RESOURCES

Fact Sheets are summary based documents that provide useful information on topics necessary to complete minimum requirements. How-To’s are instruction based documents that provide guidance on completion of a task. Both resource types are meant to provide assistance on topics relevant to updating your comprehensive plan update.

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ExpandGENERAL INFORMATION
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ExpandRESILIENCE
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Best Practices are links, resources and connections to generally accepted or most effective actions. These resources are meant to provide assistance on topics relevant to updating your comprehensive plan update.

Under each accordion, text in green is a reference to the location of the resource under the applicable plan element. 

Land Use
Transportation
Water Resources
Parks & Trails
Housing
Resilience
Economic Competitiveness
Implementation

Questions 


General 
1. Do Counties have to adopt Comprehensive Plans?
2. Regarding the review process, it is not required in statute that communities submit comments received from affected jurisdictions with the Comprehensive Plan Update, but it's listed as a requirement. Why?
 
Land Use
1. Are communities required to use the Council's standardized land use categories?
 
Housing
1. Do Counties have to address Housing in their Comprehensive Plans?
2. Don't counties do a lot to address affordable housing?  

Answers


General
1. Do Counties have to adopt Comprehensive Plans?
Yes, though the content and/or requirements may differ from city or township comprehensive plans. Minn. Stat. § 473.862 explains that Carver, Scott, and Washington counties must provide a land use plan following the same critieria as local comprehensive plans for any unincorporated territory within the county.
All counties (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington) must have a public facilities plan, which includes transportation, sewer, solid waste facilities, parks and open space, and water supply plans.
All counties must also have an implementation program as specified in Minn. Stat. § 473.859, subd. 4. The implementation program must address official controls and schedules for the execution of their plan’s content, including a capital improvement program for transportation, sewers, parks, water supply and open spaces
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2. Regarding the review process, it is not required in statute that communities submit comments received from affected jurisdictions with the Comprehensive Plan Update, but it's listed as a requirement. Why?
Not every requirement is specifically stated in statute. The Council is tasked by statute to review local comprehensive plans, and evaluate their conformance with system plans, consistency with Council policy plans, and compatibility with plans of affected jurisdictions. In order for us to do that evaluation, we must have sufficient information submitted that allows us to adequately establish that each community is meeting these criteria. So, we often have to ask for information that substantiates or supplements the planning documents. The comments from affected jurisdictions allows us to evaluate compatibility, so it is required for each community to submit that documentation to us as part of your plan. 
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Land Use
1. Are communities required to use the Council's standardized land use categories?
No. The Council standardizes land uses so that regional analysis and comparison is easier. We provide these land use categories for your information and we encourage you to consider using them. But each community should decide which land use categories best serve their local planning purposes. You are not required to use the standardized land use categories.
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Housing
1. Do Counties have to address Housing in their Comprehensive Plans?
Carver, Scott, and Washington counties must address housing for unincorporated territory within the county. This includes an existing housing assessment, an analysis of projected housing needs, and implementation program as required for municipal comprehensive plans. Most unincorporated territories do not receive an allocation of affordable housing need. Non-urban counties are therefore not required to address projected affordable housing needs in the residential densities of the land use plans of their unincorporated territories. They do, however, still need to discuss anticipated growth and how they will plan for growth in households at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
2. Don't counties do a lot to address affordable housing?
Yes! We strongly encourage all counties to connect with their local municipalities, Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (HRAs), and Community Development Agencies (CDAs) to align their resources and priorities to address housing needs in the region. Local comprehensive plans must address housing needs and rely significantly on county resources to do so. Both city and county comprehensive plans will be stronger and more effective if housing efforts are integrated within them.
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Here, we post resources that may provide technical assistance to communities on a variety of topics that are beyond the Plan Elements discussed throughout the Local Planning Handbook. Within the resources you will find in this tab, are links to external organizations, PDFs of toolkits, worksheets, checklists, PowerPoint Presentations, and others that can be used by communities to help with the public planning process. Feel free to suggest or request additional resources.