The planning report is intended to document the adopted elements of the comprehensive plan for the physical development of the Region. As such, these reports constitute the official recommendations of the Regional Planning Commission. Each planning report is carefully reviewed and formally adopted by the Commission.
Planning guides are intended to constitute manuals of local planning practice. As such, planning guides are intended to help improve the overall quality of public planning within the Region, and thereby to promote sound community development properly coordinated on a regionwide basis. The guides discuss basic planning and plan implementation principles, contain examples of good planning practice, and provide local governments with model ordinances and forms to assist them in their everyday planning efforts.
Technical reports are intended to make available to various public and private agencies within the Region valuable information assembled by the Commission staff during the course of its planning work on a work progress basis. Technical reports document the findings of such important basic inventories as detailed soil surveys, streamwater quality surveys, potential park and open space site inventories, and horizontal and vertical control surveys.
This report is similar to the technical report and is known as the technical record. This journal is published on an irregular basis and is intended primarily to document technical procedures utilized in the Commission planning programs. The documentation of such procedures assists other planning and engineering technicians in more fully understanding the Commission work programs and contributes toward advancing the science and art of planning.
Community Assistance Planning Report
These reports are intended to document local plans prepared by the Commission at the request of one or more local units of government. Occasionally, these local plans constitute refinements of, and amendments to, adopted regional and subregional plans, and are then formally adopted by the Regional Planning Commission.
Planning Program Prospectus
Prospectuses are prepared by the Commission as a matter of policy as the initial step in the undertaking of any new major planning program.
The major objective of the prospectus is to achieve a consensus among all of the interests concerned on the need for, and objectives of, a particular proposed planning program. The prospectus documents the need for a planning program; specifies the scope and content of the work required to be undertaken; recommends the most effective method for establishing, organizing, and accomplishing the required work; recommends a practical time sequence and schedule for the work; provides sufficient cost data to permit the development of an initial budget; and suggests how to allocate costs among the various levels and units of government concerned. Importantly, the prospectuses serve as the basis for the review, approval, and funding of the proposed planning programs by the constituent county boards.
The annual report has served an increasing number of functions over the period of the Commission’s existence. Originally, and most importantly, the Commission’s annual report was, and still is, intended to satisfy a very sound legislative requirement that a regional planning commission each calendar year prepare, publish, and certify to the Wisconsin Legislature and to the legislative bodies of the local units of government within the Region an annual report summarizing the activities of the Commission. In addition, the annual report documents activities under the continuing regional land use-transportation study and as such serves as an annual report to the U.S. and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation. The Commission’s annual report is also intended to provide local public officials and interested citizens with a comprehensive overview of the Commission’s activities and thereby to provide a focal point for the promotion of regional plan implementation.
These reports are intended to document the results of locally requested special studies. These special studies usually involve relatively minor work efforts of a short duration and are not normally intended to document formally adopted plans.
Other Report Types
In addition to the eight basic types of reports described above, the Commission documents its work in certain miscellaneous publications, including a newsletter, regional planning conference proceedings, study designs, public hearing and public informational meeting minutes, transportation improvement programs, staff memorandums, lake use reports, and planning program reports.