(1) The department of commerce, through a contract with a land use and economics entity, shall develop guidance for local governments on the review and evaluation program in RCW 36.70A.215
. The contract shall be with an entity experienced in serving private and public sector clients which can assist developers and policymakers to understand near-term market realities and long-term planning considerations, and with experience facilitating successful conversations between multiple local governments and stakeholders on complex land use issues. The department of commerce shall enable appropriate public participation by affected stakeholders in the development of the guidance for the appropriate market factor analysis and review and update of the overall buildable lands program. This guidance regarding the market factor methodology and buildable lands program shall be completed by December 1, 2018. The buildable lands guidance shall analyze and provide recommendations on:
(a) The review and evaluation program in RCW 36.70A.215
and changes to the required information to be analyzed within the program to increase the accuracy of the report when updating countywide planning policies and the county and city comprehensive plans;
(b) Whether a more effective schedule could be developed for countywide planning policies and the county and city comprehensive plan updates to better align with implementing reasonable measures identified through the review and evaluation program, and population projections and census data while maintaining appropriate and timely consideration of planning needs best done through a comprehensive planning process;
(c) A determination on how reasonable measures, based on the review and evaluation program, should be implemented into updates for countywide planning policies and the county and city comprehensive plans;
(d) Infrastructure costs, including but not limited to transportation, water, sewer, stormwater, and the cost to provide new or upgraded infrastructure if required to serve development; cost of development; timelines to permit and develop land; market availability of land; the nexus between proposed densities, economic conditions needed to achieve those densities, and the impact to housing affordability for homeownership and rental housing; and, market demand when evaluating if land is suitable for development or redevelopment. These all have an impact on whether development occurs or if planned for densities will differ from achieved densities;
(e) Identifying the measures to increase housing availability and affordability for all economic segments of the community and the factors contributing to the high cost of housing including zoning/development/environmental regulations, permit processing timelines, housing production trends by housing type and rents and prices, national and regional economic and demographic trends affecting housing affordability and production by rents and prices, housing unit size by housing type, and how well growth targets align with market conditions including the assumptions on where people desire to live;
(f) Evaluating how existing zoning and land use regulations are promoting or hindering attainment of the goal for affordable housing in RCW 36.70A.020
(4). Barriers to meeting this goal shall be identified and considered as possible reasonable measures for each county and city, and as part of the next countywide planning policies and county and city comprehensive plan update;
(g) Identifying opportunities and strategies to encourage growth within urban growth areas;
(h) Identifying strategies to increase local government capacity to invest in the infrastructure necessary to accommodate growth and provide opportunities for affordable housing across all economic segments of the community and housing types; and
(i) Other topics identified by stakeholders and the department.
(2) The requirements of this section are subject to the availability of funds appropriated for this specific purpose.