The Town of Plainfield's ability to effectively manage its growth was noted in national circles in 1998. The American Planning Association honored Plainfield with its "Outstanding Small Town and Rural Planning Award," citing the town's excellence among communities with under 20,000 in population.
The award specifically acknowledged Plainfield's Unified Zoning and Subdivision Control Ordinance, which has been a successful tool to aid Plainfield in controlling its growth.
The Unified Zoning and Subdivision Control Ordinances allowed the town to accomplish four goals:
- Make zoning laws more user-friendly;
- Gain better control over zoning in the town's "Gateway Corridors";
- Provide incentives for developers who request variances so the town can obtain positive trade-offs; and
- Give commercial and industrial developers more flexibility in making minor plat revisions.
Dr. James Segedy, Department of Urban Planning, Ball State University, and a member of the American Planning Association, said "Plainfield was recognized for an innovative development ordinance in the way it manages growth while maintaining quality of life under the tremendous pressures of an expanding metropolitan area."
Mitchell P. Haase, chairman of the Plainfield Plan Commission, said, "The award is well-deserved recognition of all the hard work by those involved in preparing the unified ordinance, including the Plan Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Design Review Committee, Town Council, Staff and citizens of Plainfield."