As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Fond du Lac Urbanized Area, the City of Fond du Lac, in cooperation with Fond du Lac County, the Village of North Fond du Lac and the towns of Fond du Lac, Byron, Empire, Taycheedah, and Friendship completed the Long Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fond du Lac Urbanized Area, ECWRPC 2005. Under federal law each metropolitan area in the nation, with a population greater than 50,000 must have a long range plan that considers at least a 20 year time frame to be eligible for federal transportation funds. The plan has a time horizon to the year 2035 so that the required 20 year planning horizon can be maintained while the prescribed update is being completed every 5 years.
The Fond du Lac Urbanized area was designated for the first time after the 2000 census, with a population of 50,058 and the distinction of being one of, if not, the smallest MPO in the nation. The Governor of Wisconsin designated the City of Fond du Lac and the surrounding urban communities as a Metropolitan Planning Organization in 2002, with the charge of carrying out cooperative, continuing and comprehensive transportation and land use planning. The East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission was selected to staff the MPO and assist in meeting the new federal planning requirements including a Unified Transportation Work Program, a Public Participation Plan, a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and a Long Range Transportation and Land Use Plan. The 2010 census figures show the population of the urbanized area to be 54,901.
All the jurisdictions that comprise the urbanized area worked together to compile and prepare a collective future land use plan. The planning process includes participation from the MPO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Long Range Plan Committee, and the Policy Board for the MPO. The Policy Board membership includes the City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, the Village of North Fond du Lac, the Towns, the Federal Highway Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, public and private transportation providers and the Regional Planning Commission. The public was invited to participate in all facets of the process and were solicited to review and comment at key points including the analysis and draft recommendations. The TAC and Policy Board reviewed and discussed the alternative analysis used to identify future transportation needs. The plan represents a collective long term vision for the Fond du Lac area based on local land use plans and policies.