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The primary role of a comprehensive plan is to establish the community’s vision for its future. It provides the community with the opportunity to reflect on existing conditions while providing direction to attain its vision. A comprehensive plan assigns responsibility and prioritizes specific actions for implementation following completion of the plan. According to state law, the plan may include a wide range of topics "at the level of detail adapted to the special requirements of the town…" Topics such as residential growth, economic development, land-use, infrastructure, natural resource protection, and community character are typically addressed in a Comprehensive Plan.
According to state law, "All land use regulations must be in accordance with a comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to this section." Updating zoning and subdivision regulations is one of the most important tools communities in New York State have for ensuring that future growth contributes to achieving the community’s vision and goals described in the Plan. At the end of this process, it is expected that the Town of Poughkeepsie will refine its local land use regulations as needed to be consistent with the plan.