Common Terms

The following terms are defined as they relate specifically to the Comprehensive Plan:
  • Comprehensive means all-inclusive, both in terms of the geographic area covered and functional and natural activities and systems occurring in the area covered by the plan.
  • General recommendations mean policy recommendations in broad categories and does not necessarily indicate specific locations of any area, activity or use.
  • Land includes water, both surface and subsurface and the air.
  • Goals are the broadest expressions of a community's desires and they give direction to the plan as a whole. They are concerned with the long term, and often describe ideal situations which would result if all plan purposes were fully realized. Since goals are value-based, their attainment is difficult to measure.
  • Policies are broad statements that set preferred courses of action - choices made to carry out the goals in the foreseeable future (mid- to long-term). They need to be specific enough to help determine whether a proposed project or program would advance community values expressed in the goals.
  • Actions are specific statements that carry out a plan in the short term which accomplish the broader statements expressed in the goals and policies. Actions are generally formulated and identified in the City Council’s Strategic Priorities and are activities that can realistically be carried out within a two year period and guide the City’s day-to-day operations.