Open Space & Agricultural Alliance 0

Protect Farmland & Natural Areas in Northwest St. Joseph County.

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The St. Joseph County Economic Development Office is now creating a plan for an “Indiana Enterprise Center” that threatens up to 22,000 acres (33 square miles) of prime farmland in northwest St. Joseph County and nearby natural areas like Bendix Woods and Spicer Lake with heavy industrial and residential development.

Heavy industry depletes resources, stresses roads with excessive wear, and pollutes the environment. Run by large corporations rather than local people, heavy industry alters the social structure of the community. If this plan is implemented, it would completely supplant the rural community that now lies between New Carlisle and South Bend, replacing the rural landscape with what the planners have termed “a mega-industrial park.” Farms and natural areas are precious, irreplaceable assets. Well managed, they protect soil fertility, water quality, and biodiversity. They provide a beautiful, healthful setting for outdoor recreation and make durable contributions to the local economy.

We are concerned residents of the Michiana area who urge the elected officials of St. Joseph County to prioritize sustainable development for our region that sensibly re-uses existing industrial sites, revitalizes historic neighborhoods, and protects farmland and natural areas. Maintaining St. Joseph County’s vibrant and balanced mix of landscapes benefits the health and economic vitality of the our region.

Please sign this petition to ask the Board of Commissioners and the County Council of St. Joseph County to

  1. Make any decisions about the plan for industrial development in northwest Saint Joseph County through an open and participatory process regarding what area residents desire for this region of the county.
  2. Consider alternatives to the “Indiana Enterprise Center” plan that prioritize sustainable development and the protection of farms and natural areas.

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