About the Comprehensive Plan
Comprehensive plans are long-range policy guides for how a jurisdiction plans to manage growth and development with respect to the natural environment and available resources. Washington state law [Chapter 36.70A RCW] requires jurisdictions operating under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to develop and implement comprehensive plans and development regulations consistent with their respective comprehensive plans.
Clark County's Comprehensive Growth Management Plan (Plan) is meant to accommodate and guide population and employment growth for the next 20 years. The most recent 20 year planning horizon is 2015-2035.
How to use the Plan
The Comprehensive Plan includes the Community Framework Plan (page 9 of the plan document). This 50-year visionary document provides guidance to local jurisdictions on regional land use and service issues.
The Comprehensive Plan recognizes and reinforces the positive characteristics that makes the county a special place and builds upon the Community Framework Plan, the original 1994 Plan and subsequent updates. The Plan is designed to reflect the uniqueness of Clark County and seeks to preserve those qualities while providing guidance to land owners.
Elements of the Plan
The Comprehensive Plan contains 14 elements comprised of existing conditions, goals, policies, and strategies to accomplish the Plan’s goals.
The GMA requires the following mandatory planning elements: Land Use, Housing, Capital Facilities and Utilities, Rural and Natural Resource, Transportation, Economic Development, and Parks, Open Space and Recreation. [RCW 36.70A.070].
In addition to the required elements, plans may include additional elements. Clark County has included the following optional elements: Schools, Historic Preservation, Environmental, Community Design, Shoreline Master Program, Annexation, and Procedural Guidelines.
Updating the Comprehensive Plan
State law requires comprehensive plans to be updated every eight years [RCW 36.70A.130]. The 20-year Comprehensive Growth Management Plan 2015-2035 (2016 Plan) periodic update was approved by Clark County Council on June 21, 2016. The adopting Ordinance 2016-06-12 was approved on June 28, 2016 to go into effect ten (10) days after adoption as provided by law, except for school, parks, and traffic impact fees, which took effect on January 1, 2017. The 2016 Plan was appealed to the Growth Management Hearings Board. Read more about the 2016 Plan appeal.
Less extensive revisions to the Plan are allowed on an annual basis through the annual review or site specific plan amendment process and/or through a simultaneous county-initiated docket process outlined in CCC 40.560.010. Read the current Plan.
Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update 2025
Clark County’s 20-year periodic update of the comprehensive plan is scheduled to be submitted to the state Department of Commerce by June 30, 2025. [RCW 36.70A.130(5)]. The 2025 Plan update schedule is under construction and most likely will begin sometime after the completion of the Buildable Lands Report.