Leaders adopt King County growth blueprint

December 7, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2012

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Monday is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

The plan sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation and the environment. Under the State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, state law directs the most-populous and fastest-growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans for a 20-year span.

“As the only member of the County Council that lives in unincorporated King County I take this process very seriously,” Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a statement. “The process this year was open and transparent. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work — especially those members of the public that took the time to testify before the County Council on these important issues.”

The council started sifting through King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed changes in March. Throughout the spring and summer, the council members held 15 public meetings on the proposed changes to the growth blueprint, and heard from more than 150 residents.

“King County’s commitment to promoting quality urban and rural living while protecting natural resources is affirmed and strengthened through this update of King County’s Comprehensive Plan,” Councilman Larry Phillips, Comprehensive Plan Leadership Team chairman, said in a statement. “This plan update maintains the protections allowing this region to grow without losing its natural beauty or livability, and addresses our changing needs related to climate change, sustainability, and economic development.”

The adopted updates to the comprehensive plan include polices meant to support a robust resource-based economy in the rural area, changes in affordable housing rules, and increased emphasis on residents’ health and wellness, and measures to protect wildlife habitat.

King County adopted the initial comprehensive plan in 1994. Technical changes to the plan can be made once a year, and major updates occur every four years. Major updates to the plan occurred in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

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