What is Planning?

Planning is the nexus between architecture, engineering, and social science and is concerned with working to provide opportunities to people to enable optimal social, health, and economic outcomes. Good planning involves understanding how development is occurring in a specific area, in relationship to the wider community, region, state, country, or world. Planning is a process by which individuals think of concerns related to their interaction with the physical world, and propose preferred outcomes.

In the United States, communities plan using a process known as comprehensive planning, which involves identifying issues, proposing solutions to those issues in the form of goals, objectives and strategies, and monitoring the outcomes of those solutions, in a continuous loop. The City of Parkersburg’s most recent comprehensive plan, the City of Parkesburg 2030 Comprehensive Master Plan Update, is one of these types of plans. Given the complex nature of a community, the comprehensive plan is aided by strategic plans designed to complete specific objectives that may not be easily achieved. Overall, planning complements development by allowing residents to create their future community.

Planning in Parkersburg

The West Virginia State Code provides communities with the opportunity to establish planning commissions and other citizens development review organizations. The City of Parkersburg’s Municipal Planning Commission is one such organization. Together with the Development Department, Public Works Department, Board of Zoning Appeals and various other divisions within the city, current and long-range planning is accomplished in accordance with the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Master Plan – a document updated decennially with input from residents. The land development ordinance is also established to provide for orderly subdivision or land and the creation of zoning districts providing opportunities for the grouping of like uses in order to provide an economic basis for the proper use of land.

2030 Comprehensive Master Plan

The City of Parkersburg’s 2030 Comprehensive Master Plan Update is a general guide for development in the City of Parkersburg. Enabled by the West Virginia State Code and maintained by the Municipal Planning Commission, this document ensures that future land development is consistent with the goals and objectives of the community. Included in this document are elements related to transportation, community facilities, land-use, natural resources, and housing. This document provides a basis for local decision making, and establishes a method for accomplishing specific objectives.
A link to the document sections can be found here: