What is The Ankeny Plan 2040?

The Ankeny Plan 2040 is a comprehensive plan with goals and objectives that establish the community’s vision for the future. The Comprehensive Plan is not a legal document. It does not dictate how the community is to be developed, but is meant to outline a possible future that could occur over time (2040) through the use of planning and investment policies, and regulatory tools. The Comprehensive Plan contains policy goals for many aspects of the community; including, for example, land use, transportation, housing, parks and open space, infrastructure, facilities and economic development.

The Comprehensive Plan serves several purposes:

Guiding the Management of Change

Ankeny continues to change, just like our families, businesses, institutions and natural systems; retaining conditions just as they are now is no more feasible than turning back the clock to a prior era. While change itself is inevitable, the direction and rate of change and the kind of places which change produces, are not. The act of planning, in essence, reflects a decision not to accept “the inevitable,” but rather to influence and guide change to produce a future that gives us what we want; the kind of community we want to live in. The essential role of the Comprehensive Plan is as a guide for the management of change, through which we anticipate and solve problems, and seize opportunities to make our community better.

Reflecting Community Values and Aspirations

Ankeny practices what we call “values-driven” planning. This approach recognizes that our motivation in planning must be to respond to the community’s aspirations for a desirable quality of life, for economic prosperity and for a community character that values families, retains identity and creates a sense of connectedness. While the plan will consider strategy and tactics and define technically correct answers to technical questions, these are secondary to the core “value” questions: What aspects of our life today do we value and wish to retain and enhance? What are our aspirations for the future of our community? What are we willing to do to achieve this future?

Providing a Foundation for Policies, Strategies and Actions

The Ankeny Plan 2040 will only be as valid as the vision that inspires and motivates it, and the policies, strategies and actions that will carry it out. It is necessary, but not sufficient, to identify sound growth concepts. Vision and concepts must be backed by sound, factual understanding of the dynamics of community change. These begin with socio-economic and technological trends and other external and internal influences. Metro and local market and growth pressures influence investment and land use patterns, which in turn influence, and are influenced by, transportation and other public facility demands, all of which determine the community’s fiscal health and quality of life. With a multitude of variables and choices, the planning process sorts and compares concepts and strategies, leading to the selection of an “optimum” – one that is technically sound, but also capable of broad support.

Operating as the Community’s “To Do” List

The Ankeny Plan 2040 is crafted to identify the actions, timetables, responsibilities and resources required for effective implementation. The planning process is crafted as a continuum – from Vision to Goals, Objectives, Policies and Strategies, to a timeline of short-term, intermediate and long-term actions – that becomes the community’s “to do” list. To gain immediate traction the Plan includes an implementation element that clearly spells out:

• An action program and schedule identifying short, mid-term and long-term actions to be taken.

• A protocol for plan administration, reporting and updating that ensures that the plan cannot be “put on the shelf.”

Providing a Catalyst for Community Consensus and Conversation

Questions asked in Ankeny related to how to deal with growth and change have elicited very different responses from businesses and citizens. Some are resistant to change, whether in the place, or the way of life that they now have. Others may be more receptive to what growth can bring with it: better local jobs and shopping and a greater variety of activities and amenities. Still others seem simply unaware of the degree of growth and change and how it may affect them. The process of preparing the comprehensive plan attempts to raise public awareness of the quantitative measures of growth the community is facing and the qualitative measures of quality of life that may affected. The goal of the planning process is to act as a wake-up call, prompting recognition of the trends underway and their consequences, raising awareness of the choices to be made in how this growth might be best managed, and guiding us to a conversation on what approach is best for the common good of Ankeny.

(Taken in part from the Center for Planning Excellence)