What is the purpose of this project?

Stearns County is embarking on an update to their existing Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan sets a path for achieving the County’s vision for the future (the year 2040). This document is used by county staff and county leaders as they make future decisions regarding land use regulations and development, natural resources, parks and trails, and other community resources. The last plan was adopted in 2008. The Comprehensive Plan is typically updated every ten-years to reaffirm the County’s goals and policies, while evaluating community needs and growth projections.

Why should I be interested in the Comprehensive Plan?

County staff and county leaders consult the plan when:

  • A property owner proposes a new development in a township.
  • Rebuilding a street or constructing a new roadway.
  • Facilitating growth outside of the city boundaries.
  • Planning for county facilities and new buildings.
  • Preserving and protecting our natural resources.
  • Maintaining and investing in the County Park and Trail system.

What are some outcomes from the current Comprehensive Plan?

As part of this effort, we are celebrating some of the successes that have occurred since the last plan was adopted in 2008. The following success stories are a result of the Plan’s goals and policies that have helped inform county decisions:

  • Preserved over 1,000 acres of natural areas in the Avon Hills/Collegeville area.
  • Supported agricultural growth in the approval of over 600 new or expanded feedlot operations.
  • Provided landowners and decision makers the tools necessary to protect farmland by conducting hundreds of land assessments.
  • Supported areas of opportunity for renewable energy sources, resulting in over 600 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity.
  • Conducted over 18,000 watercraft inspections in 2018 in an effort to prevent and minimize the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).
  • Constructed park and trail amenities, such as the Lake Wobegon Trail extension into the St. Cloud metro area, a new family-friendly swimming beach at Quarry Park, and the opening of Kraemer Lake Park.