Coupeville Comprehensive Plan Update

Coupeville Comprehensive Plan 2nd Draft

Frequently Asked Questions

The Project

Coupeville has served a commercial center for Central Whidbey Island since its founding in 1853. The Town of Coupeville’s current Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1994, with limited updates and amendments in the intervening years until the most recent update in 2012. Times have changed and the community has evolved, so the Town desires to have an updated, well-organized, and concise plan that is user-friendly and complies with all the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA).

About Comprehensive Planning

Planning helps us imagine what can and should happen to Coupeville: how the town ought to grow and change, and what possibilities to offer residents in the future.

The comprehensive plan is a statement of a community’s vision, values, and priorities. It guides decision-making, regulations, and investments towards meeting community goals over the coming 20 years. The goal of creating, maintaining, and updating our Coupeville Comprehensive Plan is to maximize the health, safety, and economic well-being of all people living in our community. This involves thinking about how we move around our community, how we attract and retain thriving businesses, where and how we want to live, how we protect the features and resources we value, and how we continue providing opportunities for recreation.

Comprehensive plans cover a wide range of topics. In Washington State these topics are called “elements” and each element has a chapter in the plan. Each element has its own goals and policies, along with supporting background information. Under state law, the following elements are addressed at a minimum:

  • Land Use
  • Housing
  • Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
  • Transportation
  • Capital Facilities
  • Utilities
  • Shoreline

In Coupeville, our current plan also addresses a few extra elements:

  • Vision Statement
  • Historic Preservation
  • Economic Stability
  • Natural Systems
  • Government Economy and Services

Get Involved

Planning is successful when it is inclusive and reflects the values of the entire community. That’s why we need you!  Keep an eye out for notices of additional ways to get involved. Reports and recordings from past public meetings and public engagement activities are linked below

If you have questions about the project, please contact:

Donna Keeler, Planning Director

(360) 678-4461 ext. 103


The project kicked off September 2021. The plan is anticipated to be adopted by mid-2023.

Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 Visioning Meeting w/ Planning Commission and Town Council.
January 18, 2022 Public Workshop #1
Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan update Process.
May 3, 2022 Planning Commission Check-in #1
Review of concepts for the Land Use and Housing elements.
July 19, 2022 Planning Commission Check-in #2
Review of concepts for the Transportation,
Economic Stability, Natural Systems, Capital Facilities,
& Parks/Recreation/Open Space elements.
August 2, 2022 Planning Commission Check-in #3
Review of concepts for the Historic, Economic Stability,
Government Economy, & Service elements.

Begin discussion on draft goals and policies, follow-up on issues
and concerns raised during previous check-in meetings.
Discuss alternatives.

September 6, 2022 Planning Commission Check-in #4
Present notable updates on key items and decisions.
October 18, 2022 Public Workshop #2
First full draft of the comprehensive plan available.
6:00pm Coupeville Recreation Hall
November 8, 2022Joint Town Council and Planning Commission Meeting
4:00pm – 6:00pm Coupeville Recreation Hall
March 21, 2023 Planning Commission Workshop
May 30, 2023Planning Commission Public Hearing
Expected to be continued to a Date Certain of June 29, 2023
6:00pm Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room
June, 2023 Issue SEPA
Preliminary Determination
June 29, 2023Planning Commission Public Hearing
Continued from May 30, 2023
6:00pm Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room
August 22, 2023Town Council Public Hearing
6:30pm Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room

Project Documents and Links 

Documents are listed from new to old.


Town staff have hired a consultant team to assist with community engagement and technical analysis. The team is led by the firm MAKERS architecture and urban design with subconsultants BERK Consulting, Transpo Group, and The Watershed Company. The 2021 budget for consultant support is $100,000.

Project Principles

This project is guided by the following principles:

  • Focus on completing required updates to bring the plan into compliance with state law
  • Update the “optional” elements to be relevant and consistent with current GMA requirements and the required elements
  • Capitalize on existing work and ongoing projects in the Town and region
  • Create accountability for included goals and policies by establishing performance measures to track the plan’s implementation
  • Incorporate updated information and policies to support equity, housing, public services, the environment, tourism, and economic development
  • Consider the value of ecosystem services in policy decisions
  • Consider and address impacts from climate change and incorporate adaptation strategies
  • Communicate broadly and provide information to the public and interested parties that is engaging and understandable.

Comprehensive Planning Resources