014. The project consultant engaged residents, businesses, institutions, the City, and other technical experts to generate conceptual ideas for the corridors’ land use and urban design and to identify priority implementation areas and activities. Copies of the presentations made at the public meetings follow:
- Planning Input Workshop Presentation (April 23)
- Charrette Workshop Concluding Presentation (April 26)
Market studies that provide data on current and projected supply and demand for residential, commercial, and industrial uses have been completed. These studies helped inform the proper types, density, and location of uses in the final plan.
- West Side Corridors Residential Market Potential
- West Side Corridors Retail, Office, and Industrial Market Analysis
PROJECT NEWS RELEASES
Southeast Neighborhood Master Plan
The Southeast Neighborhood Master Plan was developed in order to identify long-term physical improvements, while being mindful of the need to identify short-term opportunities. The purpose of the plan is to:
- provide context for existing neighborhood enhancement efforts;
- provide a set of recommendations that will help guide decision making in the Southeast Neighborhood;
- build confidence for future investment by neighborhood stakeholders and other community partners;
- instill pride for residents who believe in their neighborhood’s potential; and
- improve quality of life for residents, their children, and grandchildren.
The Southeast Neighborhood is located near downtown South Bend and is bounded by Sample St. to the north, Miami St. to the east, Ewing Ave. to the south, and Michigan St. to the west.
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION/PROJECT UPDATES
The Southeast Neighborhood Master Plan, which includes a land use plan and implementation plan, may be found below:
The basis for the Plan was developed through a public process which included stakeholder meetings, a public input session and a report back session between February and April of 2015. The project consultant engaged residents, businesses, institutions, the City, and other technical experts to generate conceptual ideas for the Southeast Neighborhood and to identify priority implementation areas and activities. Copies of the presentations made at the public meetings follow:
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS
Ironwood-Corby-Rockne Intersection Improvement
The City of South Bend is in the process of planning and designing improvements to the Ironwood Drive – Corby Boulevard – Rockne Drive intersection. The traffic signal modernization option is being advanced to the environmental impact study stage.
JUNE 29, 2017 MEETING MATERIALS
- Ironwood-Corby Rockne Fact Sheet
- Ironwood-Corby-Rockne Meeting Presentation
- Conceptual Plan: Traffic Signal Modernization Alternative
- Conceptual Plan: Roundabout Alternative
Portage & Elwood Neighborhood Center Vision
Portage Avenue & Elwood Avenue Neighborhood Center Vision framework is intended to serve as a guide to business and property owners, residents, developers, City staff, elected officials, and others in making investment, land use and design decisions. The objectives of the Framework are to:
- Establish a community vision for the Center;
- Facilitate the revitalization of the underutilized and underdeveloped Center;
- Ensure attractive, well designed development that enhances the image of the Northwest side and the City as a whole;
- Ensure desirable, multifunctional, and unique development which fits into its surroundings and that serves the needs of city residents;
- Generate private investment in and near the Center; and
- Direct improvements to public infrastructure such as streets, sidewalks and open spaces, within the Center.
The Neighborhood Center is bounded by Portage Avenue to the east, Elwood Avenue to the north, Wilber Street to the west, and Vassar Avenue & the former railroad tracks to the south.
Public Design Charrette
The City of South Bend has hired consultant Opticos Design, Inc. to lead a design charrette to develop a market-based conceptual framework for the Portage & Elwood neighborhood center.
Community Workshop – April 17
Neighbors and community members were invited to attend a public meeting with City staff and Opticos Design, Inc. to share their thoughts and help create a vision for the area.
Design Charrette – May 6-9 SBC_OpeningPresentation_050618
Neighbors and community members were invited to share their ideas for the future vision of the Portage & Elwood Neighborhood Center during a four-day workshop. There were multiple chances for the public to be involved and share their thoughts, including going to the many different sessions held over the four days:
- Opening Presentation – formal presentation setting the stage for the workshop
- Open Studio Hours – informal time to stop in and tell the design team ideas
- Public Open House – informal review of in-progress drawings
- Brown Bag Lunch Talk – discussion about the economics of the neighborhood center
- Closing Presentation – formal presentation sharing the results of the workshop
Watch the May 8 Brown Bag Lunch Discussion.
See the four-day workshop in action in a time lapse video.
What is a charrette?
A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for a defined area. It provides a place to generate ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. The dynamic and inclusive process, with frequent presentations, is a fast method of identifying and overcoming obstacles. The shared experience helps establish interest in the design and build support for the vision.
Charrettes are organized to encourage the participation of all. That includes everyone who is interested in bringing the vision to reality: residents, property owners, developers, and local government.
Did you know?
To the south of the site is an officially abandoned rail line. The City is currently working on plans to turn the line into a multi-use path (coal-line-trail). Phase I, which runs adjacent to the neighborhood center is anticipated to have construction begin in 2020.
For additional information about the Portage & Elwood Neighborhood Center Vision, contact the Department of Community Investment at 574-235-5821.
227 West Jefferson Blvd. Suite 1400 S South Bend, Indiana 46601