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Planner's Pocket Reference

This page provides links to useful resources for local government planners in Washington State.


Planning professionals address an array of community needs, including land use, transportation, parks and recreation, environmental resources, housing, commercial and industrial development, economic development, and infrastructure.

As a result, planners must have at least a working understanding and ability to analyze a variety of subjects. They will encounter terminology and technical information from a variety of disciplines. Even planners that are highly specialized, such as transportation planners, must understand the interaction between transportation and land use, environment, economic, social, fiscal, legal, and other considerations. In some communities, especially small towns with small budgets, the person responsible for planning is not trained as a planner. Survival as a planner requires the ability to become quickly conversant on new issues and tools. That requires quick access to relevant reference materials and resources.

In an era of tight budgets, few planning offices can afford in-house libraries of all reference materials or significant on-the-job training. Fortunately, there are a growing number of useful resources available on the Internet.

Why Plan?

Selected Reference Shelf

Glossaries and Acronyms

Land Use and Planning


Agency Acronyms and Abbreviations




Economic and Financial Terms

Legal Terms

The Players

Trainings and Tutorials

Planning and Land Use

Environment, Energy, GIS

Technical Tools

Land Use Toolbox

Planning Law Reference Shelf

Model Codes and Plans

Manuals and Handbooks

Recommended Resource Books

Last Modified: December 07, 2021