planning Education for Citizens 


Joe has shared his insights regarding planning best practices through a variety of  venues, both in person and online.   For example, he worked with the Association of Washington Cities and the Washington State Department of Commerce to create a series of videos:  


 1.  “Implementing your Comprehensive Plan”    SEE VIDEO

2.  “Comprehensive Planning Basics”      SEE VIDEO  

3.  “Regulatory Tools for Infill Development”     SEE VIDEO


Joe also contributes articles to the Municipal Research and Services Center as one of their Planning Advisors.  To view two of his articles, click on the titles below. 


1.  “Land Use Planning and the Art of Planning Commission Maintenance

2.  “Should Legislative Bodies Conduct Quasi-Judicial Hearings?”




legislative improvements to the growth management act


Joe has volunteered his knowledge of the Growth Management Act and planning practice to work with state legislators to improve the law.   He crafted two successful bills to amend the GMA. The first, sponsored in 2006 by then Rep. Geoff Simpson, created greater flexibility for local governments to adopt new subarea plans more frequently than once a year.  That bill’s provisions are codified at RCW 36.70A.130(2)(i).  The second bill, sponsored in 2009 by the late Senator Scott White, precluded the expansion of urban growth areas into the 100-year floodplains of Western Washington rivers.  That bill’s provisions are codified at RCW 36.70A.110(8)(a).

During the 2020 session, Joe drafted for legislators a supplemental budget proviso to fund implementation of the systemic changes and key reforms identified in the Final Report of the Road Map to Washington’s Future project.   With Senator Dean Takko as prime sponsor, the legislature added $350,000 to the operating budget for this purpose.   Unfortunately, this allocation was vetoed by the Governor, as were many other budget provisions, to enable greater state funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic.