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A Short Course on Local Planning 

The Basic Short Course on Local Planning is a three-hour workshop covering:
  1. An introduction to comprehensive planning and plan implementation under the Growth Management Act (GMA).
  2. An overview of the complex mix of land use planning laws that work together to support land use decision-making in Washington State.
  3. Training on the Open Public Meetings Act fulfilling ESB 5964(Laws of 2014) training requirements for local government officials.
  4. A review of the roles in planning and best practices for public participation.

All courses are offered at no charge and open to the public. Download the 2015 Short Course Report.

ATTEND: Upcoming Short Courses 

Courses for 2016 are being scheduled. Please send an email to or call 360-725-3064 to host a Short Course in your community in the coming year.

Lewis County Short Course for Very Small Communities - June 8, 2016, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Kittitas County Short Course - June 15, 2016, 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
City of Sunnyside Short Course - September 8, 2016, 6:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
City of Burien Short Course - September 28, 2016, 6:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
Lacey - Olympia Short Course - September 29, 2016, 6:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.

Short Courses being planned for 2016 -

READ: A Short Course on Local Planning Guidebook

Download full guidebook (PDF) or get on CD (July 2009)
Chapter 11 Supplement on Planning for Sustainable Development (November 2013)
Chapter 12 Supplement on Planning Infill Development for Small Cities (November 2014)

WATCH: Short Course Videos

New Basic Short Course Videos You-Tube Playlist
Introduction to the Short Course. 5 minutes
Comprehensive Planning Basics. 11 minutes
Implementing Your Plan. 10 minutes
Updating Your Plan. 10 minutes
Washington's Legal Framework for Land Use Planning. 7 minutes
Constitutional Issues and Other Protections. 8 minutes
Roles and Responsibilities in Planning. 7 minutes
Public Participation and Effective Meetings. 7 minutes
Open Public Meetings Act. 27 minutes     Certificate of Completion
Appearance of Fairness Doctrine. 17 minutes

Short Course Video Study Guide
Get credit for taking the Short Course!

A Basic Short Course on Local Planning - Recorded at Marysville, 1/25/2012
Short Course 1: Basic Introduction. 4 minutes
Short Course 2: Legal Presentation. 78 minutes
Short Course 3: Comprehensive Planning. 28 minutes
Short Course 4: Planning Roles and Citizen Participation. 42 minutes

Special Topic Short Course Videos

Infill Development for Small Cities - Recorded at Tumwater City Hall, 5/28/2014
Infill Development 1: Infill Development and the Big Picture. 21 minutes
Infill Development 2: Regulatory Tools for Infill Development. 31 minutes
Infill Development 3: Incentives for Infill Development. 31 minutes
Infill Development 4: Local Examples of Infill Planning and Development from the Cities of Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey. 51 minutes
Infill Development 5: Local Infill Development Projects. 18 minutes

Sustainable Development - Recorded at Lacey City Hall, 11/12/2013 

Sustainable Development 1: An introduction to the short course and the reasons planning for sustainable communities is important. 20 minutes 
Sustainable Development 2: An overview of the development of the Sustainable Thurston regional plan    including presentations from local government officials and other entities on implementing the plan. 74 minutes 
Sustainable Development 3: Examples from two cities on their plans for sustainability. This segment features speakers from Mountlake Terrace and Redmond. 38 minutes
Economic Development - Recorded at Fife Dacca Barn, 03/14/2013
Economic Development 1: An introduction to the short course. 2 minutes
Economic Development 2: Innovative ideas for economic development. 41 minutes
Economic Development 3: Legal primer on planning and development in Washington. 43 minutes
Economic Development 4: The New Economy and implications for community planning. 30 minutes
Urban Forestry - Recorded at Western Washington University, 11/28/2012
Urban Forestry 1: An introduction to the short course. 4 minutes
Urban Forestry 2: The process and basics of comprehensive planning. 19 minutes
Urban Forestry 3: Benefits of trees, current regulations, and programs. 35 minutes
Urban Forestry 4: Installation, maintenance, and program management. 41 minutes
Urban Forestry 5: Integrating urban forestry with comprehensive planning. 11 minutes
DOWNLOAD: Short Course Resources
Short Course on Planning Presentations - Coming soon!
Short Course on Local Planning Slide Deck
Short Course on Local Planning Hand-out
Short Course on Local Planning Slide Deck - Tablet Compatible
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