Most components of your comprehensive plan identify what your community intends to do over the next 30 years. The implementation portion of your plan lays out how your community intends to do it and when infrastructure investments will occur. The implementation plan needs to describe the local ordinances, policies, public programs, and capital improvement plans for local systems that ensure implementation of your comprehensive plan and protection of public infrastructure. 

Official controls are locally adopted ordinances, policies, design guidelines, fiscal tools, and other regulations that direct, guide, and assist in development decisions in your community and help to implement your plan. Your official controls may also need to be updated to remove conflict with new policy direction as outlined in MN Statute 473.865.

Implementation Plan

Your implementation plan must have enough detail for us to determine if there are any impacts to or departures from regional plans and policies. The implementation plan will ensure that regional systems and infrastructure investments are protected and your local plan includes the tools and resources necessary to carry out its vision. 

 Minimum Requirements: 
  • Describe all public programs, fiscal devices, and other actions that your community will use to implement your plan.

  • Define a timeline as to when actions will be taken to implement each required element of your comprehensive plan.

  • Include a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for transportation, sewers, parks, water supply, and open space facilities. Specify the timing and sequence of major local public investments.

  • The CIP must align with development staging identified in other parts of your plan and include budgets and expenditure schedules.

  • Describe all relevant official controls addressing at least zoning, subdivision, water supply, and private sewer systems.

  • Include a schedule for the preparation, adoption, and administration of needed changes to official controls.

  • Include your local zoning map and zoning category descriptions. Identify what changes are needed to ensure zoning is not in conflict with your new land use plan and consistent with regional system plans and policies.

  • Review and update official controls within 9 months of adopting your 2040 plan. Official controls must not be in conflict with your updated plan. You must provide copies of all revised official controls to us.

  • The Housing Plan Element has implementation requirements as well. Refer to that section to ensure that implementation requirements for the Housing Action Plan are met.

 For Diversified Rural Communities with Flexible Development Ordinances: 
  • You must be consistent with the Flexible Development Guidelines adopted in August 2008. These guidelines apply to Diversified Rural communities with staging areas for future urbanization identified as Long Term Service Areas for regional wastewater services. If you have local ordinances that allow densities greater than 1 unit per 10 acres, such as open space ordinances, cluster developments, or density bonuses, (or other similar ordinances) you should review these guidelines.

 Get More Out of Your Plan: 
  • Include Implementation Plans for other plan elements that may not be required. This approach will allow you to create action items for your entire plan as a whole and creates a local work plan to execute goals and objectives for your entire plan.

  • Contact other local planners that have similar challenges to your community. See our Local Planning Highlights section to see some examples of challenges turned to successful implementation of a variety of topics. 

  • Consider collaborating across departments and sectors, including local and state public health departments, to help identify and implement strategies in the comprehensive plan to improve community health. For more information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health Healthy Places website.
 We Can Help!
  • Official controls are adopted ordinances, policies, design guidelines, fiscal tools, and other local regulations that direct, guide, and assist in development decisions in your community and they help to implement your plan. We have compiled examples of local official controls as you consider what may be helpful for your community.

  • Many communities had thoughtful and effective implementation programs in their 2030 plans. We’ve compiled Plan Examples for you to consider. See if tools used in other communities may have relevance in yours.

Implementation Resources

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