Comprehensive Plan & Land Use Maps

The Comp Plan includes policies and actions that set priorities for the District’s land use, public services, infrastructure, and capital investments. The Comp Plan guides the use, density, and some aspects of building design within the District, directly shaping the city’s physical form as it changes and develops in the future. The Comp Plan is used by District agencies, residents, businesses, developers, and other critical stakeholders to help guide growth and change toward a positive future both for today’s residents and future generations.

The DC Comprehensive Plan, B-24-1, April 20, 2021 – Committee Print Final

DC’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.

The Comprehensive Plan’s Generalized Policy Map and Future Land Use Map are incorporated as part of the document and provide the foundation for land use decision-making and zoning. The maps carry the same legal weight as the rest of the Plan. 

2021 Comprehensive Plan and Supporting Documents
The following documents reflect the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

The Framework Element – DC Act 23-217 – February 11, 2020

  • Context describing forces driving change in the city
    • Growth projections and extended population forecast
    • “Vision for a Growing an Inclusive City” with 40 principles expressing cross-cutting goals
    • Describes the Comprehensive Plan, Generalized Policy Map and Future Land Use Map, the heart of the Plan

The Land Use Element – Section 300 – pp. 1-59

The Land Use Element is the cornerstone of the Comprehensive Plan. It establishes the basic policies guiding the physical form of the District, and provides direction on a range of development, preservation, and land-use compatibility issues. The element describes the range of considerations and balancing of priorities involved in accommodating an array of land uses within Washington, DC.

Future Land Use Map Amendments (FLUM)

The Future Land Use Map shows the general character and distribution of recommended and planned uses across the city. This map carries the same legal weight as the text of the Comprehensive Plan.  (Directions: Move the line with your cursor on the black rectangle from left to right to track the extensive land use map changes laying the groundwork for huge new developments in Ward 3 on Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues.  Place the cursor over individual parcels to see the original zoning and the FLUM change.

  • FLUM Slider:
    The FLUM with slider tool shows how and where the FLUM has been updated between 2012 and 2021

Generalized Policy Map

The Generalized Policy Map shows how DC is expected to change during the first quarter of the century, highlights the places where much of the city’s future growth and change is expected to occur and sets the stage for the Elements that follow.  The map should be used to guide land-use decision-making in conjunction with the Comprehensive Plan text, the Future Land Use Map, and other Comprehensive Plan maps. Boundaries on the map are to be interpreted in concert with these other sources, as well as the context of each location.

  • GPM Slider:
    The GPM with slider tool shows how the GPM has been updated between 2012 and 2021

Rock Creek West Planning Element – Section 2300, pp. 1-29

LINK See also RCW Planning Element on this web site.

The RCW Planning Element spells out specific policies and actions to guide future growth and change.  From the perspective of affordable housing advocates, the Element has several deficiencies:

  • The history section fails to include past housing segregation practices.
    • The element does not include goals for affordable housing, nor does it offer any policy changes to Inclusionary Zoning that would yield more affordable housing as significant development takes place over the next 10 years. 
We believe in the power of shared vision and sustained commitment to create dynamic communities for all people, regardless of income.

NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation