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City of Kent wins state award for Rally the Valley plan

Targets businesses that want to set up headquarters, production plants

The city of Kent won a Governor’s Smart Communities Award for its Rally the Valley: Kent Valley Manufacturing/Industrial Center Subarea Plan.

Gov. Jay Inslee and state Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown recently announced the 11 Smart Communities Award winners for 2020-21. Launched in 2006, the Governor’s Smart Communities Awards program annually recognizes local governments and their partners for exceptional work in implementing the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) to shape future growth, economic vitality and quality of life in communities across Washington.

“I’m proud to showcase another impressive cohort of Smart Communities Award winners, each representing creative leadership and collaboration that will enrich these communities for years to come,” Inslee saidy.

“These award winners model best practices that can easily be adapted by other communities,” Brown said. “Their work demonstrates how thoughtful planning with robust public engagement can build shared vision and buy-in for meaningful action on important priorities and projects that strengthen communities.”

This year’s award winners, selected from 16 nominations by a panel of judges, focused on achievements in the areas of job growth, economic development, housing affordability, homelessness, parks and recreation, transportation, subarea development and, new this year, climate change strategies.

Kent’s Rally the Valley seeks to address the effects of evolving technology, transformations in industry, outdated land use policies and fiscal constraints on the Kent Valley through goals, policies, projects and programs that steer toward the community’s vision.

The city’s vision notes “the Kent Valley is recognized as a thriving, economically resilient industrial ecosystem, a center for productive business and a healthy, desirable place to work.”

Rally the Valley looks to bring in other types of industries than just warehouses, including the potential for more aerospace businesses. City leaders want to transform the valley into a place where companies choose to set up headquarters and production plants rather than more warehouses and distribution centers.


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