H-1081.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 1592



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representatives Mulliken, Kessler, B. Chandler, Hatfield, Buck, Doumit, Armstrong, Eickmeyer, Sump, Cox, Clements, Schindler, Alexander, Lisk, Hankins, Pennington, Mielke, Schoesler, McMorris, Delvin, Grant, Boldt and Dunn


Read first time 01/30/2001.  Referred to Committee on Local Government & Housing.

Authorizing rural counties to use alternative methods to achieve planning goals.

    AN ACT Relating to rural county planning goals under the growth management act; amending RCW 36.70A.320; and adding a new section to chapter 36.70A RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 36.70A RCW to read as follows:

    (1)(a) A rural county, after conferring with its cities, may develop alternative methods of achieving the planning goals established by RCW 36.70A.020.

    (b) The authority provided by this subsection may not be used to modify:

    (i) Requirements for the designation and protection of critical areas or for the designation of natural resource lands under RCW 36.70A.060(2), 36.70A.170, and 36.70A.172; or

    (ii) The requirement to establish a process for the siting of essential public facilities pursuant to RCW 36.70A.200.

    (c) Before adopting any alternative methods of achieving the planning goals established by RCW 36.70A.020, a rural county shall provide an opportunity for public review and comment.  An ordinance or resolution proposing or adopting alternative methods must be submitted to the department in the same manner as provided in RCW 36.70A.106 for submittal of proposed and adopted comprehensive plans and development regulations.

    (2) For purposes of this section, "rural county" means a county with a population density of less than one hundred persons per square mile as determined by the office of financial management and published each year by the department for the period July 1st to June 30th.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 36.70A.320 and 1997 c 429 s 20 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, comprehensive plans and development regulations, and amendments thereto, adopted under this chapter are presumed valid upon adoption.

    (2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4) of this section, the burden is on the petitioner to demonstrate that any action taken by a state agency, county, or city under this chapter is not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

    (3) In any petition under this chapter, the board, after full consideration of the petition, shall determine whether there is compliance with the requirements of this chapter.  In making its determination, the board shall consider the criteria adopted by the department under RCW 36.70A.190(4).  The board shall find compliance unless it determines that the action by the state agency, county, or city is clearly erroneous in view of the entire record before the board and in light of the goals and requirements of this chapter.  In any petition concerning whether or not a rural county's methods of achieving planning goals are in compliance with this chapter, the board shall give great weight to decisions made by the rural county with regard to developing alternative methods of achieving planning goals under section 1 of this act, and the board shall find that such alternative methods are in compliance with this chapter unless it finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the alternative methods will not achieve the planning goals established by RCW 36.70A.020.

    (4) A county or city subject to a determination of invalidity made under RCW 36.70A.300 or 36.70A.302 has the burden of demonstrating that the ordinance or resolution it has enacted in response to the determination of invalidity will no longer substantially interfere with the fulfillment of the goals of this chapter under the standard in RCW 36.70A.302(1).

    (5) The shoreline element of a comprehensive plan and the applicable development regulations adopted by a county or city shall take effect as provided in chapter 90.58 RCW.


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