The City of Hobart and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Committee (NIRPC) have initiated a planning process to create a set of zoning standards to guide the use and design of sites within local conservation areas. The goal of this project is not to prohibit development, but to define the opportunities where development can take place in a manner that respects and enhances conservation areas – both by reducing adverse impacts of adjacent land uses and by improving local access to wildlife where appropriate. The City of Hobart has engaged The Lakota Group along with Duncan Associates to complete this Conservation Zoning and Sub Area Plan.


Thank you to all who attended the first Community Open House! The Open House was held on Wednesday, April 10 from 5-7pm at the Hobart City Hall, Council Chambers. The workshop provided an overview of the planning process, outlined the various conservation areas and restoration tools ongoing in Hobart, and showcased graphics and FAQs that illustrate the unique characteristics of Hobart’s natural areas and how they could be leveraged to achieve community development goals. The community provided input on the perceived benefits and concerns of this process, which will inform the preliminary zoning and land use frameworks as we move into the next phase of the project. Exhibits from the Open House are available for download in the documents section below.

The second Community Open House was held on May 22 from 5-6: 30 pm at the Hobart Community Center as a part of the Hobart Marsh Summit. The planning team presented draft plans for community feedback – all plans presented are posted in the documents section below. Plans are now being refined with input from City of Hobart staff and project steering committee members.

Check the project website often to stay in the loop on project updates. In the meantime, submit any questions or concerns regarding the project via the contact form below.


All materials from the first Open House held on April 10 and the Hobart Marsh Summit on May 22 are posted in the documents section below.

Project Steering Committee Members:

Sergio Mendoza City of Hobart: Planning and Zoning


Jerry Herzog City of Hobart: City Council

Beth Jacobson City of Hobart: Economic Development

Phil Gralik City of Hobart: City Engineer

Tim Kingsland City of Hobart: Sewer and Stormwater Coordinator

Craig Zandstra Lake County Parks

Natalie Johnson Save the Dunes

Kelly Goodpaster City of Hobart: Parks & Recreation

Robert Fulton City of Hobart: Mayor’s Office

Ross Pietrzak City of Hobart: Planning and Zoning

Katie Vallas IDNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program

Paul Labus The Nature Conservancy

Eric Bird Shirley Heinze Land Trust

Derek Nimetz IDNR Division of Nature Preserves

The Lakota Group

We bring creative solutions that inspire action and result in beautiful, people-driven places. Our firm has 25 years of experience in urban design, planning, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Our mission is to create plans that build connections between people, their environments, and their history. This is reflected in our name – Lakota, the Native American word for Allies.

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Duncan Associates

Duncan Associates specializes in assisting local governments set plans and policies into motion. Known throughout the U.S. for our work in modernizing zoning and development codes and crafting fair and legally defensible impact fee studies, the firm has offices in Chicago and Austin.

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NIRPC Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Committee

Funding is provided by NIRPC, a regional council serving Northwest Indiana citizens to address transportation, environment, community, and economic development issues.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

Funding is provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The mission of the IDNR s is to protect, enhance, preserve, and wisely use natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the benefit of Indiana’s citizens through professional leadership, management, and education.

Lake Michigan Coastal Program

Funding is provided by the Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP). LMCP provides guidance, technical support and some financial assistance to municipal, county and state government agencies which are working within the coastal region

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Funding is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science.