Changing commutes as population and jobs grow

On Thursday the Growth Management Policy Board will take a close look at changing travel behavior, including trends in where people live and work.

The map shows where people who work in the City of Seattle live. 38% in the city, and 69% live in King County.

Where Seattle workers live (click to enlarge).

PSRC is tracking regional demographic and transportation trends across the region as part of the long-range transportation planning process. Among the findings:

The region’s jobs are growing even faster than population.   We added more than 260,000 jobs since 2010 – an annual growth rate of almost 3% in 2015.  This growth is accelerating in 2016.

King County continues to have significantly more jobs than housing units while the other three counties in the region have more housing units than jobs.

All counties except Kitsap are seeing an increase in their ratio of jobs to housing units.

Employment grew all around the region, but the largest increases are in Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Issaquah, Redmond, Renton, Tacoma, and Seattle.

Transit ridership in the region is still at an all-time high and continues to grow.

The number of people traveling into the region for work has increased noticeably over the last 10 years.

Other items on the growth board’s agenda include an Assessment of Plan Updates and Certifications, Centers Framework Update, and the Regional Open Space Strategy. Check out the agenda for more details.


Transportation and growth boards have new vice chairs

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and Redmond Councilmember Hank Margeson have been named as the new vice chairs of PSRC’s transportation and growth management policy boards.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and Redmond Councilmember Hank Margeson

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and Redmond Councilmember Hank Margeson

“Mayor Erickson brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the Transportation Policy Board. I look forward to working together with her to address our regional transportation challenges!” said Seattle Councilmember Rob Johnson, board chair.

Mayor Erickson was elected mayor of Poulsbo in 2010 after serving two years on the city council, and has an extensive background in business and finance. She represents local transit in Kitsap County on the policy board, and is a member of the Executive Board and Operations Committee.

Councilmember Hank Margeson was appointed vice chair of the Growth Management Policy Board.

“I’m delighted that Councilmember Margeson is taking on this leadership role,” said Tacoma Deputy Mayor Ryan Mello, who chairs the growth board.  “Hank understands the importance of planning for healthy communities in cities of all sizes and working collaboratively across the region to achieve a shared vision for directing growth and building equitable, vibrant and prosperous communities.”

Councilmember Margeson is now serving his third term on the Redmond City Council and has been an active PSRC board member since 2012. Professionally, he works as a senior compliance analyst at Liberty Mutual (Safeco) Insurance.  He’s also active in youth sports and serves as president of the Northwest Baseball Umpires Association board.

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Growth board to act on comprehensive plans

A dozen more local plans are nearing the finish line for certification by PSRC.

Strawberry Festival at Burien's Town Square (Photo Credit: City of Burien)

Strawberry Festival at Burien’s Town Square (Photo Credit: City of Burien)

On April 7, the Growth Management Policy Board will take action to recommend certification of plans for Arlington, Burien, Darrington, DuPont, Fircrest, Granite Falls, Lakewood, Pacific, Pierce County, Ruston, Snohomish, and Stanwood.

Over the last year PSRC staff has been working closely with the region’s cities and counties as they completed updates to their comprehensive plans.

With this current round of certifications, 74 jurisdictions will have certified plans in place. A handful of cities are still working on their plan updates.

Other items on the Growth Management Policy Board’s agenda include:

  • An update on development in the Spring District, home to the new Global Innovation Exchange
  • Regional Centers Framework Project briefing
  • Information on Sound Transit 3 projects

The Growth Management Policy Board will meet on April 7, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in PSRC’s Board Room. You can find the full agenda packet here.

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Ryan Mello to be new Growth Board Chair

PSRC President John Marchione, Mayor of Redmond, has selected Tacoma Deputy Mayor Ryan Mello to be the new Chair of the Growth Management Policy Board.

Tacoma Deputy Mayor Ryan Mello to be new Chair of the Growth Management Policy Board.

Tacoma Deputy Mayor Ryan Mello to be new Chair of the Growth Management Policy Board.

