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Sammamish Comprehensive Plan 2035

You are invited to participate in the on-going comprehensive plan rewrite! Please check the Planning Commission calendar for the current schedule of review and take a look at the comprehensive plan webpage. It is anticipated that the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council in the first quarter of 2015, and the City Council anticipates adoption of the revised plan by June of 2015.

Generally, in September of each year, the public is invited to submit applications for specific changes to the comprehensive plan or development regulations. Due to the comprehensive re-write work and the participation opportunities available through this process, *there will not be a separate comprehensive plan or development regulations submittal window this September*. Your suggestions, ideas, and comments are welcome input to the comprehensive plan re-write.

We want to hear from you!
Over the next 20 years, much of Sammamish’s projected growth is anticipated for the Town Center area, with a smaller amount of growth happening in other parts of the City. Does this match how you would like to see Sammamish grow and develop? If not, what would you like to see?

As part of the Comprehensive Plan Rewrite, the City must consider ways to encourage physical activity in its land use planning. What would you suggest to encourage physical activity in the City?

For project updates (optional)





The City of Sammamish is required to periodically update its comprehensive plan by the State of Washington, in compliance with state growth management requirements. A comprehensive plan is the centerpiece of local planning and contains goals and policies for different aspects of city development. Elements include housing, transportation, environment & conservation, parks, and utilities. The plan sets the framework for zoning, the development of infrastructure, and provides the basis for changes to the City’s Municipal Code, which in turn inform the day-to-day decisions that incrementally shape our city. The most recent, and only, City of Sammamish Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2003 (extensively amended in 2006). There have been regulatory and policy changes at the state, regional, and county levels since its adoption, and our comprehensive plan must be consistent with these changes. The process will also result in a plan with improved clarity, readability, and usefulness.

If you are interested in a particular topic, please visit the Planning Commission's webpage to find out when comprehensive plan elements are scheduled to be discussed. Dates are subject to change, so please check back frequently!


Q: What is a comprehensive plan?

A: A comprehensive plan is a coordinated policy document that:

  • Guides decisions on land use, transportation, housing, development, capital facilities, parks, economic development, and the environment.
  • Sets level of service standards for certain facilities, such as roads, and how to pay for them.
  • Provides the basis for zoning and development regulations to implement Plan policies.

In short, a comprehensive plan is a blueprint for the future character of the city.

Q: What is the Growth Management Act?

A: The Growth Management Act (GMA) is a state law that was adopted in 1990 to guide planning for growth and development in the state. It requires local governments in fast growing and densely populated counties, including King County and all cities in the County, to develop and adopt comprehensive plans. The GMA provides specific requirements and standards for the contents of comprehensive plans and process for preparing a plan update.

Q: What is required to be in a GMA comprehensive plan?

A: Mandatory elements in a city’s GMA comprehensive plan include land use, housing, transportation, capital facilities, utilities and shorelines. For each required topic, the GMA defines the required policy framework and anticipates that local governments will tailor policy guidance within this framework to meet the community’s vision and local circumstances.

City must accommodate over the next 20-year period. This target drives many of the plan’s policy decisions, such as how much land is designated for future residential or commercial uses. The growth target is established through a regional process and cannot be independently changed by the City. Under the GMA, every city must plan for its fair share of growth within its region.

The City may also include additional optional elements in the comprehensive plan. In addition to the mandatory elements, the City’s current Comprehensive Plan contains environmental conservation and parks, recreation and open space chapters. The City anticipates updating these chapters as part of the overall plan update. In addition, the City plans to add a new sustainability element, based on the City’s recent work on a sustainability strategy, and a new economic development element, based on the on-going work on an economic development strategy.

Q: What do we need to change?

A: The comprehensive plan update will need to address items required by the state or other agency, items in response to amendments that have been made to the GMA since the last version of the comprehensive plan was written, and lastly, items relating to changes in Sammamish, such as the Town Center Plan.

Q: What can we change if we want?

A: The City has the option to revise goals and policies, as well as write new elements (or chapters) that are not required by the GMA, but are beneficial to consider in long-term planning.


Q: Why is Sammamish updating its comprehensive plan now?

A: The City is undertaking this process now primarily because the GMA requires adoption of an updated plan by June 2015.

However, it is also an opportunity to take a look at where we are as a community and to consider where we want to be in the future. The update process can help us to decide where to invest our limited resources so that we choose those things that will bring us a high quality of life.

Q: Why should I get involved?

A: You should get involved if you want to provide input on the character of your community, where and how the City should invest future resources, you have specific hopes or concerns about specific community issues, and many other reasons. For many citizens, participating in this type of planning process is a way to become more deeply involved in the community and to gain a better understanding of the diverse range of perspectives and factors that must be considered in planning for the future.


Q: How is the update going to happen?

A: The Community Development Department has already taken the first major step, which was to hire a consultant who specializes in updating comprehensive plans, ensuring we achieve regulatory compliance. Our first steps with the consultant are to scope the project, as well as to build a public participation program. Later, we will work closely with the Planning Commission to rewrite and refine elements to make sure they address everything they need to and reflect the community’s vision. The plan must also be consistent with King County and Puget Sound Regional Council planning goals and policies. Lastly, the adoption process includes City Council review and approval, as well as approval from the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: As the planning process gets underway, the City will post information to the Comprehensive Plan webpage. The webpage will provide information on where we are in the process, upcoming public events, a listserv sign-up for email notices, and background informational resources. You are invited to participate in public events and workshops and to attend Planning Commission meetings and submit comments. You are also invited to let the City know how you would like to be involved. What is the best way to engage you or your organization in the plan update process? What is the best way to keep you or your organization informed during the process?

