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MRSC Index A topical index to MRSC's information resources.

Planning: PL 8

Expand Section Electronic Documents (117 Results)

  1. "Mapping principles for rezonings," by Arista Strungys. Zoning Practice, December 2011
    Article | Document Date: 12/2011


  2. Manufactured housing Q & A, Washington Manufactured Housing Association
    Article | Document Date: 2004


  3. Model regulations for single-family homes; manufactured homes, Washington Manufactured Housing Association
    Article | Document Date: 2004


  4. "Town house standards," by Mary Fishman and Tom Smith. Zoning Practice, February 2010
    Article | Document Date: 02/2010


  5. Setbacks and Zoning for Transmission Pipelines, by Jim Doherty, Legal Consultant, Municipal Research and Services Center
    Article | Document Date: 08/2004


  6. Regulating Group Homes in the Twenty First Century: The Limits of Municipal Authority, by Ted Gathe. City Attorney, Vancouver
    Article | Document Date: 04/2013


  7. GMA applies to all cities and counties in the state
    Article | Document Date: nd


  8. "Using outdoor lighting ordinances to mitigate the unwanted effects of light pollution," by Donald Elliot and Molly Mowery. Western Planner, March 2006
    Article | Document Date: 3/06


  9. "Using outdoor lighting ordinances to mitigate the unwanted effects of light pollution," by Donald Elliot and Molly Mowery. Western Planner, March 2006
    Article | Document Date: 3/06


  10. The dying auto mall, by William Fulton, Governing, March 2009
    Article | Document Date: 3/09


  11. "Right sizing urban growth boundaries," by Uri Avin and Michael Bayer. Planning, February 2003
    Article | Document Date: 2/03


  12. Pre-annexation agreement to be used in the Reata Road annexation
    Contracts | Document Date: 01/2013
    Jurisdiction: Richland

  13. Interlocal agreement between Island County and Oak Harbor to promote and provide guidance for the orderly growth and management of the physical development of the urban growth area and the surrounding joint planning area
    Contracts | Document Date: 01/2002
    Jurisdiction: Island County

  14. Interlocal agreement among the communities of the Chehalis River Basin for study, analysis and implementation of flood control projects to protect the Chehalis River Basin (Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority)
    Contracts | Document Date: 4/08
    Jurisdiction: Lewis County, Grays Harbor County, Thurston County, Centralia, Chehalis, Pe Ell, Aberdeen, Montesano, Bucoda, Tribal

  15. Memorandum of understanding on adoption and implementation of the unincorporated UGA land use regulations and development standards
    Contracts | Document Date: 6/97
    Jurisdiction: Chelan County, Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Entiat

  16. Memorandum of understanding between Ridgefield and La Center regarding coordination of urban growth area expansion requests
    Contracts | Document Date: 1/06
    Jurisdiction: Ridgefield, La Center

  17. Urban growth area management agreement. City and county agree to share in the net revenues of significant developed commercial and/or industrial land
    Contracts | Document Date: 3/99
    Jurisdiction: Walla Walla County, Walla Walla

  18. Master interlocal agreement between city of Vancouver and Clark County for post-annexation delivery of public services
    Contracts | Document Date: 12/96
    Jurisdiction: Vancouver

  19. Interlocal agreement to set forth the financial and administrative procedures Vancouver and Clark County will incorporate into subsequent service agreements associated with Vancouver's annexation of unincorporated areas of Clark County
    Contracts | Document Date: 11/1996
    Jurisdiction: Vancouver, Clark County

  20. Interlocal agreement for law enforcement services to be provided by Clark County Sheriff's Office to Vancouver City residents living within a newly annexed area
    Contracts | Document Date: 1996
    Jurisdiction: Vancouver, Clark County

  21. Interlocal framework agreement between Skagit County, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Anacortes, Sedro Wooley and LaConner regarding coordinated planning, urban services and countywide planning policies
    Contracts | Document Date: 2/03
    Jurisdiction: Skagit County

  22. Memorandum of understanding to set forth the agreement between Skagit County and Mount Vernon on adoption and implementation of Urban Growth Area (UGA) zoning and development standards
    Contracts | Document Date: 1997
    Jurisdiction: Skagit County, Skagit County, Skagit County

  23. Memorandum of understanding between Richland and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians Reservation (CTUIR) for the coordination of tribal involvement in the city's land use planning process
    Contracts | Document Date: 1994
    Jurisdiction: Richland

  24. Memorandum of agreement between Kitsap County and Poulsbo establishing a work program to develop a subarea plan for the Poulsbo joint planning area
    Contracts | Document Date: 7/99
    Jurisdiction: Poulsbo

  25. Agreement between Newcastle and the Coal Creek Development Corporation for annexation of property
    Contracts | Document Date: 2/97
    Jurisdiction: Newcastle

  26. Interlocal agreement between Auburn and King County relating to potential annexation area designation and future service provision
    Contracts | Document Date: 7/03
    Auburn

  27. Rezone application
    Municipal Form | Document Date: 3/2011
    Jurisdiction: Bellingham

  28. Procedure for zone/rezone application
    Municipal Form | Document Date: 12/05
    Jurisdiction: Benton City

  29. Variance application packet
    Municipal Form | Document Date: 12/2008
    Jurisdiction: Yakima

  30. Variance application
    Municipal Form | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Chelan

  31. Resolution No. 36524 - Creates Blue Ribbon Panel on high-risk/high needs residents to study isues and make recommendations for a community model for affecting change relating to standards of care, quality assurance and comunity relations for programs which serve high-risk/high needs residents
    Ordinance | Document Date: 05/2005
    Jurisdiction: Tacoma

  32. Ordinance No. 12-040 - Regulates agriculture and uses in the A-10 zone; amends Chs. 30.22 and 30.91F; adds Sec. 30.91A.095, agricultural composting
    Ordinance | Document Date: 07/2012
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  33. Ordinance No. 904 - Amends Ord. 897, moratorium on certain land use applications
    Ordinance | Document Date: 01/2000
    Jurisdiction: Duvall

  34. Ordinance No. 3845 - Repeals and readopts Ch. 20.05, development regulations for wireless communications facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 07/2011
    Jurisdiction: Edmonds

  35. Ordinance 2011-06-14 - Adds Section 40.260.075, electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 06/2011
    Jurisdiction: Clark County

  36. Ordinance No. 3976 - Amends Chs. 15.02, 15.04 and 15.05, electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/2010
    Jurisdiction: Kent

  37. Ordinance No. 2553 - Adds Ch. 19.126, electric vehicleinfrastructures
    Ordinance | Document Date: 11/2010
    Jurisdiction: Mountlake Terrace

  38. Ordinance No. 852 - Adds Section 11-22-23, electric vehicle charging stations
    Ordinance
    Jurisdiction: Roy

  39. Ordinance No. 2011-300 - Adopts electric vehicle infrastructure regulations
    Ordinance | Document Date: 3/11
    Jurisdiction: Sammamish

  40. Ordinance No. 1351 - Adds Ch. 16.37, electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/10
    Jurisdiction: Lacey

  41. Ordinance No. 2535 - Adds Section 15.12.050(8), electric vehicle charging, adds the requirement to include conduit and a box for electric vehicle charging equipment
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/10
    Jurisdiction: Redmond

  42. Ordinance No. 2324 - Adopts regulations regarding electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 2/11
    Jurisdiction: Tukwila

  43. Ordinance No. 10-102 - Development of electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 01/2011
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  44. Ordinance No. 2055 - Adds Section 12.14.240 and amends Section 8.64.030, exterior lighting
    Ordinance | Document Date: 1/11
    Jurisdiction: Bothell

  45. Ordinance No. TLS 11-01-01 - Amends development regulations re electric vehicle infrastructure
    Ordinance | Document Date: 1/11
    Jurisdiction: Douglas County

  46. Ordinance No. 2047 - Adds Section 12.14.070(E), mechanical equipment within setback areas
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/10
    Jurisdiction: Bothell

  47. Ordinance No. 10-0346 - Amends Section 18.90.040; Sections 18.80.040, 18.80.050, 18.80.060, 18.80.070, 18.80.080 regarding density standards and minimum lot sizes
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/10
    Jurisdiction: Edgewood

  48. Ordinance No. 2010-12-12 - Adds Section 40.260.245, wineries
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/10
    Jurisdiction: Clark County

  49. Ordinance No. 2919-0134 - Adds Ch. 20.10, concurrency management system
    Ordinance | Document Date: 4/10
    Jurisdiction: Sequim

  50. Ordinance No. 09-079 - Urban center design standards, establishes zone for urban centers, establishes bulk regulations for urban centers
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/10
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County, Snohomish County

  51. Ordinance No. 2287 - Amends zoning code re crisis diversion facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/10
    Jurisdiction: Tukwila

  52. Ordinance No. 2010-7 - Placement of recreational vehicles in mobile home parks and the availability of electric vehicle charging and exchange infrastructure pursuant to House Bill 1481
    Ordinance | Document Date: 4/10
    Jurisdiction: Pierce County

  53. Ordinance No. 10-1017 - Adds §§ 15.10.157 and 15.10.158 and amends §§ 15.10.249 and 15.12.020; crisis diversion facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/10
    Jurisdiction: SeaTac

  54. Extends the moratorium (Ord. 2279) on the filing of applications for building permits, development permits or any other permits or approvals required for food or drink establishments seeking to conduct new social card game gambling activities or to expand existing social card game gambling activities whether as a principal use or as an accessory use
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/10
    Jurisdiction: Tukwila

  55. Ordinance No. 1329 - Amends manufactured home standards regarding siting recreational vehicles in mobile/manufactured home communities per Ch. 79, Laws of 2009
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/09
    Jurisdiction: Lacey, Lacey

  56. Ordinance No. 5896 - Amends Land Use Code relating to Phase II of the Neighborhood Livability Action Agenda; limits the overall height of new single-family homes, and imposes additional development standards on large new homes built in existing neighborhoods
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/09
    Jurisdiction: Bellevue

  57. Ordinance No. 2009-06-01 - Amends Section 40.050.020 to allow applicants to vary lot area and make lot area variances by ten percent or less automatis; repeals Section 40.260.110, residential infill
    Ordinance | Document Date: 6/09
    Jurisdiction: Clark County, Clark County

  58. Ordinance No. 3293 - Adds Ch. 17.44, planned low impact development overlay zone
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/07
    Jurisdiction: Port Angeles

  59. Ordinance No. 07-005 - Amends flood hazard regulations, updates regulations and flood hazard permit requirements to comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and makes additional updates and clarifications; amends Sections 30.43c.020, 30.43c.100, 30.70.050, 30.71.020, 30.65.100, 30.65.120, 30.22.130, 30.65.125, 30.65.150, 30.65.230, and 30.65.265
    Ordinance | Document Date: 02/07
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  60. Ordinance No. 2135 - Adds Ch. 18.58, wireless communications facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/06
    Jurisdiction: Tukwila

  61. Ordinance No. 2006-196 - Repeals Ch. 19.08, growth management phasing of residential development
    Ordinance | Document Date: 5/06
    Jurisdiction: Sammamish

  62. Ordinance No. 06-053 - Revises the southwest urban growth area and amends Ordinance No. 03-061
    Ordinance | Document Date: 7/06
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  63. Ordinance No. 05-654 - Amends zoning code as it relates to mobile and manufactured homes pursuant to Senate Bill 6593
    Ordinance | Document Date: 12/04
    Jurisdiction: Waterville

  64. Ordinance No. 4047 - Temporary use provisions for homeless encampments
    Ordinance | Document Date: 3/06
    Jurisdiction: Kirkland

  65. Resolution No. 2006-010 - Recommends county work program that includes a 3-part concurrency management analysis; a report on the various policy choices faced by county; and recommends that the county integrate a coordinated SEPA review on all projects that could impact transportation, parks, law enforcement or other regional services provided by special districts or county subdivisions
    Ordinance | Document Date: 01/06
    Jurisdiction: Whatcom County

  66. Ordinance No. 05-038 - Adds Ch. 30.28A, development standards and siting process for personal wireless telecommunications services facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 11/05
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  67. Ordinance No. 2003-18 - Provides for the annexation of certain property to the city and classifying and zoning the property
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/03
    Jurisdiction: Wenatchee

  68. Ordinance No. O2002-013 - Amends certain provisions of Title 18 relating to the regulation of secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/02
    Jurisdiction: Tumwater

  69. Ordinance No. 1991 - Amends various code sections relating to zoning and permitting for secure community transition facilities for sexually violent predators
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/02
    Tukwila

  70. Ordinance No. 12807 - Regulations for the siting of secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/02
    Jurisdiction: Thurston County

  71. Municipal Code Ch. 13.17, Mixed Use Center Development
    Ordinance | Document Date: 12/2012
    Jurisdiction: Tacoma

  72. Ordinance No. 2088 - Amends zoning code in regard to metal storage containers, temporary tent structures, signage in the general commercial district; amends design and development guidelines to discourage franchise architecture
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/04
    Jurisdiction: Sumner

  73. Resolution No. 02-0812 - Amends the zoning code relating to secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 7/02
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County

  74. Ordinance No. C32796 - Imposes a moratorium regarding applications for land use permits for wireless telecommunications facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 1/01
    Jurisdiction: Spokane

  75. Ordinance No. C-33085 - An ordinance regulating the process and special permit decision criteria for siting a secure community transition facility
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/02
    Spokane

  76. Ordinance No. 03-006 - Adds Ch. 30.42D, amends Section 30.22.020, essential public facilities siting process
    Ordinance | Document Date: 2/03
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  77. Ordinance No. 04-010 - Adds Ch. 30.43E, reasonable accomodation for the statutory rights of the disabled, and amends various zoning code sections relating to health and social service facility uses
    Ordinance | Document Date: 3/04
    Jurisdiction: Snohomish County

  78. Ordinance No. 02-1029 - Provides for "Secure Community Transition Facilities" (SCTF), Major Communication Facilities, and Group Homes as Essential Public Facilities (EPF)
    Ordinance | Document Date: 7/02
    Jurisdiction: SeaTac

  79. Ordinance No. 2152 - Relating to the siting of secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 02/03
    Redmond

  80. Ordinance No. 93-38 - Approving the establishing of pre-annexation zoning for the North Kitsap School District No. 400
    Ordinance | Document Date: 12/93
    Jurisdiction: Poulsbo

  81. Resolution No. 94-182 - Pre-annexation zoning procedures
    Ordinance | Document Date: 07/1994
    Jurisdiction: Mill Creek

  82. Ordinance No. 623 - Establishing appropriate locations, regulations, and development standards for wireless communication facilities
    Ordinance
    Jurisdiction: Medina

  83. Ordinance No. 3853 - Relating to secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 08/2002
    Jurisdiction: Kirkland

  84. Ordinance No. 2345 - Siting regulations for secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 08/2002
    Issaquah

  85. Ordinance No. 2865 - Adopts proposed zoning regulations and annexing certain real property to the city
    Ordinance | Document Date: 01/16/92
    Jurisdiction: Edmonds

  86. Model ordinance relating to the establishment and operation of child day care facilities; establishing land use regulations and a permit, system therefor. Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development
    Ordinance | Document Date: 11/90
    Jurisdiction: Washington State

  87. Resolution No. C-815 - Amends the Cheney Comprehensive Plan, amending the Essential Pubilc Facilities Element, and adopting the Spokane County Regional Siting Policy for Essential Public Facilities Regional Siting Process
    Ordinance | Document Date: 8/02
    Jurisdiction: Cheney

  88. Ordinance No. 363 - Relating to secure community transition facilities
    Ordinance | Document Date: 08/2002
    Jurisdiction: Burien

  89. Ordinance No. 549 - Zoning for areas annexed into the city
    Ordinance | Document Date: 10/1992
    Jurisdiction: Brewster

  90. Aerial map of streams, riparian habitat zone, floodplain and floodway: Old Town and Island Crossing
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 06/2009
    Jurisdiction: Arlington

  91. Conditions of approval for Three Holy Hierarchs Church's condition use permit and site development plan
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 08/2009
    Jurisdiction: Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace

  92. Staff advisory report to hearing examiner re Three Holy Hierarchs Church conditional use permit and site conditional plan
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 06/2009
    Jurisdiction: Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace

  93. Finding of facts and conclusions of law re Three Holy Hierarchs Church conditional use permit and site conditional plan
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 07/2009
    Jurisdiction: Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace

  94. Various documents re conditional use permit to convert an existing single-family residence into a church and education center; Islamic Educational Center of Seattle
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 10/2005
    Jurisdiction: Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace

  95. Special use permit notice of decision transmittal letter and final determination of non-significance
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 07/2010
    Jurisdiction: Redmond, Redmond

  96. Site plan entitlement notice of decision transmittal letter (approval to remodel interior space for a mosque)
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 06/2010
    Jurisdiction: Redmond, Redmond

  97. Agenda bill 2010-72, level of service discussion
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 7/10
    Jurisdiction: Mukilteo

  98. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, Digest of Decisions, 5th edition
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 8/09
    Jurisdiction: Washington State

  99. Accessory dwelling unit ordinance study and recommendations - Washington State Department of Community Development
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 1/94
    Jurisdiction: Washington State

  100. Comprehensive Planning for Flood Hazard Management Guidebook, Washington State Department of Ecology
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 8/91
    Jurisdiction: Washington State

  101. Collaborative Planning: Spokane County’s Metro Urban Growth Area
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 7/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Spokane County

  102. Collaborative Planning: Implementation in Spokane County’s Metro Urban Growth Area, Appendix B: Fiscal Strategies
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley, Spokane, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley, Spokane

  103. Collaborative Planning: Implementation in Spokane County’s Metro Urban Growth Area, Appendix A: Development Regulations
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley

  104. Collaborative Planning: Implementation in Spokane County's Metro Urban Growth Area
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley

  105. Collaborative Planning for Spokane County’s Metro Urban Growth Area. Spokane County Line of Business Allocation: Summary of Findings
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 9/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley

  106. 2007-2009 CTED Collaborative Planning Grant: Fiscal Issues for Spokane County Metro Urban Growth Area: Spokane County, WA - 2007-2009 CTED Collaborative Planning Grant: Fiscal Issues for Spokane County Metro Urban Growth Area
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley

  107. Collaborative Planning: Implementation in Spokane County’s Metro Urban Growth Area, Appendix C: Interlocal Agreements
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 12/09
    Jurisdiction: Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley

  108. Tukwila South Project master plan
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 5/09
    Jurisdiction: Tukwila

  109. Final order and judgment granting relief under Administrative Procedure Act in the case of the City of Normandy Park v. the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, John Kaleas and Brust Horst
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 3/06
    Jurisdiction: Normandy Park, King County, Normandy Park, King County

  110. County-wide planning policy
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 10/03
    Jurisdiction: Yakima County

  111. Analysis and recommendations for use and development standards that would allow detached accessory dwelling units in single-family zones
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 02/04
    Jurisdiction: Seattle, Seattle

  112. Phase I application for location of telecomunications facilities
    Other Gov Doc
    Jurisdiction: Redmond

  113. Application packet for location of telecomunications facilities
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 1997
    Jurisdiction: Redmond

  114. Discussions of levels of services and priorities
    Other Gov Doc | Document Date: 1/00
    Jurisdiction: Pullman

  115. Policies governing the decision of the city regarding the availability of services from the city water utility
    Policy/Procedure | Document Date: 12/06
    Jurisdiction: Lacey

  116. Request for qualifications from interested developers for the purchase and development of property
    RFP | Document Date: 2/11
    Jurisdiction: Richland

  117. Request for concepts and qualifications from experienced developers (and development teams) for mixed-use redevelopment concepts in its City Center for consideration as public-private partnerships
    RFP | Document Date: 1/09
    Jurisdiction: Federal Way

Expand Section Featured Inquiries (89 Results)

  1. May cities and counties provide additional land supply in an urban growth area (UGA) beyond what is needed to accommodate the 20-year growth projection?


    Yes. RCW 36.70A.110(2) states that the UGA determination "may include a reasonable land market supply factor" beyond the area that is sufficient to accommodate projected growth for the 20-year planning period. RCW 36.70A.110 and WAC 365-196-310 provide some guidance for the designation, sizing, and location of UGAs, but neither the Growth Management Act (GMA) nor the administrative rules define "land market factor."

    In Petree et al v. Whatcom County (WWGMHB Case. No. 08-2-0021c, FDO (10/13/2008)), the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board describes the use of a reasonable land market supply factor to account for the fact that not all buildable land will be developed within the 20-year planning horizon. The WWGMHB held that sizing the UGA in excess of the acreage required to accommodate the urban growth projection based upon any other factor (such as affordability) other than market factor is not authorized by the GMA.

    In North Clover Creek v. Pierce County (CPSGMHB Case No. 10-3-0003c, FDO (8/2/2010)), the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board discussed decisions about whether land that has "better characteristics for a desired economic purpose" can be added to a UGA that is already oversized and noted that in each of the past cases that addressed this issue, the anti-sprawl/UGA sizing requirements of the GMA trump the economic development goals of the local jurisdiction.

    See also Streicher v. Island County (WWGMHB Case No. 08-2-0015, FDO, at 6-15 (9/29/ 2008) regarding the land capacity analysis for the sizing of a UGA and locational criteria.

    The Department of Commerce's Urban Growth Area Guidebook (11/2012), provides very helpful guidance for updating UGAs, including issues related to sizing and servicing the UGAs and summaries of findings from a number of hearings board and court cases that clarify the analysis needed to justify land area, market factors for land availability, and related issues.

    There appears to be no single right answer regarding UGA size and the size of a market factor, since growth pressures and the quality of land use data will vary from place to place. The answer may be to set a boundary that can be expanded and to monitor supply closely.



  2. Does the Growth Management Act prohibit cities from extending utility services (water and/or sewer) outside the urban growth area to serve proposed development?

    The answer is, generally, yes. RCW 36.70A.110(4) provides that it is not appropriate for urban governmental services to be extended to or expanded in rural areas. RCW 36.70A.030(18) makes it clear that water and sewer service are urban governmental services. There is an exception to extending water or sewer service outside the urban growth area in those limited circumstances shown to be necessary to protect the public health and safety and the environment and when such services are financially supportable at rural densities and do not permit urban development. RCW 36.70A.110(4). So, this limited exception to the general prohibition may or may not apply in a given situation depending on some specific facts.

