Credit: Dave Burbank PhotographyCredit: Dave Burbank PhotographyCredit: Dave Burbank PhotographyCredit: Dave Burbank Photography

Comprehensive Plan

Home > Departments > Planning & Development > Comprehensive Plan

To access the Comprehensive Plan Committee's agendas, minutes, and other documents, simply click on the following link: Comprehensive Plan CommitteeYou will also find links to certain documents listed at the bottom of this page.


Completed in 1971, the City's existing comprehensive plan has since been amended fourteen times by various neighborhood and strategic plans. Local conditions that affect Ithaca, however, as well as national and global trends, have changed dramatically since the adoption of the 1971 plan, resulting in the need to prepare a new comprehensive plan that addresses present-day issues at the local level. As a result, the City has undertaken a two-phase process for the preparation of the new comprehensive plan. Phase I involves the preparation of a city-wide plan that identifies a vision and goals for the future, while Phase II will include the subsequent preparation of specific neighborhood or thematic plans, identified in Phase I.

Appointed by the Planning and Development Board, the Comprehensive Plan Committee is responsible for overseeing the preparation of Phase I of the new comprehensive plan. The Committee works directly with City staff and is actively involved with public outreach. The Comprehensive Plan Committee generally meets the third Monday of every month at 4:30 p.m. in Common Council Chambers. Members of the public are invited to attend and public comment is always welcome at the beginning of each meeting. Written comments are also accepted at any time and should be submitted to Megan Wilson at: or Planning and Economic Development Division, Third Floor, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.


Several reports serve as the foundation for the draft Phase I plan. The first report, the Planning Influences Report, examines existing conditions, trends, and future projections of population, housing, economic development, transportation, and land use.  The first draft of this report was made available in early February 2012 and was then revised, based on comments from the Comprehensive Plan Committee, staff, and members of the public. This revised version is available for review below.

In Fall/Winter 2011-2012, the Comprehensive Plan Committee held 21 separate community workshops, open houses, neighborhood meetings, and organization meetings to solicit their input. The community meetings were well-publicized events that were designed to encourage public participation in the planning process and provide an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and provide suggestions. The Planning Issues Report summarizes input gathered through the public meetings and survey, and is available for review below.

Since April 2013, the Comprehensive Plan Committee has been organizing 25 different focus groups to discuss specific topic areas to be included in each chapter of the plan. Once this process has been completed in August 2013, the Comprehensive Plan Committee and staff will use the information from (1) previously-collected public input, (2) the reports noted above, and (3) the 2013 focus groups comments, to draft the plan. Each chapter will include a vision with accompanying goals, as well as recommendations and implementation strategies. Once the Comprehensive Plan Committee has reviewed and approved a complete draft of the plan, the plan will be formally presented at a second series of public meetings for review and comment by the community. It is anticipated the draft plan will be available for public review in early 2014.



Please refer to the City Calendar for upcoming meetings: Committee meetings usually takes place 4:30 - 6:30 PM, on the third Monday of every month, in Common Council Chambers, Third Floor, City Hall, 108 E. Green St., Ithaca, New York.


- List of Comprehensive Plan Committee Members
- What is a Comprehensive Plan?
- Planning Influences Report (7/9/12) [Large 18 MB file. May take a few moments to open.]
- Planning Issues Report (8/22/12)
- Sustainability Audit Report (7/8/13)

Do you have any questions or are you interested in receiving announcements about the Comprehensive Plan? If so, please contact Megan Wilson at: or (607) 274-6560.