Comprehensive Plan Update

Comprehensive Plan Update

Kitsap County's Comprehensive Plan includes a 20-year blueprint for local policies, planning and capital facility investment and it is required by Washington State's Growth Management Act (GMA) to be updated periodically.

This is an opportunity to revise population and employment growth targets with the most up to date data; review existing goals, policies, and regulations; write new policies that reflect the priorities of communities in unincorporated Kitsap County; and confirm that all federal, state, and local requirements are met.

The 2024 Comprehensive Plan Update will plan for the next 20 years of population and employment growth through the year 2044.
This update of the County's Comprehensive Plan is due by
December of 2024.

Draft Comprehensive Plan Documents

Preferred Alternative

Summary of the Board of County Commissioners Direction

Public Comments Received:                                                                                              

For questions or comments regarding the Comprehensive Plan update please contact

Draft Development Regulations
Amendments have been proposed to numerous sections of Kitsap County Code (KCC), including: 

The DEIS provides an overview of significant environmental impacts and discusses alternatives, including mitigation measures, that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts.

Road Projects by Alternative, in Reference to Exhibit (For Illustration)

 Draft Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is the County's 20-year blueprint for growth and investment, and includes goals, policies, and strategies for how to acheive its vision.

 Draft Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) 
The CFP plans for needed improvements to roads, utilities, parks, and services, such as schools, and fire, necessary to accommodate growth.

​Comprehensive Plan Elements

​The goal of a Comprehensive Plan Update is to add, edit, or remove goals, policies, strategies, and concepts based on new priorities, new state requirements, and public input.

In reviewing and updating the elements, County staff used the following resources:

  • A Gap analysis that identified where revisions were needed in order to be consistent with Multicounty Policies (MPPs) in VISION 2050 and Countywide Planning Policies (CPP).
  • The Department of Commerce Periodic Update Checklist to ensure consistency with the Growth Management Act and state requirements.
  • Input received during public outreach meetings and input received from the County's internal working group comprised of various departments of the County and external service providers.

When reading each comprehensive plan element, you will see a series of goals, policies, and strategies. Goals and policies are aspirational in nature and reflect the vision and intent of the County. Strategies are more actionable and achievable in nature. Each goal will have its own set of policies and strategies. 

Because this version of the plan is this chapter is a “repeal and replace” of the previous version, it cannot easily be directly compared. However, the summaries below describe some major themes or additions for each element. 

   Land Use

The Land Use Element's intent is to direct the majority of growth toward urban areas, provide greater distinction between urban and rural areas, guide land use patterns to allow for the efficient provision of urban services such as sewers and transportation systems, preserve open space, recognize and preserve historical and archaeological resources, and ensure compatibility between adjacent zones. Major themes include: 

  • Ensuring Urban Growth Areas are accessible by multi-modal transportation and include a mix of services, shopping, entertainment, recreation, educational facilities, and housing of different types and at different levels of affordability
  • Protection of rural character by directing development to Urban Growth Areas
  • Providing for small agricultural activities throughout the County
  • Protection of mineral and timber resource lands
  • Ensuring land use decisions have equitable impacts and outcomes
  • Promotion of a built environment that enables healthy living

   Economic Development 

The Economic Developement Element aims to encourage economic development in Kitsap County that considers the regional economic context and is suited to the unique conditions of the county. The element is designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of Kitsap County. The Economic Development goals, policies, and strategies provide the framework to improve and sustain Kitsap County's fiscal, economic, and social conditions utilizing local resources, partnerships, and economic opportunities. Major themes include: 

  • Retention and recruitment of family-wage employers while leveraging the Navy's presence
  • Encouragment of women-, and minority-owned small businesses and start-ups 
  • Exploration of emerging industries, technologies, and services that promote environmental sustainability
  • Expansion of strategies to expand access to business and employment opportunity
  • Expansion of strategies to address and prevent commercial displacement of small minority-owned businesses


The purpose of the Environment Element is to provide the goals, direction, and path for the future of sustaining natural environments in Kitsap County. Kitsap County recognizes the importance of protecting the natural environment while providing for the needs of the growing number of residents and businesses that call this place home. Ecosystems such as forest lands, shorelines, freshwater systems, and other areas all make up the natural environment of Kitsap County. Human well-being depends on a healthy, natural environment to provide for clean air, clean water, food, and overall high quality of life. The quality and abundance of Kitsap County's natural environments are well documented and are what define Kitsap County as the "natural side of Puget Sound." Major themes include:

  • Treating Natural Resources as an Asset, and policies that define and promote the Kitsap Natural Resource Asset Management Program (KNRAMP)
  • Emphasis on the importance of the ecosystem and critical areas throughout the County
  • Ensuring environmental regulations are consistent with best available science
  • Recognition of the health benefits of natural systems and aims to reduce adverse environmental impacts on vulnerable populations
  • Enhancement of urban tree canopy and recognize the benefits of urban forests (replacement or retention)


The Housing Element recognizes that housing is a fundamental need. The County is responsible for providing policy direction that facilitates housing for residents in all economic segments. The goals and policies of this element set the stage for development regulations that allow for and encourage different types of housing affordable to all population segments, avoid concentrating housing in environmentally sensitive areas, and guide intergovernmental coordination that makes the most efficient use of resources to provide housing, while reducing or eliminating housing barriers. Major themes include:

  • Ensuring sufficient housing stock is available, affordable, and accessible at all income levels and in a variety of housing types
    • Encouragement of multi-family and missing-middle housing, specifically focusing on in existing urban centers 
  • Promotion of infill housing in Urban Growth Areas and preservation of existing affordable housing stock
  • Mitigation of displacement risk and ensuring equitable treatment and outcomes


The Transportation Element presents a plan for transportation facilities and services needed to support the County's land use strategy over a 20-year planning horizon and recommends transportation projects for the County's unincorporated area to meet safety, capacity, and connectivity needs—for automobiles, freight, transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Major themes include:

  • A shift to Multi-modal transportation planning, emphasizing moving people rather than vehicles through support of high-capacity transit and other modes of transportation
  • Increased emphasis on public health, equity, safety, and climate change
  • Improved planning for active transportation (bicycles and pedestrians), including policies to support the development of new methodologies to analyze the level of service for multiple modes of transportation, not just cars
  • Increased policy emphasis on multi-modal transportation support for mixed-use transit-oriented development and increased densities in Regional and Countywide Centers
  • New policies to support the efforts to decarbonize the transportation system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • New policies to enhance the transportation system's resilience to a changing climate
  • New policies to support an increase in electric vehicle infrastructure

   Parks, Recreation and Open Space

The Parks Element serves as a reference and foundation for future updates of the County's Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan. It will identify opportunities for partnerships and funding and foster collaboration with stakeholders to ensure equitable access, environmental stewardship, and diverse recreational opportunities for the Kitsap community.

The goals and policies in this element recognize the need to enhance the wellbeing of all county residents and visitors through accessible and inclusive parks, facilities, and educational programs in promoting pedestrian use, bicycling, and accessibility through the provision of trails in the park system as well as the desire to institute management programs for habitat value, forest health, groundwater recharge, water quality, climate resiliency, and safety.

Additionally, the goals and policies emphasize the need for coordination among agencies and organizations and the promotion of the many benefits of green infrastructure to support mental and physical health, recreational opportunities, habitat preservation, and stormwater management. Major themes include:

  • Updates to existing inventories, and forecasts of future needs for active (fields, facilities) and passive recreation (trails and open space)
  • Increased emphasis on support, enhancement, and use of green infrastructure
  • Increased emphasis on preserving and enhancing tree canopy
  • Explores new funding mechanisms to better support Parks development and maintenance
  • Enhances the Park system's sustainability and resilience to a changing climate
  • Increased emphasis on public health and equity

   Capital Facilities and Utilities

The Capital Facilities and Utilities Element provides policies for public facilities and services to serve the projected growth based on the County's adopted growth targets and future planned land use map.

The Element covers capital facilities and services provided by the County and external agencies, underscoring the need for coordination between and among municipalities, special purposed districts, and other providers.

The Element also guides planning, funding, and project decisions for unincorporated Kitsap County. With rapid population growth in the county, guidance to plan for sufficient capital facilities and utilities is crucial. The goals, policies, and strategies within this element direct the County and utility providers to stay updated on facility levels and demands to meet specific level of service standards and forecasted future needs for public facilities laid out in the Capital Facilities Plan. Major themes include:

  • Updates to existing inventories, and forecasts of future facility needs (pipes, pavement and facilities)
  • Ensuring capacity and funding source for future facilities and utilities
  • Increased emphasis on public health and equity
  • Increased emphasis on support, enhancement, and use of green infrastructure
  • Acknowledgement of Park lands as natural assets to be preserved, restored, and enhanced

   Climate Change

Climate Change is the only element in the 2024 Update that is brand new. Climate Change was added as a goal of the Growth Management Act during the 2023 legislative session, bringing the total number of goals to 15.