    The leading case on this issue is Thurston County v. Cooper Point Association, 148 Wn.2d 1 (2002), which reviewed the extension of a sewer line by the county into a rural area. The court held that the county's proposed extension of sewer services constituted urban growth subject to statutory restrictions and that the county had not shown the extension was necessary to protect basic health, safety, and the environment. Therefore, the extension of services was in violation of the Growth Management Act, RCW 36.70A.110(4).



  3. May a city planning under Growth Management Act (GMA) extend sewer service to a property that is contiguous to the city limits but not with in its urban growth area (UGA)?

    A city may not, except in very limited circumstances, extend sewer service to a property not within its UGA, even if that property is contiguous to the city limits. RCW 36.70A.110(4) generally prohibits the extension of urban type services such as sewer lines outside a UGA to "rural areas":

    In general, cities are the units of local government most appropriate to provide urban governmental services. In general, it is not appropriate that urban governmental services be extended to or expanded in rural areas except in those limited circumstances shown to be necessary to protect basic public health and safety and the environment and when such services are financially supportable at rural densities and do not permit urban development.

    Growth management hearings board decisions have not allowed sewer hook-up of properties outside a UGA, even though the connection is to an existing line on or adjacent to the property. A hook-up under those circumstances would be equivalent to extending or expanding urban governmental services in rural areas in violation of RCW 36.70A.110(4).

    In Director of CTED v. Snohomish County, CPSGMHB No. 03-3-0020, Final Decision and Order, May 5, 2004, the hearings board addressed the argument that hook-up to an existing line by a church when the line is on or adjacent to the church property violates RCW 36.70A.110(4):

    (T)he County argues that for a school or a church in the rural area to "hook-up" to a sewer line, the sewer line must be on, or adjacent to, the school or church property. Therefore, the County concludes, no expansion or extension of the sewer is necessary.

    The board rejected that argument, interpreting a hook-up under those circumstances as an extension or expansion:

    (I)t logically follows that where churches or schools in the rural area are not presently connected to a sewer system, the sewer system would have to be extended, or expanded, to accomplish the connection or hook-up. Therefore, the Board concludes, that the provisions of Ordinance No. 03-104, on their face, permit the extension or expansion of sewers (urban governmental services) into the rural area without such extension being necessary to protect the basic health and safety or environment. The Ordinance creates a new exception (proximity to sewers) beyond the one limited exception in RCW 36.70A.110(4) identified by the Supreme Court in Cooper Point [148 Wn.2d 1 (2002)]. Consequently, Ordinance No. 03-104 does not comply with, and in fact contradicts, the clear statutory direction of RCW 36.70A.110(4).

    (Footnote omitted.)

    So, it follows that the board would also reject that argument when the church property, or any property, is outside but borders the UGA boundary and the sewer line is on that boundary; it would still be considered to be an expansion or extension to allow hook-up of that property to the sewer line.

    Note that the city or county could allow extension, under RCW 36.70A.110(4), "in those limited circumstances shown to be necessary to protect basic public health and safety and the environment and when such services are financially supportable at rural densities and do not permit urban development." In Thurston County v. Cooper Point Ass'n, 148 Wn.2d 1, 14-15 (2002), the state supreme court suggested that one circumstance where it may be necessary to extend such services beyond a UGA into rural areas is where homes served by septic systems are currently experiencing waste discharge problems that can be addressed only by sewer lines. However, "the majority reads the term 'necessary' to mean extending a sewer line, i.e., extension of a government service, would be permitted only if it were absolutely required, i.e., the only possible means of addressing a particular threat." 



  4. How can a city restrict undesirable uses while it is working on a downtown redevelopment strategy involving changes to zoning and design standards?

    It is common to enact a six-month moratorium in situations where a downtown plan or strategy is being developed that will involve revisions to the comprehensive plan, zoning code, or design standards. For statutory provisions regarding moratoria and interim zoning, see RCW 36.70A.390 (GMA), RCW 35A.63.220 (code cities), RCW 35.63.200, and RCW 36.70.795 (counties). A public hearing is required within at least 60 days of the adoption of the moratorium or interim zoning. The six-month moratorium (or interim zoning) can be extended for additional six-month periods, as noted in the statutes.

    We see several options for the moratorium. It could be applied to all uses in a certain downtown zoning district and/or defined area. If you wanted to allow some types of development to continue, the moratorium could be limited to specific uses that would not be allowed to be developed during the moratorium period (such as auto repair, storage units, etc.). Another less common approach would be to state the uses that would be allowed during the moratorium period and make all other uses not listed subject to the moratorium.

    The following are some examples of ordinances establishing moratoria for downtown and other commercial zoning districts: 

    Another option used by communities when revisions to the zoning code or design standards are underway is to enact an interim zoning ordinance. This is not practical unless draft zoning changes or design standards have already been developed and may be less applicable to your situation. Here are two examples of interim zoning with respect to downtown zones: 



  5. Request for code provisions allowing small-scale corner stores (grocery, coffee shop, hair salon) in residential neighborhoods

    We haven't found much in the way of research on this topic, although there does appear to be a renewed interest in allowing more neighborhood-scale corner stores throughout communities. To some extent, this is tied to the goal of walkable neighborhoods with basic services available nearby. Also, the local food movement supports more opportunities to purchase locally grown food in residential neighborhoods. See Healthy Corner Stores Network.

    In most instances, where corner stores are allowed in residential areas, they are subject to a conditional use permit. In Seattle and other communities, proposals to allow small-scale neighborhood stores in residential zones have been very controversial and have not always been adopted.

    Articles Related to Corner Stores

    Examples from Zoning Codes and Comprehensive Plans

    • Anacortes Municipal Code §17.36.040 - Neighborhood grocery stores allowed as conditional use in R2 zone (see p. 2) Standards: maximum of 1,200 sf retail sales space, maximum 3,200 sf total building space, and at least ¼ mi. distance from existing grocery store.
    • Blaine Municipal Code §17.42.040 (F) - Neighborhood grocery stores allowed as conditional use in planned residential zone. Standards: maximum of 8,000 sf gross commercial floor area; no single business greater than 2,500 sf; and other performance criteria.
    • Buckley Municipal Code §19.20.050 - Neighborhood mixed-use zone - allows small grocery stores.
    • Clallam County Code §33.20.050(3)(a) re: size of neighborhood grocery stores in urban residential zone. Standards: less than 10,000 sf in area; total lot coverage 35% - maximum; 20% for structure and 15% for other improvements.
    • Everett Zoning Code §38.100 - Nonconforming grocery stores in residential zones.
    • Lacey Municipal Code §16.60.040(A)(3)(a) (planned residential zone) and §16.60.130.
    • Poulsbo Draft Comprehensive Plan 2009, Implementation Chapter (see Goal LU; Policy LU, p. 3) and Poulsbo Comprehensive Plan, 12/2009, Ch. 2 (see Policy LU p. 18). See Poulsbo Council Approved Zoning Code 02/2013, Residential Zoning Districts Neighborhood Commercial §18.70.070.F.6.
    • Tumwater Municipal Code §18.56.160(b)(3)(a) - Grocery store under 2,000 sf gross floor area. Allowed as conditional use in certain residential zones.
    • Whatcom County Code §20.20.155 - Neighborhood grocery allowed as conditional use in urban residential zone. Gross commercial floor area not exceeding 2,500 sf and other performance standards.
    • Austin, TX, Neighborhood Planning Guide to Zoning, Infill Special Use Options ( see p. 76) - The city provides for a set of options that may be used for small lot amnesty/infill areas, including cottage housing, "urban homes," secondary apartments, neighborhood mixed use building, residential infill, neighborhood centers, and corner stores.
    • Hermiston, OR Zoning Code Duplex residential zone - Neighborhood grocery allowed as conditional use.
    • Seattle considered allowing small grocery stores in multifamily areas; however, this was not adopted. See Council rejects mayor's plan for more stores in neighborhoods, by Lynn Thompson, Seattle Times, May 23, 2012. However, Seattle is Supporting a Healthy Corner Store Initiative (Councilmember Conlin).
    • Also see Seattle Department of Planning and Development Director's Report relating to Council Bill 117697, regarding 2013 Amendments to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan, 01/23/2013 Excerpt:

    Attachment C -- Recommended Amendments
    Healthy Food
    Urban Village Element
    * UV10.5: Encourage the location of grocery stores, farmers markets, and community food gardens to support access to healthful food for all residential areas, inside and outside of urban villages.



  6. How does Initiative 1183, relating to liquor privatization, affect local zoning authority?

    The following sections from the text of Initiative 1183 relate to the zoning of liquor premiss: 

    • Section 101(2)(i): Ensure that local communities have input before a liquor license can be issued to a local retailer or distributor and maintain all local zoning requirements and authority related to the location of liquor stores; [Bold emphasis added]
    • Section103(3)(a): Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, the board may issue spirits retail licenses only for premises comprising at least ten thousand square feet of fully enclosed retail space within a single structure, including storerooms and other interior auxiliary areas but excluding covered or fenced exterior areas, whether or not attached to the structure, and only to applicants that the board determines will maintain systems for inventory management, employee training, employee supervision, and physical security of the product substantially as effective as those of stores currently operated by the board with respect to preventing sales to or pilferage by underage or inebriated persons. [Bold emphasis added]
    • Section103(3)(b) excerpt: - However, existing grocery premises licensed to sell beer and/or wine are deemed to be premises "now licensed" under RCW 66.24.010(9)(a) for the purpose of processing applications for spirits retail licenses. 
    • Section 103(3)(c): The board may not deny a spirits retail license to an otherwise qualified contract liquor store at its contract location or to the holder of former state liquor store operating rights sold at auction under section 102 of this act on the grounds of location, nature, or size of the premises to be licensed. The board shall not deny a spirits retail license to applicants that are not contract liquor stores or operating rights holders on the grounds of the size of the premises to be licensed, if such applicant is otherwise qualified and the board determines that: (i) There is no retail spirits license holder in the trade area that the applicant proposes to serve . . . 
    • Section 104(7): Licensees holding a grocery store license must maintain a minimum three thousand dollar inventory of food products for human consumption, not including pop, beer, strong beer, or wine.

    MRSC legal consultants have advised that there is no preemption of local zoning regulation of liquor premises based on the language of the initiative. According to Section 103(3)(b) of the initiative, grocery stores that currently sell wine and beer would be deemed to be premises "now licensed." These stores would be grandfathered under local zoning. A city or county could not likely prevent an existing store of 10,000 square feet or larger that sells beer and wine from obtaining a license to sell liquor. Stand-alone liquor stores are also permitted, subject to criteria in Initiative 1183. There is no maximum size for a liquor store. We believe that a local government could require a conditional or special use permit and restrict the size of stand-alone liquor stores in certain zoning districts. MRSC believes that a moratorium, if limited in scope to apply to applications for new liquor stores (not including any existing state stores or grocery premises that currently have licenses to sell beer and/or wine), would be acceptable. A local jurisdiction would, of course, have to have some type of application required for a liquor store for a moratorium to be effective.



  7. Request for information on what other jurisdictions do to buffer the impacts between commercial and residential zones.

    This is in response to your request for information on how other jurisdictions buffer impacts between commercial and residential zones. The following are examples of transitional zones from Washington cities:

    • Bellevue Land Use Code Part 20.25B - Transition Area Design District
    • Ellensburg Municipal Code Ch. 13.18 - Residential Office Zone
    • Kent Municipal Code §15.08.210 - Transition Area Combining District
    • La Conner Municipal Code Ch. 15.36 - Transitional Commercial Zone 
    • Redmond Zoning Code, Ch.21.50 – Transition Overlay Areas 
    • Tacoma Municipal Code §13.06.200.B.1 Transitional District
    • West Richland Municipal Code Ch. 17.75 - Transition Regulations 

    For additional examples, see the MRSC web page on Mixed Use. Also, most local landscaping ordinances require buffers around certain commercial and industrial uses and buffers between uses, especially commercial and industrial uses adjacent to residential uses.

    Other Resources:



  8. Request for sample ordinances regulating chickens in residential zones.

    This is in response to your research request for code provisions regulating chickens in residential zones. First, take a look at our web page on "Regulating Livestock and Other Farm Animals." This page includes several city codes regulating animals, including chickens, in residential areas. In addition, see the following codes:

    Also see the following: 



  9. Are federal projects exempt from local building permit and land use requirements?

    Yes, federal projects are exempt from local land use regulations and building permit requirements. The concept of federal exemption from state and local regulations is based on the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. Article VI of the federal constitution states in relevant part:

    This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

    So, neither local zoning regulations nor the local building code apply to a federal building project on federally-owned property. This is also the conclusion of the Office of the Attorney General in AGO 1978 No. 6, dated March 7, 1978. There is one caveat in this AGO, however. Sometimes the Congress might require that a certain building project comply with local building codes and, in that case, the local building code must be followed by the federal agency. Of course, the federal government may always voluntarily subject itself to local zoning and building code regulations if it so desires.

    Also see California Planning - "The Essentials of Preemption."



  10. Must the county take local action to implement the provisions of HB 1653, which clarifies the integration of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) policies with the Growth Management Act (GMA) relating to critical areas?

    No. HB 1653 (Ch. 107, Laws of 2010) was enacted in response to a confusing Washington State Supreme Court decision, Futurewise v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, 164 Wn.2d 242 (2008). This legislation addresses the integration of the SMA and GMA with respect to critical areas within shorelines. The bill establishes new provisions in the GMA that clarify that local critical areas ordinances adopted pursuant to the GMA will apply to critical areas within the shorelines of the state until the Department of Ecology approves a comprehensive shoreline master program (SMP) update, a segment of an SMP relating to critical areas, or a new or amended SMP. The legislation clarifies that existing shoreline critical areas regulations of local governments remain in place and were not invalidated by the Futurewise decision and also that a jurisdiction may amend an SMP section pertaining to critical areas without being considered a full scale SMP or SMP segment update. The bill applies retroactively to July 27, 2003, the effective date of the original legislation that the Futurewise case addressed. No local legislation must be adopted to implement this legislation.



  11. May a city control the location of a sex offender residential housing unit through the adoption of zoning regulations?

    A city has very limited options in regard to regulating sex offender housing, because the state has preempted most of this area. The 2006 legislature enacted SSB 6325 (codified as RCW 9.94A.8445) that prohibited local governments from enacting residency restrictions on sex offenders. The compromise that was signed into law put in place a statewide restriction that prohibits certain sex offenders from living within 880 feet of a public or private school. See RCW 9.94A.030(6) regarding definition of "community protection zone" and RCW 9.94A.703(1)(c) regarding the restriction on certain offenders residing within that zone.



  12. Request for temporary use permits for farmers markets, holiday sales, tent cities, etc.

    See the following links to temporary use provisions from several Washington cities:

    ·         Oak Harbor Municipal Code, Ch. 19.35 - Temporary Use Permits (includes produce stands)

    • Vancouver Municipal Code Ch. 20.885 - Temporary Uses (includes produce stands)

    In addition to the general temporary use permit information, you may be interested in specific information regarding permits for tent cities:

    You may also be interested in specific information on farmers markets. Take a look at MRSC's Web page on Farmers Markets. Also see the codes noted above that address produce stands as part of the temporary use provisions.



  13. May contract rezones still be used as a tool, or have they been replaced by development agreements?
    The term "contract zoning" or “contract rezone” refers to an agreement between a developer and a local government where the local government grants a rezone in exchange for a developer meeting certain conditions related to a development. Local governments in Washington have used such "contract rezones," sometimes called “concomitant agreements,” for many years as a tool to ensure that a rezoned property is developed as proposed and agreed upon at the time of approval.

    However, neither contract rezones nor concomitant agreements were specifically authorized in the planning statutes, though, in 1995, the state legislature authorized "development agreements" in RCW 36.70B.170 – .210 (Ch. 36.70B RCW). These statutes place some restrictions and requirements on local government use of development agreements, and they apply to any new agreements or contracts related to rezones. We recommend that local jurisdictions use the term "development agreement" instead of "contract agreement" or "concomitant agreement" since state law now refers to these as "development agreements." Such agreements (including those that apply to rezones) are now clearly authorized when executed consistent with RCW 36.70B.170 - .210.

  14. Request for information on regulation/prohibition of "formula" retail or restaurant uses.

    We are aware of two cities in the state - Port Townsend and Bainbridge Island - that prohibit certain "formula" businesses except in a certain zone or zones. Other cities in the state regulate design features of such establishments but do not prohibit them in zones where other retail/restaurant uses are permitted.

    Bainbridge Island limits "formula take-out food restaurants" to two districts and imposes regulations regarding their design: See Bainbridge Municipal Code, Sec. 18.36.030(92) - definition of "formula take-out restaurant;" and Sec. 18.09.030(D)(2) - Formula take-out restaurants. 

    Port Townsend has enacted regulations governing "formula retail and restaurant establishments." See Ch.17.54 of the Port Townsend Municipal Code. These establishments are permitted only in one commercial zone. See Port Townsend Municipal Code Sec.17.20.020

     See also Formula Business Restrictions, Institute for Self Reliance, for a discussion of regulation around the country.  See also

    Regulation of Large Retail Establishments (Big Box Retail), MRSC for information on a related topic.

    The legality of such restrictions has not been challenged in this state, so we cannot say with any certainty that such restrictions would be found permissible by the courts. However, we note that a California Appeals Court upheld the city of Coronado's formula retail ordinance. If a city provides an adequate justification for restrictions, and allows them in some areas of the city, they would likely be upheld by courts in this state. Limiting them to a certain number may be more legally questionable.



  15. How do other cities and counties handle unlisted uses that are not addressed in the zoning code?

    There is no general rule for unnamed uses not listed in a zoning code. Most communities provide some provisions for addressing unlisted or similar uses in their zoning code.

    The following codes include general provisions for handling unclassified uses or uses similar to others listed in the zoning code.



  16. Request for information on density bonuses.

    Density bonuses are used for many purposes, including the provision of affordable housing units (probably the most common), protection of critical areas, preservation of open space, provision of transit-oriented housing, inclusion of public art, preservation of historical and cultural resources, and energy conservation. Density bonuses are built into planned unit development, planned residential development, and cluster subdivision provisions.

    Here are links to some of the documents available on the Web:

     



  17. May city require a conditional use permit for a group home for persons considered disabled or handicapped?

    No, this is not permitted under the "Washington Housing Policy Act" (WHPA), RCW 35A.63.240.

    This statute provides:

      No city may enact or maintain an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation or official control, policy, or administrative practice which treats a residential structure occupied by persons with handicaps differently than a similar residential structure occupied by a family or other unrelated individuals. As used in this section, "handicaps" are as defined in the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3602).

    Accordingly, a development regulation that requires a conditional use permit for a group home for handicapped or disabled individuals but not for single-family residences violates this statute, which is stricter than comparable provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act. In Sunderland Family Treatment Services v Pasco, 107 Wn. App. 109 (2001), the state court of appeals struck down Pasco's requirement that "group care facilities" obtain a special use permit:

      [W]e conclude that the City violated the WHPA by defining "family" in such a way as to impose additional burdens on residential care facilities for the handicapped. The City violated the WHPA by adopting a regulatory scheme that permitted a "family" to obtain immediate occupancy of a residential structure but required "group care facilities" to obtain a SUP before occupying a similar residential structure. But for the City's definition of family, the residents of the proposed facility would have been entitled to immediate occupancy of the home. Instead, the residents of the proposed facility were denied access based on their handicap and familial status.

    See also: Regulating Group Homes in the Twenty First Century: The Limits of Municipal Authority, by Ted Gathe, 04/2013 (Reprinted with permission of the author).



  18. May city require a conditional use permit for a group home for persons considered disabled or handicapped?

    No, this is not permitted under the "Washington Housing Policy Act" (WHPA), RCW 35A.63.240.

    This statute provides:

      No city may enact or maintain an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation or official control, policy, or administrative practice which treats a residential structure occupied by persons with handicaps differently than a similar residential structure occupied by a family or other unrelated individuals. As used in this section, "handicaps" are as defined in the federal fair housing amendments act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3602).

    Accordingly, a development regulation that requires a conditional use permit for a group home for handicapped or disabled individuals but not for single-family residences violates this statute, which is stricter than comparable provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act. In Sunderland Family Treatment Services v Pasco, 107 Wn. App. 109 (2001), the state court of appeals struck down Pasco's requirement that "group care facilities" obtain a special use permit:

      [W]e conclude that the City violated the WHPA by defining "family" in such a way as to impose additional burdens on residential care facilities for the handicapped. The City violated the WHPA by adopting a regulatory scheme that permitted a "family" to obtain immediate occupancy of a residential structure but required "group care facilities" to obtain a SUP before occupying a similar residential structure. But for the City's definition of family, the residents of the proposed facility would have been entitled to immediate occupancy of the home. Instead, the residents of the proposed facility were denied access based on their handicap and familial status.

    See also: Regulating Group Homes in the Twenty First Century: The Limits of Municipal Authority, by Ted Gathe, 04/2013 (Reprinted with permission of the author).



  19. May a city prohibit the location of a day-care facility that provides for eight children in a residential zone?
    No, not if the facility meets the definition of a "family day-care provider" under the terms used in RCW 43.215.010 That definition means a day-care provider who regularly provides child day-care for not more than twelve children in the provider's home in the family living quarters.

    RCW 35A.63.215 (for code cities) and RCW 35.63.185 (for all other cities) provide that no city may enact an ordinance or regulation that prohibits the use of a residential dwelling, located in an area zoned for residential or commercial use, as a family day-care provider's home. The definition of family day-care provider that applies is the above definition from RCW 43.215.010.



  20. Is the city council required to issue findings of fact and conclusions of law when ruling on a request for a rezone?
    Yes. The findings of fact and conclusions of law are necessary so that if the council's decision is appealed, the superior court will have an adequate basis for reviewing whether the council's action is arbitrary, or whether it is supported by the record.

