The Comprehensive Plan (or Comp Plan, for short) is a document that guides city decisions about important investments over the next 10 years across almost every aspect of life in Gainesville, including housing, education, healthcare, public transit, utilities, public safety, community services and many others.
The Comp Plan defines things such as:
- Where new homes can be developed, what they can look like, and who they’re built for.
- What bus and transportation routes are funded and who they serve.
- Where to build new parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities and what maintenance projects take priority.
- How the city uses or sells public properties.
- The process for approving new real estate development.
Because the Comp Plan is legally-binding, it has the power to require certain actions by city departments, real estate developers, and anyone else who takes part in future growth and investment in Gainesville. For example, when city leaders consider whether to allow a major new development project, they will refer to the priorities outlined in the Comp Plan to decide whether the project aligns with the city’s long-term goals.
Today’s Comprehensive Plan is not as effective as it could be. It includes big goals, but it fails to name racial disparities, evaluate how city policies impact disparities, or identify policies to address them. The plan also does not go far enough to require that approved projects align with the goal of addressing racial equity. In this way, the plan reinforces inequity in Gainesville.