City planners are nearing completion of a new land-use plan that will guide development in Jefferson City for the next two decades and beyond.

 “Activate Jefferson City 2040” is a 145-page comprehensive plan for Jefferson City’s future that has been more than two years in the making. The city’s planning and zoning commission reviewed a proposed final version of the plan last week. They are planning a formal public hearing and vote at their meeting on June 10. The plan would then go to the full city council for consideration in July.

The city’s comprehensive plan is a policy document that can be used by city leaders, developers, business owners, and citizens to make decisions about how the community should be maintained, strengthened and developed. The current plan was adopted in 1996.

What is city planning?

Planning is comprised of several approaches to ensure that the built environment is appropriate for quality of life standards. The three major tools used in planning are the comprehensive plan, zoning code, and zoning map.

The comprehensive plan:

• Focus on community vision and goals.

• Fosters community support and buy-in for future actions

• Guides public/private development and quality of life programs/activities

• Establishes principals for municipal code development

• Foundation for Capital Improvements Program

 The Zoning Code + Map

• Regulatory tools to achieve land development and maintenance goals

• Implement goals and strategies of the comprehensive plan

• Promote health, safety and welfare standards

• Establish definitions, standards and procedures for planning and development processes.

More specifically, planning strives to avoid or mitigate incompatible land uses, guide development patterns, and enhance health, safety and welfare of the community. Comprehensive planning focuses on the long-range components of the community should be prioritizing to strengthen and develop quality of life.

Why communities need a comprehensive plan

A comprehensive plan is a policy document that informs how a community should be maintained, strengthened and developed. It focuses on many topics, with interwoven equity, such as housing, land use, the environment and economic development.

Planning with an equitable focus is the act of applying prosperity to all groups of people while avoiding disproportionate negative impacts. Healthy communities with interwoven equity ensure that physical, social, cultural and economic amenities benefit all residents in the community.

As a guiding document for this healthy future, the comprehensive plan needs to reflect current conditions, community priorities, and anticipated issues. Thus, this city-wide tool can be used by all city leaders, stakeholders and residents to guide how Jefferson City will function for its residents and visitors.

Activate Jefferson City 2040 will showcase the community’s vision, and also provide strategies for making Jefferson City’s goals a reality. The comprehensive plan will identify the where, how and why certain actions should occur in a productive and community-envisioned manner.

The Implementation Plan

In order to execute the recommendation in Activate Jefferson City 2040, the program is divided into six “big-picture” themes.  They are:

Housing and Neighborhoods:

Quality of life is greatly effected by housing conditions. Strategies associated wit this theme focus on affordability, diversity, and stability in the housing environment.

Economic Development:

Strategies associated with this theme support economic sustainability in Jefferson City.


A complete and diverse transportation system benefits the whole community. Strategies associated with this theme focus on promoting efficiency, safety and access in the Jefferson City transportation system.

Environmental Resiliency:

Sustainable community benefit from strategies that create harmony between people and the ecosystem

Land Use:

Image, character and functionality form livable spaces. Strategies associated with this theme promote regulatory methods to enhance the physical environment

Capital Culture and Healthy Living:

Strategies associate with this theme support Jefferson City through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and cultural/social vibrancy.

The complete plan is available on the city’s website.