Comprehensive Plan Update

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City launches update of comprehensive plan for growth in the next decade

The City of Carmel’s Department of Community Services is launching a new update of the comprehensive plan for the City’s growth that will guide city planners and decision makers for the next decade or longer. The last update took place in 2009 and served the City well, but with recent growth in our central core and changes seen in business and residential patterns, the time has come for another update.

The City has engaged the team of Greenstreet and YARD & Company to assist City planning staff and leadership in updating the comprehensive plan around growth management, land use, transportation and environment.

Comprehensive Plan heads to City Council for additional review!

The City Council held a public hearing on the fourth draft of the proposed Comprehensive Plan in April. The proposal was sent to the Council’s Land Use and Special Studies Committee for further review. See upcoming meeting dates below.

Go to to:

  • View the proposed Comprehensive Plan or the Draft #4 PDF.
  • Submit comments in the ‘Provide Feedback’ form.

Click here to see Draft #4A, the annotated compilation of the Plan Commission’s revisions.

Next Steps & Upcoming Dates:

  • Carmel City Council Review
    • Monday, April 18* at 6:00 p.m.
    • Monday, June 13* at 5:00 p.m. – Land Use and Special Studies Committee
    • Monday, July 11* at 5:00 p.m. – Land Use and Special Studies Committee
    • Monday, August 8* at 5:00 p.m. – Land Use and Special Studies Committee

*Meetings to be held in City Hall and broadcast on the City's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.

What parts of the Comprehensive Plan are being updated now?

  • Policy: Policy goals and objectives describe the intent of the comprehensive plan. They are intended to guide the public and decision makers in adapting the plan to changing conditions.
  • Development Patterns: Development Patterns are used to describe the predominant physical and natural qualities in each part of the city. They consider the inherent qualities found across Carmel to shape the future growth and development decision making that is consistent with that overall character.
  • Mobility Plan: Street Typology and Thoroughfare Plan recommendations are intended to refresh the inventory of street sections referenced for the upgrading of existing street corridors. Streetscape Facility, including Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, recommendations provide a menu of interchangeable and mix-and-matchable street-side components that may be utilized to complement Street Typologies.

What does a Comprehensive Plan do?

  • Builds a common vision for the next 10+ years

  • Establishes broad goals around big picture issues like growth policies, land use, mobility, housing and economic development

  • Determines a common set of values around growth and change

  • Facilitates conversations about what is and isn’t working

What does a Comprehensive Plan NOT do?

  • Change or update zoning regulations

  • Modify entitlement processes

  • Make design, form and land use decisions for development sites or districts

What have we done so far?

Community Engagement Events

The consulting team of Greenstreet and YARD & Company conducted community engagement activities around the city from May 5th – 8th to collect feedback from the general public. The activities ranged from pop up events around the city, open office hours and booths at local events. The input received has helped shape the final planning document, which is set to begin review this fall.

Where do you live Policy Goals Development Patterns Citywide Mobility

Click on the images above to view the boards displayed at the pop up events in May 2021.

Individual development pattern boards are listed below:

Talk of the Town

Four part virtual series that discussed different aspects of the comprehensive plan with a focus on the issues that are continuing to propel Carmel forward. Click on the links below to view the series.


  • Leverage your own gravity: Rather than just a small town on the edge of the big city, Carmel has built its own gravitational pull and can set the terms for future growth.

  • Move in, not out: Where Carmel could once annex our way out of growth constraints, we no longer have the ability to easily create more land.

  • Unlock complementary growth: Carmel’s next stage of growth, particularly outside of the Arts & Design District, Midtown and City Center, will likely be more infill and smaller-scale to reflect the existing street patterns and fragmented property ownership.

  • Shape the growth: As the city evolves, so too will community engagement around growth and change.

  • Talk of the Town Q&A: Answers to the questions and comments received during the Talk of the Town webinar series.

Public Survey - Key Findings


Should you have questions, please contact Adrienne Keeling at