Comprehensive Land Use Plan rolled out for review

Published 11:24 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

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The City of Washington rolled out its Comprehensive Land Use Plan, last week. The plan guides the City into the next 25-years by showing how residents would like to see the city change and grow as well as address current and future issues. The plan aims to balance responsible growth with natural resource conservation, according to the City of Washington. 

Writing the Comprehensive Land Use Plan are the City of Washington’s Planning Board, City Council members, city staff, representatives from several agencies and comments from residents, business owners and the general public were used. 

The overall vision for the City of Washington’s future is, according to the plan, “the City of Washington will be a resilient, sustainable, family-friendly, waterfront community while celebrating its cultural and natural heritage and being a desirable destination for businesses and tourists. Washington will strive for an equitable and inclusive high quality of life where residents can live, work, and play during the best years of life.” 

To fulfill that vision, there are ten goals the city hopes to achieve in the next 25 years. Those goals include: economic growth and revitalization, enhance parks and recreation opportunities, promoting the city’s history, inclusive and equitable public service, facilities and participation in governance, adding more diverse housing options, fiscally responsible growth, a more accessible transportation network, becoming greater stewards of the natural environment and investing in new and existing infrastructure. 

This guideline will help the city decide when and where to make land use development permitting decisions especially when considering rezoning requests as well as where to extend public infrastructure and services. It does not corner those who make decisions about land uses, but it shows what is intended for pieces of land throughout the city. Each rezoning request will be put under review and its impacts to residents’ quality of life, public safety, transportation, infrastructure and environment. It will not be automatically rezoned to reflect the future land use plan. 

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan continues to be edited, but is expected to be adopted this spring. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend the third public meeting on Wednesday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Washington Civic Center (110 Gladden Street).