for the amount of protected land in Washington, and click here
to review Washington's federal transportation spending.
Center on the States &
Changing Direction: Federal Transportation
Spending in the 1990s. Surface
Transportation Policy Project
The "1/3 for Choices" Campaign’s objective is
to convince state lawmakers that spending 1/3 of all new state transportation
dollars on choices buses, trains, ferries, pedestrian and bike facilities,
trip reduction programs and smart growth is the cheapest, quickest
and most effective way to get Washington moving again.
New Report on I-745
Public Interest Research Group released "Breaking
the Gridlock: Real Solutions for Transportation Problems" in
coordination with their "Unlock the Gridlock: No on I-745" campaign.
I-745 is an initiative in Washington State this fall which, if enacted,
would require 90% of all transportation funding to be directed toward roads.
A large coalition of public officials, businesses and activists believe
this will be a turn away from increased transportation choices and encourage
driving and gridlock.
For an overview of Washington planning and
zoning statutes, see a summary provided by the American
Growth Management Act (GMA) (1990) (Revised
Code of Washington 36.70A.020)
In 1990 Washington approved a growth management
law designed to reduce sprawl. Inspired by Oregon's program, the
act has 13 statewide planning goals. In 1991, the legislature established
three regional Growth Management Hearing Boards located in Spokane, Olympia
and Seattle. The boards hear appeals brought by citizens and by the
state to ensure that local plans are consistent with the statewide goals.
Significant features of the act include:
Friends of Washington released a report on the progress of Washington's
Growth Management Act (GMA). The Act has been used as a model for
other states looking to control unwanted growth and encourage infill development.
Goal 1 mandates development of urban growth areas
(UGAs), similar to Oregon's urban growth boundaries (RCW 36.70A.110).
29 of the states 39 fastest growing counties must draw a line to put rural
lands off-limits to new urban-style development. Local government must
determine how much land they will need to meet population increases over
a 20-year period. Only three states -- OR, WA, TN -- have such requirements.
Among its 13 goals, Washington's Growth Management
Act (GMA) includes a goal to "Identify and encourage the preservation of
lands, sites, and structures that have historical, cultural, and archaeological
significance." RCW 36.70A.020 (13) Although the GMA does not require an
historic preservation or cultural resources element in a comprehensive
plan, cities and counties planning under the GMA must consider and incorporate
the historic preservation goal.
Within one year of adopting a plan, municipalities
must enact zoning rules and capital improvement programs consistent with
Local zoning decisions may be challenged in court
if they contradict local planning policies.
State agencies must comply with county and city planning
County plans must harmonize with the plans of cities
within the county and the plans of neighboring jurisdictions must comport
with one another.
"Critical areas" -- e.g., wet lands, wildlife habitats,
and flood plains,-- and "resource lands" -- e.g., farms and forest -- must
be identified and protected.
Unlike Oregon, Washington opted for stronger local
autonomy and does not require state approval of local plans.
Jurisdictions that refuse to plan -- or whose plans
fail to address key issues -- lose eligibility for state-infrastructure
grants and loans. The governor may withhold sales, liquor, and gas
tax revenue. So far, WA has withheld state taxes from Chelan County only.
Plans may be appealed to one of three state growth
management hearing boards established to resolve disputes. (Source:
States, Better Communities, see READINGS at end.)
Contact: The Department of Community, Trade
and Economic Development; Tim Douglas, Director; 906 Columbia St. S.W.,
P.O. Box 48300, Olympia, WA 98504-8300; Phone: (360) 753-7426; Fax: (360)
Special Valuation for Improvements to Historic
Property (1985) (ch. 84.26 RCW and ch. 254-20 WAC)
The special valuation is a locally adopted property
tax incentive program authorized by state law. For a 10 year-period, eligible
applicants may exclude the increased property value resulting from rehabilitation
of a qualified property (usually National Register of Historic Places or
locally designated) from the new assessed valuation after rehabilitation.
During this time property taxes are based on that "special valuation" instead
of the full assessed value. This program has been implemented in about
30 Washington cities and counties. Contact: Office of Archaeology
and Historic Preservation, 906 Columbia St. S.W., P.O. Box 48300; Olympia,
WA 98504-8300; Phone: 360.753.7426; Fax: 360.586.3582 Internet: http://www.wa.gov:80/cted/oahphome.htm.
To see the Special Valuation FAQs, link to: http://www.mrsc.org/planning/historic/hpfaqs.htm#5
Program for New and Rehabilitated Property
(1995) RCW 84.14.020
Tax incentives to encourage construction of new
downtown housing and facilitate conversion of vacant property to residential
in downtowns with "mixed use centers" in urban areas. RCW 84.14 currently
authorizes cities and towns with a population of at least 100,000 under
the Growth Management Act (GMA) to offer a ten-year property tax exemption
as an incentive for constructing or rehabilitating multifamily housing
in vacant structures. To qualify, a minimum of four multifamily units must
be constructed, converted, or rehabilitated within city-designated target
areas or within urban centers. For more information, see: http://www.mrsc.org/textfill.htm#E13E1
See Washington state's website for bills relating
to the Growth Management Act:
For legislative updates, see 1000 Friends of Washington
Washington State Land Use Study Commission
WA legislative reforms in 1995 created the Commission
to explore and eventually merge WA's land use planning and environmental
laws to encourage environmentally responsible economic growth. The Commission
was also charged to consider the effectiveness of state and local government
efforts to consolidate and integrate the growth management act, the state
environmental policy act, the shoreline management act, and other land
use, planning, environmental, and permitting laws. The Commission
has issued three annual reports since 1995. Recommendations in 1997
included increasing incentives for building within urban growth areas and
providing benefits to local governments that have completed their comprehensive
plans and development regulations.
