Page last updated: 3/28/2013
Since 2006, the deadline for Comprehensive Plan amendment
applications is March 1 for each annual cycle.
This page presents general information about the
process for amending Jefferson County's Comprehensive Plan and
Unified Development Code (UDC), including instructions and
application forms for proposing a site-specific amendment to the
Comprehensive Plan (e.g., changing the land use district for a
Plan annual amendment cycle is coordinated by the
Department of Community Development (DCD).
Public participation is directed through review by the citizen volunteer
Commission and the elected Board of County
Docket is the set of proposals to be considered. See the Process section below for information about the review process. See
Documents below for links to press releases, legal notices, memoranda, staff reports, and
other documents, when available.
The following links are to application forms
required for individuals who desire to apply for site-specific
Comprehensive Plan amendments. The deadline for application
each calendar year is March 1 for inclusion in that year's
For more information, read
about annual amendment cycle process below and consult a planner in
the Long-Range Planning division of the Department of Community
A pre-application conference is now the
required initial step in the procedure for submitting a
Comprehensive Plan Amendment application. During the "pre-app"
appointment, applicants and planners meet to review the feasibility
of the application before large amounts of time and money have been
spent. To obtain a copy of the "pre-app" form, click
Application for formal, site-specific Comprehensive
Plan / UDC amendment
Application for suggested Comprehensive Plan / UDC
Master Permit Application form
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
checklist, including SUPPLEMENTAL SHEET FOR
NON-PROJECT ACTIONS (required)
MARCH 1 of each year
PROPOSING A CHANGE
TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
OR UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT
The Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan (Plan) guides how
future development will occur in the county. The Unified Development Code
(UDC) identifies the specific regulations and standards that
development must follow in order to implement the Plan. The Comprehensive Plan/UDC
Amendment Process allows individuals, groups and County departments
to propose changes to the Plan and/or the UDC. It provides a way to address
changing conditions and new considerations in how growth occurs
throughout Jefferson County. This information about the Comprehensive
Amendment process is designed to help you provide
all the information necessary to facilitate a timely and
well-informed decision on your application.
The Growth Management Act (GMA) allows amendments to
comprehensive plans no more often than once per year, except for
certain exceptions and in emergency situations. The specific
requirements for Comprehensive Plan and UDC amendments are found in
Section 9 of the UDC.
The requirements for Plan amendments include:
- A process whereby the county will compile and
maintain a “preliminary docket” of proposed amendments to
Plan and then select which proposed amendments will be
placed on the “final docket” for review, no more often than
- Timelines and procedures for placing formal
applications for amendments by project proponents or property
owners on the final docket for review, no more often than once
- Criteria for review of the final docket by the
Jefferson County Planning Commission and the Jefferson County
Board of Commissioners.
The text of the UDC may be amended at any time, provided the
amendment is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and
land use map. When
inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan and
land use map, the UDC amendment must be processed concurrent with
any necessary Comprehensive Plan amendments using the
process and timelines for Plan amendments set forth in Chapter 18.45 of
the UDC and summarized here.
TYPES OF COMPREHENSIVE PLAN/UDC
There are two
different types of Comprehensive Plan/UDC Amendments:
Formal Site-Specific Comprehensive Plan
Proponents of land development projects and/or property
owner(s) or their authorized representative(s), may file an
application for a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan
relating to a site-specific proposal affecting the official map of
Comprehensive Plan Land Use Designations. These proposals are often
referred to as "rezones."
Suggested Comprehensive Plan/UDC
Proposals that broadly apply to the goals, policies and
implementation strategies of the Comprehensive Plan or the
standards and requirements of the UDC, rather than amendments
designed to address site-specific issues of limited
are typically suggestions for changes to Comprehensive Plan/UDC
The Master Permit Application form is required for
all Comprehensive Plan/UDC Amendment applications. In addition, the applicant
or representative must complete and submit one or both of the supplemental Comprehensive
Plan/UDC Amendment applications, depending upon the type of
amendment requested (see above). Applicants for formal
site-specific must also submit a completed State Environmental
Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist, including the supplemental sheet for
non-project actions (i.e., legislative actions as opposed to
building permits, etc.).
