In its simplest form, the comprehensive plan can be thought of as the City’s “Instruction Book.” But in reality, it’s much more than that. It’s a reflection of the community’s social and economic values and is used as the vision and policy guide for development in Shoreview. It contains an inventory of the community’s characteristics, an analysis of how those characteristics are changing and renders a vision of what the community wants to look like 20 or more years in the future.
The Metropolitan Council sets the basic requirements for what must be included in comprehensive plans. Shoreview’s comprehensive plan update must address six plan elements including land use, transportation, water resources, parks, housing, and implementation. The Metropolitan Council also recommends, but does not require, local governments address economic competiveness and resilience. For more information on comprehensive planning requirements check out the Metropolitan Council’s Local Planning Handbook.
By law, Shoreview’s comprehensive plans must be consistent with Thrive MSP 2040, the Metropolitan Council’s policy document that guides development in the metropolitan region over the next 30 years. Comprehensive plans must also align with the Metropolitan Council’s regional system and policy plans. The system plans outline regional policy regarding transportation, water resources, parks and open space, and housing. The system plans are updated after each decennial census to address projected growth in population, households and jobs in the metro area.
Minnesota law requires that all cities, counties, and townships within the seven-county metropolitan region update their comprehensive plan every ten years. Shoreview’s last comprehensive plan was updated in 2018.
The Comprehensive Plan is about the future.
The Comprehensive Plan depicts a long-term vision of how and where the city will grow and change over the next 20 years to accommodate expected population and job growth.
The Zoning Code is about what is allowed today.
The City’s Zoning Map tells us how land can be used and what can be built on any given property today. Zones are more specific than the Comprehensive Plan designations and come with a set of rules, included in the City’s Development Code, that clarify what uses are allowed. Examples of this include residences, businesses, and manufacturing. The zoning code also determines how buildings may be developed or changed, including maximum heights and required distance from property lines..
The Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map and the Zoning Map are like a leader and a follower. The plan map is a long-range map saying what may be allowed in the future, while the zoning map says what is allowed now.
If you look at the Future Land Use Map, Map 4.3, you will notice some areas that are outlined and identified by a number. These are Policy Development Areas, which is a tool the City uses to identify areas that may have the potential to redevelop in the future.