Simplified: Lincoln County is looking to update its 20-year comprehensive plan, and decision-makers say community input is a critical part of the process.

Why it matters

  • All South Dakota counties are required to have a comprehensive plan, per state law. The purpose is, in part, to "protect the tax base" and essentially make sure the county is effective in all facets of the services it provides from roads to utilities to land usage.
  • Lincoln County last amended its comprehensive plan in 2011, but the entire plan hasn't gotten an update since 2005. The new plan will guide the county for the next 20 years.
  • This plan is particularly important because Lincoln County is growing significantly faster than predicted. The 2005 plan estimated the county population would be about 44,000 by 2025. Today, Lincoln County is home to more than 70,000 people.
"Lincoln County is rapidly urbanizing, and this process is essential to identifying the vision, goals and policies that will shape the future," said Toby Brown, planning and zoning director for the county.

How can I give input?

Fill out this survey.

  • The county is in the early stages of planning now. Consultant group Stantec has been hired to help facilitate the process, and representatives met with Lincoln County residents in a couple of public meetings this week.

The survey asks you to rate various aspects of life in Lincoln County, including: public safety, education, outdoor recreation, entertainment options, utilities and employment opportunities.

What happens next?

The survey will be open for a couple weeks, and the overall comprehensive planning process will extend throughout 2023.