Columbia County Comprehensive Plan Info

Columbia County Comprehensive Plan: The Docket Process

Columbia County is accepting public-initiated items for the comprehensive plan annual review. View the Docket item Applications (PDF), which must be delivered to the Planning and Building office by August 1, 2020.

2021 Docket Submittals (PDF) will be available as they are received. The list will be updated regularly.

The Docketing Process

The Columbia County docketing process is outlined in Columbia County Code Chapter 18.155 which was updated with the 2019 Comprehensive Plan update. The process provides an opportunity for citizens to register comments on the comprehensive plan and associated development regulations. The County responds to each item registered on the docket, providing a feedback loop as required by RCW 36.70A.470.

Relationship to Comprehensive Plan: The docket is a means for the public to suggest a change to, or identify a deficiency in, the Comprehensive Plan or development regulations (county code).

Schedule: The docket is open continuously with the following due dates:

  • July 1 - Notice shall be published no less than 28 days prior to the docket application due date informing the public of the current calendar year docket close date.
  • August 1 - Docket applications are due.
  • September 1 - List of all amendments (public, Board of County Commissioners, planning Commission, or staff requests) presented to the Planning Commission.
  • October 1 - Planning commission reviews the proposed docket items, holds public hearing on docket items, and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.
  • November 20 - Board of County Commissioners determines the docketing request outcomes (include, exclude or defer).
  • November 30 - Board of County Commissioners approval of docket by resolution no later than the end of November.

Fees: There is no fee for submitting a docket form.
**Some requests may require a SEPA environmental checklists, public hearing notices, or other forms/applications. If so, the applicant will be notified in advance and those fees will be the responsibility of the applicant.

Who can submit: Anyone can submit a docket item, however, the property owner (or their agent) needs to submit if a land use change is requested.

Staying engaged: Everyone submitting a docket request is automatically added to the email list for the comprehensive plan amendment cycle process. This allows submitters to stay informed of milestones in the review process. Anyone else can request to be added to the docket request mailing list by sending an email to Dena Martin.

Stay up-to-date with Planning Commission agendas and minutes by visiting the Planning Commission page.

2019 Comprehensive Plan Update

Following a public hearing which received only positive comments, the Columbia County Planning Commission recommended adoption of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Update and associated development regulations to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC adopted the updated plan and regulations at its Sept. 16, 2019 board meeting. The plan and ordinances were submitted to the Department of Commerce on September 17, 2019. A letter of completion (PDF) was received from the Department of Commerce on September 30, 2019.

Dockets applications for plan amendments to be considered in the the 2021 comprehensive plan docket review must be received by August 1, 2020 per the county's annual docket review procedures.

Stay up-to-date with Planning Commission agendas and minutes by visiting the Planning Commission page.

A Look Back

On August 19th, 1974, the Columbia County Planning Department was born into existence by Resolution 74-17 (PDF). In 1990, Washington State passed the Growth Management Act, mandating Washington counties to craft development regulations, including the Comprehensive Plan.

Columbia County last completed a full comprehensive plan update with the adoption of the Columbia County 2019 Comprehensive Plan, completed cooperatively with the Town of Starbuck and the City of Dayton.

Columbia County's Current Comprehensive Plan (PDF) | Previous Comprehensive Plans

As with the current update, earlier plans relied heavily on public input. It is both fun and enlightening to look back at the results of past surveys, such as this one, taken in 1973.

1973 Developmental Survey - County Results (PDF)
1973 Developmental Survey - Dayton/Starbuck/Columbia County Combined Results (PDF)