The City of Wenatchee is required to maintain an up-to-date comprehensive plan in accordance with the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) (see Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 36.70A). The GMA establishes the primacy of the comprehensive plan as the foundation for local planning decisions. Consequently, development regulations (zoning, subdivision) and other forms of implementation, including capital facility projects, must be consistent with adopted comprehensive plans.
The Wenatchee Urban Area Comprehensive Plan (9.43MB) was thoroughly reviewed and updated in accordance with the City's Public Participation Plan during 2006 and 2007. The previous major plan effort occurred in 1988, with an update to Growth Management standards in 1993.
Much has changed in the ensuing years. The City has continued to see steady population and commercial growth. Growth has spread out to the logical geographic boundaries of the City, including the foothills to the west and the rivers to the east and north. Wenatchee is facing some tough decisions on how to accommodate growth while protecting the quality of life. Land use, housing, transportation and public facilities and services are all critical to the development of Wenatchee.
In addition to the Introduction, the Wenatchee Urban Area Comprehensive Plan has 11 elements. These 11 topics include: Land Use / Urban Growth Area, Transportation, Housing, Economic Development, Cultural and Historic Resources, Community Design, Parks, Recreation and Open Space, Natural Environment, Public Facilities and Services, Capital Facilities Financing Plan, and Utilities. In addition to goals and policies associated with each element, the plan defines the Wenatchee Urban Growth Area (UGA), which is the boundary around City limits where urban growth is intended to occur over the next 20 years, and designates land use classifications for all properties within the UGA. Such land use classifications are then implemented through the Wenatchee Zoning Code and associated zoning map. The plan also includes a circulation map, which identifies all future roads and areas in need of improved circulation and classifies roads as a local, collector, minor arterial, or principal arterial.
Amendments to the comprehensive plan can only be made once each year, except in cases of emergency. Amendments may be made to the text of the plan or to map designations within the plan such as land use reclassification. The 2012 comprehensive plan amendment schedule is as follows:
- Comprehensive Plan Amendment Form: Due Friday, April 9, 2012. Completed forms (including a completed Environmental Checklist) must be received by the Department of Community Development, located at 1350 McKittrick Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801
- April: Applications will be reviewed by department staff. Proposed amendments will be circulated to the appropriate agencies for comment and property owners within 350 feet of property-specific requests will also be notified
- May-June: Proposed comprehensive plan amendments 60-day official public comment period
- July: Recommended comprehensive plan amendments will be considered by the Planning Commission at one or more public hearings
- August: Recommendations made by the Planning Commission will be considered by the City Council for adoption at one or more public hearings
- September: Adopted comprehensive plan amendments will be submitted to Chelan County Department of Community Development to be adopted in unincorporated areas of the Wenatchee Urban Growth Area.