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A comprehensive plan is an in-depth look at all the things that make up our city:
That sets the City’s goals, objectives, and policies related to each. The plan anticipates how much our population will grow over time and what the City will need to do in terms of guiding development and facilitating economic prosperity to offer future residents a good quality of life. In turn, the plan serves as the basis for development regulations such as zoning and permit requirements. It also provides a foundation for the City’s future investments in public infrastructure such as parks, roads, and public buildings.
Cowlitz County and the cities within it are not subject to the full state Growth Management Act (GMA). However, Longview is subject to the planning and zoning requirements for “code cities,” a particular form of governmental organization (Chapter 35A.63 RCW).
This statute sets minimal requirements for comprehensive planning, which must include land use (“the proposed general distribution, general location, and extent of the uses of land,” including environmental protection) and circulation (“the general location, alignment, and extent of existing and proposed major thoroughfares, major transportation routes, and major terminal facilities”). A number of other topics may also be included.
The land-use and circulation provisions must correlate, and the development regulations are consistent with the comprehensive plan. In addition, Cowlitz County jurisdictions must designate and work toward preserving natural resource lands, as well as planning for and regulating critical areas such as wetlands and floodplains.
A comprehensive plan is intended to take a 20-year look into the future, but it’s also intended to be a “living document” that is periodically revisited to make sure it’s still on-point for the community. Longview’s current comprehensive plan was adopted in 2006, and its demographics are based on the 2000 federal census. Many of the priorities stated in the plan have either been accomplished or may have changed over time. By keeping the plan up to date and relevant, we will ensure that local decisions on laws, regulations, programs, and services are geared toward the community’s vision of Longview’s future.
Broad public outreach and participation are an important part of “getting it right” when a city develops or reevaluates its comprehensive plan. The City of Longview will be working with community members and its Planning Commission and City Council throughout the remainder of 2017 to complete the update that was started in 2015. We invite you to take a look at the following background information that was prepared for the Planning Commission as part of the update process:
View chapters of the current comprehensive plan, which was adopted in December 2006:
Comprehensive Plan - December 2006
Ordinance Number 3244 (PDF) - Amending Comprehensive Plan policies regarding annexation - April 2013