Section 1: Background

Section 1: Background

The Comprehensive Plan of the city of Pittsfield is an effort on the part of the community to formulate a vision for its future and to develop guidelines for making future policy decisions

1.1 – Introduction

The Comprehensive Plan

A comprehensive plan is an official public document adopted by a local government to state a desired vision for the future of the community and to serve as a policy guide for decisions regarding the city. The plan acts like a working document making recommendations on issues concerning physical, environmental, social and economic development of the community. It derives heavily from a thorough analysis of existing conditions and the recommendations of the people in the community.

The comprehensive plan of Pittsfield states the vision for the future of the community in the form of goals and objectives that reflect the aspirations of the people of Pittsfield. It also suggests implementation strategies for achieving the objectives. A major section of the plan is devoted to the documentation and analysis of existing conditions that provide a basis for making future recommendations.


The comprehensive plan is meant to serve as a guide, against which specific development plans and proposals can be checked to determine whether they are consistent with the goals and objectives of the city. It also provides the basis for the zoning ordinance of the city, increasing its legal validity. Moreover, the adoption of a comprehensive plan is an indication that the community cares about the quality of life of its people, is ready to invest in itself and has a vision for its future.

The Pittsfield comprehensive plan is an effort on the part of the people to come together to build consensus on the future of the city, to enhance its physical structure, to increase the economic opportunities and to improve the quality of life for its people.


The success of a comprehensive plan depends upon the support of the people in the community and their willingness to implement it. Therefore, citizen participation was vital during the plan making process in Pittsfield. A thirty memberCitizens Advisory Committee was formed to provide resident input and to guide the plan making process. Valuable citizen input was also obtained through public hearings and a survey of Pittsfield residents. The goals and objectives of the plan are an outcome of these discussions and representative of the popular sentiment.

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