A Comprehensive Plan is a local government's guide for decision making. It is created by studying the existing conditions of the community, debating preferred future alternatives and priorities, and identifying practical implementation strategies to help the County reach its preferred future goals. There are nine required "elements" that every Comprehensive Plan must address - population, housing, economic, community facilities, natural resources, cultural resources, land use, transportation, and priority investments. Thus, the Comprehensive Plan touches land development decisions, capital projects, and many other governmental decisions that might impact the future health of the County. In South Carolina, communities are required to prepare new Comprehensive Plans every 10 years.