Urban Core Master Plan & Urban Code District

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City Council 2nd Public Hearing continued to Feb. 13, 2020


The Urban Core Master Plan (UCMP) and Urban Code District (UCD) are Tempe’s efforts to plan for the next 20 years of growth in Tempe’s central core, providing a comprehensive and unified blueprint for sustainable development. Building on Tempe’s existing Transportation Overlay District (TOD), the UCD will be a new opt-in zoning district to support transit, promote a pedestrian environment and enhance other quality of life factors. 


Tempe is seeking input on a draft Development Bonus Program (DBP), which would be incorporated in the proposed Urban Code District (UCD) and Urban Core Master Plan (UCMP). A development bonus would provide for an increase in allowable density or height (generally meaning more housing units or commercial/office space can be built on a site) in exchange for providing community benefits. Developers can voluntarily seek a density/height bonus in exchange for the project including one or more of the following: 1) affordable/workforce housing; 2) sustainability elements; 3) public improvements or amenities; and/or 4) preservation of historic resources.

There were multiple opportunities to provide input on the draft DBP:

  • Public meetings held Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tempe Transportation Center, 200 E. 5th St. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Escalante Community Center, 2150 E. Orange St. Click here to view the meeting presentation.

  • Review Bonus Program Materials here

  • If you couldn’t make one of the meetings, contact us at urbancore@tempe.gov or 480-350-8234 to schedule a time convenient for you.

  • Comment online Dec. 3 - 17, 2019 by clicking here.


The urban core is more than downtown. It reaches from Loop 202 on the north to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on the south, and from Hardy Drive on the west to Loop 101/Tempe Canal on the east


Current Documents
Upcoming Meetings
Public Involvement
Contact Information

Because the UCMP and UCD include proposed new development patterns in some locations that would change densities and land uses, a Major General Plan Amendment is required to support the vision included in the UCMP and UCD. The Tempe City Council will have the opportunity to take action on the General Plan amendment application. Check out our Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

The vision, goals and policies of the General Plan 2040, Transportation Master Plan, Character Area Plans and public input will be used to inform this planning process. The Urban Core Master Plan will supplement other plans and help guide their implementation.