As requested by the Planning Board, the Planning Department has assembled a proposed Table of Contents and Project Plan for a Comprehensive Plan.
This plan is proposed to help align the department’s goals and activities with the recently adopted “Vision Alamance” strategic plan for the County. The Department also requests guidance for inclusion of maps, studies and information that the Board deems helpful for making informed decisions guiding the development of the County.
Staff will be working soon to create a project plan for focus groups and public participation.
Our last Alamance County Comprehensive Plan was completed in 1991 and was written to expire in 2010. Previous other plans include Destination 2020, developed in 2003, and a Land Development Plan completed in 2007. Due to the time elapsed since their adoption as well as changing market and economic conditions, a new Comprehensive Plan would allow the Board and Department to continue to respond to the public and align to goals in Vision Alamance, the county’s new strategic plan, with any proposed changes to our processes and ordinances. Several current ordinances reference using the adopted Comprehensive Plan as a reference tool for the evaluation of development proposals. This plan can be distinguished from the recently adopted “Vision Alamance” in that it will use quantitative and qualitative data to support and guide decision making and is land-focused.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is a document designed to guide the future actions of a community, namely related to land use decisions. Most plans are written to address land development issues identified within a 10 to 30 year planning horizon. This document is used to carefully examine the current conditions of a geographic area and solicit feedback from the affected citizens in order to provide a tool for future decision making. This document is not intended to prevent change and development, but to be a guide for decision making.
At its best, the comprehensive plan is a tool used by community leaders to establish policies and make decisions regarding physical development. The plan document is recommended to fulfill six requirements:
- It should be comprehensive.
- It should be long-range.
- It should be general.
- It should focus on physical development.
- It should relate physical design proposals to community goals and social and economic policies.
- It should be a policy instrument first, and a technical instrument only second.3
Following is the proposed Table of Contents for the Comprehensive Plan. This may change as the project is completed.