Comprehensive Plan
The Pierce County Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year policy document that addresses growth in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County. The Comprehensive Plan’s periodic review must be completed by December 31, 2024. It is also the foundation for several community plans and capital facilities planning, which must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s policy framework. 

Pierce County is required by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to review the County’s Comprehensive Plan every 10 years and update where necessary. This is also known as a periodic review. Gaining insight from the people who live and work in Pierce County is an integral part of this update. 

The Comprehensive Plan update process:

Draft Documents are issued.
Final Documents are issued. 
Hearings and  Legislative Process. 

  Stay Informed
Pierce County would like the public’s input on future growth in the county. 

Planning and Public Works (PPW) staff completed the first comment period on October 2, 2022. Staff visited sites and events around the County to let people know about the Comprehensive Update. The County collected input from residents and stakeholders about how we can improve their community. Staff is using this input to scope our work for the next two years and ensure that our work is addressing issues that are important to you.

Pierce County expects to address the following topics in the update: 
•  Affordable housing 
•  Responsible growth 
•  Health and equity 
•  Parks and open spaces 
•  Environment and sustainability 
•  Transportation and traffic 

Upcoming opportunities to provide comment: 
There are four upcoming opportunities to provide comment. The next comment period will be focused on Critical Areas Ordinance Updates. Sign up for our 
listserv or follow Pierce County PPW on Facebook to receive updates about upcoming opportunities to provide comment!
  Public Participation Program

Public participation is an integral part of Pierce County’s planning process. The GMA calls for “early and continuous public participation in the development and amendment of comprehensive land use plans and development regulations implementing such plans.” (RCW 36.70A.140)

The goal of the Public Participation Program is to inform residents, property and business owners, and other stakeholders on how to learn about or initiate proposed land use changes, and how to provide comment on proposals. 

Pierce County staff is committed to engaging with people and groups with varying backgrounds and interests to help build a plan that is equitable and fair.

  Getting the Comprehensive Plan Approved

Update Cycle
Starting in 2022, Pierce County staff will begin working on the required Growth Management Act (GMA) Periodic Update Cycle. This update aligns the Plan internally and with changes to state law and planning policies. The Update Cycle is a lengthy process that can take over 2 years to complete so we can make thoughtful, informed decisions about the future of our communities. 

Amendment Cycle 
Individual requests for changes to the Comprehensive Plan occur every two years during a separate process, known as the Amendment Cycle. Amendment Cycle applications will be accepted in July 2022 for consideration and targeted for final approval in 2023. 

Legislative Process
County Staff

Transportation Advisory Commission
Land Use Advisory Commissions (LUACs)
Planning Commission
Community Development Committee (CDC)
Pierce County Council 
County Executive

County Staff
  • Conduct research and draft changes
  • Facilitate public engagement
Transportation Advisory Commission
  • Appointed by Council
  • Make recommendations to Planning Commission
  • Appointed by Council
  • Make recommendations to Planning Commission
Planning Commission
  • Appointed by Council
  • Represent different geographic areas
  • Make recommendations to CDC
Community Development Committee
  • Committee of the Council
  • Reviews planning issues
  • Make amendments to proposals and recommendations to Council
  • County’s legislative branch
  • Make amendments to proposals
  • Enact all plans, policies, and regulations
County Executive
  • May or may not sign adopted legislation
  • Veto power (can be overridden by Council majority 5-2)
  Upcoming Legislative Meetings

November 21, 2022 (Tenative)Community Development Committee

   View the Detailed Project Schedule