City of Thornton Comprehensive Plan

'Thornton Tomorrow Together' 2020 Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan provides the long-term vision and road map for the community's future. The Plan is used to guide and align public and private investments in Thornton with the shared vision and values of the community, and to provide policy direction on a variety of topics that affect the quality of life of our community. The Comprehensive Plan establishes goals, major strategies and key policies for Thornton’s neighborhoods, future jobs, and potential amenities. It also serves as an advisory document for development in the city. The Plan gives a broad overview of how the city will grow, and where future development or redevelopment will occur. This document is not regulatory like the City Code or zoning map, but rather provides an overall vision of how development should take place over the next 10-20 years. 

Living Document

The Comprehensive Plan is meant to be a "living document" that should be revisited and updated over time to meet the changing conditions and evolving needs of our community. Thornton evaluates the vision of the Comprehensive Plan approximately every 10 years. The 2020 Comprehensive Plan was adopted by City Council on July 15, 2020. Prior to the 2020 Plan, the last extensive rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan occurred in 2007, followed by a technical update in 2012.

Components of the Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is made up of the following key components. Click on the pyramid image to see how these components build upon each other.

  • Policy Framework: identifies Vision Themes, Goals, and Policies reflecting the long-term vision and aspirations of the community

  • Growth Framework: includes the Future Land Use Map, Future Land Use Categories, and Placemaking Guidelines that translate the Policy Framework into the land uses and types of places that the community envisions and desires for the future

  • Implementational Framework: identifies Strategies that will help support the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

"Umbrella" Plan Guiding all City Planning Efforts

The Comprehensive Plan serves as the “umbrella” plan that provides guidance for all other planning efforts in the city, such as the more detailed plans and implementation programs. For example, the Comprehensive Plan provides the overall policy direction that guides the focus of the Parks and Open Space Master Plan, Housing Master Plan, Station Area Master Plans for the future N Line Stations, area plans for specific locations in the city, and many other strategic plans. While the Comprehensive Plan provides the ‘big picture’ vision for Thornton, the city uses these more detailed plans to supplement and advance the community vision established in the Policy Framework.

Click on the chart image to the left to see a full list of all the plans guided by the Comprehensive Plan.