Comprehensive Planning Materials

The Division of Statewide Planning is committed to assisting municipalities in crafting comprehensive plans that are effective at guiding local decision making and are an embodiment of the State’s goals and policies.  The Division has created the below materials to facilitate the comprehensive planning process.  If you have any questions about the materials, or would like to request a specific resource become available, please contact Kevin Nelson

Comprehensive Planning Standards Manual

In accordance with § 45-22.2-10(b) of the Comprehensive Planning Act (the Act) the Division of Statewide Planning is to develop standards to assist municipalities in the incorporation of state goals and policies into comprehensive plans, and to assist the Division in the review of comprehensive plans. The Comprehensive Planning Standards Manual is the means by which this requirement is met. A standard may: 1) reiterate a requirement found in the Act; 2) provide specifics to clarify a requirement of the Act; 3) describe processes that if followed will help ensure State approval; or 4) identify information that while not specifically required by the Act, has been identified as vital to supporting the intents of the Act. The Standards Manual includes all four types of standards. Standards that describe processes or information not required by the Act are included as recommendations.

Comprehensive Planning Standards Manual

Comprehensive Planning Guidance Handbook Series

The Comprehensive Planning Guidance Handbook Series was created as an accompaniment to the Comprehensive Planning Standards Manual. The Comprehensive Planning Guidance Handbook Revised and Abridged consolidates and updates the Guidance Handbook series by combining some topics and by eliminating duplicative standards. The Comprehensive Planning Guidance Handbook Revised and Abridged also reflects the revisions made to the Standards Manual in August 2021.

The Division has compiled data fact sheets for all municipalities with available data for 2017.

Barrington Hopkinton Portsmouth
Bristol Jamestown Providence
Burrillville Johnston Richmond
Central Falls Lincoln Scituate
Charlestown Little Compton Smithfield
Coventry Middletown South Kingstown
Cranston Narragansett Tiverton
Cumberland Newport Warren
East Greenwich New Shoreham Warwick
East Providence North Kingstown West Greenwich
Exeter North Providence West Warwick
Foster North Smithfield Westerly
Glocester Pawtucket Woonsocket

 Mapping for Comprehensive Plans

The Division has created GIS layer files to assist municipalities in complying with the Comprehensive Planning Standards related to mapping.  To download the files, view directions on using the files and for necessary query text, go to the GIS Layers page for all instructions.

Looking for other materials? Try the Planning Resource Library