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The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) specifies topic areas that, at the minimum, must be addressed by the MPPs and the CPPs. Under state law, the CPPs must be consistent with the MPPs. VISION 2050 is not organized around the topics that GMA requires CPPs to cover. Historically, the chapter layout of the CPPs directly follows the chapters in the MPPs. Under VISION 2050, three new chapters, Regional Collaboration, Regional Growth Strategy, and Climate Change, were added to the MPPs. No new chapters were added to the CPPs, so the chapter layout does not directly parallel VISION 2050 as it has in the past. Where several GMA topics for CPPs fall into the same chapter, each individual topic uses a subheading. By doing this, the CPPs can readily demonstrate how they cover topics required under GMA.

The design of the CPPs is in response to the authorities that give policy direction to the CPPs and the need for the CPPs to guide local plan development. Unless otherwise specified, all actions identified by the CPPs apply to all jurisdictions. Figure 1 shows this relationship.

Figure 1 - Policy Relationships Diagram

Figure 2 - Internal Flow of the Countywide Planning Policies

The CPPs are organized around a set of principles, goals and policies arranged generally as a hierarchy moving from the general to the more specific (refer to the Policy Hierarchy diagram in Figure 3). At the policy apex are the central principles and, just below them, the framework policies. Together, the principles and framework policies help define the general purpose and approach of the CPPs. The succeeding sections of the CPPs deal with specific topic areas, with each topic containing an overall goal statement followed by a number of supporting policies. Taken as a whole, the central principles, framework policies, and topical goals and policies form the basic policy direction of the CPPs.

In addition to the basic policy direction, the CPPs also contain a number of appendices. Some of the appendices provide procedures for accomplishing specific policy direction. Others provide more detail or elaborate on particular policy direction; the reason for their inclusion in an appendix is that they contain lists or tables that would be unwieldy if included as part of the pertinent policy statement. Maps and definitions are also contained in the appendices.

Note that some policies have footnotes for illustration purposes. Although these footnotes are not a part of the policy statements, they are intended to be explanatory or provide examples. Likewise, the narrative sections provide context but are not policy.

Figure 3 - Policy Hierarchy in the Countywide Planning Policies