News Flash

Comprehensive Plan - English

Posted on: September 29, 2023

October 2023 Project Update

The New Durham Comprehensive Plan is adopted!

After four years of detailed collaboration among community members, Planning staff, and elected officials, with the common goal of producing an equitable final product, the 2023 Comprehensive Plan has been adopted. This plan will be used by elected officials to guide important decisions around zoning and other planning issues for the next 15 to 20 years. The plan guides where and how private development should occur and how public facilities and services will support future growth. It also contains a roadmap of tasks and interventions for City and County staff to meet Community Goals and Objectives. We would like to extend a special thanks to the ambassadors who brought to the planning process those residents most affected by the plan. And many thanks to the thousands of residents who provided input in some form, whether through focus groups, working groups, community meetings, virtual sessions, interviews, or surveys. 

2023 Durham Comprehensive Plan and Place Type Map

How will the Plan be used now that it’s adopted?

The Community Goals and Objectives, Growth Management Strategy, Place Type Map, Place Type descriptions, and Policies all work together to describe the vision for our community. No single policy or component of the plan is intended to be used without the context of the full plan. The components of the plan are used together in three main ways: to evaluate new development proposals for applications that require decisions made by elected officials; to inform City and County work (such as projects, programs, or initiatives); and to write new development regulations (which are legally binding) in the Unified Development Ordinance that affect what property owners can do with their properties. Page 11 of the adopted plan document provides more information on each of these topics.

In addition, Implementation of the plan can be a primary way for residents to advocate for accountability. Residents are the experts of their neighborhoods and should continue to shape implementation through their advocacy, actions, and partnership with the City and County governments. Community members and organizations can use the plan to advocate for the recommendations in the plan, including the Guiding Values, Community Goals and Objectives, Policies and Actions, and Place Types.

What's Next? 

Now that the Comprehensive Plan is adopted, this work is transitioning towards what’s next: implementing the new plan! 

One specific way we will implement the Actions in the Comprehensive Plan is by creating a new Unified Development Ordinance that includes the changes recommended in the plan. Learn more and watch this page for updates as this work gets started: New UDO. In addition, this fall, staff is evaluating the actions listed in the Implementation List assigned to Planning to determine budget and resource needs for future work program assignments.  

How can I stay informed and involved in planning?

Here are some ways you can stay informed and involved with planning issues in the future: 

Growth Management Engagement Initiative:   The purpose of the Growth Management Engagement Initiative is to improve transparency, communication, and engagement for new development happening in Durham. This site is regularly updated and maintained by the Growth Management team of the Durham City-County Planning Department with proposed zoning map changes, annexations, text amendments, and development agreements. 

Planning Notification Service: The Planning Department expanded its public notification service starting in January 2019. The Department sends email notification of all upcoming Planning public hearings and other public meetings to anyone (individuals, neighborhood organizations, other entities, etc.) who signs up for the service. In order to receive the notification emails, you must OPT-IN to the Planning Public Notification Service.  Click here to sign up:

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