A City’s Comprehensive Plan presents the vision of itself: what distinguishes it, what it values and how it will develop in coherence with the whole region. The plan provides a rational basis for local land use decisions with a twenty-year vision for future planning and community decisions. The City of Watertown has had a Comprehensive Plan in place since 1981.
Purpose of the Plan
The lifelong vitality of the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan region depends on planning for steady and coherent change. The challenges and inherent planning for the region come together through cooperation between local and regional planners. The Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency, is charged with supporting and promoting communication across the seven-county area to implement the requirements and provisions of the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (aka comprehensive planning law).
Metropolitan Land Planning Act
The City of Watertown is part of the seven-county metropolitan area which is governed by the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (part of Minnesota State Statute). The Metropolitan Land Planning Act requires each local unit of government to review and update their comprehensive plans at least once every 10 years. Plan updates and amendments are evaluated based on three criteria:
- Compatibility with the plans of other jurisdictions including School District, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and Carver County
- Conformance with all metropolitan systems policy plans for transportation, water resources, and parks
- Consistency with the Metropolitan Land Planning Act and Metropolitan Council policies
The Metropolitan Land Planning Act requires a plan to cover four main components including:
- The background-setting the stage
- Implementation programs to carry out the plans
- Land use-allocating resources and accommodate population growth
- Public facilities (transportation, water resources, and parks)-protecting infrastructure