The Comprehensive Plan is now in the formal adoption processStaff is working to archive this website to document the engagement and planning process. Some information on this page may be out of date or reference a project phase that is now complete. For the most up-to-date information on the Comprehensive Plan, see the Adoption Process page 

Who is involved?

Everyone! The vision for Durham’s future needs to reflect the needs and wishes of the residents. Past plans have not intentionally brought in the voices of all of Durham’s residents and often residents of color and lower income residents were left out. As we begin writing a new plan, we want our residents, especially those left out in the past, to help write this plan.

The following groups are involved in this process to ensure different resident and staff perspectives are reflected in this work and that our elected officials are provided opportunities throughout the process to hear community input and to understand and inform the project direction.


Comprehensive Planning Team

The Policy and Urban Design (PUD) team, which is part of the Durham City-County Planning Department, is the primary staff team working on the new Comprehensive Plan. This group is also working with the Durham Innovation Team (part of the Office of Performance and Innovation) and Neighborhood Improvement Services (NIS) to develop equitable community engagement strategies. Planning Team members include: Scott Whiteman, Lisa Miller, Kayla Seibel, Carl Kolosna, Sarah Long, Laquita McDonald, Ami Mejia, and Brooke Ganser.

City and County Staff

Planning staff, leading the Comprehensive Plan process, are working with a variety of staff from the City and County. Many departments regularly work with residents and have expertise on how to improve our residents engagement strategies. In addition, there are many other engagement efforts going on in the City and County. Coordinating work with City and County staff across departments and projects will make it easier for residents to engage efficiently rather than repeated one-off engagements.

Staff Technical Team

The Staff Technical Team is comprised of staff from various City and County departments. The goal of this group is to understand how each City and County department operates and how the Comprehensive Plan can better serve their needs. Planning staff have also been meeting with individual departments to promote interdepartmental collaboration, learn about unique department operations, and collaborate on process improvements that can be worked on now or incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan.

Community Participants

Durham Residents

Widespread resident perspectives are vital to develop a Comprehensive Plan that meets the needs of the community. Resident engagement is guided by the Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint and is focused on engaging the voices of historically underrepresented communities to reach more equitable outcomes.

Outreach Team

This is a group of resident volunteers who are collaborating with staff in forming the engagement process and encouraging residents to participate. The Outreach Team, overseen by planning staff, has several working groups that are focused on helping make this process more accessible to Durham residents.

Engagement Ambassadors

This is a group of residents with connections to parts of our community that staff may not be able to successfully engage. They are engaging underrepresented communities to make sure they are included in the process and that their voices are heard. This group receives a stipend for their work. The work of these Ambassadors was the most successful part of our initial engagement on the Comprehensive Plan and Transit Plan.

Policy Working Groups (Durham Residents and Staff)

To make the Community Goals and Objectives for the Comprehensive Plan a reality in Durham, we have begun to work with Policy Working Groups. Policy Working Groups are groups of residents and staff working together to come up with initial recommendations that could be included in the Comprehensive Plan.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees

This group is comprised of representatives from Durham City and County boards, commissions and committees. Representatives are responsible for participating in quarterly meetings, sharing meeting information back with their group, engaging and encouraging group members to engage with the Comprehensive Plan efforts, gathering insight and expertise from respective board/commission/committee, and reporting insight gathered back with Comprehensive Planning staff. Members of this group have also joined the Outreach Team working groups focused on improving accessibility to residents in the process.


Input from various groups to inform specific aspects of the plan is gathered through a series of stakeholder meetings. These groups include local businesses, neighborhood organizations, education groups including local schools and universities, religious institutions, and non-profits, among others.

Groups Involved in the Plan Adoption Process

Joint City-County Planning Committee

The Joint City-County Planning Committee (JCCPC), which includes members of the City Council, Board of County Commissioners, and Planning Commission, provides guidance and direction on each phase of the process to ensure that recommendations and outcomes of the plan follow the community-developed values/guiding principles that are developed as part of the process. Updates on the Comprehensive Plan work are provided to this group every other month at their regular meetings.

Visit to learn more about JCCPC and view meeting agendas.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is involved with advising and creating recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan’s development. The Planning Commission also holds public hearings and makes recommendations on proposed new developments.

Visit to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the Durham Planning Commission.

Elected Officials

Although the Joint City-County Planning Committee (JCCPC) is the primary touchpoint for the project with elected officials, there will be periodic involvement of the full governing boards throughout the process. All elected officials from the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners are invited to participate in the JCCPC discussions of the project. The Comprehensive Plan will need to be adopted by the Board of County Commissioners and the City Council.