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The Planning Commission at Work

Developing the Comprehensive Plan

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Whether we label our plan comprehensive, master or general, we are, in most instances, describing the same thing. For most communities, a comprehensive plan is the physical manifestation of putting down on paper the hopes, dreams and goals a community holds for itself.

The plan functions much like a roadmap; it is a means to an end.

Properly done, a comprehensive plan will describe how, and at what pace, the community desires to develop physically, economically, and socially. The plan functions much like a roadmap; it is a means to an end. …

In order to plan for the future, a planning commission needs to understand the community’s past and present. The collection and analysis of this background information is an essential early step in the plan development process. Typically, a planning commission will conduct studies or gather information bearing on the community’s demographics; natural environment; economic base; housing stock; transportation systems; community facilities; and land use pattern. The planning commission will then be in a position to analyze trends and draw conclusions about the community.

Potentialities: The Role of Goals, Objectives & Strategies

A second important plan development consideration involves the prediction of future conditions in the community. With the findings generated by the background studies as a basis, the plan will begin to reflect a futures orientation. In most cases, this orientation will be represented in the plan’s goal statements which, when implemented, will bring the plan to life. …

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