What is Envision Coeur d'Alene?


Envision Coeur d’Alene is Coeur d’Alene’s visioning and long-range planning project created to develop a roadmap to the future and a citywide plan to serve our community. The plan will be the City of Coeur d’Alene’s State-mandated comprehensive plan (2020–2040) and CDA 2030’s updated Vision and Implementation Plan.


What is the goal of Envision Coeur d'Alene?


Our goal is to create a planning process that involves you! Between robust community engagement and  expert analyses, together we will update the City of Coeur d’Alene Comprehensive Plan and the CDA 2030 Vision and Implementation Plan.


As Coeur d’Alene continues to grow into the future, the need for planning is as important as ever. By planning together, we can help ensure the long-term health and prosperity of our community. Your Voice. Our Future.


What will the plan address?


The plan will address the following topics as mandated by the State: property rights, population, school facilities, economic development, land use, natural resources, hazardous areas, public services, facilities, and utilities, transportation, recreation, special areas or sites, housing, community design, agriculture, implementation, national interest electric transmission corridors, and public airport facilities.


Major components of the plan will include a community vision and implementation plan, market analysis, economic development analysis, existing conditions study, and transportation analysis. Based on the community’s input and data, a future land use map will be generated to help guide future growth and development.



Who can be involved? How?


Anyone and everyone! The City and CDA 2030 encourage all members of the greater Coeur d’Alene community to join in and let their voice be heard. If you live, work, own property, or utilize services in Coeur d’Alene, we want your feedback!

The City and CDA 2030 will convene a diverse community advisory committee and six focus groups to help guide the project and ensure broad representation for the six focus groups, which align with the 17 state-mandated elements of a comprehensive plan. These are individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves and spend more time to help guide the document, review draft documents, and ensure that the document is representative of the community. 


Additionally, numerous public meetings will take place in various locations and formats throughout the project to involve as many members of the community as possible. This will also include online surveys, mapping exercises, and other activities to receive public input on the plan.


If you would like to volunteer your time and talents, click here to visit the Participate page!



What is "visioning"? What is a vision and action plan? 


Visioning is a planning process through which a community creates a shared vision for its future - and plans to achieve it. Think of the vision as the community's preferred 'destination' - a place where it would like to be in the future. Think of an action plan as a vision 'roadmap' - how the community intends to get there over time.


What are the six key focus areas?


Community & Identity, Education & Learning, Environment & Recreation, Growth & Development, Health & Safety, Jobs & Economy.


What is CDA 2030?


CDA 2030 is a community-based 501(c)3 organization created 2013 to develop a vision for a bright future for greater Coeur d'Alene - and a plan to get there. CDA 2030 seeks to guide greater Coeur d’Alene in realizing its vision through monitoring and tracking of the Implementation Plan and assisting Lead Partners with action progress. For more information, visit CDA2030.org. 


What is a Comprehensive Plan and how is it used?


A Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year guide for the physical growth of Coeur d’Alene. It establishes our long-range vision and is a referencing tool to be used for land use decisions by the Planning Commission and City Council. This plan will address changing demographics and economics, including growth projections and trends. In addition to being an important long-range planning tool, the state’s Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) also mandates that Idaho communities have a comprehensive plan that addresses 17 specific topics. Cities are not limited to these items, and many choose to include additional elements, based on best practices and community input/feedback.


Who operates Envision Coeur d'Alene?


It is a collaborative project by the City of Coeur d’Alene and CDA 2030.


What is the timeline for this process?


The project will publicly begin at the Launch event scheduled for Thursday, September 26. The plan completion is expected by December 2020. More details to follow.


What consultants are working with the City of Coeur d'Alene and CDA 2030?


MIG (primary)
Bridge Economic Development (subconsultant)
Kittelson & Associates (subconsultant)


How will the Envision Coeur d’Alene project balance private property rights and the need for open space and parklands?


The process of updating the Comprehensive Plan allows for the public to weigh in on the nature of development of our community holistically. This is everyone’s chance to be heard and provide feedback on what Coeur d’Alene becomes over the next 20 years, with the understanding that this document is not an ordinance, but an overarching policy guide used to help direct the creation of future ordinances that have the force of law. It is also used at the public hearing level in findings that must be made to approve or deny a development request.  It will also address the need for open space, parklands, and trails.


It is important to recognize the nature of property rights. All private property in the city has a zone assigned to it. The zoning associated with the parcel has “uses by right.” These uses are allowed to be constructed according to code without public comment or a public hearing. Assuming the applicant meets code, the building permit is issued. This is universal at the national, state, and local level. Over 100 years of case law support this form of private property right (See https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Euclidean zoning for a deeper understanding).  Idaho Code requires comprehensive plan documents to address property rights.


If a property owner seeks permission for a parcel of land to be annexed, subdivided, receive a special use permit, a planned unit development, or the zoning changed, it requires a public hearing… and sometimes more than one (Planning Commission and City Council). These public hearings are required to be noticed and public testimony is available to speak for, against, or to remain neutral. These are not uses by right and must be approved by a hearing body. This is the opportunity for individuals to speak their minds about an item on the agenda and provide input/feedback.


For a city to restrict the uses by right to prevent someone from exercising their development entitlements is called a “takings.” If the City Council restricts development it is called a “moratorium.”  The moratorium tool is only available to be decreed to protect the health and safety of the citizens and is used in extreme cases (i.e. ALL city sewer capacity is gone, such as what happened in Coeur d’Alene circa 1977-80). Any attempt to limit the uses by right could be considered a “takings” and generally requires a judge to decide if the city overstepped their authority.


Some projects include parks and open space.  Planned unit development (PUD) projects provide a minimum of 10% open space that can either be solely for the use of project users or it could be open to the public.  There are many examples of PUD projects in our community, such as Coeur d’Alene Place, Bellerive, and Mill River.  The new Atlas Waterfront project will also be a PUD project.


As for development of public lands and establishing new parks and open space, this is handled primarily by the individuals voted into office to represent the city, City Council, either directly or through a State authorized means such as urban renewal. There are many tools and many ways to use them and not enough space here to define and discuss them all.  The City has a Parks and Recreation Commission that assists the city in establishing standards for parks and open space, and identifying future park and open space locations, recreational opportunities, and trails. The City also has a Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and an Urban Forestry Commission.  The Parks and Recreation Department also has the ability to use impact fees and has a Parks Foundation to assist with funding new parks in the City.  The City’s urban renewal agency, ignite cda, has also assisted with major parks projects such as McEuen Park and Memorial Field.  For more information, please visit the City’s Parks and Recreation webpages at cdaid.org.