Indiana Land Use Task Force

I have the privilege of being selected to participate in a land use task force created by the 2023 State Legislature (HOUSE ENROLLED ACT No. 1132).  To date, we have had two meetings hearing testimony regarding “land use”.  The third and final meeting is upcoming and open to the public.  At the completion of this effort, a paper will be written giving the results of our efforts.


HOUSE ENROLLED ACT No. 1132 was created with the purpose of: 

Sec. 6. The task force shall study the following issues: 

  1. Growth trends in rural, suburban, and urban communities across Indiana. 
  2. Economic and demographic factors that developers consider in siting projects. 
  3. How rural, suburban, and urban communities can position themselves to attract economic development. 
  4. Barriers to community growth. 
  5. Areas in Indiana in which food insecurity exists.  

Sec. 7. The task force shall: 

  1. develop recommendations for the legislative council concerning the issues set forth in section 6 of this chapter; 
  2. issue a report setting forth the recommendations developed under subdivision (1); and 
  3. not later than June 30, 2024, submit the report to the legislative council in an electronic format under IC 5-14-6. 


When I first heard about this committee, I was excited to submit my name for inclusion. I have been blessed over my career to have been involved significantly in many of the five items listed in Section 6 that are being addressed. Thank you to Representative Greg Steuerwald for recommending me for this task force and Governor Holcomb for selecting me.  

It has been interesting listening to the testimony of the many individuals and groups that have presented. I have also been contacted by many people when they hear that I am on the committee (feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss). We have many challenges ahead of us when it comes to land use. There are many passionate individuals who feel very strongly about their own interests. How can we create a plan that will allow for the right decisions? I can’t wait for that discussion amongst our group. 


There are so many things that I could report to date, but I feel that a couple of the items that have resonated are as follows (this is by no means all-inclusive or in any order): 

  1. Education – decision making, which occurs in many cases, is not based on those involved being educated in the subject matter. 
  2. Child Care – the cost of childcare is averaging $14,000 per child. Wow! 
  3. Health Care – is a huge issue. 
  4. Farm Ground Stress – from developers and from the green energy industry. 
  5. Development, Planning & Zoning – what is suitable for each situation presented in the individual communities? Is what is being approved truly the right thing for that community? 
  6. Affordable Housing – we need it, we all want it, but we don’t want it in our community. 
  7. Economic Development – this industry has changed over the years. This is the backbone of community growth, and this role in development is different in every community and county. 


I could go on and on regarding this. This process has been very eye-opening. It will be interesting as we continue forward to determine what insights and information we can present. 

I am honored to help educate and learn about these complicated issues and how they affect each other. Let’s hope for great success in this process.  

~ Jeff Banning