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Future Land Use Plan

Growing with purpose


Remember being young and mapping out a mental plan for your life? Perhaps you imagined the kind of grown up you wanted to be. The kind of values you’d have and where you wanted to go academically or professionally.


In time you had a loose guide for your future planning and decision making. It didn’t mandate the actions you’d take along the way but it did help those actions have purpose.


Cities do this too and the guide that results is called a Future Land Use Plan (FLUP). A FLUP is a state-mandated resource that defines the type of city its citizens want to be in the future — the character of its built and natural environments and where those different types of places should be established or nurtured.


The Plan and its Future Land Use Map don't regulate growth or define property rights the way a Zoning Map does. Instead they serve as a policy guide for future choices we'll encounter about zoning, development, and infrastructure investments.


A methodical approach


During 2018's Community Planning process, the citizens of Bentonville collectively prioritized thoughtful growth as a pressing concern for our next ten to twenty years. Now, in response, we're launching a community conversation around exactly what that looks like.


It's called Plan Bentonville and over the coming year, we'll be asking a series of questions about how and where we want to grow. What character do we want to cultivate? How do we want our streets to feel and function? Where in the city should we encourage desired growth and where do we seek to preserve the qualities we love?


You'll be along every step of the way with plenty of opportunities to weigh in and share your views, fully detailed on this website as we move forward. In the end we'll emerge with a refined Future Land Use Map, together with the associated goals, policies and definitions of the Plan, to guide us on the road ahead.


Thereafter, we'll move into Phase 2 — updating our zoning code — to ensure that the rules that govern our local development are aligned with the community aspirations we've mapped out.


Please make plans to be a part of it. You can find participation opportunities here and follow the latest news updates here.

  • Does the FLUP/FLUM change my zoning? Does it affect what I can build or what can be built around me?
    No. The Future Land Use Plan and its map are not regulatory tools and do not change any zoning classification or affect existing rights. Instead, they visualize city growth policy and serve as a guide for future pursuits and decision-making.
  • Why are we doing this?
    In short, to ensure that the development we want is the development we get. As we learned during 2018's Community Planning process, the pursuit of thoughtful growth is a priority for Bentonville residents, reflected in the Plan's variety of recommendations for Land Use and Strategic Growth. This current Plan Bentonville process will fine-tune those recommendations, visualize them on a new Future Land Use Map, and ultimately align our vision for growth with the zoning regulations that govern our new development.
  • What is a Future Land Use Plan (FLUP)?
    The Future Land Use Plan is a state-mandated, 30,000 foot view of the city, visualizing through a Future Land Use Map (FLUM) our desired development forms, character and uses, as well as where they should occur — neighborhoods, downtown and other shopping and entertainment areas, workplaces, parks, community facilities and more. It also influences the need for and design of streets and other means of transportation. The FLUP provides the community's answer to the question, "how and where should our residents live, work, shop, recreate, and move about the city?"

The Deep Dive: The Plan Bentonville process is rooted in the 2018 Community Plan. Phase 1, specifically, will involve updating Chapter 4 of the plan (Land Use and Strategic Growth) to reflect current conditions and aspirations, then producing a new Future Land Use Plan and map to visualize its policy goals. Phase 2 involves zoning code updates to ensure that our development regulations moving forward are fully aligned with our long-term Land Use and Strategic Growth objectives.

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