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Forward 2040: About the Comprehensive Plan

How is the Comprehensive Plan used?

The Comprehensive Plan provides guidance and information that is used in many ways by City officials, staff, citizens, and others.  These include:

Identifies future needs:  The Plan forecasts growth in population, households, and employment over the next 20 years.  These forecasts are used to identify needed improvements to the City’s roads, utilities, and other infrastructure systems to accommodate future growth.  The Plan also identifies trends that may impact changes in demand for public services, such as recreation programs and facilities.

Guides development and zoning decisions:  The Plan identifies where future development can occur and priority areas for redevelopment.  It lays out the long-term vision for the City and provides guidance to ensure that zoning decisions are consistent with that vision.

Set priorities for public investments:  The Plan provides guidance to set priorities for investments in public infrastructure and other public actions.  It also describes the various tools used to fund improvements.

Repository of information:  The Plan compiles a wealth of information about the City (now and in the future) that may be helpful to residents, businesses, developers, other governmental agencies, and others.  This information is also often used to help the City secure outside funding (e.g., grants) for specific public projects.

Comprehensive Plan Organization and How to Navigate

The comprehensive plan is organized by thematic elements (chapters), such as Land Use, Transportation, etc.  Each element defines goals and strategies to address the opportunities and challenges related to the element topic.  Goals describe what the City hopes to achieve over the next 20 years.  Strategies describe actions or approaches the City will take to achieve the goals.

The adopted Forward 2040 plan is available on the Documents tab. Older comprehensive plans are available on the Previous Comprehensive Plans tab.

Required Comprehensive Plan Updates

  • Statutory requirements:  Minnesota law requires that all cities, counties, and townships in the seven-county metropolitan region update their comprehensive plan every ten years.  
  • Changing needs and priorities:  An update allows the City to respond to changing needs, challenges and opportunities.  While Bloomington’s population has remained relatively stable since 1970, we’ve become much more diverse and added thousands of new jobs.  And we expect to grow even more: by 2040, Bloomington is forecast to have 6,000 additional residents and 17,000 additional jobs.
  • Regional coordination:  An update ensures the City’s plans for future development and infrastructure improvements align with the Metropolitan Council’s goals and guidelines for coordinated regional development.