What is a comprehensive plan?
The Wisconsin Comprehensive Planning Law does not mandate how a local community should grow, but it requires public participation at the local level in deciding a vision for the community's future. The uniqueness of individual comprehensive plans reflects community-specific and locally driven planning processes.
While a local government may choose to include additional elements, a comprehensive plan must include AT LEAST all of the below nine elements as defined by the Comprehensive Planning Law.
Element guides are available online.
The law provides flexibility to local governments in addressing statutory requirements. Many communities choose to connect specific objectives, policies, and programs from throughout their comprehensive plan to responsible parties and timeframes in the implementation element, so that their hard work does not collect dust on a shelf. A central aspect of implementation is exercising land use regulation authorities. According to s. 66.1001, beginning on January 1, 2010, if a town, village, city, or county enacts or amends an official mapping, subdivision regulation, or zoning ordinance, the enactment or amendment ordinance must be consistent with that community's comprehensive plan.
To view a list of comprehensive plans submitted to the Department of Administration, please browse our library of comprehensive plans.
The Department of Administration administers a grant program to assist communities in the development of comprehensive plans. An emphasis is placed on multi-jurisdictional projects that foster intergovernmental cooperation.
For more information on the planning grant program contact
101 E Wilson St, 9th Floor
Madison, WI 53703