The city of Liberty Lake doesn’t want to expand beyond its current city limits, says a planning official involved in the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan.
She says the city wants to have its revised comprehensive plan submitted in 2016 to be well ahead of the June 2017 deadline mandated in the Washington State Growth Management Act.
“Based on community input and the recommendation of staff, we’re not looking to expand,” says Amanda Tainio, who is the planning and building services manager for the city of Liberty Lake. “We’ve got a good handle on growth.”
The comprehensive plan is a set of goals, policies, and strategies that will determine how the city should grow physically, socially, and economically. The Growth Management Act (GMA) was established in Washington state in 1990 to provide a framework for land-use planning and development regulation in response to population growth in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
The development of comprehensive plans under the GMA became mandatory for Spokane County and its cities, as well as all other jurisdictions in Washington state, in 1993. Liberty Lake’s comprehensive plan was developed through what the city describes as a yearlong, “bottom up” effort.
While there have been slight revisions to Liberty Lake’s comprehensive plan in the past, Tainio says this marks the first time the city has done a full periodic review.
Based on recommendations from Liberty Lake’s constituents, feedback largely has been to maintain the city’s six square-mile border, Tainio says. Now, residents and city planners participating in the comprehensive plan development are focused on compliance with state guidelines and streamlining the plan.
Tainio says sentiment is strong among residents and planners to maintain a commercial core that reflects Liberty Lake’s natural surroundings. In April 2014, the city’s population was 8,675. Tainio says 2015 projections put the city’s population now at just under 9,000 residents, she says.
The public was involved early in the process and continuous public participation and comments were sought throughout via Planning Commission meetings, a public survey, information guides, workshops, and public hearings. The comprehensive plan can be viewed online at libertylakewa.gov.
Liberty Lake’s City Council had approved using Spokane County’s pre-GMA comprehensive plan, and the Spokane County 1998 zoning code, and had maintained the status quo until Liberty Lake could adopt its own comprehensive plan and implementation regulations.
The new city comprehensive plan will be largely based on Liberty Lake’s vision statement, and is intended to provide guidance for public and private decision makers who will be responsible for the city in the next 20 years, Tainio says.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE