Annual Walla Walla County comp plan cycle opens

A highlight of the county's planning process will be a possible expansion of the urban growth area.

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WALLA WALLA -- The amendment cycle for changes to Walla Walla County's master development plan is now open.

Applications for amendments to the county's Comprehensive Plan and development regulations will be taken through the last day of March. After that, a schedule for public review and comments will be set up, said Tom Glover, executive director of the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency.

This year the process will include opportunities to expand the urban growth area boundaries around the county's incorporated areas, Glover said. These include the cities of Walla Walla, College Place, Waitsburg and Prescott.

Other proposed amendments to the plan will be limited to technical items only. No substantive amendments, such as major changes to the plan's language, will be accepted.

The Comprehensive Plan provides the policy framework for land use and related decisions over a 20-year period. The county's plan applies only to unincorporated areas. Cities have their own comprehensive plans and separate amendment processes, Glover said in a release.

The plan's purpose is to guide growth throughout the county, especially in areas where high growth is expected, such as the urban growth areas around cities and Burbank, and in the rural activity areas of Dixie, Lowden and Touchet.

The development regulations in the county code provide the tools to implement the plan's policies, Glover said. These include the county's zoning codes, critical areas regulations, subdivision ordinances and other regulations.

After the application period closes, the county Planning Commission and county commissioners will hold a series of public hearings to determine which amendments will be included in the 2012 docket and on the final docket. Periods to accept written comments on proposed amendments will also be scheduled.

The target date for completing the amendment process is December of next year, Glover said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.


For More Information
Information and applications are available at Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency, 55 E. Moore St. or www.wwjcda.org or by calling 524-4710.

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