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Mayor Bowser’s Comprehensive Plan Proposal Approved by DC Council

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
The Updated Comprehensive Plan will Support Critical Housing Needs and Guide the District through an Equitable Recovery and Beyond

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Council of the District of Columbia voted unanimously to approve the District’s Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) update. The Comp Plan is a high-level guiding document that sets a positive, long-term vision for the District of Columbia through the lens of its physical growth, equity, and change. Submitted to Council by Mayor Muriel Bowser last year, this update to the Comp Plan will allow the District to meet challenges and opportunities in critical areas such as housing and economic recovery with a focus on equity and resilience.

“This is a Comprehensive Plan that, through extensive community engagement, has been updated to reflect our shared DC values, including our collective belief that no matter where you live in DC, you should have access to safe and affordable housing, good schools and parks, high-quality transportation options, and opportunities to live a healthy, happy life,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we set a goal to build a more equitable and affordable DC by adding 36,000 new homes by 2025, we knew how critical this update would be to bringing that vision to life. Now, we move forward, ready to create new housing – and new opportunity – across all eight wards of DC.”

The Comp Plan’s approach affirms the District’s COVID-19 recovery values: DC HOPE – health, opportunity, prosperity, and equity. The updated Comp Plan is a critical component of the Mayor’s goal to build 36,000 new homes by 2025, including 12,000 affordable homes, across all eight wards of the District. The Council-adopted Comp Plan update directly addresses the District’s housing needs through updated policies and maps that allow for additional housing opportunities across the District, promote the development of affordable housing in high-cost areas, and support a more equitable distribution of affordable housing across the District. The updated Comp Plan will advance racial and economic equity, especially through DC’s COVID-19 recovery. It provides critical guidance to the DC Office of Planning (OP) for current and future community planning activities that further vibrant, equitable, and resilient neighborhoods with access to housing, amenities, and public resources for all residents.

“Mayor Bowser asked Director Trueblood and the Office of Planning to reimagine how we engage residents and stakeholders to plan for our collective future,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “This update to the Comprehensive Plan allows the District of Columbia to continue to grow and directly attack one of our toughest challenges: housing affordability. Together, we will use the progress outlined in this update to ensure the District’s best days are yet to come.”

This update to the Comp Plan is the product of unprecedented public engagement, including over 10,000 public responses received by OP since 2016 when an Open Call for public amendments initiated the amendment process. The update also reflects public input and policy guidance from over 40 planning activities conducted by District government agencies over the last five years.

“Council approval of this updated Comp Plan marks the completion of an unprecedented act of democratic action with the input of thousands of residents and community organizations,” said Andrew Trueblood, Director of OP. “Given the unique process with allowed every level of elected official to weigh in, from ANCs to Council to the Mayor, this critically-needed update will now guide policies and actions around the District's most pressing needs including housing, equity and resilience.”

Moving forward, the Comp Plan will be reviewed for approval by the National Capital Planning Commission, transmitted to Mayor Bowser for her approval, and then referred to the U.S. Congress for its review, which altogether will take approximately six months.

For more information on the Comprehensive Plan update and the amendment process, please visit plandc.dc.gov.