New tool to assess open space

PSRC has been working with The Trust for Public Land, U.S. Forest Service, University of Washington’s Green Futures Lab and many others to develop the Central Puget Sound Open Space Assessment Tool.

PSRC is helping to debut a new mapping tool to protect natural resources.

The new tool provides map based modeling of multiple ecosystem service benefits, which supports analysis at a variety of scales and geographies.

Ecosystem services are services that nature provides, such as clean drinking water and air, flood control, and recreational opportunities.

The tool can lay the foundation for a new approach to facilitating cross-boundary planning for the protection of open space in the Puget Sound region and beyond.

Fred Gifford, the Deputy Director of Conservation GIS for The Trust for Public Land, will be demonstrating the capability of this innovative conservation-planning tool at PSRC in Seattle on March 30 from 9 am to 11:30 am.

Presentations will also be made in Everett on 3/30 at 1 pm and Tacoma on 3/31 at 9 am.

If you would like to attend, please contact Erika Harris at 206-464-6360 or EHarris@psrc.org.

 

 

 

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Reclassification of Bonney Lake and Covington

VISION 2040 uses regional geographies to guide growth expectations, these include Metropolitan, Core, Larger, and Small cities, along with Rural and Unincorporated Areas.

Bonney Lake and Covington may be classified as Large Cities in VISION 2040.

Bonney Lake and Covington were originally identified in VISION 2040 as small cities, but have requested  reclassification to large city from PSRC.

Both cities were found to meet the required Larger city threshold of 22,500 in combined population and employment, as defined in VISION 2040. Based on this, the Growth Management Policy Board recommended the reclassification last November. However, the Executive Board paused the decision to allow time for a broader regional discussion on growth targets and their impacts on local comprehensive plans.

Last year the plans for Bonney Lake, Carnation, Covington, Gig Harbor, North Bend and Snoqualmie all received conditional certification from PSRC because the cities’ plans anticipate growth substantially above adopted countywide growth targets for housing and jobs.

After further discussion and review on the issue, PSRC approved a new path in January to fully certify the comprehensive plans for these cities.

The new option allows full plan certification if the cities make a commitment to completing a number of steps that support VISION 2040.

PSRC anticipates that all of the conditionally certified plans will be fully certified by the end of the year.

At its meeting on March 23, the Executive Board will review the reclassification request by Bonney Lake and Covington.

See the full agenda here or watch it live.

 

 


Climate Adaptation event on March 16

Preparation for climate change is the topic of a free session on March 16, 12-1:30 p.m., at PSRC.

Come to a panel discussion on Climate Adaptation: From Policy to Action on March 16.

Climate change could affect our environment, communities and economy.

Central Puget Sound cities and counties have begun preparing for possible impacts in a variety of ways.

PSRC is offering a panel discussion on how communities are preparing for a changing climate, from developing policies and a climate impact assessment to implementing actions.

This session will include presentations from several climate experts and planners, along with a panel discussion.

Speakers will include Erika Harris and Kelly McGourty, Puget Sound Regional Council; Lara Whitely Binder, Climate Impacts Group; Stacey Justus Nordgren, Foresight Partners; Jennifer Sutton, City of Bainbridge Island; and Tracy Morgenstern, City of Seattle.

 

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Path to full plan certification for six small cities

The Executive Board has unanimously approved an alternative path to fully certify the comprehensive plans for six small cities.

Gig Harbor is one of the six small cities that will have an alternative way to receive full plan certification.

This new option allows full plan certification if the cities make a commitment to completing a number of steps that support VISION 2040.

Last year the plans for Bonney Lake, Carnation, Covington, Gig Harbor, North Bend and Snoqualmie received conditional certification from PSRC because the cities’ plans anticipate growth substantially above adopted countywide growth targets for housing and jobs.

The Growth Management Policy Board reviewed the conditional certifications this fall and made a recommendation for creating a path to certification.

