About Comprehensive Planning

A Comprehensive Plan is required by the Michigan Planning Enabling Act. It must be reviewed for updates every five years to project land use planning 20 years into the future. The City’s update will be referred to as the Bigger Picture to reflect the evolution of the Big Picture Plan and not be confused with a simple update to or a complete redo of the plan.

About Comprehensive Planning
A Comprehensive Plan is a broad based policy document for the physical, economic and social development of the city as it relates to land use. It has a long‐range perspective that provides a coordinated approach to making important decisions. Land use decisions are influenced by several factors which change unpredictably over time and thus require ongoing careful evaluation and consideration. As such, the Comprehensive Plan must provide sufficient data concerning factors that influence land use decision and extensive public input as it is one of the primary tools used by the City of East Lansing’s Boards and Commissions, the City Council, and the City Administration in making decisions that affect the future land use of the community.

The focus of the Comprehensive Plan is primarily to establish relatively broad, mid- to long‐term goals, and policies that will provide the framework for ongoing community planning activities such as the wide range of other adopted land use planning documents like the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan whose detailed recommendations will expand upon and supplement the more general recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan.

 
A number of common terms are defined as they relate specifically to the Comprehensive Plan.