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Planning 1-2-3: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Writing a Comprehensive Plan in Illinois

This workbook is designed as a step-by-step guide for Illinois municipal officials to prepare a local comprehensive plan for their communities. The term “comprehensive plan” means the vision of what the community wants to become and the steps needed to meet that goal. It is a statement by a local government that sets forth – in text, maps, illustrations and tables—the goals, policies and guidelines intended to direct the present and future physical, social and economic development that occurs within the jurisdiction.

The workbook includes examples of plans and planning policies from Illinois communities, as well as checklists to help in getting started. These should aid local governments as they formulate their own comprehensive plans. A comprehensive plan has several purposes, but primarily it allows the community to create its own vision: an image in words that describes what it wants to be and how it wants to look at some point in the future. The public process to create a comprehensive plan is a visible means of involving the public in the future of its community.

A comprehensive plan also sets up the framework for future action, ranging from zoning and subdivision regulations to decisions on development and redevelopment.