Area Planning

The City of Charlotte Long Range Planning Division is responsible for collaborating with the community to develop plans and policies that will influence how Charlotte grows and changes over time. The division has three core functions: engage, plan and implement. 

The division recently engaged more than 500,000 residents in the development and adoption of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan & Map*. This plan represents the diversity of our city and sets a clear direction for how we want to grow as an inclusive and equitable city.

Now that the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan & Map are adopted, the Long Range Planning Division will work to implement the plan's vision by developing community area plans that provide more detailed strategies and recommendations for growth and development.

*Consistent with North Carolina state statutes, when the Charlotte City Council approves a rezoning that is not consistent with the adopted land use map, the rezoning updates the adopted land use.

The Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan will replace previously adopted plans because it provides both citywide and modernized guidance for development, infrastructure, transportation, and other quality of life factors. Recommendations from these plans that are not included in the comprehensive plan can be revaluated in the community area planning process. Plans adopted prior to the comprehensive plan are archived below.

Types of Plans:

Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is developed in collaboration with community members, departments across the City, elected and appointed officials, partner agencies, and other community and regional partners to provide the highest policy level guidance for future development and redevelopment, infrastructure improvements and other public investments, transportation and land use connections, and a host of factors contributing to quality of life, affordability, equity and sustainability.


Strategic Plans

Strategic Plans direct specialized components of city and county planning such as transportation, economic development, parks and recreation, housing, natural resources and sustainability. Due to the shared governance between the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for many service areas, it is important to align community-wide plans for both jurisdictions and ensure that they align with and support the vision, goals, policies, and place guidance in the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan and the guiding principles and strategies articulated in Livable Meck, the County’s road map for protecting and enriching our quality of life.

Strategic Plans build on the higher-level policy guidance and direction set in the Level 1 Comprehensive Plan and set more specific goals, objectives, policy direction and performance measures/metrics for a specific topic with consideration for the entire City or County. An example is the City’s Bicycle Master Plan (Charlotte BIKES).




Community Area Plans

Community Area Plans provide detailed strategies and recommendations regarding land use, built form, transportation, infrastructure, parks, recreation, open space, and facilities for sub-geographies of the City. The purpose of Community Area Plans is to engage and unite neighborhoods to plan their own communities within a framework that efficiently and effectively uses the resources available to ensure the entire City has neighborhood level input and guidance.

Community Area Planning is currently underway. To learn more about the project and how you can be engaged visit

Specific Plans

Specific Plans address smaller scale geographies and are focused on implementation. They should be guided by higher order plans but generally focus on further conceptualizing, planning and sometimes designing a specific small geography. Thus, the Functional/Action Plans and Community Area Plans typically provide the relevant guidance and direction for a single large property, a grouping of properties, or a Place. Examples of these types of plans include transit station area master plans, area reinvestment plans, campus plans, and corridor plans.


For more information regarding long range planning, contact;
Planning, Design & Development
600 East Fourth Street (8th Floor)
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: (704)-336-2205