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Document Code No.: ART-7-1 EO 
Department/Issuing Agency: County Executive's Office
Effective Date: September 18.2019
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 106KB)

PREAMBLE. King County has long been home to artists, filmmakers, union crews, and content creators who help make this region vibrant and economically strong. King County has extraordinary locations that have served as settings for numerous films and episodic productions, including films like Twin Peaks, Captain Fantastic, The Vanishing, Say Anything, Singles, and episodic series such as Northern Exposure. These feature films and series, along with commercial productions, generate the work that keeps our industry professionals employed, while they create the productions that allow us to export our cultural and commercial capital to the world.

Our state is centered between two highly competitive film regions, British Columbia to the north, and Oregon to the south, with Washington's film incentive being one of the lowest state film incentives in the country. This makes it difficult for our region to maintain a competitive edge in the film industry. Film production is a high-risk business and film producers are financially compelled to produce their work in incentivized regions. King County has an opportunity to increase our competitive edge with the intent of generating jobs and stimulating business in the creative economy.

WHEREAS, King County has a wealth of film production and union talent that supports the regional film industry;

WHEREAS, King County acknowledges that film production contributes to our culture, our economy, our regional brand, and our quality of life;

WHEREAS, King County values the clean, light industrial, unionized jobs that film production brings to this region, and the economic impact the film industry brings to small businesses and the region;

WHEREAS, King County values the creative output that film industry professionals generate and treasures its screening venues and numerous film festivals;

WHEREAS, in order to remain competitive in the film industry and keep our industry professionals working, King County realizes that King County needs to modify our policies and procedures, and leverage our existing resources to support the film industry.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dow Constantine, King County Executive, do hereby order and direct relevant County departments to prioritize film production and content creation by implementing the following action plan:

  1. Develop a new King County Film Ordinance that prioritizes film and content production throughout relevant King County departments.
  2. Identify a King County lead in each relevant department to work with the Creative Economy Strategist and industry and union leaders to understand the needs of the film industry.
  3. Leverage King County real estate assets and prioritize short-term leases and rental arrangements to make King County assets and locations accessible to film producers and content creators.
  4. Modify the film permitting process under a new film ordinance to reduce significant permitting fees.
  5. Work interdepartmentally to design processes to expedite film permitting approvals and provide a three-working day response window on film permitting applications.
  6. Work with Equity and Social Justice leadership to ensure that all changes are implemented through a racial equity and social justice lens.
  7. Work with the Creative Economy Strategist, and film industry and union leaders to ensure that the policies that are pursued, and the processes undertaken will address challenges and offer opportunities that help to fortify and grow the regional film industry.
  8. Emphasize environmentally sound film production practices wherever possible.
  9. Track the progress of the new film initiative and the Creative Economy Strategist shall submit a quarterly report to the King County Executive.