Comprehensive Guide Plan

The City of Waconia, like all municipalities in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, is required by the Metropolitan Land Use Planning Act to prepare a Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Controls that are consistent with planned, orderly and staged development, Metropolitan System Plans and the Regional Blueprint. The city is currently compiling its 7th Comprehensive Plan.

Vision of the Future
The Comprehensive Plan is a statement of public policy based on a vision of the future as embodied in the statement of community goals. Goals are a statement of the vision; and the application of policies pertaining to land use, transportation and community facilities is the means to achieve the vision. The land use plan represents use policy for all properties within the city while the community facilities plan establishes policies on how and when various areas of the city will be served by public utilities.

The Comprehensive Plan establishes concepts, principles, relationships and patterns rather than legalese so that it can be interpreted more broadly than zoning, which must be interpreted and enforced to the letter of the law.

Flexible & Dynamic

To remain viable, the plan must be flexible and dynamic, not static. It must respond to change as well as guide it. It will need to be amended periodically to keep it fresh and current; but each change must be evaluated on its merits and whether it furthers or detracts from the city’s vision for the future.

Beyond Corporate Limits
The Comprehensive Plan covers areas well beyond the city’s corporate limits, over which the city has no immediate control. These areas are included in the plan in recognition that the planning area comprises highly interrelated natural, social, cultural and economic systems and that the city will have to continue to expand geographically to unify the urban community and resource base.

Planning Commission's Plan

Finally, the Comprehensive Plan is the Planning Commission’s plan and though it must be adopted by the City Council, the Planning Commission with the help of its professional staff, is charged with interpreting and keeping it current. All public decisions relating to land use, transportation, public improvements, etc., that can be interpreted to influence the plan, must first be reviewed and a recommendation formulated by the Planning Commission. While the City Council may take action contrary to the Planning Commission recommendation, it nonetheless has the authority, according to law, to evaluate all proposals regarding their consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.