  21. May local zoning regulations cover amateur radio facilities?

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules which impose a limited federal preemption on local zoning regulations affecting amateur radio antennas (97.15(b) CFR). "Amateur Radio Preemption, 101 FCC 2nd 952 (1985)," also known as PRB-1 (1985), is a "memorandum opinion and order" issued by the FCC, which requires that local regulations that involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety or aesthetic considerations must reasonably accommodate amateur communications, and represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local government's legitimate purpose.

    This preemption is explicitly recognized in state statute (RCW 35.21.315 for non-code cities, RCW 35A.21.260 for code cities, and RCW 36.32.600 for counties).

    Basically, under the FCC rules, it appears that cities may not adopt local zoning regulations which would have the effect of precluding amateur radio communications. Local regulations must reflect an effort to reasonably accommodate amateur radio facilities and must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority's legitimate regulatory purpose.



  22. What zoning applies when one lot is located in two zoning districts?
    The general rule is that zoning need not follow boundary lines. Consequently, when a lot is split by a zoning district, part of the lot is subject to the rules that apply to the one district and the other part is subject to the rules that apply to the other district. However, zoning ordinances may, and some do, specifically address the split lot situation, such as providing for some form of administrative special exception procedure or by establishing some flexibility in district boundary lines.

  23. Has the state preempted zoning for adult homes located within cities?
    The state has preempted this area to some extent. The definition of adult family homes is contained in Ch. 70.128 RCW. An adult family home is defined in state law as the regular family abode of a person who is providing personal care and board to more than one but not more than six adults who are not related by blood or marriage to the person providing the service (see RCW 70.128.010(1)). The statute states that an adult family home shall be considered a residential use of property for zoning purposes. It requires that adult family homes be a permitted use in all areas zoned for residential or commercial purposes, including areas zoned for single-family dwellings. If a city has a facility which constitutes an adult family home as defined in the state statute, then the state requires that it be allowed as a permitted use in all areas zoned for residential or commercial purposes (RCW 70.128.140).

  24. May a city or county enact a zoning regulation that prohibits wireless telecommunications antennas from being placed in residential zones?

    If there are adequate nearby commercial or industrial zoned areas where wireless telecommunications facilities are permitted to be placed, and if placement of antennas in these non-residential zones would enable telecommunications providers to install a system that provides adequate service to the entire jurisdiction, then prohibiting placement in residential zones would not violate the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. Each jurisdiction will need to assess their particular zoning configuration and topography. Expert technical assistance may be needed for a jurisdiction to evaluate whether wireless facilities will need to be permitted in all zones of the city.

    For more telecommunications information such as sample ordinances, leases, franchise agreements, FCC documents, and articles, see MRSC's Telecommunications Web page.



  25. Can the powers of initiative and referendum be used to amend a city's zoning ordinance and impose a moratorium on rezones for a limited time period?
    No. The courts in this state have indicated that amendments to the zoning code are not a proper subject for an initiative. RCW 35A.63.220 (for code cities) and RCW 35.63.200 (for non-code cities) specifically indicate that it is the legislative body which has the authority to adopt a moratorium.

  26. May the hearing for a renewed moratorium be held after a moratorium has been renewed?
    No. RCW 35A.63.220 (for code cities), RCW 35.63.200 (for non-code cities), and RCW 36.70.795 (for counties) require a hearing within 60 days of adopting a moratorium or interim zoning if such hearing was not held before council action (or board action for counties). These statutes also require adoption of findings of fact to justify the action.  A moratorium or interim zoning may be renewed for one or more six mother periods, but the public hearing (and findings of fact) for the renewal must be held prior to each renewal.

  27. What is the maximum allowable time for an emergency moratorium?
    A moratorium adopted as an emergency is only effective for six months, but may be renewed for one or more six-month periods if a subsequent public hearing is held and findings of fact are made prior to each renewal. For cities and counties fully planning under the Growth Management Act, see RCW 36.70A.390; for code cities, see RCW 35A.63.220; for other cities, see RCW 35.63.200; and for counties, see RCW 36.70.795.

  28. May a city or county enact a moratorium as an emergency measure?

    Yes. Many land use moratoriums are adopted as emergency measures in order to preserve the status quo while new plans or regulations are considered and prepared. The authority for enactment of moratoriums by a code city is at RCW 35A.63.220 and RCW 36.70A.390 (Other cites/towns: RCW 35.63.200; Counties: RCW 36.70.795).  Although these statutes do not specify the need for declaring an "emergency," the reasons for imposing a moratorium typically involve an "emergency" justifying its adoption without notice or prior hearing. In re Recall of Ackerson, 143 Wn.2d 366, 375 (2001). ("Moratoriums may be initiated upon the incorporation of a new city or may be adopted as emergency zoning ordinances without prior notice or hearing."); Matson v. Clark County Bd. of Comm'rs, 79 Wn. App. 641, 644 (1995)  ("Recognizing the emergency, temporary, and expedient nature of such regulations, the courts have tended to be more deferential than usual to the local legislative body.") So, while an emergency determination is not strictly required to enact a moratorium, it is usually necessitated by the circumstances and the reasons for imposing the moratorium and the consequent need to adopt it and have it go into effect immediately.

     



  29. Does a rezone affect an existing water right?

    The short answer is no, not directly, but this depends on the situation. A water right is only for the use specified on the water right certificate, and, to retain the water right, it must be "perfected" or used. After five consecutive years of non-use, a water right is considered abandoned. Assuming that the property owners are using the water for the specified use on the certificate and plan to continue to do so, a rezone will not affect the water right. However, at such time that the owner plans to change the use of the property, a new water right certificate will be needed. A water right certificate is attached to the property and runs with the land unless withheld in a contract of sale. In some cases, a person may believe that he or she has a water right certificate but may have a domestic exemption instead.

    We recommend contacting the Department of Ecology's regional office if there is any question about whether a valid water right is in effect. Water rights contacts at the Department of Ecology are listed on the department's Water Rights Home page (scroll to bottom of page). This Web page is the best source for general information about water rights in Washington State.



  30. What is spot zoning (particularly in the case of a rezone) and is it always illegal?

    Spot zoning is basically disfavored in our state. The basic definition of spot zoning in Washington was outlined in Narrowsview Preservation Association v. City of Tacoma, 84 Wn.2d 416 (1974), in which the court said:

    We have recently stated that illegal spot zoning is arbitrary and unreasonable zoning action by which a smaller area is singled out of a larger area or district and specially zoned for use classification totally different from and inconsistent with the classification of the surrounding land, not in accordance with a comprehensive plan

    The reasons for invalidating a rezone as an illegal spot zone usually include one or more of the following: (1) the rezone primarily serves a private interest, (2) the rezone is inconsistent with a comprehensive plan or the surrounding territory, or (3) the rezone constitutes arbitrary and capricious action. Each situation must be determined on its own facts and it is not always easy to determine conclusively whether a rezone would constitute an illegal spot zone.

    According to Richard Settle in Washington Land Use and Environmental Law and Practice, the issue with spot zoning is not the differential regulation of adjacent land but the lack of public interest justification for such discrimination. Where differential zoning merely accommodates some private interest and bears no rational relationship to promoting legitimate public interest, it is "arbitrary and capricious" and hence "spot zoning." The term "spot zoning" is not really a distinct legal doctrine. It is really a "misleading term for the application of the constitutional requirements of equal protection and substantive due process." See Settle at section 2.11(c). Courts will overturn a rezone if it grants a "discriminatory benefit to one or a group of owners to the detriment of their neighbors or the community at large without adequate public advantage or justification. . . ." Bassani v. County Commissioners, 70 Wn. App. 389 (1993).

    The following are some links to information on spot zoning and contract rezones/concomitant agreements: 

      • "Spot Zoning," excerpt from "A Short Course on Local Planning," ver. 5.1, Planning Association of Washington and Washington State Department of Commerce, July 2009 (see Chapter 5(A)(2)(b)(7))
      • "Removing Spot Zoning From the Fabric of Zoning Practice" (Includes description of spot zoning law in other states in addition to a summary of Washington law), Public Policy Brief, Gary D. Taylor, J.D., Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University Extension, January 2004
      • Spot zoning definition from Appendix A: Glossary of Terms and Phrases (Adobe Acrobat Document) (At end of publication), from Beginner's Guide to Land Use Law , Pace University School of Law, Land Use Center .

    Some jurisdictions that have rezone criteria that discourage spot zoning:

    Mercer Island Unified Land Development Code, §19.15.020(G)(2)

    2. Reclassification of Property (Rezones).

      a. The proposed reclassification is consistent with the policies and provisions of the Mercer Island comprehensive plan;
      b. The proposed reclassification is consistent with the purpose of the Mercer Island development code as set forth in MICC 19.01.010;
      c. The proposed reclassification is an extension of an existing zone, or a logical transition between zones;
      d. The proposed reclassification does not constitute a "spot" zone;
      e. The proposed reclassification is compatible with surrounding zones and land uses; and
      f. The proposed reclassification does not adversely affect public health, safety and welfare.

    Port Angeles Municipal Code, §17.96.100:

    17.96.100 Amendments.

      A. In determining if an amendment to these regulations is needed, the City Council shall give due consideration to the proper relationship of such amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and the entire Zoning Regulations; it being the intent to retain the integrity and validity of the zones herein described and to avoid any isolated spot zoning changes in the Zoning Map.
      B. Any amendments adopted by the City Council may be modified from the form in which they were advertised within the limits necessary to relate properly such amendment or amendments to the Zoning Regulations. Final action on such modifications shall be subject to review and report of the Planning Commission prior to final passage by the City Council.
      C. No application for a change of zoning of any lot, parcel or portion thereof shall be considered by the City Council within one year of the final action of the Council upon a prior application covering any of the same described land. This provision, however, shall not impair the right of the Council to propose by its own action any amendment or change in the boundaries of any of the zones in these regulations. (Ord. 3272, 2/17/2007; Ord. 2861 Sec. 1 (part), 3/17/1995; Ord. 2668 Sec. 12 (part), 1/17/1992; Ord. 1709 Sec. 1 (part), 12/22/1970) 


  31. Can a county require a property owner to obtain subdivision (or short subdivision) approval to lease one acre of a 100-acre parcel for a cellular tower site?

    No. RCW 58.17.020(6) defines " short subdivision" as "the division or redivision of land into four or fewer lots, tracts, parcels, sites, or divisions for the purpose of sale, lease, or transfer of ownership" (emphasis added). Despite this definition, the county may not require a subdivision plat (or short plat) when property is leased for cell tower use since the subdivision statute was amended in 2002. In 2002, the following exemption was added to the subdivision/short subdivision requirements:

    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to: ...

    (8) A division for the purpose of leasing land for facilities providing personal wireless services while used for that purpose. "Personal wireless services" means any federally licensed personal wireless service. "Facilities" means unstaffed facilities that are used for the transmission or reception, or both, of wireless communication services including, but not necessarily limited to, antenna arrays, transmission cables, equipment shelters, and support structures.

    RCW 58.17.040(8).



  32. Request for small lot development standards

    Small Lot Development Standards

    Other Web Information on Small Lot Housing 



  33. May a city require impact fees for development in the urban growth area?
    The city does not have authority to require impact fees outside the city limits but within the urban growth area, as it does not have the necessary regulatory and governmental jurisdiction. The GMA, however, does contemplate that regulation within urban growth areas be exercised jointly by the city and county by agreement. In fact, the GMA mandates that the county and the cities within it enact county-wide planning policies which must provide for "policies for joint county and city planning within urban growth areas." RCW 36.70A.210(3)(f). Thus, any collection and use of impact fees within the urban growth area for city facilities to serve development within the urban growth area can only come about through agreement between the city and the county, unless the developer agrees to such fees as a condition of the city's provision of utilities. These impact fees must be spent for system improvements that "will reasonably benefit" this development within the urban growth area. Furthermore, public facilities addressed by a capital facilities plan element of the city's comprehensive plan should relate to development within the urban growth area, as impact fees may be collected and spent only for such public facilities. Vancouver/Clark County is an example of an area where the city and county have adopted an interlocal agreement for a coordinated impact fee program. (See Memorandum of Understanding (between Skagit County and the city of Mt. Vernon) Urban Growth Area Zoning and Development Standards, 1997 ( County agrees to administer program for collection of impact fees wihin UGA) Interlocal Agreement between the City of Monroe and Snohomish County Concerning Annexation and Urban Development within The Monroe Urban Growth Area, 2008 (addresses county collection and transfer of uncommitted proportion of impact fees upon annexation.)

  34. Can cities and towns still restrict the placement of manufactured or mobile homes based upon their age and size?
    SB 5524, adopted by the state legislature in 2008, prohibits cities and towns from restricting the placement of mobile or manufactured home in existing mobile or manufactured home park based on the age or size of that mobile or manufactured home. The relevant language of this legislation is as follows:

    A city or town may not adopt an ordinance that has the effect, directly or indirectly, of restricting the location of mobile homes or manufactured homes in mobile home parks or manufactured housing communities, as defined in RCW 59.20.030, which were legally in existence before the effective date of this section, based exclusively on the age or dimensions of the mobile home or manufactured home. This does not preclude a city or town from restricting the location of a mobile home or manufactured home in mobile home parks or manufactured housing communities for any other reason including, but not limited to, failure to comply with fire, safety, or other local ordinances or state laws related to mobile homes and manufactured homes.

    The House Bill Report on this bill provides the following explanation:

    Current statutes (RCW 25.21.684, 35A.21.312 and 36.01.225), which allow jurisdictions to place age and design criteria on manufactured housing, apply only to housing to be sited in new mobile home parks or manufactured housing communities, or to be sited outside of mobile home parks and manufactured home communities.

    (Emphasis in original.)

    The Senate Bill Report indicates that this was an affordable housing issue ("Single wide mobile homes are an important source of affordable housing.") SSB 5524 became effective on June 12, 2008.



  35. Must modular homes be allowed in areas of a city that are zoned for residential development in the same manner as manufactured and mobile homes?
    Yes. The operative provision is RCW 35A.21.312, which, in relevant part, states:

    A code city may not enact any statute or ordinance that has the effect, directly or indirectly, of discriminating against consumers’ choices in the placement or use of a home in such a manner that is not equally applicable to all homes. Homes built to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5401-5403 standards (as amended in 2000) must be regulated for the purposes of siting in the same manner as site built homes, factory built homes, or homes built to any other state construction or local design standard.  However, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any code city may require that:

         (a) A manufactured home be a new manufactured home;

         (b) The manufactured home be set upon a permanent foundation, as specified by the manufacturer, and that the space from the bottom of the home to the ground be enclosed by concrete or an approved concrete product which can be either load bearing or decorative;

         (c) The manufactured home comply with all local design standards applicable to all other homes within the neighborhood in which the manufactured home is to be located;

         (d) The home is thermally equivalent to the state energy code; and

         (e) The manufactured home otherwise meets all other requirements for a designated manufactured home as defined in RCW 35.63.160.
     

    Note that the federal law provisions above referenced (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5401-5403) relate to manufactured homes.

    RCW 35A.21.312 and other similar statutes were amended in 2004 to require that cities and counties “regulate manufactured homes built to federal manufactured housing construction standards no differently than they regulate other types of homes.”

    Modular homes are defined in RCW 46.04.303 to include “factory-assembled” structures. RCW 46.04.302 defines “mobile home” and “manufactured home.” RCW 35A.21.312 lists “factory-built homes” in the same manner as “site built homes” and other types of homes (including manufactured homes since 2004, as above referenced). RCW 35.63.160 provides additional provisions related to designated manufactured homes and new manufactured homes.

    Therefore, with respect to regulating – which would include zoning regulations – placement or use, cities may not discriminate against consumers’ choices in the placement or use of modular homes in a manner that is not equally applicable to manufactured homes, “… site built homes, factory built homes [i.e., modular homes], or homes built to any other state construction or local design standard.”



  36. Must modular homes be allowed in areas of a city that are zoned for residential development in the same manner as manufactured and mobile homes?
    Yes. The operative provision is RCW 35A.21.312, which, in relevant part, states:

    A code city may not enact any statute or ordinance that has the effect, directly or indirectly, of discriminating against consumers’ choices in the placement or use of a home in such a manner that is not equally applicable to all homes. Homes built to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5401-5403 standards (as amended in 2000) must be regulated for the purposes of siting in the same manner as site built homes, factory built homes, or homes built to any other state construction or local design standard.  However, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any code city may require that:

         (a) A manufactured home be a new manufactured home;

         (b) The manufactured home be set upon a permanent foundation, as specified by the manufacturer, and that the space from the bottom of the home to the ground be enclosed by concrete or an approved concrete product which can be either load bearing or decorative;

         (c) The manufactured home comply with all local design standards applicable to all other homes within the neighborhood in which the manufactured home is to be located;

         (d) The home is thermally equivalent to the state energy code; and

         (e) The manufactured home otherwise meets all other requirements for a designated manufactured home as defined in RCW 35.63.160.
     

    Note that the federal law provisions above referenced (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5401-5403) relate to manufactured homes.

    RCW 35A.21.312 and other similar statutes were amended in 2004 to require that cities and counties “regulate manufactured homes built to federal manufactured housing construction standards no differently than they regulate other types of homes.”

    Modular homes are defined in RCW 46.04.303 to include “factory-assembled” structures. RCW 46.04.302 defines “mobile home” and “manufactured home.” RCW 35A.21.312 lists “factory-built homes” in the same manner as “site built homes” and other types of homes (including manufactured homes since 2004, as above referenced). RCW 35.63.160 provides additional provisions related to designated manufactured homes and new manufactured homes.

    Therefore, with respect to regulating – which would include zoning regulations – placement or use, cities may not discriminate against consumers’ choices in the placement or use of modular homes in a manner that is not equally applicable to manufactured homes, “… site built homes, factory built homes [i.e., modular homes], or homes built to any other state construction or local design standard.”



  37. Manufactured Housing - Does recent legislation, enacted in 2004 and 2008 - to prohibit cities and counties from treating manufactured homes differently than site-built single-family homes, mean that cities and counties have to allow single-wide manufactured homes?

    SB 6593 (Chapter 256, Laws of 2004), which became effective on July 1, 2005, requires that, to protect "consumers' choices in housing," cities and counties must regulate manufactured homes built to federal manufactured housing construction standards no differently than they regulate other types of homes. 

    Nevertheless, cities and counties may under this legislation require that that these manufactured homes: (1) be new manufactured homes (but see below); (2) be set on a permanent foundation; (3) comply with any local design standards that may apply to all other homes in the neighborhood in which the manufactured home is to be located; (4) are thermally equivalent to the state energy code; and/or (5) otherwise meet requirements for a "designated manufactured home" in RCW 35.63.160 (For code cities see RCW 35A.63.145).   (Because a "designated manufactured home" under that definition is one that includes at least two sections, cities and counties may still regulate "single-wide" manufactured homes differently than other types of homes.) 

    However, this legislation was amended by the 2008 legislature to provide that cities and counties may not prohibit a mobile or manufactured home from locating in an existing mobile home park or manufactured housing community based on the age or size of that mobile or manufactured home.  See RCW 35.21.684; RCW 35A.21.312.  Local jurisdictions are still permitted to place age and design criteria on manufactured housing that is sited outside of mobile and manufactured housing communities.     

    Prior to SB 6593, Washington cities and counties seemingly had the authority to regulate the location of manufactured homes through zoning and even to ban them entirely.  While local governments were (and still are) "preempted" by federal law (the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974) from enacting construction, safety, and energy standards that are stricter than those established by federal regulations adopted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD had acknowledged that the federal legislation did not limit the authority of local governments to regulate the location of manufactured housing, as long as they do not do so based on compliance or noncompliance with stricter construction, safety, and energy standards.  And, in  Washington Manufactured Housing Assn. v. Public Utility District No. 3, 124 Wn. 2d 381, 385 (1994), the state supreme court, in dicta, noted that it is "clear that zoning laws that ban manufactured housing or limit them to certain areas are not preempted if they are silent as to construction or safety standards."  SB 6593, however, eliminated any previous ability of local governments in the state to restrict where manufactured housing - at least certain manufactured housing - could locate.  



  38. Is the city legally bound to provide public services & facilities to developments within the UGA on demand?
    Although the GMA contemplates that a city is the appropriate provider of utility services within its UGA, the city is not obligated by the GMA to so provide at any particular time. A city likely wants to control how and when urban growth occurs within the UGA. So, providing or not providing urban services is a basic tool of this control. There is no language in the GMA that takes this tool away from cities or that obligates cities to provide urban services to an area on demand simply because it is within the UGA.

    Nevertheless, a city may be obligated to provide utility (water or sewer) service outside its boundaries but within the UGA based on rules developed by case law. The general rule is that, in the absence of contract, express or implied, a municipality cannot be compelled to supply water outside its boundaries. Brookens v. Yakima, 15 Wn. App. 464, 466 (1976). So, if there is an express contract to provide utility service, a city is contractually obligated to provide that service. An implied contract can arise "where a municipality holds itself out as a public utility willing to supply all those who request service in a general area." Brookens, 15 Wn. App. at 466-67. A city may also have a duty to supply water or sewer service "where a city is the exclusive supplier of sewer or water service in a region extending beyond the borders of the city." Yakima County Fire Prot. Dist. No. 12 v. City of Yakima, 122 Wn.2d 371, 381-82 (1993).

    But that duty, if it arises, is not absolute; a city may deny water or sewer services if it lacks the needed capacity. Yakima Fire Prot. Dist., 122 Wn.2d at 382. Also, the duty to provide the service is "subject to such reasonable conditions, if any, as the law may allow." Id. An example of such a reasonable condition, as was presented in the Yakima case, is that the property owner agrees to annexation.

    A case where a Washington appellate court found a duty to supply utility service within the entire UGA was in Nolte v. City of Olympia, 96 Wn. App. 944 (1999), where the city admitted that it was the sole provider of water and sewer service to the UGA.

    So, the bottom line answer is "it depends." If the city's adopted water and sewer service area plans are the same as their UGA boundaries, it may be a factor in favor of there being a duty to supply those services. If the city has plan policies for the promotion of contiguous and orderly development and provision of urban services to such development, the city will have better grounds for controlling the timing of utility extension. In particular, if the city has adopted capital facilities element/capital improvements plan and/or phasing policies that specify when and where urban services will be available within the UGA, it will be in a better position to apply reasonable conditions on development.

