Derek Young District 7 E-Newsletter Image
Pierce County Comp Plan

Comprehensive Plan Update
Finally Complete


When I first joined the Council in January of last year, it was clear that one crucial task had to be made an immediate priority — the state mandated update to our Comprehensive Plan. Comprehensive plans are a requirement of the Growth Management Act and cover everything from land use, to transportation and infrastructure. It’s designed to protect rural areas and habitat while guiding urban area growth and mitigation.

Last year, our 10-year update was due on June 30th. Although behind in our update we focused and met our deadline.

The Growth Management Hearings Board’s (GMHB) reviewed the plan, striking down several decisions made by the Council majority. This action by the GMHB required another set of amendments last month to the plan itself and the implementation of new regulations. With the addition of the GMHB requirements in the Puget Sound Regional Council’s certification process, you’ve got a real mess.

After over a thousand pages of planning and review, by dozens of departments, agencies, stakeholder groups and interested citizens, I can happily say we’re now finished! Obviously it’s not perfect. Already I’ve been alerted to a section of the Gig Harbor Community Plan that needs correction.  We will work on it in the regular amendment cycle, but I’m proud to my name on such an important body of work.

I want to thank all involved for their herculean efforts to get this plan to a better place. Agree or disagree, I can’t tell you how grateful I am.


Balance Scale

Ethics Commission Transparency


The Ethics Commission found a number of outdated, archaic, or contradictory provisions in the current code. I was happy to sponsor an update to the County Ethics Code and a number of changes were made.

After unanimous passage, The News Tribune highlighted that a provision still existed in the code requiring absolute confidentiality by all parties on filed complaints, to the extent that it is a criminal offense for the Commission or Hearings Officer to speak about a case. No other state or county ethic codes had such a provisions.

As a result of this information and oversight, I drafted an ordinance deleting this particular provision and requiring compliance with the state Sunshine laws. It passed unanimously. We have also decided that it is time for a complete rewrite of the Ethics Code to bring it up to today’s standards. Expect this subject to come back up late fall or next year.


Marijuana Plant

Repeal of Pierce County’s Ban on Production and Retail Sales of Cannabis


This has had so many twists and turns so I’ll try to be concise.

A bill was introduced to reinstate a ban on cannabis production, processing and retail sale in Unincorporated Pierce County. This one was slightly different in that it was an outright ban rather than using the federal government’s scheduling under the Controlled Substance Act.

I pointed out that state law requires changes in zoning code to go before the Planning Commission, the bill was amended to refer the matter to the Planning Commission.
The bill was unfortunately passed by a Council majority and sent to the Executive for signature. On June 30th, the Executive vetoed the bill.

As of July 1st, my bill repealing Pierce County’s local ban went into effect and the County is processing permits.

Council Chair Richardson has indicated there’s no interest in pursuing a veto override so it appears the issue is finally settled. Money collected by the County from marijuana will go towards a drug enforcement fund established by the Council to be used for law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys to protect public safety.




Fox Island Bridge Replacement / Rehabilitation
Open House


As Island residents already know, the Fox Island Bridge, although safe, is in need of structural improvements. The County wants to be proactive and has initiated early planning for either replacement or rehabilitation. County Engineers and consultants conducted a “Type, Size, Location” analysis and would like to present their findings and gather public feedback. I want to encourage residents to attend.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 7:00 p.m.
Nichols Community Center
690 9th Avenue, Fox Island
Click here for directions.


Key Pen

Key Peninsula Address Changes


Over the next several months County staff will be presenting to residents of Anderson Island (AI), Fox Island (FI), and Key Peninsula (KP N and KP S) about the need to modify addresses. Federal standards for address suffixes, allow only for north, south, east and west directions, and we are out of compliance in several parts of the County.

The greatest concern is the problem this will cause with emergency response dispatch. Staff presented Council with several options to ensure we are compliant and will be bringing those to the community for input over the next several months. We will notify affected households when those open houses are scheduled.


Carney Lake Area Firearm Commission Meeting


Last month Council passed a bill I introduced, requesting the County's Firearm Commission (FAC) to look into areas of the Key Peninsula north of 144th, particularly adjacent to Carney Lake, which might warrant inclusion into the Firearm Restriction Zone.

The FAC met in a study session on Monday, June 20. Public notice of the meeting was sent to all property owners within the 600-acre area inviting them to the study session and approximately 15 people were in attendance. The FAC has determined that an approximately 123-acre area around Carney Lake may benefit from further review in determining whether a restriction area should be imposed or not. The hearing for this review has been scheduled for July 18 at 6:30 pm and will take place at the Key Peninsula Civic Center VFW Room. I encourage those potentially affected to attend the meeting!


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Councilmember Derek Young

Contact Me


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call my office at (253) 798-7776 or email at derek.young@co.pierce.wa.us.

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