In addition to reviewing and approving development projects that are being constructed today, the Planning Department is also responsible for helping to maintain a long-range outlook for the future of the Town. Most often this responsibility is handled through a Comprehensive Plan. The Town's current comprehensive plan is the Garner Forward Comprehensive Plan. However, it can also take the form of Vision Statements (broader goals and objectives) and smaller Area Plans (more geographically focused).

Long-range planning also collaborates with other service providers to ensure that planning efforts across the Town are coordinated to the greatest extent possible. Examples of such collaborations may include items such as master plans for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department or transportation plans jointly managed with the Engineering Department.

Finally, long-range planning is also responsible for collaborating with neighboring agencies and regional service providers.  The Town of Garner is actively involved in collaborations with: