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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Commerce / Services & Assistance / Local Government / Growth Management Services / Growth Management Planning Topics / GMA Periodic Update

Growth Management Act Periodic Update


Every county and city in the state is required to conduct a periodic update of its comprehensive plan and development regulations, though the obligation varies depending on whether the jurisdiction is fully or partially planning (RCW 36.70A.130(1)). This webpage provides resources for completing the periodic update: the “Keeping Your Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations Current” guidebook and its appendices. Appendix D includes checklists that local governments can use to ensure their comprehensive plans and developments address the minimum requirements of the Growth Management Act (GMA).

The guidebook explains when and how to go through the necessary steps in the periodic update process. The level of effort and timing of the update steps will vary depending on how recently your community has comprehensively updated its plan, the size of your community, and other factors. 

Counties and cities must be in compliance with the requirements of the GMA, including the periodic update requirements, to be eligible for grants and loans from certain state infrastructure programs.  Growth Management Services maintains a list of local governments who are in compliance to help applicants and funding programs  implement this requirement.  When you take legislative action that meets your update requirement, make sure you send the adopting ordinance or legislation to Commerce clearly identifying it as part of the update.  This will allow Commerce to keep information about your city or county complete and up-to-date.  For more information and to see a list of jurisdictions and their current compliance please read the GMA Compliance Status Report.


Frequently Asked Questions

Periodic Update Deadline Extensions



Keeping your Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations Current:

A Guide to the Periodic Update Process under the Growth Management Act (Revised Edition 2015-16)


Guidebook Appendices


Appendix A - Maps

GMA Update Schedule Map - Deadlines 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, updated 9/2012


Appendix B - Sample Update Work Program 


Appendix C - Example Resolutions and Ordinances


Appendix D - Checklists

Periodic Update Checklist for Cities (MS Word) - A checklist for cities to help guide them through the requirements of the 8-year Periodic Update under the GMA (comprehensive plans and development regulations). Updated July 2014
Periodic Update Checklist for Counties (MS Word) - A checklist for counties to help guide them through the requirements of the 8-year Periodic Update under GMA (comprehensive plans and development regulations). Updated July 2014
Expanded Checklist for Comprehensive Plans (MS Word) - A checklist for comprehensive plans - includes GMA requirements and good ideas. Updated July 2014
Expanded Checklist for Development Regulations (MS Word) - A checklist for development regulations - includes GMA requirements and good ideas.  Updated July 2014


Appendix E - Changes to the Growth Management Act


Appendix F - Critical Areas



Appendix G - Resource Lands


Appendix H - Good Examples


Appendix I- Other Planning Guidance and Resources

EZ-View - Is a free online tool brought to you through a partnership of the Washington State Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA), the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), and the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC).  EZ-View is intended for projects where the need for transparency, accuracy, and accountability is high.
Brownfields - for Policy Makers and Planners


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