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Answers to Common Questions

What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan is a long-term guide that expresses the values and aspirations of a community. It is the broadest public policy document a community can create for its future physical development considering the input of citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders. The plan is a tool to prepare for change and acts as both a business plan and guidebook for decision-makers. The plan is not a legally binding document, but it can serve as a foundation for budgeting decisions, zoning ordinances, land development regulations and more. 

Why doies Bristol need to undergo a comprhensive plan process?

Why does Bristol need to undergo a comprehensive plan process?

Regular comprehensive planning represents good stewardship and establishes a foundation for well-supported policies to create the best possible future. The City has seen new economic prospects since the adoption of the last comprehensive plan, and a new plan should reflect new trends and priorities while being focused on the future.

Are there opportunities for residents to get involved?

Yes! This is an open and inclusive process. There will be two opportunities for public engagement during the planning process with special effort made to conduct outreach to different parts of the City. Anybody who cares about the future of Bristol will be able to participate and contribute their ideas and insight. 

Do I have to be an expert to contribute ideas?

You are an expert if you live or work in the City of Bristol. Who knows the community better than someone who lives or works here? 

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How will my input be used?

When you contribute an idea, you are making an impact on the Comprehensive Plan. Your ideas will serve as the foundation for the community’s vision, contribute to the plan’s goals, inspire specific actions, or set the course for implementation. As City staff and elected officials make decisions about your community, they will rely on the plan and ensure that those City decisions (i.e ordinances and resolutions) align with the Comprehensive Plan’s goals and actions. All input gathered will be recorded, databased, analyzed, and documented by the Planning Team. 

What is the timeline for completing the plan?

The plan and associated implementation strategies are anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024. 

Where can I learn more?

For more information about this exciting opportunity please contact Jay Detrick, Community Development and Planning Director at Please check back regularly as this website will serve as the “hub” for information about the project. 

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