Comprehensive Plan
Amending the DC Comprehensive Plan

Comp Plan 101

The Home Rule Act requires the District government to develop a Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan of the National Capital is comprised of two parts—the District Elements and the Federal Elements. The District's Comprehensive Plan, managed by the DC Office of Planning, constitutes the District Elements and is the longterm framework for the city. The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) develops the Federal Elements.  The District’s Comprehensive Plan establishes a vision of the future and includes goals, policies and action items as well as two maps. The District Elements of the Comp Plan are available on OP’s website.

The 2006 Comp Plan contains three volumes of text and two maps:

  • 13 Citywide Elements (Volume 1) which includes an Introduction and Framework Element that sets the foundation for the entire plan, as well as topic-specific elements that provide goals, objectives and policies for issues that impact the entire city;  
  • 10 Area Elements (Volume 2) which provide goals, objectives and policies that are specific to geographic areas of the city;
  • Volume 3 consists of an Implementation Element as well as a Glossary and Index;  
  • Future Land Use Map which provides land use designations to show how land in the District is intended to be used. It does not necessarily show existing land use nor does it show zoning information; and  
  • Generalized Policy Map which provides a visual representation of how the District is expected to change over 20 years and highlights areas where future growth and change are expected to occur.

In 2006 a new Comprehensive Plan for the District was approved, which was the first major overhaul of the Plan. Subsequently, the first Amendment Cycle for the 2006 Comprehensive Plan was initiated in 2009. After concluding the approval process the amendments officially became effective in 2011 (text) and 2012 (maps). 

OP launched the second Amendment Cycle to the 2006 Comprehensive Plan in spring 2016 and the process will result in a final amendment package for submission to the DC Council for review and approval, followed by review and approval by NCPC and Congress