APA-IN Policy Platform

In December 2019, APA Indiana's Board of Directors adopted the policy platform that appears below to guide the advocacy efforts of the organization. 

Housing Affordability/Attainability

The availability, affordability, and attainability of housing is a critical issue in Indiana that manifests itself differently throughout the state. As some parts of the state are experiencing construction booms and others experience population stagnation, a variety of tools are needed in order to address the challenges communities are facing with housing. APA Indiana supports creating and maintaining housing for all Hoosiers. APA Indiana believes that in order to succeed at addressing this issue the following actions must take place:

  • Revise state law to reduce barriers to affordability and housing choice. Indiana’s housing laws should support policies that focuses on the end-user. State law should focus on increasing opportunities for housing options and reducing barriers to renting or owning a home in a community of choice for an Indiana resident.
  • Encourage and incentivize communities to reform their local code.
  • Require communities with zoning to consider amending their minimum lot size requirements, minimum dwelling unit size requirements, and off-street parking minimums through a one-time required review.
  • Prohibit private restrictive covenants and conditions to approvals that act as barriers to fair housing and housing choice.
  • Prohibit the consideration of source of income when making planning decisions.

Missing Middle Housing

People seldom live only in their childhood home and then the home in which they raise their family. As our lives change, we need a variety of housing styles to meet our needs. That means allowing for apartments, duplexes, accessory dwelling units, and other housing typologies. APA-Indiana supports the development and maintenance of middle housing types. APA Indiana also supports communities allowing these types of development as permitted uses without the need for discretionary approvals.


As part of our mission to advance the public interest and enable economic development, APA Indiana supports the deployment of broadband infrastructure to every Hoosier. Broadband access affects everything from education to entrepreneurship to healthcare and is critical to overcoming the “digital divide” in many of our small and rural communities. Our chapter supports the opening of state right of ways for the deployment of this vital communication tool for participation in the global digital economy.

Climate Change

Land development patterns that prioritize automobiles as the only source of reliable transportation harm the environment by contributing to climate change. To respond to these changes, innovative approaches are needed to develop solutions for resilience. APA Indiana supports the ability of communities to be innovators in responding to the immediate impacts of climate change and changing the unfortunate trajectory on which we find ourselves. APA Indiana supports the adoption of a state-level growth management strategy that prioritizes the investment of state tax dollars in projects that do not contribute to fiscally insolvent and environmentally irresponsible land-use patterns.

Community Development

Promoting quality development and redevelopment in both urban and rural communities is of vital importance to APA Indiana. High-quality and appropriate infill development supports economic development and helps renew the physical and social infrastructure essential for the continued fiscal solvency of communities and their quality of life. APA Indiana supports the use of Community Development Corporations (CDCs), Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Community Revitalization Enhancement District Tax Credits (CReED), Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs), Opportunity Zones, and similar programs. APA Indiana supports investment by the federal and state government programs to invest in our communities.

Complete Streets and Active Transportation

Land use patterns are deeply tied to the way we travel. “Complete streets” are streets designed and built to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Alternative transportation modes need to be planned in order to efficiently connect people. Complete streets that prioritize active forms of transportation are necessary to enable all Hoosiers to move in and around our communities, as well as for the maintenance of healthy lifestyles. APA Indiana supports an increased allocation of state and federal resources in order to improve the connectivity of our neighborhoods and mobility of people, both physical and economic.

Comprehensive Planning

Comprehensive planning is the process that helps communities discern their goals and aspirations for how their community develops from a variety of different aspects such as housing, land use, transportation, parks, recreation, and infrastructure. Generally, the outcome of the process is a comprehensive plan, a policy document that serves as the backbone of local government planning, and which informs a broad spectrum of policy tools ranging from development regulations to public facilities. APA Indiana supports the development of comprehensive plans as the basis for the adoption of zoning and land use controls. APA Indiana also supports amending the Local Planning and Development Law (IC 36-7-4) to require units that have adopted a zoning ordinance to certify their Comprehensive Plans on a regular basis.

Infrastructure Planning/Funding

APA Indiana is thankful for the foresight and leadership from the General Assembly and Governor to support infrastructure investment in roads, water, stormwater, and trails, yet more funding is needed to meet both existing and future needs. APA Indiana supports including sidewalk installation and improvements to be part of existing funding programs like Community Crossings. Restrictions and caps on existing funding sources should be revisited with new sources explored. APA Indiana supports and encourages the state and communities to plan and fund their infrastructure investments for new construction projects, capacity improvements, and long-term maintenance.

Intergovernmental Coordination/Collaboration

The complex problems of our communities are not restricted to jurisdictional borders. By coordinating and collaborating across borders, our communities can deliver great services for a great value. Coordination and collaboration can help curb sprawl, improve transportation and transit options, help preserve prime agricultural land, and plan for infrastructure investments. APA Indiana supports continued coordination and collaboration between government units. APA Indiana asks the Legislature and State to support and enable these important partnerships and innovative approaches.

Local Control

APA Indiana believes that the most effective governance occurs as close to the affected as possible. While sometimes messy, addressing issues on a local level generally creates the best results for communities. Instead of enacting preemptions on local decisions, APA Indiana supports implementing change through an engaged citizenry at the local ballot box. APA Indiana does recognize that there are certain topics where state policies are necessary. The decision to preempt local units should only be taken when it is in the clear public interest and the state has adequate resources to carry out its policy without encumbering local communities.

Water Resource Protection

APA Indiana supports an integrated and systems-oriented comprehensive approach to water management. APA Indiana also supports the use of innovative methods that lower the impact that developments have by using bio-swales, rain gardens, and other methods of “green” infrastructure over traditional “gray” infrastructure. Because water belongs in the public trust, APA Indiana supports the active engagement of the state with the proposal for withdrawal of water from the Michindoh Aquifer in Northeast Indiana.

Renewable Energy Production

Recognizing the need for the development of new energy production methods, APA Indiana supports the establishment of renewable energy production facilities in our communities. APA Indiana supports a balanced approach by communities to regulate the siting of renewable energy production that both allows new developments while also maintaining sensible local decision making for land use decisions. APA Indiana believes that local processes to determine the placement of production facilities are needed to ensure the public interest.

Solar Energy Production

Solar energy systems are an important means to diversifying Indiana’s energy portfolio and transition from fossil fuels. Solar energy systems come in a large variety of sizes, therefore, APA Indiana supports efforts to add solar to rooftops and to prevent unnecessary privatized regulation from homeowner’s associations. APA Indiana also supports the establishment of utility-scale solar facilities in appropriate locations that are considerate and reflective of future growth projections and possible negative externalities.

Subdivision of Land

As communities grow and evolve, land is developed. Part of this process is dividing large parcels of land into smaller parcels to meet the land’s highest and best use. APA Indiana supports communities implementing subdivision control regulations in order to assist with the proper allocation of resources such as infrastructure. Our chapter also supports ensuring that when a unit has adopted land use controls that they are applied consistently by those responsible for accepting instruments for recording.


Zoning is an essential tool for regulating community form and land use and for accomplishing a community’s goals as set out in its comprehensive plan. Zoning protects property values and promotes stable communities. APA Indiana supports allowing Hoosier communities to use innovative tools to allow a community to develop in a manner consistent with their comprehensive plan and that maintains a property owner’s rights. APA Indiana also supports amending the Local Planning and Development Law (IC 36-7-4) to require units that have adopted a zoning ordinance to certify their comprehensive plans on a regular basis, which will ensure that zoning decisions are rooted in a deliberate and thoughtful plan.