County plan updates will affect quality of life

Rick Sorrels

Your life and property are controlled by laws set in place by Pierce County government. The Pierce County Comprehensive Plan, the Key Peninsula Community Plan and the Pierce County Shoreline Plan are being amended.

Pierce County Comprehensive Plan

A comprehensive plan for all of Pierce County is required by state statutes, which require periodic review and revision. The current update must be completed by June 30, 2015.

In addition to land use planning, the plan also covers housing, parks and open space, community health and wellbeing, environmentally sensitive areas, historic preservation and public services and facilities.

Growth is the primary driving factor. For every five people currently living in unincorporated Pierce County, there will be one more by 2030. The Key Peninsula is growing at an even faster rate.

Pierce County has labeled its community plan update process “Realize 2030,” and will be gathering input from citizens and its subcomponents through the end of 2014. For information, visit

Key Peninsula Community Plan

A subcomponent of the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan is the Key Peninsula Community Plan, which identifies the specialized needs and requirements of the KP. For example, the KP has no incorporated city where businesses are normally located, so other provisions must be made for commercial uses in order to accommodate the needs of KP residents.

The Key Peninsula Advisory Commission (KPAC) will be gathering citizen comments and making recommendations for updates. There will be a booth at the Livable Community Fair at the Key Peninsula Civic Center on May 10, and an open house also at the civic center on May 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Pierce County Shoreline Plan

Shoreline use is a special subject, with its own separate plan, and of vital concern to KP residents because the shorelines of the Key and Gig Harbor Peninsulas comprise the majority of all of Pierce County’s shoreline.

The review process has included heated discussions regarding water access and restrictions, docks and piers, geoduck harvesting, set backs, open space, bulkheads, permitting costs and returning established usage back to its natural conditions.

A well-attended public hearing for the Pierce County Council’s Community Development Committee was held at the Peninsula High School auditorium on April 3. Many amendments are being considered. The next local public hearing will also be held at the PHS auditorium, on July 17, at 5:30 p.m., 14105 Purdy Drive NW, Gig Harbor.

Amendments are scheduled for a vote by the County Council on July 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the council chambers, room 1045 of the city/county building, 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Tacoma.

Public comments are encouraged. For information, see, or contact Debby Hyde at