Land use decisions must protect resource lands, forests, shorelines, rural areas, and agriculture, and also enhance climate resilience
The Growth Management Act (GMA), RCW Chapter 36.70A, was adopted in 1990, and the League of Women voters was an advocate for it then and remains so. As time has passed and circumstances have evolved, a number of amendments to the GMA have been necessary. The League monitors and supports or opposes those bills based on positions found in Program in Action on pages 31 and 32.
In 2021, the housing element was expanded to assure that the planning includes housing for all of the population, including low-income, severely low-income and those expected to need shelter. In 2022, there are several bills offering different ways to provide additional housing via ADUs. In 2022 there will also be continued discussion of whether to mandate climate mitigation planning in particular; and whether to modify several other categories as well.
League priority bills are in bold below.
|House Bills||House||Senate||After Passage|
|Bill #||Bill Name (Brief Title)||League Position||Take Action||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||Passed Legislature||On Governor's Desk||Signed|
|HB 1099||Improving the state’s climate response through updates to the state’s comprehensive planning framework||Supports||x
|HB 1117||Promoting salmon recovery through revisions to the State’s comprehensive planning network||Supports||x
|HB 1241||Relating to planning under the GMA (increasing the timeline for plan revisions; progress reports; consultation with tribes; Commerce to resolve disputes)||Supports||x
|HB 1660||Concerning accessory dwelling units||Supports||x
|HB 1717||Concerning tribal participation in planning under the GMA||Supports||x
|HB 1769||Concerning community municipal corporations||Supports||x
|BUDGET||Funding for local jurisdictions to plan per HB 1220, adopted in 2021||Supports||x
These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass.
HB 1117 Adds salmon recovery as a goal in GMA and mandates that the land use elements of comp plans contain strategies to achieve net ecological gain of salmon habitat as well as requires the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to adopt criteria for net ecological gain. Also requires a schedule for elimination of all fish passage barriers.
HB 1660 Concerning accessory dwelling units, requires incorporation of ADUs and restricts local jurisdictions from requiring owner occupancy in the primary residence unless the ADU is offered for short-term rental.
SB 5428 Exempts permits for temporary shelters or transitional encampments from SEPA requirements.
Bills the League Supports That HAVE Passed
HB 1099 Adds climate change mitigation as a GMA goal and mandates a climate mitigation section in comprehensive plans. Also requires the Dept. of Commerce to provide guidelines for local jurisdictions’ actions related to greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled.
HB 1241 Amends the GMA to increase the timeline for comp plan updates from 8 years to 10 years; requires progress reports every five years; requires consultation with tribes in plan updates and directs the Department of Commerce to resolve disputes between tribes and jurisdictions.
HB 1717 Authorizes a federally recognized Indian tribe to choose to participate in the local planning process under GMA and sets forth expectations for agreement between the tribe and jurisdiction about how that participation will be done. Also requires jurisdictions to collaborate with adjacent tribes when container port elements are addressed.
HB 1769 Concerning community municipal corporations, would remove the provisions in state law that allow community councils formed prior to an annexation to veto city land use actions post-annexation. There are currently two such community councils.
SB 5042 Sets an effective date for actions relating to urban growth areas; agricultural, forest, or mineral resource lands; limited areas of more intensive rural development; new fully contained communities; or master-planned resorts. Closes loopholes related to vesting of development in rural areas.
SB 5593 Requires comprehensive plans to include reviews of patterns of development and allows adjustment but not enlargement of urban growth areas if necessary to accommodate those patterns.
Bills the League Supports That Did Not Pass
HB 1157 Authorizes counties and cities to establish a real estate excise tax density incentive zone within urban growth areas and provides for the distribution of state real estate excise tax revenues within such incentive zones.
HB 1337 Concerning accessory dwelling units, establishes an incentive account to financially support city and county processes to adopt ADU provisions. The details of what qualifies a jurisdiction for this support, including no off-street parking requirements, no impact fees for ADUs, and more, are helpful in guiding local jurisdictions.
HB 1627 Making it possible for more properties to have access to water, storm drains, and sanitary sewage systems. This bill would allow extension of urban levels of service into the rural areas.
HB 1711 Concerning accessory dwelling units, authorizes cities and counties to enact methods of encouraging ADU development, including incentives for property owners
HB 1714 Defers payment of impact fees for new development until final inspection or occupancy has been certified.
HB 1856 Adding counties to the voluntary stewardship program, would reopen the opportunity for counties to participate in the Voluntary Stewardship Program and develop local work plans that use voluntary and incentive-based tools, as an alternative to regulation, to protect critical areas and agricultural lands.
HB 2066 Concerning exemptions for infill development under the state environmental policy act. If passed, this bill would require cities planning under GMA to consider how to maximize the use of the infill development categorical exemption under the State Environmental Policy Act and provide that a SEPA infill development categorical exemption adopted by a city or county must provide a means for collaboration and coordination with any federally recognized tribe or tribes whose ceded lands, usual and accustomed areas, or areas protected by executive order or federal statute are affected by the infill development.
SB 5312 Authorizes grants from the Department of Commerce to cities for planning-related costs associated with transit-oriented development and changes the date to April 2025 by which actions related to increasing housing supply must be taken, for eligibility for the grants.
SB 5390 Amends the elements of a comprehensive plan to ensure consideration of multifamily housing units and housing targets and creates real estate excise tax density incentive zones in areas of build-able lands within urban growth areas.
SB 5670 Creating additional middle housing near transit and in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing. Creates additional middle housing near transit and in areas traditionally dedicated to single- family detached housing, would amend the Growth Management Act to require cities over a certain size to include middle housing, such as courtyard apartments and townhouses, in single family neighborhoods; with technical assistance from the Department of Commerce