Q: How do I go about proposing a change I would like to see?

A: First, consider whether the change you would like to propose is within the scope of this project. Changes that will be evaluated as part of the comprehensive plan update process include area-wide zoning and changes to development regulations. We also invite general input and ideas on policy direction, and we will hold regular public meetings.

Changes outside the scope of the comprehensive plan update process include proposed changes to discrete projects (e.g. the community center), questions regarding annexation, and specific changes to code language.


Q: Who is leading the process?

A: The City Council will provide policy guidance, and the Planning Commission will recommend a plan to the Council for final action based on citizen input

The city planner managing the process is Emily Arteche, Senior Planner with the City of Sammamish Community Development Department. Studio 3MW has been hired as the primary consultant to research and write. All City Departments will contribute to the rewrite effort, by providing data, technical assistance, and other forms of support.


Q: When will the update be complete?

A: As established by the GMA, the deadline for adoption of the updated Comprehensive Plan is June 30, 2015.

Comprehensive Plan Chapters

Updated as of November 2013

Below are updated versions of the comprehensive plan elements, based on ordinances passed since the plan was first adopted in 2003. They contain the goals and policies currently in effect in Sammamish. Please note that these versions do not have tables and maps—certain graphics can only be found in the versions contained in the files below (under “Updated as of December 2005”).

Updated as of December 2005

For current zoning and property information, please refer to: http://www.nwmaps.net/mapsearch.htm

Glossary of Terms

Community Development Department

City department responsible for comprehensive planning and development review & regulation.

Comprehensive Plan

Policy document that informs development regulations and guides future city development. Per the Revised Code of Washington: “[C]omprehensive plan" … means a generalized coordinated land use policy statement of the governing body of a county or city that is adopted pursuant to [the Growth Management Act].

Countywide Planning Policies

The Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) are a series of policies that address growth management issues in King County. The CPPs provide a countywide vision and serve as a framework for each jurisdiction to develop its own comprehensive plan, which must be consistent with the overall vision for the future of King County.

Department of Commerce

State government department that oversees Growth Management Services. The Department of Commerce provides support during the comprehensive plan rewrite process via short courses, checklists, and technical assistance. Growth Management Services also reviews comprehensive plans for compliance with the requirements of the GMA.


Chapter of the comprehensive plan that deals with one topic (e.g. housing, transportation): As defined by the Revised Code of Washington, "Element" means one of the various categories of subjects, each of which constitutes a component part of the comprehensive plan.

Growth Management Act

The Growth Management Act (GMA) is a state law that was adopted in 1990 to guide planning for growth and development in the state. It requires local governments in fast growing and densely populated counties, including King County and all cities in the County, to develop and adopt comprehensive plans. The GMA provides specific requirements and standards for the contents of comprehensive plans and process for preparing a plan update.

Growth Management Planning Council

The Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC) consists of elected officials from King County, Seattle, Bellevue, other cities and towns in King County, special purpose districts, and the Port of Seattle. The GMPC develops and adopts the Countywide Planning Policies, as required by the GMA.

Growth target

The growth target identifies the number of new residents and jobs the City must accommodate over the next 20-year period. The growth target is assigned to the City by the Growth Management Planning Council after a participatory process, based on the overall population project for King County, as determined by the State Office of Financial Management.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is the citizen commission responsible for making recommendations on planning policy and development regulations to the City Council. Planning Commission meetings are a key forum for receiving public input.

Puget Sound Regional Council

PSRC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. They help to ensure that planning issues are addressed at a regional scale, and allows policies to be coordinated and effective.

Background Information

Staff have produced a community profile, containing demographic data, public comment, and other useful data to aid the City Council and Planning Commission’s joint visioning process. The profile helps paint a picture of who we are as a community, and what particular opportunities and challenges we might face in the future, given our unique makeup.

In September of 2013, the cities of Sammamish and Snoqualmie co-hosted a Short Course on Local Planning. Short Courses cover an introduction to Washington's Growth Management Act, Open Public Meetings Act and the mechanics of local planning. Below are presentation materials from the September Short Course.

Comprehensive Plan Resources From Other Jurisdictions and Organizations

Planning Commission Binders

These materials are being provided to the Planning Commission—and the general public--to provide information on the issues, history, and regional trends that will play a role in policy formation for Sammamish. Goals and policies from PSRC’s Vision 2040 and the King County Countywide Planning Policies are key to informing how our city fits into a wider context. We will also include data, research findings, and other relevant information to support sound, data-driven decision making.

Planning Commission Draft 2015 Comprehensive Plan

Updated as of December 30th, 2014

Housing – Meeting dates Oct. 17th, Nov. 7th + Nov. 21st 2013

Parks, Recreation and Open Space – Meeting dates Nov. 7th + Dec. 19th 2013

Health + Comprehensive Planning – Meeting date Dec. 19th 2013

Shorelines – Meeting date Jan. 9th 2014

Sustainability – Meeting dates Jan. 23rd + Mar. 6th 2014

Environment and Conservation Element – Meeting dates Apr. 17th, May 15th, June 19th + July 10th 2014

Utilities and Public Services - Meeting dates May 1st + June 5th 2014

Land Use – Meeting dates Jun. 19th, Jul. 10th + Oct. 2nd 2014

Transportation – Meeting dates Oct. 2nd + Nov. 6th 2014

Capital Facilities – Meeting dates Oct. 16th + Nov. 20th 2014

Public Comment

Public comments received via email, letter, public testimony, brochures, and our periodic online questionnaires are stored in the online Public Comment Summary database.

Staff Contact

If you have questions regarding the Comprehensive Plan please contact Sammamish2035@sammamish.us.