  39. Is the city legally bound to provide public services & facilities to developments within the UGA on demand?
    Although the GMA contemplates that a city is the appropriate provider of utility services within its UGA, the city is not obligated by the GMA to so provide at any particular time. A city likely wants to control how and when urban growth occurs within the UGA. So, providing or not providing urban services is a basic tool of this control. There is no language in the GMA that takes this tool away from cities or that obligates cities to provide urban services to an area on demand simply because it is within the UGA.

    Nevertheless, a city may be obligated to provide utility (water or sewer) service outside its boundaries but within the UGA based on rules developed by case law. The general rule is that, in the absence of contract, express or implied, a municipality cannot be compelled to supply water outside its boundaries. Brookens v. Yakima, 15 Wn. App. 464, 466 (1976). So, if there is an express contract to provide utility service, a city is contractually obligated to provide that service. An implied contract can arise "where a municipality holds itself out as a public utility willing to supply all those who request service in a general area." Brookens, 15 Wn. App. at 466-67. A city may also have a duty to supply water or sewer service "where a city is the exclusive supplier of sewer or water service in a region extending beyond the borders of the city." Yakima County Fire Prot. Dist. No. 12 v. City of Yakima, 122 Wn.2d 371, 381-82 (1993).

    But that duty, if it arises, is not absolute; a city may deny water or sewer services if it lacks the needed capacity. Yakima Fire Prot. Dist., 122 Wn.2d at 382. Also, the duty to provide the service is "subject to such reasonable conditions, if any, as the law may allow." Id. An example of such a reasonable condition, as was presented in the Yakima case, is that the property owner agrees to annexation.

    A case where a Washington appellate court found a duty to supply utility service within the entire UGA was in Nolte v. City of Olympia, 96 Wn. App. 944 (1999), where the city admitted that it was the sole provider of water and sewer service to the UGA.

    So, the bottom line answer is "it depends." If the city's adopted water and sewer service area plans are the same as their UGA boundaries, it may be a factor in favor of there being a duty to supply those services. If the city has plan policies for the promotion of contiguous and orderly development and provision of urban services to such development, the city will have better grounds for controlling the timing of utility extension. In particular, if the city has adopted capital facilities element/capital improvements plan and/or phasing policies that specify when and where urban services will be available within the UGA, it will be in a better position to apply reasonable conditions on development.

  40. Is the city legally bound to provide public services & facilities to developments within the UGA on demand?
    Although the GMA contemplates that a city is the appropriate provider of utility services within its UGA, the city is not obligated by the GMA to so provide at any particular time. A city likely wants to control how and when urban growth occurs within the UGA. So, providing or not providing urban services is a basic tool of this control. There is no language in the GMA that takes this tool away from cities or that obligates cities to provide urban services to an area on demand simply because it is within the UGA.

    Nevertheless, a city may be obligated to provide utility (water or sewer) service outside its boundaries but within the UGA based on rules developed by case law. The general rule is that, in the absence of contract, express or implied, a municipality cannot be compelled to supply water outside its boundaries. Brookens v. Yakima, 15 Wn. App. 464, 466 (1976). So, if there is an express contract to provide utility service, a city is contractually obligated to provide that service. An implied contract can arise "where a municipality holds itself out as a public utility willing to supply all those who request service in a general area." Brookens, 15 Wn. App. at 466-67. A city may also have a duty to supply water or sewer service "where a city is the exclusive supplier of sewer or water service in a region extending beyond the borders of the city." Yakima County Fire Prot. Dist. No. 12 v. City of Yakima, 122 Wn.2d 371, 381-82 (1993).

    But that duty, if it arises, is not absolute; a city may deny water or sewer services if it lacks the needed capacity. Yakima Fire Prot. Dist., 122 Wn.2d at 382. Also, the duty to provide the service is "subject to such reasonable conditions, if any, as the law may allow." Id. An example of such a reasonable condition, as was presented in the Yakima case, is that the property owner agrees to annexation.

    A case where a Washington appellate court found a duty to supply utility service within the entire UGA was in Nolte v. City of Olympia, 96 Wn. App. 944 (1999), where the city admitted that it was the sole provider of water and sewer service to the UGA.

    So, the bottom line answer is "it depends." If the city's adopted water and sewer service area plans are the same as their UGA boundaries, it may be a factor in favor of there being a duty to supply those services. If the city has plan policies for the promotion of contiguous and orderly development and provision of urban services to such development, the city will have better grounds for controlling the timing of utility extension. In particular, if the city has adopted capital facilities element/capital improvements plan and/or phasing policies that specify when and where urban services will be available within the UGA, it will be in a better position to apply reasonable conditions on development.

  41. Must cities or counties planning under the GMA include economic development elements in their comprehensive plans before the state provides funding for this?

    The Washington Growth Management Act (GMA) encourages economic development consistent with adopted comprehensive plans. SSHB 2697 (Chapter 154, Laws of 2002 (Adobe Acrobat Document23 KB)) added economic development to the list of required elements of a growth management comprehensive plan, but also provides:

    It is the intent that new or amended elements required after January 1, 2002, be adopted concurrent with the scheduled update provided in RCW 36.70A.130. Requirements to incorporate any such new or amended elements shall be null and void until funds sufficient to cover applicable local government costs are appropriated and distributed by the state at least two years before local government must update comprehensive plans as required in RCW 36.70A.130.

    We interpret this language to mean that an economic development element is not required until the state has appropriated and distributed sufficient funding to cover the cost to local governments of developing this element. "Null and void" means without legal effect. The requirement basically doesn't exist, until it has been funded. Such funding must also be provided at least two years before local governments are required to update their comprehensive plans. To date no such state funding has been adopted or appropriated.

    For more information on this subject, see our Planning for Economic Development Web page.



  42. Must the city have a separate concurrency ordinance or may it use SEPA and other existing ordinances to implement concurrency?

    Although RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b) requires local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce concurrency ordinances, the statutes are not specific about the type of ordinance necessary to implement concurrency. Many cities are adopting separate concurrency ordinances to implement their concurrency program, but a few are relying primarily on SEPA.

    Whether a local jurisdiction chooses to implement concurrency through its SEPA regulations or another part of its code, the development regulations should include specific concurrency language that prohibits development when level of service standards for transportation facilities cannot be met. The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that:

    Local jurisdictions must adopt and enforce ordinances which prohibit development approval if the development causes the level of service on a locally owned transportation facility to decline below the standards adopted in the transportation element of the comprehensive plan, unless transportation improvement or strategies to accommodate the impacts of development are made concurrent with the development. RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b).

    In addition, a Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board case indicates that local jurisdictions should spell out their methodology for assuring concurrency compliance either within their comprehensive plans or development regulations. Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, WWGMHB No. 92-2-002, Final Decision and Order, July 16, 1996. Referring to Goal 12 of the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.020(12)) the Board stated that:

    In order to comply with this portion of the Act, a local government must not only state what it plans to do but also how. This can be done in the context of a comprehensive plan, development regulations or a combination of both. The critical factor involves a specific articulated methodology to reasonably assure compliance with concurrency.



  43. Must the city have a separate concurrency ordinance or may it use SEPA and other existing ordinances to implement concurrency?

    Although RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b) requires local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce concurrency ordinances, the statutes are not specific about the type of ordinance necessary to implement concurrency. Many cities are adopting separate concurrency ordinances to implement their concurrency program, but a few are relying primarily on SEPA.

    Whether a local jurisdiction chooses to implement concurrency through its SEPA regulations or another part of its code, the development regulations should include specific concurrency language that prohibits development when level of service standards for transportation facilities cannot be met. The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that:

    Local jurisdictions must adopt and enforce ordinances which prohibit development approval if the development causes the level of service on a locally owned transportation facility to decline below the standards adopted in the transportation element of the comprehensive plan, unless transportation improvement or strategies to accommodate the impacts of development are made concurrent with the development. RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b).

    In addition, a Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board case indicates that local jurisdictions should spell out their methodology for assuring concurrency compliance either within their comprehensive plans or development regulations. Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, WWGMHB No. 92-2-002, Final Decision and Order, July 16, 1996. Referring to Goal 12 of the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.020(12)) the Board stated that:

    In order to comply with this portion of the Act, a local government must not only state what it plans to do but also how. This can be done in the context of a comprehensive plan, development regulations or a combination of both. The critical factor involves a specific articulated methodology to reasonably assure compliance with concurrency.



  44. Does the Growth Management Act (GMA) require concurrency for sewer and water?

    The word "concurrency" appears in RCW 36.70A.070 which clearly requires concurrency for arterials and transit. There is no specific requirement that other types of facilities be provided "concurrent" with development elsewhere in GMA. However, the goal statement in RCW 36.70A.020 suggests that adequate public facilities requirements for other types of public facilities and services may be appropriate. Also, RCW 58.17.110 requires that "adequate provision" be made for a long list of public facilities and services including potable water and waste disposal.

    A Western Washington Growth Management Hearing Board case that finds that local government must consider what facilities and services (in addition to transportation) are necessary to support development, but also have discretion about what facilities are subject to concurrency Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, WWGMHB No. 96-2-002). In  McVittie v. Snohomish County, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board found that the capital facilities element (CFE)

    "must explicitly state which of the listed public facilities are determined to be “necessary to support development” and each of the facilities so designated must have either a “concurrency mechanism” or an “adequacy mechanism” to trigger appropriate reassessment if service falls below the baseline minimum standard.

    Transportation facilities are the only facilities required to have a concurrency mechanism, although a local government may choose to adopt a concurrency mechanism for other facilities."  (McVittie v. Snohomish County, CPSGMHB Case No. 01-3-0002, FDO, July 25, 2001.)

     



  45. Does the Growth Management Act (GMA) require concurrency for sewer and water?

    The word "concurrency" appears in RCW 36.70A.070 which clearly requires concurrency for arterials and transit. There is no specific requirement that other types of facilities be provided "concurrent" with development elsewhere in GMA. However, the goal statement in RCW 36.70A.020 suggests that adequate public facilities requirements for other types of public facilities and services may be appropriate. Also, RCW 58.17.110 requires that "adequate provision" be made for a long list of public facilities and services including potable water and waste disposal.

    A Western Washington Growth Management Hearing Board case that finds that local government must consider what facilities and services (in addition to transportation) are necessary to support development, but also have discretion about what facilities are subject to concurrency Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, WWGMHB No. 96-2-002). In  McVittie v. Snohomish County, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board found that the capital facilities element (CFE)

    "must explicitly state which of the listed public facilities are determined to be “necessary to support development” and each of the facilities so designated must have either a “concurrency mechanism” or an “adequacy mechanism” to trigger appropriate reassessment if service falls below the baseline minimum standard.

    Transportation facilities are the only facilities required to have a concurrency mechanism, although a local government may choose to adopt a concurrency mechanism for other facilities."  (McVittie v. Snohomish County, CPSGMHB Case No. 01-3-0002, FDO, July 25, 2001.)

     



  46. May a city set level-of-service standards below the level used as a basis for impact fees?
    Although this issue is not directly addressed by the GMA, there is a strong case against pursuing such a policy. Impact fees are frequently the subject of litigation, and such a policy may be inviting a challenge. By definition, level-of-service standards should define the level of facilities and services that meet a community's needs and are acceptable to a community. "Level-of-service" is defined in WAC 365-196-210 as "an established minimum capacity of public facilities or services that must be provided per unit of demand or other appropriate measure of need." It would be difficult to justify impact fees that require a developer to pay for more than what a city's standards indicate are needed. RCW 82.02.050(1)(c) states that it is the legislature's intent "to ensure that impact fees are imposed through established procedures and criteria so that specific developments do not pay arbitrary fees." Fees not related to the adopted city standards could be considered arbitrary. A city can still aspire to a higher level of services than its minimum standards would provide, but it is unlikely that a city can require a developer to pay for a level that exceeds its standards.

  47. May a city set level-of-service standards below the level used as a basis for impact fees?
    Although this issue is not directly addressed by the GMA, there is a strong case against pursuing such a policy. Impact fees are frequently the subject of litigation, and such a policy may be inviting a challenge. By definition, level-of-service standards should define the level of facilities and services that meet a community's needs and are acceptable to a community. "Level-of-service" is defined in WAC 365-196-210 as "an established minimum capacity of public facilities or services that must be provided per unit of demand or other appropriate measure of need." It would be difficult to justify impact fees that require a developer to pay for more than what a city's standards indicate are needed. RCW 82.02.050(1)(c) states that it is the legislature's intent "to ensure that impact fees are imposed through established procedures and criteria so that specific developments do not pay arbitrary fees." Fees not related to the adopted city standards could be considered arbitrary. A city can still aspire to a higher level of services than its minimum standards would provide, but it is unlikely that a city can require a developer to pay for a level that exceeds its standards.

  48. Must comprehensive plans prepared under GMA provide substantive policy direction for development regulation?

    Yes. A GMA city must adopt a comprehensive land use plan which states the city's land use policy. Cities are also required to enact development regulations which are "consistent with and implement the comprehensive plan . . . and (cities) shall perform their activities and make capital budget decisions in conformity with their comprehensive plans" (RCW 36.70A.120). The Procedural Criteria for Adopting Plans and Development Regulations (Ch. 365-196 WAC) interpret that "implement" connotes "not only a lack of conflict but sufficient scope to carry out fully the goals, policies, standards and directions contained in the comprehensive plan." The Central Puget Sound Growth Hearings Board (CPSGHB) held in City of Snoqualmie v. King County, CPSGHB Case No. 92-3-0004, FDO, 3/1/93 that county-wide planning policies provide substantive and directive policy to the comprehensive plans of cities and counties "which in turn provide substantive direction to the content of local land use regulations, which govern the exercise of local land use powers, including zoning, permitting and enforcement" (page 17). The Board also noted in the same case that the use of either "should" or "shall" in a GMA policy document must be construed to have directive meaning . . . the difference in meaning between 'shall' and `should' is now one of degree rather than kind" (page 14).



  49. Must comprehensive plans prepared under GMA provide substantive policy direction for development regulation?

    Yes. A GMA city must adopt a comprehensive land use plan which states the city's land use policy. Cities are also required to enact development regulations which are "consistent with and implement the comprehensive plan . . . and (cities) shall perform their activities and make capital budget decisions in conformity with their comprehensive plans" (RCW 36.70A.120). The Procedural Criteria for Adopting Plans and Development Regulations (Ch. 365-196 WAC) interpret that "implement" connotes "not only a lack of conflict but sufficient scope to carry out fully the goals, policies, standards and directions contained in the comprehensive plan." The Central Puget Sound Growth Hearings Board (CPSGHB) held in City of Snoqualmie v. King County, CPSGHB Case No. 92-3-0004, FDO, 3/1/93 that county-wide planning policies provide substantive and directive policy to the comprehensive plans of cities and counties "which in turn provide substantive direction to the content of local land use regulations, which govern the exercise of local land use powers, including zoning, permitting and enforcement" (page 17). The Board also noted in the same case that the use of either "should" or "shall" in a GMA policy document must be construed to have directive meaning . . . the difference in meaning between 'shall' and `should' is now one of degree rather than kind" (page 14).



  50. Does the Growth Management Act (GMA) discourage agricultural land designation within urban areas? May a city designate agricultural lands within its urban growth area?

    RCW 36.70A.060(4) states that "agricultural land located within urban growth areas (UGAs) shall not be designated by a county or city as ... agricultural land of long-term commercial significance ... unless the city has enacted a program authorizing transfer or purchase of development rights." The purpose of this provision is apparently to hold urban growth area land for urban needs rather than resource production and to avoid spread out patterns that are expensive to serve.

     As noted in City of Redmond v. Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board (136 Wn.2d 38, 1998),

    The obvious purpose of the statute requiring the City to establish a program for the transfer or purchase development rights if the land is within the UGA is to provide reimbursement to the owners of land the uses of which become frozen at a low level of intensity as a result of the City's designation. Here, the City made the agricultural designation without having a TDR program in effect, as the statute requires. As a result, the Board properly invalidated the designation. [at 56] 

    The city also may not restrict open space corridors to agricultural or forest use unless city acquires sufficient interest to prevent development of the lands or to control the resource development of the lands (see RCW 36.70A.160).  

    It seems likely that the city may allow some types of agricultural uses as permitted uses, among other permitted uses, in its open space zone district, with certain precautions.  Although the statutes prohibit designation of agricultural land of long-term commercial significance, we are not aware of any that specifically prohibits an agricultural use as permitted use within an open space zone.   In fact, the Stewart v. Washington State Boundary Review Board for King County case (100 Wn. App. 165, 996 P.2d 1087, 2000) notes that “nothing in the GMA prohibits inclusion of agricultural lands in an urban growth area.”



  51. May a city require development in urban growth areas to conform to city standards in exchange for provision of utility services?

    MRSC is of the opinion that, absent some existing contract to extend utility service to areas within the urban growth area, the city may, as a condition of providing utility service outside its limits, require that development within the area served conform to city land use standards. (Please note that if city standards are less restrictive than county standards, county agreement would be necessary).  Note RCW 36.70B.170, which authorizes a city to "enter into a development agreement for real property outside its boundaries as part of . . . a service agreement."  Those standards may not be less than the applicable county standards.

    In short, the provision of utility services to property outside the city's limits would be contractual, the terms of the contract being the development agreement between the city and the developer. Outside of such a development agreement, there is little the city may do regarding compliance with city standards or the provision of impact fees, absent cooperation and agreement with the county. A city may also enter into an interlocal agreement with a county to apply city zoning and standards outside of the city and within the UGA. Thurston County has such an agreement with several of its cities. See also the MRSC Web pages on Growth Management Interlocal Agreements and Interlocal Agreements for Annexation.

     



  52. May a city require development in urban growth areas to conform to city standards in exchange for provision of utility services?

    MRSC is of the opinion that, absent some existing contract to extend utility service to areas within the urban growth area, the city may, as a condition of providing utility service outside its limits, require that development within the area served conform to city land use standards. (Please note that if city standards are less restrictive than county standards, county agreement would be necessary).  Note RCW 36.70B.170, which authorizes a city to "enter into a development agreement for real property outside its boundaries as part of . . . a service agreement."  Those standards may not be less than the applicable county standards.

    In short, the provision of utility services to property outside the city's limits would be contractual, the terms of the contract being the development agreement between the city and the developer. Outside of such a development agreement, there is little the city may do regarding compliance with city standards or the provision of impact fees, absent cooperation and agreement with the county. A city may also enter into an interlocal agreement with a county to apply city zoning and standards outside of the city and within the UGA. Thurston County has such an agreement with several of its cities. See also the MRSC Web pages on Growth Management Interlocal Agreements and Interlocal Agreements for Annexation.

     



  53. Can cities gain authority to administer their regulations outside city boundaries within the city's urban growth area?
    Counties still have the official land use authority within the unincorporated urban growth area. County-wide planning policies allow cities to influence policy direction for UGAs. Cities in this and in other states have extended their influence within the UGA through agreement within the counties. Agreements can cover matters such as joint planning within the UGA, agreement on annexation policies, adoption of city standards within the UGA, restrictions on development until urban services are in place, and city review and comment on major development within UGAs. For more information, see the MRSC Webpages on Growth Management Interlocal Agreements.

  54. Can cities gain authority to administer their regulations outside city boundaries within the city's urban growth area?
    Counties still have the official land use authority within the unincorporated urban growth area. County-wide planning policies allow cities to influence policy direction for UGAs. Cities in this and in other states have extended their influence within the UGA through agreement within the counties. Agreements can cover matters such as joint planning within the UGA, agreement on annexation policies, adoption of city standards within the UGA, restrictions on development until urban services are in place, and city review and comment on major development within UGAs. For more information, see the MRSC Webpages on Growth Management Interlocal Agreements.

  55. What are communities doing to phase growth within urban growth areas?

    A number of communities are seeking to designate higher and lower priority areas for urban development (growth tiers) generally radiating out from the growth center.  Pierce County has designated three tiers (growth phases) within the urban growth area and an urban reserve area. Growth is directed first into the tiers where facilities and services are most readily available (generally located closer to the developed core).  Port Townsend, Enumclaw, Tacoma, and Lynnwood also have established growth tiers in their comprehensive plans.  Use of tiered urban growth areas or other phasing strategies also can help assure that concurrency requirements don't tend to push development outward into areas where roads and other infrastructure have greater capacity.

    Several Washington and Oregon communities have used urban reserve or holding zones to ensure that certain areas do not develop prematurely (before adequate services are available and the land is needed for urban development).  The reserve zones are designed to assure that any limited development within reserve areas will not establish patterns that close off future urban development options.  These zones are typically found in counties within UGAs (and also outside of UGAs). Clark County, WA and some cities within the county have established urban holding zones within UGAs, applying 10 or 20 acre minimum lot sizes until concurrency requirements are met. The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board found the county's use of holding zones to be acceptable.

    Communities such as Carlsbad, CA and Montgomery, MD also have a comprehensive and geographically-based approach to adequate public facilities provision.  Rather than designate several rings or tiers of development or planning areas, these communities designate a larger number of facility management zones or sub-areas where different policies and restrictions apply depending adequacy of facilities and services within the zones.

    A similar focused infrastructure investment approach has been used in Oregon and Clark County, WA. With this approach, local government would provide off-site urban service facilities within the UGAs with the goal of adding fully served land to the urban land supply.  All such public investment would be focused in "focused public investment areas" (PIAs), within the UGAs.  If a developer wanted to develop outside the PIAs, even though still within the UGAs, the developer would need to provide all facilities at his/her own expense.  This approach has successfully worked to focus development in Salem, OR, which employs a similar technique.



  56. What are communities doing to phase growth within urban growth areas?

    A number of communities are seeking to designate higher and lower priority areas for urban development (growth tiers) generally radiating out from the growth center.  Pierce County has designated three tiers (growth phases) within the urban growth area and an urban reserve area. Growth is directed first into the tiers where facilities and services are most readily available (generally located closer to the developed core).  Port Townsend, Enumclaw, Tacoma, and Lynnwood also have established growth tiers in their comprehensive plans.  Use of tiered urban growth areas or other phasing strategies also can help assure that concurrency requirements don't tend to push development outward into areas where roads and other infrastructure have greater capacity.

