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Comprehensive Plan

Nez Perce County Comprehensive Plan: Forward


This comprehensive plan is a community developed document which, through goals and policies, strives to maintain the living qualities of the Nez Perce County area—a responsibility shared jointly by elected officials, citizens and businesses. The comprehensive plan is an official policy guide for the preferred 20-year vision for the community.

Nez Perce County’s first comprehensive plan was adopted in July 1980. Nez Perce County initiated the process of updating the comprehensive plan in July 1997 and appointed a citizen advisory group to lead discussions concerning the future of Nez Perce County. The values, visions, goals and policies that follow in this document represent a consensus of the Nez Perce County community.

The Nez Perce County Comprehensive Plan has projected a study area population of over 46,367 by the year 2020. This represents a .85% annual increase in population over the next 22 years. The Nez Perce Comprehensive Plan document contains goals and policies that address physical land use and public facilities that are of concern to planning for this future growth.


This plan applies to all geographic areas within Nez Perce County’s jurisdiction. The comprehensive plan is the document through which Nez Perce County has stated how land development and redevelopment should occur and how it will be managed. Basic goals of the plan are intended to guide future growth in a manner consistent with the reasons people enjoy living and working in Nez Perce County.

The purpose of this updated plan may be best summarized in the following points:

  • To comply with state legislative requirements under the Idaho Local Planning Act.
  • To study the technical aspects of the county’s past and present.
  • To articulate the vision county residents have for the future of Nez Perce County.
  • To protect private property rights and values, and to avoid unnecessary regulations influencing such concerns.


The updated Nez Perce County Comprehensive Plan has several important uses:

Legislative: To meet the requirements of the 1975 Local Land Use Planning Act of the State of Idaho, Title 67, Chapter 65, and to establish consistency of land use regulations with the comprehensive plan.

Policy: To clarify and articulate public policies and the intentions of Nez Perce County with respect to the rights and expectations of the general public, private enterprise and local government.

Educational: To inform local residents, public agencies and economic interests of the community’s plans and priorities.

Coordination: To establish a basis for coordination, understanding among residents,economic interests, county and city officials, the Nez Perce Tribe, private landowners and public agencies within Nez Perce County and to present Nez Perce County’s position on growth and development concerns in the region.


The comprehensive plan, comprised of goal statements, policies, implementation items, maps, charts, and graphs, provides county leaders and citizens with technical data and guidelines essential in the decision-making process.

  • Goal Statements are broad directions that establish ideal future conditions toward which policies are focused.
  • Policies are intended to make specific statements that guide decision-making and give clear indication of intent.
  • Implementation Strategies are steps for implementing policies. Identification of all possible alternatives for achieving a desired end is not feasible. In some instances, it may be necessary to develop specific studies before implementation.

Certain elements of a comprehensive plan are required by the Idaho Local Planning Act. In order to effectively analyze Nez Perce County's opportunities and challenges, the plan addresses all required elements with an additional section dedicated to Areas of City Impact.

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


In the initial phases of the planning process, Nez Perce County established a 10-member Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC consisted of representatives of the Planning and Zoning Commission, business community, agricultural community, the Nez Perce Tribe, and other interested citizens. This committee met on numerous occasions to review the consultant’s works and prepare the goals and policies of this document.

After the CAC was established, Nez Perce County conducted two public "open house" meetings to inform the community and obtain comments regarding the comprehensive plan update effort. The CAC held the "open house" meeting in Myrtle and the second in Lewiston. In addition to the "open house" meetings, the CAC discussed community concerns regarding social, economic, and physical conditions, as well as implementation priorities.

A citizen comment survey was mailed to a sample of county residents in January 1998. This sample included citizens living in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Nez Perce County. A significant number of surveys were returned (30% of the sample). The survey played a major role in guiding CAC discussions concerning the development of the goals and policies in this plan.

Nez Perce County and the J-U-B Planning Group thank the CAC members for volunteering their time, experience and insight for the successful completion of this important document. The CAC provided the link between the consultant, Nez Perce County staff, and the citizens of Nez Perce County.


The Nez Perce County Comprehensive Plan was updated in 2018 to bring the plan in compliance with the Local Land Use Planning Act, Idaho Code §67-6508. Data tables were updated using 2010 census data. New sections for Agriculture, National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, School Facilities, Transportation, and Public Airport Facilities were added pursuant to new requirements of Idaho Code §67-6508. In May of 2015, the Areas of City Impact section was adopted by County Commissioners as a result of a renegotiation of the Lewiston Area of City Impact. The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the Plan in its entirety and recommended an updated plan to the Board of County Commissioners for approval.


Mr. Ron Aldrich of Lewiston (Valley Vision 2001)
Mr. Jim Angle of Lapwai (Planning and Zoning Commission)
Mr. Steve Becker of Genesee
Mr. Hal Coder of Lewiston (Planning and Zoning Commission)
Ms. Mary Dau of Lenore
Mr. Bob Finnell of Juliaetta
Ms. Robin Meacham of Lewiston
Mr. Randy Randall of Lenore
Ms. Dodi Rode of Lapwai (Nez Perce Tribe)
Ms. Sharol Ward of Culdesac


Jim O’Connell, Chairman
Terry Kristoff, Vice Chairman
Frank Dillon
Kristen Gibson
Joe Greco
Marcus Jennings
Brian Steele


Bill Reynolds


Alison Tompkins


Jase Brooks


(PDF version of entire document)

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