What is a comprehensive plan?

A City’s comprehensive plan can be defined as a long-range planning tool that is intended to be used by City staff, decision-makers and citizens to guide the growth and physical development of a community for ten years, twenty years, or an even longer period of time. It is a vision of what the community can become and is a long-range statement of public policy.


In basic terms, the primary objectives of a comprehensive plan are to accomplish the following:

  • Coordination of public and private investment
  • Cost-effective public investments
  • Efficient delivery of public services
  • Management of growth in an orderly manner
  • Minimization of potential conflicts between land uses
  • Be a rational and reasonable basis for making decisions about the community


Comprehensive plans include the important Future Land Use and Transportation Plans which, together, set the development framework from the community. These two important features help the community coordinate future land use, transportation and infrastructure decisions, such as:

  • New fire stations
  • New Parks
  • New water and sewer lines
  • Right-of-way acquisition for future roadways

The comprehensive plan also helps to serve as a basis for development regulations, such as Odessa’s Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, landscape standards and signage regulations.

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1. What is a comprehensive plan?
2. Why is Odessa preparing a comprehensive plan?
3. How does a comprehensive plan impact me?