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. The draft plan and individual plan elements are available below.

Read the Draft  2040 Washington County Comprehensive Plan and Draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan Appendix.

 Plan Elements  
Executive Summary Parks, Trails and Open Space
County Context Housing
Goals and Policies Resilience and  Sustainability
Land Use Economic Competitiveness
Transportation Implementation
Water Resources  

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. A public hearing will be conducted at a County Board meeting starting at 4:30 p.m. December 4, 2018.
All local comprehensive plans must be submitted to the Metropolitan Council by December 31, 2018.

2030 Comprehensive Plan