The final draft version of the new comprehensive plan for the city of Richmond lays out 12 top priorities, a combination of short- and long-term projects. (Photo: Jason Truitt/Palladium-Item)
The final draft version of the new comprehensive plan for the city of Richmond lays out 12 top priorities, a combination of short- and long-term projects. (Photo: Jason Truitt/Palladium-Item)
RICHMOND — For about a year now, work has been done on a document that aims to lay out a blueprint for Richmond's next decade, highlighting the city's challenges and providing a list of projects for addressing the community's biggest needs.

The result is a 170-page comprehensive plan that made its public debut this week, the "Richmond Rising: Community Action Plan."

Consultant American Structurepoint put together the document after meeting with a steering committee of local residents six times; talking with seven different stakeholder groups made up of people ranging from city department leaders to officials working in education, workforce development, housing and more; having work sessions with members of Richmond Common Council and the city's plan commission; two input sessions with the general public; and a pair of surveys.

"I don't think we have any more important responsibilities as a plan commission than to really look carefully at the comprehensive plan," Richmond Advisory Plan Commission member Len Clark said during the group's meeting this week. "It's a fundamental document.

"Every time we meet — as I understand our charge — it is to test proposals that come before this commission against the comprehensive plan. It represents a long and careful outline of the aims of the city for as long as a decade."

The document will be used by city officials often in the coming years to guide decisions about zoning, investing in redevelopment projects, transportation improvements, parks, annexation and more.

Comprehensive plans don't typically capture the public's attention, even if they should. Construction over the past two years on bike paths in the downtown area certainly got people talking, but the seeds for that project were planted back in the city's last comprehensive plan in 2006.

This "Richmond Rising" plan will go through a series of approvals before it's formally adopted later this year, but for those who don't have the time to go to the city's website and read the 170 pages for themselves, what's in it?
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