Initiative 933 - The "Property Fairness Act"
|Year||Votes For||Votes Against||Final Outcome|
|2006||839,002 (41.2%)||1,199,679 (58.8%)||Defeated|
Initiative 933 petitions with sufficient signatures have now been filed with the Secretary of State, so this measure will be on the November 7, 2006 general election ballot. If approved by the voters, it will be the most significant change in state land use law ever.
What does the Initiative require?
Initiative 933 would require "an agency" (which would include cities, counties, and state agencies) to either compensate property owners for applying or enforcing, with some exceptions, any ordinance, regulation, or rule that would result in "damaging the use or value of private property" or waive application or enforcement of such ordinance, regulation, or rule. "Private property" is broadly defined in the initiative to include both personal and real property. "Damaging the use or value of private property" is defined to include such things as: prohibiting or restricting any use legally existing as of January 1, 1996; requiring a portion of property to be left in its natural state or without beneficial use to its owner, unless necessary to prevent an immediate harm to human health and safety (e.g. stream or wetland buffers), regardless of when such requirements were enacted; and prohibiting maintenance or removal of trees or vegetation. The initiative also contains a list of exceptions from its requirements, "restrictions that apply equally to all property subject to the agency's jurisdiction," including, among other things: "limiting the location or operation of sex offender housing or adult entertainment;" wage and hour laws, and setback requirements established before January 1, 1996.
This measure would also require that, prior to enacting any such ordinance, regulation, or rule, an agency must "consider and document" various issues relating to the enactment's impact on property rights. And, the measure amends the Growth Management Act (GMA) to prohibit cities and counties from adopting any development regulation under the GMA that prohibits a land use that legally existed prior to the regulation's adoption.
Initiative 933 is modeled to some extent upon Measure 37 in Oregon, which was approved by the voters in that state in November 2004. See the links relating to Measure 37 on MRSC's Regulatory Takings page.
This is a brief summary of the initiative's provisions. More detailed summaries and analyses of the proposed initiative can be found at the links below.
Links to I-933 information
- Text of Initiative 933
- Proponents of Initiative 933
- Opponents of Initiative 933
- The Facts on I-933, Measure 37, and You, Sightline Institute
- Analysis and Impact of Washington State Proposed Initiative-933, by Don Stuart, American Farmland Trust
- Analysis of Proposed Initiative 933 & its Consequences for Washington, Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association
- Application of I-933 to Personal Property, by Hugh Spitzer, Foster Pepper PLLC (October 12, 2006)
- A Guide to Initiative 933- Property Fairness Initiative, Washington Policy Center (October 2006)
- The Impacts of Proposed Initiative 933 on Real Property and Land Use in Washington State, Northwest Center for Livable Communities, Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington (September 2006)
- Potential Financial Impacts of I–933: Concerning Government Regulation of Private Property, Office of Financial Management, September 2006
Local government resolutions related to I-933
- Auburn Resolution No. 4068 (), passed August 21, 2006
- Everett Resolution No. 5823 (), passed October 11, 2006
- Olympia Resolution No. 6-13 (), passed August 22, 2006
- Snoqualmie Resolution No. 788 (), passed August 14, 2006
- Spokane Resolution No. 2006-0111 (), passed October 9, 2006
Legal restrictions on using public office or facilities for or against ballot propositions
As with all initiative ballot measures, governmental officers and employees are subject to certain statutory restrictions on the use of public office or public facilities for activities in support of or in opposition to ballot measures. Below are links to information on these statutory restrictions:
DISCLAIMER: Material on MRSC's website concerning Initiative 933 has been prepared in response to questions concerning the meaning of and the potential impacts of that ballot measure. This material is provided for analytical/educational purposes only. We make no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content at this site or at any other sites to which we provide links.