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Community Development

Posted on: November 14, 2022

San Juan County’s Comprehensive Plan Update Nears Completion

Aerial shot of the islands with overlaying text reading "comprehensive plan update"

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. November 14, 2022 – San Juan County Council is expected to adopt the 2036 Comprehensive Plan Update by the end of the year. With a County Council public hearing on November 29, the exciting finale to a six-year project is in sight. 

“This is such an important step for the County,” said Councilmember Jamie Stephens, who has spent half of his 12-year council career working on the Plan.  

The culmination of six years of meetings, public hearings, and input, the Plan seeks to implement the County’s Vision, meet the needs of the 2036 population, and guide the Islands into the next decade. 

“The Plan has been a major focus for our staff and the Planning Commission,” said David Williams, the County’s Director of Community Development. “It is the byproduct of tremendous community input and truly reflects the views and attitudes of islanders.”

The Planning Commission dedicated 71 meetings to the Comprehensive Plan Update beginning in 2016. Since mid-September, the Council has held seven special meetings to review different elements of the Plan including land use, housing, transportation, historic/archeological preservation, official maps, and more. A public hearing is scheduled for November 29 where the community is invited to share feedback. Signups found here:

“The adoption of this Plan is exciting because it will allow the County to begin to implement updated policies that will help us solve some of the most pressing island issues with regards to housing, land use, transportation, and climate resilience,” said Sophia Cassam, one of the lead planners working on the Plan.  

Updating the Comprehensive Plan ensures the County is in compliance with the Growth Management Act and is eligible for future grant opportunities. Changes also improve the usability of the Plan and provide new analyses, assessments, and inventories. 

Those interested in reading the current draft and learning more about the Comprehensive Plan Updates can visit the Comprehensive Plan landing page on the County website. 

Media Contact:

Sophia Cassam, Planner III,, 360-370-7589

About San Juan County’s Department of Community Development 

San Juan County’s Department of Community Development is responsible for building permits and inspections, code enforcement, land use designations, long range planning, and more. The department’s main office is located at 135 Rhone Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Community Development, visit


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