Update on Clark County Comprehensive Plan

In December 1994, Clark County adopted its first Comprehensive Plan under Washington’s Growth Management Act. Clark County and its cities embarked on a 5-year update of the 20?year Comprehensive Plan. Although the local jurisdictions intended to complete this plan within two years, it remains unfinished with the approach of a statutory deadline for the ten?year update: December 31, 2004.

On January 14, 2004, the Clark County Board of Commissioners considered recommendations for the final 20?year plan from its Planning Commission, Clark County’s cities, private property owners, neighborhoods, and others. As a result of this hearing, Clark County has now produced a series of proposed comprehensive plan/zoning maps for rural areas and urban growth areas for each city.

Comprehensive land use planning under the Growth Management Act requires the use of a capital facilities-based approach. This means that if local jurisdictions cannot afford to fund capital facilities sufficient to support the proposed land use plan, that plan must be modified to the extent necessary to ensure that capital facilities will be available to support development.

The January 14, 2004, Comprehensive Plan maps may undergo additional changes before final adoption. The capital facilities analysis currently underway in Clark County and each city will determine whether the land use plans can be supported with capital facilities or must be further refined.

In order to ensure that the local jurisdictions’ comprehensive land use plans will support growth over the next 20 years, Clark County is considering policies that would provide for:

  • focused public investment strategies—to ensure that local jurisdictions are spending capital facilities plan dollars in locations that are likely to be supported by market demand for development.
  • utilization of business park and office campus zoning districts—to ensure more family-wage jobs at appropriate locations.

There will be opportunity for further input. The Clark County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners will hold further hearings, probably in late summer, to consider the capital facilities plans, impact on the proposed comprehensive land use plans and will then make final decisions. If you have questions regarding this process, please call Steve Horenstein at 360-597-0965.