Long Range Planning
LPlan 2040 - 2016 Update
LPlan 2040 - 2016 Update is the Lincoln-Lancaster County 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan embodies Lincoln and Lancaster County's shared vision for the future, out to the year 2040. It outlines where, how and when the community intends to grow, how to preserve and enhance the things that make it special, and strategies for implementing the vision for how we will live, work, play and get around in the future.
The development of LPlan 2040 - 2016 Update was coordinated with the formulation of the Long Range Transportation Plan - 2016 Update, a separate document that is required for the City and County to receive federal transportation funds. The development of the Long Range Transportation Plan and other related activities is undertaken through a separate entity established by the City, the County and the State called the Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization (LMPO).
The Comprehensive Plan and LRTP go through a major review and update process every 5 years, with the last plan updates adopted in late 2016. The Planning Commission, which is charged by state law with developing the Comprehensive Plan, also reviews the Plan regularly. The Planning Department prepares and submits two documents to the Planning Commission annually to assist with the regular review, a Community Indicators report and a Residential Land Inventory report. (click on Community Indicators or Land Use Data - Residential Land Inventory to expand the list for the specific information you wish to view)
At its most basic, a Comprehensive Plan is a community's common vision of what it hopes to become in the future - the quality of its residential neighborhoods; the places residents live, work, shop and play; the way people and goods move about the urban and rural areas; and the treatment of natural environmental features as development changes the rural landscape.
While American cities and counties have their own separate growth plans, the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County have a unified Comprehensive Plan. City and county officials have long believed the broadest common interests are served when we plan together. This is exemplified not only in a single City-County Comprehensive Plan but also in how the Plan is developed. For example, for more than 50 years a joint City- County Planning Department has overseen a single and unified planning process. This makes it easier to coordinate the entire planning process and to seek resolution to issues of joint concern.
The current City-County Comprehensive Plan (LPlan 2040) was adopted in December 2016. This Plan describes in text, illustrations and maps how the city will grow over the next 24 (and more) years, and how the rural areas and small towns in the county will evolve to meet changing economic, social and environmental conditions.
The Plan serves the needs of both private and public sector development. It depicts where, when and how important government facilities such as roads, utilities, fire stations, schools, parks and libraries should be coordinated and constructed. These public facilities in turn support private sector growth as new neighborhoods, shopping centers, office complexes and manufacturing plants become part of the community.
The development of the Plan begins with a review of the existing Plan document. The development of a new Plan involves numerous citizens who contribute their views on the community's future. The Plan's preparation is coordinated through the City-County Planning Commission - a nine-member citizen board appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council and County Board. The Commission's responsibility is to review the draft Plan prepared by the Planning Director, to hold public hearings on the draft Plan and to then make recommendations to the elected boards on the draft Plan and the planning policies it contains. The elected boards receive the Planning Commission's recommendations and then, after conducting their own public hearings, vote to approve, deny or modify the Plan. The Lincoln City Charter does stipulate that the City Council (but NOT the County Board) must have a "super majority vote" (five affirmative votes) to modify or amend the Planning Commission's recommendations.
The Comprehensive Plan goes through a major review and update process every ten years. In between these major Plan updates are more minor five year updates and other specific reviews of the policies and standards contained in the Plan. Elected and appointed officials, citizens and staff can and do propose amendments between the five year updates. These amendments are processed as they are received and are subjected to a series of public hearings before the Planning Commission, City Council and County Board.
The adopted Comprehensive Plan serves as a formal guide for the hundreds of regulatory decisions made by the city and county each year on land development. It also provides the basis for crafting the multi-year program of capital improvements known as the CIP (Capital Improvement Program).
The Comprehensive Plan provides a general vision for the future pattern of land uses and development within the city and county. The Plan offers broad guidance regarding the anticipated use of individual properties. However, the Plan does contain some divergent goals and policies that may require more individualized decisions based on the unique aspects of a particular parcel of land and its surroundings.
In certain instances, the Planning Department or the City's Urban Development Department have also prepared plans for selected subareas or individual neighborhoods. These plans typically are more focused and detailed in offering guidance for development decisions.
While they were not prepared by the City-County Planning Department, the development plans for the other incorporated towns and villages in Lancaster County are available for viewing on this Web site.