Planning is essential in order for a community to define their collective vision for the future. The purpose of a comprehensive planning process is to:
- Review and evaluate existing conditions
- Establish a collective vision
- Identify clear goals and objectives for achieving that vision.
What is a comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan is a guidance document, used by elected officials and community leaders, to create a long term vision for the community and to inform land use, infrastructure and other community development decisions.
What topics will the comprehensive plan address?
The comprehensive plan will cover a wide range of topics including but not limited to:
- Land Use
- Transportation and Utility Infrastructure
- Economic Development
- Parks and Recreation
- Natural Features
- Quality of life
What timeframe are we planning for?
The plan will look out 10-20 years.
Are there legal requirements for a comprehensive plan?
Yes, it is governed by Indiana Code 36-7-4. The plan must contain a statement of objectives on future development, a statement of policy for land use development, and a statement of policy for the development of public ways, public places, public lands, public structure and public utilities. The statute also provides a community the option of including more components in the plan to address unique local concerns.
Is there a difference between zoning and a comprehensive plan?
Yes. The comprehensive plan is a guidance document, but it is not binding. It is enforced through the adoption or amendment of local development ordinances such as zoning and subdivision ordinances.
Is a comprehensive plan only about managing growth?
No. Even if a community is not growing, it still needs to manage the changes that happen over time. Without a clear plan, change is managed with piecemeal decisions that are not always in the community’s long term best interests.
Who approves the plan?
The plan will be presented to the Plan Commission for their review. The Plan Commission needs to recommend approval of the plan to the City Council. Final plan approval is by the City Council.