Comprehensive Planning

Comprehensive planning is the process that establishes goals and policies intended to guide community development. The product of comprehensive planning is the Comprehensive Plan, which guides public policy in terms of future development. 

The Comprehensive Plan is the policy guide of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the development of the ordinances and procedures necessary to implement the plan, such as the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance.

Comprehensive Plan Scope

Comprehensive plans are usually citywide in scope, address a broad range of topics, and cover a long-term time horizon. The incorporation of smaller neighborhood-focused studies into the plan is a standard way to address the unique qualities of a particular geographic area, such as a historic or other special district.

Developing the Comprehensive Plan

The development of the Comprehensive Plan is a multiple step process where input is sought from community stakeholders, such as:

  • Business owners
  • Neighborhood groups
  • Property owners
  • Residents
  • Other community-based organizations

Discussion focuses on a range of interconnecting issues that affect a community, such as:

  • Economic development
  • Housing
  • Land use
  • Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

By Missouri statute, final responsibility for the development of the Comprehensive Plan rests with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Revising the Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a living document. As conditions change, new issues arise, or assumptions prove to be inaccurate, it can be updated or rewritten. 

Plans are typically revised or updated every five to seven years in order remain relevant to the community.