2019 Amendment Process
During the June 5, 2018 public hearing for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendment, City Council passed a motion to ask the Planning Commission to take up the Comprehensive Plan Amendment with sufficient time for substantive review and discussion, and to request a timeline from City staff for the Planning Commission and Council review that meets the June 2019 deadline. A second motion resolved to declare that the current Comprehensive Plan satisfies State Growth Management Act requirements. The 2018 Amendment involved the integration of the 2009 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Study into the Plan’s vision, improved accuracy, fixed errors, and reviewed the plan’s policies to ensure the City’s vision is clear, prioritized, and can be implemented.
A joint meeting between the City Council and Planning Commission took place on September 12, 2018 where discussion focused on the Comprehensive Plan amendment and update process, the roles of City Council and the Planning Commission, and details concerning the upcoming 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment. Discussion included history of the 2018 Amendment, intent and goals of the final product, timing of the process, and action and direction related to the amendment.
At the regular September 18, 2018 City Council Meeting, five motions were passed directing the Planning Commission in the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment process:
Motion 1: Request the Planning Commission to assess the Comprehensive Plan and amendment to address internal inconsistencies;
Motion 2: Recommend the Planning Commission evaluate the land use map for the maps compatibility with the vision, goals, policies and objectives stated in the plan;
Motion 3: Move to request the Planning Commission recommend amendments to the Comprehensive Plan based on elimination of redundancies, vagueness, and ambiguity;
Motion 4: Ask the Planning Commission to evaluate the definition of policy, and make a recommendation regarding that definition in the Comprehensive Plan and the amendment; and
Motion 5: Recommend the Planning Commission begin work on the amendment drafting process immediately.
In accordance with Motions 1 and 3, at their regular October 24, 2018 meeting the Planning Commission accepted the schedule for the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Process (revised on January 10, 2019) listed as Appendix G of this Staff Report.
Subsequent meetings involved in-depth review of Chapters 2-10 of the Comprehensive Plan, which included each individual Element and its guiding goals and policies. Commissioners worked collectively over the course of several meetings to edit Chapter 4: Transportation and develop a methodology for review and revision of future Chapters. This methodology identified persistent issues in language, clarity, and redundancy within the document and provided guidance for editing to ensure that each Plan chapter is consistent in its language and voice. A synopsis for each chapter is listed as Appendix F to this staff report, and a list of agreed-upon policy change typologies and recommendations based on those typologies is listed as Appendix E. The Chapter Synopses explain the nature of each Element, its relationship to other Elements, and a brief description of overall changes made. The policy review typologies describe the methodology for the Planning Commission’s evaluation of the Plan, direction for how policies that have been flagged for review should be approached, and for what reason. The Planning Commission found six distinct typologies to describe how why each policy that has been identified as needing revision and how that revision should take place.
In accordance with Motion 2, at their regular February 20, 2019 meeting the Planning Commission discussed with staff the Comprehensive Land Use Map and came to the conclusion that a proper amendment to the Map would take a considerable amount of time and public involvement. The Commission came to the agreement that although an amendment to the Comprehensive Land Use Map is long overdue, to be done correctly it should be undertaken during a future amendment cycle.
After final review of Chapters 2-10 of the Comprehensive Plan at the regular April 10, 2018 Planning Commission meeting, the following changes have been made to those chapters:
- Edited Removals: 646
- Edited Additions: 490
- Goals Moved: 1
- Goals Combined: 2
- Policies Moved for Review: 68
- Policies Combined: 36
The Planning Commission recommended City Council adopt four separate amendments to the Comprehensive Plan as a part of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle. A public hearing on the amendments was held on June 4, 2019 at the regular City Council Meeting and the City Council voted unanimously to approve the amendment on June 18, 2019. The amendments include:
Amendment 1. Inclusion of the AIA SDAT study into the Comprehensive Plan’s vision.
The AIA SDAT (American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Team) study provided an alternative approach to prioritize the City’s Capital Facilities Plan to improve the vitality of downtown and gateway corridor from the eastern city limit along Highway 101. The study reviewed Port Angeles’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to operationalize local economic development and investment and provide a higher quality of life for all Port Angeles residents. City Council has tasked Staff to include the SDAT plan as an integral part of the Comprehensive Plan’s guiding vision.
Amendment 2. Staff edits for document accuracy and clarity in the Table of Contents, Chapter 1: Introduction, and Comprehensive Plan Appendices. (2017-18 Amendment Cycle)
This work includes review of the plan for grammatical accuracy; the accuracy of place names, organizations, and other titles; removal or revision of policies for accuracy and prioritization; and revision of the Implementation Matrix to update project dates and completion.
Amendment 3. Inclusion of Performance Measure Metrics for each City Department (2017-18 Amendment Cycle)
Each City Department has been tasked with creating metrics to measure performance based on Comprehensive Plan policies and the Implementation Matrix.
Amendment 4. Suggested edits to the Plan’s Policies by the Planning Commission in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Amendment Cycles.
The Planning Commission was asked by the Director to provide constructive and detailed feedback on the Comprehensive Plan. This included a thorough review of the Plan’s vision to ensure it is clearly articulated through the policies; measuring progress towards meeting the Plan’s vision; and a review of policies to ensure policies are well articulated, in the correct element of the Plan, and which should be a matter of priority.