Friday, September 22, 2023

Moses Lake city staff share public participation plan for development code

Staff Writer | July 28, 2023 5:59 PM

MOSES LAKE — The Director of Moses Lake’s Community Development Department Kirsten Peterson presented the Public Participation Plan portion of the city’s new development code to the city council during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

“I guess really I’m referring to it now as a development code rewrite,” said Peterson. “We are going to be basically just starting over with an entirely new code. We’re not just editing it or revising it; we are putting together a brand-new development code.”

The participation plan will take input from the public on the new development code, which is still in progress and being put together and will be informed by that public input.

Peterson said that the council had been informed during the July 11 council meeting that the Community Development Department would initiate a public participation plan for the development code update and that the point of Tuesday’s meeting was to share that plan with the council.

“We’ve been analyzing the boundaries of the zoning districts and the allowed uses, and I know that’s the kind of thing that a lot of folks are interested in, and that’s the kind of thing we’ll definitely want to seek public input on and talk to public commissioners about,” said Peterson.

Peterson walked council members through the participation plan and informed them of the project’s intentions.

“There are some public participation outcomes that we want,” she continued. “We want to have a public involvement process that provides clear information to the public on the purpose

of the Code and how the update process works.”

According to the agenda packet for the Public Participation Plan, those outcomes also include having public meetings designed to make sure the public has an opportunity to be heard and hear other people’s input and ensuring the opportunity for a broad range of perspectives. The packet also states that another goal for the process is transparency.

“We’re going to document all the public input and make it available for anyone to review and ideally that will lead toward a better decision-making process,” said Peterson.

The development code has to take into account state laws like the Growth Management Act, according to the packet, but also the input of community members, stakeholders, city officials, non-city service providers, developers and others.

“We’re also going to be relying on those community experts like the developers,” said Peterson. “We discussed who we’d like to invite and just getting going on some developer meetings and asking for volunteers, seeing if we can get enough representation to represent what the developer community is seeing because they’re the ones who use the code regularly.”

Deputy Mayor Deanna Martinez asked Peterson if the public input process would be accessible to non-English speakers who want to participate.

“Depending on our audiences, we would definitely make sure there are translation services available,” said Peterson.

Council Member David Skaug had several comments regarding the new development code. He said he would like to see the Community Development Department talk to current permit holders and get their perspective, especially regarding other cities those holders have been involved in developments. He also said he would like the city council to be more involved in the decision to shut down projects that don’t adhere to the development code.

“Those are great comments, I’ve written them all down, and I think that last point you brought up, ideally a lot of that will be solved by having streamlined code and process that’s easy to follow,

Council Member Dustin Swartz said that he wanted to make sure that the Community Development Department took current permit holders’ possible frustrations with building in the middle of a code transition into account.

According to the agenda packet, the City Council is the final decision maker for adopting the updated development code once it is eventually written and revised, and the council will hold a public hearing on the final draft of the code before action is taken to adopt it. Peterson said the Public Participation Plan would come first.

“This is more for review, comment, and then we can adopt it maybe in August and get that going forward, the Public Participation Plan itself,” said Peterson.

To view the development plan updates in detail, visit

Gabriel Davis may be reached at

Community Outreach Methods

Public Open Houses and Meetings:

These will include background and educational presentations,

roundtable discussions, activities and encouragement of attendee


Community Activities and Events:

Community Development staff will conduct activities at community events and activities that are already happening in the community, such as Farmer’s Market, DMLA events, parades, various socials, etc.

Focus Events:

Small-scale focus groups with targeted members of the community will be conducted with the following types of groups: school groups, businesses, neighborhood centers and community organizations.


Small-scale focus groups with targeted members of the community will be conducted with the following types of groups: school groups, businesses, neighborhood centers and community organizations.

Public Hearing:

Public hearings will be held by both the Planning Commission and City Council prior to adoption. Written and oral testimony will be accepted at public hearings.

Public Comment:

Comment forms will be available online, at the City Community Development Office, and at all public meetings, community events and activities.

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