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Goals of Comprehensive Planning

I spent the most of my afternoon at the offices of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the planning agency for the metro Atlanta region.

One of my coworkers and I were there to learn about upcoming planning grant funding and programs.

Being in the environment of planning propels me to share the common goals of comprehensive planning.

A comprehensive plan is a community's long-term master plan, typically extending to 20 years. To give you a better idea, I encourage you to look up the comprehensive plan for your community.

Because municipalities differ, the goals of their comprehensive plans are not the same. However, most comprehensive plan goals include:

  1. Health- Achieve a pattern of land use that protects public health. 
  2. Public Safety- Encourage land use that is safe and easy to navigate in case of emergencies.
  3. Circulation- Create a system of roads and parking facilities that allows efficient and rapid vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
  4. Provision of Services and Facilities- Determine the location of facilities such as schools, hospitals, social services, police and fire protection, water, sewers and other infrastructure that serves the public good.
  5. Fiscal Health- Most communities plan for a land use pattern that will keep property taxes down.
  6. Economic Development- Encourage and maintain economic activity to support employment for residents, and access to commercial and industrial areas.
  7. Environmental Protection- Restrict and prohibit development or destruction of wetlands, fragile lands, or ecological valuable areas.

The cover of the City of Seattle's Comprehensive Plan. Click here to read more.

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