“As a long-standing member of the Growth Management Policy Board, Deputy Mayor Mello has been focused on helping the region grow the economy, protect our natural environment, and enhance our communities,” said Mayor Marchione.

Mello was elected to the Tacoma City Council in 2011 and has been a Growth Management Policy Board member since his election. He was appointed Vice-Chair of the board in 2012.

He currently serves as the executive director of the Pierce Conservation District, where he leads a staff of conservation professionals working to improve water quality and habitat function for people, fish and wildlife, increase access to local, healthy food for all and improve sustainable agriculture practices.

Mello will Chair the board meeting on Thursday. See the full agenda for the meeting.



Potential new manufacturing/industrial center in Sumner-Pacific

The cities of Sumner and Pacific have requested designation of a 2,100-acre industrial area as a regional manufacturing/industrial center.

The potential new regional manufacturing/industrial center is on SR 167 in Pierce County.

The potential new regional manufacturing/industrial center is on SR 167 in Pierce County.

This would be the first manufacturing/industrial center to be regionally-designated in well over a decade and the only regional center beyond Paine Field that is shared by two jurisdictions. The Sumner-Pacific center would join eight others of these centers in the region, all of which were designated prior to 2003.

The cities point to the importance of the area’s proximity to rail, highways, the Port of Tacoma, as well as the key businesses in the area, such as Amazon, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Composite Solutions.

The proposed Sumner-Pacific center was previously recognized as an important industrial area by Pierce County. The joint-city proposal is compatible with VISION 2040, meets minimum eligibility requirements for designation, and satisfies the criteria adopted by the PSRC Executive Board.

Development within the proposed center could accommodate significant employment growth in an area that is well served by transportation and other public facilities, and its designation as the region’s ninth regional manufacturing/ industrial center would give further support to the cities’ efforts to shape a successful industrial employment area.

If PSRC were to approve the proposed Sumner-Pacific Manufacturing/Industrial Center, it would be provisionally designated pending completion of a subarea plan by the cities and certification that it meets requirements for center plans.

The Growth Management Policy Board will review the application in February and make a recommendation in March. The Executive Board is expected to make the final decision in April.


In 2015, region grew by 7 people per hour

In 2015, the region had its strongest population growth in a decade and its strongest job growth since 1997.

The region has shown it's strongest growth in a decade, or nearly two for jobs.

The region has shown its strongest growth in a decade, or nearly two for jobs.

That’s 63,000 people and 76,000 jobs in the last year. Or 7 people and 9 jobs per hour.

These are just a few highlights from the Growth Management Policy Board’s upcoming exploration of growth in the region.

PSRC staff has begun to compile fresh data on growth in the region and will begin presenting it at the board’s meeting on February 4, 2016.

Also on tap for that date is discussion on the Regional Centers Framework and 2016 policy board work program, as well as action on recommending certification of Comprehensive Plans for Everett, Lake Forest Park, Mill Creek, Monroe, Seattle, Snohomish County, Tacoma, University Place and Woodinville.

See the full agenda and watch the meeting here.

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Local plans ready for action by growth board

A new stack of comprehensive plans will be in front of the Growth Management Policy Board on Thursday.

Marysville's comprehensive plan  contains policies supporting walking, biking and transit. (Photo credit - City of Marysville)

Marysville is the second largest city in Snohomish County. It grew by 6.9% from 2010-2015. (Photo credit – City of Marysville)

Plans for Bonney Lake, Carnation, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Medina, Milton, Mukilteo, Roy, and Sammamish will take the next step toward certification by PSRC.

With a certified or conditionally certified plan, the cities will be eligible to apply for federal transportation funding. The next round of PSRC funding will start this spring.

Also on the growth board’s agenda:

  • Certification of Issaquah’s Regional Growth Center Subarea Plan 
  • Legislative update from Jeff Wilson, Department of Commerce, and Laura Merrill, Washington Association of Counties 
  • Briefing on the draft budget and work program for fiscal years 2016-2017 

The Growth Management Policy Board will meet on January 7, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in PSRC’s Board Room. You can read the full agenda packet here .

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