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.



Bonney Lake and Covington seeking “Larger City” classification

The two cities have sought reclassification from small to larger city in VISION 2040. The action would require a minor amendment to the VISION 2040 regional growth strategy.

Covington has combined population and employment of over 23,500 and meets the threshold for Larger City.

Covington has combined population and employment of over 23,500 and meets the threshold for Larger City.

The Growth Management Policy Board reviewed the case and recommended Executive Board approval.

Updated December 15: The Executive Board voted to table the recommendation on reclassification to allow more time for broader regional discussion. Board members will take up the request again in the spring.

Also at the meeting, the board took action to approve new SEPA procedures, approved Transportation 2040 project status requests, and met in Executive Session for the Executive Director’s performance evaluation.

See the full agenda here or watch the meeting video.

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Region exceeds water conservation goals

Millions of municipal water customers in the region are being asked to voluntarily conserve water — and they’re succeeding, according to information released this week.

The Cedar River Watershed is is one of the sources for drinking water in the region. (Photo credit: Seattle Public Utilities)

The Cedar River Watershed is one of the sources for drinking water in the region. (Photo credit: Seattle Public Utilities)

In response to record breaking warm and dry weather this year, Everett, Seattle and Tacoma urged their 2 million+ customers to cut water use by 10 percent starting in August.

Over the last four weeks, water users have collectively cut back by 14 percent.

It’s a first step to ensure that the entire region is ready for a potential water shortage.

Despite recent rains that have started to green lawns, it hasn’t been enough to return water supplies to normal levels.

Everett, Seattle and Tacoma depend on rain and melting snow to fill reservoirs. Because of warmer than normal temperatures, most precipitation fell as rain rather than snow over the past winter.

More information on water supply conditions and ways to conserve can be found at

Coordination among water providers and managing water demand are some of the steps called for in the region’s VISION 2040 growth strategy.  The goal is to ensure reliable long-term water supplies as the region grows.

Water supply is an element of comprehensive plans being updated around the region now.

The regional Water Supply Forum is a cooperative effort to coordinate water systems within King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The Forum reports  about a 25 percent decrease in water use per household from 1990 to 2005 for both single- and multi-family residential customers.   The decline in household water use tracks with VISION 2040 policy.

According to the Forum, the region has sufficient water for at least the next 50 years, given considerations of growth in the region and the potential impacts of climate change.

The long range forecast is subject to review – this year’s drought and evolving climate science have raised new questions about the future.

Efforts are underway to beef up resiliency planning for events like drought.

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Local planning: It’s where the action is

Thanks to many late nights wrestling with topics like transportation, affordable housing and the environment, the ink is dry on more than 30 newly updated local comprehensive plans across the region.

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton.

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton.

On September 3, PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board is poised to recommend certifying the first batch of plans, for Carbonado, Edgewood, Fife, Issaquah, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Renton and South Prairie.

Local comprehensive plans help shape the future for many special places in the region.  What happens in cities and towns makes a difference in the success of the region’s long-term vision for nurturing a healthy environment and vibrant economy.

It’s been over 25 years since central Puget Sound first adopted a regional growth strategy.

Since then, the growth strategy has helped preserve forests and farms while promoting vibrant urban communities.  Most growth is happening in urban areas – as planned.

All of the region’s cities, towns and counties are required by the Growth Management Act to update their plans every eight years. PSRC is responsible for certifying that comprehensive plans are consistent with the transportation-related provisions of the Growth Management Act, as well as VISION 2040, and Transportation 2040.

By next spring, PSRC is expected to take action on a total of 81 comprehensive plans.  Action on five plans from Kitsap County and its cities will happen later in 2016.

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Making Progress on VISION 2040

At its meeting on October 11, the Growth Management Policy Board heard about progress on VISION 2040, the region’s strategy for growth, transportation, environmental, and economic planning.

VISION 2040 includes more than 60 specific actions designed to make the strategy work.  Here are a few examples of the implementation actions that are complete or are well underway:

Starting next year, PSRC will get going on the next set of VISION 2040 actions, which could include an industrial lands inventory, pursuit of additional funding for regional growth centers, and support for the 2015-2016 local comprehensive plan updates.  You can read the entire list of VISION 2040 actions and timeline here.


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Pierce Syncs With VISION 2040

Gig Harbor


The Growth Management Policy Board takes up certification of Pierce County’s new countywide planning policies on Thursday.  The policies were formally ratified within Pierce County in June.

With adoption of the policies, the 24 cities and towns within the county, and the County itself, have the foundation for updates to comprehensive plans now due in 2015.

Read the rest

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