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Island County > Planning > Comprehensive Plan

Comprehensive Plan Update:

The 2016 update to the the Island County Comprehensive Plan was adopted on December 13, 2016. 


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Comprehensive plans are long-range in nature and serve as policy guides for how a jurisdiction plans to manage growth and development with respect to the natural environment and available resources.  Washington State law (36.70A.040 RCW) requires that jurisdictions operating under the Growth Management Act (GMA) develop comprehensive plans and development regulations that are not only consistent with, but implement their respective comprehensive plans (36.70A RCW).

The GMA requires that comprehensive plans consist of the following elements: land use, housing, capital facilities, utilities, rural (for counties), transportation, economic development, and park and recreation (36.70A.070 RCW). A comprehensive plan may also include additional elements (these being optional) that relate to the physical development within its respective jurisdiction. Examples of optional elements include: conservation, historic preservation, and subarea plans  (36.70A.080 RCW).

Island County adopted its original GMA Comprehensive Plan on September 28, 1998 (with an effective date of December 1, 1998 – (see Ordinance C-123-98). Since that time, amendments to various elements within the Island County Comprehensive Plan (ICCP) have been made on an annual basis as allowed by law (36.70A.130(2)(a) RCW).

The GMA also requires that jurisdictions periodically review their comprehensive plans and implementing development regulations in their entirety and, if needed, revise them. Island County is required to have this review and revision completed by June 30, 2016 and every eight (8) years thereafter (36.70A.130(5)(b) RCW). Opportunities for public participation in this process will be provided (see 36.70A.035 RCW).

Island County Code (ICC) Chapter 16.26 describes the County’s review procedure for amendments to the ICCP and development regulations. Section 16.26.060 ICC allows for any Person to propose an amendment to the ICCP or implementing development regulations. Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPAs) and Development Regulation Amendments (DRAs) are processed as Type IV Legislative Decisions by the Board of Island County Commissioners (BICC).



The 2016 update was adopted on December 13, 2016  (Ordinance C-139-16). 

Download the entire plan as one large file (45MB)

Below are links to the ICCP by chapter/section.     

Cover, Table of Contents, Acronynms, Definitions

Element 1​​

Land Use

​Element 2

Economic Development

​Element 3

Shoreline Managment

​Element 4


​Element 5

Historic Preservation

​Element 6​

Natural Resources

​Element 7

Parks & Recreation

​Element 8


​Element 9


​Element 10

Capital Facilities Element

      10A.  Capital Facilities Plan

      10B.  Capital Improvement Program


​GMA Consistency Matrix

Population Growth Analysis & Accommodations

Public Participation

Large Format Maps (11 x 17s)


The Freeland Subarea Plan was also updated in 2016, as well as code revisions (Ord C-140-16) and map revisions (Ord C-141-16) to implement the plan.

Related Document:  The County-Wide Planning Policies were updated in 2015 as a part of the 2016 periodic review and update process.


Page Last Updated: 12/20/2016

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