The Southern Iowa Council of Governments is at heart, a planning organization. Planning is a key facet of life that allows people and communities to determine goals and define the means for achieving them. Before a community can tackle most projects, they are going to need a plan. Plans are blueprints for achieving goals by identifying necessary resources, determining desired outcomes, and listing key steps that will need to be accomplished.

All people and communities can benefit from planning. When local jurisdictions decide to plan, it is called Community Planning. Plans that can be utilized by communities have different names and serve different functions. SICOG has identified several types of distinctive plans that will greatly help a community plan for its future and which SICOG can help facilitate the completion of the plan for member jurisdictions.

The follow is a description of the different types of plans that are available:

Comprehensive Plan – One of the most important documents a community can have, a comprehensive plan serves as a guide for community leaders to use for future land use decisions and community development. More of an overarching plan, a comprehensive plan is not intended to be narrow in focus (i.e. an economic development plan for a section of town), rather it provides a framework in which subject specific material can be added. If a community has or would like to have a zoning ordinance, then that ordinance must be based off of an up-to-date comprehensive plan.

Hazard Mitigation Plan – This plan provides a pro-active framework for jurisdictions to reduce the severity of hazards that impact communities. Hazard Mitigation Plans helps local jurisdictions identify which hazards pose the greatest threat to a community, determines which projects to undertake, and provides possible funding avenues.

Having an up-to-date hazard mitigation plan makes communities eligible to receive more funding from FEMA if there is a Presidentially Declared disaster. Identified projects in the mitigation plan are also eligible to receive grant funding, depending on available grant funds.

Strategic Plan – Typically included with a comprehensive plan, a strategic plan will identify a community’s goals, define a community strategy to meet those goals, and facilitates the allocation of resources to pursue the community’s goals and strategy. This type of plan can be used as a precursor to a comprehensive plan, or as a stand-alone document that decision makers can use to aid in the decision making process.

Urban Renewal Plan – A site-specific plan that is used as a guide for the redevelopment of urban land uses. Similar to a comprehensive plan in that they both identify goals, objectives, and projects, however urban renewal plans are more narrowly focused and include greater detail on the types of improvements to be made.

Additionally, the following are other types of planning services offered by SICOG:

• Annexation Studies
• Economic Analysis
• Housing Needs Assessments
• Zoning and Subdivision Regulations
• Recreation Plans
• Regional Studies

If you are interested in having one of these plans completed for your community or would like more information about anything mentioned on this page, please contact our office. Contact information can be found here.