Comprehensive Plan Impact on Reviews

How does the New Comprehensive Plan impact zoning map change, annexation, and development agreement reviews? 

Growth Management staff have been reviewing annexation petitions and zoning map change applications against the new Comprehensive Plan Community Goals and Objectives since their adoption in 2021.  Since the full plan was adopted in October of 2023, staff are reviewing proposals against the full adopted plan for consistency.  To be transparent in what this review of Comprehensive Plan consistency looks like, staff have developed this guide.  This guide is intended to be used by each audience as follows: 

Applicants:  

Use this document as a guide to design a proposal consistent with the Comprehensive Plan prior to application submittal 

Community Members:

Use this guide to hold proposals accountable to the vision laid out in the Comprehensive Plan 

Elected Officials:  

Use this guide to hold staff accountable in our reviews

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN POLICY REVIEW 

Policies are the recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan that work toward the community's vision. Policies guide how future development should happen, and help local leaders make decisions. Staff review projects against the policies that apply to legislative development decisions. There are approximately 30 Comprehensive Plan Policies that the Growth Management team reviews all projects against. Staff review how the project may be consistent or inconsistent with each policy to better determine how aligned the project is with the Comprehensive Plan. 

There are four categories that staff may assign a project for each policy: 

  1. The policy is not applicable to the project;
  2. The policy is not met by the project;
  3. The project is consistent with the policy by meeting current requirements; or 
  4. The project is consistent with the policy by exceeding current requirements. General rezonings (one without a development plan), are reviewed slightly differently. 

Check out the Comprehensive Plan Policy Review Template (PDF).

Comprehensive Plan Zoning Consistency 

Zoning districts show what can be built, in what way, and how. Some zoning districts are more consistent with the Place Type designation than others. This is just one way staff can review for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.   

Check out the Zoning Decoder (PDF) to see if the proposed zoning would be consistent with the Place-Type designation. 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN PLACE-TYPE CONSISTENCY 

This is the most difficult part of the review process, and one that requires more staff expertise.  Place Types have four characteristics described in the Comprehensive Plan within each Place Type description section.  Staff review a project to see if it is generally consistent with these four characteristics: 

  1. Housing & Land Use 
  2. Mobility 
  3. Green Space 
  4. Service Provision 

Additionally, Place Type descriptions often include Place Type specific policies which staff use in determining project consistency. 

Check out the Comprehensive Plan Place Type Consistency Review (PDF).

Example TEXT COMMITMENTs

Text commitments are elements submitted as part of a development plan associated with a zoning map change, or the formal process that allows a property owner to change the zoning designation of their property. Text commitments are legally binding, zoning conditions, that are tied to the land, and in excess of current ordinance requirements. They may establish the level of development allowed (absent further zoning action except as otherwise allowed or required under the Ordinance).   

The Text Commitment List is a document intended to be used as a tool by developers, Zoning Map Change applicants, community members, and staff to better align development proposals with the Community Goals and Objectives of the 2023 Comprehensive Plan. The document includes a table showing the breakdown of distinct text commitment categories and the Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives they support. Following the table, there is a list of text commitment examples that have been used in previous development cases or reviewed by Planning Department staff.  

Check out a list of Example Text Commitments (PDF) as you design your next proposal or as you work to inform a proposal as a community member.