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PSRC stands for Puget Sound Regional Council, which is an organization that provides a forum for cities, counties, and other area agencies to address regional issues and develop policies for growth, transportation and economic development. Four counties (King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap) and 80 cities, including Mercer Island, are represented at PSRC. This regional organization facilitates coordinated policy-making among neighboring jurisdictions and helps foster a regional that functions as a coherent whole.
Vision 2050 is a long-range planning document produced by PSRC and informed by public input that provides multicounty planning policies and a regional strategy for accommodating the growth anticipated for the region by 2050, currently estimated at 1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million new jobs.
What is a growth target and where does it come from?
The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires cities to accommodate future housing and employment growth based on countywide planning policies and 20-year population forecasts. Counties, in consultation with cities, to adopt 20-year “growth targets” for cities within the county. The current growth targets for cities within King County were adopted by the King County Council upon the recommendation of the Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC). Mercer Islands current growth target, adopted by King County in 2010 and re-adopted in 2012, calls for 2,320 housing units by 2035.
Cities need to plan for additional housing and employment, but there is no requirement from the GMA that housing and workplaces actually be built—the requirement is only that the City’s zoning provides enough capacity to allow growth targets to be met. Mercer Island currently has enough capacity in the Town Center to accommodate our current growth targets.
The Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC) consists of the King County Executive, five members of the King County Council, four elected officials from the City of Seattle, and seven elected officials from other cities in King County. Mercer Island Mayor Debbie Bertlin serves on the GMPC.
How does PSRC Vision 2050 relate to the City of Mercer Island's long-range planning process?
The City’s comprehensive plan is required to be consistent with the Multicounty Planning Policies (MCPPs) in Vision 2050. Topics of MCPPs include development patterns, housing, transportation and economy, which together comprise PSRC’s Regional Growth Strategy. Vision 2050 does not prescribe specific development projects or codes, but rather sets a general policy direction for counties and cities. After VISION 2050 is adopted, Mercer Island will review our comprehensive plan and make amendments as needed to make it consistent with the MCPPs. PSRC reviews and certifies counties’ and cities’ comprehensive plans to maintain consistency between local comprehensive plans the Regional Growth Strategy.