The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s primary planning document. It is the basis for the Zoning Ordinance and most other ordinances relating to development regulations, and for more detailed or specific plans. The Comprehensive Plan is not regulatory in a direct manner, but influences regulations since the Zoning Ordinance and other plans and regulations must conform to the Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan (also referred to as the “General Plan” in some cities and counties) is a general analysis of all aspects of the city as it exists; an evaluation of its potential; a consensus of goals and policies for the City’s future development; and an outline for implementation of those goals and policies. The Comprehensive Plan is useful to citizens because it shows future plans for a particular area; the city's "vision"; concerns that may exist, and how those might be addressed; and is a source of information about the city. No other single document about Urbandale provides this information.