Cowlitz County and the cities within it are not subject to the full state Growth Management Act (GMA). However, Longview is subject to the planning and zoning requirements for “code cities,” a particular form of governmental organization (Chapter 35A.63 RCW).
This statute sets minimal requirements for comprehensive planning, which must include land use (“the proposed general distribution, general location, and extent of the uses of land,” including environmental protection) and circulation (“the general location, alignment, and extent of existing and proposed major thoroughfares, major transportation routes, and major terminal facilities”). A number of other topics may also be included.
The land-use and circulation provisions must correlate, and the development regulations are consistent with the comprehensive plan. In addition, Cowlitz County jurisdictions must designate and work toward preserving natural resource lands, as well as planning for and regulating critical areas such as wetlands and floodplains.