What is a comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan can be described as a blueprint for community improvement. It is a document created by a local unit of government that answers the question, “How can our community become an even better place to live, work, and visit?” A good comprehensive plan consists of 3 parts:
- Inventory of Existing Conditions
The inventory of existing conditions answers the question, “Where are we now?” It includes analysis of data and identification of trends to arrive at projections pertaining to land use, population, housing, economic development, transportation, community infrastructure, natural resources, and other components. The strengths and weaknesses of a community also are identified during this step.
- Vision Statement
The vision statement answers the question, “What do we want to be in the future?” It is based on existing conditions, strengths and weaknesses, and community input. The vision presents a picture of what the community desires to be.
- Action Plan
The action plan answers the question, “How do we get there?” It consists of goals devised for the community and objectives that, when completed, achieve the goals. The action plan also includes a future land use map, which identifies the areas of a community best suited for residential, commercial, open space, and other uses.