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Comprehensive Plan

This Comprehensive Plan presents a vision for the future of the Greater Bemidji Area and a clear direction for community action.  It is based on locally established visions, goals, and policies derived through public participation. The individual chapters outline in more specific terms the goals and policies to ensure the Greater Bemidji Area grows in a way that:


  • Supports the values of the community, enhances economic vitality;  

  • Promotes maintenance and enhancement of existing neighborhoods and commercial districts (including downtown Bemidji);

  • Provides affordable housing for all ages and groups; and  

  • Determines and reinforces approaches for protecting natural resources and open spaces.  


Cover Page #2.jpg

The Comprehensive Plan is intended to be a dynamic document used to:

  • Guide local officials and staff to assist with development and infrastructure decisions, acquisition and use of land, budget capital improvements, and establish regulatory changes.

  • Guide residents, businesses, and property owners to assist in determining property use, understanding possible land use changes in the Greater Bemidji Area, establish reasonable land value expectations, understand future infrastructure improvements, and make improvements and investments to their own properties.

  • Guide developers in property acquisitions and coordination of development plans with the goals, policies, and regulations outlined in this Comprehensive Plan.  


As the foremost guide for community growth and development within the Greater Bemidji Area, the Comprehensive Plan influences many other decisions. It is intended to be a dynamic document that is regularly reviewed and updated.  To Review  the Greater Bemidji Area Future Land Use Map, Click Here.

For Acknowledgments, Table of Contents and Resolution, Click Here. The Comprehensive Plan has been organized into the following chapters:

Chapter 1 Introduction.jpg

Introduces the comprehensive planning process and acknowledgements of those
instrumental to its development. 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2 Values, Vision, Strengths.jpg

Provides the core values, vision, and mission of the Greater Bemidji Area with a snapshot of present day conditions.

Chapter 2:

Values, Visions, & Present Day

Chapter 3 Community Overview.jpg

Provides a summary of the social, economic, and physical features that are influencing land use and community development patterns at the time the Comprehensive Plan was developed.

Chapter 3:

Community Overview

Chapter 4 Land Use.jpg

Describes the Greater Bemidji Area’s desires for future land use and development patterns. This
chapter establishes objectives and strategies related to growth, land use, redevelopment, development trends, and economic growth/development.

Chapter 4:

Land Use

Chapter 5 Downtown Bemidji.jpg

Describes the heart of the city; a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented central district that defines the character and spirit of Bemidji. This chapter will evaluate the existing conditions and establish objectives and strategies that will continue to promote and enhance the downtown district.

Chapter 5:

Downtown Bemidji

Chapter 6 Economic Regional Center.jpg

Breaks down the economic development and tourism that presides theGreater Bemidji Area. This chapter is the ultimate driving-force that allows the Greater Bemidji Area to excel.

Chapter 6:

Economic Development

Chapter 7 Community Facilities and Servi

Describes existing and future community needs to accommodate demand for new services. Community facilities consist of the structures, infrastructure, facilities, and services administered by the public and semi-public organizations that provide for the day-to-day functions of the Greater Bemidji Area.

Chapter 7:

Community Facilities & Services

Chapter 8 Housing.jpg

Provides a summary of existing housing characteristics, promotes increased housing availability and affordability, promotes maintenance and enhancement of existing neighborhoods, and provides objectives and strategies for future development relative to needs and demand. 

Chapter 8:


Chapter 9 Transportation.jpg

Describes the current transportation network, including the trail system; evaluates current and future transportation needs; and provides objectives and strategies for attaining the Greater Bemidji Area’s
transportation vision. 

Chapter 9:


Chapter 10 Active and Healthy Community.

Summarizes current park and recreation facilities and identifies objectives and strategies to expand and improve the system in the Greater Bemidji Area to provide a wide range of recreational activities for people of all ages and interests.

Chapter 10:

Active & Healthy Community

Chapter 11 Natural Resources.jpg

Identify areas of high environmental and natural resource value.  These features will often influence what kind of adjacent land use may occur and the intensity of any given use. 

Chapter 11:

Natural Resources

Chapter 12 Implementation.jpg

Provides guidance and direction to ensure programs, objectives, and strategies addressed within the Comprehensive Plan are carried out by the decisions that the JPB and staff make on a daily basis.

Chapter 12:



To access the full Comprehensive Planning Document for the Greater Bemidji Area, Click Here.


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