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PDFWAC 365-196-400

Mandatory elements.

(1) Requirements.
(a) The comprehensive plan must include, at a minimum, a future land use map.
(b) The comprehensive plan must contain descriptive text covering objectives, principles, and standards used to develop the comprehensive plan.
(c) The comprehensive plan must be an internally consistent document and all elements shall be consistent with the future land use map.
(d) Each comprehensive plan must include each of the following:
(i) A land use element;
(ii) A housing element;
(iii) A capital facilities plan element;
(iv) A utilities element;
(v) A transportation element.
(e) Required elements enacted after January 1, 2002, must be included in each comprehensive plan that is updated under RCW 36.70A.130(1), but only if funds sufficient to cover applicable local government costs are appropriated and distributed by the state at least two years before the applicable review and update deadline in RCW 36.70A.130(5). The department will notify counties and cities when funds have been appropriated for this purpose. Elements enacted after January 1, 2002, include:
(i) An economic development element; and
(ii) A parks and recreation element.
(f) County comprehensive plans must also include a rural element including lands that are not designated for urban growth, agriculture, forest, or mineral resources.
(g) Additionally, each county and city comprehensive plan must contain:
(i) A process for identifying and siting essential public facilities.
(ii) The goals and policies of the shoreline master program adopted by the county or city, either directly in the comprehensive plan, or through incorporation by reference as described in WAC 173-26-191.
(2) Recommendations for overall design of the comprehensive plan.
(a) The planning horizon for the comprehensive plan must be at least the twenty-year period following the adoption of the comprehensive plan. Counties and cities should use consistent population projections and planning horizons. The planning horizon should start on the relevant deadline specified in RCW 36.70A.130(5).
(b) The comprehensive plan should include or reference the statutory goals and requirements of the act as guiding the development of the comprehensive plan and should also identify any supplementary goals adopted in the comprehensive plan.
(c) Each county and city comprehensive plan should include, or reference, the countywide planning policies, along with an explanation of how the countywide planning policies have been integrated into the comprehensive plan.
(d) Each comprehensive plan must contain a future land use map showing the proposed physical distribution and location of the various land uses during the planning period. This map should provide a graphic display of how and where development is expected to occur.
(e) The comprehensive plan should include a vision for the community at the end of the 20-year planning period and identify community values derived from the visioning and other citizen participation processes. Goals may be further defined with policies and objectives in each element of the comprehensive plan.
(f) Each county and city should include at the beginning of its comprehensive plan a section which summarizes, with graphics and a minimum amount of text, how the various pieces of the comprehensive plan fit together. A comprehensive plan may include overlay maps and other graphic displays depicting known critical areas, open space corridors, development patterns, phasing of development, neighborhoods or subarea definitions, and other plan features.
(g) Detailed recommendations for preparing each element of the comprehensive plan are provided in WAC 365-196-405 through 365-196-485.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050 and 36.70A.190. WSR 23-08-037, § 365-196-400, filed 3/29/23, effective 4/29/23; WSR 15-04-039, § 365-196-400, filed 1/27/15, effective 2/27/15; WSR 10-03-085, § 365-196-400, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10.]
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