Chapter 19C.20


19C.20.010    Authority.

19C.20.020    Purpose.

19C.20.030    Definitions.

19C.20.040    Boundaries.

19C.20.060    Criteria for Initiating Development of a New Community Plan.

19C.20.080    Process for Initiating Development of a New or Updated Community Plan.

19C.20.085    Adoption Process for Community Plan Updates.

19C.20.090    Community Planning Boards.

19C.20.100    Functions of Community Plans.

19C.20.010 Authority.

The Growth Management Act (GMA) provides that a comprehensive plan may include, where appropriate, subarea plans, each of which is consistent with the comprehensive plan (RCW 36.70A.080). Pierce County adopted policies in the County's Comprehensive Plan to coordinate consistency between community plans and the Comprehensive Plan, provide general guidance for the formation of new community plans, and identify the basic functions and elements of community plans. (Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to establish the process and criteria for developing new and updating existing community plans. (Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.030 Definitions.

A.    "New community plan" means a community plan developed after January 1, 2016.

B.    "Community Plan Update" means the revision of an existing community plan to bring background information up to date and incorporate changes to land use designation(s) and policies as recommended by County agencies, Land Use Advisory Commissions (LUACs), or the Planning Commission. A goal of a community plan update is to reevaluate community specific goals and policies to ensure consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and reflect changes that have occurred within the community.

(Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.040 Boundaries.

Community plan areas shall correspond with the jurisdictional boundaries of adopted land use advisory commissions, but may be extended consistent with the following guidelines below:

A.    To encompass areas having a common association or identity as a town, center, or destination; and

B.    To encompass areas having boundaries which:

1.    are contiguous with municipal, military reservation, or national park boundaries;

2.    are contiguous with boundaries of community planning areas that are existing or currently being developed;

3.    are contiguous with boundaries of existing land use advisory commissions;

4.    reflect boundaries of school districts, fire districts, and other governmental service districts, to the maximum degree possible; and

5.    are defined by topography and natural land features or manmade constructions, transportation arterials, road, and rail, etc.

C.    The boundaries of community plan areas shall not overlap one another nor shall isolated areas remain between community plan areas.

(Ord. 2018-16s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.060 Criteria for Initiating Development of a New Community Plan.

New community plans shall be based on the criteria set forth under Goal LU-133 of the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan. The following shall also be considered:

A.    Existence of established community-based groups representing the broad range of residents, property owners, and business owners in the area;

B.    Existence of significant problems (relative to other communities) related to public health and safety issues, including but not limited to the following:

1.    quality and/or quantity of potable water;

2.    impacts from or to surface and ground waters, e.g., flooding impacts from overland flows, poorly draining soils, inadequate water management infrastructure, impacts on water quality of lakes and streams; and

3.    impacts to the vehicular and non-motorized transportation system from existing and new development;

C.    Existence of significant problems (relative to other communities) related to community quality of life issues, including but not limited to the following:

1.    adequacy of neighborhood and community parks to serve the community;

2.    protection of wildlife habitat areas;

3.    protection of critical areas (slopes, wetlands, shorelines, etc.) and resource lands (agriculture, mining, and forestry);

4.    adequacy of design standards to insure attractive, livable communities, both residential and commercial/industrial in nature;

5.    impacts of high rates of residential growth;

6.    impacts of high rates of commercial growth;

7.    impacts of industrial development in Employment Center designations;

D.    Funding or staff support from cities, towns, tribes, counties, districts, or other governmental agencies; and

E.    Community-based funding support.

(Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.080 Process for Initiating Development of a New or Updated Community Plan.

A.    Annually, prior to the consideration of the budget for the Planning and Public Works Department, the Executive may provide the Council with a recommendation to initiate community planning efforts for the next budget cycle. This recommendation shall be based on an estimate of the staff and funding support expected to be available for community planning efforts in the following budget cycle and an evaluation of requests according to the criteria specified in this Chapter.

B.    The Council shall review the Executive's recommendation and confirm which new or community plan updates to initiate.

C.    The County Council shall initiate the development of new community plans or existing community plan updates by official action. This action shall include a request that the Planning and Public Works Department form a Community Planning Board for new plans representing a broad range of residents, business owners, and organizations with interest in the growth and development of the community. If established, LUACs shall be utilized for community plan updates.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.085 Adoption Process for Community Plan Updates.

A.    A community plan update and associated changes to the Comprehensive Plan may occur outside the timelines established in PCC 19C.10.070.

B.    Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) shall not be required for property(ies) in which the permitted density is increased by a change in land use designation through a community plan update process.

C.    The Planning and Public Works Department shall notify and transmit copies of a community plan update to the Washington State Department of Commerce at least 60 days prior to anticipated action on the initiated amendments. This transmittal should coincide with the issuance of the Planning and Public Works Department staff report to the Planning Commission and associated environmental documentation provided pursuant to SEPA. A second transmittal should be made at the time of issuance of the Planning Commission's recommendations. The Department shall also transmit to the State within 10 days the community plan update adopted by the Council.

D.    If a community plan update is adopted in the same year as a comprehensive plan amendment cycle, the effective date of a community plan update shall coincide with the effective date of comprehensive plan amendment(s).

(Ord. 2018-16s § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016)

19C.20.090 Community Planning Boards.

A.    The role of the Community Planning Board shall be to serve as a sounding board for the community for the creation of a new community plan and assist in the following:

1.    develop a vision for the community;

2.    assist staff in developing policies and actions that reflect the needs, concerns and desires of the community;

3.    assist staff in refining the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan to more closely reflect the desires of the community while making sure that these desires are consistent with and support the vision of the entire County; and

4.    assist staff in identifying actions necessary to implement the community plan, including: adopting or revising development regulations, identifying priorities for use of public funds on capital improvements, and developing economic or social programs.

B.    The Community Planning Board shall forward a draft community plan to the Planning Commission.

(Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)

19C.20.100 Functions of Community Plans.

As stated in the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan, the primary role of community plans shall be to:

A.    refine Comprehensive Plan policies to serve community objectives while remaining consistent with the goals and objectives of the overall Comprehensive Plan;

B.    foster and/or retain community character;

C.    serve as a basis for recommending changes to the Development Regulations – Zoning, the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan, and other policy and regulatory documents to achieve the desired character articulated in an adopted community plan. The community plan would also serve as a basis for recommending other action steps which may not be regulatory; and

D.    serve as a basis for joint planning agreements with Pierce County cities and towns, where applicable.

(Ord. 2016-18 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 98-17 § 1 (part), 1998)