Planning Process and Scope
Comprehensive plan development process is essentially a public process. It is a process where public agencies, elected officials, special interest groups, community leaders and ordinary citizens come together to lay out a long-term comprehensive vision for the future of the community or parts of the community. This vision in turn lays the foundation for public policies and community development guidelines that serve as an overall policy framework for public as well as private decision-making.
The design of a planning process varies. Since comprehensive planning is an ongoing process, different planning processes may be used at different times. The following diagram depicts the overall planning process for the central and south planning areas (see next page for detailed description of planning areas).
Figure 1. Plan Update Process.
Throughout the planning process, the general public was given the opportunity to provide their input on the existing and future development issues. At the initial stage of plan development, individuals representing area landowners and developers were interviewed by the staff for their opinions on the major land use and development issues in the area and their visions for the future. During the Planning Commission review of the proposed draft, seven Planning Commission public workshops were conducted. Another joint workshop was held between the Planning Commission and City Council afterwards. Before the final adoption of this plan, the Planning Commission is to hold a public hearing to solicit public input.
Recent planning efforts divide the city into three distinctive planning areas—The I-470 Corridor Area (or North Area), the Central Area and the South Area. The 1996 I-470 Corridor Plan covers the North Area, which is generally north of Chipman Road. This plan update addresses the Central and South Areas.
The Central area is generally bounded by Chipman Road to the north and the 3rd Street and US 50 Highway to the south stretching to the west and east city limits. This area includes the city’s downtown and older neighborhoods and retail services served by a well-established transportation network. Newer subdivisions have been built east of M-291 over the years while most of the area west of the old Rock Island Railroad remains rural.
The South Area is the area south of the 3rd Street and US 50 Highway. Even though it has one of the two primary industrial development sites in the city, much of this area has remained rural.
The entire planning area covers a total land area of approximately 38 square miles, or about 60% of the city.
Map 1. Planning Districts