Regional Growth Planning

The Puget Sound region is beginning the process to update the regional, county, and city plans for growth. The current focus of this process is being conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), which will inform growth plans developed by King County, and eventually Mercer Island.

PSRC is updating the regional plan for managing growth, known as VISION 2050. Forecasts show the region needs to plan for 1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million new jobs by 2050. VISION 2050 will inform countywide growth targets and city comprehensive plans.

City staff will update this page as the regional growth planning process progresses.


The Puget Sound region is beginning the process to update the regional, county, and city plans for growth. The current focus of this process is being conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), which will inform growth plans developed by King County, and eventually Mercer Island.

PSRC is updating the regional plan for managing growth, known as VISION 2050. Forecasts show the region needs to plan for 1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million new jobs by 2050. VISION 2050 will inform countywide growth targets and city comprehensive plans.

City staff will update this page as the regional growth planning process progresses.


  • VISION 2050 Open House Boards

    8 days ago
    Where will the region grow

    For those that were unable to attend the recent VISION 2050 Open Houses, hosted by Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), we have obtained a copy of the presentation boards. These boards give a good overview of the information in the draft VISION 2050 plan. As a reminder, commenting on the draft plan is open until September 16, 2019.


    Submit Comments To PSRC


    For those that were unable to attend the recent VISION 2050 Open Houses, hosted by Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), we have obtained a copy of the presentation boards. These boards give a good overview of the information in the draft VISION 2050 plan. As a reminder, commenting on the draft plan is open until September 16, 2019.


    Submit Comments To PSRC


  • VISION 2050 Open Houses

    16 days ago

    Next week the Puget Sound Regional Council will host two open houses on the draft VISION 2050 plan. The open houses will be a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the draft plan and to provide comments directly to PSRC. In addition, the Mercer Island City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session on August 20 to discuss VISION 2050 and the city's approach to the larger regional growth planning effort.

    Come join us in Seattle and Bellevue! PSRC is hosting open houses on the newly released draft of VISION 2050 on Monday August
    ...

    Next week the Puget Sound Regional Council will host two open houses on the draft VISION 2050 plan. The open houses will be a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the draft plan and to provide comments directly to PSRC. In addition, the Mercer Island City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session on August 20 to discuss VISION 2050 and the city's approach to the larger regional growth planning effort.

    Come join us in Seattle and Bellevue! PSRC is hosting open houses on the newly released draft of VISION 2050 on Monday August 12 and Tuesday August 13.

    VISION 2050 will be the region’s plan to guide growth, enhance quality of life, and support a robust local economy. We want to hear from you! Drop in, have a cookie, and speak with planners about your ideas to create a livable region for everyone in the decades to come.

    Bellevue Open House
    Where: Bellevue Library – 1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue 98004
    When: Monday, August 12, 2019
    What:
    Part 1: Afternoon Facilitated Workshop from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    Hear a brief overview of VISION 2050 and join in small group facilitated discussions focused on key policy areas, with the opportunity to rotate to different groups.
    Part 2: Evening Drop-In Open House from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
    Drop in to learn about VISION 2050 at your own pace. PSRC staff will give a brief presentation on the draft plan at 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. and will be available to answer questions.

    Seattle Open House
    Where: Seattle Union Station – 401 S Jackson Street, Seattle 98104
    When: Tuesday, August 13, 2019
    What:
    Part 1: Afternoon Facilitated Workshop from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    Hear a brief overview of VISION 2050 and join in small group facilitated discussions focused on key policy areas, with the opportunity to rotate to different groups.
    Part 2: Evening Drop-In Open House from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
    Drop in to learn about VISION 2050 at your own pace. PSRC staff will give a brief presentation on the draft plan at 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. and will be available to answer questions.

    Can’t make it out next week? Join us at one of our other events or access our draft for VISION 2050 and leave your comments on our website. The public comment period on the draft VISION 2050 will run through September 16, 2019.

  • Urban Growth Capacity Study

    16 days ago

    As a part of the regional planning process, King County Growth Management Planning Council is leading an effort to update the Urban Growth Capacity Study. The study analyzes the growth and development that has occured in King County over the last 10 years. It will also estimate the capacity for additional growth going forward. The study is intended to support growth management and comprehensive planning through review and evaluation. In support of required updates to local Comprehensive Plans in 2023, the study is due to the Department of Commerce in June 2021. King County jurisdictions are completing this effort in...