Specifically, the cities would be asked to adopt a city council commitment to:

  • Acknowledge the planned housing and employment growth anticipated in the small city’s adopted comprehensive plan is greater than adopted growth targets for the city and acknowledge the importance of managing that growth and mitigating its impacts, including on surrounding communities, rural and resource lands, and the regional transportation system.
  • Continue to work collaboratively with regional and countywide planning organizations on growth allocations during the next and future target updates and commit to planning for growth in future plan updates consistent with those collaboratively set and adopted target updates.
  • Identify and continue strategies cities are using to manage and mitigate the impacts of growth.
  • Reinforce the city’s commitment to managing its growth within current city and Urban Growth Area boundaries while minimizing impacts on surrounding rural and resource lands; commit to using the adopted countywide criteria for evaluating any requested UGA modifications.
  • Commit to prioritize consistency with the Regional Growth Strategy when considering future land use and zoning changes and capital facilities investments.

You can watch the presentation and discussion here starting at about 39:30.

 

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Heritage Park triples in size thanks to Kitsap Forest and Bay

Port Gamble is now home to Kitsap County’s largest park.

Congratulations to Port Gamble on its vastly enlarged Heritage Park!

Congratulations to Port Gamble on its vastly enlarged Heritage Park!

The Port Gamble Heritage park will grow to nearly 2,000 acres under a recent land acquisition facilitated by Forterra as part of the Kitsap Forest and Bay project.

The new 1,300 acre section of the park will vastly expand the existing network of trails through timber land formerly owned by Pope Resources.

A 2015 VISION 2040 Award winner, the  Kitsap Forest and Bay project is a coalition working together to preserve up to 6,700 acres of forest, wetlands and shoreline surrounding Port Gamble Bay in north Kitsap County.

The effort began with the existing 535-acre portion of the Port Gamble Heritage Park and has included an expansion of North Kitsap Heritage Park by nearly 340 acres, 234 acres in Poulsbo and Bangor and 1,000 acres in south Kitsap. Only $3.5 million is needed to purchase the final 1,600 acres of the full plan.

 

 

 

 

 

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Duvall, Enumclaw and Mercer Island plans nearing the finish line

The Growth Management Policy Board will take action on comprehensive plans for Duvall, Enumclaw and Mercer Island on January 5.

Photo of Mount Rainier - City of Enumclaw

PSRC reviews local plans to make sure they sync up with regional plans and policies. (Photo – City of Enumclaw)

The plans for Enumclaw and Mercer Island are recommended for certification.

Duvall’s plan is recommended for conditional certification, recognizing that the city has to complete some additional work to bring the plan into full certification. With a conditional certification, Duvall would remain eligible for 2017 regional transportation funding rounds.

Over the last year, PSRC has reviewed and certified comp plan updates for nearly all 86 jurisdictions in the central Puget Sound region.

After action on these three plans this month, that leaves just six more to certify. PSRC will continue to work with the six remaining cities to bring adopted plans to the board for certification review ahead of the next funding round in the spring.

The growth board will also hear the latest on the Regional Centers Framework Project and discuss options to move six Small Cities with conditional certifications to full certification.

You can see the full agenda here and watch the meeting live on Thursday, January 5, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


REDI for prime time

The Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund has debuted.

The idea for the REDI Fund emerged from PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership in 2014.

The idea for the REDI Fund emerged from PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership in 2014.

Designed to spur the creation of affordable, equitable Transit-Oriented Housing in the central Puget Sound region, the new financing tool is available to preserve and create affordable homes in transit-accessible areas for low- and moderate-income households, many of whom spend more than half of their income on housing and transportation.

With affordable housing increasingly difficult to find, especially near job centers and transit, the fund will provide critical, early, low-cost financing to help keep neighborhoods connected to transit economically diverse.

The overall goal of the $21 million revolving loan fund will be to leverage the historic $54 billion transit expansion underway in the region to help increase opportunity for lower-wage households.

A collaboration of private, public and nonprofit investors came together for the creation of the fund:

  • Enterprise Community Loan Fund: $6.5 million
  • Low Income Investment Fund: $4 million
  • Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund: $3.5 million and staff time support
  • State of Washington, $2.5 million (contributed through an agreement with King County)
  • King County Housing Authority: $2 million
  • City of Seattle: $1 million
  • King County: $1 million
  • A Regional Coalition for Housing: $500,000

The REDI fund will make available acquisition loans up to $5 million to purchase sites that support developments – including affordable housing – within one-half mile of a rail station or one-quarter mile of a frequent-service bus stop in King, Pierce or Snohomish Counties.

Read more about the REDI Fund, or contact James Madden at 206.204.3424 or jmadden@enterprisecommunity.org.

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