Last Updated: 9/30/2021
Almost every viable organization plans for the future; a new business prepares a business plan, non-profit organizations develop strategic plans, a household creates a budget. To be successful, especially in today’s competitive economy, cities must also make plans to manage their substantial assets and investments. A comprehensive plan serves this purpose.
In 1928, High Point adopted its first comprehensive planning document entitled “Report Upon Certain Phases of a Comprehensive Plan for the City of High Point, NC.” Since that time the City has continued to produce comprehensive planning documents on a regular basis with plans being adopted in 1947, 1958, and every decade after that up to the City’s current land use plan, which was adopted in April 2000. While many aspects of planning have remained the same over the years, others (due mainly to technology), have changed dramatically. With the city’s continued growth, recent efforts to revitalize the core city, and the City’s current Land Use Plan being over 20 years old, it is time for the City to start working on the creation of a modern-day comprehensive plan to ensure that we continue to plan for the future growth and redevelopment of the city. Therefore, the City has started the process of creating the “2040 Comprehensive Plan.”
A comprehensive plan establishes long-range policies and guides the future growth and development of the city over a specified timeframe that is established at the beginning of the process, most often a 20-30 year horizon. It is the road map for future growth and development that is created jointly between the City and the community. It all starts with a vision statement that describes the desired future. It is the “what do we (the community) want to become” statement. The comprehensive plan, area plans and system plans are how the community achieves the vision, or the “how do we (as a community) get there.” The plan integrates and coordinates the plans of the many functions and services provided by the City.
City departments often get trapped in their daily department responsibilities and miss opportunities for coordinated efforts. The comprehensive plan will provide guidance for decision-making to ensure the entire City government is working towards the same goals so that time and resources are used efficiently and effectively to achieve the desired future. A comprehensive plan can:
- Better coordinate the timing and installation of infrastructure, facilities and services to serve areas where future growth is most likely to occur
- Ensure that all elements of the built environment work together to create a high quality of life while also recognizing the value of protecting natural resources
- Improve economic development opportunities to maintain a resilient local economy
- Streamline decision making by clarifying the City’s policies
- Save money over the long term through greater efficiency
The plan will be designed for use by elected and appointed officials, City government administration and staff, residents, businesses and developers, and others with an interest in the future of High Point. It should be used to help guide the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). A theme that should be interwoven throughout the plan, and during the process of creating it, is that it involves and helps contribute equitably to the well-being of all individuals and groups living and working in the city. Once adopted the comprehensive plan will be the source of guidance to staff, boards and commissions, and City Council when responding to requests from residents and the development community.
A comprehensive plan should include steps such as, but not limited to: conducting a community inventory that will provide a background analysis of existing conditions to inform the planning process; conducting a policy audit to determine the relevancy of existing long-range planning policies; a review and update of the Community Growth Vision Statement (adopted in 2007); scenario planning to determine the desired growth scenario; and drafting a plan to achieve the desired growth scenario. Public involvement is a key component to creating a comprehensive plan and it is needed throughout the entire process. This can be achieved by holding community meetings, but innovative ways to engage and involve the public should be considered throughout the process. Utilizing social media and other innovative technologies to reach a broad spectrum of the community will be necessary to get the buy-in of the community.
Click on each link below for more information about each task.
Task 1: Community Inventory and Analysis (CIA) [Completed Fall 2021]
Task 2: Long-Range Plan Policy Audit [Anticipated to start in 2022]