    Several Washington and Oregon communities have used urban reserve or holding zones to ensure that certain areas do not develop prematurely (before adequate services are available and the land is needed for urban development).  The reserve zones are designed to assure that any limited development within reserve areas will not establish patterns that close off future urban development options.  These zones are typically found in counties within UGAs (and also outside of UGAs). Clark County, WA and some cities within the county have established urban holding zones within UGAs, applying 10 or 20 acre minimum lot sizes until concurrency requirements are met. The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board found the county's use of holding zones to be acceptable.

    Communities such as Carlsbad, CA and Montgomery, MD also have a comprehensive and geographically-based approach to adequate public facilities provision.  Rather than designate several rings or tiers of development or planning areas, these communities designate a larger number of facility management zones or sub-areas where different policies and restrictions apply depending adequacy of facilities and services within the zones.

    A similar focused infrastructure investment approach has been used in Oregon and Clark County, WA. With this approach, local government would provide off-site urban service facilities within the UGAs with the goal of adding fully served land to the urban land supply.  All such public investment would be focused in "focused public investment areas" (PIAs), within the UGAs.  If a developer wanted to develop outside the PIAs, even though still within the UGAs, the developer would need to provide all facilities at his/her own expense.  This approach has successfully worked to focus development in Salem, OR, which employs a similar technique.



  57. What are communities doing to phase growth within urban growth areas?

    A number of communities are seeking to designate higher and lower priority areas for urban development (growth tiers) generally radiating out from the growth center.  Pierce County has designated three tiers (growth phases) within the urban growth area and an urban reserve area. Growth is directed first into the tiers where facilities and services are most readily available (generally located closer to the developed core).  Port Townsend, Enumclaw, Tacoma, and Lynnwood also have established growth tiers in their comprehensive plans.  Use of tiered urban growth areas or other phasing strategies also can help assure that concurrency requirements don't tend to push development outward into areas where roads and other infrastructure have greater capacity.

    Several Washington and Oregon communities have used urban reserve or holding zones to ensure that certain areas do not develop prematurely (before adequate services are available and the land is needed for urban development).  The reserve zones are designed to assure that any limited development within reserve areas will not establish patterns that close off future urban development options.  These zones are typically found in counties within UGAs (and also outside of UGAs). Clark County, WA and some cities within the county have established urban holding zones within UGAs, applying 10 or 20 acre minimum lot sizes until concurrency requirements are met. The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board found the county's use of holding zones to be acceptable.

    Communities such as Carlsbad, CA and Montgomery, MD also have a comprehensive and geographically-based approach to adequate public facilities provision.  Rather than designate several rings or tiers of development or planning areas, these communities designate a larger number of facility management zones or sub-areas where different policies and restrictions apply depending adequacy of facilities and services within the zones.

    A similar focused infrastructure investment approach has been used in Oregon and Clark County, WA. With this approach, local government would provide off-site urban service facilities within the UGAs with the goal of adding fully served land to the urban land supply.  All such public investment would be focused in "focused public investment areas" (PIAs), within the UGAs.  If a developer wanted to develop outside the PIAs, even though still within the UGAs, the developer would need to provide all facilities at his/her own expense.  This approach has successfully worked to focus development in Salem, OR, which employs a similar technique.



  58. Does the drawing of urban growth boundaries increase property costs?
    If drawn too tightly, urban growth boundaries could contribute an increase in property costs. A major reason for providing adequate land supply and monitoring that supply is to avoid a substantial increase in property costs or an imbalance between land supply and demand.

  59. Does the drawing of urban growth boundaries increase property costs?
    If drawn too tightly, urban growth boundaries could contribute an increase in property costs. A major reason for providing adequate land supply and monitoring that supply is to avoid a substantial increase in property costs or an imbalance between land supply and demand.

  60. May communities provide additional land supply beyond that needed to exactly accommodate the 20-year growth projection?

    Yes. RCW 36.70A.110(2) states that the urban growth area determination "may include a reasonable land market supply factor" beyond the area that is sufficient to accommodate projected growth for the twenty year planning period.  RCW 36.70A.110 and WAC 365-196-310 provide some guidance for the designation, sizing and location of UGAs, but neither the Growth Management Act (GMA) nor the administrative rules define "land market factor."

    In Petree et al v. Whatcom County, The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board describes the use of a reasonable land market supply factor to account for the fact that not all buildable land will be developed within the 20-year planning horizon.  The WWGMHB held that sizing the UGA in excess of the acreage required to accommodate the urban growth projection based upon any other factor (such as affordability) other than market factor is not authorized by the GMA (WWGMHB Case. No. 08-2-0021c, FDO (10/13/2008)).

    In North Clover Creek v. Pierce County, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board discussed decisions about whether land that has better characteristics for a desired economic purpose can be added to a UGA that is already oversized and noted that in each of the past cases that addressed this issue, the anti-sprawl/UGA sizing requirements of the GMA trump the economic development goals of the local jurisdiction.  (CPSGMHB Case No. 10-3-0003c, FDO (8-2-10)).

    See also Streicher v. Island County regarding the land capacity analysis for the sizing of a UGA and locational criteria (WWGMHB Case No. 08-2-0015, FDO at 6-15 (Sept. 29, 2008).

    The Department of Commerce’s Urban Growth Area Guidebook provides very helpful guidance for updating UGAs, including issues related to sizing and servicing the UGAs.  It includes summaries of  findings from a number of hearings board and court cases that clarify analysis needed to justify land area, market factors for land availability, and related issues.   

    There appears to be no single right answer regarding UGA size and the size of a market factor, since growth pressures and the quality of land use data will vary from place to place. The answer may be to set a boundary that can be expanded and to monitor supply closely. 



  61. May communities provide additional land supply beyond that needed to exactly accommodate the 20-year growth projection?

    Yes. RCW 36.70A.110(2) states that the urban growth area determination "may include a reasonable land market supply factor" beyond the area that is sufficient to accommodate projected growth for the twenty year planning period.  RCW 36.70A.110 and WAC 365-196-310 provide some guidance for the designation, sizing and location of UGAs, but neither the Growth Management Act (GMA) nor the administrative rules define "land market factor."

    In Petree et al v. Whatcom County, The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board describes the use of a reasonable land market supply factor to account for the fact that not all buildable land will be developed within the 20-year planning horizon.  The WWGMHB held that sizing the UGA in excess of the acreage required to accommodate the urban growth projection based upon any other factor (such as affordability) other than market factor is not authorized by the GMA (WWGMHB Case. No. 08-2-0021c, FDO (10/13/2008)).

    In North Clover Creek v. Pierce County, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board discussed decisions about whether land that has better characteristics for a desired economic purpose can be added to a UGA that is already oversized and noted that in each of the past cases that addressed this issue, the anti-sprawl/UGA sizing requirements of the GMA trump the economic development goals of the local jurisdiction.  (CPSGMHB Case No. 10-3-0003c, FDO (8-2-10)).

    See also Streicher v. Island County regarding the land capacity analysis for the sizing of a UGA and locational criteria (WWGMHB Case No. 08-2-0015, FDO at 6-15 (Sept. 29, 2008).

    The Department of Commerce’s Urban Growth Area Guidebook provides very helpful guidance for updating UGAs, including issues related to sizing and servicing the UGAs.  It includes summaries of  findings from a number of hearings board and court cases that clarify analysis needed to justify land area, market factors for land availability, and related issues.   

    There appears to be no single right answer regarding UGA size and the size of a market factor, since growth pressures and the quality of land use data will vary from place to place. The answer may be to set a boundary that can be expanded and to monitor supply closely. 



  62. How are urban growth areas established?

    RCW 36.70A.110, enacted as part of the GMA, indicates that urban growth areas are to be "[b]ased upon the population forecast made for the county by the office of financial management." OFM is to prepare a reasonable range for its population projections for counties, with the middle range representing the most likely population projection for the county. The county is the body that designates UGAs, and the statute mandates that the county must consult with cities in an attempt to reach agreement on the location of these urban growth areas. Based upon the OFM projections, the county and each city within the county shall include areas and densities sufficient to permit the urban growth that is projected to occur in the county or city for the succeeding twenty-year period, except for those urban growth areas contained totally within a national historical reserve.

    RCW 36.70A.110 further states that

    Each urban growth area shall permit urban densities and shall include greenbelt and open space areas. In the case of urban growth areas contained totally within a national historical reserve, the city may restrict densities, intensities, and forms of urban growth as determined to be necessary and appropriate to protect the physical, cultural, or historic integrity of the reserve. An urban growth area determination may include a reasonable land market supply factor and shall permit a range of urban densities and uses. In determining this market factor, cities and counties may consider local circumstances. Cities and counties have discretion in their comprehensive plans to make many choices about accommodating growth.



  63. How are urban growth areas established?

    RCW 36.70A.110, enacted as part of the GMA, indicates that urban growth areas are to be "[b]ased upon the population forecast made for the county by the office of financial management." OFM is to prepare a reasonable range for its population projections for counties, with the middle range representing the most likely population projection for the county. The county is the body that designates UGAs, and the statute mandates that the county must consult with cities in an attempt to reach agreement on the location of these urban growth areas. Based upon the OFM projections, the county and each city within the county shall include areas and densities sufficient to permit the urban growth that is projected to occur in the county or city for the succeeding twenty-year period, except for those urban growth areas contained totally within a national historical reserve.

    RCW 36.70A.110 further states that

    Each urban growth area shall permit urban densities and shall include greenbelt and open space areas. In the case of urban growth areas contained totally within a national historical reserve, the city may restrict densities, intensities, and forms of urban growth as determined to be necessary and appropriate to protect the physical, cultural, or historic integrity of the reserve. An urban growth area determination may include a reasonable land market supply factor and shall permit a range of urban densities and uses. In determining this market factor, cities and counties may consider local circumstances. Cities and counties have discretion in their comprehensive plans to make many choices about accommodating growth.



  64. What are urban growth areas (UGAs)?

    Urban growth areas are those areas, designated by counties pursuant to RCW 36.70A.110, "within which urban growth shall be encouraged and outside of which growth can occur only if it is not urban in nature." Within these UGAs, growth will be encouraged and supported with adequate facilities. Areas outside of the UGAs will be reserved for primarily rural and resource uses.

    All cities and towns in counties fully planning under the GMA are within the UGA. RCW 36.70A.110 further states that:

    An urban growth area may include more than a single city. An urban growth area may include territory that is located outside of a city only if such territory already is characterized by urban growth whether or not the urban growth area includes a city, or is adjacent to territory already characterized by urban growth, or is a designated new fully contained community as defined by RCW 36.70A.350.



  65. What are urban growth areas (UGAs)?

    Urban growth areas are those areas, designated by counties pursuant to RCW 36.70A.110, "within which urban growth shall be encouraged and outside of which growth can occur only if it is not urban in nature." Within these UGAs, growth will be encouraged and supported with adequate facilities. Areas outside of the UGAs will be reserved for primarily rural and resource uses.

    All cities and towns in counties fully planning under the GMA are within the UGA. RCW 36.70A.110 further states that:

    An urban growth area may include more than a single city. An urban growth area may include territory that is located outside of a city only if such territory already is characterized by urban growth whether or not the urban growth area includes a city, or is adjacent to territory already characterized by urban growth, or is a designated new fully contained community as defined by RCW 36.70A.350.



  66. What is the legality of downzoning for critical areas protection?
    Downzoning is the practice of rezoning an area from a more intensive use to a less intensive use. It is not inherently unlawful to downzone. The fact that the property may not have as great a value after the rezone does not invalidate the rezone action or necessitate the payment of damages by the city.

    While property owners must be allowed some reasonable use of their property, a city does have a right to change zoning in order to prevent a harm or protect critical areas, even if in so doing the property value is diminished.

    Nevertheless, a city must carefully evaluate whether a proposed downzone might constitute an unconstitutional taking of private property. If application of critical area guidelines or regulations to a particular piece of property would prevent development on the property to such extent that the property owner is denied "all economically viable use of any parcel of regulated property," the city may be liable for damages for a taking of the property, whether the taking is temporary or permanent. Any environmental regulation should be based on a sound comprehensive planning process and supporting background studies.  See the MRSC Web page on regulatory takings for more information on this subject.  



  67. May a city adopt performance standards to comply with growth management requirements for critical areas designation?

    The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board concluded in Gutschmidt v. Mercer Island (CPGMHB No. 92-3-0006, Final Decision and Order, March 1993) that a city can adopt performance standards, rather than detailed prescriptive standards and mapping, to comply with GMA requirements for critical areas designation. For example, a city may require individual property owners to submit reports and surveys that enable the city staff to determine whether critical areas exist on the property. Instead of utilizing detailed mapping, a city may establish definitions and narratives that characterize what lands constitute critical areas.

    Also, in Pilchuck Audubon Society v. Snohomish County (CPSGMHB No. 95-3-0047, Final Decision and Order, 12/06/1995), the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board stated that, where critical areas are known, cities and counties cannot rely solely upon performance standards to designate these areas.



  68. What are the notice and hearing requirements for adoption of a critical areas ordinance under the Growth Management Act?

    The GMA does not add any specific notice and hearing requirements to the existing requirements with respect to adoption of development regulations such as a critical areas ordinance.

    However, RCW 36.70A.140 requires that cities and counties planning under the act

    establish and broadly disseminate to the public a public participation program identifying procedures providing for early and continuous public participation in the development and amendment of comprehensive land use plans and development regulations implementing such plans. The procedures shall provide for broad dissemination of proposals and alternatives, opportunity for written comments, public meetings after effective notice, provision for open discussion, communication programs, information services, and consideration of and response to public comments.

    If the cityor county has a public participation plan in place, it should be followed. Otherwise, the city should follow the procedures established for adoption of development/zoning regulations. (See RCW 35.63.100, RCW 35.63.120, RCW 35A.63.070, RCW 35A.63.100, RCW 36.70.580, and RCW 36.70.590 for other notice and hearing requirements preceding GMA.)

    The same basic guidelines should be followed when adopting amendments to the critical areas ordinance or other development regulations.

    Also see Public Hearings: When and Where to Hold Them.



  69. How can a city establish level-of-service standards for roads that would ensure adequate circulation without closing down development in urban growth areas?
    Some communities, such as Redmond and Bellingham, are using standards to measure overall mobility rather than simply road capacity. Although roads may be more congested in high density urban areas, overall mobility may still be adequate where transit and pedestrian facilities meet some of the circulation needs. Thus, a lower level-of-service could be justified for roads in target urban growth areas than in other areas with fewer transportation options.

  70. How can a city establish level-of-service standards for roads that would ensure adequate circulation without closing down development in urban growth areas?
    Some communities, such as Redmond and Bellingham, are using standards to measure overall mobility rather than simply road capacity. Although roads may be more congested in high density urban areas, overall mobility may still be adequate where transit and pedestrian facilities meet some of the circulation needs. Thus, a lower level-of-service could be justified for roads in target urban growth areas than in other areas with fewer transportation options.

  71. Is a capital facility plan required before expending Growth Management Act real estate excise tax (REET) funds?

    Yes.  A capital facilities plan is required before expending either the the first quarter percent REET funds, authorized by RCW 82.46.010(2) or the second quarter percent REET funds authorized by RCW 82.46.035.  Note that the rate at which it can be levied and the uses to which it may be put differs by city or county size and whether the city or county is planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA).  More detailed information on the real estate excise tax is available on a separate MRSC Web page. 

     

     



  72. Should the inventory of public facilities be limited to just city-owned facilities?
    No. The inventory of public facilities should include all public facilities, and should not be limited to city-owned facilities. This would include school and park district property, state property, and other publicly-owned facilities.

  73. Should the capital facilities plan be prepared for the city or for the entire urban growth area?

    The capital facilities element plan must be prepared for the entire urban growth area. This is in keeping with the intent of the Growth Management Act to help cities prepare for growth in their urban growth areas.

    In Fallgatter v. City of Sultan, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board found that the city must comply with RCW 36.70A.020(12) and 36.70A.070(3)’s mandate to provide adequate and necessary facilities to support existing and new development within the UGAs within the 20-year planning period .  (Fallgatter v. City of Sultan, Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 07-3-0017, FDO, 9/5/2007.)

     

    Based on the same statutes, the CPSGMHB found Kitsap County to be noncompliant because UGA expansions based upon a noncompliant, invalid Capital Facilities Element do not comply with the GMA’s directive that necessary and adequate public facilities and services be available within the UGA.  (SuquamishTribe, et al v. Kitsap County, Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 07-3-0019c, Order on Motion for Reconsideration, 9/13/07.)

     



  74. Should the capital facilities plan be prepared for the city or for the entire urban growth area?

    The capital facilities element plan must be prepared for the entire urban growth area. This is in keeping with the intent of the Growth Management Act to help cities prepare for growth in their urban growth areas.

    In Fallgatter v. City of Sultan, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board found that the city must comply with RCW 36.70A.020(12) and 36.70A.070(3)’s mandate to provide adequate and necessary facilities to support existing and new development within the UGAs within the 20-year planning period .  (Fallgatter v. City of Sultan, Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 07-3-0017, FDO, 9/5/2007.)

     

    Based on the same statutes, the CPSGMHB found Kitsap County to be noncompliant because UGA expansions based upon a noncompliant, invalid Capital Facilities Element do not comply with the GMA’s directive that necessary and adequate public facilities and services be available within the UGA.  (SuquamishTribe, et al v. Kitsap County, Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 07-3-0019c, Order on Motion for Reconsideration, 9/13/07.)

     



  75. Must a city or county subject to the Growth Management Act have a separate transportation concurrency ordinance or may it use SEPA and other existing ordinances to implement concurrency?
    Although RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b) requires local jurisdictions subject to the GMA to adopt and enforce transportation concurrency ordinances, the statutes are not specific about the type of ordinance necessary to implement concurrency. Many cities are adopting separate concurrency ordinances to implement their concurrency program, but a few are relying primarily on SEPA. Whether a local jurisdiction chooses to implement concurrency through its SEPA regulations or another part of its code, the development regulations should include specific concurrency language that prohibits development when level of service standards for transportation facilities cannot be met. See RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b). In addition, a Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board case (Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, (WWGMHB No. 96-2-0002, FDO, 07/16/1996) indicates that local jurisdictions should spell out their methodology for assuring concurrency compliance either within their comprehensive plans or development regulations.

  76. Must a city or county subject to the Growth Management Act have a separate transportation concurrency ordinance or may it use SEPA and other existing ordinances to implement concurrency?
    Although RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b) requires local jurisdictions subject to the GMA to adopt and enforce transportation concurrency ordinances, the statutes are not specific about the type of ordinance necessary to implement concurrency. Many cities are adopting separate concurrency ordinances to implement their concurrency program, but a few are relying primarily on SEPA. Whether a local jurisdiction chooses to implement concurrency through its SEPA regulations or another part of its code, the development regulations should include specific concurrency language that prohibits development when level of service standards for transportation facilities cannot be met. See RCW 36.70A.070(6)(b). In addition, a Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board case (Taxpayers for Responsible Government v. City of Oak Harbor, (WWGMHB No. 96-2-0002, FDO, 07/16/1996) indicates that local jurisdictions should spell out their methodology for assuring concurrency compliance either within their comprehensive plans or development regulations.

  77. Request for information on experiences of cities and counties that have signed interlocal agreements to manage development review and planning for their urban growth areas.
    Growth Management Interlocal Agreements regarding Urban Growth Areas: A Summary of Issues

    The following is a summary of city and county experiences with growth management interlocal agreements (as of  September 2003)  for development review and planning within the UGA. This information is based on interviews with city and county planners and on MRSC review of sample agreements.

    Basic Advice - Keep the agreements simple and keep on talking - coordination and cooperation are essential, especially at the staff level (Olympia, Lynnwood). Douglas County recommends getting an agreement in place, even if it is not perfect, because the agreement can be amended as needed. Commitment to the provisions of the agreement is also essential and has been a problem in a few instances.

    Counties and cities where interlocal growth management agreements are generally working particularly well:

    • Douglas County - East Wenatchee
    • Thurston County - Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey
    • Whatcom County - Bellingham
    • Yakima County - Yakima and Grandview

    In most cases, cities are more positive about interlocals than counties, because the benefits to cities are more obvious, although counties can gain from revenue sharing agreements as well. The agreement typically clarifies and in some cases simplifies the annexation process, which brings more revenue to the city and results in a loss of county tax base. The interlocals require counties to implement city policies and standards and typically complicate the county's development review process. The interlocal agreement process also works more smoothly in smaller counties with fewer cities and towns because less coordination is involved and development review processes are typically simpler. Some counties, such as Snohomish and Pierce, have very large unincorporated UGAs, which further complicate the situation. King County, by contrast, has less unincorporated land in the UGAs, partly due to new incorporations since the GMA was enacted.

    In Douglas County, the success of the interlocal agreement with East Wenatchee has provided a stepping stone to other cooperative efforts between the city and county.

    Coordination

    Coordination at the planning staff level is generally good (Skagit, Whatcom, Thurston, Yakima, others). In Thurston County, city and county department heads meet once a month; staff meet as needed (sometimes weekly to review major development projects). The city staff acts as consultant to the county. In Snohomish County, Snohomish County Tomorrow is a collaborative interjurisdictional forum that includes representatives from all cities, the county and the Tulalip tribe. The planning directors meet monthly.

    Continuity of Support from Elected Officials

    Changes in elected officials have been problematic for interlocal growth management agreements in many counties; county support for the interlocals is essential and is difficult to obtain because county officials view the interlocal as a loss of control (as well as lost revenue when annexation occurs). There is an issue of representation. Unincorporated UGA residents vote for county commissioners or councilmembers but are essentially being regulated by city councils if the county follows city standards in the UGA.

    County Permit Processing using City Standards

    In most cases when interlocal agreements are adopted, the county processes development permits using city standards, although Snohomish County and Whatcom County are exceptions. Some counties would like to develop a single set of urban standards for all unincorporated UGAs for cities within the county. Snohomish County has developed uniform urban standards for unincorporated UGAs, but there is an issue with design guide ines from cities that have not been adopted by the county. (Snohomish County's standards are not yet adopted.) Snohomish County also has an urban centers demonstration code that has been very well received and is being implemented on a voluntary basis in two areas within the county's southwest UGA. This code encourages mixed-use development at urban densities and provides some flexibility for innovative transit-oriented urban development projects. (See Snohomish County Code, Chapter 30.34A - Urban Centers Development Program ( in Title 30).

