(1) The department shall establish a program of technical and financial assistance and incentives to counties and cities to encourage and facilitate the adoption and implementation of comprehensive plans and development regulations throughout the state.
(2) The department shall develop a priority list and establish funding levels for planning and technical assistance grants both for counties and cities that plan under RCW 36.70A.040
. Priority for assistance shall be based on a county's or city's population growth rates, commercial and industrial development rates, the existence and quality of a comprehensive plan and development regulations, and other relevant factors.
(3) The department shall develop and administer a grant program to provide direct financial assistance to counties and cities for the preparation of comprehensive plans under this chapter. The department may establish provisions for county and city matching funds to conduct activities under this subsection. Grants may be expended for any purpose directly related to the preparation of a county or city comprehensive plan as the county or city and the department may agree, including, without limitation, the conducting of surveys, inventories and other data gathering and management activities, the retention of planning consultants, contracts with regional councils for planning and related services, and other related purposes.
(4) The department shall establish a program of technical assistance:
(a) Utilizing department staff, the staff of other state agencies, and the technical resources of counties and cities to help in the development of comprehensive plans required under this chapter. The technical assistance may include, but not be limited to, model land use ordinances, regional education and training programs, and information for local and regional inventories; and
(b) Adopting by rule procedural criteria to assist counties and cities in adopting comprehensive plans and development regulations that meet the goals and requirements of this chapter. These criteria shall reflect regional and local variations and the diversity that exists among different counties and cities that plan under this chapter.
(5) The department shall provide mediation services to resolve disputes between counties and cities regarding, among other things, coordination of regional issues and designation of urban growth areas.
(6) The department shall provide planning grants to enhance citizen participation under RCW 36.70A.140