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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. In 2019, the Department completed the five-year review of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan. As a result of that review, the Legislature adopted a new list of Action Items to continue implementing the 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

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.