    In Thurston County, Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia each provided 75% of the funding for a draft county ordinance addressing each of their respective development standards. The use of city standards is important so that the new development in the UGA, which will eventually become part of the city, will have the look and feel of city development. Having the same street standards is especially important. Without similar standards, it would likely be less expensive to build in unincorporated UGAs, and this would encourage sprawl rather than the compact urban growth as envisioned by the GMA. One of the problems has been getting city and county fire departments to accept the same standards.

    In the Bellingham UGA in Whatcom County, certain city standards have been used for some permits (such as subdivisions) but not others (building permits). Bellingham has a history of extending sewer and water service outside the city boundaries. In the future, Bellingham will require new development in its unincorporated UGA to meet city standards in order to extend services or only rural densities will be allowed.

    Common service standards are more of problem for large counties which must deal with varying city standards for the multiple city UGAs within a single county. Some counties wish that they had developed a single county-wide standard for urban development outside cities rather than adopting the standards of each individual city (Skagit and Thurston).

    Common Zoning

    This is similar to the standards issue. Zoning districts vary among jurisdictions, and this has also been problematic for counties when varying city zoning districts and/or development standards are adopted within the UGA. Most counties retain the county zoning in the unincorporated UGA until the time of annexation, but Thurston County is an exception. Thurston County has adopted city zoning regulations within UGA but would have preferred a single set of urban zoning districts for all unincorporated UGAs to simplify administration. Thurston has also developed a single county-wide zoning standard for home occupations and cell towers.

    Interlocal Agreements Will Not Solve All Growth Management Issues between a County and its Cities

    In some cases cities and counties haven't been able to reach agreement on service standards, revenue sharing or other issues, and have agreed to disagree. (For instance, Thurston County did not adopt Olympia's park plan). Adjustment is needed as plans and development regulations change, and actual development occurs.

    Revenue Sharing

    One of the big stumbling blocks is the issue of revenue-sharing between cities and the county (Clallam, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima). So far, this has mostly been handled on a case-by-case basis associated with a particular annexation request, such as in the case of city contribution for a major county capital improvement, such as a road project. The East Wenatchee - Douglas County interlocal agreement , and the Walla Walla City and County Urban Area Growth Management Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document1.8 MB) are among the few that address revenue sharing. Douglas County is pleased with the fact that the interlocal agreement recognizes county financial interests. The mediated revenue sharing agreement between Moses Lake and Grant County is another example. The Clark County-Vancouver agreements for the Van Mall development are a good example of past revenue sharing agreements.

    For more information, MRSC has a Web page that addresses Annexation and Growth Management Agreements - Revenue Sharing .

    The issue of assessing impact fees to finance services within a city's unincorporated UGA is sometimes problematic because counties are generally more reluctant than cities to impose impact fees.

    Annexation Issues

    Annexation is a problem because it has not occurred as quickly as anticipated in most counties. Some of this is due to boundary review boards (BRBs) and their requirements. The boundary review board is a particular problem in Skagit County. BRBs have been used as a way to organize opposition to annexation (Skagit County). There also is a need for a simplified approach to annexation for unincorporated islands (Thurston County). (Note: There is a new law (SHB 1755) that provides for an alternative approach to the annexation of unincorporated islands. This option provides for an interlocal agreement between the county and city and is only available in counties subject to buildable lands review and evaluation under the GMA.)

    Snohomish County has developed a master interlocal agreement for annexation and prepares an interlocal agreement with a city when an annexation involves 50 acres or more.

    Some cities will not extend sewer and water service to unincorporated areas without annexation (Snohomish, Skagit). This may reflect the aftermath of the Moses Lake decision, because many cities used outside utility agreement prior to the court decision. There is a potential impasse in Skagit County related to a pending Growth Management Hearings Board decision (Anacortes). Because the Skagit County BRB is a major impediment to annexation, in the future Skagit County may not allow construction in UGAs until annexation occurs. This may place the onus on the developer rather than the city to move forward with annexation.

    In Douglas County, an annexation to East Wenatchee was approved by a large majority at an election. The county planning director feels that the cooperative attitudes between the city and the county, including the interlocal agreement, have had a lot to do with strong local support.

    The adoption of interlocal agreements in King County has not proceeded as originally envisioned.  Instead, the county has adopted a map showing annexation areas as part of countywide planning policies. This has helped to resolve overlapping annexation areas and identify gaps in unincorporated UGAs. From the county's perspective, this is a much simpler approach than adopting multiple interlocals, since King County and a number of its cities had reached a deadlock in developing interlocal agreements. In 2003, King County offered a one-time financial incentive to cities to annex unincorporated urban islands .

    In 2003, Snohomish County was in the process of adopting a map of annexation area boundaries for the nine cities in the Southwest County UGA. This was a several-year process involving extensive coordination between the county and the cities.  

    Subarea Planning

    Until recently Snohomish County was preparing subarea plans within its unincorporated UGAs and processing development permits within the unincorporated UGAs using county standards. In general, the subarea planning process was contentious and unwieldy The county stopped developing subarea plans within unincorporated UGAs associated with cities and is relying on the cities to do this planning instead.

    Staff Transfers

    Another issue involves transferring staff as part of the annexation process. This is a somewhat touchy issue and is relatively untested at this point. In 1996, Clark County and Vancouver signed a memorandum of understanding regarding interagency personnel transfers for a large annexation area.

    Other Issues

    Another more minor concern is the transfer of county records to the annexing city (Douglas County). According to public records retention requirements, county records must remain with the county even though the city needs the information for annexed property. In Douglas County, the city is responsible for copying files or requested records.

    Skagit County has a procedure for six-month updates to city regulations and UGA boundaries to keep boundaries and standards up-to-date. This has been a record-keeping nightmare for the county.

    In Whatcom County, the agreement with Bellingham is amended every time a new annexation occurs.

    Jurisdictions are using plan updates as a time to refine interlocal agreements for UGAs. In Douglas County, all cities are working with the county to develop a joint plan as part of the plan update.

    Sample Agreements

    Here are some Web links that may interest you, including links to some of the agreements discussed above. The MRSC Web pages contain many newer agreements.  

     

    King County

    Interlocal agreement between King County and Auburn related to potential annexation area designation and future service provision ( Adobe Acrobat Document240 KB)

    Skagit County

    Skagit County and Anacortes Interlocal Agreement

    Snohomish County

    Interlocal Agreement between the City of Monroe and Snohomish County Concerning Annexation and Urban Development within The Monroe Urban Growth Area, 2008  - Addresses county collection and transfer of uncommitted proportion of impact fees upon annexation

    Whatcom County

    Bellingham and Whatcom County Interlocal Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document3.2 MB)



  78. Request for information on experiences of cities and counties that have signed interlocal agreements to manage development review and planning for their urban growth areas.
    Growth Management Interlocal Agreements regarding Urban Growth Areas: A Summary of Issues

    The following is a summary of city and county experiences with growth management interlocal agreements (as of  September 2003)  for development review and planning within the UGA. This information is based on interviews with city and county planners and on MRSC review of sample agreements.

    Basic Advice - Keep the agreements simple and keep on talking - coordination and cooperation are essential, especially at the staff level (Olympia, Lynnwood). Douglas County recommends getting an agreement in place, even if it is not perfect, because the agreement can be amended as needed. Commitment to the provisions of the agreement is also essential and has been a problem in a few instances.

    Counties and cities where interlocal growth management agreements are generally working particularly well:

    • Douglas County - East Wenatchee
    • Thurston County - Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey
    • Whatcom County - Bellingham
    • Yakima County - Yakima and Grandview

    In most cases, cities are more positive about interlocals than counties, because the benefits to cities are more obvious, although counties can gain from revenue sharing agreements as well. The agreement typically clarifies and in some cases simplifies the annexation process, which brings more revenue to the city and results in a loss of county tax base. The interlocals require counties to implement city policies and standards and typically complicate the county's development review process. The interlocal agreement process also works more smoothly in smaller counties with fewer cities and towns because less coordination is involved and development review processes are typically simpler. Some counties, such as Snohomish and Pierce, have very large unincorporated UGAs, which further complicate the situation. King County, by contrast, has less unincorporated land in the UGAs, partly due to new incorporations since the GMA was enacted.

    In Douglas County, the success of the interlocal agreement with East Wenatchee has provided a stepping stone to other cooperative efforts between the city and county.

    Coordination

    Coordination at the planning staff level is generally good (Skagit, Whatcom, Thurston, Yakima, others). In Thurston County, city and county department heads meet once a month; staff meet as needed (sometimes weekly to review major development projects). The city staff acts as consultant to the county. In Snohomish County, Snohomish County Tomorrow is a collaborative interjurisdictional forum that includes representatives from all cities, the county and the Tulalip tribe. The planning directors meet monthly.

    Continuity of Support from Elected Officials

    Changes in elected officials have been problematic for interlocal growth management agreements in many counties; county support for the interlocals is essential and is difficult to obtain because county officials view the interlocal as a loss of control (as well as lost revenue when annexation occurs). There is an issue of representation. Unincorporated UGA residents vote for county commissioners or councilmembers but are essentially being regulated by city councils if the county follows city standards in the UGA.

    County Permit Processing using City Standards

    In most cases when interlocal agreements are adopted, the county processes development permits using city standards, although Snohomish County and Whatcom County are exceptions. Some counties would like to develop a single set of urban standards for all unincorporated UGAs for cities within the county. Snohomish County has developed uniform urban standards for unincorporated UGAs, but there is an issue with design guide ines from cities that have not been adopted by the county. (Snohomish County's standards are not yet adopted.) Snohomish County also has an urban centers demonstration code that has been very well received and is being implemented on a voluntary basis in two areas within the county's southwest UGA. This code encourages mixed-use development at urban densities and provides some flexibility for innovative transit-oriented urban development projects. (See Snohomish County Code, Chapter 30.34A - Urban Centers Development Program ( in Title 30).

    In Thurston County, Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia each provided 75% of the funding for a draft county ordinance addressing each of their respective development standards. The use of city standards is important so that the new development in the UGA, which will eventually become part of the city, will have the look and feel of city development. Having the same street standards is especially important. Without similar standards, it would likely be less expensive to build in unincorporated UGAs, and this would encourage sprawl rather than the compact urban growth as envisioned by the GMA. One of the problems has been getting city and county fire departments to accept the same standards.

    In the Bellingham UGA in Whatcom County, certain city standards have been used for some permits (such as subdivisions) but not others (building permits). Bellingham has a history of extending sewer and water service outside the city boundaries. In the future, Bellingham will require new development in its unincorporated UGA to meet city standards in order to extend services or only rural densities will be allowed.

    Common service standards are more of problem for large counties which must deal with varying city standards for the multiple city UGAs within a single county. Some counties wish that they had developed a single county-wide standard for urban development outside cities rather than adopting the standards of each individual city (Skagit and Thurston).

    Common Zoning

    This is similar to the standards issue. Zoning districts vary among jurisdictions, and this has also been problematic for counties when varying city zoning districts and/or development standards are adopted within the UGA. Most counties retain the county zoning in the unincorporated UGA until the time of annexation, but Thurston County is an exception. Thurston County has adopted city zoning regulations within UGA but would have preferred a single set of urban zoning districts for all unincorporated UGAs to simplify administration. Thurston has also developed a single county-wide zoning standard for home occupations and cell towers.

    Interlocal Agreements Will Not Solve All Growth Management Issues between a County and its Cities

    In some cases cities and counties haven't been able to reach agreement on service standards, revenue sharing or other issues, and have agreed to disagree. (For instance, Thurston County did not adopt Olympia's park plan). Adjustment is needed as plans and development regulations change, and actual development occurs.

    Revenue Sharing

    One of the big stumbling blocks is the issue of revenue-sharing between cities and the county (Clallam, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima). So far, this has mostly been handled on a case-by-case basis associated with a particular annexation request, such as in the case of city contribution for a major county capital improvement, such as a road project. The East Wenatchee - Douglas County interlocal agreement , and the Walla Walla City and County Urban Area Growth Management Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document1.8 MB) are among the few that address revenue sharing. Douglas County is pleased with the fact that the interlocal agreement recognizes county financial interests. The mediated revenue sharing agreement between Moses Lake and Grant County is another example. The Clark County-Vancouver agreements for the Van Mall development are a good example of past revenue sharing agreements.

    For more information, MRSC has a Web page that addresses Annexation and Growth Management Agreements - Revenue Sharing .

    The issue of assessing impact fees to finance services within a city's unincorporated UGA is sometimes problematic because counties are generally more reluctant than cities to impose impact fees.

    Annexation Issues

    Annexation is a problem because it has not occurred as quickly as anticipated in most counties. Some of this is due to boundary review boards (BRBs) and their requirements. The boundary review board is a particular problem in Skagit County. BRBs have been used as a way to organize opposition to annexation (Skagit County). There also is a need for a simplified approach to annexation for unincorporated islands (Thurston County). (Note: There is a new law (SHB 1755) that provides for an alternative approach to the annexation of unincorporated islands. This option provides for an interlocal agreement between the county and city and is only available in counties subject to buildable lands review and evaluation under the GMA.)

    Snohomish County has developed a master interlocal agreement for annexation and prepares an interlocal agreement with a city when an annexation involves 50 acres or more.

    Some cities will not extend sewer and water service to unincorporated areas without annexation (Snohomish, Skagit). This may reflect the aftermath of the Moses Lake decision, because many cities used outside utility agreement prior to the court decision. There is a potential impasse in Skagit County related to a pending Growth Management Hearings Board decision (Anacortes). Because the Skagit County BRB is a major impediment to annexation, in the future Skagit County may not allow construction in UGAs until annexation occurs. This may place the onus on the developer rather than the city to move forward with annexation.

    In Douglas County, an annexation to East Wenatchee was approved by a large majority at an election. The county planning director feels that the cooperative attitudes between the city and the county, including the interlocal agreement, have had a lot to do with strong local support.

    The adoption of interlocal agreements in King County has not proceeded as originally envisioned.  Instead, the county has adopted a map showing annexation areas as part of countywide planning policies. This has helped to resolve overlapping annexation areas and identify gaps in unincorporated UGAs. From the county's perspective, this is a much simpler approach than adopting multiple interlocals, since King County and a number of its cities had reached a deadlock in developing interlocal agreements. In 2003, King County offered a one-time financial incentive to cities to annex unincorporated urban islands .

    In 2003, Snohomish County was in the process of adopting a map of annexation area boundaries for the nine cities in the Southwest County UGA. This was a several-year process involving extensive coordination between the county and the cities.  

    Subarea Planning

    Until recently Snohomish County was preparing subarea plans within its unincorporated UGAs and processing development permits within the unincorporated UGAs using county standards. In general, the subarea planning process was contentious and unwieldy The county stopped developing subarea plans within unincorporated UGAs associated with cities and is relying on the cities to do this planning instead.

    Staff Transfers

    Another issue involves transferring staff as part of the annexation process. This is a somewhat touchy issue and is relatively untested at this point. In 1996, Clark County and Vancouver signed a memorandum of understanding regarding interagency personnel transfers for a large annexation area.

    Other Issues

    Another more minor concern is the transfer of county records to the annexing city (Douglas County). According to public records retention requirements, county records must remain with the county even though the city needs the information for annexed property. In Douglas County, the city is responsible for copying files or requested records.

    Skagit County has a procedure for six-month updates to city regulations and UGA boundaries to keep boundaries and standards up-to-date. This has been a record-keeping nightmare for the county.

    In Whatcom County, the agreement with Bellingham is amended every time a new annexation occurs.

    Jurisdictions are using plan updates as a time to refine interlocal agreements for UGAs. In Douglas County, all cities are working with the county to develop a joint plan as part of the plan update.

    Sample Agreements

    Here are some Web links that may interest you, including links to some of the agreements discussed above. The MRSC Web pages contain many newer agreements.  

     

    King County

    Interlocal agreement between King County and Auburn related to potential annexation area designation and future service provision ( Adobe Acrobat Document240 KB)

    Skagit County

    Skagit County and Anacortes Interlocal Agreement

    Snohomish County

    Interlocal Agreement between the City of Monroe and Snohomish County Concerning Annexation and Urban Development within The Monroe Urban Growth Area, 2008  - Addresses county collection and transfer of uncommitted proportion of impact fees upon annexation

    Whatcom County

    Bellingham and Whatcom County Interlocal Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document3.2 MB)



  79. Request for information on experiences of cities and counties that have signed interlocal agreements to manage development review and planning for their urban growth areas.
    Growth Management Interlocal Agreements regarding Urban Growth Areas: A Summary of Issues

    The following is a summary of city and county experiences with growth management interlocal agreements (as of  September 2003)  for development review and planning within the UGA. This information is based on interviews with city and county planners and on MRSC review of sample agreements.

    Basic Advice - Keep the agreements simple and keep on talking - coordination and cooperation are essential, especially at the staff level (Olympia, Lynnwood). Douglas County recommends getting an agreement in place, even if it is not perfect, because the agreement can be amended as needed. Commitment to the provisions of the agreement is also essential and has been a problem in a few instances.

    Counties and cities where interlocal growth management agreements are generally working particularly well:

    • Douglas County - East Wenatchee
    • Thurston County - Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey
    • Whatcom County - Bellingham
    • Yakima County - Yakima and Grandview

    In most cases, cities are more positive about interlocals than counties, because the benefits to cities are more obvious, although counties can gain from revenue sharing agreements as well. The agreement typically clarifies and in some cases simplifies the annexation process, which brings more revenue to the city and results in a loss of county tax base. The interlocals require counties to implement city policies and standards and typically complicate the county's development review process. The interlocal agreement process also works more smoothly in smaller counties with fewer cities and towns because less coordination is involved and development review processes are typically simpler. Some counties, such as Snohomish and Pierce, have very large unincorporated UGAs, which further complicate the situation. King County, by contrast, has less unincorporated land in the UGAs, partly due to new incorporations since the GMA was enacted.

    In Douglas County, the success of the interlocal agreement with East Wenatchee has provided a stepping stone to other cooperative efforts between the city and county.

    Coordination

    Coordination at the planning staff level is generally good (Skagit, Whatcom, Thurston, Yakima, others). In Thurston County, city and county department heads meet once a month; staff meet as needed (sometimes weekly to review major development projects). The city staff acts as consultant to the county. In Snohomish County, Snohomish County Tomorrow is a collaborative interjurisdictional forum that includes representatives from all cities, the county and the Tulalip tribe. The planning directors meet monthly.

    Continuity of Support from Elected Officials

    Changes in elected officials have been problematic for interlocal growth management agreements in many counties; county support for the interlocals is essential and is difficult to obtain because county officials view the interlocal as a loss of control (as well as lost revenue when annexation occurs). There is an issue of representation. Unincorporated UGA residents vote for county commissioners or councilmembers but are essentially being regulated by city councils if the county follows city standards in the UGA.

    County Permit Processing using City Standards

    In most cases when interlocal agreements are adopted, the county processes development permits using city standards, although Snohomish County and Whatcom County are exceptions. Some counties would like to develop a single set of urban standards for all unincorporated UGAs for cities within the county. Snohomish County has developed uniform urban standards for unincorporated UGAs, but there is an issue with design guide ines from cities that have not been adopted by the county. (Snohomish County's standards are not yet adopted.) Snohomish County also has an urban centers demonstration code that has been very well received and is being implemented on a voluntary basis in two areas within the county's southwest UGA. This code encourages mixed-use development at urban densities and provides some flexibility for innovative transit-oriented urban development projects. (See Snohomish County Code, Chapter 30.34A - Urban Centers Development Program ( in Title 30).

    In Thurston County, Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia each provided 75% of the funding for a draft county ordinance addressing each of their respective development standards. The use of city standards is important so that the new development in the UGA, which will eventually become part of the city, will have the look and feel of city development. Having the same street standards is especially important. Without similar standards, it would likely be less expensive to build in unincorporated UGAs, and this would encourage sprawl rather than the compact urban growth as envisioned by the GMA. One of the problems has been getting city and county fire departments to accept the same standards.

    In the Bellingham UGA in Whatcom County, certain city standards have been used for some permits (such as subdivisions) but not others (building permits). Bellingham has a history of extending sewer and water service outside the city boundaries. In the future, Bellingham will require new development in its unincorporated UGA to meet city standards in order to extend services or only rural densities will be allowed.

    Common service standards are more of problem for large counties which must deal with varying city standards for the multiple city UGAs within a single county. Some counties wish that they had developed a single county-wide standard for urban development outside cities rather than adopting the standards of each individual city (Skagit and Thurston).

    Common Zoning

    This is similar to the standards issue. Zoning districts vary among jurisdictions, and this has also been problematic for counties when varying city zoning districts and/or development standards are adopted within the UGA. Most counties retain the county zoning in the unincorporated UGA until the time of annexation, but Thurston County is an exception. Thurston County has adopted city zoning regulations within UGA but would have preferred a single set of urban zoning districts for all unincorporated UGAs to simplify administration. Thurston has also developed a single county-wide zoning standard for home occupations and cell towers.

    Interlocal Agreements Will Not Solve All Growth Management Issues between a County and its Cities

    In some cases cities and counties haven't been able to reach agreement on service standards, revenue sharing or other issues, and have agreed to disagree. (For instance, Thurston County did not adopt Olympia's park plan). Adjustment is needed as plans and development regulations change, and actual development occurs.

    Revenue Sharing

    One of the big stumbling blocks is the issue of revenue-sharing between cities and the county (Clallam, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima). So far, this has mostly been handled on a case-by-case basis associated with a particular annexation request, such as in the case of city contribution for a major county capital improvement, such as a road project. The East Wenatchee - Douglas County interlocal agreement , and the Walla Walla City and County Urban Area Growth Management Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document1.8 MB) are among the few that address revenue sharing. Douglas County is pleased with the fact that the interlocal agreement recognizes county financial interests. The mediated revenue sharing agreement between Moses Lake and Grant County is another example. The Clark County-Vancouver agreements for the Van Mall development are a good example of past revenue sharing agreements.

