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  You Are Here: Home: Government: Departments: Community Development:
                            Planning Division: Growth Management


General Information

In 1990, the state of Washington passed legislation commonly referred to as the “Growth Management Act (GMA) which was codified as Chapter 36.70A RCW.” The legislature in adopting the GMA found that “uncoordinated and unplanned growth, together with a lack of common goals expressing the public's interest in the conservation and the wise use of our lands, pose a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the health, safety, and high quality of life enjoyed by residents of this state.”

The GMA establishes fourteen goals to guide the development and adoption of local land use plans and development regulation.  These goals include: encouraging urban growth, reducing sprawl, promoting efficient transportation, ensuring availability of affordable housing and promoting a variety of housing types and residential densities, encouraging economic development, protecting property rights, processing permits in a timely and predictable manner, maintaining natural resource industries, retaining open space and recreation opportunities, protecting the environment, ensuring public participation and coordination between adjacent jurisdictions, providing adequate public facilities and services, preserving sites of historical and archaeological significance, and achieving the goals and polices of the Shoreline Management Act set forth in RCW 90.58.020.   While all the goals of the Growth Management Act should be pursued in local Comprehensive Plans, it is up to each community to determine how to best balance these goals.  However, the GMA also does establish requirements that all local comprehensive plans and development regulations are to achieve. Please view our Comprehensive Plan webpage for compete information on the Bonney Lake Comprehensive Plan and the Shoreline Management webpage for complete information on the Bonney Lake Shoreline Master Program.

Urban Growth Areas

Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) are those areas, designated by counties, in consultation with cities, pursuant to RCW 36.70A.110, "within which urban growth shall be encouraged and outside of which growth can occur only if it is not urban in nature." Within these UGAs, growth will be encouraged and supported with adequate facilities. Areas outside of the UGAs will be reserved for primarily rural and resource uses.

In 2013, the City of Bonney Lake submitted an application requesting that Pierce County affiliate a portion of the Comprehensive Urban Growth Area (CUGA) for the County with the City of Bonney Lake's Urban Growth Area (BLUGA).  The Pierce County Council agreed to consider the City's Application as part of the County's 2013 Comprehensive Plan Amendment cycle as Amendment U-1.  The affiliation means that if the area were ever to be part of a city, it should be part of the City of Bonney Lake. If the County approves the application, the area would remain in unincorporated Pierce County. In order for the area to be annexed into the City; a ballot proposition would have to be approved by the residences within the area. 


The County Council has considered the proposed Ordinance 2013-59 adopting the 2013 Comprehsive Plan Amendments at the following open public meetings:

  • September 10, 2013 - proposed Ordinance 2013-59 referred to County Council's Community Development Committee
  • September 16, 2013 - proposed Ordinance 2013-59 discussed by County Council's Community Development Committee
  • October 7, 2013 - proposed Ordinance 2013-59  recieves a "Do Pass" recommendation from County Council's Community Development Committee


(Last Updated October 8, 2013 at 4:00PM)




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