City of Lawrenceburg Adopts New Comprehensive Plan

The plan focuses on developing the downtown, riverfront, U.S. 50, and Ludlow Hill areas.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The City of Lawrenceburg's new comprehensive plan outlines a vision to improve quality of life over the next 10 years. 

Every 10 years, the city is required by state mandate to create a new comprehensive plan outlining future population growth and quality of place. The plan includes things like public involvement, parks and recreation, economic development, land use, housing and more.

The comprehensive plan was created with the assistance of HWC Engineering, in addition to public input through a series of online workshops, public surveys, and open houses.

Following the yearlong planning assessment, the comprehensive plan focuses on the following areas:

  • Downtown Focus Area
  • Riverfront Focus Area
  • US 50 Focus Area
  • Ludlow Hill Focus Area


“Downtown Lawrenceburg will thrive as a focus for retail activity that attracts pedestrians, providing distinctive selection of stores, restaurants, boutiques, and event spaces, as well as varied housing opportunities,” reads the comprehensive plan.

The city plans to emphasize restaurant and retail focused activities in the Downtown Riverfront Development Area. The area is intended to spur additional economic activity and to attract more dining, entertainment, and cultural attractions by providing flexibility in alcoholic beverage permit requirements.

To further support development in the Downtown Riverfront Development Area, the city plans to focus its first-floor storefronts on restaurant, retail, hospitality, cultural, and entertainment uses. Over time, it is recommended that the city encourage office and related uses to migrate to upper floors, or areas outside the designated district.

Other downtown area goals include:

  • Creating and maintaining an inventory of vacant and abandoned properties that could be marketed for redevelopment.
  • Explore funding programs to assist in creating upper story living spaces in new and existing buildings.
  • Encourage infill and redevelopment.
  • Improve branding and marketing of the downtown and riverfront.

Another big goal is to complete the Liberty Theater Redevelopment Project, which would open up a long dormant historic landmark that could be used as a professional event space featuring cultural arts and programming, destination eateries and bar environments.



Through the public input process, the city learned that community leaders and residents want more access to the river. Some of the things the public would like to see happen is development of the former AEP property, more outdoor recreation amenities, and additional residential spaces along the river.

There are limited options for connecting Lawrenceburg residents to the Ohio River. Any development on the river side of the levee would have to be on build out spaces on a system of docks (ex. Riverwatch). It is recommended that the city explore the option of creating an expanded dock network that could feature dock-based restaurants, retail, outdoor recreation, and entertainment services. Public boat parking could also be provided.

Another key objective in the Riverfront Focus Area is completing a feasibility study to identify housing redevelopment sites near the riverfront – specifically along West High Street, similar in scale to the Flaherty and Collins development.

Redevelopment of the former AEP site could be tricky. Because of the investment made in demolition and environmental cleanup of the site, it is likely that acquisition and redevelopment of the full site for a park use is not feasible. However, acquiring a portion of the land for public use could be attainable, and would be ideal for a park along the nearby Dearborn Trail.



The goal is to continue to use the U.S. 50 corridor primarily for high quality commercial use consisting of everyday services and chain establishments.

The comprehensive plan encourages more diversity in restaurant and retail establishments, the consideration of multi-family residential uses along the northside of U.S. 50, and redevelopment of vacant properties along the corridor.

Public input suggests the city should work to alleviate traffic congestion on U.S. 50. Any road improvements on U.S. 50 or new roads to bypass the corridor would have to be approved by INDOT.

In 2007, the OKI Regional Council of Governments published the Southeast Indiana Gateway: U.S. 50 Corridor Transportation and Land Use Plan. The document recommended that all communities along the corridor implement ways to address traffic congestion. To date, the measures have not been formally implemented. The comprehensive plan recommends the city work with INDOT to enact the access management controls.

Other goals include creating a parallel system of vehicular access along U.S. 50 through the use of shared driveways and service roads and improving the U.S. 50 and Front Street intersection.



The main goal on Ludlow Hill is residential building as the primary future land use. Since there are limited opportunities to grow Lawrenceburg’s population in other areas, the Ludlow Hill area is where future growth will be targeted.

The city must examine which sites can be provided with roadway and utility infrastructure.

The plan also calls for new development on the hillside without tarnishing the character of the area and its natural environment.

Another objective for the Ludlow Hill Focus Area is continued support for St. Elizabeth Dearborn. If a decision is made to close the campus, the plan encourages partnering with St. E to create a redevelopment plan for the area.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has invested $50 million in southeast Indiana, including expanded services at their Greendale campus.


The full Lawrenceburg Comprehensive plan may be viewed here. Hard copies of the plan are available to the public at the Lawrenceburg Clerk Treasurer’s Office and Dearborn County Recorder’s Office.

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