Growing Together seal for Canyon County Comp Plan




September 21 Public Hearing

September 26 Public Hearing (cont. from Sept. 21)

August 10 Public Hearing


 August 24 Public Hearing


The Long Range Planning Division is making adjustments to the draft plan in preparation for public hearings to begin. Stay tuned for an updated schedule. 


Public Comment - 2030 Comprehensive Plan

Form for the public to provide feedback on the draft 2032 comprehensive plan.


What parcels does this plan apply to?

The proposed plan applies to property in only unincorporated (outside of city boundaries) Canyon County. If you live within the city limits of Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Melba, Parma, Notus, Greenleaf, or Wilder, please visit that City’s website to review the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

What is a comprehensive plan?

A Comprehensive Plan outlines the community’s vision for the future that guides land development as the community evolves and changes. It allows communities to identify and take advantage of opportunities as well as identify and mitigate hazards. It addresses the compatibility of land uses and strategizes infrastructure to support those uses. It takes into account demographic information and growth rates and identifies the most efficient, fiscally responsible, and safest places to accommodate future developments.  It identifies that special “sense of place” that makes communities distinctive and strives to respect and support those qualities.  As the name implies, it takes a “comprehensive” look at the community’s past, present, and future. The plan incorporates residents, stakeholders, and leaders’ views of how the community could and should develop in the future. It utilizes data, outlines community history, and sets aspirational goals for development. In addition to articulating the community’s vision, it outlines the expectations for land development within the County.

Comprehensive plans are required by Idaho Statute and encouraged to be updated every 10 years. Idaho State Statute requires the following components to be included in the plan and may include additional elements:

  1. Property Rights
  2. Population
  3. School Facilities & Transportation
  4. Economic Development
  5. Land Use
  6. Natural Resources
  7. Hazardous Areas
  8. Public Services, Facilities, and Utilities
  9. Transportation
  10. Recreation
  11. Special Areas or Sites
  12. Housing
  13. Community Design
  14. Agriculture
  15. Implementation
  16. National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors
  17. Public Airport Facilities

Why is a Future Land Use Map needed?

One of the critical components of the Comprehensive Plan is the identification of future land uses. The County has a Future Land Use Map, which depicts where specific land uses are envisioned. The identified areas are based on the County’s existing conditions, such as infrastructure, services, amenities, schools, agriculture, area of city impact, and other conditions that can impact public health, welfare, and safety. The Map outlines a general pattern of development, preservation, and land use. The Future Land Use Map is not a current zoning map.

What is an Area of City Impact?

The Area of City Impact (AOCI) is a geographical area where a city is expected to grow and annex. Idaho State Statute 67-6526 requires all cities to define an AOCI with their County based on three factors: geographical features, trade area, and the area the city expects to annex into the future (provide water and sewer service). Besides defining the area for future growth, the AOCI also includes an agreement between the city and County about which plans, policies, and development standards apply in the area.

If I own property within the Area of City Impact, what does that mean for me?

For most properties, there is no direct impact. The only direct impact on properties within the Area of City Impact is on those properties not yet annexed into the city where new development is proposed. If a property is located in the County, it is still under County jurisdiction.

Why don’t the County and Cities’ future land use designations in the Area of City Impact (AOCI) match?

Canyon County supports the vision our Cities have identified in their respective Comprehensive Plans and Future Land Use Maps. Maintaining agricultural and limited development in the area of impact allows the cities to develop at a pace they can regulate, prevent the city’s boundaries from being blocked by County developments, and ensure developments are located within the taxing district in which they are acquiring services from.

How will this affect my property?

All real property in Canyon County has a future land use designation. This designation denotes what type of land use is planned and corresponds to a zoning district for this area in the future. Zoning districts regulate how the land can be used and at what density. The future land use designation primarily affects your property when you want to change uses such as from agricultural to industrial or subdivide your property into residential lots. All parcels are eligible to apply to change the future land use designation (Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment), change the uses and density (Zoning Map Amendment or Rezone), and divide a parcel into smaller lots (Subdivision process). Not all parcels will be in the right location or have the individual site characteristics or infrastructure to support all types of proposed development.

Is changing the Future Land Use Map an infringement on private property rights or a “takings”?

