Project Overview

What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan is a long-range planning document that provides guidance on where and how the community will grow and evolve over the next 25+ years. Comprehensive Plans typically consist of maps, policy statements, and goals and objectives addressing issues relating to growth, housing, economic development, transportation, environment, parks and open space, aesthetics, community character, and historic preservation and conservation.

The City of Rapid City will use the adopted Comprehensive Plan as a guide for land use and public investment decisions. Property owners, citizens and decision makers will use it to guide and inform their decision-making on land use issues, such as where residential, commercial and industrial development should occur in the future, and at what densities.

Why does the plan need updating?

Rapid City adopted its first City Plan in 1949. The last full update was adopted in 1981 – more than 30 years ago.  However, since that time, the City had separately updated numerous elements of the Comprehensive Plan, including a Parks and Recreation Master Plan, a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the Long Range Transportation Plan, the Utility Master Plan, Drainage Basin Plans and numerous Neighborhood Area Future Land Use Plans. 

Despite these separate updates, the City still needed one unified plan to address future opportunities and challenges related to growth and development.   The 2014 Rapid City Comprehensive Plan updated weaved together the ideas from these other efforts.

Plan Update Process

The Comprehensive Plan Update process launched in Spring 2013.  There were multiple opportunities for the public to follow and engage in the project through each phase of the process.  

Phase 1: Project Initiation - COMPLETE
The initial phase of the Comprehensive Plan process focused on reviewing background information and conducting initial meetings to develop an understanding of the key issues, opportunities, and challenges to be addressed with the updated plan.   Phase 1 also included launch of the project “brand” and this website.

Phase 2: Inventory and Analysis – COMPLETE
This phase emphasized building a common baseline of technical information about the community before we started to plan. It included a summary of existing community trends and conditions (the “Community Profile”), inventory maps, and analysis of development opportunities and growth capacity.

Phase 3: Vision and Guiding Principles – COMPLETE
This phase focused on understanding community preferences and developing a draft vision statement and related principles to guide the formulation of the draft plan.

Phase 4: Plan and Policy Framework – COMPLETE
The overall structure of the plan and the basic framework of goals and policies were established during this phase. Adjustments to the Future Land Use Map were also considered during this phase.

Phase 5: Draft Plan & Implementation Strategies – COMPLETE
All of the materials developed during previous phases were consolidated into a complete draft of the updated Comprehensive Plan.  This phase also included crafting a strategy for implementing the plan’s key objectives.

Phase 6: Review and Adoption – COMPLETE
The final phase of the project focused on public review of the draft plan and consideration for adoption by City officials.

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