Maple Valley’s Update of Comprehensive Plan

To Focus On Economic Development

More jobs could mean more buyers for REALTORS®. The City of Maple Valley announced that the update of the City’s comprehensive plan will focus on Economic Development. The goal is to bring living wage jobs to the City, which could mean more homebuyers for REALTORS®. Among the changes the City might consider are Zoning code changes, the possibility of increasing allowable building heights, and the construction of more multi-family housing for residents.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan is required by state law to be updated every seven years. The next update is due in mid-2015. The City’s plan was first adopted in 1999, and the most recent update was in 2008. “We’re starting now so we have a full 18 months to get on top of it,” said city Senior Planner Matt Torpey.

Last year the city hired the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to study the city and “provide an economic recommendation,” according to Torpey. The study focused on the current and potential economic development opportunities in Maple Valley, with a special emphasis on development opportunities at the North end of the city, including long term projects and partnerships in the Donut Hole and keeping the Legacy Site for a future community centerpiece project.

The IEDC report identified the following key positive factors for the City:

  • The City Council’s support of development
  • City Manager David Johnston’s experience with economic development in other cities
  • The creation of the city’s Economic Development Committee
  • The city’s AA+ bond rating, and
  • The lower cost of land and development in the city.
  • Weaknesses the report cited included, but were not limited to:
  • The city’s reactive approach
  • Not having a city staff-member whose job is solely economic development
  • Not having a specific development plan in place
  • The city’s location on the edge of King County, and
  • Traffic congestion on state Route 169