Government: Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is an official public document adopted by local government as a policy
guide to decisions regarding the physical development of the community. The Comprehensive
Plan describes, in a general way, how the town government leaders, based on community input,
guide the community to develop in the future. However, unlike a zoning ordinance, the
Comprehensive Plan is not a piece of legislation and does not dictate what categories of uses
may be permitted in a specific area. Rather, the Comprehensive Plan is a policy guide whose
purpose is to promote the wise use of the physical and social/cultural resources of the Town in
order to ensure the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the community 5
into the future. As such, to achieve maximum effectiveness from the planning process, the
Comprehensive Plan should be reviewed periodically and referred to when making decisions on
proposed development or projects.

The essential characteristics of the Comprehensive Plan are that it is comprehensive, general and
long range. This is not meant to imply that the proposals contained in the Comprehensive Plan
must be limited to only the physical environment. This Comprehensive Plan recognizes that
policies and actions affecting the physical environment must also evaluate and consider the
impacts of these policies and actions on social/cultural goals and objectives. Physical plans are
not an end to themselves but are a means to larger social, cultural, economic and aesthetic

Draft Comprehensive Plan


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