The Big Picture refers to the comprehensive plan for the future of the East Lansing Community. The document has identified conditions of each region of the city, goals, actions and objectives that will help in shaping the future and planning challenges that the city faces. The discussion of the city’s vision for the future started in 2002. A group of volunteers who are dedicated have worked on the analysis of data, projections, trends, and comments of the public. It has also provided strategies for realizing future goals intended to help in development, investment, and redevelopment in the city for the next 20 years. This evaluation indicates that East Lansing’s Plan is consistent with some general criteria for plan assessment .
The first criterion for plan assessment is adequacy of context. The legal and political context of the plan has been indicated since it focuses on the Municipality of East Lancing. The administrative authority for the preparation has been indicated as well. It is evident that the team completed the work in 2005 and presented the comprehensive plan to the Planning Commission to commence on formal review and the process of adoption. The Planning Commission then presented the draft document to the City Council which then released it to the public for comment. It is also clear that the plan is for the East Lansing Community and its purpose has been adequately explained. The main purpose of the plan is to identify the city’s current conditions, the challenges it faces, goals, objectives, and actions to assist in the shaping of its future. The plan has also included an overview summary of the current state of the city, planning challenges and opportunities, trends and future impacts .
The second criterion for plan assessment is the “Rational Model” Considerations. The plan has not clearly indicated the criteria that will be used to assess its progress. It has concentrated its focus on the goals and development of the city. The problems have specifically been identified since the plan has also focused on the challenges in land use, transportation and traffic, business and commercial. The plan has put forward that growth is the main problem in the city, thus it is imperative to minimize its effects and maximize its benefits. Goals and objectives have also been specifically identified for instance; the plan has clearly stated goals for its neighborhoods, housing opportunities, commercial districts’ vitality and quality, land use pattern, community assets, transportation system, tax base and economy. The plan has stipulated seven major goals. The alternatives have been listed as well and the plan which do not relate to other governments .
The third criterion for plan assessment is the Procedural Validity. The Comprehensive Plan Team was involved in the plan formulation. Members were chosen from various groups in the city for instance; Downtown Development Authority, the East Lansing Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, the East Lansing Public School Board, East Lansing residents and the City Council. Their role was to develop a new Comprehensive Plan to replace the Comprehensive Plan of 1981 and make numerous amendments thereto. The Planning Commission used the data to formulate policies by reviewing the proposed plan and applying the recommendations in the plan. Drafts were then circulated to the neighboring municipality, each public utility, the regional planning commission, the public through East Lancing Library, the East Lancing City Hall and the county board of commissioners .
The fourth criterion for plan assessment is Guidance for Implementation. The plan has not indicated priorities for the implementation. It is only clear that the plan is set to generate ongoing improvements in the quality of life into the future of East Lansing City. The cost of implementation of the plan has, however, not been considered. The time span for implementation of the plan has been indicated. The implementation is set to take place for the next twenty years and the plan will be revised every five years. The plan has also included a program for impact analysis. The agency responsible for implementation of the Comprehensive Plan has been identified and this is the Planning Commission .
The fifth criterion for plan assessment is the data. The plan is based on a large amount of data including population of various areas of the city, family income, household income, and per capita income for 1999 and 2000. The plan anticipates new data since it is indicated in the plan that the population of the city grows steadily. The data sources have also been identified in the plan. These sources include different areas of the city that were taken into account. The data relates to the goals since it was used to identify challenges affecting the city. Moreover, it stipulates the goals and objectives. From the plan, it is clear that the data relates to measurement .
The sixth criterion is the adequacy of Scope. All the possible issues of the city have been considered in the plan by taking into account the challenges affecting different sectors of the economy and the goals set to solve them. The issues of efficiency and equity been considered since the plan states that it is for the general purpose of providing guidance and accomplishment of a harmonious, adjusted and coordinated development of the city. The financial, legal and political implications of the plan have not been clearly considered. The plan has majorly focused on the economic implications by presenting development impacts .
The seventh criterion for plan assessment is the quality of Communication. The client has been identified and this is the City of East Lansing. All the ideas in the Comprehensive Plan are clear since they have been stated clearly and explained. They have also been supported by graphics in the plan. The rationales behind all decisions have been clearly presented in the plan. This has been done by analyzing the challenges faced by the city, current conditions of the city, its goals and objectives. Programs in the plan are consistent with identified goals since each program describes the strategies to achieve each a particular. However, the criteria for evaluation have not been clearly indicated. The plan has mainly focused on ways of achieving the goals stipulated .
The eighth criterion for plan assessment is the Plan format. The date of publication has been shown in the Comprehensive Plan. The date is 25 October, 2006. The authors of the plan have been shown. The members of the Comprehensive Plan team and the East Lansing Planning Commission have also been shown in the plan. The table of contents has also been included. All the pages have been numbered and all the graphics have been used to best advantage .
In conclusion, the Planning Commission has made and adopted a master plan for the development of the City of East Lansing and outside areas which in the judgment of the Commission, have relation to the municipality’s planning. The plan, with the accompanying charts, plats, maps and descriptive matter show the recommendation of the commission for the territory’s development.
East Lansing Planning Commission. The Big Picture for our Future. Comprehensive Plan. East Lancing, 2006.