The Comprehensive Plan includes policies, goals and calculations of land use needs for the city based upon growth projections for population, households and employment. The Comprehensive Plan identifies the general areas in the community where commercial, residential, industrial and open space land uses will be allowed and provides plans, objectives and policies indicating how the growth areas will be provided with city services including roads, sewer and water utilities, and parks and open spaces. The plan provides a vision and approach for the future growth and development of the city's parks and public spaces.
Creating a Comprehensive Plan is one of the most important responsibilities for a city. The Comprehensive Plan is the blueprint for the development of the community. It determines the land use for every piece of property in Baxter and sets a framework for future growth.
In early 2013, the City initiated a process to update the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The City re-constituted the Long Range Planning Commission (LRPC) to be the working commission for the update. The City hired Stantec, a planning consulting firm out of the twin cities to help guide the city through the update process and ultimately develop the plan. The LRPC held 18 public meetings over a two year process before recommending the draft Comprehensive Plan Update to the City Council. The Parks and Trails Commission held public meetings throughout nearly the same 2-year process to develop the Parks and Trails Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. The City’s other commissions were also involved in the update process. The City Council approved the final version of the Comprehensive Plan on August 18, 2015.