King County released draft updates to its Comprehensive Plan – a key policy document guiding how development and growth will happen over the next 20 years. In one of the most substantial updates to date, the plan proposes significant actions to address social equity, affordable housing, and climate change. The comment period is an important time for the public to help shape these policies. It will be open for 45 days, from June 1-July 15, 2023.
From June 1-July 15, King County residents have a once-a-decade opportunity to offer their input and make significant changes to the updates proposed for the Comprehensive Plan, a document that guides where people live, work, and play in unincorporated communities outside of city limits.
The Comprehensive Plan drives county decisions and planning for services in unincorporated areas such as where homes, offices, or stores can be built; how roads, buildings, and trees contribute to the look and feel of neighborhoods; investments in transit, sewers, and parks; protection of working farms and forests; and access to clean water, clean air, and a healthy environment.
"The comprehensive plan is our chance to join together and chart our course to a better future," said Executive Constantine. "Here is the opportunity to provide County officials input on how our region should manage growth, increase affordable housing, tackle climate change, advance racial and social justice, and provide a robust transportation network. I encourage everyone to participate during the open comment period."
Since January 2022, when the initial scoping began, King County staff have received a record 10,000 comments from the public weighing in on their priorities for their neighborhoods. These priorities have been incorporated into the public review draft, which is now available for further input.
The Comprehensive Plan draft update contains a number of options King County is considering to build affordable housing, tackle climate change, and ensure social equity in our region:
- Middle Housing - Encouraging and streamlining the development of more naturally affordable housing such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.
- Inclusionary Housing - Creating an incentive program that would increase the supply of affordable housing by offering developers cost-saving measures if they voluntarily include some affordable units in the building.
- Cleaner Energy & Wildfire Safeguards - Encouraging a reduction in fossil fuel use in buildings, utilities, and transportation, and promoting the use of renewable resources. Collaborating and planning with community partners to improve forest health and reduce the impacts of wildfires
- Stormwater Improvements - Working with other jurisdictions on a regional stormwater system that will make the water cleaner, add more green space for people to enjoy, and protect against erosion from stronger storms and flooding
- Racially Disparate Impacts Report - Analyzing how past land use regulations, such as development decisions and neighborhood investments, have impacted Black, Indigenous, and People of Color households and identifying actions to repair these past harms
- Housing Stability - Supporting projects, strategies, and investments that promote housing stability and prevent people from having to leave their homes due to rising costs
- Climate Equity - Supporting climate solutions that distribute benefits equitably, particularly to frontline communities most impacted by climate-related harm
General Planning Proposals
- Transportation Investments - Investing in safe, equitable, and accessible transportation for people walking, biking, driving, using wheelchairs, or transit -- with a focus on communities most in need
- Rural Development - Protecting the unique character of rural communities by limiting the impacts of resorts, materials processing sites, mining operations, and mixed-use developments in rural areas
In addition to providing feedback via a survey and email, there will be two opportunities to talk to King County staff to learn more about these proposals and offer feedback:
- Thursday, June 8:Virtual Townhall, 6:30 – 8 PM
- Thursday, June 22:Open House, Southgate Roller Rink, 4 – 8 PM
The comprehensive plan is our chance to join together and chart our course to a better future. Here is the opportunity to provide County officials input on how our region should manage growth, increase affordable housing, tackle climate change, advance racial and social justice, and provide a robust transportation network. I encourage everyone to participate during the open comment period.
For media inquiries, contact:
Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537