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Overview, Review + Approval Process

How Does Tempe Use Its General Plan?

Before getting involved with the development of General Plan 2040, you may want an overview of how the document is used.

The General Plan Is:
• A community vision for 30 years
• A statement of city policy
• A legal mandate
• A framework for more specific planning
• A tool for education and communication

The General Plan Is Not:
• A specific plan for development
• A zoning ordinance
• A master plan
• A Capital Improvement Plan or City Budget
• A static and inflexible document

The General Plan guides how our city looks at development, land use, sustainability, transportation, mass transit, economic development, historic preservation, neighborhood enhancement, open space and recreation, public art and cultural amenities and human services.

The General Plan is used when refining the vision and goals into more detailed plans such as Master Plans. Master Plans identify the programs and projects needed to fulfill what is envisioned in the General Plan and recommend further studies or changes to codes and regulations. Implementation documents provide detailed analysis of specific area or provide the regulatory guidance for development.

For example, the General Plan is referred to when implementing zoning requests, for building permits, for economic development decisions, and when designing roads, parks, paths and public facilities. Master plans and implementation documents form the basis for seeking State or Federal grants, planned capital improvements and/or budget allocations.