Comprehensive Plan September 2021 Project Updates

By September 22, 2021News, News_CompPlan

Policy Working Groups have begun! Stay tuned for engagement opportunities coming next month and throughout this Fall! 

We wanted to send a quick update as we’re gearing up to begin our next major phase of engagement on the Comprehensive Plan! 

To develop the Comprehensive Plan, multiple groups have been formed, including the Outreach Team, Staff Technical Team, and more. We are excited to announce that a new group, called the Policy Working Groups, has just started their work!  

What are the Policy Working Groups?
In many typical planning processes, City and County staff, alone, would draft initial policies for plan based on the Goals and Objectives. The Policy Working Groups are designed to make drafting the initial policy recommendations a more transparent and collaborative process with the larger communityThe Policy Working Groups are made up of an intentional combination of Durham residents and City and County Staff, and are organized around six topic areas. The purpose of the Policy Working Groups is to come up with initial policy recommendations that could be included in the Comprehensive Plan to implement the vision outlined in the Community Goals and Objectives. However, the Policy Working Groups are not the final decision makers on which policies will be included in the final plan. The ideas and recommendations that come from the Policy Working Groups will be shared out with the broader community over the duration of the project, and will eventually go to elected officials for final approvalSee the webpage below for more information about the Policy Working Groups, including agendas, meeting notes, and general information. This webpage will be updated as the Policy Working Groups continue their work. 

Policy Working Group Page

What’s next for the Comprehensive Plan?
Staff are currently working to design the engagement opportunities that will be available this Fall. We’ll have more information in our next news post, including multiple ways to get involved with the new phase of the Comprehensive Plan. Community-wide engagement this Fall will be focused on the Place Types, as the Policy Working Groups will be developing initial policy recommendations over the coming months. We envision that engagement planned for Spring 2022 will be where the policy recommendations and place types are looked at together. See our process and timeline page for more details about where we are in the process. Stay tuned! 

Update on the Southeast Durham Focus Area
On September 14, Planning staff shared the Place Type and Policy recommendation for the Southeast Durham Focus Area (SEDFA) at a joint session of the City Council and the Planning Commission. A recording of that meeting can be found here. This same information will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners on October 4. 

Going forward, the Southeast Durham Focus Area Policies and Place Types will be used as interim guidance for elected officials to make decisions about annexations and zoning map changes in the Southeast Durham Focus Area. The Policies and Place Types called for in SEDFA will be rolled into the larger work of developing Policies and Place Types for all of Durham. See the draft Policy Recommendations for SEDFA here.