A City is a “place for people to prosper”, to live work and play. A Comprehensive Plan is the document that describes the City’s future vision, and sets forth how that vision will be achieved.
The City is required to have a Comprehensive Plan, and to update that plan at least every five years. The Comprehensive Plan is a document that includes the Future Land Use Plan and that defines the City’s Vision for the community. A comprehensive plan will include identification of community character elements to be preserved, economic development goals, desired growth patterns, and planned infrastructure to support the desired growth.
A Comprehensive Plan can be a powerful communication tool for the community, but also for economic development and attracting residential growth as it provides information to prospective visitors, employers, and residents about not only what exists, but what will be in a community. Today, communities have been well researched through web documents long before they are visited.
The Comprehensive Plan becomes a very effective tool for creating and controlling the changes desired in a community when the guiding plan Vision reflects a broad community consensus and when ordinances, actions, and investments of the City are consistent with the guidance of the Plan.
The topic areas included in a plan are typically those that are most important to a specific community.
Housing and Neighborhoods, Economic Development and Industry, Natural and Historic Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, Downtown, Quality of Life, Community Services, ….
The City’s Future Land Use map is a component of the comprehensive plan.
The City’s Short Term Work Program, Capital Improvement Plan, and Strategic Plan then are developed and evaluated each year to achieve the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. However, the Comprehensive Plan is not just a guide for City actions, it also becomes a guide for developers, state agencies, private investors, entrepreneurs, and others as to what is desired and supported in the community.