Fort Wayne City Council on May 4 approved adding the Riverfront Development Implementation Framework to the city’s comprehensive plan.

Council also approved a resolution establishing the Arts Campus Fort Wayne Cultural District.

Riverfront Development: The Riverfront Development Implementation Framework was developed based on focus groups and a riverfront advisory committee. It establishes the guiding principals and policies of the framework.

Its guiding principles include fostering inclusion, diversifying activities, designing to adapt, expanding outward beyond downtown, creating an identity and working together. Examples of how to incorporate those principles include diversifying housing options, using the rivers — the St. Marys, St. Joseph and Maumee — for recreation and educating the public about the rivers’ health and ecology.

The ordinance received a do pass vote of 6-2, with Paul Ensley, R-1st, and Jason Arp, R-4th, voting against it. Tom Freistroffer, R-at large, was absent.

Arts Campus Fort Wayne Cultural District: This resolution passed out of committee 8-0, and even though Freistroffer wasn’t there he sent a letter in support of it.

Basically the establishment of the district around the area of Main Street between Clinton and Lafayette streets promotes the exploration of and participation in the arts and humanities that make the community unique.

The Indiana Arts Commission established a formal program for these cultural districts. To be included, the Fort Wayne Cultural District must first be approved by City Council, explained Dan Ross, vice president of community development for Arts United, which would manage the cultural district.

Ross noted that seven arts facilities, including the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and Auer Center, are within the boundaries of the district, and those venues support 17 arts groups.

Being included in the program does not come with any money from the state. But it would include marketing and promotion efforts from the state, and possibly some funding in the future.

The designation would not put any restrictions on the district, nor would it require local funding.

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