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.
The Planning & Community Resources team includes the Historic Preservation Commission.
Vibrant Places Grant
Vibrant Places is a matching grant program that provides up to a 50% reimbursement for qualifying exterior enhancements to commercial, mixed-use, and industrial buildings. Detailed information and a pre-application form may be found HERE.
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.
Services: Residents and property owners in annexed areas receive the same services as other residents and property owners within the city limits.
227 West Jefferson Blvd. Suite 1400 S South Bend, Indiana 46601