Commonly Asked Questions

What is the Lawrence Village at the Fort PUD?

The PUD or Planned Unit Development is a document outlining the preliminary plan, covenants, and development standards for a new urban community called Lawrence Village at the Fort. It was written to guide development toward a more compact and urban form for the Village. The PUD was adopted by the Marion County City-County Council under Section 731-217 of the Dwelling Districts Zoning Ordinance of Marion County, Indiana. This cutting-edge PUD provides developers with clear-cut standards and guidelines for development within the Village. 

What if we can’t follow all of the standards in the Village PUD?

If the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority’s Architectural Review Commission considers a design or building use request submitted by a developer to be beneficial to the public or within the overall master planning goals for Lawrence Village at the Fort, it will support it in a letter and formal request for variance to the PUD. The guidelines are meant to maintain consistency but are not so inflexible that alternative solutions can be considered.

Why create a Village?

The former Fort Benjamin Harrison Army Base included several acres of dense woods (1,700 to be exact) now called Fort Harrison State Park. The Base was contained within gates and guarded by military police, making passage through difficult or impossible for years. As a result, the City of Lawrence literally grew up in different communal “pockets” in all directions without a distinctive town center. Since the base closing, Fort Benjamin Harrison emerges as this center, pulling communities together with easily traveled streets and neighborhoods.

How was the Lawrence Village at the Fort PUD created?

From October 2005 to May 2006, a steering committee comprised of key community leaders was convened by the FHRA to shape the master plan. Through three different public input sessions, community feedback was received and used by this steering community. In addition, 65 focused interviews were conducted with community leaders, area property and business owners, residents, and interested development parties. And finally, a thorough market analysis was performed by Business Districts, Inc.

What is a “reuse authority”?

Military installations across the country close for various reasons, leaving behind areas within cities that become blighted. Enlisted and civilian personnel pull out of the city taking with them their families and spending dollars. As a result, businesses that may have been established to cater to military families struggle and often close. Vacant houses proliferate and school districts decline. A “reuse authority” is created to facilitate economic development in these areas in order to create more jobs, bring back spending, and improve the city’s tax base. A reuse authority is government by state law setting in place strict guidelines for development and use of public money for economic development.

Can I buy property at the Fort and wait to develop it until the economy improves?

Unfortunately, no. Depending on the size and scale of the project, the FHRA requires construction to commence within 12 months from land closing and to be finished within 24 months. This performance agreement was put in place to encourage active development as opposed to silent investment in an effort to fulfill the goals of job creation, economic spending, and increased tax base.

I want to change my building sign. What do I need to do?

Go to Architectural Review Process for more information. All sign and building designs must be approved by the Architectural Review Commission prior to project commencement. An Improvement Location Permit will not be issued until ARC has approved the required plans for construction.

I own a building at the Fort. Do I have to change it to comply with the PUD?

The PUD allows for buildings that are considered “non-conforming structures.” If your building is a non-conforming structure and has been in use, you are not held accountable for upgrades. However, if your building has been out of use for over one year, “any future use or occupancy of such building shall be in conformity with the provisions and standards” as set forth in the PUD. (See page 12 of the PUD.)