OLYMPIA, WA (January 23, 2020) – The Washington State Department of Commerce today launched Regulatory Roadmap 2.0, the latest addition to a series of localized online portals designed to help ease the process of getting preliminary regulatory requirements satisfied for expanding or siting a new facility. The new online portal guides manufacturing firms through the review process for siting feasibility in Sumner and unincorporated areas of Pierce County, with Tacoma soon to follow.
The new portal builds upon the success of the state Regulatory Roadmap program’s original manufacturing roadmaps, which guided businesses step-by-step through the regulatory process using downloadable spreadsheets. These legacy roadmaps were launched by the cities of Arlington, Lynnwood and Marysville.
Other Regulatory Roadmaps provide a range of online tools for restaurant owners in Seattle, Spokane, Spokane Valley and Tacoma, and for residential contractors in the city of Kennewick.
The newest online portal, which is accessible at http://RegulatoryRoadmap.wa.gov, allows manufacturers to walk through the review of regulatory requirements interactively, including searching by location and property use. Applicable zoning, high-level considerations and thresholds for different topics appear within the portal, streamlining the discovery phase of site selection.
“One of our core goals was to develop a Regulatory Roadmap that could be customized for specific jurisdictions yet be flexible enough for us to add additional locations and industries as it’s scaled,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This creates a one-stop website that incorporates regulatory information for multiple agencies, allowing business owners to evaluate the feasibility of a particular location using a single online portal.”
Pierce County and Sumner officials played central roles in developing the new portal, serving as launch partners and providing guidance, expertise and resource support through development, testing and launch.
“With new, more powerful tools, Pierce County is better positioned to compete for the jobs and investments that are vital to the economic vitality of our communities,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County executive. “Strong web tools create a critical pathway for companies seeking a great place to do business. Now, companies can find a suitable location with our site finder at InvestPierceCounty.com and then make smart decisions regarding the next steps with RegulatoryRoadmap.wa.gov.”
“Anything we can do to make a complicated process easier is wonderful,” said Sumner Mayor Bill Pugh. “Sumner houses the largest manufacturing industrial center in the county, as well as a classic Main Street with unique local shops. All kinds of businesses will benefit from learning quickly what we have to offer here in Sumner and if it fits their needs.”
“The Manufacturing Regulatory Roadmap will help site selectors, business owners, and decision makers evaluate industrial sites in Pierce County. This tool adds tremendous value by taking the guesswork out of whether a project is permitted,” said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “The EDB and our partners are excited to help launch this tool and provide another valuable resource for our business community.”
Regulatory Roadmaps were created to streamline the regulatory experience for businesses. Knowing that most businesses conduct site selection long before they actually engage regulatory agencies, Commerce partnered with local agencies to create Roadmaps that provide valuable information for planning and assessing a project before taking on the time and cost to complete permitting and regulatory processes with a jurisdiction.
Commerce is optimistic that more jurisdictions will see the value in these planning tools and consider additional Roadmaps in other communities and for other industries.
“Working together with our local government and industry partners, we are strengthening communities by making it easier to do business and create jobs in Washington,” Brown said.