Achievement awards mark Growth Management Act (GMA) 25th Anniversary

16 cities, four counties, and one regional planning council recognized for outstanding examples of planning under the GMA and implementing those plans.

Governor Jay Inslee today announced the “Lifetime of GMA” Achievement Awards.  These awards mark the 25th anniversary of Washington’s Growth Management Act (GMA) on Nov. 13 and recognize some of the inspiring efforts by communities throughout the state to envision and plan for their future. The honorees were selected from the pool of past Governor’s Smart Communities Award winners.

“Quality of life is one of the chief reasons people choose to live, work and play in Washington State – it’s foundational to a thriving community and economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Over the 25 years since the inception of the Growth Management Act, these projects showcase successful collaborations it takes to effectively plan for business expansion, revitalization of a downtown area and promote jobs, housing, community amenities and regional transit facilities. I’m pleased to recognize these outstanding efforts on this important anniversary.”

  • Cities of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland and Benton and Franklin Countiesworked together to integrate their shoreline plans in order to create a 23-mile paved trail along the Columbia River shoreline.  The Tri-Cities Rivershore Enhancement Council Sacagawea Heritage Trail project was a 10-year effort.
  • King County and the City of Seattle developed a unique strategy for transfer of development rights and infrastructure funding. They succeeded in implementing key goals of the state’s GMA, the county-wide planning policies, and the city and county comprehensive plans. This work reflects all the criteria inherent in being recognized as one of the great examples of planning with GMA.
  • Thurston Regional Planning Council(Thurston County, cities of Bucoda, Lacey, Olympia, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater, Yelm) produced “Creating Places-Preserving Spaces,” a sustainable development plan for the Thurston Region from a three-year community conversation by Thurston County and its seven cities. They engaged a record number of participants in the process, resulting in leaders and residents dedicated to using sustainability thinking in regional and local decision making.
  • Cities recognized for winning plans in multiple yearsshow a pattern of planning and implementation through tenacity, vision and partnerships:
    • City of Ellensburg:“An Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy” showed innovation, stewardship and great infrastructure planning. The resulting land development code is an excellent model for promoting higher density, affordable housing and multi-modal transportation.
    • City of Redmondhas been recognized six times since 2006 for its superb job of zeroing in on exactly what planning is needed by the community. They tackled problematic areas and produced great models for suburban downtowns and neighborhoods.
    • City of Renton, through their many winning projects, they have identified goals and implementation strategies that ensure growth will occur in a way that enhances and sustains essential elements of a livable community.
    • City of Tacoma“hit the target on all issues” according to Smart Communities Awards judges. Many communities could benefit from their excellent examples of collaboration, vision, and smart practical planning.  From mixed-use centers, Subarea plan, to the one-mile historic railroad corridor through downtown Tacoma, they accomplished a signature public space integral to their strategy for the renaissance of the city’s central core.
    • City of Walla Wallawas commended multiple times for their flexibility and vision in using all the tools of the Growth Management Act to meet the vision developed by the public and their partners.

Award winners will be celebrated during the GMA 25th Anniversary Event, Nov. 13, 2015, at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Hear from Washington State GMA founders and current leaders. Listen to two inspiring panels – one looking back at the record of successful and not-so-successful efforts to implement GMA, and one considering the future work needed to meet the goals of protecting our unique natural environment, improving our economy and ensuring the livability of our communities.
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