Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Why Plan

As communities experience change, planning offers a way to envision and build communities that are livable, healthy and sustainable. Planning is a key process and tool to achieve that vision. Residents, businesses and visitors alike enjoy the outcomes of a well crafted and actively implemented plan.

Major Goals

  • One Unified Consistent Plan – One unified and consistent plan would enable or improve land use and zoning management. There are currently 27 individual land use plans that make up the county’s comprehensive land use plan. There are 27 townships that have no plan at all.
  • Update Old Plans Adopted Back to 1978 – Much has changed demographically, socially and economically in the county in the past decades and an updated plan would reflect current trends and needs. Original studies were undertaken in the 1960’s that served the basis for the 1968 zoning ordinance and map. The oldest land use plan was approved in 1978. The most recent plan was approved in 2009.
  • Capitalize on our Natural Resources – The county is rich in natural resources that provide employment and recreation opportunities to residents, businesses and visitors. The Plan would address land use related to mining, timber, agriculture, recreation, lakes, rivers, streams and the environment.
  • Accommodate Future Growth and Development Needs – An updated Plan provides the ability to analyze trends and set aside potential areas to accommodate growth and development needs in all areas of the county.
  • City and Rural Land Use Compatibility – Improved coordination and compatibility between county land uses and municipality land uses is needed. A Plan can identify land use conflicts that could be resolved through coordination. A compatible blending of land uses and zoning by the county and municipalities can be achieved.
  • Address Demographic, Market and Social Change – The Plan will provide an increased understanding about the past and present demographics, market and social change. The Plan will collect useful information about the county and surrounding areas, such as historical trends and present conditions. A data analysis can provide clues about where trends are headed.
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation – The Plan can improve intergovernmental cooperation among federal, state and local governments to strengthen community growth and development. This can reduce conflicts and combine resources in shared efforts.