Longview’s Comprehensive Plan Update is Completed
On January 11, the Longview City Council officially adopted its revised Longview Comprehensive Plan. Last formally reviewed in 1993, the City has been in the process of updating the plan for the past two years.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
The purpose of a Comprehensive Plan is to anticipate growth and to guide this growth in a manner that will provide a community with a balance of land uses that promote economic growth while retaining a superior quality of life component. A Comprehensive Plan is a guide for all future activities by City Government. The current Comprehensive Plan was adopted on August 12, 1993. A new Comprehensive Plan is currently being drafted, and will involve the participation of governmental agencies, the business community, and the citizens of Longview.
The Comprehensive Plan is the central statement of public policy of the City, and contains the City's goals, objectives, and operating policies for land use and development. The plan, through its goals, becomes a framework for guiding responsible growth and action by the City. However, the plan is not intended to stifle growth or development. Rather, it sets guidelines for growth to occur in a responsible and orderly manner. A secondary function of the Plan is as a reference source containing demographic, financial, and quality of life information about the City, and the availability and timing of certain infrastructure improvements.
The Longview Comprehensive Plan is intended to meet the requirements of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35A.63, the basic enabling act for planning in zoning activities in code cities, such as Longview, that operate under the Optional Municipal Code of state law.
The City uses the Comprehensive Plan as a yardstick for measuring its future activities, particularly the crafting of ordinances that relate to zoning, land use and development. The Comprehensive Plan provides a consistent framework for legislative and administrative action, always steering the City toward the desired future and away from a patchwork of laws and rules that conflict with the Plan's vision or with one another.
The Longview Comprehensive Plan also meets the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) for counties and cities that are not fully planning under the Act. However, counties and those cities within counties not fully planning under the Act are still required to develop consistency between their comprehensive plans and their development regulations. This consistency is accomplished by adopting development regulations, such as a zoning ordinance and a zoning map, that implement the land use goals and policies contained within the Comprehensive Plan. The zoning map will help achieve the goals and policies specifically laid out in the Plan's Land Use Element.
In short, over the 20-year planning horizon of the Comprehensive Plan, its contents will be referred to again and again as the City Council and various city departments make decisions on laws, rules, and regulations and programs. Always, the underlying motivation will be to see to it that the City of Longview in 20 years is as close as we can make it to the city of the future described in the Plan's vision statement.
The 1993 Comprehensive Plan for the City of Longview is available for review in its entirety at the Community Development Department, Longview City Hall, 1525 Broadway. Copies may also be purchased for $11.00 each in this office. The proposed Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for completion in late 2005.