What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A city's Comprehensive Plan can be defined as a long-range planning tool that is intended to be utilized by city staff, decision-makers and citizens to help 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:
Efficient delivery of public services,
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 most important takeaways from Comprehensive Plans are the Future Land Use and Transportation Plansâ€”which together map out the essential foundation of the city. These two key elements of the Plan help the community to coordinate a range of functions that include future land use designations, 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. The comprehensive plan is also the foundation for the implementation of development regulations, such as Lubbock's Code of Ordinances, Design Guidelines, historic preservation efforts, landscape standards and signage regulations.
Why is Lubbock updating the Comprehensive Plan?
Lubbock, a.k.a. the "Hub City," is the 11th most populous city in Texas and the center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which is projected to reach 327,424 people by 2020 (U.S. Census). Now is the time to envision how Lubbock should leverage the inevitable growth to reach community goals and capitalize on new opportunities. The last comprehensive plan for Lubbock was completed in 1986, with prior updates in 1959 and 1943. 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 ensures that plan recommendations are both relevant and applicable to the community and its conditions TODAY. Making regular updates also ensures that goals, objectives and recommendations are in-line with the overall community vision as defined by YOU.
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 Lubbock Comprehensive Plan will establish the vision and set the course for the community for the next 20+ years. The next park, shopping center, residential neighborhood, police station and community facility will be based upon this plan and the information therein. A vibrant and thriving downtown, accessible destinations and revitalization of the community's great neighborhoods must all begin with a plan.