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About the Plan

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A Comprehensive Plan is a strategic guide containing policy statements for effective decision making in both private development projects and community initiatives for the public good. A comprehensive plan is the vehicle with which a community’s decision makers are able to control the quality, quantity, and location of their growth. It provides both a snapshot of the current conditions and a vision for the future.


A comprehensive plan assists policy, land use, and infrastructure decision-makers who are able to then call upon the input that has been provided by any number of residents, business owners, property owners and other community stakeholders.  In its most effective form, it is a living document that is updated consistently over time to reflect the desired land uses, transportation options, public infrastructure, for example.


Communities may adopt comprehensive plans as described by Indiana Code “for the promotion of public health, safety, morals, convenience, order, or the general welfare and for the sake of efficiency and economy in the process of development.” Indiana Code 36-7-4-500 series sets forth the standards for developing and evaluating a comprehensive plan. Required elements include the following:

  1. A statement of objectives for the future development of the jurisdiction.

  2. A statement of policy for the land use development of the jurisdiction.

  3. A statement of policy for the development of public ways, public places, public lands, public structures, and public utilities.


A comprehensive plan is not a change in zoning. Both the zoning map and the zoning regulations remain as is. Any current or future zoning ordinance amendments and/or rezoning within the City, whether initiated by the City of Richmond or by a private land owner, continue to follow the process outlined by Indiana State Statute.


What is the purpose of a Comprehensive Plan?

As described in the City’s current comprehensive plan, “A city can use a comprehensive plan to help guide its future growth. More importantly, a city can use this plan as a tool to help engineer change by encouraging favorable development, while allowing for the natural evolution of a growing community. A comprehensive plan includes broad policies with implementation strategies that guide land use decisions. These important decisions will determine the physical, economic, and social well-being of a community. Comprehensive planning is a means to establish guidelines for the future growth of a community. City officials should use this document as a policy guide for making informed decisions that affect the community.” Adding that, “The comprehensive plan should satisfy six basic requirements:

  1. The plan should be comprehensive.

  2. The plan should be long-range.

  3. The plan should be general.

  4. The plan should focus on physical development.

  5. The plan should relate physical design proposals to community goals and social and economic policies.

  6. The plan should be first a policy instrument, and only second a technical instrument.”


What are some of the benefits of having a comprehensive plan?

  • Preserve and enhance the local character

  • Shape how the community changes over time

  • Promote the orderly development and redevelopment of the City

  • Improve the quality of life of residents

  • Assist local government in making land use decisions, especially as it relates to the effective and efficient delivery of public services, such as roads and utilities

  • Coordinate development and future capital expenditures within and between agencies and departments

  • Improve local conditions so as to attract more private investment

  • Avoid costly mitigation of poorly planned developments



Updating the Plan

How is the Comprehensive Plan developed?

The comprehensive plan planning process is part technical city planning, part key stakeholder involvement and key stakeholders, and part public outreach and engagement. This means YOU!


With your help, we will:

  • Evaluate existing conditions

  • Determine what the local, state and national trends are

  • Identify and define the issues and opportunities that the community would like the plan to address

  • Craft a community-wide vision for future growth and development

  • Identify a series of short-term strategies and action steps to get things moving in the right direction

  • Publish a new comprehensive plan for the City of Richmond.


Who gets to participate in the development of the plan?

Anyone and Everyone!  In addition to this project website where we will periodically post online surveys and quick polls, we will be hosting a series of public meetings throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2019.


In the meantime, the Steering Committee, Project Ambassadors, and Key Stakeholder groups comprised of approximately XX community leaders, business owners, key community stakeholders and County and City officials are assisting the American Structurepoint team in ensuring that both the public input process and the final document will uniquely serve the residents and business of Richmond by serving as a sounding board.


For more information about how to get involved visit the “Get Connected” page. For a full list of the project team members visit the “Learn More” page.


How long is the planning process?

From start to finish, the process for the Richmond Comprehensive Plan is about 12 months, which is typical for a comprehensive planning process of this size and scope.


The process began in late 2018 with the selection of a consulting firm, American Structurepoint, and the formation of the Steering Committee. It is estimated that the Richmond Comprehensive Plan will be substantially complete by November of 2019.


Which properties are included in the planning area for the Richmond Comprehensive Plan?

The Richmond Comprehensive Plan planning area applies to all land within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Richmond Plan Commission including the City’s 2-mile extraterritorial jurisdictional area. Extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is the legal right of a government to exercise planning and zoning authority beyond its normal boundaries.


How is a comprehensive plan adopted?

  • Plan Commission holds a public hearing on the plan

  • Plan Commission recommends it to the legislative body, the Richmond Common Council, for adoption

  • The legislative body can: adopt the plan as recommended; adopt the plan with amendments, or reject the plan

  • If the plan is amended or rejected, the legislative body can forward the plan, along with written comments, to the Plan Commission who will then have 60 days to consider the amendments or reasons for rejection

  • If the Plan Commission agrees with the legislative body’s amendments, the plan is adopted and neither the commission nor the councilors will need to take further action

  • If the Plan Commission disagrees with an amendment, the legislative body can still amend the plan, but only if it votes again in favor of the amendment within 60 days

  • Future amendments to the comprehensive plan can be initiated by the Plan Commission or the legislative body, and the process for amending the plan is the same as the procedure for adopting the plan


From  the Rules of Procedure: Richmond Advisory Plan Commission, Article 3, Section 6:

“The Plan Commission shall prepare and adopt a comprehensive plan for the development of the City of Richmond and such contiguous unincorporated area, located within two miles of the corporate limits of the City, that in the judgement of the Commission, Bears reasonable relation to the development of the City. The Comprehensive Plan shall be adopted to improve the health, safety, convenience and welfare of the citizens and to plan for the future development of the community to the end that:

  • Highway systems are carefully planned;

  • New communities grow only with adequate public way, utility, health, educational and recreational facilities;

  • The needs of agriculture, business and industry be recognized in future growth;

  • Residential areas provide healthful surroundings for family life;

  •  The growth of the community is commensurate with and provotive of the efficient and economical use of public funds.

The Comprehensive Plan shall be approved by resolution of the Commission and certified and recommended to the Common Council. After a thoroughfare plan has been included in the Comprehensive Plan, the Commission may recommend to the Richmond Board of Public Works and Safety the order in which thoroughfare improvements should be made.”


What if I just have a question or concern?  Who can I contact?

Fill out the contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you directly – you never know, your question may just make its way onto this FAQ page!


Please allow two business days for us to connect you with the person that can answer your question or most directly address your need.


How will the Comprehensive Plan be used?

  • The basis for all land use and development decisions

  • A point of reference for property owners, developer, lenders, elected and appointed officials and city staff looking to inform local policy, land use, transportation, and other infrastructure decisions over the next 10 years

  • A guide for future land use, public investment, and development decisions

  • Justification for the need to protect natural resources and prime agricultural lands, create opportunities for private investment, and enhance quality of life

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