Growth Management Grants

Growth Management Services often has opportunities to fund community planning and development. This page contains information on open grants and current funding cycles for local governments. 

Zoning schematic of Seattle waterfront

Comprehensive Plan – Periodic Update Grants

The Governor and the Legislature made a historic investment in Growth Management Act planning during the 2022 Legislative Session and have continued that into the 2023-2025 fiscal biennium. As a result, we expect to provide grant funding to all counties, and cities within those counties, in advance of their upcoming comprehensive plan and development regulation “periodic updates,” required under RCW 36.70A.130(5)

Funding is Available Under the Following Formula

Grants are available to counties and cities based on fully planning or partially planning status under the GMA, as well as population:

Fully Planning

  • Counties with 100,000 population and over:        $700,000
  • Counties under 100,000 population:                      $350,000
  • Cities with 100,000 population and over:              $325,000
  • Cities with 50,000 to 99,999 population:               $175,000
  • Cities with 3,000 to 49,999 population:                 $125,000
  • Cities under 3,000 population:                                $100,000

Partially Planning

  • Counties with 10,000 population and over:          $150,000
  • Counties under 10,000 population:                        $100,000
  • Cities (No population limits):                                  $20,000

Starting July 1, 2023, counties and cities with a 2025 deadline are eligible to receive the first half of their grant, with the second half coming the following year. Commerce intends to provide these same grant amounts to all counties and cities throughout the update cycle, with due dates from 2024 through 2027, under RCW 36.70A.130(5)(a)-(d). Grants should be available for all jurisdictions starting two years before the statutory deadlines for review and revision, established under RCW 36.70A.130(5).

Grant Requirements

Periodic update grant award notifications and instructions have been distributed to counties and cities with 2024 updates. Counties and cities with 2025 update should expect to receive similar notification this summer, and Commerce will work with you to finalize grant agreements. Jurisdictions are eligible to request grant reimbursement for all periodic update grant work, defined in the grant agreements, beginning July 1, 2023. 

For 2026 jurisdictions, there was a pre-application workshop held via Zoom on April 22, here is the recording of that workshop (Vimeo)

Application Materials

Local agency representatives can select the following links based on their periodic update due date:

Note: Buildable Land Reports & GMA Implementation Reports

In addition to the required periodic update, seven counties (Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom), and the cities within these counties, must also complete a review and evaluation program for buildable lands (i.e. the Buildable Lands Report) every eight years under RCW 36.70A.215.  Adding a new requirement in 2022, HB 1241 requires certain jurisdictions to complete an implementation progress report five years after the end of their periodic update.

Funding is expected to be available to meet those responsibilities in later years. Grants may be used for planning work in need of review, or revised for your comprehensive plan and development regulations as required to meet your periodic updates. If all of the funding is not needed to meet the update requirement, a jurisdiction can use their remaining funds for other planning work beyond the minimum requirements.

Paper to Digital Grant Program

Applications are now open for the Paper to Digital Grant Program. In 2023, SB 5290 amended the Local Project Review Act, RCW 36.70B to consolidate, streamline, and further improve local permit review processes for applicants, customers, planners, builders and designers. This grant program is designed to support cities and counties in the transition from paper to digital permit review processes, and address housing shortages in their jurisdictions and, collectively, across the state.

Funding details

Grants of up to $375,000 are available and will be prioritized based upon responses to questions posed in the grant application. Eligible costs may include those associated with the following activities:

  • Costs to a jurisdiction to fully or partially update their permit review process from paper filing systems to software systems capable of processing digital permit applications, virtual inspections, electronic review, and with capacity for video storage.

Application scoring will prioritize jurisdictions who currently have a paper-only or hybrid permitting system and are experiencing growth pressures measured by increases in population and residential permitting numbers.

Application information

Pre-Application Workshop

Commerce will host a pre-application workshop via Zoom at 10 a.m. on July 25, 2024 to provide more information about this grant opportunity and how to apply. Attendance is not required to apply for a grant.

Questions?

Please contact Growth Management Services. You can email Allan Johnson, Project Manager, at allan.johnson@commerce.wa.gov. Visit Commerce’s Local Project Review webpage for more information.

Salmon Recovery Planning Grants 

The Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the Puget Sound National Estuary Program and the Stormwater and Habitat strategic initiative leads, is offering salmon recovery planning grants to local governments and tribes. These funds aim to advance the Governor’s statewide salmon recovery strategy and align with the Strategic Initiative Leads’ investment priorities.

Funding details

Grants are available to cities and counties, fully and partially planned under the Growth Management Act and federally recognized tribes. We encourage applications that seek to protect and restore salmon habitat with long-range planning objectives.

Approximately $3.2 million in funding is available, including:

  • $2.2 million available to communities statewide
  • $1 million available to communities in the Puget Sound

Up to $2 million in additional funding will be provided and administered by the Habitat Strategic Initiative Lead at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). These funds will layer with the Commerce-administered grant to promote monitoring and adaptive management practices that will improve implementation, consistency, and effectiveness of permitting for critical areas protection in the Puget Sound. These funds may be requested as part of the joint application.

 Application information

Pre-Application virtual workshop

Commerce hosted a pre-application workshop on April 18, 2024, to provide more information about this grant opportunity and how to apply.

Climate Commitment Act Logo

The Salmon Recovery through Local Planning grant program is supported by Washington’s Climate Commitment Act (CCA). The CCA supports Washington’s climate action efforts by putting cap-and-invest dollars to work reducing climate pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health. Information about the CCA is available at www.climate.wa.gov . Commerce works to leverage additional federal and state funding sources as available such as Environmental Protection Agency Puget Sound Geographic Program Funds.

