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Comprehensive Plan

What is the Comprehensive Plan?

The District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development. Originally adopted in 2006, it was first amended in 2011. In 2020, Chapter 2, the Framework Element, was further amended. The Comprehensive Plan addresses a wide range of topics that affect how we experience the city. These topics include land use, economic development, housing, environmental protection, historic preservation, transportation, and more. In 2021, the remaining Comprehensive Plan elements were amended for a second time to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs of the community.

Comprehensive Plan and Supporting Documents

The following documents reflect the 2011 Comprehensive Plan Amendment. The page will be updated to reflect the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Amendment as the changes become available. Review the Comprehensive Plan Update here.

Why is it Important?

Having a visionary and up-to-date Comprehensive Plan is critical to the long-term success of the District. It is the guiding document that District agencies, residents, employers, developers and other stakeholders use to ensure that Washington, DC evolves in line with our collective vision for “Planning an Inclusive City.” Further, the Comprehensive Plan:

  • Shapes the places we live, work, shop and play.
  • Guides the public services, infrastructure, and capital investments that make the District so desirable.
  • Guides the use, density, and design of buildings within the District, directly shaping the city’s physical form as it changes and develops in the future. 

Why was the Comprehensive Plan Amended?

The DC Off­ice of Planning is committed to ensuring that the Comprehensive Plan reflects the changing conditions and community priorities throughout Washington, DC. This will allow the District to continue planning for the future with confidence, accuracy, and sensitivity to the needs of the community. Since 2006, the District has experienced significant population growth, including 70,000 new residents since 2010. While the 2006 Comprehensive Plan anticipated this growth, it has occurred at a much faster pace than expected. The second Comprehensive Plan Amendment, which was approved in August 2021, addresses how the District can combat new challenges and includes policies to promote COVID-19 and recovery; equity and racial justice; housing; resilience; and public facilities.