What is the Growth Management Act?

The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) is a state law that requires state and local governments to manage Washington's growth by identifying and protecting critical areas and natural resource lands, designating urban growth areas, preparing comprehensive plans, and implementing them through capital investments and development regulations. This approach to growth management is unique among states. GMA was adopted by the Legislature in 1990 (Chapter 36.70A). The GMA was adopted because the Washington State Legislature found that uncoordinated and unplanned growth posed a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the quality of life in Washington. The central premise of the GMA is that spontaneous and unstructured growth and development is wasteful of our natural resource base and costly to the provision of public services and facilities. By managing growth and development, the negative effects can be minimized, and the benefits can be maximized.

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1. What is a Comprehensive Plan?
2. What is the Growth Management Act?
3. Why do we need a Comprehensive Plan?
4. How do I submit changes, make recommendations, or stay involved in the process?
5. Who is responsible for developing and approving the Comprehensive Plan?
6. What is the difference between comprehensive plans and zoning?