Historically HIP Charles Town 2040 - Comprehensive Plan Update

"If you're going to plan, why don't you plan for the community you would like to live in"

What's a Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan is a "blue print" for the future of a city. Comprehensive plan, also known as a general plan, master plan or land-use plan. It articulates the vision of the community as to what its citizens want it to become in the future. It identifies the goals the community aspires to reach as it grows. It is a document that will guide policy decisions about growth and change. It translates values into a scheme that describes how, why, when and where to build, rebuild, or preserve the community. It includes principles, guidelines, and standards for the orderly and balanced economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the City through 2040. It can strengthen communities’ policies and legislation, and it also can promote a more certain future. It encompasses all the functions that make a community work such as transportation, housing, land use, infrastructure, and recreation. All development activities or land development regulations are required to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. West Virginia State Law does mandate public participation at the local level in deciding a vision for the community's future. Comprehensive Plans are unique to the needs of individual communities and are reflected in in community-specific and locally driven planning processes. The West Virginia State Law requires mandatory and optional components of a comprehensive plan, which can be found here.

What’s a Charrette?

A charrette is a public meeting where community members and other stakeholders collaborate on a vision for community. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the City Officials and the consultant. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan. Often attendees are at tables using maps to either write or draw on the maps to depict their vision of the future. The link below provides a detailed explanation of a charrette as a social innovation where everyone’s input is valued and all the shared ideas can lead to a greater vision. The social innovation could be considered a form of a community oriented brain trust.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Seth Rivard at ctcomprehensiveplan@charlestownwv.us.

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