Comprehensive Plan/UDC Amendments require final approval via
legislative action by
the Board of County Commissioners.
THE “DOCKET” PROCESS
All Comprehensive Plan/UDC Amendment applications must be
completed and submitted to the Department of Community Development
by March 1 of the current calendar year in order to be
considered during this year's amendment process. Completed applications that
are received after February 1 will be placed on the docket for the
following calendar year.
Applications that are incomplete will be returned to the
In the spring of each year, the Administrator of the
Department of Community Development (DCD) will compile the list of
suggested amendments into a “preliminary docket.” The Administrator will
prepare a report concerning which suggested amendments should be
placed on the “final docket” for consideration during the
current year annual amendment process based on need as well as DCD
staff and budget availability to accommodate the public review
The Planning Commission will then hold a public hearing and
identify those suggested amendments that it recommends be placed on
the “final docket” for consideration by the Board of County
Commissioners during the current year annual amendment process.
The Board of County
Commissioners will meet in late spring to review and
consider the Planning Commission's recommendations and shall adopt a
“final docket” for the current year plan amendment cycle.
docket” as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners will
then be reviewed by DCD and the staff will prepare a recommendation
on each proposed amendment.
The Planning Commission will assess all proposed amendments
on the “final docket,” hold a public hearing and make a
recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners. The Board will then review
and make a final decision on each proposed amendment by
mid-December of the current year.
All Comprehensive Plan/UDC Amendment applications on the
“final docket” will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria
listed in the relevant section of the Jefferson County Unified
Development Code (see UDC Chapter 18.45). Proposed Plan amendments on
the “final docket” may only be approved upon showing that all
of the following have been satisfied:
The annual amendment review process included
consideration into the following growth management
a) Whether growth and development as envisioned in the
is occurring faster or slower than anticipated, or is failing
b) Whether the capacity of the county to provide adequate
services has diminished or increased;
c) Whether sufficient urban land is designated and zoned
to meet projected demand and need;
d) Whether any of the assumptions upon which the Plan is based are no
longer found to be valid;
e) Whether changes in county-wide attitudes necessitate
amendments to the goals of the Plan and the basic values embodied
within the Comprehensive Plan
Whether changes in circumstances dictate a need for
g) Whether inconsistencies exist between the Comprehensive Plan and
the GMA or the Comprehensive Plan and
the County-wide Planning Policy for Jefferson County.
circumstances related to the proposed amendment and/or the area in
which it is located have substantially changed since the adoption of
the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan;
3. Whether the
assumptions upon which the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan is
based are no longer valid, or whether new information is available
which was not considered during the adoption process or any annual
amendments of the Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan;
4. Whether the
proposed amendment reflects current widely held values of the
residents of Jefferson County.
addition to the required findings set forth above, in order to
recommend approval of a formal site-specific proposal to amend the
Comprehensive Plan, the following findings must also be made:
5. The proposed
site-specific amendment meets concurrency requirements for
transportation and does not adversely affect adopted level of
service standards for other public facilities and services (e.g.,
sheriff, fire and emergency medical services, parks, fire flow, and
general governmental services);
6. The proposed
site-specific amendment is consistent with the goals, policies and
implementation strategies of the various elements of the Jefferson
7. The proposed
site-specific amendment will not result in probable significant
adverse impacts to the county's transportation network, capital
facilities, utilities, parks, and environmental features that cannot
be mitigated, and will not place uncompensated burdens upon existing
or planned service capabilities;
8. In the case
of a site-specific amendment to the land use map, that the subject
parcels are physically suitable for the requested land use
designation and the anticipated land use development, including but
not limited to the following:
Provision of utilities; and
Compatibility with existing and planned surrounding
The proposed site-specific amendment will not
create a pressure to change the land use designation of other
properties, unless the change of land use designation for other
properties is in the long-term best interests of the county as a
The proposed site-specific amendment does not
materially affect the land use and population growth projections
that are the bases of the Comprehensive
If within an unincorporated urban growth area
(UGA), the proposed site-specific amendment does not materially
affect the adequacy or availability of urban facilities and
services to the immediate area and the overall UGA;
The proposed amendment is consistent with the
Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW), the County-Wide
Planning Policy for Jefferson County, any other applicable
inter-jurisdictional policies or agreements, and any other local,
state or federal laws.
the Unified Development Code (UDC)
are available for purchase at DCD and also on the DCD website.
