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About the Imagine Rowlett Plans

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A city's Comprehensive Plan can be defined as a long-range planning tool that is intended to help city staff, decision-makers and citizens guide the growth and physical development of a community for up to 20 years. The Plan becomes a vision for what the community desires to become and is essentially a long-range statement of public policy.

In general, the primary objectives of a Comprehensive Plan are to accomplish the following:

  • Coordination of public and private investment,

  • Minimized potential conflicts between land uses,

  • Management of growth in an orderly manner,

  • Cost-effective public investments, and

  • A rationale and foundation for making community-wide decisions.

The Comprehensive Plan is the foundation for the implementation of development regulations, such as the Rowlett Development Code and Form Based Code, design guidelines, historic preservation efforts, landscape standards and signage regulations. The most important takeaways from Comprehensive Plans are the Future Land Use and Implementation Plan, which together map out the essential foundation of the City. These two key elements of the Plan help the community coordinate a range of functions that ultimately inform the City's strategic plans; to include transportation and infrastructure investments (such as right-of-way acquisitions for future roadways, new water and sewer lines, new fire stations and parks, to name a few), prioritizing capital improvement projects, funding decisions and staffing.

How Does a Comprehensive Plan Impact Me?

Think about the neighborhood you live in. Your neighborhood most likely began with a vision. Think about where you get your groceries, where you take your children to school, where you go to the movies, where you shop or work, which park you go or what you do on the weekend. Most of these destinations and facilities did not come to be by chance but are likely rooted in some form of a vision or plan. The Comprehensive Plan establishes the vision and sets the course for the community for the next 20 years. Vibrant, thriving, and accessible destinations, along with maintenance of the community's great neighborhoods and existing developments must all begin with a plan.

What is a Strategic Plan?

A Strategic Plan is a long-range plan that considers the needs of the City as a whole. Unlike a Comprehensive Plan, which focuses on land uses and future development, a Strategic Plan only focuses on the key vision and goals that will result in a framework to guide city leadership in future decisions. The Plan will establish the City's vision for the future, analyze external forces that impact the City, identify strengths and weaknesses of the City, and develop key goals that will influence policy decisions, organizational and operational activities. The Strategic Planning process will precede the Comprehensive Planning process and will influence much of the development of the Comprehensive Plan by incorporating the public input received and utilizing the established vision and goals.

In general, the primary objectives of a Strategic Plan are to accomplish the following:

  • Set priorities,

  • Focus energy and resources,

  • Strengthen operational execution,

  • Ensure players are working toward common goals,

  • Establish agreement around intended outcomes,

  • Assess direction and adjust in response to changing conditions.

Why is Rowlett updating the Comprehensive Plan & Strategic Plan?

Rowlett's current Comprehensive Plan, Realize Rowlett 2020, was completed in 2011. Following the adoption of the Plan, the City moved forward with the plan by implementing Phase II with the adoption of the Form Based Code and Strategic Downtown Plan. The Plan was subsequently amended in 2012 and in 2014 as a result of changes in the community. Rowlett's current Strategic Plan was completed in 2005 and has not since been updated.

Most communities update their Plans every five to ten years, depending on how fast the community is growing and experiencing change. Updating the Comprehensive Plan and Strategic Plan ensures that plan recommendations are both relevant and applicable to the community and its current conditions. Making regular updates also ensures that goals, objectives and recommendations are in-line with the overall community vision.YOU are a key contributor in defining the community's vision.