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What Everett says at land meeting may affect you

As a bedroom community for Louisville, Harrison County has been one of the fastest growing counties in Indiana. But while we have planning and zoning, development still is often haphazard.
Nearly a year ago, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners established the Farm, Forest and Open Space Preservation Task Force to determine a common vision and set goals that will help direct growth in the desired areas of the county, rather than wherever developers can buy land for the best price.
The 17-member task force has been working diligently toward implementing a program that will protect the county’s prime farm land and forests, preserve our scenic spaces, and still allow for new housing as demand arises.
What has been discussed to date is strictly a voluntary program that task force members hope property owners will want to be a part of.
But before they proceed much further, the task force members are asking for input from residents. That is all of us, not just farmers and developers, because essentially every one of us will be affected by the final results. And keeping in mind the objections that came after the 2004 sign ordinance was adopted, the task force wants to help educate everyone now and receive input, rather than waiting until they have a program in place.
That’s why the planners are bringing Scott Everett back to Harrison County for an informational meeting. Everett is the regional director for the American Farmland Trust. He gave two similar presentations in February 2004 about land preservation programs that have worked in states like Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Everett has led at least nine Ultimate Farmland Preservation Tours in those eastern states, and he knows his stuff. He’s an expert on PDRs (Purchase of Development Rights), TDRs (Transfer of Development Rights), and everything in between.
We encourage you to attend his program on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at Morgan Elementary School. It’s your opportunity to learn more about what the Farm, Forest and Open Space Preservation Task Force hopes to do for Harrison Countians.
Everyone is also invited to attend the monthly meetings of the task force to learn more about the progress it’s making. It meets the last Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. (subject to change to 7:30 p.m. as farm season gets into full swing) at the County Annex Building, 124 S. Mulberry St., Corydon.
Take advantage of these opportunities to be informed about the task force and what it’s doing. Don’t wait until a program is implemented to voice any objections you might have. Now is the time to get involved.