Comprehensive Plan 2017-2037

Chelan County was created in 1899, covering approximately 2,994 square miles with an estimated population of 76,830 (2017 estimate from the Office of Financial Management). The County is led by three elected officials serving on the Board of County Commissioners, each representing a specific area of the County Commissioner Districts 1, 2, and 3.

Chelan County’s first Comprehensive Plan dates back to 1958. This visionary document provided guidance to decision makers about what residents hoped to see in their community. In 1990, the State of Washington passed legislation creating a new framework for local land use planning and regulation, commonly referred to as the “Growth Management Act (GMA).” The GMA established specific goals and requirements that all local comprehensive plans and development regulations are to achieve. The GMA, as amended, is found under Chapter 36.70A of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).

Chelan County Comprehensive Plan for 2017-2037

The Board of County Commissioners adopted the 2017-2037 Comprehensive Plan on December 19, 2017, Resolution 2017-119. The following documents represent the Chelan County Comprehensive Plan Update for 2017-2037.

Frequently Asked Questions

A comprehensive plan is a guide for future land uses throughout the County. This guidance document provides a foundation for the creation of regulatory codes, such as zoning and development regulations. The Chelan County Comprehensive Plan includes the following Elements:

  • Introduction
  • Land Use Element
  • Rural Element
  • Resource Element
  • Housing Element
  • Capital Facilities Element
  • Utilities Element
  • Economic Development Element
  • Parks & Recreation Element
  • Shoreline Element
  • Transportation Element

Each element includes a list of the goals and a set of policies to achieve these goals.

The comprehensive plan reflects the values and needs of the community, guiding decisions related to planning, development, land uses, environmental issues, and other items. Through the process of updating this plan, data is collected about the County’s demographics, housing, transportation facilities, utilities, facilities, etc., therefore painting a comprehensive picture of the County’s diverse resources, limitations, and needs. This data is essential to making informed decisions that reflect the needs of the community.

The State Growth Managment Act authorizes an annual (once a year) update of the Comprehensive Plan. This annual update is provided so that the cumulative impacts of all proposed amendments can be considered concurrently. Some elements may be updated more often for budget consideration, such as the capital improvement plan or the transportation project plan. Additionally, the State allows for an emergency amendment action.

Individuals can make request for amendments as part of the annual update cycle. Applications are due the 1st Monday in March with the anticipated legislative action by December 31st.

Citizen participation is a valuable part of any amendment process. Comments and ideas are used throughout to help shape the changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations to match the goals of the residents.

How to participate:

  • Submit a request to be on this year's mailing list by emailing, CDPlanning@co.chelan.wa.us, or by mail to the address listed below.
  • Submit written comment by email to CDPlanning@co.chelan.wa.us, or by mail to the address listed below:

    Chelan County Community Development,
    Attn: 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update,
    316 Washington Street, Suite 301,
    Wenatchee, WA 98801

  • Attend events and public meetings/hearings using our event calendar.
  • Look for legal notices and updates.