What is a comprehensive plan?

The Comprehensive Plan is a 20 to 30-year framework to guide the city’s future, providing policy and direction related to future growth and redevelopment, transportation, housing, city services, and other important aspects of the community. The Plan will inform current and future decision-makers about where we’ve been, where we are today, where we want to go, and how we intend to get there.

More specifically, a comprehensive plan: 

  • Defines the city’s biggest assets and challenges for the future
  • Makes recommendations about the type and character of development appropriate in different areas of the city
  • Recommends and prioritizes policies, actions and resources to achieve the visions of the plan
  • Serves as the guide for growth (development and redevelopment)
  • Provides recommendations to the city in developing future capital budgets
  • Serves as a guide for future zoning recommendations throughout the city

Plano's history of comprehensive plans

1963 Comprehensive Plan Cover Opens in new window1963 Comprehensive Plan
In 1960, the city had a population of 3,700 residents, but was entering a stage of rapid growth from the construction of U.S. Highway 75.  To respond to new development, the city developed its first Comprehensive Plan in 1963.  The Plan laid the foundation for the city of Plano today by establishing residential neighborhoods and locations for future roadway development.
1981 Comprehensive Plan Opens in new window1981 Comprehensive Plan
Due to the rapid acceleration of development northward of Dallas and the decreasing availability of developable land in suburbs south of Plano, the city adopted a new Comprehensive Plan in 1981 to respond to major changes in both residential and non-residential development. The proposed extension of the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121 triggered a revision to the future land use map to consider high-intensity commercial and residential development in the far northwest corner of the city.
1986-2014 Comprehensive Plan Opens in new window1986 Comprehensive Plan
1986-2015 (2020-2021 Interim Plan)
After the creation of the Legacy Business Park in the early 1980s, the city developed its third Comprehensive Plan in 1986 to set the stage for Plano's transition from a primarily residential community to a regional employment center.  This plan also served as the city's Interim Comprehensive Plan during creation of the Comprehensive Plan 2021.
Plano Tomorrow Logo Opens in new windowPlano Tomorrow
By 2010, there were almost 140,000 jobs in Plano and the city had a population of 260,000 residents.  However, remaining undeveloped land became sparse in Plano and the city shifted focus to new redevelopment opportunities.  To successfully manage the transition into a mature city, the city developed its third Comprehensive Plan, Plano Tomorrow, in 2015.
Comprehensive Plan 2021 LogoComprehensive Plan 2021
2021 - present
In 2019, a Comprehensive Plan Review Committee (CPRC) was tasked to work with the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) to review Plano Tomorrow and recommend updates to address community concerns related to four key topics: Land Use, Transportation, Density, and Growth Management.  This process resulted in the 2021 Comprehensive Plan, which builds on the strengths of previous plans and provides more consensus direction on growth and redevelopment priorities.