What is a Comprehensive Land Use Plan?

A Comprehensive Land Use Plan (The Plan) is a statement of the local government’s goals, objectives and policies to guide public and private development.  The Comprehensive Land Use Plan is the overarching policy document, guiding the development and implementation of zoning and subdivision regulations, location and classification of streets, public facilities, parks and open space and housing and economic development programs. 


The key characteristics of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan are:

  1. They are comprehensive, covering the entire jurisdiction, not just certain smaller areas.

  2. They are general, summarizing high-level policies, goals and objectives, as opposed to a zoning ordinance which regulates the design and use of individual parcels.

  3. They are long range, looking forward 10 to 20 years. 


A Comprehensive Land Use Plan’s purpose is to:


  1. Identify the needs of a community.

  2. Develop goals and policies directly addressing those needs.

  3. Direct the operations and investments in the development of land, including uses, parks, streets, open space, public utilities and infrastructure.

  4. Serve as the legal framework for zoning and subdivision decisions.   


The Comprehensive Land Use Plan influences nearly all essential community services.


Sustainable Yellow Springs

The theme of this Comprehensive Land Use Plan recognizes the Village's past and future commitment to sustainability.  For the purpose of this Plan, sustainability refers to the ability to support the needs of the present, without compromising future generations in the areas of economic, environmental and human sustainability.

Economic Sustainability refers to the ability of the Village and its residents to thrive economically, supporting critical systems such as its infrastructure, businesses, education and cultural institutions.  Future development and investment should be measured in a manner that positively enhances economic sustainability of the Village and its residents.  For example, new developments should be measured based on whether or not they enhance the economic well being of the Village (ie: creating living wage jobs or adding additional rate payers to support existing public infrastructure).

Environmental Sustainability refers to the current and long term health of our natural and ecological systems.  Natural and cultural features should be protected and preserved for future generations.  New development should be measured based on environmental enhancements.  For example, ensuring that infill development is encouraged or, at the very least, new development occurs within the Urban Service Boundary only.  Programs and policies protecting valuable farmland, open space and parks are supported and continue to reduce our overall impact on the natural environment.  


Human Sustainability refers to the ability of current and future residents to survive and flourish within the Village, by satisfying both their physical and emotional needs.  This includes the ability to find adequate and affordable housing, live in an safe environment and fulfill recreational, educational, cultural and spiritual needs.  Future policies and investments should be evaluated with human sustainability in mind.  Examples include encouraging affordable housing, making parks and playgrounds accessible and all individuals feel welcome as residents of Yellow Springs. 

The recommendations contained in this Plan have been crafted through the lens of sustainability.  While there may be some conflicts between the recommendations, the overall goal is for the Village to continue to evolve with a deliberately sustainable approach. 


To maintain the Plan's relevance, The Village should periodically (every 10 to 15 years) review growth assumptions, goals and policies outlined in this Plan. In particular, whenever significant changes occur, such as large annexations, to the development pattern of the Village.