Land Use & Development Character

Land Use & Development Character

Ensure a diverse and balanced mixture of land uses that contribute to the community character and identity of Lebanon, preserve historic assets, support the City’s fiscal health, and protect sensitive natural areas.


  • complete Completed
  • in-progress In Progress
  • pending Pending

Promote infill and redevelopment of underutilized parcels already served by municipal services and utilities.

Infill development refers to the construction of new buildings on vacant or underutilized land in previously developed areas of the City. Infill development is beneficial because it can utilize land, infrastructure, and municipal services more efficiently and without the need for service extensions.  Additionally, it results in more active streets and neighborhoods by filling in spaces of inactivity. Incentives may be used to promote infill and make it more attractive to developers. Potential incentives include reduced application or utility connection fees, City-led infrastructure upgrades, or tax abatement.

Encourage new development that is compatible with surrounding use and character and contributes to the diverse mixture of uses across the City.

New development and redevelopment, especially in residential areas, should be designed to reflect adjacent character and scale. Where mixed density and more residential dwelling types are recommended, it is still important to scale down in intensity when neighboring property is of a different density or character. This is important because while new development increases the tax base of the City, new homes and businesses also create costs to the city for services such as sewer, water, fire and police protection, parks, libraries, and roads. Low density residential development is almost always tax negative. Even when home prices are high, the long-term infrastructure maintenance and replacement costs outweigh the tax revenues. In order to reduce the costs of low-density residential development, the City must promote future development that reflects existing character but also allows more mixed uses and densities.

Promote mixed use development in and around the downtown and at key locations to create vibrant districts with more round-the-clock activity.

Mixed use districts include a diverse combination of businesses and dwellings within a connected and walkable block layout.  These areas may be characterized by individual buildings that contain a mixture of uses or by single use buildings that contain different uses near each other. Combining employment generators in close proximity to new housing, retail destinations, and community recreation amenities, can result in benefits such as: more efficient infrastructure systems, decreased land consumption, increased community interaction, and higher property values associated with walkable neighborhoods.

Support expansion of the Lebanon Business Park south of SR 32 and west of SR 39.

The Lebanon Business Park is nearly built out, with only one existing site available for development. Whether it be Duke Realty, the original developer of the park, private landowners, or a new developer, the park should be expanded to provide additional economic development opportunities for the City. This growth should continue to the west and/or south of the existing park. The large-scale warehouse and industrial uses that currently comprise the park should not be expanded to the north side of SR 32 or the east side of SR 39.

Promote development of high-quality office, research and development, technology flex, and supporting commercial and residential uses in the area southeast of the I-65 and SR 39 interchange.

The area east of SR 39 and west of I-65 is envisioned to include a mixture of employment generating uses different from those provided in the Lebanon Business Park. With additional transportation and utility investments, this area will benefit from interstate access and visibility, and should support office, technology, and complementary commercial and residential uses. Given the potential significance of this area to the City for many years to come, high quality architecture and site design should be a priority.

Ensure the zoning map and unified development ordinance support development in accordance with the future land use plan and other recommendations of this plan.

The comprehensive plan is a policy document used to aid in decision making regarding development and redevelopment. The future land use and development map is only a guide and should not be confused with the official zoning map for the City. In order to fully implement the recommendations of the comprehensive plan, the unified development ordinance should be reviewed and amended as necessary to support the goals of the plan. A preliminary list of suggested edits is included on the implementation page. Additionally, the City may want to proactively rezone critical properties as a means to better direct development in accordance with the future land use and development map.

Explore expanding the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction to be able to more proactively plan for new development within Center Township.

Development happening adjacent to, but outside Lebanon’s municipal limits can impact areas within the City in terms of traffic, incompatible use, or utility capacity if served by City sewer or water. Past communication and coordination between the City and the County has largely been successful, but given potential growth pressures, Lebanon would like more control over development happening adjacent to the City.  In Indiana, there are two options to exercise planning and zoning jurisdiction outside the City: Township Joinder or Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. With a township joinder, Lebanon would assume planning and zoning control over all of Center Township. An extraterritorial jurisdiction could apply to properties within two miles of city limits. The extraterritorial jurisdiction does not have to be the full two miles; it may only include a specific group of parcels most critical to the City. The additional planning and zoning area would need to be approved by the Township Trustee and board, or county commissioners, respectively.

Improve the visual character of both the streetscape and adjacent development along the SR 32, SR 39, and Indianapolis Avenue corridors to present a quality image of Lebanon at these key gateways.

For many, first impressions make the biggest impact. The SR 32, SR 39, and Indianapolis Avenue corridors are the major access points into Lebanon and should be given the highest priority for streetscape and aesthetic improvements. Recent improvements to Indianapolis Avenue, including extension of the multi-use path, should be continued to the downtown. Enhancements to the SR 32 and SR 39 corridors will require coordination with INDOT and should include sidewalk improvements and street trees where possible.

Protect flood hazard areas and wetlands from future development and promote removal of existing structures within these areas.

Limiting development in flood hazard areas is absolutely necessary to reduce the future impacts and associated costs of flooding.  Special flood hazard areas are those that would be under water during a 100-year flood.  A 100-year flood does not mean a flood of that magnitude can only happen once every 100 years but rather, there is a 1 percent chance of a flood of that magnitude every year. The 2019 Flood Resilience Plan identifies measures to reduce the vulnerability of the community to damage from flooding. In addition to preventing future construction in these areas, Lebanon should take a proactive role in buying property and removing these structures within the flood plain. Existing owners should not be forced into selling their properties, but as properties are marketed for sale the City should consider acquiring them. Eventually, the flood plain can become an open space asset and potential trail corridor.

Incentivize green infrastructure and stormwater best management practices to reduce stormwater volumes and the subsequent risk of flooding.

Development results in buildings, roads, and sidewalks that act as impervious surfaces which prevent stormwater from infiltrating and recharging groundwater supplies. Instead, stormwater travels over the land and runs off at a rate much higher than would occur naturally. Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants and sediment to receiving lakes, streams, and rivers thus reducing water quality. Higher stormwater volumes can also contribute to greater downstream flooding. Stormwater management has typically occurred at the site level, using pipes, curbs, and detention basins to direct and/or temporarily store the stormwater. Green infrastructure practices can be developed to mitigate the negative impacts of stormwater at the site, municipal, and watershed levels. Green infrastructure can minimize runoff by preserving existing natural features on a site, reducing the amount of impervious coverage, disconnecting drainage flows, and increasing opportunities for infiltration. Incentives to encourage the use of green infrastructure in new development and redevelopment may include reduced stormwater fees, parking reductions, or density bonuses.

Preserve area around the Boone County Airport for potential future expansion.

The Boone County Airport located just west of I-65 on the north side of E CR 250 S, was identified as an underutilized community asset. The City and County both have goals of a more active and expanded airport to serve commercial needs and nearby businesses, ultimately resulting in business growth and attraction.

Land Use & Development Character Resources