Plan proposal balances environmental protection, economic development
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee today advanced without recommendation an update to the county’s Comprehensive Plan, the blueprint for growth in unincorporated King County. The plan was forwarded to the full council by a committee that consists of all nine councilmembers. The full council will do a more in-depth review of the proposal in preparation for final passage later in 2012.
Councilmembers Larry Phillips, Jane Hague, Kathy Lambert, and Larry Gossett, representing a mix of urban, rural, and suburban communities, offered a striking amendment that balances urban and rural priorities and public health and environmental protection with economic development. They worked to ensure the language of the plan was clear and transparent to the public.
“Maintaining vital urban and rural communities and protecting natural resources by holding the line on sprawl is the critical function of King County’s Comprehensive Plan,” said Councilmember Phillips, Chair of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. “This update maintains the protections that have allowed this region to grow without losing its natural beauty or livability, and addresses our changing needs related to climate change, sustainability, and economic development.”
“The proposal we’re sending to the full council is the result of hundreds of hours of review and citizen involvement,” said Councilmember Hague. “But it is still not a finished document. We look forward to receiving more public input on this proposal before our final vote.”
“This major four-year update to the Comprehensive Plan is important for District 3, as these policies directly impact our communities and properties,” said King County Councilmember Lambert, who represents Northeast King County and the largest percentage of unincorporated residents on the county council. “All four members proposing the striking amendment made compromises along the way, and ultimately this proposed Comprehensive Plan update helps to clarify our policies. We look forward to continuing to work on the policy and land use issues over the next several months.”
Councilmembers took public input on the Comprehensive Plan update at three public hearings in Fall City, Woodinville, and Ravensdale, in addition to conducting nine committee briefings on the plan. Over 150 people testified at these meetings.
The King County Comprehensive Plan guides growth and development in the unincorporated areas of the county and sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation, and the environment. The State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, directs the state’s most populous and fastest growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans that anticipate growth for a 20 year horizon.
King County’s first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1994. Technical changes to the plan can be made once a year, with major plan updates conducted every four years. Major updates of the Comprehensive Plan have occurred in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
The King County Council will take up final passage of the plan later this fall or early winter following a thirty-day public review period. Residents can continue to submit written testimony online by visiting the King County Council Web site.