Comprehensive Plan
  Getting the Comprehensive Plan Approved

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. 

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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. 

The Comprehensive Plan update process:

Scoping is determined with public engagement.
SEPA Determination of Significance

Draft Documents are issued for public engagement and Advisory Commission review.
Hearings and Legislative Process.
Final Documents are adopted by Council and signed by the Executive.


Legislative process:
Planning Commission
Community Development Committee (CDC)
Pierce County Council 
County Executive

  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 used this input to scope our work for the next two years and ensure that our work is addressing issues that are important to you.

From January 30th - March 6th, 2023 PPW Staff hosted an engagement period focused on proposed updates to Critical Areas Ordinances. Staff are using the input we received during this engagement period to help draft amendments to development regulations intended to conserve the functions of environmentally sensitive areas, and to protect the public from hazards associated with developing in areas like floodways and landslide hazard areas. 

From June 1- June 14, 2023 PPW staff hosted an engagement period focused on climate risks and vulnerabilities in Pierce County. The County received a Department of Commerce grant to perform a Climate risk and Vulnerability Assessment to support ongoing resiliency efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on our communities and natural systems. 

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: 
The next opportunity to provide comment will take place at the end of 2023 when we release the draft Comprehensive Plan.  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.