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.

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.

The county submitted the draft Washington County 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the Metropolitan Council in mid-December. The council approved the draft Washington County 2040 Comprehensive Plan on February 27, 2019. The Washington County 2040 Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on January 7, 2020.

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 final 2040 Comprehensive Plan is available was adopted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on January 7, 2020. 

The following videos provide a brief synopsis of the comprehensive plan.