Short Course on Local Planning

The Short Course page contains training materials and registration information for webinars hosted by Commerce on local planning in Washington. Some of these trainings are mandatory for elected officials in our state, and the page includes everything elected officials need to complete those requirements.

Housing manager speaking at a podium

The Short Course on Local Planning includes:

  • 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. For the special events, you are not required to register for the event to attend the Short Course. If you are attending the event, we ask that you register for the Short Course separately using the registration provided. 

Upcoming In-Person Courses

There are no currently planned in-person Short Courses, but we expect several courses this fall. 

2024 Short Courses

Tuesday, June 25, 20241:00 – 4:00 p.m.Zoom

Quick Links

Need help?


Or contact Suzanne Austin, AICP
Phone: 509-407-7955

Current Program Status

Regular Short Courses are still being held online, but we are starting to provide in-person training at events. Please contact us if you need a speaker for an event in Washington. If you can’t attend an event or an online course, we invite you to view the videos on this webpage. You can download a certificate of completion and call the short course coordinator if you have any questions about content.

To Register for On-line Courses:
Please click on the Zoom link provided in the list of course dates on this webpage. Registrants will receive an emailed link to a Zoom meeting and a copy of the handouts. There is no cost to attend the Short Course.

Resources and Materials

Short Course Guidebook

Watch the Videos

Basic Short Course Videos (2015)

Basic Short Course on Local Planning – Recorded at city of Kirkland (05/23/2023)

A Basic Short Course on Local Planning – Recorded at city of Marysville (1/25/2012)

Special Topic – Short Course Videos

Infill Development for Small Cities – Recorded at Tumwater City Hall, 5/28/2014
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
Urban Forestry – Recorded at Western Washington University, 11/28/2012