Climate change has already affected and will continue to affect the infrastructure, natural systems, economy, culture, safety, and livelihood of people who live, work, and play in Kitsap County. Kitsap County has experienced measurable and observable climate change trends and impacts including extreme heat, coastal flooding, and wildfire smoke. The intent of this chapter is to provide a consolidated policy framework related to climate issues that is essential to facilitating planning for our county and to assist in meeting the planning goals of the Growth Management Act. Major themes include:

  • Emphasis on reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, based on a 2022 Community Wide Geographic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Analysis
  • Adoption of PSRC's VISION 2050 goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Puget Sound Region to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050
  • Climate Resilience and Adaption Sub-Chapter, focused on various areas impacted by Climate Change, such as Public Health, Economy, Infrastructure, and Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Establishes a foundation for meeting new State climate planning legislation (required by 2029)

   Sub Area, Neighborhood, and Regional Center Plans

Sub-Area Plans provide geographic-specific goals, policies and strategies for a community that complement the overall plan.

​What's New?

​Since the county's last update was adopted in 2016, new state legislation for housing targets (HB 1220) and Climate Change (HB 1181) have altered how the County is required to plan. In addition to addressing these prominent issues, the Comprehensive Plan also must be updated for consistency with state and regional planning efforts, such as Puget Sound Regional Council's VISION 2050 and the Countywide Planning Policies adopted in 2021. This includes meeting population and employment targets and housing targets by income band. Although there are many objectives to plan for, the 2024 update has three focus areas:

  • Housing
  • Climate Change
  • Centers (Silverdale, Kingston, and McWilliams/303)

​Key Milestones

​Understanding the Different Alternatives

​The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) studies three land use alternatives.

  • Alternative 1 - no action
  • Alternative 2 - compact growth
  • Alternative 3 - dispersed growth

Comprehensive Plan policies and development regulations have been drafted to reflect these alternatives.

Land Use Reclassifications are also proposed and considered in each alternative.

In April of 2024, the Board of County Commissioners will select a “preferred alternative” which will be studied in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The preferred alternative may combine policies and reclassification requests from both Alternatives 2 and 3.

Get Involved in the Comprehensive Plan Update Process!

  • Sign up to receive text or email notifications, including project announcements, information about outreach events, surveys, and other public participation opportunities. Select "Comprehensive Plan Announcements" from the list of topics.

  • Send us an email at to let us know what you think or contact project staff.

  • Attend a meeting, listed on the right, when there are scheduled upcoming public events.

  • If you would like the Comprehensive Plan team to give a presentation to your community, please reach out to

  • More opportunities to participate will be added throughout the process.

​   Past Events

April 8, 2024 Board of Commissioners Public Hearing

March 26, 2024 Planning Commission Comp Plan Recommendations Public Hearing

March 5, 2024 Planning Commission Comp Plan Update Public Hearing

February 22, 2024 In-Person Open House

February 20, 2024 Planning Commission Comp Plan Spring Process Public Meeting
February 13, 2024 Draft Documents Workshop

January 18, 2024 In-Person Open House

January 11, 2024 Draft Documents Workshop

January 2, 2024 Planning Commission Comp Plan Draft Documents Public Meeting

October 17, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Update Public Meeting

October 3, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Climate Change Public Meeting

September 14, 2023 Climate Change, Environment, and Transportation Public Meeting

August 30, 2023 Housing, Economic Development, and Land Use Public Meeting
Discussion Q&A from Breakout Rooms

April 10, 2023 Board of Commissioners Comp Plan Alternatives Public Hearing

April 4, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Alternatives Work Study

March 7, 2023 MCAC Meeting
Presentation Slides

March 1, 2023 CKCC Meeting

February 28, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Alternatives Deliberations

February 22, 2023 Comp Plan Alternatives In-Person Open House

February 21, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Alternatives Public Hearing

February 15, 2023 Comp Plan Alternatives Open House
Presentation Slides

February 9, 2023 Comp Plan Alternatives Open House
Presentation Slides

February 7, 2023 Planning Commission Comp Plan Alternatives Meeting
Presentation Slides

December 7, 2022 CKCC Meeting
Presentation Slides

November 17, 2022 Comp Plan In-Person Open House

October 25, 2022 Capital Facilities and Transportation Meeting

October 19, 2022 Silverdale Regional Center Meeting
Recorded Presentation

October 15, 2022 League of Women Voters Presentation

October 11, 2022 Environment and Climate Change Meeting
September 13, 2022 Land Use and Economics Meeting

August 18, 2022 Kickoff Meeting

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

What is Zoning?



