Neighborhood Plans are called for by the citywide comprehensive plan Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live & Grow, and applies Columbia Imagined’s recommendations at a local, more detailed level. Neighborhood plans follow a general outline and are intended to provide the following land use-based deliverables:
- Future Land Use Map (FLUM): This map identifies existing and desired land uses based upon the categories identified in Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live & Grow. The FLUM may also identify specific desired businesses or development types for a particular parcel within the broader land use category. For example, within the Neighborhood District land use class, a neighborhood plan may identify the need for a coffee shop or corner store to meet neighborhood desires and needs.
- Guide rezoning and redevelopment decisions: Land use planning and development decisions within the neighborhood planning areas will be evaluated based upon adopted neighborhood plans and FLUM. Rezonings may be initiated following the plan adoption and during development and redevelopment actions over time.
- Capital facilities planning: Neighborhood plans will examine existing and planned infrastructure improvements, and identify infrastructure needs. Infrastructure will include “hard” infrastructure (roads, electric service, water service, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit service/facilities) and will often also include “soft” infrastructure as well, such as community facilities, gathering spaces, green spaces and public safety. The public realm may be enhanced through recommendations to improve streetscapes, landscaping, parks and green space, and connections to the trails networks. These capital needs will inform the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), Major Roadway Plan (MRP), Sidewalk Master Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and other capital funding and planning documents.
- Identify key opportunity areas: Neighborhood plans will identify areas for improvement or opportunity. This may include affordable housing, historic preservation, design standards, walkability, sustainability, environmental, and other livability concerns. Some neighborhoods may desire to enhance positive characteristics, such as the emphasis on art in the North Arts Village District. In some neighborhoods there are strategically-located areas characterized by underutilization or physical deterioration. Improving these areas can have a transformational effect, spurring investment in a much larger zone. This deliverable will likely look very different in different neighborhoods based upon their unique SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
- Community-based opportunities: Neighborhood plans are primarily land-use documents. However, the plans may identify other areas of community-based needs and opportunities, such as community health initiatives (access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity), crime and safety concerns beyond what may be related to the built environment, access to social services, and other community issues. Neighborhood plans will address and inform areas of need for other plans, policies, and programs for areas not directly addressed by land use and capital needs planning.