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Thread: Comprehensive planning process timeframe

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Comprehensive planning process timeframe

    Quick question. Comprehensive plans, on average, take how long to develop? I am thinking about two years but I don't have a resource at my disposal to cite. Anyone have any resources available that I could draw this info from? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    It depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to:
    • desired content
    • size of the community
    • public participation process.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Don't forget to factor in the legal process and any appeals that may come from teh project.

    In a City of 20 000 people I worked on one and it took 18 months start to finish.

    I know a rural community of 3500 people that has been working on one for nearly 12 years and can't get it done due to politics.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Ours took about 12 months and two other nearby towns that just did their's took about 18-24 months. If they already have somewhat of a unified vision for the town, that should reduce political interference and allow a faster timeline. I'd say about 18 months is par for the course.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Ours took (gulp) four years and three planning directors. We have a long history of somewhat bad planning here, though, and the idea of planning is an awfully contentious topic. Just remember to have lots of public workshops and let people speak. Its generally process that will sink you, not content.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Another thing to consider is are you doing the plan in house or are you hiring a consultant?

    Depending on the above factors mentioned by others a consultant can allocate more time the project than perhaps a city staff member can. As a result a consultant can develop a plan in as little as 6-12 months and up to 2 years.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I concur with Donk and Suburban Repairman. It takes 18 months to put together a plan. I'm into month 13 of putting ours together. Putting the final touches on the Goals, objectives, policies and work program. A draft of the document should be ready for public scrutiny (PC and CC) in March.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  8. #8

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    The fastest I have ever done one that worked was 14-15 months. The one we are finishing up here now will have taken roughly 19 months. I would never estimate less than 18 months except in the simplest of siutations. For anyplace where you expect significant controversy, plan on a minimum of 24 months.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    I concur with Donk and Suburban Repairman. It takes 18 months to put together a plan.
    The one I worked on that took 18 months, we had already done alot of the background work and thought before we offically started.

    The one that is going on 12 years has been through almost 20 planners. Glad I am no longer there.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I think the info given here is good, with one caveat. If the plan is going to be written or substantially controlled by a citizen advisory committee, double the timelines given. It seems that the update process takes forever under those circumstances.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    I think the info given here is good, with one caveat. If the plan is going to be written or substantially controlled by a citizen advisory committee, double the timelines given. It seems that the update process takes forever under those circumstances.
    i'm leading the effort myself with consultants for just this reason, i'm in the data collection/release/review phase now - but even then, i still need to meet, facilitate and basically, well, you know, (this is a family show here) but the good thing i am finding about running it myself is i get to run the meetings -

  12. #12
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My most recent experience: 26 months from initial establishment of the Steering Committee to adoption of the plan by the Planning Board. Another 6 months to complete the implementation schedule.

    Available online here: http://www.londonderrynh.org/planning_008.htm
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  13. #13
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Two years is a good average. I am in year two of our one-year timeframe to revise the General Plan. We have a CAC that is very good but has added to the timeframe.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks!

    Thanks for everyone's input. I truly appreciate it!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It depends on which city you have in mind and how large your budget may be. In Madison, of course, it will take much longer than a different city of the same size. If you are talking about Deforest or Fitchburg, I suspect you could quickly, perhaps in 18 months. If you are talking about a place like Black Earth or Prairie du Sac, you might even compress it into a year. Resources are the other consideration. Some cities will split the planning over two or three years to have less of an impact on the budget.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    We have been updating (a complete rewrite) and it has been going on for 3 years. The City Council has been debating it for about 9 months now. hopefully we will get something adopted by the end of January.

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