    As a part of the regional planning process, King County Growth Management Planning Council is leading an effort to update the Urban Growth Capacity Study. The study analyzes the growth and development that has occured in King County over the last 10 years. It will also estimate the capacity for additional growth going forward. The study is intended to support growth management and comprehensive planning through review and evaluation. In support of required updates to local Comprehensive Plans in 2023, the study is due to the Department of Commerce in June 2021. King County jurisdictions are completing this effort in advance of this deadline to allow more time to incorporate findings from the Urban Growth Capacity Study in their comprehensive plans.

    Each jurisdiction in King County must submit data to assist with Urban Growth Capacity analysis. Last month, the City of Mercer Island submitted the first piece of this data, an analysis of the growth, new development and overall density of the island. You can review the data the city submitted here:

    Urban Growth Capacity Report - Part 1

    City staff are now working to prepare the next piece of data, an analysis of the existing zoned capacity for additional development. Staff are working to estimate how many additional units could feasibly be constructed in the future under existing zoning and development regulations. This data analysis will be completed in the coming months and submitted to King County.


  • Draft VISION 2050 available for public comment

    about 1 month ago
    Draft vision 2050

    The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has released the draft VISION 2050 plan for public review and comment. VISION 2050 is the regional guide for managing growth to support thriving communities, a strong economy and a healthy environment. Forecasts show the region needs to plan for another 1.8 million people, reaching a population of 5.8 million by 2050. The draft plan is a regional strategy for how and where we grow through 2050. The plan contains the region's multicounty planning policies and actions which will guide local planning for accommodating growth.

    VISION 2050 has an ambitious goal of attracting 65%...

    The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has released the draft VISION 2050 plan for public review and comment. VISION 2050 is the regional guide for managing growth to support thriving communities, a strong economy and a healthy environment. Forecasts show the region needs to plan for another 1.8 million people, reaching a population of 5.8 million by 2050. The draft plan is a regional strategy for how and where we grow through 2050. The plan contains the region's multicounty planning policies and actions which will guide local planning for accommodating growth.

    VISION 2050 has an ambitious goal of attracting 65% of population growth to the region’s growth centers and high-capacity transit station areas, leveraging investments in public transit throughout the region. Growth in more compact, walkable, transit-served locations will help reduce environmental impacts, lessen congestion, and improve health outcomes while creating vibrant, attractive neighborhoods where people can live, work, and play.

    The public comment period will be open until Monday, September 16, 2019 at 5:00pm (comment here). PSRC has provided a number of ways to learn about the draft VISION 2050 plan and provide feedback, including public workshops that will be held in Bellevue on August 12 and in Seattle on August 13.


    How to learn more:


    Submit Comments To PSRC

  • Road Map To Washington's Future - Report Released by Ruckelshaus Center

    about 2 months ago
    Road map

    The William D. Ruckelshaus Center at the University of Washington was tasked in 2017 by the Washington State Legislature with a two-year project to articulate a vision of Washington's desired future. The project sought to identify additions, revisions and clarifications to the state's growth management and planning framework needed to reach that vision of the future. The Ruckelshaus Center team embarked on a huge community engagement effort, gathering information and hearing from about 2,500 individuals, including nearly 400 elected officials. The result is the final report, Road Map to Washington's Future, that was launched this week.

    The Road Map...

    The William D. Ruckelshaus Center at the University of Washington was tasked in 2017 by the Washington State Legislature with a two-year project to articulate a vision of Washington's desired future. The project sought to identify additions, revisions and clarifications to the state's growth management and planning framework needed to reach that vision of the future. The Ruckelshaus Center team embarked on a huge community engagement effort, gathering information and hearing from about 2,500 individuals, including nearly 400 elected officials. The result is the final report, Road Map to Washington's Future, that was launched this week.

    The Road Map to Washington’s Future project was about listening. The voices of participants were heard through 67 workshops in 26 locations across the State, 147 individual interviews, questionnaires, letters, reports, and other documents. Participants shared their stories, lived experiences, ideas, and recommendations about a desired future, and what parts of the growth planning framework are working or not working in their communities, regions, and the State.

    The Ruckelshaus Center Team synthesized the wealth of information and insights collected from participants, in order to develop and communicate potential pathways to the future. Regardless of participants’ specific interests and orientation, there were some common threads in their views: that issues need to be addressed as systems and not silos; that political will and leadership across political boundaries is needed to respond to change and consider new approaches; that the diverse regions of the State are actually interdependent and significantly impact each other; and that greater understanding of these impacts and interdependence is needed.

