|The Comprehensive Plan and Purpose|
A comprehensive plan is a statement of a community’s goals and a conceptual road map for how to achieve them. A comprehensive plan provides guidance to municipal leaders, government agencies, community organizations, local businesses, and residents, and helps to ensure that the community’s needs are met, both now and in the future. Long-term in nature (with generally a 10-year outlook), comprehensive plans concentrate on drafting land use policy, suggestive regulatory measures, and proposing local laws that, over time, will foster the community’s future in a manner consistent with residents’ preferred vision.
In reading and using a comprehensive plan, it is also important to understand what it is not. This comprehensive plan is comprehensive in its scope, not its detail. It is not a detailed instruction manual that tells exactly what to do or what will happen. It does not predict the future, although it does look ahead and express the Village’s goals for the future. It does not prescribe exact courses of action, because these must be developed with care in response to a wide variety of situations that may arise. The comprehensive plan is like a sketch of what a house will look like when it is built, not the house itself or the blueprints that tell the builder exactly what to build. It would be short-sighted to mandate only one way to accomplish a community’s goals in a comprehensive plan, when creativity and responsiveness to public input and evolving community needs may result in better solutions.