Onward Moorhead Comprehensive Plan Frequently Asked Questions


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  • What is Onward Moorhead?
    Onward Moorhead! is a Comprehensive Plan that will help set the stage for prioritizing growth and development for the next 10 – 15 years through community engagement and input.
  • What is a Comprehensive Plan?
    A Comprehensive Plan is a guiding framework that helps city leaders, developers, business owners, and citizens make decisions about how a city will grow over the next 10 – 15 years. Community engagement and input throughout the process is essential to determine the vision of the community. The Onward Moorhead Comprehensive Plan will include numerous topics that are important to communities including: Land Use, Housing, Business and Jobs, Parks and Public Space, Transportation, Resiliency, and Arts, Culture and Placemaking.
  • Why are we creating a new Comprehensive Plan now?
    The existing Comprehensive Plan was completed 17 years ago in 2004, with an update in 2008. Since these plans should be updated every 10 – 15 years, an update is needed to reflect the needs, goals and vision of Moorhead for 2021 and beyond.
  • Why do we create Comprehensive Plans?
    A Comprehensive Plan allows us to identify future issues, trends, goals and visions and prepare for change. By setting policies on how to meet the future needs of the community, we can utilize our resources more efficiently to adapt and respond to the challenges of a growing city.
  • How are Comprehensive Plans used?
    City departments use the goals and visions of the plan to identify strategies and resources to make the needs and visons of the community come to fruition. The City also uses the Comprehensive Plan to make decisions on property changes and development, zoning changes and how to prioritize spending in the capital budget. Property owners, community organizations and developers can also use the plan to help bring different elements of the plan to life with a level of confidence for the guided direction of the City.
  • Is a Comprehensive Plan the same thing as a zoning ordinance?
    No. Comprehensive Plans identify general land use patterns and sets broad policies for direction on a variety of topics related to the physical environment (mixed-use, commercial, residential, industrial, etc.). A zoning ordinance implements the Comprehensive Plan policies through regulations (or rules) determining specific uses, scales, and intensities of development (types of businesses, building coverage, height, setbacks, parking requirements, etc.).
  • How long will it take to create the Onward Moorhead! Comprehenisve Plan?

    We are estimating it will take 18 months and anticipate the final draft will be available by March 2022.

    Current Timeline:

    • September 2020: Project kick off
    • February – March 2021: Analyzing Phase 1 Engagement results and preparing for Phase II engagement
    • April – May – Phase II Public Engagement
    • March 2022: City Council approves final plan

  • How will the Comprehensive Plan be adopted?
    Once the final version of the plan is completed, the Moorhead City Council will vote to adopt the plan.
  • How can I get involved with the Onward Moorhead! Comprehensive Plan?

    Throughout the process, there will be opportunities to provide your input and vision for Moorhead through community meetings, mapping exercises, surveys and (depending on COVID-19 restrictions) events in the community.

    Sign up for e-notifications (click on Onward Moorhead), follow the City Facebook page, or enter your email address after any survey to be alerted to future meetings and input opportunities.

    If you miss a community event or meeting, but have ideas or thoughts you would like to share, you can email us at planning@cityofmoorhead.com .