Comprehensive Planning

Annual Comprehensive Plan Update and Amendment Cycle

Columbia County is now soliciting public-initiated items for the comprehensive plan annual review.

Docket item applications (PDF) for the 2025 annual comprehensive plan review may be submitted at any time.

Learn more about the docketing process on the Columbia County Comprehensive Plan Information page.

Local Comprehensive Planning

In March of 2018, Columbia County, the City of Dayton and the Town of Starbuck entered into interlocal agreements allowing the Columbia County Planning and Building Department to act as the lead agency for implementation of a 2019 Comprehensive Plan update for each jurisdiction. Using one lead agency and the same plan consultant for all three jurisdictions allowed for consistency and flow between the plans. All three plans go through an annual amendment cycle beginning in July and ending in November.

Columbia County Comprehensive Plan Information

City of Dayton Comprehensive Plan Information

Town of Starbuck Comprehensive Plan Information

The Big Picture

Comprehensive planning is a process of determining community goals and priorities in terms of land use development. Such planning addresses issues of transportation, capital facilities, utilities, land use, economic development, rural lands, parks and recreation, and housing.

A Comprehensive Plan is the resulting document that guides long-range land use and development regulations based on those determined priorities. It becomes the centerpiece of local planning by articulating the goals, objectives, policies, actions and standards that are intended to guide day-to-day decisions by elected officials and government staff.

The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA), adopted in 1990, lists both mandatory and optional Comprehensive Plan Elements.

Mandatory Comprehensive Plan Elements

  • Land Use
  • Housing
  • Capital Facilities Plan
  • Utilities,
  • Rural Development (counties only)
  • Transportation
  • Economic Development
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Ports (for cities with annual maritime port revenues over $60 million)

Optional Comprehensive Plan Elements

  • Conservation
  • Solar Energy
  • Recreation
  • Subarea Plans (neighborhoods, rural villages, urban growth areas, tribal? areas, etc.)
  • Ports (optional for cities with annual maritime port revenues of $420 million to $60 million)

Learn more about comprehensive planning and the Growth Management Act.

Public Input

All three jurisdictions solicited comprehensive plan amendment applications for their 2020 Comprehensive Plans via the use of the Docket Form. Each jurisdiction held a public hearing and final docket items were approved as listed below.

Final Dayton 2019 Comprehensive Plan Docket List (PDF)

Final Columbia County 2019 Comprehensive Plan Docket List (PDF)

Final Starbuck 2019 Comprehensive Plan Docket List (PDF)

To receive updates on the Comprehensive Plan progress and docket item amendments please email Dena Martin or call the Planning Department at 382-4676 and ask to be included on the Comprehensive Plan mailing list.