A Comprehensive Plan is a long-range policy guide to decisions about the physical development of a community. A plan generally does not provide a detailed design for development of specific sites; instead it sets out broad policy directions for growth, development and redevelopment. Indianola's Comprehensive Plan analyzes and incorporates a wide variety of components, including the natural environment, population, land use, transportation, parks and trails, infrastructure, services and facilities, and growth management. As a result Indianola's Comprehensive Plan provides a vision of Indianola’s future, helping to guide the growth of the community.
Indianola's Comprehensive Plan also provides a framework for land use regulations, recognizing that the people of a community live cooperatively and therefore have certain responsibilities to one another. These regulations determine how land is developed within a city and in its extra-territorial jurisdiction. Under Iowa law, land use regulations such as zoning ordinances must be established and enforced in accordance with an approved Comprehensive Plan. As part of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, the Indianola City Council approved an update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. That process began with the release of a Request for Proposal for consulting services, and in February of 2019, the City Council approved a professional services agreement with Snyder and Associates, officially kicking off a planning process which spanned 15 months. After months of working with the Project Management Team, multiple public engagement events, and a survey that was taken by over 1,500 people, the City Council held a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission at in January of 2020 to review and provide input on the draft comprehensive plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission used its February, March and April of 2020 meetings to further discuss the Comprehensive Plan update. At its meeting in April of 2020, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended adoption of the Comprehensive Plan update. Finally, on May 18th, 2020, the City Council approved the adoption of Elevate Indianola, a Comprehensive Plan Update Prepared with the Citizens of Indianola.