City Planning

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There is an old adage that says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” In the world of city growth and management, this statement could not be more accurate. Planning is involved in many aspects of community growth beyond just reviewing development plans. By planning, we seek to protect our natural and cultural resources, eliminate blight by means of controlled growth, discover creative re-uses for long worn-out property, develop appropriate incentives to attract new capital investment, and much more. 

In general, there are five major benefits to planning:

          1. Planning helps City officials by providing guidelines and goals for future decisions. 
          2. Planning helps the City Council establish goals proactively and consider contingencies.  
          3. Planning can help quantify goals and establish a means of measuring success.  
          4. Planning can help ensure that a coherent set of actions are implemented that are consistent with the 
               values and priorities of the citizens.  
          5. Planning helps allocate limited resources like staff, materials and time in an orderly and systematic

One of the primary measures by which a municipality sets out its plans for the future is by creating a Comprehensive Development Plan. The City of Granite City started revising and updating its comprehensive plan in the fourth quarter of 2007. As such, we encourage citizen groups to meet with City planners to discuss specific issues and to talk generally about the future of our town. The following details the specific purpose and character of the Comprehensive Plan. Below which, we have made the existing Comprehensive Plan available for download. 

Comprehensive Development Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a tool used to guide growth and development within the City. The Comprehensive Plan is a community effort facilitated by the Plan Commission that lays out guidelines on how the community would like to grow and how to achieve it. The Plan takes a look at the community's strengths and weaknesses in an effort to address the development and redevelopment issues affecting the City. 
This in-depth analysis helps anticipate future issues or trends, and it lays out the land use plan that helps mold future growth and development. The Comprehensive Plan provides an assessment of the physical and economic base of the City by providing a land use plan, census data, population projections, economic information, capital improvement plans, and much more. 

Other issues addressed in the Plan include balancing the demand for development with our current resources so not to overburden the schools and city services; continuing to work to advance the Tri-City Port District; attracting other employers to diversify our work force; redevelopment of areas in possible decline; and protecting our environment and continually improving the quality of life within the community. 

Comprehensive Development Plan 
Comprehensive Development Plan Technical Memorandum 
Zoning Map 

Downtown Building Form Master Plan

In February, 2008 the City Council approved a building form master plan that is to be used as a guide to the future redevelopment of the downtown area. This plan has been made available to developers interested in the downtown area as a means of providing them with an idea of the development possibilities downtown and the goals of the City. 

Downtown Existing Land Use
Building Form Master Plan
Partial Block Study 

Design & Appearance Standards

In October 2013, the City Plan Commission adopted the City's first ever design and appearance guideline for commercial structures. The intent of this handbook is to identify the City’s expectations with regard to the design of commercial buildings and to provide a consistent framework that facilitates the review and approval of commercial buildings in a cost-effective and timely manner. The Commercial Design Handbook promotes architecture that fits within and contributes to the character and context of the City’s existing commercial districts. The guidelines are meant to help achieve good design, not a certain stylistic result. The Commercial Design Handbook establishes criteria for building design and the established site plan review process. The Handbook breaks commercial architecture into seven (7) general elements. Each of the elements includes an intent and architectural design guidelines. Sketches, photographs and descriptive captions are used to aid in the understanding of the preferred design solutions and illustrate design solutions to avoid.

The Handbook does not dictate solutions, but rather provides general guidelines and examples intended to help guide developers in making decisions for a variety of specific design issues. The guidelines should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility to better respond to the carrying conditions and constraints inherent to individual sites and complexities of commercial development. The Handbook is intended to assist designers, developers and owner in the preparation of development proposals and assist the City’s elected and appointed decision-makers in the review and consideration of Plan commercial design goals and objectives. There is no intent to create an architecture review board or additional layer of review. Click the link below to read the guidebook now.

Commercial Design Handbook

Related Links

Building & Zoning Department