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Planning Commissions

This page provides information about local planning commissions in Washington State, including examples of planning commission rules and bylaws and helpful resources.


Overview

The planning commission provides citizen review and recommendations on planning-related matters to the city, town, county council, or county board of commissioners.

Planning commissions often have two distinct functions. The first involves preparation and revision of the community's comprehensive plan and local land use regulations, such as the zoning or subdivision code. This role is typically advisory to the local governing body, with the planning board forwarding a recommended plan (or ordinance) to the governing body for consideration.

The second, and frequently most time-consuming, function involves review of development proposals, such as site plans and subdivisions. Not all planning commissions are involved in the development review function. In Washington State, when planning commissions perform this role, typically the commission recommends a decision that the local governing body can approve or disapprove of, or approve of with modifications. In some jurisdictions, the planning commission or hearing examiner may hold the public hearing and make a decision on certain types of land use actions. In these cases, the planning commission's decision would be subject to appeal to the local governing body.


Information on Planning Commissions

Planning commission ordinances for code cities, non-code cities/towns, and counties are presented separately because of different statutory requirements.

Legal References

Code City Planning Commissions

This section includes ordinances, rules of procedure, and general information on code city planning commissions.

Non-Code City Planning Commissions

This section includes ordinances, rules of procedure, and general information on non-code city planning commissions.

County Planning Commissions

This section includes ordinances, rules of procedure, and general information on county planning commissions.

Planning Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure

This includes additional examples of planning commission bylaws and rules of procedure.

Selected Articles and Publications about Planning Commissions


Selected Resources for Planning Commissioners

This section is a portal to key resources for planning commissioners in Washington State, including planning information on the MRSC website.


Links to Planning Associations and Resources

The following are links to key planning associations and Web resources.


Last Modified: August 23, 2017