What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A Comprehensive Plan is used as a guide to decision-making about the natural and built environment. The plan is used for guiding decisions regarding land use, development, growth management and capital improvements. It provides a framework for guiding public and private decisions that will affect new development as well as reinvestment in existing neighborhoods and business areas. A Comprehensive Plan is based on the residents’ vision of how they want their city to grow in the future— it is a long-term vision (typically covering 15 to 25 years) that may extend beyond the lifetime of those participating in drafting the plan. For a link to previous planning efforts click HERE.
What is the difference between the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?
The Comprehensive Plan guides land use decisions and becomes the foundation of zoning and subdivision choices that are made by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments. The Zoning Ordinance is part of the City’s Code and regulates the type, scale and intensity of development that may occur in the specific zoning districts. To fully understand how a parcel of land can be used, you first need to know how the land is planned in the Comprehensive Plan, and then determine how the land is zoned. Just as changing the Comprehensive Plan for a parcel of land requires a Comprehensive Plan amendment, changing the zoning for that parcel requires a rezoning application.
Why is the Comprehensive Plan important to me?
The Comprehensive Plan is used as a guide to decide where future housing and business growth should occur, to determine what types of transportation system investments are needed, to determine what changes are needed to recruit more businesses and jobs, to determine what housing needs exist, to protect environmentally sensitive areas and to determine what is needed for the safety and welfare of the citizens. The Plan is also a guide for zoning decisions, which in turn guides development permits in the City. Therefore, it is important to be involved in the formation of the plan to influence decisions on future development activity. Learn more about how you can Participate.
Who led the development of the Comprehensive Plan?
This Comprehensive Plan was a cooperative effort between the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) and the City of Pelham.