House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Authorizing the development of new manufactured housing communities outside of urban growth areas under the growth management act.
Sponsors: Senators Sheldon, Padden, Fortunato, Hobbs, Warnick and Wilson.
Hearing Date: 3/21/17
Staff: Robert Hatfield (786-7117).
Growth Management Act: Introduction.
The Growth Management Act (GMA) is the comprehensive land use planning framework for counties and cities in Washington. Originally enacted in 1990 and 1991, the GMA establishes land use designation and environmental protection requirements for all Washington counties and cities. The GMA also establishes a significantly wider array of planning duties for 29 counties, and the cities within those counties, that are obligated to satisfy all planning requirements of the GMA. Counties that are obligated to satisfy all planning requirements of the GMA are often said to be " fully planning" under the GMA.
Growth Management Act: Comprehensive Plans.
The GMA directs jurisdictions that fully plan under the GMA to adopt internally consistent comprehensive land use plans that are generalized, coordinated land use policy statements of the governing body. Comprehensive plans are implemented through locally adopted development regulations, both of which are subject to review and revision requirements as prescribed in the GMA. Each comprehensive plan must also include a plan, scheme, or design for certain specified elements, including a rural element.
Growth Management Act: Rural Element.
The rural element of a comprehensive plan must allow for rural development, forestry, and agriculture in rural areas, and must provide for a variety of rural densities, uses, essential public facilities, and rural governmental services needed to serve the permitted densities and uses. "Rural development" is development that occurs outside an Urban Growth Area (UGA), or designated agriculture, forest, or mineral resource land.
Growth Management Act: Urban Growth Areas.
Counties that fully plan under the GMA must designate UGAs, areas within which urban growth must be encouraged and outside of which growth can occur only if it is not urban in nature. Planning jurisdictions must include within their UGAs sufficient areas and densities to accommodate projected urban growth for the succeeding 20-year period. In addition, cities must include sufficient areas to accommodate the broad range of needs and uses that will accompany the projected urban growth, including, as appropriate, medical, governmental, institutional, commercial, service, retail, and other nonresidential uses.
Growth Management Act: Fully Contained Communities.
One exception to the urban growth requirement is that any county may approve new, fully contained communities outside of UGAs. These communities must meet specific planning criteria to address transit, job, and housing needs; reduce the spread of urban development into nonurban areas; and comply with protections of designated commercial lands and critical areas. Any county that establishes a fully contained community must reserve a portion of its 20-year population projection and offset its UGAs according to this population shift. Final approval of a fully contained community is considered an adopted amendment to the comprehensive plan.
Summary of Bill:
A county planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) may establish a process for reviewing proposals to authorize new manufactured housing communities outside of the Urban Growth Area (UGA).
A new manufactured housing community may be approved in a county planning fully under the GMA if it meets the same criteria that a new fully contained community is required to meet under the GMA, including that buffers are provided, new infrastructure is provided for, and environmental protection has been addressed and provided for.
Certain obligations that apply to the approval of a new fully contained community outside the UGA do not apply to the approval of a new manufactured housing community outside the UGA, such as reserving a portion of the county's 20-year population projection, and offsetting the UGA accordingly for growth that occurs in new fully contained communities instead of in the UGA.
Approval of an application for a new manufactured housing community shall be considered an adopted amendment to the comprehensive plan.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.