SSB 5790

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.


C 331 L 17

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning the economic development element of the growth management act.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Local Government (originally sponsored by Senators Short, Sheldon, Angel and Wilson).

Senate Committee on Local Government

House Committee on Environment

Background: 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 Originally enacted in 1990 and 1991, the GMA establishes land-use designation and environmental protection requirements for all Washington counties and cities, and a significantly wider array of planning duties for the 29 counties and the cities within that are obligated, by mandate or choice, to satisfy all planning requirements of the GMA.

Jurisdictions that fully plan under the GMA must adopt comprehensive land-use plans to express the general land-use policies of the county or city, and development regulations to implement those plans. Each comprehensive plan must include a number of planning elements, including an economic development element that establishes local goals, policies, and objectives for economic growth, vitality, and a high quality of life. The economic development element must include a summary of the local economy, a summary of that local economy's strengths and weaknesses, and policies, programs, and projects to foster economic growth, development, and future needs.

The Growth Management Hearings Board, composed of seven appointed members, hears allegations that a city, county, or state agency has not complied with the goals and requirements of the GMA and issues orders determining compliance.

Summary: Rural Element. In order to achieve a variety of rural densities and uses within the rural element of their comprehensive plans, counties may use innovative techniques that will accommodate appropriate rural economic advancement, densities, and uses that are not characterized by urban growth and that are consistent with rural character.

Economic Development Element. The following provisions are no longer required to be included in the economic development element of each jurisdiction's comprehensive plan:

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 23, 2017

Partial Veto Summary: Removes provisions that: