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Building a comprehensive plan - THE CYBURBIA FAQ

JNA

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#22
Q. 6 months after it's adoption and printing, is there any reason to keep drafts / comments in the file ?

Reason I ask office files are being moved and stored.
(probably never to see light of day again, until somebody else 20 yrs later will ask WTF)
 

natski

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#23
Q. What should I know before starting to develop a comprehensive plan for my community?[/QUOTE]


As yourself what are the reasons for establishing a plan? What do you want to get out of it?

Should you look at individual "studies" and then combine these into a comprehensive plan?

Alway remember that the community should "own" the project:)
 
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#24
Comprehensive Plan Timeline

Q. Does anyone have an example of a Comp Plan Timeline?
I am specifically looking for a timeline for a revision, but any example will help. PM if need be.
 

SGB

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#25
RandomPlanner... said:
Q. Does anyone have an example of a Comp Plan Timeline?
I've got a good timeline for a revision project, but the file size exceeds the Cyburbia attachment limits.

PM me with an email address for a copy. (PDF file, 116KB)
 
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#26
Here is a condensed version of the work program we are currently in. This would be fine if we were not also tasked to do a number of other substantive projects in the same time period, including three major sets of ordinance amendments. As it is, this requires a lot of extra staff hours and way too many PC meetings. Note that this is for a community where there is generally strong support for planning. It tends to take longer where that is not true.

June 04 - PC approves work program for plan update
October 04 - kickoff public involvement with major community event, solicit involvement of other agencies
October 04 - appoint citizen task forces assigned to key elements of plan
November 04 - March 05 - task forces work on land use/natural areas, transportation, and housing/growth management elements - staff completes energy element
April 05 - PC meets with task forces, task forces finish up
April - early July 05 - PC reviews task force work, staff begins completing other elements
late July-October - PC meets with affected agencies (MPO, Historic Pres, Conservation, etc. etc.) and revises plan elements in weekly meeting
late August-October - Selectboard reviews draft plan elements and provides comments to PC to avoid surprises after the electeds get the plan
October 1 - first draft released for hearing
November 1 - PC hearing
November 7 - joint PC-Selectboard meeting to discuss
November 15 - draft transmitted to Selectboard, hearing notices authorized
January - Selectboard hearings (VT laws requires two) and adoption
 

big_g

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#27
Question:

What can we do to promote cross-jurisdictional communication and cooperation when developing comprehensive plans.
 
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#28
Strategic and Comprehensive Plans

Q. There are Strategic Plans and Comprehensive Plans. Whats the difference? More detail in planning?
 

donk

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#29
Hawkeye66Q. said:
There are Strategic Plans and Comprehensive Plans. Whats the difference? More detail in planning?
Comp Plan / Offical Plan = a legal document that covers a land use. Typically, (depending on your jurisdiction) describes the proposed uses and ideas for land use within a municipality. May also cover other items related to land use (parks, historic preservation, beautification projects, servicing, infrastructure schools etc). Usually contains language related to goals, policies and objectives. Usually contains maps showing what you are describing. Empowers zoning.

Star Plan = an organizational tool describing the objectives of a department, city , business and the associated way points. Usually contains language related to vision, mission, goals, objectives actions. Not a legal document.
 
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#30
donk said:
Comp Plan / Offical Plan = a legal document that covers a land use. Typically, (depending on your jurisdiction) describes the proposed uses and ideas for land use within a municipality. May also cover other items related to land use (parks, historic preservation, beautification projects, servicing, infrastructure schools etc). Usually contains language related to goals, policies and objectives. Usually contains maps showing what you are describing. Empowers zoning.

Star Plan = an organizational tool describing the objectives of a department, city , business and the associated way points. Usually contains language related to vision, mission, goals, objectives actions. Not a legal document.
Ok, the city needs both. Would it be a good idea to handle the Comp Plan first? I think the city is looking more at a short goals list as far as strategic planning is concerned.
 

donk

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#31
Hawkeye66 said:
Ok, the city needs both. Would it be a good idea to handle the Comp Plan first? I think the city is looking more at a short goals list as far as strategic planning is concerned.
I would suggest that the strat plan be done first, as a comp plan would be one of the actions that comes from it.

The other reason I would suggest this is a strat plan would provide guidance to your consultant with respect to how the city sees itself and how the city wishes to brand itself.
 
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#32
big_g said:
Question:

What can we do to promote cross-jurisdictional communication and cooperation when developing comprehensive plans.
Send then a copy of the plan and ask them to review that plan (Land use, infrastructure and other capital improvements) in relationship to their plan. Tell them that you will consider their comments prior to formal adoption.

This "coordinaged planning" is required by law in Michigan
 
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#33
donk said:
I would suggest that the strat plan be done first, as a comp plan would be one of the actions that comes from it.

The other reason I would suggest this is a strat plan would provide guidance to your consultant with respect to how the city sees itself and how the city wishes to brand itself.
The more I get into this, the more I think the town really needs something like a group therapy session. What I am thinking of doing is having more general meetings about forging a identity for the town. It seems to me that successful small towns are those that have found a niche, and built around it. So, it would seem that even before any specific plans can be made, a town needs to have an identity and have residents more or less on the same page.
 