The Comprehensive Plan will be the 20-year blueprint for local policy, planning, and capital facility investment through the year 2044. This plan is used as a guide for local governments through the establishment of vision statements, goals, objectives, policies, and implementing actions. This framework is intended to guide the day-to-day decisions of elected officials and local government staff.

The State's Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that Counties and Cities update their Comprehensive Plan every 10 years. The Comprehensive Plan is also revised on an annual basis.


Every community needs a vision. Historically, growth in Washington State has led to issues of urban sprawl, loss of farmland, natural resource degradation, and uncoordinated capital facilities. In 1990, the Growth Management Act was passed, which required us to plan for the future. The Plan will guide where housing and business growth should occur, how that growth is served by transportation and other infrastructure, and how we can enhance the natural environment and community character.


County Staff will engage with the community to develop a vision based on community goals and state and regional requirements. A draft plan will be developed, and public meetings will be held to collect public comments. The Planning Commission will recommend to staff, who will forward a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, who approve the final plan. 


A Comprehensive Plan has mandatory and optional elements. Each element has its own goals and policies. Mandatory elements are:

  • Land Use 
  • Housing
  • Capital Facilities Plan
  • Utilities
  • Economic Development
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Rural Lands 
  • Transportation

In addition, Kitsap County will have various Subarea Plans within the Comprehensive Plan, which focus in more detail on the specific areas of Kingston, Silverdale, Suquamish, and Manchester. 


The Kitsap Comprehensive Plan assigns land use and zoning designations for every parcel within unincorporated Kitsap County. Land use designations provide sideboards on the use of land, whether for residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, or institutional purposes.

The County must maintain a certain amount of residential and commercial growth capacity in certain areas of the County. The County-Wide Planning Policies (CPPs) provide growth targets for different areas of the County, and the Comprehensive Plan must be consistent with these goals.   


Starting in June 2022, anyone may initiate a request for a land use reclassification. See more information on the process here. All requests will be reviewed holistically by the Board of County Commissioners and evaluated on their consistency with the final Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan goals and policies. Those requests that move forward will be included in the preliminary alternatives in 2023 for Environmental Review. 


An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will evaluate three different growth alternatives. The EIS will include an analysis of potential impacts associated with amendments, and the public is given an opportunity to comment on the EIS. Ultimately, a "preferred alternative" will be selected to move forward through the public process. 


No, the Comprehensive Plan is a framework for what land uses are allowed where. A zoning code regulates development, such as rules about height, density, and setbacks. Per State Law, a zoning code must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and the zoning code and other development regulations will be updated as part of this process in order to implement the Comprehensive Plan. Other development codes need to stay consistent as well, such as the Critical Areas Ordinance (Title 19), Shoreline Master Program (Title 22), and Subdivision Regulations (Title 16).



 Upcoming Events

 Special Presentations

Community Advisory Council Meetings
December - March (Regular Meetings)

Central Kitsap




Planning Commission Work Session (Hybrid)

January 2, 2024

January 16, 2024

February 6, 2024

February 20, 2024

March 5, 2024

March 26, 2024

Commissioner Briefing (Hybrid)
February 26, 2024 (A.M. Briefing)

Planning Commission Recommendations (Hybrid)
March 19, 2024

Commissioner Briefing on Planning Commission Recommendations (Hybrid)
March 25, 2024 (A.M. Briefing)

Commissioner Deliberations (Hybrid)
April 17, 2024 (Work Study)

Commissioner Approval (Hybrid)
April 22, 2024

Department of Community 


Planning and Environmental Programs

(360) 337-5777 (Kitsap 1)

Mailing Address

614 Division Street, MS-36
Port Orchard, WA 98366

Office Location 

619 Division Street
Port Orchard, Washington