Update: VISION 2050, King County, Mercer Island


On December 5, 2019 the Growth Management Policy Board (GMPB), which is an advisory board for the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) recommended adoption of the draft VISION 2050 Plan. On March 18, 2020, PSRC released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) – this document is intended to inform decision makers on the anticipated impacts, and possible mitigation, of the new VISION 2050 plan. The draft plan is now under review by the PSRC Executive Board, and it is anticipated that the General Assembly of PSRC will take action on VISION 2050 in May of 2020. For more information on PSRC’s Vision 2050, please visit their website: https://www.psrc.org/vision.

VISION 2050 establishes regional policies that govern growth in the four county region (King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap). A copy of the current draft of Vision 2050, is available here: https://www.psrc.org/sites/default/files/draft-vision2050-plan.pdf. The Multicounty Planning Policies (MPPs) are required (RCW 36.70A.210) by the Growth Management Act (GMA); all four counties must adopt Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) that are consistent with the policy direction of Vision 2050. In turn, the City of Mercer Island will need to adopt Comprehensive Plan policies that are consistent with the CPPs and MPPs – this adoption should occur with major update to the Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan.

Both sets of regional policies (MPPs and CPPs) describe the approach that the region will take in planning for additional growth and provide high level direction. For example, a policy in the Multicounty Planning Policies (MPPs) might read: "Attract 65% of the region’s residential growth and 75% of the region’s employment growth to the regional growth centers and high-capacity transit station areas to realize the multiple public benefits of compact growth around high-capacity transit investments." A corresponding Countywide Planning Policy (CPP) will take this a step further, allocating specific growth targets to individual jurisdictions. Eventually, the Mercer Island's Comprehensive Plan will describe how the City's share of the growth target will be managed on Mercer Island. The graphic below (VISION 2050), illustrates this policy approach:

King County

King County is currently in the process of preparing draft CPPs to be reviewed by the Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC), which is an advisory board to the King County Council and is comprised of elected officials from King County, Seattle, Bellevue, other cities and towns in King County (including Mercer Island), special purpose districts, and the Port of Seattle. Currently, King County anticipates adoption of the CPPs in late 2020 or possibly early 2021. The King County CPPs will address a number of policy subjects, including the provision of public services, affordable housing, and growth targets.

City of Mercer Island

The City of Mercer Island will engage in a major update of the Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan as required by GMA. This major update was originally due by June 2023, however the Washington State Legislature extended this deadline to June 2024 with the passage of HB 2342 in mid-March 2020. The change to the deadline will likely affect the timeline for the adoption of the King County CPPs and the subsequent adoption of the Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan major update.

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