2040 Comp Plan Logo

2040 Comprehensive Plan Project

The Comprehensive Plan is Philomath’s primary land use document.  It includes a series of goals and policies that guide growth and development over a 20-year period.  Typically referred to as the “Comp Plan”, the document must adhere to the State Planning Goals and is approved by the Planning Commission, City Council, and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. 

In 2020, the City launched the project with the initial step of collecting data about the current state of the City. After two years of process, the City Council adopted the following three supporting documents: Housing Needs Analysis, Economic Opportunities Analysis and Main Street Plan. Now that these reports have been completed, the next step is to discuss and adopt specific policies to be placed in the Plan.  In addition to collecting comments through surveys and online forms throughout the process, the Planning Commission and City Council will host a number of public hearings to collect citizen input on the policies recommended in the reports.   


 Project Goals

The goal for this project is to complete an economic opportunities analysis, a main street plan, a housing needs analysis, and an inventory and assessment of available buildable land that will inform the preparation of the city’s new comprehensive plan and land use map, and guide the city over the next 20 years in its approach to business retention and development, affordable housing, and provision of public spaces. This is a one-year standalone project that precedes the upcoming Urban Renewal District Downtown Safety and Streetscapes Project in Philomath.

 Project Objectives

1) Promote economic development with completion of an updated economic opportunities analysis - Completed Dec. 2021
2) Prepare a main street plan that guides future development and investment into Philomath’s downtown area. Completed Sept. 2021
3) Develop realistic expectations and a cohesive strategy and vision for economic development for the downtown area and the city’s industrial zones.
4) Provide an economic component for the city’s new comprehensive plan update that meets Statewide Planning Goal 9.
5) Promote affordable and workforce housing with completion of a housing needs analysis. Completed Nov. 2021
6) Assess adequacy of available residential lands and land use regulations to meet the city’s housing needs with a focus on new or innovative housing options (e.g. cottages, tiny homes) as identified in the Regional Solutions’ South Willamette Valley Vision, Mission, & Initiatives document.
7) Provide a housing component for the city’s new comprehensive plan update that meets Statewide Goal 10.
8) Develop an updated buildable lands inventory that meets State requirements, recognizing sustainability and resiliency, and other development and conservation needs and opportunities for the community.
9) Define specific policies and implementation measures that will achieve the community’s development aspirations.
10) Adopt new housing, economic development, urbanization buildable land inventory, and downtown plan-related comprehensive plan policies and plan map(s) as post-acknowledgement amendments to the Philomath Comprehensive Plan.

 Reports & Documents

Economic Opportunity Analysis Adopted by Ordinance #859, Dec. 2021
Housing Needs Analysis Adopted by Ordinance #856, November 2021
Main Street Plan Adopted by Ordinance #855, September 2021
City Council statement regarding reports Adopted by Ordinance #859, Dec. 2021
Housing Strategy Report Supporting report prepared by ECONorthwest but not officially adopted.
Economic Development Strategy Report Supporting report prepared by ECONorthwest but not officially adopted.

 Q & A

Q:  What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A:  The Comprehensive Plan is Philomath's primary land use document and includes a series of goals and policies that guide growth and development over a 20-year period. The Comprehensive Plan is implemented through the Development Code, Land Division Code, and other city codes and ordinances. Oregon state law requires that all cities and counties adopt Comprehensive Plans that are consistent with the state's 19 Statewide Planning Goals(link is external), which were established in 1973 by Oregon Senate Bill 100.


Q:  Why is Philomath updating its Comprehensive Plan?
A:  The last complete update to Philomath’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the City Council in 2003. The current version of the Comprehensive Plan can be found here, and consists of nine chapters. In the nearly 20 years since the Comprehensive Plan was updated, Philomath has experienced a number of significant changes, including the splitting of the highway into a two-street couplet, emergence of new industries, and development of new housing options.

In the last five years, the city has adopted a new Water Master Plan, Wastewater Master Plan, Park Master Plan, and Transportation Master Plan which have become ancillary documents to Comprehensive Plan and/or incorporated in the Comprehensive Plan itself.  A complete update to the Comprehensive Plan will serve to create a central document that reflects the vision for the entire Philomath community.

Q:  How will the community be involved in the Comprehensive Plan Update?
A:  Statewide Planning Goal 1 (Citizen Involvement) calls for cities and counties to "develop a citizen involvement program that insures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process." Early in the Comprehensive Plan Update process, the city will develop a Public Involvement Plan that details a variety of different public outreach and community engagement strategies that aim to involve the entire Philomath community. Building upon the city's efforts in recent land development approval processes, the city is committed to an inclusive and transparent process, with materials available to the public in a timely manner.

Q:  How is the Comprehensive Plan Update different than the Strategic Plan city officials create?
A:  The city’s Strategic Plan lays out various themes, goals, objectives and actions items for the Council and city staff to focus on over a five-year horizon.  Although aspects of the updated Comprehensive Plan may find their way into the Strategic Plan as special areas of focus, the two plans are used differently.  The Strategic Plan will provide policies for the community related to housing, economic development, zoning, and other land-use related subjects.  The Strategic Plan is intended to create a work load of actions items for city officials to complete each year.  The current Strategic Plan can be found here.  

Q:  What is the status of the Comprehensive Plan Update?
A:  The Comprehensive Plan Update officially launched in February 2020. The City Council has now adopted the background reports. The next step is to begin review of policies. The Planning Commission will begin by reviewing Chapter 1, Citizen Involvement Program.

Q:  How much is the Comprehensive Plan Update costing Philomath residents?
A:  The City was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development to assist with the generation of reports that provide data and analysis of the City’s current state, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to be pursued.  The City Council allocated $20,000 for the project, some of which will go toward development of the Main Street Plan, which will guide the Downtown Safety and Streetscapes project. 

Q:  How can I stay updated on the Comprehensive Plan Update process?
A:  To receive information about upcoming meetings and progress on the Comprehensive Plan Update, sign up to receive the City's weekly email news at: Weekly E-News