by M. Dougherty, WVU


an orderly, open approach to determining local needs and wants, describing a vision of community's desired future, setting goals, priorities, and taking action.

Zoning, capital improvements, and sub-division ordinances guide land use decisions.

Planning is not ...

  • An attempt to replace market forces or stop growth altogether
    • it is to manage future community development
  • A Magic bullet, or a tool of immediate change
    • it is a tool to foster long-term impact
  • Static or only done once
  • the same as zoning

A Good Plan Can ...

  • Control taxes and preserve or protect: Farmland, private property rights, the environment, etc
  • Guide and promote development
  • Lead to consistent decision making over time
  • Most importantly: achieve your desired "vision" - what you want for the future

Planning Involves Four Basic Questions for the community ...

  1. Where is it now?
  2. How did it get there?
  3. Where does it want to be?
  4. How does it get there?

Question: Are communities that plan more highly "developed"?

Source: T. Wilson and G. Blonde, Lay of the Land, Land Use Education Program, 2002, Univ. of Wisconsin.