    For more information, MRSC has a Web page that addresses Annexation and Growth Management Agreements - Revenue Sharing .

    The issue of assessing impact fees to finance services within a city's unincorporated UGA is sometimes problematic because counties are generally more reluctant than cities to impose impact fees.

    Annexation Issues

    Annexation is a problem because it has not occurred as quickly as anticipated in most counties. Some of this is due to boundary review boards (BRBs) and their requirements. The boundary review board is a particular problem in Skagit County. BRBs have been used as a way to organize opposition to annexation (Skagit County). There also is a need for a simplified approach to annexation for unincorporated islands (Thurston County). (Note: There is a new law (SHB 1755) that provides for an alternative approach to the annexation of unincorporated islands. This option provides for an interlocal agreement between the county and city and is only available in counties subject to buildable lands review and evaluation under the GMA.)

    Snohomish County has developed a master interlocal agreement for annexation and prepares an interlocal agreement with a city when an annexation involves 50 acres or more.

    Some cities will not extend sewer and water service to unincorporated areas without annexation (Snohomish, Skagit). This may reflect the aftermath of the Moses Lake decision, because many cities used outside utility agreement prior to the court decision. There is a potential impasse in Skagit County related to a pending Growth Management Hearings Board decision (Anacortes). Because the Skagit County BRB is a major impediment to annexation, in the future Skagit County may not allow construction in UGAs until annexation occurs. This may place the onus on the developer rather than the city to move forward with annexation.

    In Douglas County, an annexation to East Wenatchee was approved by a large majority at an election. The county planning director feels that the cooperative attitudes between the city and the county, including the interlocal agreement, have had a lot to do with strong local support.

    The adoption of interlocal agreements in King County has not proceeded as originally envisioned.  Instead, the county has adopted a map showing annexation areas as part of countywide planning policies. This has helped to resolve overlapping annexation areas and identify gaps in unincorporated UGAs. From the county's perspective, this is a much simpler approach than adopting multiple interlocals, since King County and a number of its cities had reached a deadlock in developing interlocal agreements. In 2003, King County offered a one-time financial incentive to cities to annex unincorporated urban islands .

    In 2003, Snohomish County was in the process of adopting a map of annexation area boundaries for the nine cities in the Southwest County UGA. This was a several-year process involving extensive coordination between the county and the cities.  

    Subarea Planning

    Until recently Snohomish County was preparing subarea plans within its unincorporated UGAs and processing development permits within the unincorporated UGAs using county standards. In general, the subarea planning process was contentious and unwieldy The county stopped developing subarea plans within unincorporated UGAs associated with cities and is relying on the cities to do this planning instead.

    Staff Transfers

    Another issue involves transferring staff as part of the annexation process. This is a somewhat touchy issue and is relatively untested at this point. In 1996, Clark County and Vancouver signed a memorandum of understanding regarding interagency personnel transfers for a large annexation area.

    Other Issues

    Another more minor concern is the transfer of county records to the annexing city (Douglas County). According to public records retention requirements, county records must remain with the county even though the city needs the information for annexed property. In Douglas County, the city is responsible for copying files or requested records.

    Skagit County has a procedure for six-month updates to city regulations and UGA boundaries to keep boundaries and standards up-to-date. This has been a record-keeping nightmare for the county.

    In Whatcom County, the agreement with Bellingham is amended every time a new annexation occurs.

    Jurisdictions are using plan updates as a time to refine interlocal agreements for UGAs. In Douglas County, all cities are working with the county to develop a joint plan as part of the plan update.

    Sample Agreements

    Here are some Web links that may interest you, including links to some of the agreements discussed above. The MRSC Web pages contain many newer agreements.  

     

    King County

    Interlocal agreement between King County and Auburn related to potential annexation area designation and future service provision ( Adobe Acrobat Document240 KB)

    Skagit County

    Skagit County and Anacortes Interlocal Agreement

    Snohomish County

    Interlocal Agreement between the City of Monroe and Snohomish County Concerning Annexation and Urban Development within The Monroe Urban Growth Area, 2008  - Addresses county collection and transfer of uncommitted proportion of impact fees upon annexation

    Whatcom County

    Bellingham and Whatcom County Interlocal Agreement ( Adobe Acrobat Document3.2 MB)



  80. May a city refuse a request for utility service outside its boundaries but within its UGA and where the city's water and sewer service area plan defines the city's water and sewer service area as its UGA?

    Although the Growth Management Act (GMA) contemplates that a city is the appropriate provider of utility services within its Urban Growth Area (UGA), the city is not obligated by the GMA to so provide at any particular time. A city likely wants to control how and when urban growth occurs within the UGA. So, providing or not providing urban services is a basic tool of this control. There is no language in the GMA that takes this tool away from cities or that obligates cities to provide urban services to an area on demand simply because it is within the UGA.

    Nevertheless, a city may be obligated to provide utility (water or sewer) service outside its boundaries but within the UGA based on rules developed by case law. The general rule is that, in the absence of a contract, express or implied, a municipality cannot be compelled to supply water outside its boundaries. Brookens v. Yakima, 15 Wn. App. 464, 466 (1976). So, if there is an express contract to provide utility service, a city is contractually obligated to provide that service. An implied contract can arise "where a municipality holds itself out as a public utility willing to supply all those who request service in a general area." Brookens, 15 Wn. App. at 466-67. A city may also have a duty to supply water or sewer service "where a city is the exclusive supplier of sewer or water service in a region extending beyond the borders of the city." Yakima County Fire Prot. Dist. No. 12 v. City of Yakima, 122 Wn.2d 371, 381-82 (1993).

    But that duty, if it arises, is not absolute; a city may deny water or sewer services if it lacks the needed capacity. Yakima Fire Prot. Dist., 122 Wn.2d at 382. Also, the duty to provide the service is "subject to such reasonable conditions, if any, as the law may allow." Id. An example of such a reasonable condition, as was presented in the Yakima case, is that the property owner agree to annexation.

    A case where a Washington appellate court found a duty to supply utility service within the entire UGA was in Nolte v. City of Olympia, 96 Wn. App. 944 (1999), where the city admitted that it was the sole provider of water and sewer service to the UGA.

    The bottom line answer is "it depends." The fact that the city's adopted water and sewer service area plans are defined as their UGA boundaries may be a factor in favor of there being a duty to supply those services.



  81. May a city refuse a request for utility service outside its boundaries but within its UGA and where the city's water and sewer service area plan defines the city's water and sewer service area as its UGA?

    Although the Growth Management Act (GMA) contemplates that a city is the appropriate provider of utility services within its Urban Growth Area (UGA), the city is not obligated by the GMA to so provide at any particular time. A city likely wants to control how and when urban growth occurs within the UGA. So, providing or not providing urban services is a basic tool of this control. There is no language in the GMA that takes this tool away from cities or that obligates cities to provide urban services to an area on demand simply because it is within the UGA.

    Nevertheless, a city may be obligated to provide utility (water or sewer) service outside its boundaries but within the UGA based on rules developed by case law. The general rule is that, in the absence of a contract, express or implied, a municipality cannot be compelled to supply water outside its boundaries. Brookens v. Yakima, 15 Wn. App. 464, 466 (1976). So, if there is an express contract to provide utility service, a city is contractually obligated to provide that service. An implied contract can arise "where a municipality holds itself out as a public utility willing to supply all those who request service in a general area." Brookens, 15 Wn. App. at 466-67. A city may also have a duty to supply water or sewer service "where a city is the exclusive supplier of sewer or water service in a region extending beyond the borders of the city." Yakima County Fire Prot. Dist. No. 12 v. City of Yakima, 122 Wn.2d 371, 381-82 (1993).

    But that duty, if it arises, is not absolute; a city may deny water or sewer services if it lacks the needed capacity. Yakima Fire Prot. Dist., 122 Wn.2d at 382. Also, the duty to provide the service is "subject to such reasonable conditions, if any, as the law may allow." Id. An example of such a reasonable condition, as was presented in the Yakima case, is that the property owner agree to annexation.

    A case where a Washington appellate court found a duty to supply utility service within the entire UGA was in Nolte v. City of Olympia, 96 Wn. App. 944 (1999), where the city admitted that it was the sole provider of water and sewer service to the UGA.

    The bottom line answer is "it depends." The fact that the city's adopted water and sewer service area plans are defined as their UGA boundaries may be a factor in favor of there being a duty to supply those services.



  82. Does the Growth Management Act (GMA) require that cities have an average density of four houses per acre?
    The GMA does not have a specific requirement for a minimum or an average density of four houses per acre in urban areas. It does have goals that direct local jurisdictions to reduce low density sprawl, and it has requirements for the establishment of urban growth areas where urban densities are encouraged. Although a series of Growth Management Hearings Board cases established a "bright line" of four units per acre as a minimum appropriate urban density, the state supreme court subsequently ruled that the boards do not have the authority to make public policy and establish such a "bright line" rule. Viking Properties v. Holm, 155 Wn.2d 112 (2005).

  83. Request for basic pro and con information relating to the Growth Management Act.

    Arguments raised pro GMA

    Arguments raised against GMA

  84. Can qualify for growth management and other grants
  85. Can enact impact fees per RCW 82.02.050
  86. Additional cost to the city or county to meet GMA requirements
  87. Growth management requires cities and counties to work together to develop common countywide policies and designate urban growth areas
  88. Counties decide whether to opt in; all cities within county automatically follow county decision
  89. GMA requirement for consistency results in better overall planning
  90. Growth management provides tools for planning for and phasing growth in a coordinated and thoughtful manner
  91. City or county must follow act requirements; less flexibility for city/county; more state oversight of local planning
  92. Growth management helps to protect valuable agricultural lands and other resource lands by concentrating development in urban areas and through development regulations
  93. Growth management emphasis on urban densities in UGAs is often controversial and may be difficult for small communities
  94. Growth management policies and regulations support very low densities in rural areas and resource lands outside UGAs; this may be controversial
  95. Growth management public involvement helps build support for planning and land use regulation
  96. Property rights groups have opposed growth management
  97. Helps communities to identify and meet their goals for the future and plan to meet needs. Goals and policies help to improve overall governmental decision processes
  98. Communities can do this without GMA and with greater flexibility than allowed by GMA
  99. Growth management requires capital facilities planning and plan for how to pay for needed infrastructure
  100. GMA promotes logical, cost effective extension of public facilities.
  101. Communities must do capital facilities planning even without GMA
  102. Cities and counties struggle with finding adequate funding sources for facilities needed to support new growth
  103. Growth management helps to improve a community’s livability and retain its distinctive character
  104. Some say that growth management is challenging for small, rural counties with limited resources
  105. Growth management helps to protect critical environmental areas
  106. Critical areas regulations are required even for jurisdictions not fully planning under GMA
  107. Growth management requires planning for housing locally and regionally and zoning for adequate land supply to meet a range of needs
  108. Some say that growth management may increase housing costs if demand outstrips housing supply
  109. Growth management provides a framework for protecting historic properties

  110. GMA helps ensure continuity in planning over time because of restrictions and requirements relating to amendment of plans



  111. Request for information on regulating and siting essential public facilities such as group homes, secure residential treatment facilities, and correctional or work release facilities.

    Essential Public Facilities

    Essential public facilities (EPFs) include those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities and state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities as defined in RCW 71.09.020.

    Both cities and counties must develop criteria for the siting of EPFs as per RCW 36.70A.200WAC 365-196-550, WAC 365-196-560, and WAC 365-196-570. RCW 36.70A.103 requires that "state agencies shall comply with the local comprehensive plans and development regulations and amendments thereto adopted pursuant to this chapter." On the other hand, RCW 36.70A.200 states that "no local plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities". Also, GMA county comprehensive plan rural elements “shall provide for a variety of rural densities, uses, essential public facilities, and rural governmental services needed to serve the permitted densities and uses” as per RCW 36.70A.070(5)(b).

    Taken together, it appears that a city does have zoning control over EPFs, but may not, through zoning, prevent siting of facilities which meet the definition of "essential public facilities." Some zoning restrictions apparently are possible, but not if the effect of these restrictions is to effectively preclude any EPFs from locating within the city.

    The Growth Management Hearings Boards have addressed issues related to EPFs. Each of the three boards has a Digest of Decisions posted on their respective Web pages. Each Digest of Decisions contains a keyword directory section that lists cases by category, including essential public facilities. The Digests also contain an Appendix with a list of hearing board cases that have been appealed to the courts. The main Growth Management Hearings Boards Website has links to Web pages for each of the three regional hearings boards where Digest of Decisions are posted.

    Also, MRSC has several related Web pages that may be of interest, including Secure Community Transition Facilities, and Siting Major Energy Facilities.

    Here are some local jurisdiction examples of processes for general siting of essential public facilities:

    County EPF Siting Examples

    City EPF Codes

    Secure Community Transition Facilities

    In 2001 (ESB 6151, Chapter 12, Laws of 2001, 2nd Spec. Sess.) and in 2002 (ESSB 6594, Chapter 68, Laws of 2002), the Essential Public Facilities section of Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.200) was amended to add a requirement that cities and counties establish a process and adopt regulations for the siting of secure community transition facilities (SCTFs). SCTFs are considered "essential public facilities," and local comprehensive plans or development regulations may not preclude the siting of "essential public facilities." Also see WAC 365-196-570 - Secure Community Transition Facilities - Requirements.

    Please see MRSC's SCTF Web page and information posted on the State Department of Social and Health Services Web site. The MRSC web page includes examples of local ordinances addressing SCTF siting.

    Work Release and Correctional Facilities

    Local correctional facilities and group homes are by statutory definition considered to be essential public facilities and consequently subject to the provisions of RCW 36.70A.200.

    The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board was asked to determine if the City of Tacoma had complied with the siting requirements of this statute when it adopted development regulations excluding work release facilities from all areas of the city except for a heavy industrial zone. The Growth Board ruled that by limiting the location of an essential public facility to an impracticable area the city was “precluding” an essential public facility in violation of the requirements of RCW 36.70A.200. (See: State of Washington Department of Corrections and Department of Social and Health Services v. City of Tacoma, Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 00-3-0007, Final Decision and Order (11/20/00).

    RCW 70.48.190 gives cities the specific authority to locate and operate holding, detention, special detention, and correctional facilities any place designated by the city legislative authority within the territorial limits of the county in which the city or town is situated. While the Growth Management Act’s intent is to establish a collaborative process involving cities and counties in the siting of essential county-wide, regional, and state facilities, the specific authority of RCW 70.48.190 controls. The city must follow a process for EPF siting that is consistent with the adopted county-wide planning policies. The city should have some finding re impacts of correctional facilities to justify any proposed restrictions.

    Group Homes, Adult Family Homes and Family Day Care Homes

    A local jurisdiction's ability to regulate some types of group homes is particularly limited by (1) RCW 70.128.175 relating to adult family homes and residential care facilities, (2) RCW 35.63.220, RCW 35A.63.240 & RCW 36.70.990, regarding persons with handicaps, and (3) the 1988 Amendments to the Fair Housing Act.

    RCW 70.128.175 basically pre-empts local control over adult care facilities which provide in home care, room and board to a small number of individuals. These facilities cannot be regulated as conditional uses. The statute doesn't pre-empt local regulation of residential care facilities which house 5-15 functionally disabled individuals. However, the statutory provision for a review of need for such facilities (RCW 35.63.140; RCW 35A.63.149; RCW 36.70.755) may imply that if cities are failing to provide for them, the state will pre-empt local regulation. A DCD model ordinance does make residential care facilities permitted uses in residential zones.

    In addition, the Fair Housing Act Amendments (FHAA) provide that local zoning laws can't have the effect of discriminating against the disabled, which may include some elderly residents. Provisions for special use permits, dispersion rules and limits on the number of residents in group homes are open to challenge. As a general rule, regulations can't treat housing for the disabled differently than other residential uses.

    Dispersion requirements for group homes have been upheld in Minnesota where based on an adopted state policy of integrating group home residents into the community. However, in this state, the U.S. District Court did ot find Bellevue's dispersion requirements to be justified. An article by Ted Gathe, City Attorney of Vancouver, "Group Homes: Local Control and Regulation Versus Federal and State Housing Laws," provides an excellent summary of federal and state limitations on local regulation of group homes. It also includes sections on court decisions related to dispersion requirements, including the recent Bellevue case. It is the most recent commentary we have on this subject.

    The state has preempted some local control over siting of family day care homes (children). New legislation was enacted as Ch. 273, Laws of 1994 and is codified for non-code cities in RCW 35.63.185, and for code cities in RCW 35A.63.215 and for counties in RCW 36.70.757. The legislation applies to family day care facilities, where day care is provided in the provider's home for six or fewer children. It does not preempt the authority to zone for "mini"-day care centers providing care for more than twelve children outside the family home.

    Examples:

    Crisis Residential Centers

    RCW 74.13.031- 74.13.035 address "Crisis Residential Centers" (CRCs). Apparently, there are no specific requirements about CRCs similar to group homes, but they may fall within "essential public facilities."

    Also note these two decisions regarding crisis residential centers:

    • Sunderland Servs. v. Pasco, 107 Wn.App.109 (7/3/01) - [Group Care Facility/Special Use Permit] - The City's denial of a special use permit to operate a youth crisis residential center in a residence located in an R-1 zone (that was based upon requirements contained in the City's home occupation ordinance) constituted an erroneous interpretation of the law violating the Washington Housing Policy Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act.
    • Sunderland Family Treatment Services v. City of Pasco, 127 Wn.2d 782,Wash. Supreme Court., 10/19/95. In the first appellate ruling on the Washington Housing Policy Act the state Supreme Court has ruled that the anti- discrimination statute's fair housing protections for the handicapped do not extend to "troubled youth" staying in a "crisis residential center" located in a residential neighborhood.

    RCW and WAC Definitions and Limitations on Local Regulation



  112. Request for information on regulating and siting essential public facilities such as group homes, secure residential treatment facilities, and correctional or work release facilities.

    Essential Public Facilities

    Essential public facilities (EPFs) include those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities and state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities as defined in RCW 71.09.020.

    Both cities and counties must develop criteria for the siting of EPFs as per RCW 36.70A.200WAC 365-196-550, WAC 365-196-560, and WAC 365-196-570. RCW 36.70A.103 requires that "state agencies shall comply with the local comprehensive plans and development regulations and amendments thereto adopted pursuant to this chapter." On the other hand, RCW 36.70A.200 states that "no local plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities". Also, GMA county comprehensive plan rural elements “shall provide for a variety of rural densities, uses, essential public facilities, and rural governmental services needed to serve the permitted densities and uses” as per RCW 36.70A.070(5)(b).

    Taken together, it appears that a city does have zoning control over EPFs, but may not, through zoning, prevent siting of facilities which meet the definition of "essential public facilities." Some zoning restrictions apparently are possible, but not if the effect of these restrictions is to effectively preclude any EPFs from locating within the city.

    The Growth Management Hearings Boards have addressed issues related to EPFs. Each of the three boards has a Digest of Decisions posted on their respective Web pages. Each Digest of Decisions contains a keyword directory section that lists cases by category, including essential public facilities. The Digests also contain an Appendix with a list of hearing board cases that have been appealed to the courts. The main Growth Management Hearings Boards Website has links to Web pages for each of the three regional hearings boards where Digest of Decisions are posted.

    Also, MRSC has several related Web pages that may be of interest, including Secure Community Transition Facilities, and Siting Major Energy Facilities.

    Here are some local jurisdiction examples of processes for general siting of essential public facilities:

    County EPF Siting Examples

    City EPF Codes

    Secure Community Transition Facilities

    In 2001 (ESB 6151, Chapter 12, Laws of 2001, 2nd Spec. Sess.) and in 2002 (ESSB 6594, Chapter 68, Laws of 2002), the Essential Public Facilities section of Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.200) was amended to add a requirement that cities and counties establish a process and adopt regulations for the siting of secure community transition facilities (SCTFs). SCTFs are considered "essential public facilities," and local comprehensive plans or development regulations may not preclude the siting of "essential public facilities." Also see WAC 365-196-570 - Secure Community Transition Facilities - Requirements.

    Please see MRSC's SCTF Web page and information posted on the State Department of Social and Health Services Web site. The MRSC web page includes examples of local ordinances addressing SCTF siting.

    Work Release and Correctional Facilities

    Local correctional facilities and group homes are by statutory definition considered to be essential public facilities and consequently subject to the provisions of RCW 36.70A.200.

    The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board was asked to determine if the City of Tacoma had complied with the siting requirements of this statute when it adopted development regulations excluding work release facilities from all areas of the city except for a heavy industrial zone. The Growth Board ruled that by limiting the location of an essential public facility to an impracticable area the city was “precluding” an essential public facility in violation of the requirements of RCW 36.70A.200. (See: State of Washington Department of Corrections and Department of Social and Health Services v. City of Tacoma, Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 00-3-0007, Final Decision and Order (11/20/00).

    RCW 70.48.190 gives cities the specific authority to locate and operate holding, detention, special detention, and correctional facilities any place designated by the city legislative authority within the territorial limits of the county in which the city or town is situated. While the Growth Management Act’s intent is to establish a collaborative process involving cities and counties in the siting of essential county-wide, regional, and state facilities, the specific authority of RCW 70.48.190 controls. The city must follow a process for EPF siting that is consistent with the adopted county-wide planning policies. The city should have some finding re impacts of correctional facilities to justify any proposed restrictions.

    Group Homes, Adult Family Homes and Family Day Care Homes

    A local jurisdiction's ability to regulate some types of group homes is particularly limited by (1) RCW 70.128.175 relating to adult family homes and residential care facilities, (2) RCW 35.63.220, RCW 35A.63.240 & RCW 36.70.990, regarding persons with handicaps, and (3) the 1988 Amendments to the Fair Housing Act.

    RCW 70.128.175 basically pre-empts local control over adult care facilities which provide in home care, room and board to a small number of individuals. These facilities cannot be regulated as conditional uses. The statute doesn't pre-empt local regulation of residential care facilities which house 5-15 functionally disabled individuals. However, the statutory provision for a review of need for such facilities (RCW 35.63.140; RCW 35A.63.149; RCW 36.70.755) may imply that if cities are failing to provide for them, the state will pre-empt local regulation. A DCD model ordinance does make residential care facilities permitted uses in residential zones.