    Section IV of the report identifies six actions that could create transformational and systemic change to improve the current growth planning framework. The six action areas are:

    1. Funding and Revenue Generation
    2. Adaptive Planning at a Regional Scale
    3. Resilience to Changing Conditions and Disasters
    4. Statewide Water Planning
    5. Equity
    6. Economic Development

    Where there was widespread interest in change, the team also distilled participants’ ideas into a number of key near term reforms . Section V of the report details 25 key reforms to improve the existing growth framework. These key reforms reflect areas of common interest from participants that, if addressed, could have positive “ripple effects” throughout the current growth planning framework.

    The Ruckelshaus Center team will host a series of open houses to provide information and answer questions about the report. The first one will be on July 17th from 1pm-5pm at the WSU Energy Office in Olympia WA, 905 Plum Street # 3. Please click here to RSVP - space is limited. They are also planning to have two open houses, most likely in September at the University of Washington, Seattle and Washington State University in Spokane.

  • Regional Growth Planning Timeline

    4 months ago
    Vision 2050 timeline 04012019

    This timeline is meant to illustrate how state, regional, county and city planning processes come together to plan for regional growth. Currently, the City of Mercer Island is focused on commenting on the Draft SEIS for VISION 2050. Later this summer, the Puget Sound Regional Council will release the draft VISION 2050 plan for review and comment. In addition, city staff are providing data to King County to assist in the Urban Growth Capacity Analysis. This effort will assess the zoning capacity for additional development in communities across King County. This information will inform the development of growth targets for each community beginning in 2020.


    This timeline is meant to illustrate how state, regional, county and city planning processes come together to plan for regional growth. Currently, the City of Mercer Island is focused on commenting on the Draft SEIS for VISION 2050. Later this summer, the Puget Sound Regional Council will release the draft VISION 2050 plan for review and comment. In addition, city staff are providing data to King County to assist in the Urban Growth Capacity Analysis. This effort will assess the zoning capacity for additional development in communities across King County. This information will inform the development of growth targets for each community beginning in 2020.


  • Updating the Regional Growth Strategy

    5 months ago
    Regional growth



    VISION 2040 is the region’s current plan for managing growth forecasted through the year 2040. The plan includes overarching goals, an environmental framework, a strategy to sustainably guide growth in the region, and multicounty planning policies as required by the state Growth Management Act (GMA). The plan also includes implementation actions at the regional, county, and local levels. VISION 2040 was adopted in 2008, and the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is now in the process of updating the plan.


    The updated plan will be known as VISION 2050. The update will consider the best approach to managing growth with...



    VISION 2040 is the region’s current plan for managing growth forecasted through the year 2040. The plan includes overarching goals, an environmental framework, a strategy to sustainably guide growth in the region, and multicounty planning policies as required by the state Growth Management Act (GMA). The plan also includes implementation actions at the regional, county, and local levels. VISION 2040 was adopted in 2008, and the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is now in the process of updating the plan.


    The updated plan will be known as VISION 2050. The update will consider the best approach to managing growth with a projected 1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million new jobs by 2050. The update process will continue through the coming year, with adoption planned for May, 2020.


    The process of developing VISION 2050 includes considering three distinct regional growth alternatives:
    • Stay the Course
    • Transit Focused Growth
    • Reset Urban Growth

    Each of these three alternatives distributes growth in unique patterns that have different trade-offs. PSRC recently released the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for review. This is the environmental review of the draft VISION 2050 plan, and it analyzes the environmental effects of the three alternatives. The Draft SEIS shows a range of land use, transportation, environmental, and other impacts that would likely occur with each of these alternatives and identifies opportunities to mitigate them.

    The City of Mercer Island is seeking feedback from the community on the SEIS to inform the City's formal comments on the draft. Please use the comment form to submit your comments. Comments can also be submitted directly to PSRC: https://www.psrc.org/vision-2050-draft-seis-comment-form. Comments are due April 29, 2019.
  • SEIS Alternatives Analysis

    5 months ago
    Seis alternatives

    At the heart of VISION 2040 is a shared vision of how and where the region should grow. The Regional Growth Strategy provides a description of a planned physical development pattern that the central Puget Sound region will evolve into over time. The draft SEIS analyzes three distinct alternative patterns of future growth that were developed after a public comment and scoping process, extensive review by PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board, and input from regional staff and other stakeholders. These three alternatives allow the environmental analysis to consider the effects of extending the current growth strategy to 2050 and the...

