Growing Together FAQs


Growing Together Seal

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do we need to do a Comprehensive Plan?

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ― Alan Lakein, author

In the most practical sense, Public officials need a written plan with specific goals and action steps, to make decisions and prioritize funding for the public good. In theory and practice, the better the plan was crafted, the better the decisions will follow, and more efficient use of public resources will take place. In addition, a good plan with robust community buy-in will outlast elected official and staff changes. A good plan will guide and keep decisions aligned with the community vision. Comprehensive Plans are THE plan, with a trickle-down effect on zoning codes, economic development, public finance, capital improvement plans, downtown revitalization, neighborhood plans, recreation, and a multitude of other decision-making tools. Also, Comprehensive Plans can act as a basis to leverage more resources for the community, such as for grant requests, and attracting new community partners.

Because of the essential nature of Comprehensive plans, they are required by Idaho Statute. State law requires the following components be included in the analysis.

  1. Property Rights
  2. Population
  3. School Facilities & Transportation
  4. Economic Development
  5. Land Use
  6. Natural Resources
  7. Hazardous Areas
  8. Public Services, Facilities, and Utilities
  9. Transportation
  10. Recreation
  11. Special Areas or Sites
  12. Housing
  13. Community Design
  14. Agriculture
  15. Implementation
  16. National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors
  17. Public Airport Facilities

What is the Comprehensive Plan Process?

Canyon County has been organized into planning areas focused on each incorporated city including Caldwell, Greenleaf, Melba, Middleton, Nampa, Notus, Parma, and Wilder. As well as two agricultural areas, the Northern Ag belt running from Middleton to Parma, and the Southern Ag belt running from Melba past Wilder (click below to see map of the planning areas). The planning areas will allow residents to address each area’s special development needs. Working groups made up of residents are formed for each area and will meet 3-4 times to discuss issues and identify where specific policies are needed and to what extent. A draft plan will be presented to the public for review and comment via media channels, through three open houses around the county, and through specific surveys and other methods. The plan will take into account public feedback and the final plan presented to the Canyon County Planning & Zoning Commission for recommendation and Board of County Commissioners for approval.

Click to view a map of the planning areas. pdf

What’s the difference between a Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

A comprehensive plan is a policy document that guides and directs the future land use of the county. It will indicate where industrial corridors are planned, where city boundaries might extend, where lands will remain agriculture and where housing is planned. The Zoning Ordinance is the law that implements the policies by outlining allowed uses in each zoning district, how many homes are allowed per parcel, and the processes for rezoning, subdivisions, and conditional use permits.

How will this affect my property?

All real property in Canyon County has a future land use designation. This designation denotes what type of land use is planned and corresponds to a zoning district for this area in the future. Zoning districts regulate how the land can be used and at what density. The future land use designation affects your property when you want to rezone to a different zoning district, subdivide the property, or change uses.

What types of changes are expected during the update process?

The majority of changes that will occur during the comp plan update fall into five categories:

  • Technical Changes: The Comprehensive Plan was last amended in 2011. Updates will be proposed to update technical information such as demographic data and growth projections, updating background information and deleting completed actions.
  • Reflect New Plans: Many new plans have been developed by jurisdictions since the last amendment process. As appropriate, additional plans will be incorporated into the amended Comprehensive Plan as new or modified policies and actions so that it reflects the most recent policy direction for each jurisdiction. A list of plans that will be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan will be listed in the appendix.
  • Other New or Modified Narratives, Policies or Actions: Jurisdictions, agencies or the public can propose other updates to individual narratives, policies and actions, including new narratives, policies and actions to reflect emerging issues or innovative ideas.
  • Map Changes: Map changes are expected primarily in the area of impact around incorporated cities to accommodate projected growth while taking into account infrastructure limitations.
  • Planning Areas: Each planning area will have its own profile page that includes policies specific to that area of the County.

What is the vision of the Comprehensive Plan?

“Growing together” is the guiding vision for the Canyon County Comprehensive Plan. The theme recognizes the importance of agriculture, the ongoing growth pressures faced in the Treasure Valley, and the sense of community in Canyon County to work together to accommodate growth while maintaining an outstanding quality of life.

How can I get involved?

  • Tell us about your community! What do you cherish about Canyon County?
  • Share a post on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram about your community using the hashtag #growingtogether. We’ll then share your post so others can see your contribution to the community.
  • Post a comment on our Facebook page or tag us in your posts using hashtag #growingtogether.
  • Send us an email:
  • Don’t forget to sign-up for email updates by entering your contact info on the right-hand side of this page.


111 N. 11th Ave ROOM 140
Caldwell, ID 83605

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