Comprehensive Plan

Pierce County Comprehensive Plan

The Pierce County Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that addresses 20-year growth in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County. It is also the foundation for sub-area plans like the community plans and capital facilities plan. The Comprehensive Plan is reviewed every 8 years and updated, where necessary (RCW 36.70A.130). The last major update to the Pierce County’s Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2015.

  • Affordable housing options
  • Responsible growth
  • Parks and open spaces
  • Environmental protection
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation and Traffic
  • Public services and facilities
  • Agriculture and forest resources

The next major update is required to be completed by December 31, 2024.

Community Plans

Eleven community plans were adopted in Pierce County between 1999 and 2009. Each plan included public engagement that helped refine the direction of community development in Pierce County. The input provided through these planning processes is valuable to the process. Community plans are part of the Comprehensive Plan.

Alderton-McMillin (21,651 KB)
Anderson-Ketron Islands (10,401 KB)
Browns Point-Dash Point  (7,429 KB)
Frederickson (22,731 KB)
Gig Harbor (4,999 KB)
Graham (15,944 KB)
About the Update

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

Legislative Process v2

County Staff

  • Conduct research and draft changes
  • Facilitate public engagement


  • Appointed by Council
  • Represent a community plan area
  • 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)
Currently at the "County Staff" phase for this Update Cycle
How to Get Involved

Opportunities for public involvement will occur throughout the process, including when scoping is determined, as draft and final documents are issued and during the legislative process.

Development Process Comprehensive Plan
Upcoming Meetings

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.