    At the heart of VISION 2040 is a shared vision of how and where the region should grow. The Regional Growth Strategy provides a description of a planned physical development pattern that the central Puget Sound region will evolve into over time. The draft SEIS analyzes three distinct alternative patterns of future growth that were developed after a public comment and scoping process, extensive review by PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board, and input from regional staff and other stakeholders. These three alternatives allow the environmental analysis to consider the effects of extending the current growth strategy to 2050 and the potential effects of changes to that strategy.


    Stay the Course (No Action) Alternative

    The Stay the Course alternative is a direct extension of the VISION 2040 Regional Growth Strategy and assumes a compact growth pattern, focused in the largest and most transit-connected cities in the region within the region’s 29 designated regional growth centers. This alternative serves as the required no action alternative that must be evaluated in accordance with SEPA.

    This alternative continues to direct the largest share of future growth to the region’s five major Metropolitan Cities: Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bremerton, and Tacoma. Growth is also focused in the region’s Core Cities—those other cities with regional growth centers that are concentrations of growth and serve as economic and transportation hubs for the region.

    Compared to historical trends, this alternative allocates less growth in urban unincorporated and rural areas and more growth in cities. Growth in urban unincorporated growth areas is envisioned as occurring in areas affiliated with cities for annexation, and growth in rural areas is minimized when compared to past trends.

    This alternative maintains the current Regional Growth Strategy allocation of shares of growth. For this analysis, Stay the Course and subsequent data measures use the revised regional geographies. PSRC developed model inputs for Stay the Course using the existing VISION 2040 regional geographies and then calculated inputs and results based on the revised system of regional geographies.

    Transit Focused Growth Alternative

    The Transit Focused Growth alternative considers a compact growth pattern based on the VISION 2040 Regional Growth Strategy that assumes accelerated growth near the region’s existing and planned transit investments.

    The Transit Focused Growth alternative assumes an explicit goal for 75 percent of the region’s population and employment growth to occur within a quarter- to a half-mile from current and planned high-capacity transit station areas, including light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter rail, ferries, and streetcar. This would result in the largest shares of growth to Metropolitan Cities, Core Cities, and HCT Communities.

    The alternative also assumes a greater role in accommodating future growth for areas served by high-capacity transit outside of Metropolitan and Core Cities. Growth in unincorporated urban growth areas with existing or planned high-capacity transit and planned for annexation or incorporation would be similar to cities with high-capacity transit. The remaining share of population and employment growth would be distributed largely within the urban growth area among areas not served by high-capacity transit based on the broad objectives for the Regional Growth Strategy. Growth in rural areas and unincorporated areas without access to high-capacity transit and unaffiliated unincorporated areas is the lowest in this alternative

    Reset Urban Growth Alternative

    The Reset Urban Growth alternative shares similarities with actual growth patterns that occurred from 2000 to 2016 and assumes a more dispersed growth pattern throughout the urban area.

    The Reset Urban Growth alternative assumes a more distributed pattern throughout the urban area. This alternative would continue to allocate the largest shares of growth to Metropolitan Cities and Core Cities, although the overall growth to these geographies and HCT Communities would be less compared to Stay the Course or Transit Focused Growth.

    Growth allocations for Cities & Towns and Urban Unincorporated areas are based on land use capacities identified in currently adopted comprehensive plans. Growth in urban unincorporated areas without access to high-capacity transit and unaffiliated urban unincorporated areas is the highest in this alternative. Growth in rural areas would be slightly higher than Stay the Course.

    Comparison of the Alternatives

    All alternatives assume the same amount of regional growth in population and employment from 2017 to 2050—1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million additional jobs. As described above, the difference between alternatives is how the growth is allocated among the regional geographies—Metropolitan Cities, Core Cities, HCT Communities, Cities & Towns, Urban Unincorporated, and Rural areas—and among the region’s four counties. This distribution of additional growth throughout the region results in environmental impacts. Some impacts are similar across all alternatives, and some impacts show differences between alternatives. For example, below is a comparison of the impacts of each alternative on transportation. Additional comparison charts are available in the Executive Summary.

    More information on the alternatives is available in Chapter 3 of the Draft SEIS.