Storm Lake Comprehensive Plan

On February 18, 2013 the Storm Lake City Council adopted the 2030 Comprehensive Plan update. The planning process began in the fall of 2011 and included a number of opportunities for community involvement including public meetings/workshops in January of 2012, June of 2012, and January of 2013.

The project was overseen by a steering committee. The Planning and Zoning commission recommended approval at their January 28th, 2013 meeting.

The previous version of the Storm Lake Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2000.

What is a Comprehensive Plan?
The Comprehensive Plan is a statement of what Storm Lake wants to become. It establishes a community vision and sets guiding principles designed to attain the vision. The plan is based on a composition of concepts, patterns and relationships that deal with integrating the social aspects of a community with its physical development. Unlike the zoning ordinance, the comprehensive plan is futuristic in that it guides decisions that have yet to be made. The word “comprehensive” in itself provides meaning to the plan: it deals with the whole community and not just the parts.

The Comprehensive Plan:
• Influences the form, pace and location of new development.
• Guides the use of every parcel of land (public or private).
• Promotes the maintenance and enhancement of existing neighborhoods and commercial districts.
• Determines and reinforces approaches for protecting natural resources and open space.
• Guides the community in investment decisions for capital expenditures related to roads, utilities and parks.

The vision identified for Storm Lake as part of the Comprehensive Planning Process is:

“When you ask someone from Storm Lake what it is about the community that makes it a special place, you will get many answers. If you hang out at the Field of Dreams on a Saturday morning, you will see and hear a community of many cultures. Visit downtown Storm Lake and you will experience great variety among its many stores, restaurants, street vendors, museums, and galleries. Take a stroll along the lakefront of wonderful Lake Storm Lake and learn about history or nature, toss a Frisbee, take in a performance at the band shell, or cast a line for the chance to reel in a catfish, sunfish or walleye. If you are visiting the community or you are a Storm Laker, you will have multiple options in how you get around. You might catch a trolley or bus, or you might choose to walk or bike along the many trails and paths linking key Storm Lake destinations like downtown, the lake, BVU, the hospital, and parks among others.

Opportunities to learn exist at all levels in our community: pre-k through senior high, technical college, at the university level, or through community education programs, either as a student or as a casual adult learner. Entrepreneurial opportunities are numerous and strong, seeking new ways to provide great services, continually evolving retail choices, manufacturing new products or creating ways to add value to existing products. Job opportunities in our community span a broad spectrum of expertise, skill, and compensation levels. If you are looking for a place to call home, a variety of neighborhoods await you, each offering a character made unique by its age, street pattern, building style, and housing type. Neighborhood, community, and special use parks help identify where residents live and create opportunities for social interaction and active, healthy living lifestyles. The City is committed to preservation of and revitalization of Storm Lake’s traditional small town character and quality-of-life amenities that will keep existing residents and attract new residents. It is committed to preserving and celebrating the natural environment, its cultural and learning institutions.

Storm Lake is a unique and thriving community because it has what other places continually seek: authentic small town character and passionate, involved, diverse, forward-thinking citizens willing to act with an eye toward the community’s future and to invest in a common vision.”

Guiding Principles
Guiding principles can be used on an ongoing basis as a yardstick - a primary filter for determining what is appropriate. Together with the vision statement, the guiding principles become the critical tools for ongoing measurement and assessment of initiatives and results. Storm Lake’s Guiding Principles include:

• Preserve and Enhance Storm Lake’s Character, Identity, and Image
• Enhance Storm Lake’s Downtown Identity and Experience
• Stimulate Redevelopment and Economic Growth
• Create an Exceptional Walking and Biking Environment
• Strengthen Neighborhood, Community, and Regional Connections
• Encourage Healthy Community Design and Environmental Stewardship
• Add New Housing Choices
• Support Reinvestment in Older Traditional Homes
• Create Youth-Oriented Places and Activities
• Create a Park System that Meets the Needs of All Residents
• Create Great Places for Community Gatherings