Residents discuss Whiteland’s town identity

Redevelopment of a former grocery store site, well-planned development and a better identity are on the wish list of Whiteland residents.

About 40 people came to a planning meeting this week to discuss the future of the town.

Their ideas will be used to help form a plan for the town.

Residents criticized the town’s lack of true definition along U.S. 31 to let motorists know when they enter or leave Whiteland, confusion about the boundaries between Whiteland and New Whiteland and no common theme for the signage that is along the roadway.

They also want the U.S. 31 corridor to be less congested and greener and want

development plans to focus on attracting new housing to the town and new businesses to the area near Interstate 65.

They also mentioned redeveloping the lot at the corner of Whiteland Road and U.S. 31, where a former grocery store has been vacant for more than a decade. Allen Commercial Group bought it in 2013.

The town needs a specific identity to make it distinct from Franklin and Greenwood, resident Kim Lee said.

Specific details and plans will be discussed in the future. A second workshop is planned for Dec. 17, Whiteland Director of Planning and Zoning Nathan Bilger said. He said he was happy at the turnout to the meeting.

“It says a lot about the community that there was this kind of interest in tonight’s workshop. It tells you how important our future is to the people who live here,” Bilger said.