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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Messmer: Bill establishing military impact zones passes House of Representatives

LAWRENCE COUNTY - JUNE 13, 2023 — A bill authored by State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) that would establish new zoning districts around military properties in Indiana passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously today.

A MOU was already signed between Lawrence County officials prior to the state legislation that would allow the naval base to weigh in on any real estate, and business within three miles of the base.

File photo of Lawrence County Indiana

City of Bedford Plan Commission can weigh in on the same within a two-mile radius of the Bedford city limits.

The new legislation has in fact has zoning within Indian Creek, Perry and Spice Valley townships in Lawrence County. Lawrence County is one of only a few counties in Indiana that does not have any zoning regulation.

However, with this policy zoning policy has in fact has now begun without a Lawrence County Planning Commission.

The bill is similar to legislation passed in 30 other states and is based on practices that the United States Department of Defense would like to see enacted.

"Indiana's military bases support local communities throughout the state," Messmer said. "This bill would allow our state to remain competitive in attracting new mission assignments at these installations. It would also help enhance the security of our country."

SB 332 would allow the base commander to appoint a non-voting advisory member to local plan commissions, which would give commanders eyes and ears on what local planning and zoning officials are considering that could impact the military base.

The bill would also require real estate disclosures that notify what properties are within three miles of one of the three bases.

SB 332 passed unanimously out of the Senate on Feb. 6. Because the bill was amended in the House, it will now return to the Senate for further consideration.

Legislative calendars, agendas, vote tallies, live streams and proposed legislation can be viewed online by visiting

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