Local Planning Handbook

Welcome to the Local Planning Handbook! The purpose of the Handbook is to help communities update their local comprehensive plans. The Handbook:

  • Provides clear and specific direction on what the minimum requirements are and how to meet them.

  • Provides tools, maps, and resources to make it easier to complete minimum requirements.

  • Individualizes community information as much as possible.

  • Connects communities with available resources, grants, and technical assistance.

  • Helps communities understand the Council review process.

  • Provides resources for value-added planning/planning beyond the minimum requirements.

  • Highlights local planning efforts across the region.

Some of the new tools that you will find in the Local Planning Handbook include:

Community Pages Each community has their own webpage full of checklists, maps, and resources specific to them.

Individual Checklist of Minimum Requirements Every community is unique. Each community has different planning needs and requirements. Your checklist is specific to your community.

Interactive Mapping Tools and Individual Maps Using the interactive mapping tool, you can customize maps for your planning efforts or download existing maps of your community to use in your plan. If you have GIS capabilities, shapefiles clipped to your community boundary are available for you to download.

Affected Jurisdictions List Trails, roadways, and other infrastructure often extend across municipal boundaries. We’ve created a suggested list of affected jurisdictions for your community to help ensure your plan is compatible with planning efforts in other jurisdictions.

Online Submittal You can now submit your comprehensive plan update online! This includes submitting your plan for informal review, sending in supplemental information, and requesting plan amendments after your plan has been formally adopted.

Status Tracker  Check the status of your submitted plan update. Track your progress through the Council’s review process and see what’s coming up next.

The Local Planning Handbook is available to print at your convenience. Please note that the hard copy is a printable version of a web-based document. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please use the website. The hard copy will be updated as necessary and reposted online with a revised print date when updates are available.

* The Local Planning Handbook underwent a major update as part of the 2040 planning process, and was released in September 2015. The Handbook will continue to be updated with new materials, tools, and resources during this planning cycle.