Periodic review and update of comprehensive plans and development regulations.
(a) Counties and cities must periodically take legislative action to review and, if necessary, revise their comprehensive plans and development regulations to ensure the plan and regulations comply with the requirements of the act. This review and revision, required under RCW 36.70A.130
(1), is referred to in this section as the periodic update.
(b) Deadlines for periodic update. Comprehensive plans and development regulations are subject to periodic update on a schedule established in RCW 36.70A.130
(i) Deadlines for completion of periodic review are as follows:
Table WAC 365-196-610.1
Deadlines for Completion of Periodic Review 2015 - 2018
Update must be complete by
June 30 of:
Affected counties and
the cities within:
King, Pierce, Snohomish
Clallam, Clark, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, Thurston, Whatcom
Benton, Chelan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Kittitas, Lewis, Skamania, Spokane, Yakima
Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whitman
(ii) Certain smaller, slower-growing counties and cities may take up to an additional two years to complete the update.
(A) The eligibility of a county for the two-year extension does not affect the eligibility of the cities within the county.
(B) A county is eligible if it has a population of less than fifty thousand and a growth rate of less than seventeen percent.
(C) A city is eligible if it has a population of less than five thousand, and either a growth rate of less than seventeen percent or a total population growth of less than one hundred persons.
(D) Growth rates are measured using the ten-year period preceding the due date listed in RCW 36.70A.130
(E) If a city or county qualifies for the extension on the statutory due date, they remain eligible for the entire extension period, even if they no longer meet the criteria due to population growth.
(c) Taking legislative action.
(i) The periodic update must be accomplished through legislative action. Legislative action means the adoption of a resolution or ordinance following notice and a public hearing including, at a minimum, a finding that a review and evaluation has occurred and identifying the revisions made, or that a revision was not needed and the reasons therefore.
(ii) Legislative action includes two components. It includes a review of the comprehensive plan and development regulations and it includes the adoption of any amendments necessary to bring the comprehensive plan and development regulations into compliance with the requirements of the act.
(d) What must be reviewed.
(i) Counties and cities that plan under RCW 36.70A.040
must review and, if needed, revise their comprehensive plans and development regulations for compliance with the act. This includes the critical areas ordinance.
(ii) Counties and cities that do not plan under RCW 36.70A.040
must review and, if needed, revise their resource lands designations and their development regulations designating and protecting critical areas.
(e) The required scope of review. The purpose of the review is to determine if revisions are needed to bring the comprehensive plan and development regulation into compliance with the requirements of the act. The update process provides the method for bringing plans into compliance with the requirements of the act that have been added or changed since the last update and for responding to changes in land use and in population growth. This review is necessary so that comprehensive plans are not allowed to fall out of compliance with the act over time through inaction. This review must include at least the following:
(i) Consideration of the critical areas ordinance;
(iii) Review of mineral resource lands designations and mineral resource lands development regulations adopted pursuant to RCW 36.70A.040
(iv) Changes to the act or other applicable laws since the last review that have not been addressed in the comprehensive plan and development regulations.
(2) Recommendations for meeting requirements.
(a) Public participation program.
(i) Counties and cities should establish a public participation program that includes a schedule for the periodic update and identifies when legislative action on the review and update component are proposed to occur. The public participation program should also inform the public of when to comment on proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and clearly identify the scope of the review. Notice of the update process should be broadly disseminated as required by RCW 36.70A.035
(ii) Counties and cities may adjust the public participation program to best meet the intent of the requirement. RCW 36.70A.140
notes that errors in exact compliance with the established program and procedures shall not render the comprehensive land use plan or development regulations invalid if the spirit of the program and procedures is observed. For example, if an established public participation program included one public hearing on all actions having to do with the periodic update process, the public participation program could be adjusted later to provide additional public hearings to accommodate strong public interest.
(b) Review of relevant statutes and local information and analysis of whether there is a need for revisions.
(i) Amendments to the act. Counties and cities should first review amendments to the act that have occurred since the initial adoption or previous periodic update, and determine if local amendments are needed to maintain compliance with the act. The department will maintain a comprehensive list of legislative amendments and a checklist to assist counties and cities with this review.
