Zoning FAQ 13

Is there a basic template or model comprehensive plan meeting the statutory requirements of the smart growth law that municipalities can modify and use for their purposes?

The answer is no. We asked several planning experts and scholars this question and all said that no comprehensive planning template exists for municipalities. Indeed, many said that even if there was a “model” plan, merely copying such a plan would undermine the very purpose of the planning process. A comprehensive plan needs to reflect the unique characteristics, vision and goals of a community.

However, the Wisconsin Department of Administration has posted a library of comprehensive plans adopted by Wisconsin municipalities on its Website. Municipalities are welcome to use the site to view a variety of comprehensive plans passed by similarly sized communities. A municipality can view information, analysis, language or goals from plans already posted on DOA’s Website http://www.doa.state.wi.us/category.asp?linkcatid=746&linkid=128&locid=9.
DOA has also posted a “comprehensive plan checklist” on its Website that can be found here: http://www.doa.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=6867.

Municipalities that have not yet completed the comprehensive planning process would do well to work with experts or agencies that know the community and might already have useful data, such as a regional planning commission, the county planning office, or a private planner who has worked with neighboring communities.