    In addition, the Fair Housing Act Amendments (FHAA) provide that local zoning laws can't have the effect of discriminating against the disabled, which may include some elderly residents. Provisions for special use permits, dispersion rules and limits on the number of residents in group homes are open to challenge. As a general rule, regulations can't treat housing for the disabled differently than other residential uses.

    Dispersion requirements for group homes have been upheld in Minnesota where based on an adopted state policy of integrating group home residents into the community. However, in this state, the U.S. District Court did ot find Bellevue's dispersion requirements to be justified. An article by Ted Gathe, City Attorney of Vancouver, "Group Homes: Local Control and Regulation Versus Federal and State Housing Laws," provides an excellent summary of federal and state limitations on local regulation of group homes. It also includes sections on court decisions related to dispersion requirements, including the recent Bellevue case. It is the most recent commentary we have on this subject.

    The state has preempted some local control over siting of family day care homes (children). New legislation was enacted as Ch. 273, Laws of 1994 and is codified for non-code cities in RCW 35.63.185, and for code cities in RCW 35A.63.215 and for counties in RCW 36.70.757. The legislation applies to family day care facilities, where day care is provided in the provider's home for six or fewer children. It does not preempt the authority to zone for "mini"-day care centers providing care for more than twelve children outside the family home.

    Examples:

    Crisis Residential Centers

    RCW 74.13.031- 74.13.035 address "Crisis Residential Centers" (CRCs). Apparently, there are no specific requirements about CRCs similar to group homes, but they may fall within "essential public facilities."

    Also note these two decisions regarding crisis residential centers:

    • Sunderland Servs. v. Pasco, 107 Wn.App.109 (7/3/01) - [Group Care Facility/Special Use Permit] - The City's denial of a special use permit to operate a youth crisis residential center in a residence located in an R-1 zone (that was based upon requirements contained in the City's home occupation ordinance) constituted an erroneous interpretation of the law violating the Washington Housing Policy Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act.
    • Sunderland Family Treatment Services v. City of Pasco, 127 Wn.2d 782,Wash. Supreme Court., 10/19/95. In the first appellate ruling on the Washington Housing Policy Act the state Supreme Court has ruled that the anti- discrimination statute's fair housing protections for the handicapped do not extend to "troubled youth" staying in a "crisis residential center" located in a residential neighborhood.

    RCW and WAC Definitions and Limitations on Local Regulation



  113. Request for information on regulating and siting essential public facilities such as group homes, secure residential treatment facilities, and correctional or work release facilities.

    Essential Public Facilities

    Essential public facilities (EPFs) include those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities and state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities as defined in RCW 71.09.020.

    Both cities and counties must develop criteria for the siting of EPFs as per RCW 36.70A.200WAC 365-196-550, WAC 365-196-560, and WAC 365-196-570. RCW 36.70A.103 requires that "state agencies shall comply with the local comprehensive plans and development regulations and amendments thereto adopted pursuant to this chapter." On the other hand, RCW 36.70A.200 states that "no local plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities". Also, GMA county comprehensive plan rural elements “shall provide for a variety of rural densities, uses, essential public facilities, and rural governmental services needed to serve the permitted densities and uses” as per RCW 36.70A.070(5)(b).

    Taken together, it appears that a city does have zoning control over EPFs, but may not, through zoning, prevent siting of facilities which meet the definition of "essential public facilities." Some zoning restrictions apparently are possible, but not if the effect of these restrictions is to effectively preclude any EPFs from locating within the city.

    The Growth Management Hearings Boards have addressed issues related to EPFs. Each of the three boards has a Digest of Decisions posted on their respective Web pages. Each Digest of Decisions contains a keyword directory section that lists cases by category, including essential public facilities. The Digests also contain an Appendix with a list of hearing board cases that have been appealed to the courts. The main Growth Management Hearings Boards Website has links to Web pages for each of the three regional hearings boards where Digest of Decisions are posted.

    Also, MRSC has several related Web pages that may be of interest, including Secure Community Transition Facilities, and Siting Major Energy Facilities.

    Here are some local jurisdiction examples of processes for general siting of essential public facilities:

    County EPF Siting Examples

    City EPF Codes

    Secure Community Transition Facilities

    In 2001 (ESB 6151, Chapter 12, Laws of 2001, 2nd Spec. Sess.) and in 2002 (ESSB 6594, Chapter 68, Laws of 2002), the Essential Public Facilities section of Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.200) was amended to add a requirement that cities and counties establish a process and adopt regulations for the siting of secure community transition facilities (SCTFs). SCTFs are considered "essential public facilities," and local comprehensive plans or development regulations may not preclude the siting of "essential public facilities." Also see WAC 365-196-570 - Secure Community Transition Facilities - Requirements.

    Please see MRSC's SCTF Web page and information posted on the State Department of Social and Health Services Web site. The MRSC web page includes examples of local ordinances addressing SCTF siting.

    Work Release and Correctional Facilities

    Local correctional facilities and group homes are by statutory definition considered to be essential public facilities and consequently subject to the provisions of RCW 36.70A.200.

    The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board was asked to determine if the City of Tacoma had complied with the siting requirements of this statute when it adopted development regulations excluding work release facilities from all areas of the city except for a heavy industrial zone. The Growth Board ruled that by limiting the location of an essential public facility to an impracticable area the city was “precluding” an essential public facility in violation of the requirements of RCW 36.70A.200. (See: State of Washington Department of Corrections and Department of Social and Health Services v. City of Tacoma, Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board Case No. 00-3-0007, Final Decision and Order (11/20/00).

    RCW 70.48.190 gives cities the specific authority to locate and operate holding, detention, special detention, and correctional facilities any place designated by the city legislative authority within the territorial limits of the county in which the city or town is situated. While the Growth Management Act’s intent is to establish a collaborative process involving cities and counties in the siting of essential county-wide, regional, and state facilities, the specific authority of RCW 70.48.190 controls. The city must follow a process for EPF siting that is consistent with the adopted county-wide planning policies. The city should have some finding re impacts of correctional facilities to justify any proposed restrictions.

    Group Homes, Adult Family Homes and Family Day Care Homes

    A local jurisdiction's ability to regulate some types of group homes is particularly limited by (1) RCW 70.128.175 relating to adult family homes and residential care facilities, (2) RCW 35.63.220, RCW 35A.63.240 & RCW 36.70.990, regarding persons with handicaps, and (3) the 1988 Amendments to the Fair Housing Act.

    RCW 70.128.175 basically pre-empts local control over adult care facilities which provide in home care, room and board to a small number of individuals. These facilities cannot be regulated as conditional uses. The statute doesn't pre-empt local regulation of residential care facilities which house 5-15 functionally disabled individuals. However, the statutory provision for a review of need for such facilities (RCW 35.63.140; RCW 35A.63.149; RCW 36.70.755) may imply that if cities are failing to provide for them, the state will pre-empt local regulation. A DCD model ordinance does make residential care facilities permitted uses in residential zones.

    In addition, the Fair Housing Act Amendments (FHAA) provide that local zoning laws can't have the effect of discriminating against the disabled, which may include some elderly residents. Provisions for special use permits, dispersion rules and limits on the number of residents in group homes are open to challenge. As a general rule, regulations can't treat housing for the disabled differently than other residential uses.

    Dispersion requirements for group homes have been upheld in Minnesota where based on an adopted state policy of integrating group home residents into the community. However, in this state, the U.S. District Court did ot find Bellevue's dispersion requirements to be justified. An article by Ted Gathe, City Attorney of Vancouver, "Group Homes: Local Control and Regulation Versus Federal and State Housing Laws," provides an excellent summary of federal and state limitations on local regulation of group homes. It also includes sections on court decisions related to dispersion requirements, including the recent Bellevue case. It is the most recent commentary we have on this subject.

    The state has preempted some local control over siting of family day care homes (children). New legislation was enacted as Ch. 273, Laws of 1994 and is codified for non-code cities in RCW 35.63.185, and for code cities in RCW 35A.63.215 and for counties in RCW 36.70.757. The legislation applies to family day care facilities, where day care is provided in the provider's home for six or fewer children. It does not preempt the authority to zone for "mini"-day care centers providing care for more than twelve children outside the family home.

    Examples:

    Crisis Residential Centers

    RCW 74.13.031- 74.13.035 address "Crisis Residential Centers" (CRCs). Apparently, there are no specific requirements about CRCs similar to group homes, but they may fall within "essential public facilities."

    Also note these two decisions regarding crisis residential centers:

    • Sunderland Servs. v. Pasco, 107 Wn.App.109 (7/3/01) - [Group Care Facility/Special Use Permit] - The City's denial of a special use permit to operate a youth crisis residential center in a residence located in an R-1 zone (that was based upon requirements contained in the City's home occupation ordinance) constituted an erroneous interpretation of the law violating the Washington Housing Policy Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act.
    • Sunderland Family Treatment Services v. City of Pasco, 127 Wn.2d 782,Wash. Supreme Court., 10/19/95. In the first appellate ruling on the Washington Housing Policy Act the state Supreme Court has ruled that the anti- discrimination statute's fair housing protections for the handicapped do not extend to "troubled youth" staying in a "crisis residential center" located in a residential neighborhood.

    RCW and WAC Definitions and Limitations on Local Regulation



  114. Is a short plat located partially within the flood plain subject to SEPA?
    A short plat is categorically exempt from SEPA review under WAC 197-11-800(6)(a), unless the city's SEPA procedures have designated the flood plain area as an environmentally sensitive area and have selected the applicable categorical exemption (for short plats under WAC 197-11-800(6)(a)) as not being applicable within designated environmentally sensitive areas. See WAC 197-11-908.

  115. Must the shoreline master program of a city that plans under the Growth Management Act be an element of the city's comprehensive plan?
    Yes, under regulatory reform legislation adopted in 1995. RCW 36.70A.480(1) states in part that the goals and policies of a shoreline master program of a city or county "shall be considered an element of the county or city's comprehensive plan" adopted under the Growth Management Act. In addition, all other portions of the shoreline master program, including use regulations, are to be considered as part of a city or county's development regulations, for Growth Management Act purposes.

  116. Are amendments to the zoning code subject to initiative and referendum?

    The courts in this state have indicated previously that amendments to the zoning code are not a proper subject for an initiative. See the cases of Lince v. Bremerton, 25 Wn. App. 309 (1980) and Leonard v. Bothell, 87 Wn.2d 847 (1976).

    Part of the rationale for these decisions is the doctrine that the powers of initiative and referendum do not apply to actions which have been delegated by the state legislature to the governing body (city council) of a city or town as opposed to the city or town as a corporate entity. RCW 35A.63.100 appears to indicate that the power to enact land use zones has been granted to the city councils in noncharter code cities. Since this is a power which has been specifically granted to the city council by the state legislature, it is not an appropriate subject for the initiative process.

Expand Section WSAMA Conference Proceedings (32 Results)

  1. A Discussion of Berschauer v. City of Tumwater, Western Washington Growth Planning Hearings Board, Case No. 94-02-0002: A Decision Involving Tumwater's Adoption of Its GMA Comprehensive Plan, by Patrick L. Brock, City Attorney of Tumwater. Legal Notes No. 488, Fall 1994
    Document Date: 10/7/1994


  2. Land Use Regulatory Jurisdiction of Local Governments over Regional Agencies and Other Local Governments, by William H. Chapman, Attorney, Preston, Thorgrimson, Ellis Holman. Legal Notes No. 454, Spring 1988
    Document Date: 7/1/1988


  3. What Conditions May be Placed on Land Development? by Mike Connelly, City Attorney of Spokane Valley. Legal Notes No. 534, Fall 2009
    Document Date: 10/14/2009


  4. Growth Management Act and Recent Land Use Decisions, by Ronald C. Dickinson, City Attorney of Mercer Island. Legal Notes No. 481, Spring 1993
    Document Date: 6/25/1993


  5. Growth Management Act: Recent GMA Board Decisions and 1995 Legislative Options by J. Tayloe Washburn and P. Stephen DiJulio, Foster Pepper Shefelman. Legal Notes No. 488, Fall 1994
    Document Date: 10/7/1994


  6. Alternatives for Financing Infrastructure and Facilitating Concurrency, by Steve DiJulio, Foster Pepper & Shefelman. Legal Notes No. 518, Spring 2004
    Document Date: 5/14/2004


  7. Reading a 4-4 Opinion: The Anacortes Case and Why It's Necessary to Read a Decision from Beginning to End, by Susan Drummond, Foster Pepper PLLC. Legal Notes No. 532, Spring 2009
    Document Date: 4/29/2009


  8. Bright Line Fever: How I Learned to Stop Questioning Four Dwelling Units per Acre and Love the Litowitz Test, by Peter J. Eglick, Eglick Kiker Whited PLLC. Legal Notes No. 523, Fall 2005
    Document Date: 10/14/2005


  9. Regulation of Satellite Receiving Dishes, by Mark O. Erickson, City Attorney of Olympia. Legal Notes No. 451, Fall 1987
    Document Date: 10/24/1987


  10. The Growth Management Act (ESHB 2929) and the Recommendations of the Growth Strategies Commission, by Richard D. Ford, Preston Thorgrimson Shidler Gates Ellis, Chair, Washington State Growth Strategies Commission. Legal Notes No. 469, Fall 1990
    Document Date: 10/26/1990


  11. Local Control and Regulation of Group Homes, by Ted H. Gathe, City Attorney of Vancouver. Legal Notes No. 496, Fall 1996
    Document Date: 10/4/1996


  12. Issues in Growth Management: Including Critical Areas, Best Available Science, and Density, by Sara Hemphill, Director of Sustainable Solutions. Legal Notes No. 521, Spring 2005
    Document Date: 4/29/2005


  13. Practice, Procedure and Cases Before the Growth Planning Hearing Boards from a Non-attorney's Perspective, by Nan A. Henriksen, Western Washington Growth Planning Hearings Board. Legal Notes No. 484, Fall 1993
    Document Date: 10/29/1993


  14. Annexations Under the Growth Management Act: Barriers and Potential Solutions, by Michael D. Kattermann, Associate Principal, AHBL, Inc. Legal Notes No. 521, Spring 2005
    Document Date: 4/29/2005


  15. What's New from the Growth Management Hearings Board and the Shorelines Hearings Board, by Andrew S. Lane, Attorney, Foster, Pepper & Shefelman. Legal Notes No. 510, Fall 2001
    Document Date: 10/5/2001


  16. A Collision Course: FEMA's Floodplain Re-Mapping and NMFS' Biological Opinion Regarding the National Flood Insurance Program, by Molly Lawrence, GordonDerr LLP. Legal Notes No. 535, Spring 2010
    Document Date: 5/5/2010


  17. Variances and Rezones, Traps for the Unwary, by Alexander W. Mackie, Attorney, and Phyllis K. Macleod, Attorney, Owens, Weaver, Davies, Mackie, Lyman Phillips, Olympia. Legal Notes No. 446, Spring 1987
    Document Date: 6/19/1987


  18. Variances and Rezones, Traps for the Unwary, by Alexander W. Mackie, Attorney, and Phyllis K. Macleod, Attorney, Owens, Weaver, Davies, Mackie, Lyman Phillips, Olympia. Legal Notes No. 446, Spring 1987
    Document Date: 6/19/1987


  19. Impact Fees and New Growth Management Legislation, by Larry Martin, Attorney, Foster Pepper Shefelman. Legal Notes No. 473, Spring 1991
    Document Date: 6/21/1991


  20. Futurewise v. Anacortes: What Was the Court Thinking, by Phil Olbrechts, Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC. Legal Notes No. 532, Spring 2009
    Document Date: 4/29/2009


  21. Checklist for Municipal Compliance with State (GMA) Permit Processing Requirements, by Lori Riordan, Assistant City Attorney, City of Bellevue. Legal Notes No. 502, Fall 1998
    Document Date: 10/9/1998


  22. Religious Land Use Issues in Washington State, by Matt Segal, K & L Preston Gates Ellis; Lori Riordan, City Attorney of Bellevue. Legal Notes No. 531, Fall 2008
    Document Date: 10/17/2008


  23. Religious Land Use Issues in Washington State, by Matt Segal, K & L Preston Gates Ellis; Lori Riordan, City Attorney of Bellevue. Legal Notes No. 531, Fall 2008
    Document Date: 10/17/2008


  24. Washington's Growth Management Revolution: GMA I and GMA II, A Progress Report By Richard L. Settle, Professor of Law, University of Puget Sound School of Law. Legal Notes No. 476, Fall 1991
    Document Date: 10/11/1991


  25. Inside, Outside, Upside Down: Utilities under the Growth Management Act, by Bob C. Sterbank, Kenyon Disend. Legal Notes No. 530, Spring 2008
    Document Date: 5/2/2008


  26. Growth Management Update, by Wayne Tanaka, City Attorney of Issaquah and Gig Harbor. Legal Notes No. 479, Fall 1992
    Document Date: 10/16/1992


  27. Growth Management Act -- Selected Issues, by Wayne D. Tanaka, Odgen Murphy Wallace. Legal Notes No. 467, Spring 1990
    Document Date: 6/15/1990


  28. Growth Management Act : update and recent GMA Decisions, by J. Tayloe Washburn, Foster Pepper Shefelman, Seattle. Legal Notes No. 494, Spring 1996
    Document Date: 5/10/1996


  29. Growth Management Act: Recent GMA Board Decisions and 1995 Legislative Options by J. Tayloe Washburn and P. Stephen DiJulio, Foster Pepper Shefelman. Legal Notes No. 488, Fall 1994
    Document Date: 10/7/1994


  30. Growth Management Act: Section 18 "Takings"--What Does It Mean? by Sandra M. Watson, Assistant City Attorney of Seattle. Legal Notes No. 476, Fall 1991
    Document Date: 10/11/1991


  31. Tent Cities: From Open Door Baptist to Religious Freedom in Land Use, by Mike Weight, City Attorney, City of Bothell. Legal Notes No. 520, Fall 2004
    Document Date: 10/8/2004


  32. The Medina Experience - Federal Court - A New Venue for Zoning Review? by Kirk R. Wines, City Attorney of Medina and Hunts Point. Legal Notes No.496, Fall 1996
    Document Date: 10/4/1996

Expand Section Subject Pages (32 Results)

  1. GMA Plan/Development Regulations Updates
    Provides information for Washington cities and counties on reviewing and revising comprehensive plans and development regulations under the Growth Management Act.
  2. Agricultural Lands
    Provides information for local officials on Washington agriculture.
  3. Leasing of Government Property for Siting of Telecommunications Facilities
    This page lists ordinances and agreements about leasing of government property for siting of telecommunications facilities
  4. Wireless Communications
    This page provides resources about wireless communications
  5. Comprehensive Planning - Growth Management
    Provides information on and examples of comprehensive plans planned under the Growth Management Act (GMA) in Washington.
  6. Washington State Concurrency Ordinances
    Listing of web links to Washington state concurrency ordinances.
  7. Development Regulations (including zoning, subdivisions, critical areas, etc.)
    Provides sample development regulations for Washington communities.
  8. Development Regulations (including zoning, subdivisions, critical areas, etc.)
    Provides sample development regulations for Washington communities.
  9. General Agriculture and Agricultural Lands Links
    General Agriculture and Agricultural Lands Links
  10. Off-Street Parking
    This page provides city ordinance provisions and library resources about off-street parking.
  11. Child Day Care Facilities - Zoning Provisions
    Provides information on zoning provisions for child day care facilities
  12. How to Find Cases on the Growth Management Hearings Board Web Site
    How to Find Cases on the Growth Management Hearings Board Web Site
  13. Growth Management Interlocal Agreements
    Washington Growth Management Interlocal Agreements
  14. Growth Management Interlocal Agreements
    Washington Growth Management Interlocal Agreements
  15. Home Occupations
    Provides ordinance and code examples and informaton on home occupation regulation for cities and counties in Washington.
  16. Local Land Use Regulation of Manufactured Housing
    This page provides information about local land use regulation of manufactured housing including relevant statutes/legislation, documents and case law
  17. Group Homes
    Provides information on the various laws that apply to local regulation of group living arrangements, and on how cities have approached regulating such arrangements
  18. Growth Management Monitoring Programs
    Information for Washington cities and counties on growth management monitoring programs.
  19. Rural-Related GMHB Cases
    Washington Rural Land Use and Development Related GMHB Cases
  20. Automobile Nuisances
    This page addresses three issues: automobile repair in streets and yards where it becomes an annoyance to neighbors; the parking of vehicles in front yards other then driveways; and the accumulation of inoperable vehicles on private property which are not screened from public view or are on public property.
  21. Light Nuisances - Ambient Light, Light Pollution Glare
    Provides information and sample ordinance provisions regarding Light Nuisances - Ambient Light, Light Pollution Glare
  22. Washington Model Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance Appendix A
    Appendix A: Communities with Shallow Flooding Identified as an AO Zones on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
  23. Washington Model Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Revised 5/13/2004)
    This model ordinance identifies the basic requirements for floodplain development, and cross references them to appropriate federal CFR or state WAC citations (RCW 86.16 WA Floodplain Management law)
  24. Major Programs to Overhaul Regulatory Systems for Added Flexibility
    Examples of major new programs/regulatory schemes to incorporate greater flexibility and fairness into codes
  25. Mixed Use
    Information and resources for accomplishing successful mixed-use development
  26. Zero Lot Line Development
    Examples of zero lot line development provisions in Washington city and county codes
  27. Wineries - Land Use Regulations and Tourism
    This page addresses land use issues, development, and tourism associated with wineries and the wine industry in Washington State.
  28. Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Lots - Regulations
    Regulation of nonconforming uses, structures and lots by local jurisdictions
  29. Planning Near Pipelines: Sample Land Use Ordinances
    Sample provisions for land use planning near pipelines
  30. PIPA Final Recommended Practices Index
    Index to HTML version of PIPA Final Recommended Practices, pp 17-94.
  31. Agricultural Lands - Laws and Regulations
    Washington laws related to agricultural lands and on selected court decision and selected Growth Management Hearings Board decisions
  32. Planning for Electric Vehicles
    This page focuses on local government measures to create the infrastructure to support the use of electric vehicles in Washington as required by measures passed in the 2009 legislative session to encourage the transition to electric vehicles.

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