Growth Management Act Laws and Rules
The Washington State Growth Management Act requires cities and counties to develop comprehensive plans and development regulations for their communities. This page serves as a resource for laws and rules that are required to implement the Growth Management Act.
Growth Management Act - Revised Code of Washington
Growth Management Act Amendments
The following is a link to a summary of GMA amendments from 1995 to 2023. Growth Management Act Amendments 1995-2023 (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
Current Growth Management Act Rulemaking
GMS is updating administrative rules for the Growth Management Act to address recent legislation on housing, permitting, development regulations, urban growth areas, and rural development. Rulemaking will reflect recommendations in the technical guidance that GMS developed to support local government planning for increased densities, housing types, and considerations of displacement, exclusion and racially disparate impacts in local housing policies.
The Department of Commerce adopted changes to Chapter 365-190, Chapter 365-195, and Chapter 365-196 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) on March 29, 2023.
Commerce initiated the rulemaking process on December 29, 2020 and worked with state agencies, local governments, tribal governments, and other stakeholders to develop a project scope and consider proposed changes to our administrative rules. Commerce hosted listening sessions in 2021 to discuss the project scope on June 30, July 19, July 26 and July 28. Commerce hosted public meetings in 2021 to review preliminary changes on December 1, December 8, December 9 and December 13. After making changes based on public feedback, GMS held two public hearings in 2022 on July 26 and July 27.