What is a Comprehensive Plan? Why is it important?

    The comprehensive plan sets priorities and guides land development decisions to ensure Kansas City, Missouri is a thriving, people-centered community and a successful model for other American cities to follow for future generations. The plan will be based on extensive community input and community values and will provide guidance on City decisions related to land use, transportation, housing and neighborhoods and a range other topics.  The plan will also tie together the 18 area plans and other citywide plans related to trails, major streets, economic development housing, parks and other topics (click here for a list of related citywide plans). Read more about the update in our Comprehensive Plan Update Fact Sheet.

    How is a Comprehensive Plan Used?

    Plans are used by the City in both a proactive and reactive way.  Reactively, we will use the plan as a decision-aiding tool and as a way to evaluate proposals that come to the City in various forms (a rezoning request for example).  The plan will be used to inform public improvement funding decisions, other public investment decisions as well as to guide land use decisions being made by the City Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment and our Economic Development agencies. The plan will also include more proactive, actionable elements, which will allow the City and other agencies and community partners to undertake various initiatives and projects identified in the plan.

    Why update the current Comprehensive Plan?

    The plan provides a road-map and a to-do list for the City for a 10-20 year period. And it’s important that the plan reflects current conditions and trends and that it addresses the issues that are important to the City (issues that will change over time).  Much has changed in Kansas City since our current comprehensive plan (the FOCUS Kansas City Plan) was adopted in 1997. So in order to make sure our plan is addressing the issues and challenges that we are facing today, and that we will face in the next 10-20 years, it is important to make sure the plan is up to date.

    What is the process to update the plan?

    The process to update the plan will begin in the spring of 202 and is anticipated to be completed by the fall of 2022. The process will combine extensive engagement and consultation with the public with extensive and data analysis and research of best practices in city planning. The process can be described in 3 general phases:

    • Inspire – During this phase we will generate awareness and excitement in the community about the planning process and begin some initial engagement opportunities. Efforts to build awareness and excitement will continue throughout the project
    • Engage – During this phase we will focus on inventorying the community’s issues and values, ask for community input, ideas, feedback, and collaboration to develop the plan’s topics, lenses, goals, strategies and recommendations.
    • Enact – During this phase we will ask the City to formally adopt the Plan and then begin to implement its recommendations with the continued involvement and collaboration of the community.

    This sounds great! How can I get involved?