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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7605
Email: epermittech@mercer. . .

Open to the public:
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
on Mon, Tue, Thu, & Fri

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Wed

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Comprehensive Plan

Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan
Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range planning document establishing goals and policies affecting changes to land uses, natural resource protection, and City facilities and services over the next twenty years. In addition to population, traffic, and development forecasts, the Comprehensive Plan includes an inventory and assessment of existing conditions on the island. The Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2016.

Current Comprehensive Plan

Click here to view the Mercer Island Comprehensive Plan

Chapters Include:
  • Introduction (Vision Statement, Citizen Participation)
  • Land Use Element (Existing Conditions & Trends, Growth Forecast, Land Use Issues, Land Use Policies, Action Plan)
  • Housing Element (Accommodating Growth, Neighborhood Quality, Housing Supply, Housing Options, Implementation/Tracking)
  • Transportation Element (Goals & Policies, Existing Conditions, Future Needs, Financial Analysis, Implementation Strategies)
  • Utilities Element (Water Utility, Sewer Utility, Stormwater, Solid Waste, Electricity, Natural Gas, Telecommunications)
  • Capital Facilities (Level of Service & Forecast of Future Needs, Financing, Goals & Policies, Financial Forecast, Process for Citing Essential Public Facilities)
  • Shoreline Master Program Policies (Designated Environments, Goals & Policies, Shoreline Modifications, Specific Shoreline Uses and Activities)


WA State Growth Management Act (GMA)

The state's Growth Management Act (GMA) was enacted in 1990 in response to rapid population growth and concerns with suburban sprawl, environmental protection, quality of life, and related issues. The GMA governs a significant amount of the content in Mercer Island's Comp Plan.

Recent planning activities in Mercer Island have focused attention on the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) (RCW 36.70A.130). The Washington State Legislature adopted the GMA in 1990 to address uncoordinated and unplanned growth that posed a threat to the state’s high quality of life. 
Citizens and lawmakers saw how population growth and suburban sprawl threatened Washington’s forest and agricultural lands, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. Traffic congestion, especially in Western Washington, clogged the highways and polluted the air. Clean drinking water sources were endangered by increasing pollution. Flooding and landslides were becoming frequent events, especially in areas of new development. Schools, sewers and water supplies were straining to keep up with growth. To address these concerns, the GMA requires Washington’s 39 counties and 281 cities and towns to do land use planning, including zoning the community to accommodate future population growth.
In response to community questions about the GMA, City planning staff has prepared a GMA fact sheet.  The fact sheet (updated May 2018) provides answers to why Mercer Island must plan for growth, how much growth we need to accommodate, how the amount of growth was determined, consequences for not planning for projected growth, how much growth has occurred in the past, where new housing units could be built, and impact of growth on public schools.

Click here to view the FAQ fact sheet about the GMA and Mercer Island.

Click here to download historical year-by-year data showing residential growth on Mercer Island between 2006 - 2015. (Note: Microsoft Excel is required) This data will be replaced with updated reports submitted to the State of Washington and PSRC in mid-2018. 

Additional Resources

Click here for a lengthy article explaining the GMA and its importance in planning for future growth; includes links to many other jurisdictions.

Click here to read an overview article summarizing the first 25 years under the GMA in Washington.


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