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Natural Resources and Parks

King County, Washington

For questions about King County Natural Resources and Parks website, please contact Fred Bentler, webmaster.


Utilities Technical Review Committee
King County, Washington

Welcome to the King County Utilities and Technical Review Committee (UTRC) page. The King County UTRC has existed since 1973 and has multiple purposes and responsibilities identified in Chapter 13 and elsewhere in the King County Code (KCC). Its principal purpose is to provide technical review of water and sewer utility comprehensive plans to assure the plans are consistent with adopted County plans, policies, and land use controls; and then recommend plan approval, or not, to the King County Executive and King County Council.

The Committee is also charged with providing the notification to tribal governments for actions that fall within the authority of the committee; reviewing requests for annexations and franchise applications; requests for utility right-of-way construction permits; reviewing and making required findings regarding site-specific development issues (e.g., proposals to extend sewer lines into rural areas); hearing appeals on water utility service proposals (i.e., "timely and reasonable" water service); and generally fulfilling the County's responsibilities under a variety of other water and sewer planning and management provisions of state law (e.g., Public Water System Coordination Act, Growth Management Act (GMA)). In short, the UTRC protects King County's interests in all aspects of utility development to ensure that county plans and policies are implemented.

King County's role in local governance and utility oversight has evolved, and will continue to evolve, for a number of reasons. For instance, the large number of incorporations and annexations within King County over the past ten years has significantly reduced the geographic area over which the County has direct land use permitting responsibility. The development and maturity of local government planning under the GMA has also reduced the magnitude of uncoordinated planning for utility service delivery.

The eight member committee is comprised of representatives of the following departments. Each department director appoints their one representative to the committee.

  • Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) - two representatives
  • Department of Transportation;
  • Department of Permitting and Environmental Review;
  • Public Health-Seattle and King County;
  • Department of Executive Services, Facilities Management Division;
  • King County Council staff; and
  • King County demographer.

The UTRC receives support from DNRP and the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The DNRP has major responsibility for coordination and support for the UTRC.

Water and Sewer Plan Process

For more information on how the utilities submit comprehesive plans to the UTRC.

UTRC Benchmarks

The County is committed to the timely review of utility comprehensive plans and tracks the time it takes to review the plan from its receipt through adoption of an approving ordinance. The County's goal is to provide initial plan review comments within 90 days or less from the date of plan receipt.

Read more about the King County Benchmark Program.

Coordinated Water System Plans (CWSPs)

Four CWSPs manage existing and future development of the public water supply in critical water supply service areas under King County Code 13.28. The four CWSPs are: East King County CWSP; Skyway CWSP; South King County CWSP; and Vashon CWSP.

Appeal Process

The Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977 provides that no new water supply system be established within a King County critical water supply service area(s) unless it is determined that existing purveyors cannot provide water service in a timely and reasonable manner. Any person who resides within a CWSP service area who believes an offer of water services as documented by the Certificate of Water Availability is unreasonable or untimely may file an appeak with the UTRC.

For questions or more information about King County Utilities Technical Review Committee, please contact Steve Hirschey, Chair of the UTRC.