What’s the Difference: Comprehensive Plan v. Vision Plan?

By September 10, 2018 News

What is a community vision and action plan?

This process is an opportunity for the entire community to pause, take stock and define, as a community, what we want Overland Park to be in the future and how we get there. Specifically, it will outline a path of continued success for the next 30+ years. It is based on input from a community that cares about the future of Overland Park as a place to thrive, succeed and prosper. To complement these aspirations, the plan is grounded in an understanding of current conditions and trends. The vision plan will align all aspects of our community life and identify goals and specific actions for Overland Park to implement.

How is a community vision different from the city’s comprehensive plan?

The city’s Comprehensive Plan is a long-term policy guide focused on physical aspects of the city, including land use, growth patterns, transportation, environment, and infrastructure. The city’s Comprehensive Plan has been in existence since the 1970s, with regular reviews and updates.  It serves as the foundation of the city’s zoning code, annexation policy capital improvements plan, and many other specific plans and policies. In contrast, the vision plan has a longer and broader perspective, looking into the future and considering potential scenarios. Future updates to the comprehensive plan will align with the vision plan.

The vision plan will be:

  • A targeted long-term plan that sets the direction for Overland Park considering all aspects of community life. All of the city’s other plans should be aligned with the vision plan. Some of the vision plan’s goals may be assigned to other organizations and groups throughout the community for accomplishment as appropriate.
  • Driven by the Overland Park community’s insight and aspirations. Community engagement is an essential and relevant aspect of the vision plan process, and the final plan will be a product around which the community can identify and unify.
  • Implemented by the community, not just the city. While the City’s comprehensive plan is implemented primarily by the City and serves as its main guiding document. A community-wide vision plan is implemented by many different community institutions and organizations such as high education institutions, civic groups, the schools, healthcare system, major employers, the tourism industry and other community groups. It is only by working together as a community can the vision be truly realized.

At a glance

Comprehensive Plan Vision Plan
Long-term (usually 10-20 year horizon) Longer-term (30+ years)
OP comprehensive plan developed in late 1970s and subjected to annual review, updates, and amendments OP vision considered periodically: early 1900s at its inception, 1960 as a newly incorporated city, and mid-1980s
Sets guidelines for policy Sets direction and aspirations
Focuses on physical aspects of the city (land use, growth patterns, transportation, environment, and infrastructure) Focuses more broadly on the future of the city and all aspects of community life
Responsibility of the city Shared responsibility (City, Chamber of Commerce, Visit OP, other organizations)

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