Growth Management Act Laws and Rules

The Washington State Capitol grounds in springtime

Current Growth Management Act Rulemaking

Growth Management Services initiated rulemaking to update Washington Administration Code Chapters 365-196 (Procedural Criteria for Adopting Comprehensive Plans and Development Regulations) and 365-190 (Minimum Guidelines to Classify Agricultural, Forest and Mineral Lands and Critical Areas) and 365-191 (Voluntary Stewardship Program Approval Procedures).  The administrative code update will include the review of these chapters to ensure they incorporate references to the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) and address agricultural regulations in critical areas ordinances.

The Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (CR-101) was filed on June 22, 2016 with formal rules anticipated to be adopted by late summer, 2017.  Commerce will keep interested parties engaged throughout the process. Opportunities for input and review of the draft rule will be made available as we move forward.

For information please visit the
project web site.

You may also contact Gen Dial with the Growth Management Services Unit at (509) 218-2934 or  Interested parties may also sign up to receive information and participate in the formulation of proposed rules by contacting

Growth Management Act RCWs

Chapter 36.70A RCW - Growth Management-Planning by Selected Counties and Cities

Chapter 36.70B RCW - Local Project Review

Chapter 36.70C RCW - Judicial Review of Land Use Decisions

Notice of Decision - Ferry County Compliance Determination

In 2014, the Legislature adopted Engrossed House Bill 1224 which authorized a process for counties with a population of 20,000 or fewer inhabitants to withdraw from fully planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA). A county that is out of compliance with the GMA is required to address any outstanding issues in their comprehensive plan or development regulations and submit an application to Commerce for a determination of compliance. Ferry County submitted an application on November 3, 2016. After reviewing the record, our agency determined that the County addressed the outstanding issues of noncompliance identified by the Growth Management Hearings Board and the Courts.

For additional information about this decision please contact Dave Andersen at or review our analysis here: Ferry County Compliance Determination

Current GMA and Related Laws

Growth Management Services
Growth Management Act and Related Laws Booklet, August 2016 (PDF)

Growth Management Act Amendment Changes 1995-2015 (no amendments for 2016) (PDF)

Washington Administrative Code (Rules)

Chapter 365-185 WAC - Procedures for management of growth management planning and environmental review fund

Chapter 365-190 WAC - Minimum guidelines to classify agriculture, forest, mineral lands and critical areas

Chapter 365-195 WAC - Best Available Science

Chapter 365-196 WAC - Procedural criteria for adopting comprehensive plans and development regulations

Chapter 365-197 WAC - Project Consistency

Chapter 365-198 WAC - Interlocal terms and conditions for the transfer of development rights

Chapter 365-199 WAC - Procedures for making a determination of compliance for jurisdictions seeking voluntary reversion to partial planning status