Lewis County Launching Project to Plan for Future Growth in Packwood

Mountain Town: Packwood Visitor Center Sees 5,800 Visitors This Year After 1,903  in 2019


Lewis County Community Development plans to engage community members on ways to manage and guide future growth in Packwood as part of a new subarea planning process announced Friday.

“Tourism has increased, especially during the pandemic, as the number of visitors stopping at the Packwood Visitor Center increased from 1,903 in 2019 to over 5,800 through October this year,” Lewis County senior long range planner Mindy Brooks said in a Friday news release.

Housing costs have increased significantly in recent years in Lewis County as the region as a whole undergoes a housing crunch.

Located between Mount Rainier, Goat Rocks Wilderness and White Pass Ski Resort, the Packwood area has experienced significant growth during this time, and has been presented with its own issues unique to the tourist-hub town.

A subarea plan is one tool the county is looking at to address growth in the area.

The plan acts as a road map that would guide how Packwood would develop over the next 20 years.

“Lewis County is working on a subarea plan for Packwood and will include a community vision, goals and policies that are adopted as part of the Lewis County Comprehensive Plan. Topics will include land use, housing, transportation, public services and facilities, natural resources and recreation,” read the news release.

County staff will draft the plan with oversight from a community advisory committee, which will be made up of citizens and interested parties.

On Dec. 14, the Lewis County Planning Commission will hold a workshop to review the Packwood project’s public participation portion of the plan, and the community is invited to watch the workshop in full at this link: www.tinyurl.com/94rvrrpd.

A number of events, meetings and surveys to gather input are being planned for 2022.