No. A regulatory “takings” is a regulation that renders a property economically useless, denies a fundamental property right, or occupies or takes a property without just compensation. Simply proposing new or different regulations or requiring a permitting process does not constitute a “takings”. Development Services takes property rights very seriously; the Comprehensive Plan draft does not propose or intend infringement of property rights. If anything, the plan proposes better protection of property rights, particularly by supporting agriculture’s Right to Farm without undue interference. In addition, the plan may focus on land speculation and provide certainty to property owners by being very specific about where residential development is strongly encouraged and is likely to be approved and where agriculture has importance in the County.

Has Canyon County proposed a “moratorium” and can I get a building permit?

No. Canyon County has not proposed a moratorium. A moratorium is a temporary ordinance lasting for no longer than six months (emergency ordinance) or up to one year (interim ordinance).  A moratorium prohibits certain types of development because of a particular threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public. The six-month to one-year period allows the local government to research, develop and adopt regulations and tools to address the issue. Two cities within Canyon County adopted moratoriums earlier this year to address particular development issues associated with House Bill 389 and the lack of subdivision regulations. Applicants can apply for building permits in Canyon County during normal business hours at the Development Services Department. See Idaho State Statute SS67-6523 & 6524

How does the proposed plan impact my zoning application?

Suppose you have submitted a zoning application such as a Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment, Rezone, Subdivision, Conditional Use Permit, Variance, or other application to this department. In that case, it will be reviewed utilizing the map and policies in the currently adopted Comprehensive Plan (Canyon County Comprehensive Plan 2020). Applications received after the new plan (Canyon County Comprehensive Plan 2030) is adopted will be reviewed utilizing the new map and policies.

What is the difference between a future land use designation and current zoning?

Land use is “use” of land or building use. Future Land Use designations show land use that the County has determined to be the most desirable for a particular area. Future land use is meant to guide future development and redevelopment. Current zoning specifically defines what land uses are currently allowed and the specific development standards associated with developing the land.  

What is transfer of development rights?

Transfer of development rights is a concept where the development rights to a parcel can be sold off separately from the land. Similar to separating water or mineral rights from a parcel. The development rights (i.e. that is, the rights to build dwelling units or nonresidential uses or split off a couple of parcels) could be sold to an individual or corporation and transferred to another parcel where development can be serviced in a more cost-effective manner to the taxpayer (closer to cities where services are available). This allows the farmland to remain intact and prevent undue conflicts to farming operations and residential development be located in areas where the infrastructure, services, and amenities are provided in a way that is cost-effective to the taxpayer over the long term. In addition, it provides money to the farmer for retirement or reinvestment into the farm etc. To implement this type of program, sending areas (i.e. areas identified as intensive agriculture) and receiving areas (i.e. inside city limits or areas of city impact (transitional agriculture) must be identified. Canyon County has identified land use designations to be able to implement TDR’s at a later date if desired. TDR’s are authorized by Idaho State Statute SS67-6515A

How long is the Comprehensive Planning Process?

Canyon County began the Comprehensive Planning process in 2019 by collecting public input to identify issues in the County and the vision residents held for the future. Using this input and direction from the public, a plan was drafted using the newest data and research and drafting policies to address the wants and needs of the County. The draft document has been publicly released and presented through a series of public open houses where residents could ask questions and provide comments. Additional input will be sought throughout the Winter of 2021/22 from stakeholders on the fine details of the plan. A revised draft will be publicly released in Spring 2022, and the plan presented in public hearing for adoption. The plan will be implemented in the following years by using it for review in land use applications and completing the action items.


In August 2021, Development Services hosted Professor Tom Daniels to speak about agricultural preservation techniques (see video of the presentation below). Some techniques have been referenced in the new Comprehensive Plan 2030 policies. Further discussion of this topic and implementing ordinances are expected to follow after the Comprehensive Plan is adopted.

Tom Daniels is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania where teaches courses on Land Use Planning, Growth Management, and Land Preservation. He is the senior author of The Small Town Planning Handbook, Holding Our Ground: Protecting America’s Farms and Farmland, and The Law of Agricultural Land Preservation in the United States. From 1989 to 1998, Tom managed the farmland preservation program in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he also lives. Tom holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Newcastle, UK, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Oregon State University.


Click on the link below to view the current Canyon County Comprehensive Plan:

2020 Comprehensive Plan pdf


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