2016 Governor’s “Smart Communities” Award Winners Announced

One county and seven cities recognized for excellence in growth planning

Winners of the 2016 Washington State Governor’s Smart Communities Awards were announced today by the Department of Commerce, which provides technical assistance to local governments on comprehensive planning under the state’s Growth Management Act. Now in its 11th year, the Smart Communities Awards program recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy and sustainable infrastructure in Washington State.

“These community projects demonstrate how creative, collaborative planning helps shape a strong future for local economies and contribute to the long-term vitality of our state economy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I extend my congratulations to these award winners that are a model for other communities all over Washington State.”

2016 Smart Communities Award winners are:

Smart Vision Award – Comprehensive Planning

City of Shoreline created an exceedingly through and well thought out process for the 185th Street Light Rail Station subarea planning. Excellent example of subarea planning.
City of Duvall Watershed Plan is a strong roadmap for protecting watershed processes and focusing future development in appropriate areas within Duvall and its urban growth area. The Watershed Plan was well focused, a good job in making a technical planning effort understandable and accessible to the public.
City of Colfax 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update. For a very small jurisdiction not required to fully plan under the GMA the city developed an impressive, solid and forward looking plan.

Smart Choices Award – Implementation of a Comprehensive Plan

City of Bellingham for its Alabama Street Multimodal Safety Improvements project. A complex project that successfully implemented and blended together Bellingham’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans, Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plans, Transportation Mode Shift Goals, Climate Action Plan, WTA’s transit plan, and several Neighborhood Plans.

Smart Partnerships Award – Development Project to Implement a Plan

City of Kenmore project, The Kenmore Village, is a model for other smaller communities wanting to encourage economic growth and revitalize their downtown, increase housing and activate retail in the city center.

Judges’ Merit Award – The judges also selected two projects for a special merit award

City of Renton Public Library partnership with the King County Library System project to preserve and renovate the historic Renton Public Library. Demonstrated tangible benefits to the community by re-establishing the city center as a “people place”.
City of Spokane’s Pedestrian Master Plan for supporting a more walkable Spokane, encouraging a high-quality walking environment that supports increased levels of physical activity, important connections to transit, and more transportation options for all.

Notable 2016 Nominees:

• City of Bremerton – Washington Avenue Community
• City of Auburn – Imagine Auburn 2015 Core Comprehensive Plan
• City of Walla Walla – Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Music Festival
• City of Sequim – 2015-2035 Comprehensive Plan
• City of Renton – Comprehensive Plan
• City of Ridgefield – 2016 Ridgefield Comprehensive Growth Management Plan
• Greater Spokane Incorporated – Spokane County Emergency Comprehensive Plan Amendment 13-CPA-04

“The 2016 Governor’s Smart Communities Award winners reflect the wide variety of efforts and partnerships that make up successful growth management planning in Washington,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Acting on a clear vision for the future strengthens communities. This critical work helps to safeguard the environment, attract employers and support opportunities for all who choose to live, work and play here.”

The award winners will be featured at the Association of Washington Cities annual conference in Everett on June 21-24.

Washington’s comprehensive Growth Management Act has been in place for 26 years. Using it as a framework, local communities plan and implement their vision for the future. For more information on the Governor’s Smart Communities Awards or the Growth Management Act, visit www.commerce.wa.gov/growth.

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