Work on the Sheridan Land Use Plan first began in 2013 with the scoping of the project and selection of Orion Planning and Design as the planning consulting firm to aid the project. Work on the plan was guided by a steering committee that included participation from various stakeholders and area professionals. In 2014 and 2015, public outreach was undertaken that included two random sample surveys, work sessions, community meetings, and public engagement at community events such as Third Thursday. Document drafting and verification continued through 2016, with the Planning Commission considering the plan in both work sessions and public hearings, before recommending the draft before the Council.
A comprehensive land use plan is important to a community for several reasons. As a policy document, the plan is a statement of community vision and goals, designed to guide community growth to a desired outcome. In broad strokes, the plan helps elected and appointed officials make decisions on land use and development projects and opportunities. This includes annexations, rezoning requests, and subdivision divisions. The plan also helps prioritize capital projects and public investments, and points out ways that City process and regulation can be improved to realize the vision espoused by the plan.
The Sheridan Land Use Plan’s chapters and appendixes can be generalized into the following areas:
Figure 1. Plan components
The chapters on community background, existing land use, and community outreach form the Context for the plan. This includes review of existing planning documents, land use and documenting the various ways in which the community was engaged in putting together subsequent portions of the plan. The guiding principles, goals and actions, and future land use sections of the plan make up the Vision component. These sections highlight the areas of concern for the community, the desired outcomes and actions necessary to achieve them, and the future land use map. Finally, the Action components of the plan deal with implementation, metrics for success, and how the plan will be kept relevant through regular updates.
Figure 2. Guiding Principles of the Sheridan Land Use Plan.
The Sheridan Land Use Plan’s Guiding Principles are the thematic areas of concern that the plan addresses. Each principle represents a focal point for the goals and proposed actions found in the document. These interlocking elements, when taken together, help form a holistic approach to dealing with the pressures of development, and meeting the needs of residents in an ordered and efficient way.
The Future Land Use Map is the foundation for Sheridan’s zoning map. It graphically displays the desired development patterns community wide, and how these development patterns interface with open space and transportation corridors. Comparing the Existing and Future Land Use Map to the existing zoning map helps highlight congruencies and inconsistencies with existing zoning to desired land use.
The Implementation chapter of the plan breaks down goals into actionable items, and includes specific tasks to accomplish, along with timeframes and partners that need to be engaged to complete each action.
Figure 3. Example actions from the Implementation chapter of the plan.
The Plan also identifies some important next steps that need to be taken. This includes aligning existing city code with the plan, adopting policies and incentives to encourage mixed use and infill development, and revaluating open spaces and parkland requirements that are part of subdivision and development regulations. The Plan’s Appendixes contain documentation of the plan team’s analysis of existing planning documents and City regulations.
Once the Sheridan Land Use Plan is adopted, staff intends to develop a work program of specific initiatives based on the plan’s Implementation chapter and the recommended Next Steps outlined in the plan.
Planning and Economic Development Director