Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Hot Springs Comprehensive Plan?

This is one of the City's most important documents: the comprehensive plan, which establishes goals and policies for nearly everything the City does. The document is written with a long-range (20-year) plan horizon. Hot Springs' existing plan was first developed and adopted in 1997, and there's a lot to update. Think of the plan as a blueprint for hot Springs' future - one that will lead decisions regarding land-use patterns, civil investments concerning water, water and stormwater, transportation, parks, housing and other community needs.
Who commissioned the plan and why?Hot Springs' Board of Directors commissioned the plan prompted by current and projected growth, economic development needs, neighborhood revitalization, transportation and other needs.In short, the City wants to take a more active approach to its future - establishing a strategic, sustainable set of goals and policies to improve Hot Springs over time.
What's the difference between a comp plan and "zoning?"Comprehensive plans (sometimes referred to as a "long-range" or "general" plans) are essentially policy documents - intended to guide decisions by staff and elected officials. What are commonly referred to as land development or "zoning" regulations are just that - specific, legal regulations governing building and land use. The development or code is intended to implement comp plan goals, so the two are related, but kept separate - and may only be revised through public process and adoption by Board action. 
How long will the update take?The plan update process, including resource evaluation, committee and public meetings, draft development and review is expected to be complete by winter 2020.
Who can take part?All residents or those employed in Hot Springs, or in the adopted planning area are strongly encouraged to take part in the process. 
How do I get involved?The City and its consultants are committed to involving the public as much as possible, and plan to host public meetings and workshops, issue e-mail notices, conduct informal questionnaires, and more. Some residents have been appointed to an advisory committee. Take part in any or all of the events and activities, follow the work on the Envision Hot Springs webpage, contact the City about involvement opportunities - but be sure to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns!
What will the plan include?To a large degree, the plan's scope will reflect the findings and directions established through the public process. But at a minimum, it's expected the plan will include updates to the community vision, land use, transportation, and capital facilities and utilities chapters in the 1997 plan and HS 2030 Update.
Will any revisions to Hot Springs' zoning or development code take place?Depending on the plan's outcome, future updates to Hot Springs' regulatory framework may be desirable. However, no changes or updates to City regulations are currently planned. 
Who are the consultant team members?The consultant team is being led by DESIGNWORKSHOP, a community and regional planning firm based in Austin, Texas and Asheville, North Carolina. 
For further information, please contact:  Kathy Sellman, Planning & Development Director
                                                                     (501) 321-6855 or email