News From Your Friends

Once in a Decade: Clark County’s Comprehensive Plan Update

May 19, 2024 in Climate Change, Comprehensive Plan & Growth Management Act, Farmland & Forests, General, Housing & Transportation, Parks, Trails, & Open Spaces

Photo from Clark County government

In addition to the Site Specific Requests, which are a major priority and focus for Friends of Clark County, The Comprehensive Plan Update has been underway at the County.

Population and Employment Allocation: 

The County has been addressing this phase of the Comp Plan for some time, with hearings and workshops at the Planning Commission and Council. 

A big change to this process was that the population allocation, and resulting housing requirements, had to include allocation by income bands (provided by the Department of Commerce based on the population projections earlier adopted by the Council). Two methodologies were provided for achieving this, and a hybrid was eventually agreed to by the cities, with a carve out to allow Camas to provide somewhat less than their share of low income housing. This is because Camas has so little low-income housing today that they would have been extremely constrained in allocation of single family homes without this exception. 

There was also a last minute attempt by the Building Industry Association (BIA) to re-open the Vacant Buildable Lands Model (VBLM) and to ignore certain GMA requirements based on a contracted study by Competinomics. The staff response was very well done. 

In the end, the Council did the right thing and approved the staff’s recommendations. If you have time on your hands and some popcorn, we recommend you watch the May 7th hearing on CVTV

EIS – Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA):

At a May 15th Work Session, county staff provided an overview of the EIS process and how it integrates into the rest of the Comp Plan process. There will be open houses and public comment will be taken in-person  or in written form until June 5th. More information can be found here: 2025 Update | Clark County (

What’s next? 

  • Staff will complete an adopting resolution which will be on a future consent agenda. We will be watching for any last minute shenanigans to derail this;
  • The cities will begin their planning using the employment and population allocation data, which will come back to the County; 
  • County to work on transportation modeling, SEPA threshold determination. 
  • A selection of a Preferred Alternative is targeted for Fall 2024. This includes: 
    • Update urban and rural land capacity estimates
    • Capital facilities plan & capital facilities financial plan
    • Transportation analysis
  • The state has provided an additional 6 months (until the end of 2025) to complete the Comp Plan Update. Per the EIS overview provided at the May 15th work session, the county will be using most of that additional time. 

FOCC will be monitoring progress closely and work with the county on a future informational forum.

Submitted by Jackie Lane

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