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Specific Plan


Plan created after the implementation of a general plan that gives a detailed breakdown for community development including construction requirements, zoning regulations, building process, and others.


Once a general plan has been adopted, a specific plan can be created. A specific plan uses the premises set forth in the general plan to make effective planning measures. The specific plan will use the economy, projected growth in the economy, the current population, projected population growth, environmental factors, and other factors in legislating the specific plan. The planning of streets, electrical wiring, sewage systems, building construction requirements and other requirements are set forth in the specific plan.

Specific plans usually reach far beyond the original judicial purpose and an intricate development proposal along with policies, goals, and programs that bode well for the environment are implemented in order to establish certain areas. These specific areas are being cultivated into spaces that can be thought of as affordable, livable, and functional which encompasses many of the goals set forth in a general plan.

A specific plan will take the general plans basic ideas and designs and break down exactly how to execute it in a systematic method. The information within the specific plan may be extremely detailed, listing every facet of expansion down to the location and contracts that it will require or it may be a broad list of policies that will affect the way in which these minute details are carried out. Due to the amount of information and work that goes into drawing up one of these detailed outlines,  a specific plan may be either adopted by resolution or adopted by ordinance both of which are legislative acts that are equivalent to the process that a general plan must go through.

Specific Plan Pros

A detailed specific plan is able to award planners a method in which they can implement plans and objectives for a long term project in a concise manner. The plan itself may withhold the designs for the land that will be used for a particular project as well as the regulations that will properly guide the process. Everything from infrastructure plans and zoning regulations to residential and office space use may be included in the plan.

A specific plan must allocate opportunities for its surrounding population, citizens, and residents in order for them to tap into the organizational aspects of the new proposals. This inclusion allows for the community to fully cultivate and oversee any additions or modifications to the areas that are thought to be in need of one or the other. Any development proposals that may arise in the future also benefit from a detailed specific plan. A number of policies or regulations that may have been stated or overlooked by the plan may prove to be valuable to another project that would have ran into the same problems if not for the previous plan.

Specific Plan Cons

While specific plans can seem to be a plethora of advantages, there are disadvantages that can arise when dealing with them. A number of staff members must allocate time, money, and resources to fully prepare and execute the plan which may be difficult for some smaller municipalities and counties. Detailed data is also needed in order to fully discern what will be needed for the suggestions that are made in the plan. Most of the agencies that deal with crafting these plans don’t directly withhold the staff to fully prepare all of the information that is needed, so many of these firms hire third party consultants in order to achieve this which will tack on additional costs. Not to mention that all of these possible necessities can become obsolete if the project is ultimately scrapped.