Goal 2 requires each local government in Oregon to have and follow a comprehensive land use plan and implementing regulations. Cities and counties must build their comprehensive plans on a factual base, and follow their plan when making decisions on appropriate zoning. City and county plans must be consistent with one another. Special district and state agency plans and programs must be coordinated with comprehensive plans.

Comprehensive plans must comply with the requirements of each applicable statewide planning goal. The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) reviewed Clatsop County's comprehensive plan for compliance with those goals in 1980 and ultimately found that the County's plan was consistent with the goals. LCDC then "acknowledged," or approved, the plan. Once a plan is acknowledged, it replaces the statewide planning goals for the purposes of local land use decision-making.

Except for federal and tribal lands, every inch of Oregon is planned and zoned. The comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances are the guiding documents Clatsop County uses to make land use decisions. They help create predictable outcomes for the people that live and operate businesses in our community for development of homes, stores, and industries. Comprehensive plans also guide public development – streets, municipal water, sewer, and parks – and conservation of natural resources.

Part II of Goal 2 provides a process a local government can follow when taking an "exception" to one of the land use goals. A local government can take an exception to a goal when it finds that unique circumstances warrant a local override of the statewide goal to create a better outcome.

Changes to comprehensive plans must also comply with the statewide planning goals.