UGA Retraction

Why did I get a postcard?

Your Property is part of a study area that looks at land use and zoning changes. The County is studying whether or not to reduce its Urban Growth Area (UGA) and part of its Comprehensive Plan update. If the County moves ahead with changes to the UGA, your property could be rezoned from an urban to a rural land use designation. Under a rural land use designation, you would have a different set of land use and zoning rules. 

Learn more about why and how the County chose the study area.
UGA Analysis

Learn more about the land use alternatives the County is studying in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Draft Documents

Look up your property on the map that shows which land use proposals the County is considering that might affect you.
Mapping tool
What changes are being considered and why?

As part of the Comprehensive Plan Update process, Pierce County analyzed the amount of growth we expect to see over the next twenty years and the capacity of the UGA. Pierce County has more land in its UGA than is needed for the anticipated growth. Pierce County's analysis identified how to limit sprawl by determining areas that may be appropriate to remove from the UGA. The results of this analysis have been studied in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as part of Alternative 3. There are two other alternatives also being studied: 

Alternative 1 makes no changes to the County's land use approach. 

Alternative 2 supports moderate growth through the UGA. 

Alternative 3 supports consolidated growth in urban areas served by transit and limits growth in other urban areas. 
What changes when a property is removed from the UGA?

These parcels would be rezoned, probably to a rural residential zone. Rural residential zones allow less intensive development than urban residential zones. If you wanted to use your land to build new homes, for example, fewer homes would be allowed.  However, the zoning change would not require changes to any (legally permitted) uses you already have on your property. It also would not change any development projects that you have already in the permitting process.

What is the Urban Growth Area?

Urban growth areas (UGA) are an essential feature of growth management in Washington State. They are intended to draw a line that protects rural and resource lands from sprawl and redevelopment that is not consistent with rural character. They also provide for efficient, focused growth within their boundaries to concentrate public investment, housing, jobs, and community resources to support sustainability, equity, and health. The size of the UGA is governed by state law and regional and County plans.
What are the next steps in the review?

1. Pierce County is releasing a Draft EIS that considers the impacts of the three alternatives studied. Public Comments will be collected until February 26, 2024. 

Pierce County will select a preferred alternative. The preferred alternative may be any of the alternatives studied, or a hybrid alternative. Once it is chosen, the County will prepare the final drafts of policy and regulatory documents to implement that approach. This is tentatively expected to occur in April and May 2024 and will involve public hearings by the Pierce County Planning Commission and County Council. 

3. Pierce County will hold hearings on the final drafts of the implementing policy and regulatory documents including amendments to the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan and the Pierce County Code. These hearings are tentatively expected to occur in summer and autumn of 2024. 
How do I tell you what I think about this? 
Provide comments by February 26, 2024 in one of the following ways:

  Send Comments:
By email:
[email protected]
In writing:
Attn: Long Range Planning
2401 S 35th St, Room 2
Tacoma, WA 98409

 Participate in EIS hybrid comment meeting on January 30th, 2024 at 5:00 PM
In person comments:
Pierce County Public Services Building (Annex)
Public Hearing Room
2401 S 35th Street
Tacoma, WA
Virtual Comments via Zoom: 

Visit and click ‘Join a Meeting’ or call 253-215-8782.
Meeting ID: 973 1637 3418
Meeting Passcode: 932167

or click on this link: