News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Planning underway for Sisters’ future

Much has been written lately about the City’s plan to update its Comprehensive Plan, a task last done in 2005. Public engagement with this process is crucial if the completed document is to be of use to the City.

The comp plan is like a master plan that lays out how Sisters will grow over the next 20 years based on State goals and the desires of the community. If residents want to have a say in that growth, the comprehensive planning process is a major opportunity to be involved.

Last week at a joint meeting of the Sisters City Council and the Sisters Planning Commission, the consultants for the comp plan introduced the draft Community Engagement Plan (CEP), which provides a road map for how the public can get involved in the update and how the City will solicit citizen feedback. This feedback, along with the technical studies prepared by the consultants, form the foundation of the comp plan.

The comp plan is the City’s long-range plan for how it will grow and serve its community members over the next 20 years. It has a strong emphasis on how land is used, developed, and/or conserved. Primary topics in the plan include community involvement, housing, economic development, natural resources and hazards, and public infrastructure and facilities, among others. The plan provides a set of goals, objectives, and policies that provide overarching guidance for future City decisions.

The comp plan generally addresses land within the City’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) but there will also be an assessment done exploring the potential to expand the UGB while examining areas adjacent to the UGB.

Oregon state law requires that all cities adopt and periodically update comprehensive plans that are consistent with the state’s 19 Statewide Planning Goals. Since 2005, when the comp plan was adopted, Sisters has experienced rapid population growth and shifts in demographics. The original data, trends, and land-use categories used to establish the 2005 comp plan are now outdated. Also, a full update of the City’s comp plan is identified as an action item in the Sisters Country Vision adopted in 2019.

The project management team includes City staff from the Community Development Department, supported by a team of consultants led by Angelo Planning Group that includes Johnson Economics and NXT Consulting that facilitated the Sisters Vision project. The process will be guided by a Stakeholders Advisory Committee of local agency partners to provide technical expertise, as well as a Community Advisory Committee to review plan policies and concepts.

The comp plan update process will provide numerous opportunities for community members to engage with and provide feedback on the goals, policies, and objectives of the plan, with a focus on making feedback opportunities accessible to the full range of Sisters community members. Outreach efforts will incorporate a variety of activities and strategies to ensure that everyone is able to provide feedback in a meaningful way.

The Project Management Team has identified a number of ways to interact with and solicit feedback from the community. They will target stakeholders and participants including coordination with City commissions, boards, and other local public agencies. The team will also engage other governmental, business, and advocacy groups and will conduct regular briefings, open to the public, with the Planning Commission and City Council.

The project website ( will be the primary location for project information and also will provide a platform to receive general feedback on the planning process and draft concepts. People can also sign up to receive regular project email updates via an interested parties email list. Community members can also submit comments about the project, including an option to have a City staff person contact them to follow up.

Throughout the year-long process, there will be a multitude of ways for citizens to be involved and provide feedback. COVID is going to require much of it to be done online, and the team is currently working on a variety of other activities and events.


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