Long range planning is the process of identifying the community's vision and goals for the future and identifying the strategies that will be necessary to achieve the community's objectives. Long range planning utilizes knowledge of existing conditions, including land uses, community services, demographic trends, and environmental characteristics, to project future needs and enable orderly and sustainable growth and development. Public participation, which helps to ensure that future plans meet the needs of local citizens, is vital to the long range planning process.
The Sanford/Lee County 2020 Land Use Plan provides a comprehensive planning tool, which focuses on policies guiding physical development. The plan is designed to provide guidance during the review of rezoning requests, site plan proposals, and subdivision proposals. An important component of the plan is the 2020 Land Use Plan Map, which graphically depicts the future character of land uses desired by the community. The Unified Development Ordinance for Sanford, Lee County, and Broadway will implement many of the strategies in the 2020 Land Use Plan by updating existing development regulations. Small Area Plans are another important planning tool, which are used to study specific areas of the community, identify the needs of local residents, and create more detailed strategies for development.