Imagine Olympia

What's Happening Now with Olympia's Comprehensive Plan?

The Council approved final adoption of the updated Comprehensive Plan at the Council meeting on December 16th, 2014.  

Olympia's Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan expresses the community's vision and goals and sets policy direction for the next 20 years.

Between 2009 and 2013, over one thousand community members took part in "Imagine Olympia", sharing their thoughts about how to best shape our community and address collective challenges and opportunities.

Key Issues - What's Been Updated?

The draft updates include new demographic and background information, incorporation of master plans and other related planning efforts, and new goals and policies that reflect the desires of the community.

To increase public access to the Plan, text was edited to eliminate redundancy and for readability. It was also converted to a web-based format that allows for simple and intuitive viewing, searching, cross-referencing, sharing and printing of City Plans and other documents.

How We Got Here - The Process

During 2009-2010, the City asked community members to imagine the City over the next 20 years. We wondered, what are your hopes and dreams for Olympia? What are your priorities? What would a perfect day in the Olympia of the future be like?

This year-long conversation took place through meetings both small and large, online comments, mailed-in forms, a phone survey, as well as numerous personal interviews.

After reviewing the hundreds of comments collected during Phase 1, the Olympia Planning Commission hosted eight focus meetings to learn specific concerns and preferences of the community and to share the City's constraints and challenges around these issues. The focus areas were downtown, urban corridors, neighborhood planning and environmental stewardship.

April Draft (2012)

City staff released the first draft of the Comprehensive Plan Update in April 2012. Recommended changes were based on the scope of the update and public input.

July Draft (2012)

After reviewing and making revisions based on the draft released in April, the City released a July 2012 draft, upon which the Olympia Planning Commission would base their recommendations for City Council. The Commission held seven public hearings between July and October 2012.

Planning Commission Recommendations

Following several months of reviewing the draft plan and accepting public comments, the Olympia Planning Commission submitted a recommendation to the City Council on March 18, 2013. Later in 2013, the Commission revised some of these recommendations, referred to as the 'Urban Neighborhoods' package, and forwarded their final recommendations to Council on December 16, 2013.

The City Council held 12 work sessions between February and May 2014 to discuss 19 policy issues presented in the Planning Commission Draft. The outcome was direction to staff on what should be presented in the City Council Public Hearing Draft released online July 1, 2014.

  • Policy Issues Considered by City Council February-May 2014
  • The City Council's first Public Hearing Draft was posted online July 1, 2014
  • Informational Open Houses were held Wednesday, July 9 and Thursday, July 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at City Hall
  • The City Council held public hearing July 22, 7:00 p.m. at Olympia City Hall
  • View the City Council's first public hearing Draft of the Comprehensive Plan
  • Need Help? Use this guide to tips on getting the most out of the online version

  • View public comments received by the Council at the July 22 public hearing
  • Watch the July 22nd public hearing
  • The Council continued its discussion of the Comprehensive Plan at public meetings and work sessions August 12, September 9, September 16, October 7, and October 21.  

View public comments 

Below are the public comments received at the hearing and during the comment period, and a summary table of the public comments.

View the Council's changes chapter-by-chapter (revisions in tracking format)

View the Council's changes in table summary format

Summary Table 


What's Next?

The City Council adopted the Comprehensive Plan in December 2014. There are other steps required by the State's Growth Management Act to be completed between 2014 and 2016. This includes updating development regulations for consistency with new policies, and review of the 20-year Capital Facilities Plan goals and policies. The Comprehensive Plan may be amended annually and a major update is required every eight years.