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Equity and social justice, alternatives for unincorporated communities and public outreach highlight work plan for King County Comprehensive Plan


Outline for 2016 review


The Metropolitan King County Council today began its preparation for examining the blueprint for growth in the County’s unincorporated communities with its adoption of the work plan for the 2016 review of the King County Comprehensive Plan (KCCP).

“As King County continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the country, we must ensure that we grow in an equitable and environmentally responsible way,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “We have outlined a path to continue King County’s long tradition of protecting our environment and preserving critical open space and have included a new emphasis on ensuring equity in our comprehensive plan policies. I appreciate King County Executive Dow Constantine’s support of the motion and I look forward to working with him over the coming year.”  

“The Scoping Motion provides a look forward to the major review of the King County Comprehensive Plan that takes place every four years,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “We will be looking at options for meeting our housing needs and addressing land use issues that minimize transportation burdens.”

“This is a good starting place for our 2016 discussions on the Comprehensive Plan,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I look forward to open conversations with residents and cities over the next 18 months as we go through the review process.”

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.

For 2016, the Council approved revisions to the “scope of work” presented to the Council by the County Executive. The updated work plan calls on the Executive to examine a number of polices as part of the 2016 review of the KCCP. They include:

• Examining policies to address inequities and disparities to ensure that all people in King County have the ability to live in safe and healthy environments,
• Exploring options that consider the potential impact of climate changes to growth policies,
• Exploring the impact the building of affordable housing in unincorporated areas of the County,
• Adapting to accommodate the aging population of King County.

The work plan also calls on the Executive to provide a detailed study of future alternatives for a number of unincorporated areas in King County including:

• North Bend,
• Highline,
• Vashon Island,
• and Maple Valley.

Throughout the review process, the Council is calling for intensive participation from both stakeholders and the public to ensure the 2016 major review includes their input.

King County’s first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1994. Technical changes to the plan can be made once a year, with major plan reviews conducted every four years. Major reviews of the Comprehensive Plan have occurred in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

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