Conformance with Plans


A proposed project should be consistent with a community's long-range goals and policies as articulated in its comprehensive plans, and account for HUD’s policy goals regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact. Most cities and communities, and even some neighborhoods, have medium (5-year) to long-range (25-year) plans that express the community’s vision for development.

Comprehensive plans serve as the basis for rezoning or special use requests and encompass plans and goals relating to a wide variety of areas including, but not limited to:

  • Climate change and resilience action plans
  • Environmental justice
  • Transportation
  • School capacity
  • Natural hazard mitigation
  • Housing
  • Emergency service levels
  • Coastal zone restrictions
  • Recreation
  • Health
  • Economic development
  • Utilities

A variety of agencies and boards prepare these plans, including:

  • Municipal and county government
  • Special districts
  • Area-wide planning agencies
  • State agencies

These and other potential municipal interests might have overlapping land use requirements; meaning, the need to comply with all appropriate land use reviews may entail approvals from more than just a single unit of government. An assessment of the degree of conflict or consistency with local and regional plans must consider that the power to prepare and implement plans is highly decentralized, both on a geographic and an administrative or governmental basis.

Important Considerations

  1. Consider how the proposed project supports the community’s comprehensive plan. Where appropriate, provide the plan’s name and date of approval, and upload the relevant page(s).
  2. Is the project located within a specific planning area, community planning area, or other planning area that details existing and future planning initiatives for those areas? Will the project be unduly influenced by a planned transition of land uses?
  3. Does the project conflict with any of the goals or policies in the comprehensive plan?
  4. In general, do any reasonably foreseeable aspects of the project or future use plans for the site conflict with the community’s vision for its future?

Analysis Techniques

Develop an evaluation process: Read the plans, evaluate your project against the plan objectives, determine if your project will help meet those objectives, and discuss the project with plan developers.

Mitigation Measures

If the project is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan, the project sponsor must either modify and align the project with the comprehensive plan’s goals, policies, and proposed land uses (e.g., reduce the density or height, use pervious paving or sidewalks rather than impervious surfaces, change the location to an area of compatible land use) or seek counsel with the local planning agency. The assessment process can help identify the need for new or revised site development plans.

Resources to Reference/Experts to Contact

  • Local and Regional Planning Agencies
  • Zoning Review Officer or Administrator
  • Planning Commission/Director
  • State Planning Office