Cities are granted the authority to regulate land use by the Municipal Planning Act. For those cities engaged in land use regulation, the Municipal Planning Act provides the framework and road map that all cities must follow.
A comprehensive plan is an expression of the community’s vision for the future and a strategic map to reach that vision. It may include a compilation of policy statements, goals, standards, and maps for guiding the physical, social and economic development, both private and public, of the municipality and its environs, and may include, but is not limited to, the following: statements of policies, goals, standards, a land use plan, including proposed densities for development, a community facilities plan, a transportation plan, and recommendations for plan execution.
For many cities, creating a comprehensive plan is the first step in adopting zoning and subdivision regulations for the city. As a result, the comprehensive plan normally lays out a vision for the city’s future land development and land use, identifying where growth should occur, the type of growth that is allowed in various areas of the city, and the density of such growth.
Before adopting, or amending, a comprehensive plan the city’s planning commission must hold at least one public hearing.
A city may develop and approve other types of plans, but the comprehensive plan is the overarching plan for the community and the primary basis for land use, development, zoning and subdivision regulations used to carry out the community’s vision.
The City of Northfield's Comprehensive Plan is a document that outlines long-range plans for managing the growth of the community. The plan provides a framework for establishing policies, standards and principles pertaining to the city’s planning, zoning and public service activities.
The plan was updated November 2008 after an extensive revision process. A hard-copy of the plan is on file at Northfield City Hall in the City Clerk's Office and the Planning and Zoning Office and at the Northfield Public Library.