Planning / Community Development
The CWCOG, formed over 50 years ago for the purpose of studying regional and intergovernmental issues, provides a wide variety of planning services. Our dedicated team of experienced, professional planners helps communities with short-range and long-range planning services, code updates, development review services, neighborhood plans, and other services requested by our members, such as:
Document Research and Preparation
CWCOG staff facilitate, research, write and prepare long-range plans. These documents set the course for local and regional growth in order to create thriving, livable communities. Once a plan is completed or updated, a jurisdiction may become eligible to compete for federal or state grants to assist with construction and system improvements identified in these plans. Plans may include but are not limited to:
- Long-range comprehensive plans
- Urban growth area plans
- Park and recreation plans, including those for trails
- Hazard mitigation plans
- Corridor and special area plans
- Revitalization plans
Code and Permitting Assistance
All communities require codes, permits, and regulations in order to meet federal and state requirements; to implement comprehensive plans; and conduct business in a fair, consistent, and legally defensible fashion. It is sometimes impossible for smaller jurisdictions to keep up with the ever-changing laws that apply to their communities. CWCOG staff specializes in these areas to aid local jurisdictions in meeting new or amended statutes. Our expertise includes:
- Code development and amendments
- Permit reviews and staff reports (subdivisions, short plats, variances, conditional use permits, etc.)
- Critical areas compliance and permit reviews
- State Environmental Policy Act administration and Shoreline Management Act
- Meeting facilitation
- Community surveys
- Public involvement
- Needs assessments
- Visual preference surveys
Grant Application Development
CWCOG staff is available to help identify sources of funding for almost any type of improvement project by matching your community’s needs with appropriate potential funding sources. Services include:
- Researching the array of possible grant opportunities
- Preparation of background data to document needs and trends
- Independent review and critique of your proposal
- Preparation of grant applications
Visual simulation software allows Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based analysis and real-world 3D modeling so people can envision land-use alternatives and understand potential impacts, explore options, share possibilities, and examine scenarios. By looking at a variety of angles and perspectives, including environmental, economic, and social characteristics, people with different viewpoints and backgrounds can engage in collaborative and informed decision-making about their community’s future. Community VIZ turns civic innovation into everyday practice.
Regional Housing Advisory Committee
The Regional Housing & Community Development Program works to improve the communities in our region with an emphasis on housing quality, availability, and affordability. Ensuring safe, affordable, and stable living conditions is always of concern, and even more so during tough economic times.
The Regional Housing Advisory Committee tracks and monitors housing trends and issues within the region, advising the CWCOG board whenever local, state or federal action is needed. Special studies and reports are used to assess the needs of our area, assist community housing partners in meeting the affordable housing needs of our communities, and inform our elected officials of developing issues across our region that require action. The 2007 Regional Housing Plan calls for action to:
- Support the conservation and expansion of the affordable housing stock;
- Expand opportunities for low income households to achieve homeownership and build wealth;
- Meet the need for sound, affordable rental housing stock; and
- Promote fair housing opportunities, programs, and services for low and moderate income households.
Data & Information Services
CWCOG is currently collecting data products to make available to its membership and the general public via its website and other channels. The goal is to create a repository of local, state, and federal resources for convenient and efficient access to a wide array of plans and data to meet the needs of our members and organizations that serve our communities.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
The CWCOG has been working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology for over 14 years. During this time, CWCOG has been collecting data and spatially referencing information for the region. Our GIS is made up of many complex data layers built from information gathered throughout our planning area, including such features as:
- street networks
- transportation features
- land use
- corporate boundaries
- critical areas
- census information
- aerial photographs
GIS is used to support CWCOG's transportation, environmental, and community development planning projects. We work closely with our members to facilitate the sharing of GIS data among governmental agencies and with the public to ensure the information is accurate, up-to-date, and readily available.
CWCOG can provide various GIS services such as creating maps and data layers, analyzing data, and creating geodatabase systems for local jurisdictions. Please contact us if you are interested in this service or have any questions.
For the Healthy Communities by Design Toolkit click here.
For further information, please contact us at email@example.com, or call 360.577.3041.
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments
207 4th Avenue N
Kelso, WA 98626
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Bill Fashing, Executive Director