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King County Comprehensive Plan 

The central Puget Sound region is growing. Every day in 2019, the region gained 166 people. The Puget Sound Regional Council projects that the region will continue to grow and add another 1.8 million people and 1.2 million jobs by 2050.

The Comprehensive Plan is a key policy document that guides how growth and development will occur over the next 20 years. It guides County decisions and services 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 2024 Update

King County is starting a once-a-decade update to its Comprehensive Plan, which guides where people live, work, and play in unincorporated King County. While this is known as the "2024 Update" the process for developing the plan takes place over two years. Please see the planned timeline below.

To ensure that King County will be a welcoming community where every person can thrive, the 2024 update will focus on policies related to racial equity, affordable housing, and climate change. More details about the scope of the update can be found here. There will be many opportunities during the planning process for all county residents and the general public to provide input on the update. 

Project Milestones

  • Jan-Jun 2022: King County Executive staff begin the Comprehensive Plan update process.
  • Jul 2022-Mid 2023: King County Executive develops and releases draft Comprehensive Plan including analysis related to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This will result in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the public to review alongside the draft Comprehensive Plan.
  • Mid 2023-Dec 2023: King County Executive staff edit the draft plan based on community input and transmit an Executive Recommended plan with the final EIS to the King County Council for review and approval.
  • Jan-Dec 2024: The King County Council reviews, amends, and adopts the final Comprehensive Plan.

Contact Us

Regional Planning staff are looking forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or requests.

  Send us an email at CompPlan@kingcounty.gov    

  Sign up for Comprehensive Planning news

 

FAQs

In 1990, the Washington state legislature enacted the Growth Management Act (GMA) in response to rapid and uncoordinated growth at the time. In addition to aligning state, multi-county, countywide, and local planning, the GMA requires local governments in fast-growing and densely populated areas to develop and adopt comprehensive plans.

King County’s planning role is complex in that it is responsible for regional services and is also the local government to unincorporated areas. Thus, King County’s Comprehensive Plan offers a vision for how unincorporated areas will grow and how regional services – such as transit, parks and solid waste – will be provided.

The policies throughout the plan support good planning principles such as directing new homes and jobs to areas near current and planned transit centers. Another is that rural and resource lands are protected through an urban growth boundary, which allows our region to keep working farms and forests.

Unincorporated areas are areas outside of city limits. If you live or do business in neighborhoods such as Skyway, White Center, Vashon-Maury Island, or Redmond Ridge, King County is your main provider of local government services.

Here are two ways to find out if you are located in an unincorporated area:

  • Find or enter your address on this map. The green layer shows unincorporated King County.
  • Enter your address in King County’s Parcel Viewer and see what’s listed as the jurisdiction.
The land use map in the Comprehensive Plan shows the general types of planned, long-term uses allowed on each parcel of land. This informs the zoning category applied to each parcel, which sets more specific, current allowed uses and associated development regulations. You can search for a parcel's land use and zoning here. The plan also includes policies about specific topics, such as housing or parks, which are grouped in the plan by chapter.
In The King County Executive is responsible for developing the Comprehensive Plan and sending it to the King County Council for final review and approval. When developing the Comprehensive Plan, the Executive works in coordination with regional and local jurisdictional partners and the public. Public input is welcome throughout the process and there are many opportunities to submit comments and make requests. The Executive considers all comments in developing the Executive Recommended Plan. The King County Council reviews the plan, proposes amendments, and votes on whether to adopt the final version.

There are three types of updates: technical adjustments, limited updates, and major updates.

  • Every year, there is an opportunity to make technical adjustments to the plan and minor changes to land use designations and zoning classifications.
  • Once every five years, a limited range of substantive changes can be considered. At this time, the county also conducts a study of how much of the predicted growth has happened and evaluates policies to see if they are effective at accommodating it. The next possible five-year update would be in 2029.
  • Finally, at least once every ten years, King County is required to review and update the plan to ensure compliance with the goals and requirements of the GMA. These updates are also an opportunity to make in-depth and broad ranging policy changes that address changes in the community's growth and long-term needs, while advancing the County's policy goals.
  • To submit specific policy recommendations or changes to land use and zoning, please use the docket application process.
  • If you have general comments or suggestions for a current plan update (such as the 2024 update), please submit feedback to CompPlan@kingcounty.gov.
  • King County planning staff are available to meet with community groups and other interested parties. Please submit requests to CompPlan@kingcounty.gov.
  • Sign up for news about plan updates and Comprehensive Plan topics by joining our mailing list.

Resources

Proposing Changes (including Docket, Four-to-One Proposals, and site-specific zoning changes)

King County Code (including Title 20 Planning and Title 21A Zoning)

PSRC's VISION 2050