Town hall will focus on Federal Way’s future development

March 9 event seeks public feedback on comprehensive plan.

Want to have a say in the next two decades of Federal Way’s development? You’ll have a chance March 9 at the city’s comprehensive plan town hall.

Comprehensive plans are how Washington cities set blueprints for their next 20 years of growth. They lay out goals and standards for universal city business like housing, transportation and major public facilities, but they’re also a chance for cities to plan around their own idiosyncratic challenges or opportunities.

Federal Way, for example, has the following big-ticket items on its next comprehensive plan, which covers the city’s future through the year 2044. The comprehensive plan was last updated in 2015.

Development of downtown, generally defined as the area near South 320th Street that includes the Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC) and The Commons mall. The city recently awarded a bid to tear down the old Target building there, paving the way for plans to build housing, hotels, office space, retail and civic pavilion in the area.

Construction of the upcoming Sound Transit light rail extension.

A plan to build a trail network through the city, using some existing trails, that would make the city more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. A draft map from November shows miles of proposed bike lanes and greenways across the city and major planned trail additions on 16th Avenue South, in the area north of Thomas Jefferson High School and reaching from the King County Aquatic Center all the way north to SW 320th Street.

Cities and counties must update their comprehensive plans every eight years, though that will soon change to every decade.

A virtual town hall on Feb. 28 has already passed, but the city will host an in-person town hall this coming Thursday, March 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Federal Way Community Center (876 S. 333rd St.). Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Learn more at

The city is scheduled to produce a draft comprehensive plan by spring 2024 and put it to the city council and public for adoption by fall of that year.