SPECIAL REPORT PART 1: Growing Pains - How Tippecanoe County is preparing for the future

A subdivision here and a new business there. Tippecanoe County seems to be growing and growing but where is it all going? News 18 answers those questions in a three series special report.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 6:27 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2019 6:30 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A subdivision here and a new business there. Tippecanoe County seems to be growing and growing but where is it all going? News 18 answers those questions in a three series special report. 

Part one focuses on where growth is happening and how planners use data to make estimates. Picture this, the year is 2045 and Tippecanoe County is bursting at the seams, but that's no surprise to area planners.

 "We see into the future by doing long range planning," said Area Plan Commission's Executive Director Sallie Fahey. 

The latest long range plan dates back to 1981 and goes through 2045.

"It was developed in a way that land could be re-evaluated because it is data driven rather than planners sitting around a table saying oh well we've been growing over here we'll probably continue to grow over here."

Fahey said for the most part, their forecast has been pretty accurate.

"We may not always have the timing exactly right but we have enough history I think to pretty well gauge the rate of growth that we need," said Fahey. 

The growth estimates start with a base year, typically a census year. Planners look for trends in housing and population.
From there a long range transportation plan is developed which helps pinpoint exactly where growth is happening and will happen in the future.

So where is the hottest spot in town right now?

"One of the busiest areas in Tippecanoe County right now appears to be the northwest quadrant of the county," said Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tracy Brown. 

Development is happening at County Farm Road all the way to North River Road near the Battle Ground area. Brown said going west out to Klondike road has seen a significant increase in rooftops over the last decade.

"Everything from high density student housing apartment complexes to residential type developments, specifically in and around Harrison High School we're seeing a significant amount of growth right now," said Brown. 

It's a prime area for homes to be built because it's near good schools. Plus utilities like water, sewer and electric are already in place.
Fahey says the 1,800 homes and counting to be built near Harrison high school will help fill a housing need in the community.

"There is some concern that among local employers that the workforce they need may not be able to afford to buy housing here," said Fahey who added that's a major reason several new subdivisions will be medium and high density.

"We need to encourage diversity, socioeconomic diversity so if we were just approving whatever went there first for forever, we would never achieve that diversity," said Fahey. 

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