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Comprehensive Plan Update 2024

Help Plan the Future of Ponderay!

City of Ponderay Comprehensive Plan Update


A long range (20-year) vision by and for the community, a Comprehensive Plan establishes goals and policies for nearly everything the City of Ponderay does and is intimately tied to zoning and other regulations that govern land development throughout the community.


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The City of Ponderay is updating the 2005 Comprehensive Plan and has contracted with SCJ Alliance Consulting Services to prepare the new comprehensive plan, producing a document generated from continuous public dialogue which will also be compliant with requirements by the state of Idaho.


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Why have a Comprehensive Plan?

City planning has multiple purposes, not the least of which is to ensure the community has an active part in deciding how the city looks, functions, and serves the needs of its residents, businesses, and visitors as the future brings change. Planning provides a process for the community to voice preferences, identify what is most important about their city, and develop strategies to ensure that future decisions on land use, housing, transportation, public investments, community health, and overall city management respect community values.

Specifically, a Comprehensive Plan:

  • …is required by state law
    Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act (Title 67, Chapter 65) requires that jurisdictions prepare a comprehensive plan that considers “…existing conditions, trends, compatibility of land uses, desirable goals and objectives, or desirable future situations…” for the community
  • .…sets the stage for what can be built where
    Although the plan is a guidance document for the community, it serves as the legal basis for adopting zoning, subdivision and other regulations and policies that shape a community over time. The plan ensures that development decisions are not “made on the fly” but done in the context of a broader community vision, which provides a degree of predictability for property owners, businesses, and residents.
  • …can be used as an Interagency negotiation tool
    As the official guidance document for the City of Ponderay, the plan can help to coordinate with other agencies and jurisdictions to make the community’s vision a reality.
  • …supports grant applications
    Both private and public funders typically ask for or require that a jurisdiction demonstrate how a grant application is supported by the community’s long-range plan.
  • …provides consistent policy direction
    The plan’s elements, such as transportation, land use and economic development, are intended to work cohesively.
  • …gives budgetary guidance
    The plan provides an outline for public investments that are supported by community’s vision for the future.

What Elements go into a Comprehensive Plan?

Idaho Code (§67-6508) requires 17 elements be addressed in a city’s comprehensive plan, including:

Can a Comprehensive Plan have other elements, like Community Health?

Yes, other elements may also be considered. Funding from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health has provided the city with resources to consider long-term health impacts by looking at the social determinants of health, which refer to the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.

The plan’s policies and its implementation, however, will be developed by and for the Ponderay community; outside grant funding will support this health component effort.

What is the timing for this effort and how do I get involved?

The goal is for the updated plan to be completed by the end of 2024. Comprehensive plans and their policies are only as good as the community participation that guides the efforts to develop them. The city will be offering many ways to get involved throughout the process, including an online survey, and various opportunities for in-person engagement such as the Ponderay Bike Rodeo, Ponderay Community Clean-up Day, and Ponderay Neighbor Day. Additionally, all Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are open to the public; they are held on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm.

Working Community Engagement Schedule:


 Please subscribe with your email address (see above) to stay engaged as we move through the process!


If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Qualls, AICP, either by email ([email protected]) or by phone (509.835.3770 ext. 325).