Comprehensive Plan

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Why do we need a comprehensive plan?How long does it take to complete a comprehensive plan?City of Beaver Falls Steering Committee Members | City of Beaver Falls Planning Commission Members


What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan is a set of policies guiding the development of the community- a roadmap for the future. The comprehensive plan enables local governments and citizens to anticipate and deal constructively with community changes, and to shape the long-term development of the community. The plan links the important physical relationships between each part of the community.

A comprehensive plan is the articulation of the community’s values and priorities regarding development and preservation, and should be the foundation for all decision-making in matters involving land use planning. It guides and coordinates the changes the community is experiencing by providing for:

  • The sustainable use of land and resources
  • A positive environment for people to live in
  • Anticipated future needs
  • Beneficial development patterns
  • Preservation of community assets; and
  • The most cost-effective use of tax dollars.

Our Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code lists the following requirements for community comprehensive plans, which the commonwealth recommends revising once every 10 years.

  • Statement of community development objectives
  • Plan for land use
  • Plan to meet housing needs
  • Plan for movement of people and goods
  • Plan for community facilities and utilities
  • Plan for protection of natural and historic resources to the extent not preempted by state/federal law and consistent with and not exceeding requirements of acts identified in MPC Section 301(a)(6)
  • Plan for the reliable supply of water containing specific statements outlined in MPC Section 301(b)
  • Statement of interrelationships among various plan elements which may include an estimate of environmental, economic, and social consequences
  • Short- and long-range implementation strategies
  • Statement that existing/proposed development is consistent with or can be buffered against that in contiguous municipalities
  • Statement that existing/proposed development is consistent with the county comprehensive plan

All comprehensive plans may include:

  • Identification of growth and development areas
  • Energy conservation plan
  • County comprehensive plans must identify
  • Land uses as they relate to important natural resources and utilization of existing minerals
  • Current and proposed land uses which have regional impact and significance
  • A plan for preservation of prime agricultural land that encourages compatibility of land use regulations with agricultural operations
  • A plan for historic preservation

In preparing a comprehensive plan, a community must make surveys, studies, analyses of housing, demographic and economic characteristics, land use, transportation, community facilities; natural, historic and cultural resources; and prospects for future growth, available.

Why do we need a comprehensive plan?

A Comprehensive Plan aids in policy building to ensure orderly growth, and to protect the public’s best interest. There are many functions of a comprehensive plan, including the creation of a collective vision that reflects the intentions and will of the community to decide its future. In addition, the plan assists the city in proactively preparing for the future by guiding development in a fiscally-responsible manner and to coordinate public infrastructure investments to ensure adequate provision of public facilities and services. The plan will lay out recommendations regarding a variety of topics that include land use, housing, economic development, parks, recreation, open space, and transportation and corridor plans. The plan will contain goals, objectives, policies and guidelines for growth and redevelopment.

How long does it take to complete a comprehensive plan?

The comprehensive planning process for the City of Beaver Falls will take approximately twelve months (calendar year 2012). The process will be led by the City of Beaver Falls Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, with the assistance of the Planning Commission. There will be one large community workshop held on all of the plan elements in late September. A draft plan will be put together and taken to the city council for approval.

City of Beaver Falls Steering Committee Members 

Doug Carson
Gerald Moran
Harper J. Simpson
Jean Ann Barsotti
John “Chuckie” Kirkland
Ken Carson
Marc Dejeu
Mary Beth Quinn
Nancy Pelaia
Ray Gutowski
Ray Monza
Roman Kozak, Jr.

City of Beaver Falls Planning Commission Members

Ray Gutowski, Chairman
Roman Kozak, Jr.
Raymond Monza
Gerald Moran
Mary Beth Quinn
Harper J. Simpson
Nancy Pelaia