Comprehensive Plan

Washington County, Today and Tomorrow


The Comprehensive Plan is an official document adopted by the County Board as a policy guide to decisions about the physical development of the county. The plan sets broad policies to direct the county’s future growth and development in the areas of land use, transportation, water resources, parks and trails, housing, economic competitiveness, and resilience and sustainability.

2040 Comprehensive Plan

The planning process began in the spring of 2017 with the formation of a steering committee and plan element teams. Using the county’s existing comprehensive plan as a starting point, and working with various county commissions and other stakeholders, plan element teams updated existing conditions and goals, policies, and strategies for each chapter. Now, after stakeholder and public engagement, the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan is available for review. The following video (a little more than two minutes long) provides a brief synopsis of the comprehensive plan.



Metropolitan Council Requirements 

The comprehensive planning process was initiated by the decennial census and the Metropolitan Council’s adoption of “Thrive MSP 2040,” a vision for the Twin Cities metro area over the next 30 years. Following “Thrive,” the Met Council adopted system and policy plans in the areas of transportation, water resources, parks and housing, and issued system statements to all counties, cities, and townships in the metro area. Each of these local government units must prepare a comprehensive plan and update it every 10 years. The Met Council is charged with reviewing these comprehensive plans.

Before submitting a comprehensive plan to the Metropolitan Council, local governments must provide adjacent and affected jurisdictions the opportunity to review and comment on the draft plan. A mandatory six-month review period accommodates this requirement. For Washington County, that review period began on March 26, 2018, and ended September 30, 2018.

The county submitted the draft Washington County 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the Metropolitan Council in mid-December. The council has 120 calendar days to review the plan. It is anticipated the plan will be adopted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners June 2019.

2030 Comprehensive Plan