comprehensive planning

Comprehensive planning provides local governments with a guide to community physical, social, and economic development. Comprehensive plans provide a rational basis for local land use decisions with a 20-year vision for future planning and community decisions. The Wisconsin Comprehensive Planning Law requires public participation at the local level in deciding a vision for the community's future. The uniqueness of individual comprehensive plans reflects community-specific and locally driven planning processes.

A comprehensive plan must include all of the nine elements listed below as defined by the Comprehensive Planning Law (s. 66.1001). Local governments, however may choose to include additional elements, based on specific needs and desires.

  • Issues and Opportunities
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities and Community Facilities
  • Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Economic Development
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation
  • Land Use
  • Implementation

A central aspect of implementing a comprehensive plan is exercising land use regulation authorities. According to s. 66.1001, beginning on January 1, 2010, if a town, village, city, or county enacts or amends an official mapping, subdivision, or zoning ordinance, the enactment or amendment ordinance must be consistent with that community's comprehensive plan.

Comprehensive plans must be updated no less than once every 10 years according to s. 66.1001(2)(i).

For more information on the Commission’s comprehensive planning services, or you would like to request a copy of a completed comprehensive plan within the Bay-Lake RPC region, please contact:

Brandon Robinson, Assistant Director
Phone: (920) 448-2820, Ext. 105