GOSHEN — Researching local laws may soon be easier thanks to a new ordinance that adopts an updated and digitized version of Elkhart County Code.
The new code is about 660 pages long and will be available online for the first time. It streamlines most current ordinances and eliminates the ones that no longer exist or have been repealed, according to Nathaniel Jordan, a partner at Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham, LLP.
Jordan presented the ordinance to the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners Monday morning, March 31. He described the code’s move to the internet as “a seismic shift.”
"On the one hand there's more of an onus to get things right — anybody can see this, anybody can look at it. But it's a huge benefit to county employees and to the public, because they're going to be more engaged in the county legislative process and appreciate more of the different ways the county legislation effects the public,” Jordan said.
The code includes sections on general provisions, administration, public works, traffic code, general regulations, business regulations, general offenses and land uses. Physical copies will also be available at the Elkhart County Auditor’s office.
State law requires legislative bodies of local government to organize its ordinances (excluding formal parts) in a simplified code. The last time the code was revised in Elkhart County was in the 1990s, Jordan said.
The board of commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously. Its final stop is the Elkhart County Council, where it’s expected to pass at its next meeting on Saturday, April 12.