(ii) Review and analysis of relevant plans, regulations and information. Although existing comprehensive plans and development regulations are considered compliant, counties and cities should consider reviewing development and other activities that have occurred since adoption to determine if the comprehensive plans and development regulations remain consistent with, and implement, the act. This should include at least the following:
(A) Analysis of the population allocated to a city or county during the most recent urban growth area review (see WAC 365-196-310
(B) Consideration of critical areas and resource lands ordinances;
(C) Review of mineral resource lands designations and development regulations adopted pursuant to RCW 36.70A.040
(D) Capital facilities plans. Changes in anticipated circumstances and needs should be addressed by updating the ten-year transportation plan and six-year capital facilities elements. This includes a reassessment of the land use element if funding falls short;
(E) Land use element;
(F) Changes to comprehensive plans and development regulations in adjacent jurisdictions, special purpose districts, or state plans that create an inconsistency with the county or city's comprehensive plan or development regulations;
(G) Basic assumptions underlying key calculations and conclusions in the existing comprehensive plan. If recent data demonstrates that key existing assumptions are no longer appropriate for the remainder of the twenty-year plan, counties and cities should consider updating them as part of the periodic update (see WAC 365-196-310
). Counties and cities required to establish a review and evaluation program under RCW 36.70A.215
, should use that information in this review (see WAC 365-196-315
(H) Inventories. Counties and cities should review required inventories and to determine if new data or analysis is needed. Table 2 contains summary of the inventories required in the act.
Table WAC 365-196-610.2
Inventories Required by the Act
Inventory and analyze existing and projected housing needs, identifying the number of housing units necessary to manage project growth.
Inventory existing capital facilities owned by public entities, showing the locations and capacities of the capital facilities, and forecast future needs and proposed locations and capacities of expanded or new facilities.
An inventory of air, water and ground transportation facilities and services, including transit alignments and general aviation airport facilities, to define existing capital facilities and travel levels and a basis for future planning. This inventory must include state-owned transportation facilities within the city's or county's jurisdictional boundaries.
(c) Take legislative action.
(i) Any legislative action that completes a portion of the review and update process, either in whole or in part, must state in its findings that it is part of the update process.
(ii) Any public hearings on legislative actions that are, either in whole or in part, legislative actions completing the update must state in the notice of hearing that the actions considered are part of the update process.
(iii) At the end of the review and update process, counties and cities should take legislative action declaring the update process complete, either as a separate legislative action, or as a part of the final legislative action that occurs as part of the update process. This action should reference all prior legislative actions occurring as part of the update process.
(d) Submit notice of completion to the department. When adopted, counties and cities should transmit the notice of adoption to the department, consistent with RCW 36.70A.106
. RCW 36.70A.130
requires compliance with the review and update requirement as a condition of eligibility for state grant and loan programs. The department tracks compliance with this requirement for agencies managing these grant and loan programs. Providing notice of completion to the department will help maintain access to these grant and loan programs.
(3) Relationship to other review and amendment requirements in the act.
(a) Relationship to the comprehensive plan amendment process. Cities and counties may amend the comprehensive plan no more often than once per year, as required in RCW 36.70A.130
(2), and referred to as the docket. If a city or county conducts a comprehensive plan docket cycle in the year in which the review of the comprehensive plan is completed, it must be combined with the periodic review process. Cities and counties may not conduct the periodic review and a docket of amendments as separate processes in the same year.
(b) Urban growth area (UGA) review. As part of the periodic review, cities and counties must review the areas and densities contained in the urban growth area and, if necessary, revise their comprehensive plan to accommodate the growth projected to occur in the county for the succeeding twenty-year period, as required in RCW 36.70A.130
(3) (see WAC 365-196-310
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050
. WSR 15-04-039, § 365-196-610, filed 1/27/15, effective 2/27/15; WSR 10-22-103, § 365-196-610, filed 11/2/10, effective 12/3/10; WSR 10-03-085, § 365-196-610, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10.]