County Council set to consider comprehensive plan amendments

The process for initiating amendments to the 2021 Pierce County Comprehensive Plan moved forward at the Sept. 29 meeting of the Pierce County Council.

The Pierce County Council Comprehensive Plan guides the county’s overall strategy for growth and development over the next 20 years. It sets goals and policies for items such as land use, economic development, housing, transportation and the environment.

Every two years, the county accepts applications for amendments to the comprehensive plan. Approved amendments can result in changes to land use and zoning designations and regulations.

The council passed an amended version of Proposal No R2020-89s, which includes nine proposed amendments from the County council, 14 from the Pierce County Executive and one from the city of Wilkeson.

No amendments have been approved, noted senior legislative analyst Mike Kruger.

“It just means the application criteria have been met, and the application is okay to move forward based upon the county’s criteria that were established in our code,” he explained.

Likewise, the amendment approved by the council — Central Pierce Fire and Rescue incorporating its capital facilities plan into the 2021 Pierce County Comprehensive Plan with provisions for addressing impact fees and adoption and implementation of fire protection standards — is a preliminary step only.

“This just initiates the plan amendments so we can actually move forward with looking at them,” councilmember Derek Young said.

Councilmember Dave Morell agreed.

“This doesn’t mean there are going to be fire impact fees next year. Nor does it mean there’s going to be a change in fire protection standards,” he said. “It allows us to have an open, transparent conversation about these issues moving forward.”

Future steps include requesting the Planning and Public Works Department to conduct an environmental review and evaluation of the proposed amendments with reports forwarded to the Planning Commission and Affected Land Use Advisory Commissions for review and recommendations to the County Council.

The application period for proposing amendments to the Comprehensive Plan closed on July 31. Sept. 30 was the due date for forwarding applications to the council.


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