The Short Course on Local Planning is a three-hour workshop covering:

  • An overview of the complex mix of land use planning laws that work together to support land-use decision-making in Washington state;
    An introduction to comprehensive planning and plan implementation under the Growth Management Act;
  • A review of the roles in planning and best practices for public participation; and
  • Mandatory training on the Open Public Meetings Act for local government officials.

    All courses are offered at no charge and are open to the public.

Call for Short Courses in the Spring of 2019!

We presented more than 20 short courses in 2018, serving more than 500 attendees including two tribal courses and one special short course on affordable housing. See our 2018 Annual Report.

Commerce is now taking requests for courses in the Spring of 2019. Requests must come from a city, county, or tribe. Please give us at least six weeks to set up and advertise the course. Please email requests to Anne.Fritzel@commerce.wa.gov.

Upcoming Short Courses

A Special Short Course on Affordable Housing
Hosted by the City of Ellensburg
Hal Holmes Community Center
209 N Ruby Street
Ellensburg, WA 92986
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Special Short Course on Affordable Housing
Hosted by Kitsap County
Kitsap County Commissioner’s Chambers
619 Division Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Thursday, March 14, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Kenmore
Kenmore City Hall
18120 68th Avenue NE
Kenmore, WA 98028
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Burlington
Burlington City Council Chambers
833 South Spruce Street
Burlington, WA 98233
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Camas
Lacamas Lake Lodge
227 NW Lake Road
Camas, WA 98607
Monday, April 8, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Normandy Park
Normandy Park Community Club
1500 SW Shorebrook Drive
Normandy Park, WA 98166
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
6:15-9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Othello
Othello City Council Chambers
500 East Main Street
Othello, WA 99344
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Special Short Course on Affordable Housing
Preceding the 2019 Planning Association of Washington Spring Conference
Campbell’s Resort
104 West Woodin Avenue
Chelan, WA 98816
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Enumclaw
Enumclaw City Council Chambers
1339 Griffin Avenue
Enumclaw, WA 98022
Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:15 – 9:15 p.m.
A Short Course on Local Planning
Hosted by the City of Mukilteo
Mukilteo City Hall
11930 Cyrus Way
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Read the Guidebook

Watch the Videos

New Basic Short Course Videos
Introduction to the Short Course. 5 minutes
Comprehensive Planning Basics. 11 minutes
Implementing Your Plan. 10 minutes
Updating Your Plan. 10 minutes
Washington’s Legal Framework for Land Use Planning. 7 minutes
Constitutional Issues and Other Protections. 8 minutes
Roles and Responsibilities in Planning. 7 minutes
Public Participation and Effective Meetings. 7 minutes
Open Public Meetings Act. 27 minutes     OPMA Certificate
Appearance of Fairness Doctrine. 17 minutes

Short Course Video Study Guide
Get credit for taking the Short Course!

A Basic Short Course on Local Planning – Recorded at Marysville, 1/25/2012
Short Course 1: Basic Introduction. 4 minutes
Short Course 2: Legal Presentation. 78 minutes
Short Course 3: Comprehensive Planning. 28 minutes
Short Course 4: Planning Roles and Citizen Participation. 42 minutes

Special Topic Short Course Videos

Infill Development for Small Cities – Recorded at Tumwater City Hall, 5/28/2014
Infill Development 1: Infill Development and the Big Picture. 21 minutes
Infill Development 2: Regulatory Tools for Infill Development. 31 minutes
Infill Development 3: Incentives for Infill Development. 31 minutes
Infill Development 4: Local Examples of Infill Planning and Development from the Cities of Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey. 51 minutes
Infill Development 5: Local Infill Development Projects. 18 minutes

Sustainable Development
– Recorded at Lacey City Hall, 11/12/2013
Sustainable Development 1: An introduction to the short course and the reasons planning for sustainable communities is important. 20 minutes
Sustainable Development 2: An overview of the development of the Sustainable Thurston regional plan    including presentations from local government officials and other entities on implementing the plan. 74 minutes
Sustainable Development 3: Examples from two cities on their plans for sustainability. This segment features speakers from Mountlake Terrace and Redmond. 38 minutes

Economic Development – Recorded at Fife Dacca Barn, 03/14/2013
Economic Development 1: An introduction to the short course. 2 minutes
Economic Development 2: Innovative ideas for economic development. 41 minutes
Economic Development 3: Legal primer on planning and development in Washington. 43 minutes
Economic Development 4: The New Economy and implications for community planning. 30 minutes

Urban Forestry – Recorded at Western Washington University, 11/28/2012
Urban Forestry 1: An introduction to the short course. 4 minutes
Urban Forestry 2: The process and basics of comprehensive planning. 19 minutes
Urban Forestry 3: Benefits of trees, current regulations, and programs. 35 minutes
Urban Forestry 4: Installation, maintenance, and program management. 41 minutes
Urban Forestry 5: Integrating urban forestry with comprehensive planning. 11 minutes