HKGi led the planning process to update the county’s Comprehensive Plan, which included a robust public engagement effort featuring visual communications, branding, and the creation of a user-friendly online plan report that substantially improves accessibility of the plan for all residents and stakeholders.
The plan is built around a framework of Five Pillars that the community indicated were key to planning for a predominantly rural county: Living, Agriculture, Nature, Business, and Connectivity. Elements typically found in comprehensive plans, such as Land Use, Transportation, and Parks are integrated throughout each of the chapters and are considered for the ways in which they impact each of the Pillars.
Among the several distinct elements in the Shape Stearns 2040 plan is a clearly articulated method for considering land use decisions and taking other implementation steps. These implementation methods include sets of evaluation factors to help guide County staff and leadership as they make future decisions regarding development throughout the county. This format also enables more direct discussion and consideration of the ways in which land use, transportation, parks and trails, economic development, natural resources, and other forms of connectivity impact one another.