About the Plan
Springfield’s previous Comprehensive Plan, Vision 20/20 was created in 1996, and it was last updated in 2004. The city has experienced significant changes in the last 20 years, and many of the initiatives and recommendations from Vision 20/20 are outdated or continue to be top community priorities today. Forward SGF is the succeeding Comprehensive Plan for the City of Springfield
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A Comprehensive Plan is a blueprint for the future. It is a community vision that is intended to guide the City for the next 20 years. The Comprehensive Plan will result in a set of policies that direct future growth and development. Additionally, the creation of a Plan could lead to potential strategies that will help effectively guide City leaders with making substantive and thoughtful decisions for the community.
Who was involved in creating the plan?
As the blueprint for the city’s growth over the next 20 years, it was critical that all of Springfield’s stakeholders be involved in the development of the Comprehensive Plan. The City was and is committed to involving residents, businesses, and workers in the process in order to craft a community vision for Springfield’s future. Forward SGF aspires to impact and improve on the quality of life and enjoyment of those who seek to live, visit, work, and invest in Springfield, their collective input and feedback was the primary resource for the development of Forward SGF.
What will happen to existing plans, previously adopted by the city?
Past plans, studies, and initiatives that were previously adopted were reviewed to provide a familiarity of what the community has done leading up to the new Comprehensive Plan. The Forward SGF Comprehensive Plan builds on the City’s past planning efforts, incorporating recommendations that remain relevant and ensuring existing community policies and goals are carried forward and integrated within the Plan where applicable. Many of the corridor, area, neighborhood, and strategic plans that guide infrastructure planning, investment and decision-making remain in effect and are adopted as supporting components of Forward SGF.
Functions of the Plan
- COMMUNICATING THE CITY’S VISION – The Plan is a powerful statement of the community’s vision for how it grows and changes over the coming years. The Plan identifies the City’s priorities and charts a path for long-term growth.
- INFORM DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS – The Plan is a long-term guide by which to measure and evaluate public and private proposals that affect the physical, social, and economic environment of the community. The Plan guides and assists in the evaluation of public and private development proposals and helps ensure that proposed development supports the City’s long-term objectives.
- FOUNDATION FOR THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK – The Plan is a foundation for zoning regulations, the official zoning map, and other decisions guided by these regulations. Future amendments to City regulations should support the long-term goals and objectives of the Plan.
- COORDINATE INITIATIVES – The Plan informs and coordinates planning initiatives that affect the City at the local, county, and regional levels. The Plan may aid and inform efforts related to housing, transportation, trails, natural resources, economic development, tourism, and recreation.
- FUTURE STUDIES – The Plan establishes a guiding framework for the City as a whole and cannot address every issue faced by the City in detail. It identifies numerous geographic areas and specialized subject matters that will require additional study to implement City-wide policy recommendations. Future planning work and more targeted studies such as neighborhood plans or subarea master plans, will be added over time. Those future studies will become part of this all-encompassing Comprehensive Plan that will ultimately span multiple years and address geographic areas.
- INFORM AND EDUCATE – The Plan is a valuable source of information for the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and staff, as well as for local organizations, businesses, and residents. This broad spectrum of interests should use the Plan to inform the community and provide important information that can assist with future initiatives. The Plan is also an effective marketing tool that can be used to promote the community and highlight opportunities for investment.
- CIP AND BUDGETING – The Plan informs the development of the City’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and budgeting processes by helping to establish priority expenditures and sequence capital improvement programming.
How will the Comprehensive Plan be used?
- CITIZENS AND THE PUBLIC – Springfield residents can and should reference the Plan and relate their aspirations for change and improvement through the policies and recommendations when participating in community forums and addressing proposals or other matters before City Council and other appointed boards or commissions.
- CITY STAFF – City staff should be familiar with the Plan, the Vision, and guiding principles and should consult future land use polices, goals, and strategies when reviewing development proposals, and drafting in-depth neighborhood, corridor, and area plans. All city departments should be familiar with the Plan’s content, especially when preparing work plans and making recommendations for budgets, facilities, services, and capital improvements.
- APPOINTED BOARDS AND COMMITTEES – Appointed and elected community leaders should be familiar with the Plan to best carry out their work and mission. Board and committee members should demonstrate a commitment to the Plan’s Vision, guiding principles, and policy recommendations to ensure consistency in applying the plan to land use decisions and when making other important policy decisions.
- OTHER AGENCIES AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS – The City of Springfield and various other community partners must work together to implement the Plan. Each community partner is a contributing member of the greater community, the Plan should be consulted and considered when plans and projects are undertaken. The Plan should be presented as the City’s official position on planning and implementing important transportation, environmental, and economic development initiatives that impact the citizens of the City.
- DEVELOPMENT INTEREST – Property owners, builders, and others investing in public and private development and redevelopment in the city should consult and take ownership of the Plan’s vision, goals, and recommendations when formulating their own plans. Citizens should rely on the plan to guide the City towards a future that will improve and expand opportunities to live, work, and play. Since each contribute to the City’s quality of life, the Plan should be used to coordinate everyone’s interest in the development of the City.