Advancing Adams - Comprehensive Plan

The Advancing Adams Comprehensive Plan was adopted on Sept. 8, 2022 and ratified by the Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 27, 2022. Thank you for participating and providing input. You can find the plan here or a lower resolution version for faster download here. Please visit to stay up-to-date and participate in the next project to update the county’s Development Standards and Regulations.

See the FAQs below and read the scenarios sheet to see how the Comprehensive Plan may apply to your property or business.

Comprehensive PlanStay engaged and learn more. Email us with your questions, comments, or suggestions.

Planning Commission adoption public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 at 6 p.m. and the BoCC ratification public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

View the final Public Hearing Draft here and supporting appendices: 

You can view the complete public hearing packet in advance of the Planning Commission meeting here

View the Public Hearing* 99.9% Draft of the Comprehensive Plan

View the Draft Change Log to see changes between the Public Comment Draft and the Public Hearing Draft.

View the Public Comment Draft of the Comprehensive Plan, available since May:

Low-Resolution Public Comment Draft version for easy download
High-Resolution Public Comment Draft version

The draft Future Land Use Map is available for comment. 

Review the Existing Conditions Report from Phase I of Advancing Adams.

The Comprehensive Plan will serve as a policy and operations tool that guides the county toward the vision of being the most innovative and inclusive county in America for all families and businesses. The plan will be a broad and implementable document that addresses future development and code needs, including technical zoning or development standards requirements, as well as overarching policies/statements about engaging the community, addressing economic development, equity, and sustainability in all its forms.

The Adams County Comprehensive Plan will consider past plans, like sub-area plans, and it will serve as the guidepost for concurrent and coordinated planning efforts with the Transportation Master Plan and the Parks, Open Space, and Trails Plan.

Advancing Adams - Comprehensive PlanThe plan will incorporate equity, sustainability, and livability into every aspect of the plan as value lenses.

The initial key themes for this plan are:

  • Community and Housing
  • Natural Environment
  • Built Environment and Connections
  • Economic Development
  • Cultural Heritage

Learn more about the Transportation Master Plan update or the Parks, Open Space & Trails Plan update.

Comprehensive Plan FAQs:

Why do a comprehensive plan?
Colorado Revised Statues require counties with a population greater than 100,000 people to adopt a comprehensive plan. It is best practice to amend and re-adopt the plan every 10 years to align with demographics, growth projections, and county policies.

If I have a property zoned I-2 with a permitted business and the future land use is Mixed Use Commercial, how might this apply to me?
Compliance with a comprehensive plan is not a condition of approval for Conditional Use Permits under 2-02-09-06 of the DSR. The criteria of approval does state that “the conditional use is compatible with the surrounding area, harmonious with the character of the neighborhood, not detrimental to the immediate area, not detrimental to the future development of the area, and not detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants of the area and the County.” In reviewing these criteria, staff may look to the comprehensive plan, and applicable subarea plans, to advise staff and decision makers on a determination on whether or not development is feasible in the area. Existing conditions, among other factors will also be considered. The comprehensive plan is a criteria of approval for specific Conditional Use Permits: Solid Waste Transfer Station, Solid Waste Composting Facility, Recycling Facilities, Inert Fills, Outdoor Storage, Solid Waste Recycling Facility in which the plan is specifically considered along with other criteria. Staff balances the preponderance of factors when considering a recommendation. (Revised 9/2)

What is the difference between zoning and future land-uses?
The future land use plan establishes the framework for how the county can sustain its existing population, infrastructure, and assets while accommodating the future growth and needs in the unincorporated portions of the county. The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) depicts the future land use categories in this chapter and designates their place in the county.

How can a comprehensive plan be used as a regulatory tool?
The Future Land Use Map is aspirational and does not change the regulatory zoning on a property. The plan may guide land-use decisions, but the vision is generally realized incrementally when property owners rezone. For instance, an industrially zoned property will remain such until the property owner rezones the property to match the vision set by the plan.

What are next steps after adoption?
Once the Comprehensive Plan is adopted by the Planning Commission and ratified by the Board of County Commissioners, it will become the official vision document for policy and development within unincorporated Adams County. With the new Comprehensive Plan providing a road map, staff will work on updating the County’s Development Standards & Regulations, which were last overhauled in 2002, to ensure alignment with the new vision, while also streamlining processes and updating performance standards.