Community-Based Organization Public Participation Grants

Are you interested in shaping the future of your community? Do you want to add voices to the conversation about how your community looks and functions in the future? Is funding a barrier to your participation? If so, then you might be interested in this new funding opportunity.

Recent updates to state law require Commerce to advance participation of vulnerable populations and overburdened communities in comprehensive planning processes. In response, Commerce has established this new grant program.

Funding Details

Commerce has budgeted $2 million of Climate Commitment Act Funds for a community-based participation program. Contract award amounts are between $35,000 and $100,000 for the initial year of the grant program (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025).

Successful applicants will engage in local comprehensive planning processes occurring within cities and counties as a result of funding support. Examples are included in the grant application instructions.

Eligible Applicants

Grant applicants must:

  • Be a Washington State-registered non-profit corporation;
  • Be licensed to do business in Washington State; and,
  • Participate in comprehensive planning activities in one or more of the following counties or cities within these counties: Clallam, Clark, Island, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, Thurston or Whatcom Counties.

Grant Materials and Deadline 

Please review the grant application materials (on Box) for more information. Grant applications are due on May 30, 2024 by 4:00 p.m. PDT. 

An informational pre-application meeting will be held on April 10, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Register for the pre-application meeting (on Zoom). 

Questions? Contact the Application Coordinator at CBOgrants@commerce.wa.gov

Climate Commitment Act Logo

Climate grants from Commerce are provided with funding from Washington’s Climate Commitment Act. The CCA supports Washington’s climate action efforts by putting cap-and-invest dollars to work reducing climate pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health. Information about the CCA is available at www.climate.wa.gov.

Coordinating Low-income Housing Planning (CLIHP) Grant

The 2023-2025 State Operating Budget (Senate Bill 5187) directs Commerce to administer grants and provide technical assistance to cities or counties to support their work planning for and accommodating housing that is affordable for individuals and families earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. One million dollars in grants are available in advance of upcoming updates to local comprehensive plans, consolidated plans, homelessness plans and other efforts.

Funding available for each county or regional application

Grants are available to a county or a city planning department, a homeless housing lead or similar department within a local government, or a local non-profit provider of affordable or homeless housing or services in partnership with one or more local governments. Up to $50,000 in funding is available for each county or regional application, so applicants are encouraged to work together.

Funding is available for a variety of eligible activities, such as coordinating policies and data for these upcoming plans and developing countywide planning policies that support the lowest income housing needs and policies for their distribution. See the Grant Instructions below for more details.

Application Materials

CLIHP grant applications are open on a rolling basis through April 2024 as funds remain available. Completed applications should be submitted to gmsgrants@commerce.wa.gov. Please see the following materials and guidance for grantees.

Climate Planning Grants

The 2023-2025 biennial operating budget (SB 5187 (Section 130)(21)) directs Commerce to administer grants and provide technical assistance to cities and counties to plan for climate change. Commerce will make approximately $30 million available in statewide grants for the 2023-2025 biennium with an expectation that additional resources will be appropriated through the current periodic update. The current application window is closed. Commerce expects to have additional grant application windows. We expect the next funding window to open in the summer of 2024.

Funding is available under the following formula

While funding is available under a formula, cities and counties with a 2025 or 2026 comprehensive plan update due, will receive priority for the current biennium’s available funding. Certain jurisdictions are required to update their comprehensive plan with both a Greenhouse Gas Reduction sub-element and Resilience sub-element. Grant amounts and distribution details are available in the grant instructions. 

Fully Planning Counties

  • $300,000 – $800,000 based on population 

Fully Planning Cities

  • $100,000 – $700,000 based on population

Grant Requirements

Each fully planning city and county is eligible for funding based on applicability (RCW 36.70A.040 (4)). These grants support implementation of HB 1181 (2023). Funding allocation is based on both population and required updates to the comprehensive plan for each jurisdiction.

The following climate planning related activities are eligible for funding:

  • Adopting comprehensive plan policy and development regulation amendments to implement HB 1181 (2023) as applicable.
  • Other planning activities related to implementing HB 1181: A jurisdiction could propose both to adopt a climate element and conduct an implementation activity related to the adopted plan. Implementation activities must be climate planning related and not capital or infrastructure projects. Examples of implementation activities include (but not limited to): development of EV infrastructure plan; municipal building decarbonization plan; urban heat resilience strategy; or, native & climate-resilient planting plans for municipal projects.

Grant Materials

Grant workshop materials

Climate Commitment Act Logo

Climate grants from Commerce are provided with funding from Washington’s Climate Commitment Act. The CCA supports Washington’s climate action efforts by putting cap-and-invest dollars to work reducing climate pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health. Information about the CCA is available at www.climate.wa.gov.

Quick Links

Contact

Periodic Update Grants:
Dave Andersen, AICP Managing Director
Email: Dave.Andersen@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 509-434-4491

Paul Johnson, Operations Support Manager
Email: Paul.Johnson@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3048

CBO Grants:
CBOgrants@commerce.wa.gov

CHIP Grants:
Mischa Venables
CHIP Project Manager
Email: Mischa.Venables@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3088

Climate Grants:
Climate Program Team
GMSClimate@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3114

Coordinating Low-income Housing Planning (CLIHP) Grants:
Laura Hodgson
Housing Planning and Data Manager
Email: Laura.Hodgson@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-764-3143

Middle Housing Grants:
Dave Osaki, AICP
Middle Housing Lead
Email: Dave.Osaki@commerce.wa.gov

Salmon Recovery Planning Grants

Angela San Filippo, AICP

Ecosystem Program Manager

Email: angela.sanfilippo@commerce.wa.gov