The City I work for is about to update its comprehensive plan. Our initial strategy was to just spend a quarter million on some consultant and have them do it for us, but thanks to issues with funding, that is off the table. (which frankly I am kind of glad)
Our current plan dates back to 1999, every department in the city stopped paying attention to it years ago, the Future Land Use Map is a complete nightmare, and certain traumatic events in the late 2000s led to various planning processes that I think are pretty good but we need to tie into a comprehensive city plan.
Anyways, in light of limited resources and all the shortcomings with Comp Plans that we all know about, I'm looking into alternative ways to shape the plan without it becoming stale after 2 years and without having to expend a bunch of energy once a decade to completely rewrite the document.
The idea I've been floating, that has gained some traction with my director, is to have a short core document (15 or so pages of standard Comp Plan fluff) followed by an annual or semi-annually updated implementation section that is compiled from various element documents that are on a set update schedule. The actual comp plan would be a fairly short document (Vision Statement, Guiding Principles, standard “letter from the mayor” type stuff, and then a few pages of goals and objectives followed by an updated future land use map.)
Each area of the plan would have an “Element” document that is semi-independent of the core plan and would be updated by staff on a set schedule. A staff person would be assigned to each element and would responsible for tracking implementation and interacting with the relevant departments and stakeholders. Each element would be updated about once every 2 years, with a batch of them updated annually or semi-annually by council resolution.
Anyways, thoughts? Anyone know of cities that do anything like that? Any pitfalls? The one that comes to mind immediately is that it might be difficult to keep the big picture in mind when you’re constantly zeroing in on a different sections.