For more information, contact: Internet: http://www.wa.gov/cted/landuse/about.html
Bremerton, et al. v Kitsap Cy.
In 1994, after Kitsap County approved its comprehensive
plan, 19 organizations filed complaints with the Central Puget Sound Growth
Management Hearings Board protesting the plan's failure to meet the requirements
of the GMA. The organizations, which included 1000 Friends of Washington
and the Kitsap Citizens for Rural Preservation, specifically faulted the
plan's Urban Growth Area as being too large, as well as the plan's allowing
development at a minimum of 1 unit per acre, which would allow unconstrained
low density development in rural areas. The organizations also argued that
public facilities and services were not adequately financed or sited in
accordance with the county's projected growth. On October 5,
1996, the hearings board agreed with the organizations and declared Kitsap
County the plan invalid. Out of the ruling came a useful list
of eight major consequences of sprawl:
(1) it needlessly destroys the economic, environmental
and aesthetic value of resource lands;
(2) it blurs local government roles, fueling
competition, redundancy and conflict among those governments;
(3) it blurs local government roles, fueling
competition, redundancy and conflict among those government;
(4) it threatens economic viability by diffusing
rather than focusing needed public infrastructure investments;
(5) it abandons established urban areas where
substantial past investments, both public and private, have been made;
(6) it encourages insular and parochial local
policies that thwart the siting of needed regional facilities and the equitable
accommodation of locally unpopular land uses;
(7) it destroys the intrinsic visual character
of the landscape; and
(8) it erodes a sense of community, which, in
turn, has dire social consequences.
(Source: Smart States, Better Communities,
READINGS at end.)
Skagit Surveyors and Engineers et al v. Friends
of Skagit County et al., 135 Wn.2d 542 (6/25/98)
The state Supreme Court in June 1998 ruled that
the state cannot make counties comply retroactively with its 1990 Growth
Management Act. The 7-2 decision for Skagit County allows the county
to keep a 1979 zoning ordinance unchanged and develop 44,000 acres of rural
land with more housing than permitted under current state law.
For recent court decisions affecting towns, cities
and the state, link to http://www.mrsc.org/legal/decs.htm
Friends of Washington
1000 Friends of Washington promotes sound planning
under the state's Growth Management Act, educates and empowers citizens
interested in local planning, and works with coalitions of business, citizen,
and government leaders to achieve sustainable growth management. Address:
1000 Friends of Washington, 1305 4th Avenue, Ste. 303, Seattle, WA 98101,
Telephone: (206) 343-0681, Fax: (206) 343-0683.
Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
is dedicated to protecting Washington's cultural heritage. Address:
WTHP, 204 First Avenue, South, Seattle, Washington 98104, Telephone: (206)
The Washington Environmental Council is a statewide,
non-profit organization of individual volunteers and affiliated organizations
working to protect, preserve, and restore the environment of Washington
State. WEC has offices in Seattle, Olympia, and Spokane. Address:
615 Second Avenue, Suite 380, Seattle, WA 98104, Telephone: (206)
672-8103, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alt-Trans (the Washington Coalition for Transportation
Alternatives) is comprised of over 60 public, private sector, and public
interest organizational members and individual members. Its mission is
to advocate alternatives to solo driving, reduce the environmental burdens
of transportation, and promote a more balanced and intermodal transportation
system. Address: 915 E. Pines Street, Suite 301, Seattle,
WA 98122, Telephone: 206/325-9932, Fax: 06/325-9936, E-mail:email@example.com
Coalition of Washington Communities
The Coalition of Washington Communities (WAC)
is dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods
of the state. They focus on land use, transportation, and public
involvement in community issues. Address: 85 E. Roanoke St.,
Seattle, WA 98102,
Telephone: 206/322-5463, Fax: 206/322-5463,
NowBike! Encourages bicycle commuting, supports
bicycle-friendly public policies, and advocates funding for bicycle facilities.
P.O. Box 2904, Seattle, Washington 98111, Telephone: 206/224-9252, Fax:
206/224-9254, E-mail: NowBike@accessone.com
"Urban sprawl turns green to brown as tree cover
shrinks", Scott Sunde, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/15/98; (206) 448-8331;
"Bad news for light rail: Clock's ticking, money
Times. April 13, 2001.
Check out "Toward a Sustainable Seattle: A Plan
for Managing Growth --1994-2014"
Contact: Strategic Planning Office, 600
4th Avenue, Room 300-Municipal Building Seattle, WA 98104; (206) 684-808;
CALENDAR OF EVENTS