HelpContact UsFOILSite Map

Custom Navigation

Living in Tompkins County linkLearning in Tompkins County linkVisiting Tompkins County linkBusiness in Tompkins County linkTompkins County Government link

You are here:

You are here

> Planning - Comprehensive Plan

Comprehensive Plan

One of the duties of the Department of Planning and Sustainability is to prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of the County. On March 3, 2015, the Tompkins County Legislature adopted the 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan (2.98 MB), representing the first full update of the plan since it was first adopted by the Legislature 11 years previously.

Five-Year Review

A public meeting on the five-year review of the Comprehensive Plan will be held Monday, June 3, at 6:00 pm, at the Tompkins County Public Library. Comments will be welcomed there and may also be submitted to

The current Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Tompkins County Legislature on March 3, 2015.

The purpose of this five-year review is to determine if conditions in the community have changed to such an extent as to warrant a formal amendment to the plan. Specifically, five questions will be answered by the review:

  1. What action items have been completed and can be removed from the plan? Status report on Progress on Action Items.
  2. Is the plan based upon accurate data, or have data points changed significantly enough in the past five years to warrant new analysis? Review of Information in the Plan.
  3. Are the plan’s principles and policies still relevant to the issues facing the community?
  4. Have any important issues arisen in the past five years that are not addressed by the current principles and policies?
  5. What action items should be added to the plan to help achieve the principles and policies of the plan?

The public meeting scheduled for June 3 will focus discussion on Questions 4 and 5. From the public meeting:

Comments on any element of the five-year review, as well as ideas for new action items or important issues that have arisen in the past five years and are not addressed in the existing plan, are welcome at the meeting and may be submitted to through June 30th.


The Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan presents a vision for the future of the community based on a set of principles that reflect the values of the community as expressed by the County Legislature they have elected. The principles include three that are overarching and reflected throughout the Comprehensive Plan.

Tompkins County should be a place where:

  • the needs of current and future generations are met without compromising the ecosystems upon which they depend.
  • all levels of government work cooperatively to address regional issues.
  • taxpayer dollars are invested in public infrastructure and facilities in the most efficient manner possible.


Key Documents

Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan (2.98 MB)

NOTE: This is a low resolution version of the Plan; some of the graphics may be blurry. Links to high resolution versions of the individual chapters are provided below.

Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan Summary (2.47 MB)

NOTE: This document is a 13 page summary of the full plan. It includes all of the Plan’s principles, policies, and action items.

Links to Individual Chapters

The following are high resolution files of the individual chapters in the 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan. Some of them may take some time to download. A low resolution version of the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan, in its entirety, can be found here (2.98 MB).

Cover (2.51 MB)

Foreword (0.13 MB)

Table of Contents (0.04 MB)

Introduction (2.20 MB)

Overarching Principles (0.62 MB)

The Economy, Housing, and Transportation

The Economy (4.68 MB)

Housing (3.42 MB)

Transportation (7.08 MB)

The Environment

Natural Resources (11.07 MB)

Water Resources (7.86 MB)

Climate Change

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Part 1 (2.30 MB)

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Part 2 (2.90 MB)

Adaptation (1.89 MB)

Neighborhoods and Communities

Healthy Communities (4.36 MB)

Development Patterns (1.66 MB)

Legislature Mission and Vision Statement (0.07 MB)


Appendix A      Kickoff Survey (0.46 MB)

Appendix B      Public Comments and Responses (0.93 MB)

Appendix C      Data Notes (0.21 MB)

Appendix D      Map of Proposed Complete Streets Network (0.41 MB)

Appendix E      Detailed Map of Cayuga Lake Facilities (0.53 MB)

Appendix F      Watersheds (0.21 MB)

Other Documents

2004 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan Documents

Summary (1.69 MB)

The Entire Plan (15.56 MB)  NOTE: This document includes the 2008 Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Element adopted in 2008.