Land Use Code Update

Drone shot over Issaquah

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The Land Use Code update is a citywide effort aimed at improving the regulations that guide growth and development in Issaquah. This project will help us better preserve, strengthen and protect the patterns of development that define the character of the City. The City is engaging with the Planning Policy Commission (PPC) on the Land Use Code update in order to better understand what may be missing from the current Land Use Code and gain their feedback on the project as it develops.

With the support of a Council Ad-hoc Committee, the below goals and outcome chart was created to guide the development of this project. 

Goals and Outcomes Chart

The land use code is broken up into six different topic groups. Visit each page to learn more and view dates for upcoming meetings related to that topic:

  • Natural Environment: Critical Aquifer Areas, Geological Hazard Areas (Steep Slopes), Streams, Fish & Wildlife Habitat, Conservation Areas and Wetlands
  • Landscape & Open Space: Community Spaces & Green Necklace, Landscape Standards, and Tree Code
  • Zones & Uses: Zones, Permitted Uses, Specified Use Standards, Subdivisions, and Form & Intensity
  • Building & Design: Neighborhood Overlays, Site Planning & Urban Design for Single Family and Townhomes, Fences & Walls, Design & Development Standards and Miscellaneous Development Standards
  • Zoning & Development Standards: Affordable Housing, Transfer of Development Rights, Landmarks and Archaeology, Parking and Circulation
  • Procedures & Administrations: General Provisions, Procedures including Public Notice, SEPA Rules, Wireless Communication Facilities, Transportation Concurrency, Terrain Management, Accessory Uses and Temporary Uses

The intention of the Land Use Code update project is to improve the development review process for applicants and for city staff. The scope, however, doesn’t include major policy changes. With the help of community members, boards and commissions and City council members, staff have identified multiple areas of the land use code that should be reviewed with more in-depth analysis and community discussion, following this current effort to update the Land Use Code. The list of these items can be found below in the Title 18 Future Updates List. Please review the events lists on when the Planning Policy Commission and the Council Committee will review this list. 

Draft Future Updates List

In 2021, the City adopted a Climate Action Plan to create a sustainable, livable Issaquah while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the local natural environment. One of the action items from this plan was to incorporate new methods and update specific regulations that help meet the City’s climate goals. Below is a table that outlines how the current Land Use Code update is achieving these action items or when the City will complete these action items, if it follows the current update.  Please review the events lists on when the Planning Policy Commission and the Council Committee will review this list.

ICAP Table List


The Land Use Code update is expected to last approximately 18 months; public engagement for this work is organized into four phases spanning from May 2021 through the end of 2022.

  1. Phase 1 — Strategy
  2. Phase 2 — Drafting Code
  3. Phase 3 — Review
  4. Phase 4 — Adoption

May – July 2021

  • Project kick-off with Planning Policy Commission
  • Identify key stakeholders who should be involved
  • Determine how and when to best engage those stakeholders and other identified communities with vested interests in the Land Use Code update