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Land Use Committee

Chairman: George Topoll, Union Township Trustee

Staff Contact: Eman Ibrahim, Planning Manager

NIRPC is dedicated to promoting tools and plans for sustainable, healthy growth in Northwest Indiana. NIRPC established a Land Use Committee in 2008 to begin assembling and analyzing land use data in preparation and implementation of the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.

The purpose of the land use committee is to concentrate on regional land use planning that is predicated on a growing concern of regional sustainability by stakeholders and the need to focus on development from a regional perspective. The committee facilitates planning processes and partnerships that build links between jurisdictional boundaries.


Implement a strategy for regional land use planning by continuing to improve the collaboration of facilitated planning processes and partnerships that build links between jurisdictional boundaries.

Roles & Responsibilities

The role of the land use committee is to concentrate on regional land use planning that is based on a regional sustainability and the need to focus on development from a regional perspective.
The Committee provides advisory input to the NIRPC Board and other committees on existing and proposed regional plans, land use related projects and policies by:

  • Providing the Board, Pathway to 2040 Implementation Committee, and other committees with guidance and knowledge that promote the integration of land use and transportation planning.
  • Mobilizing the NWI region through coordinated leadership and a common vision to implement the 2040 plan.
  • Understanding the long-term development trends, which will allow decision makers to assess the implications of past development patterns and evaluate whether those trends should be encouraged or whether there need to be policy changes to current developments.
  • Encouraging local jurisdictions to understand recommendations from the regional plan and that their planning practices and decisions should be viewed in a broader framework that may have consequences influencing and affecting the region.
  • Promoting an educational process that emphasize the importance and interdependency of regional issues related to the successful integration of land use and transportation planning such as environment, economic development, open space, water, public health, education, etc.
  • Reviewing and validating population trends and forecast data.
  • Developing and reviewing strategies from the Comprehensive Regional Plan.
  • Coordinating and comprehensively looking at what other groups/ committees are undertaking.
  • Promoting related-land use programs, strategies, and policies.
  • Overseeing NIRPC’s related-land use/ transportation programs (Creating Livable Communities (CLC) – Livable Centers Initiatives (LCI).
  • Continuing to review zoning and land use maps.
  • Continuing to oversee regional comprehensive plan review/ update.

Land Use Committee Minutes

In an effort to encourage smart growth, sustainable development, and land use decisions that support transit and reduce regional traffic congestion, and support for better growth management remaining at high levels, NIRPC proposes programs that support linking transportation investments with land use decisions.  NIRPC uses current transportation funds [STP, CMAQ, Transportation Alternative Projects (TAP), FTA, etc.] to support these programs.

As a major defining element of the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan, Livable Centers have been conceptually defined in each of the 41 established communities in Northwest Indiana. NIRPC’s programs promote transportation investment and redevelopment in the places where we already live and work to create a better range of working, housing and travel choices. It allows us to preserve our environmental assets and use our dollars more efficiently to create livable, pedestrian-friendly communities that offer a high quality of life for all residents.

Creating Livable Communities

In support of the Comprehensive Regional Plan (CRP) and its implementation strategies, NIRPC developed a list of projects under each planning area. The regional land use planning includes projects that Integrate transportation and regional planning activities into structures, which provide more value to local, state and federal governmental leadership, and the public at large. Land use projects may include research, analyze, and monitor land use changes in Northwest Indiana. NIRPC will also provide planning support and technical assistance in the area of land development in relation to transportation and policies to local communities. Project may also develop innovative tools and efficient development concepts that integrate land use and transportation.

Livable Centers Initiative:

Livable Centers Initiative is one of the urban framework strategies for the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan, which is fundamental to achieve the preferred regional strategy for land use, transportation and environmental balance in Northwest Indiana.

Livable Centers Initiative encourages local jurisdictions to plan and implement strategies that link transportation improvements with land use development strategies to create sustainable, livable communities consistent with regional development policies.

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