Whitman County to take comments on comprehensive plan in June

Open houses will be held virtually; county hoping to adopt plan by end of 2021

The open houses will take place on June 2, 16 and 30, and each meeting will cover different elements of the comprehensive plan.

LAUREN PETTIT

The open houses will take place on June 2, 16 and 30, and each meeting will cover different elements of the comprehensive plan.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

Whitman County is hosting three open houses during the month of June for the community to make comments and ask questions about upcoming changes to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

The county anticipated the meetings to be in person, but because of the uncertainty of COVID-19, they will be held over Zoom, said Todd Hall, LDC, Inc. planning manager. 

“On the county’s website, they have a project page, and they should have links available if not already or early sometime next week,” he said. “That will provide an opportunity to participate.”

The open houses will take place on June 2, 16 and 30, and each meeting will cover different elements of the comprehensive plan, Hall said.

County Planner Alan Thomson said even though the meetings will be held virtually, the setup will be in a similar manner as before the pandemic.

“[It’s] basically the same kind of organization. We’ll have people tuned in, and if they want to ask a question, they can make comments,” Thomson said.

The county has been putting together a plan and posting it online, he said. A lot of the document is already compiled, but it will take a while to complete.

The county is focusing the comprehensive plan on what the community wants, Thomson said. The community’s opinions on how Whitman County is developed are vital to the decision-making process.

“Ultimately, it’s the three county commissioners that make the decision as to what the final document looks like,” he said. “But, they take the public comments into all of that before they make the decision.”

Hall said there was a meeting at the beginning of the year kicking off the project. There were a few other meetings where the Board of County Commissioners and the Planning Commissions of Whitman County were involved as well.

Since then, there have been multiple other check-in meetings with the commission and the board throughout the project, he said.

“We’re currently in the drafting stage of the comprehensive plan itself,” Hall said. “There’s a variety of chapters, or what we call elements, regarding specific topic areas, so one of them would be land use, another one is transportation, another one would be economic development.”

Thomson said the county has been working on this project since January and will continue throughout the rest of the year.

“It may be sooner, but the county would like to have this adopted by the end of 2021,” Hall said. “So we’re anticipating November [or] December.”