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A general plan is a legal document that states the goals, principles, policies, and strategies to regulate the growth and development of a particular community. In the literature, general plan, comprehensive plan, and master plan are synonymous. The main characteristics of general plans are their comprehensiveness, long-range time frame, and holistic territorial coverage. General plans include elements on land use, economic development, housing, circulation and transportation infrastructures, recreation and open space, community facilities, and community design, among many other possible elements. After approval, the general plan is an expression of what the community wants for a certain time horizon, usually 15 to 20 years into the future. A general plan covers all territory within a jurisdiction.

Historical Evolution

The first plans in the United States were devised ...

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