- Completed with one (1) site-specific amendment adopted.
2008 - Completed four
(4) site-specific amendments adopted.
- Completed with six (6) site specific amendments adopted and one
(1) suggested amendment carried over to 2008.
2006 - Completed with
four (4) site-specific amendments adopted.
2005- Six (6) amendments were adopted on December
12, 2005 among a Docket with nine (9) site-specific
amendments and one (1) suggested amendments.
2004 - Amendments
were adopted on December 13, 2004 affecting the following:
Goals, policies, and development regulations for the Airport
Essential Public Facility (AEPF) district and vicinity.
Agricultural Lands of Local Importance designation for 220 parcels
of real property.
Replacement Comprehensive Plan elements related to mandated 2004
update and discretionary Planning Commission periodic assessment.
2003 - Amendments were
adopted on December 8, 2003 affecting the land use designation
for three parcels, the boundary of a Mineral Resource Land overlay
district at the Penny Creek Quarry in Quilcene, designations and
policy language for Agricultural Lands, and policy language related
to protecting aquifers against seawater intrusion.
2002 - Concluded with
adoption of Comprehensive Plan and UDC amendments affecting, among
other subjects, the Hadlock/Irondale area, Glen Cove, and Brinnon.
(See topic headings below.)
UDC Amendments - Since
adoption December 2000:
- UDC amendments adopted on December 13, 2002 in
2002 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle
affect the following topics: Forest Transition Overlay District
(Section 3.6.14), Comprehensive Plan amendment application
deadlines (Sections 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6), Glen Cove Light Industrial
District (Tables 3-1 and 6-1), stormwater management standards
(Section 6.7), and the Brinnon Subarea (Sections 3.6.12, 3.6.14,
3.7, 4.17, 4.20,4.35 and Table 8-1).
- Adoption on December 13,
2002 (with a technical correction on December 20) of the
Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington,
issued by the Washington State
Department of Ecology in August 2001, as the set of stormwater
management standards for all new development and redevelopment in
Jefferson County. The 2001 Manual replaces the previously
utilized 1992 Ecology stormwater manual.
Visit the Stormwater Management page for links to news
items, information sheets, and training and education
- UDC amendments to implement a Settlement
Agreement with the Washington Environmental Council (WEC)
concerning protections for environmentally sensitive areas, in
particular Wetlands and Fish and Wildlife Habitat Areas. Documents
associated with case number MLA02-485 include:
- Additional provisions for protecting groundwater in
Jefferson County, particularly against seawater intrusion. The BOCC
established a policy and amended the UDC in the year 2002 as a result of a Growth Management Act
(GMA) compliance process. In June of 2003, the BOCC adopted
additional regulations based upon a recommendation from the Planning
Commission. In early 2004, the Western Washington Growth Management
Hearings Board determined that the County's policies and regulations
for seawater intrusion comply with the GMA.
to link to a page dedicated to seawater intrusion policy,
including adopted policy and regulations and corresponding maps of
Seawater Intrusion Protection Zones (SIPZ).
- In early 2004, the County adopted an Epilogue to the
Brinnon Subarea Plan that included associated UDC amendments.
Brinnon Subarea Plan page for more
- UDC amendments as part of the
2004 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle
associated with the establishment of two "Airport Overlay
Districts" around the Jefferson County International Airport
and development regulations for the Airport Essential Public
Facility (AEPF) district.
Airport planning issues page for
- Housekeeping amendments
to correct, clarify, and improve language in the UDC, as well as amendments to
improve efficiency in development application review, per
direction from the Board of County Commissioners. These
amendments are packaged as the "UDC Omnibus"
and were adopted on July 10, 2006.
information, please contact:
Department of Community Development
Port Townsend WA 98368
Fax: 360-379-4451 E-mail: