Comprehensive Plan Development

What should Roanoke look like in 20 years?

Every 20 years or so, City planners gather ideas and feedback from the community and develop a new Comprehensive Plan. This document helps guide policy decisions and future investments in the City. The most important step in the process is collaborating with community members to determine priorities.

Ways to get involved:

We’re looking to collaborate with community members to identify Roanoke’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. We want to hear from as many community members as possible. In August, we hosted 10 community Open House meetings at locations across the City and more than 200 community members attended to share their ideas. We also received 1,218 online responses to our Comprehensive Plan survey, which closed on Oct. 18. In early Fall of 2018, we formed citizen working groups and will continue to meet through the winter to discuss specific goals, policies, and actions that the community feels should be incorporated into the City’s next 20-year plan.

Roanoke has developed six guiding themes to direct Plan 2040. These themes will help to ensure the City’s commitment to achieving a sustainable future by planning for environmental, social, and economic well-being for community members and visitors alike. Each Fact Sheet helps to define theme components and the resources Roanoke currently has to provide for each theme. Citizen working groups were formed in Fall 2018. These groups will help the City of Roanoke’s Planning team describe desired conditions, translate ideas into policies and actions, and work together to validate or modify elements of a draft Comprehensive Plan.

Cover of Comp Plan Theme Fact Sheet

  • Livable Built Environment: “Ensure that all elements of the built environment, including land use, transportation, housing, energy, and infrastructure, work together to provide sustainable, green places for living, working, and recreation, with a high quality of life.”

  • Harmony with Nature: “Ensure that the contributions of natural resources to human well-being are explicitly recognized and valued and that maintaining their health is a primary objective.”

  • Resilient Economy: “Ensure that the community is prepared to deal with both positive and negative changes in its economic health and to initiate sustainable urban development and redevelopment strategies that foster green business growth and build reliance on local assets.”

  • Interwoven Equity: “Ensure fairness and equity in providing for the housing, services, health, safety, and livelihood needs of all citizens and groups.”

  • Healthy Community: “Ensure that public health needs are recognized and addressed through provisions for healthy foods, physical activity, access to recreation, health care, environmental justice, and safe neighborhoods.”

  • Responsible Regionalism: “Ensure that all local proposals account for, connect with, and support the plans of adjacent jurisdictions and the surrounding region.”

Executive Summary

City Plan 2040 is taking shape. The following summary outlines the priorities and policies identified through public outreach. These policies will be refined in the final phases of the planning process to identify action items and ensure consistency.

Community Response Report

Between July and October, the City hosted ten public meetings and launched an online survey to gather feedback and ideas from Roanoke community members. The following report summarizes the feedback that the city received through that outreach process.

Peer Cities Assessment

In preparation for Plan 2040, it is important to visualize Roanoke’s status. Performance was measured along metrics correlated to Plan 2040’s six guiding Themes in order to understand Roanoke’s standing among its peers. The Peer Cities Assessment helps to identify areas where Roanoke is performing well, and areas of improvement.

State and National Comparison

This comparison provides a quick snapshot of how Roanoke is performing compared to state and national numbers. This reference guide provides an overview of how Roanoke measures in vital city demographics, such as educational attainment, income, and diversity.

Mapping Exercise

Where are Roanoke’s strengths? Where are areas that can be improved? Please take a minute to add your feedback to this interactive map.

How it works:

Click the link below to go to an interactive map exercise. Plot green dots to identify strengths in Roanoke, yellow dots to identify opportunities for improvement, and red dots to identify the City’s challenges. You can add optional comments to give more context to your feedback. If you have any questions or trouble using the map, please email Wayne Leftwich at or call 540-853-1104.

While you’re here…

We are currently seeking community feedback for the following projects. Please take a minute and share your ideas!

Heat Ready Roanoke

Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time and has major health and healthcare implications. Heatwaves are one of the most dangerous of all weather-related disasters. Climate change will increase [...]

Flood Resilience Planning

What is Resilience Planning? Urban resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from unexpected shocks associated with natural hazards and climate change. Building resilience to these risks can be dealt with [...]

Accessory Apartments/ADUs

What is an Accessory Apartment? An accessory apartment, also known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), is an independent, residential living area that is on the same property as a larger, primary dwelling [...]

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If you’d like, we will send you an email when new projects and opportunities to get involved in your community come up.

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