Community Wide Planning Documents

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City of Kelso Comprehensive Plan

The City of Kelso Washington's Comprehensive Plan is a management tool to be used as a resource to guide decision-making in the City as well as the allocation of City resources.The Comprehensive Plan is based on a Vision Statement that is a description of the preferred future for the City.

Consolidated Plan

The Consolidated Plan is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that large cities and all states must prepare in order to receive Federal monetary assistance from HUD Programs. The Plan is a comprehensive strategy developed by the community addressing the affordable housing and community development needs present within the community.

Unified Development Code 2017

Comprehensive Plan Updated 2017

Comprehensive Plan 2015

2015 Comp Plan -  Supporting Plans, Documents, and Maps
The following is a listing and brief summary description of the plans, documents, and maps that have been adopted by reference and are to be used in support of the implementation of this Plan.  Please note that as these plans, documents, and maps are updated the most recent version shall apply.  Copies of the maps may be viewed or purchased at the City Planning Department.
A. Supporting Plans
1. City of Kelso Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan: (2/14)
Part 1
Part 2
2. Cowlitz County Regional Trails Plan (12/06)
3. City of Kelso 2012 Water System Master Plan Update (3/13)
Appendices A-C
Appendices D-F
Appendices G-I
4. City of Kelso Sewer Master Plan (1/11)
5. City of Kelso Six Year Capital Improvement Plan (4/14)
6. City of Kelso Comprehensive Storm Water Management Plan: (5/13)
Part 1
Part 2
7. Cowlitz County Hazard Mitigation Plan (7/03)
8. City of Kelso Downtown Design Plan:
Phase 1 Report (6/05)
Phase 2 Report (11/06)
9. South Kelso Revitalization Plan (6/13)
10. Southwest Washington Regional Airport Master Plan (2/11)
B. Supporting Documents
1. City of Kelso Shoreline Master Program (update in progress)
2. City of Kelso Municipal Code
C. Supporting Maps
City of Kelso Official Zoning Map
City of Kelso Future Land Use Map
City of Kelso Existing Land Use Map
City of Kelso Shoreline Designations Map (Draft)
City of Kelso Map of Levees
City of Kelso Critical Areas Maps:
100 Year Floodplain
100-500 Year Floodplain
Highly Erosive Soils
Percent Slope
Seismic Hazards
Slope Instability
7. City of Kelso Public Lands Map
8. Cowlitz County Future Land Use Map (Kelso vicinity)
9. Cowlitz County Official Zoning Map (Kelso vicinity)

Shoreline Master Plan 2016
SMP Appendices A-E


The purpose of the Shoreline Master Program is to develop a plan for managing shorelines throughout the City for compliance with the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), RCW 90.58 The Act provides a statewide framework for managing, accessing, and protecting the Washington’s significant shorelines including rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Passed by the Washington State Legislature in 1971, the SMA reflects the strong interest of the public in our shorelines and waterways for recreation, protection of natural areas, aesthetics, and commerce. The statute requires each county and city within the state to update their Shoreline Master Program periodically. To complete this work, the Department of Ecology provided the County with a grant.

Smart Growth Implementation Report

The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, in partnership with the city of Kelso, Washington, requested technical assistance from EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to develop a smart growth economic development strategy focusing on the South Kelso neighborhood, specifically downtown Kelso, the South Kelso residential community, and the Talley Way industrial area.

Using Smart Growth Strategies to Foster Economic Development: A Kelso, Washington, Case Study (2015) aims to help cities like Kelso rethink how to address economic development challenges with small, manageable solutions that create stronger, more resilient communities. A smart growth economic development strategy needs to support businesses and workers and improve quality of life. Smart growth approaches bring together these elements and recognize the balance among them and the need to create long-term value in addition to short-term gains.

The report can be accessed through the EPA's website.

West Kelso Subarea Plan

The West Kelso Subarea Plan helps establish a vision and guiding principles as part of a larger subarea planning effort in the West Kelso neighborhood. The vision and guiding principles are based largely on public input and form the basis for the subarea plan which generates a blueprint for a continued revitalization effort and economic development strategy. The subarea plan addresses the many challenges and opportunities facing West Kelso.

Draft South Kelso Annexation Study

This report highlights the potential for annexation in four pockets of unincorporated South Kelso, and will go over the properties in their current state and infrastructure, the financial gains and costs, and the effects of annexation.

Draft Kelso Annexation Report


Cowlitz Housing First Coalition

The Washington State Legislature passed the Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act (HB 2163) in 2005, directing local governments to develop ten-year homeless plans with a goal of eliminating homelessness and cutting existing homeless in half by July 2015.

In compliance with this requirement the Cowlitz Housing First Coalition was formed.

You may see the Cowlitz Ten Year Homeless Plan – 2011 Update here.

Kelso Municipal Code

Codification of the general ordinances of the City of Kelso. You may open the Kelso Municipal Code here.