Charlottesville Community Engagement
Charlottesville Community Engagement
April 1, 2022: Charlottesville continues to not be a town

April 1, 2022: Charlottesville continues to not be a town

Plus: A clear definition on the rural village that is our community

One of these things is not like the other, but yet is exactly the same! Welcome to another edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement, a program that for some time now seeks to document what’s happening here in central Indiana with as much information as possible about Hancock County and all of the various townships in and around the 46117.  I’m your host, Tawn Subbs. 

On today’s program: 

  • The tax deadline is coming up in Hancock County

  • Charlottesville continues to be divided by the four-lane U.S. 40 

  • Comprehensive Plan for Hancock County continues to be under review  

The first Patreon-fueled shout-out goes to WTJU on its 65th Birthday

Even though those of us in Charlottesville, Indiana are more than 500 miles away from our counterparts in Charlottesville, Virginia we are connected through the magic of the Internet, which allows us to stream WTJU 91.1 FM from the central portion of the Old Dominion!

WTJU turns 65 today, marking the day when a handful of students gathered in a first-floor studio in Old Cabell Hall for the first broadcast of WTJU. In just a few minutes, classical music filled the airwaves, radiating out to a small audience in Charlottesville that would grow into a dedicated following! 

Our unincorporated community of Charlottesville in central Indiana wishes a happy birthday to a different sort of radio station! Tune into the live stream tonight from 6 - 9 p.m. Eastern including a one-hour audio documentary and four live music performances covering the shores of classical, folk, blues, and rock.

Charlottesville continues to not be a town 

As longtime readers and listeners know, Charlottesville is an unincorporated community mostly in Hancock County with a small portion to the south in the more rural Rush County. There’s no mayor, no elected officials, but just a village platted out in 1830 that stopped being a town in 1867. 

The Hancock side is part of the official Jackson Township. That’s one of 47 units of government in Indiana that share that name 

“The most common form of township government has an elected board of trustees or supervisors,” reads an explanation on the Indiana Township Association’s website

Jackson Township is one of nine such entities in Hancock County. As a reminder, ours has a total area of 35.59 square miles and a 2020 Census count of 1,751. 

Tax deadline looming in Hancock County 

Property owners in Hancock County should be making plans to ensure that their taxes are paid. The deadline to pay is May 10. Contact the treasurer’s office for more information

As longtime readers and listeners know, Hancock County government is split between a seven-member County Council that serves as the legislative branch, and a three-person Board of Commissioners who make the executive decisions. 

The County Council last met on March 9 at 111 American Legion Place in Greenfield. They got updates on the Pennsy Trail, the budget for Buck Creek Township, as well as the Hancock Public Transportation Fund. They’ll meet again on April 13, and there’s no agenda yet available. 

The four Council districts for Hancock County

The three-member Board of Commissioners met this past Tuesday and got several updates. Charlottesville is represented on this body by Vice President Marc Huber. 

Hancock County is within the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization Charlottesville is just on the easten edge along U.S. 40. There was an update on the fire department at Buck Creek. (agenda)

The three Commissioners last met on March 29.and eventually that meeting will be posted online. The most recent meeting available is from March 14. 

Comprehensive Plan under review with 2042 date in mind

It’s been ten years since Hancock County last updated its Comprehensive Plan but work is well underway on a new version. Such plans are mandated  under Indiana Code “for the promotion of public health, safety, morals, convenience, order, or the general welfare and for the sake of efficiency and economy in the process of development.” The Plan Commission is responsible for the review. 

One of the topics in the public feedback sessions so far has been to get  community members’ thoughts on growth area prioritization and initiatives such as the Mount Comfort Corridor Plan and whether there is agreement that Hancock County’s unique position in the region could be leveraged for more economic development activity.

Charlottesville’s position as a rural village will likely not change significantly through the review process, and neither will Maxwell or Philadelphia. 

“These villages are no longer significant centers of railroad or commercial activity, but do remain important historic settlements and can provide housing alternatives to the larger towns in the county,” reads page 20 of the current land use chapter

The plan designates this as mixed-use areas but any new development “should be respectful” of existing development. The chapter also places Charlottesville within Critical Area 3 and notes that the rural setting is important to the character of the county, but notes that expansion of mixed-uses east of Greenfield are likely. 

Future Land Use Map for Hancock County with Charlottesville in center right

Community member: April Fool’s!

I have never done an April Fool’s bit as a professional writer or producer. I may not do one again, but I hope you got something out of this attempt to see what I could learn about my city’s namesake.

I had the idea to put this together less than 24 hours ago, and I had a lot of fun doing some research into this. I often think about what it would be like to be a reporter in another community, and I find looking at other local governments to be absolutely fascinating.

I’ve never been to Charlottesville, Indiana, and I don’t know anyone who lives there. But now I know a little about how another part of America works or doesn’t work. There’s so much to know. Sometimes I feel the most important thing people can do is learn something outside of themselves.

This newsletter will return to regular programming with the next one. That may be tomorrow, but definitely will be Sunday and the Week Ahead. Thanks for reading!

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Charlottesville Community Engagement
Charlottesville Community Engagement
Regular updates of what's happening in local and regional government in and around Charlottesville, Virginia from an award-winning journalist with nearly thirty years of experience.