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Comprehensive Plan

final draft of the proposed revisions to the Comprehensive Plan is available. The Plan Commission reviewed the revisions at a public hearing on November 13, 2023. After the hearing, the Commission recommended approval of the Comprehensive Plan Interim Update to the Common Council, which will consider approval on November 21.

Comprehensive Plan Interim Update (2023)

The City of Madison is currently working on an Interim Update of its 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The Interim Update is focused on the Generalized Future Land Use (GFLU) map. The Goals, Strategies, and Actions as adopted within the original six Elements of the Comprehensive Plan will not be revised. The City is updating the GFLU map to reflect land use recommendations from neighborhood, area, and neighborhood development plans adopted between summer 2018 and summer 2023.
GFLU Amendment Applications from the Public 
In addition to staff administrative updates drafted as a result of previously adopted plans, the public had the opportunity to propose GFLU map amendments. The window to submit GFLU map amendment applications was open from June 7 to August 6. Applications received are summarized here, with staff analysis. Applications are also mapped on the draft GFLU interactive map. The Plan Commission discussed applications at its September 7 and September 18 meetings.

Learn more about the process to revise the GFLU map by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.    

Map and Text Updates
Other maps beyond the GFLU map will also be updated throughout the main document to reflect changing conditions since 2018, such as the absorption of the Town of Madison, final Bus Rapid Transit routing and stations, and recently adopted Neighborhood Development Plans, among other things. In addition to updating maps, staff has prepared draft text updates, primarily to the "Growth Framework" chapter. There are no edits proposed to the goals, strategies, and actions included in the 2018 plan, though plan text does now include a new "Health and Safety" element previously approved by the Common Council in 2022

A summary of proposed edits is available here, and a markup of the Plan can be viewed here.

Comprehensive Plan Interim Update - Anticipated Timeline
2023 Date Action
June 7 Call for proposed GFLU map amendments released
July 13 Public Meeting 6 p.m. (video; slides)
August 6 Deadline for GFLU amendment proposals
August 11 Post GFLU map amendment proposals submitted by the public and text edits on project website
August 31 Post staff written response/recommendation for all GFLU map amendment proposals on project website
September 7 Special Plan Commission meeting: review GFLU map amendment proposals text edits and provide direction to staff (video; materials)
September 18
Continued Plan Commission discussion of GFLU map amendment proposals and text edits (video; materials)
Mid-September - Early October Staff drafts final Comprehensive Plan amendment based on Plan Commission feedback
October 17 Introduce Comprehensive Plan amendment ordinance at Common Council, refer to Plan Commission for public hearing
November 13 Plan Commission public hearing, recommendation on ordinance to Common Council (video; materials)
December 5 Common Council ordinance review/adoption
Timeline subject to change. 

GFLU Map Background
The GFLU map makes recommendations for future land uses and development intensities to guide the physical development of Madison. The future land use categories guide what types of zoning can be applied, and ultimately what can be built in different parts of the City. The GFLU map is one of the most-used sections of the Comprehensive Plan because state law (Wis. Stats. Sec. 66.1001) specifies that many aspects of proposed development, such as land division and rezoning requests, must be found consistent with the Plan. The GFLU map is used to analyze rezoning requests – rezoning needs to be consistent with the specified future land use, as defined in the Growth Framework chapter of the Plan and shown on the GFLU map. For example, a parcel of land specified for future “Medium Residential” land use could not be rezoned to allow for industrial uses, but could be rezoned to allow for a multifamily residential building.

Comprehensive Plan (2018)

The Comprehensive Plan establishes the long-term growth framework for the City, with broad policy recommendations and urban development strategies. Since adoption in 2018, the City has been working to implement the Plan’s recommendations. In addition to reading about implementation progress through the interactive components of the Plan embedded on this webpage, you can also find the annual Progress Update reports below:
Interactive Comprehensive Plan
Use the ‘Summary’ option to navigate quickly to different sections of the Plan that you’re interested in learning about. Use the ‘Full Document’ option to look through the Plan in its entirety.  Use the ‘Guided Tour’ option for other navigational tips.

Comprehensive Plan PDFs and Other Resources

Reduced File Size PDFs: Comprehensive Plan (Parts 1 – 3)

  • Part 1: Introduction, Growth Gramework, Land Use & Transportation
  • Part 2: Neighborhoods & Housing, Economy & Opportunity, Culture & Character, Green & Resilient, Effective Government
  • Part 3: Appendicies

Other Comprehensive Plan Resources

Last Updated: 11/28/2023

Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the Comprehensive Plan Interim Update (2023) email list:

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Meetings - 2023 Update

Upcoming Meetings
Common Council: December 5, 2023 (a vote on the update was referred from the November 21st meeting to the December 5th meeting)

Past Meetings
Common Council - Nov. 21, 2023: Video; Materials
Plan Commission - Nov. 13, 2023: Video; Materials
Plan Commission - Sept. 18, 2023: Video; Materials
Plan Commission - Sept. 7, 2023: Video; Materials
Public Meeting - July 13, 2023: Video; Slides
Common Council - June 6, 2023: VideoResolution
Plan Commission - May 22, 2023: Video; Memo
Plan Commission - April 24, 2023: Video; Memo

Project Manager

Kirstie Laatsch 
Phone: (608) 243-0470

Plan Amendment Notification

If you would like to receive notice of any proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment that may affect the allowable use of your property please email the Planning Division at or mail a written request to: City of Madison Planning Division, Attn: Comprehensive Plan Amendment Notification, P.O. Box 2985, Madison, WI 53701-2985

Requests for notification should include the following information: full name, whether you would prefer notification via email or USPS, and your email address or mailing address.