The Durham Comprehensive Plan


  • The Durham Comprehensive Plan is nearly 13 years old. In communities across the country, comprehensive plans are updated every 5 years on average to respond to changing conditions and to plan proactively for the future. Our Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2005 with some minor updates in 2012.
  • Durham, more than many places, has seen a remarkable transformation in the past decade, and the outlook for the future, along with community priorities, has also evolved. Since the passage of the existing Comprehensive Plan in 2005, Durham County has added approximately 49,000 new jobs and 57,000 new residents. Over the next decade, we are projected to add an additional 19,000 jobs and 43,000 new residents. Durham is changing and it is critical we have a clear land use policy for the future. 
  • An updated Comprehensive Plan with clear priorities helps facilitate prudent decision-making regarding annexations, service delivery, the annual budget process, and projects within the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). An updated Comprehensive Plan can help ensure coordinated, cross-jurisdictional, - and inter-departmental policy making and implementation by getting “everyone on the same page” and agreeing to a set of priorities, values, and policies. 
  • A "21st Century" community collaboration strategy is critical to success. Development of a new Comprehensive Plan is an important vehicle for residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to help shape the future of Durham and help us communicate its values and priorities. Therefore, a community engagement consultant will be hired to assist in this important effort.

Community Engagement Consultant Selection Process


Planning staff recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a Community Engagement Consultant for the Comprehensive Plan effort. RFPs must be submitted by Monday, October 22. Staff has designed a multi-faceted selection process following those submittals. The selection process will include the following steps:

  1. Technical Assessment – From November 13 to November 26 staff will be reviewing proposals, checking references, and assessing all responding consultant teams based on whether their proposal meets all of the requirements laid out in the published RFP. These staff reviews will be incorporated into the overall scoring and selection process.
  2. In-Person Interviews – a group of staff, community members, and developers will be part of three in-person interview panels in late November. Panelists will be submitting questions to ask each interviewee and will score each of the finalists and participate in a final discussion and assessment.
  3. Final Assessment – During the first week of December staff will review results from each of the above phases, contact additional references, and determine the finalist consultant team for recommendation to the City Manager and City Council.