Cardinal

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#34
Hawkeye66 said:
The more I get into this, the more I think the town really needs something like a group therapy session. What I am thinking of doing is having more general meetings about forging a identity for the town. It seems to me that successful small towns are those that have found a niche, and built around it. So, it would seem that even before any specific plans can be made, a town needs to have an identity and have residents more or less on the same page.
Maybe you should take a look at the Heartland Center for Rural Development. They have compiled a list of "clues to rural community survival" that I think is a good place to begin discussions in many small towns.
 

kjel

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#35
Q: How much is too much information in a comprehensive plan?

I am interning at the planning office this summer and my task is to review and revise four of eight sections of the County Comprehensive Plan. I am currently working on the Population Element of the plan which is giving me problems.

The county has an est. population of 66,000 with 5 incorporated cities with populations ranging from 22,000 to 105. The current Population Element is broken into the following categories in order: State Geographic Region, County, 5 Individual Cities, Population Projection Models.

The Geographic Region, County, and each of the five cities have subheadings of the following: Population, Density, Age, Race, Poverty & Income, Education, Quality of Life (marriage/divorce numbers but not the rate, birth/death rate, and curiously-the education level of mothers at the time they give birth), and each section is followed by a list of findings. Essentially one will read the same information for each of the categories but with no real comparison being done. Additionally I have a problem with the two cities that have populations of 105 and 158; as the plan is currently written the city with 158 has a 20% growth rate because it gained 27 people between the 1990 and 2000 census. It seems a bit misleading in my opinion. Essentially there are charts and tables galore with a lot of numbers and just blocks of text recapping the data.

If anyone works in a similar sized county I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas to make this streamlined, coherent, and understandable by most people.

Cheers!
Kim
 

Cardinal

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#36
kjelsadek said:
Q: How much is too much information in a comprehensive plan?

I am interning at the planning office this summer and my task is to review and revise four of eight sections of the County Comprehensive Plan. I am currently working on the Population Element of the plan which is giving me problems.

The county has an est. population of 66,000 with 5 incorporated cities with populations ranging from 22,000 to 105. The current Population Element is broken into the following categories in order: State Geographic Region, County, 5 Individual Cities, Population Projection Models.

The Geographic Region, County, and each of the five cities have subheadings of the following: Population, Density, Age, Race, Poverty & Income, Education, Quality of Life (marriage/divorce numbers but not the rate, birth/death rate, and curiously-the education level of mothers at the time they give birth), and each section is followed by a list of findings. Essentially one will read the same information for each of the categories but with no real comparison being done. Additionally I have a problem with the two cities that have populations of 105 and 158; as the plan is currently written the city with 158 has a 20% growth rate because it gained 27 people between the 1990 and 2000 census. It seems a bit misleading in my opinion. Essentially there are charts and tables galore with a lot of numbers and just blocks of text recapping the data.

If anyone works in a similar sized county I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas to make this streamlined, coherent, and understandable by most people.

Cheers!
Kim
You are right to note the misleading nature of the statistics. I worked in a similar setting; a county of 30,000 with a city of 18,000 and two small communities of about 500 and 1,500. In these instances I would usually provide a table with both the numerical and percentage changes. Although the numbers may seem small, the addition of 25 new homes to a community with 100 homes is going to be noticable. The percentage does still have some relevancy.

I have never seen the statistic of mother's age at time of her childrens' birth included in a plan, but I can speculate that there has been an issue of teen pregnancy. The plan may be very forward in looking at this issue. Is it discussed anywhere?
 

kjel

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#37
Cardinal said:
I have never seen the statistic of mother's age at time of her childrens' birth included in a plan, but I can speculate that there has been an issue of teen pregnancy. The plan may be very forward in looking at this issue. Is it discussed anywhere?
This is what it says:

"As far as the education of mothers, 72.43% of the mothers in the county in 1994 had attained a high school diploma or higher in education. Conversely, 27.36% of the mothers had not graduated high school. However, 20.49% of the mothers were less than 20 years old. More than 56% of the mothers were unmarried, surpassing the state average of 30.4%. Almost 20% of the White mothers were unmarried: 6.6% higher than the state average. The county had the highest percentage in the state of unmarried Black mothers: 73.6%."

I think teen pregnancy is an issue here, just as it is in many other places. However, I think that whoever wrote this was targeting the wed/unwed mother issue regardless of age (think small religious Southern community). This text is sandwiched between the birth rates and death rates in the section without addressing the issue further.
 

kjel

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#38
Q: How does your county or city comprehensive plan calculate or determine divorce rates?
 

Plan-it

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#39
kjelsadek said:
Q: How does your county or city comprehensive plan calculate or determine divorce rates?
That is not something we have considered in any of the plan I have prepared. In my opinion, that is a social issue that should not become a factor in growth policy. I always ask myself the question, should government really have a role in this phenomenon when deciding what pieces of information to include in various planning studies.
 

Downtown

     
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#40
kjelsadek said:
Q: How much is too much information in a comprehensive plan?
If you can't answer "So What?" after throwing data out there, don't include it.

Use your inventory to build a case for your implementation portion. If you aren't going to begin to address teenage birth rate with a program or policy change, don't bother graphing it.
 
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