Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Commerce & Labor Committee

HB 1359

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: Regarding the practice of landscape architecture.

Sponsors: Representatives Williams and Ormsby.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Establishes licensing requirements for the practice of landscape architecture in place of the registration requirements for using the title of landscape architect.

  • Creates the State Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects to administer the requirements.

Hearing Date: 1/30/09

Staff: Alison Hellberg (786-7152)


Legislation enacted in 1969 requires a person who uses or advertises the title of landscape architect, landscape architecture, or landscape architectural to register with Board of Registration for Landscape Architects. The membership of the Board of Registration for Landscape Architects consists of four landscape architects and one member of the public, all appointed by the Governor.A "landscape architect" is defined as a person who performs professional services such as consultations, investigations, reconnaissance, research, planning, design, or teaching supervision in connection with the development of land areas where the dominant purpose of the services is the preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and planting, naturalistic and aesthetic values, the settings and approaches to structures or other improvements, or natural drainage and erosion control.Prior to applying for registration, an applicant must have completed a course of study in landscape architecture and graduated from an approved college or school, or the equivalent, as determined by the Board of Registration for Landscape Architects. The applicant must also have a minimum of seven years of combined training and experience and pass a written examination. The Director of the Department of Licensing (Director) may register an applicant who is a registered landscape architect in another state or country whose requirements for registration are substantially equivalent.The Department of Licensing (Department) regulates many businesses and professions under specific licensing laws. Each business and profession is under either the disciplinary authority of the Director, or a board or commission charged with regulating that particular profession. The Uniform Regulation of Business and Professions Act (URBPA) provides consolidated disciplinary procedures for these licensed businesses and professions.In addition to the conduct, acts, or conditions under the URBPA, the Director may impose discipline when a landscape architecture registrant:

Summary of Bill:

The practice of landscape architecture is restricted to those who are licensed to practice in Washington by the State Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects (Board). The practice of landscape architecture is expanded to include the preparation of construction documents and construction administration.

The practice of landscape architecture is the rendering of services where landscape architectural education, training, experience, and the application of mathematical, physical, and social science principles are applied in consultation, evaluation, planning, design including the preparation and filing of plans, drawings, specifications, and other contract documents, and administration of contracts relative to projects principally directed at functional and aesthetic use and preservation of land.Requirements for LicensureThe Director licenses qualified applicants who have been certified by the Board. In order to qualify, an applicant must pass the required examination, offer satisfactory proof of completing required education and work experience, be of good moral character, and be at least 18 years old. The required education and work experience consist of either:

The Director may license an applicant who is a licensed landscape architect from another state or country if the individual's qualifications and experience are determined by the Board to be equivalent to Washington's requirements. A landscape architect licensed or registered in another jurisdiction may offer to practice in Washington if:

A licensed landscape architect must demonstrate continuing professional education activities, as prescribed by the Board. A license of a person who is not in compliance with a child support order will immediately be suspended. The license may be reissued if the person continues to meet all other licensing requirements and the Board receives a receipt from the Department of Social and Health Services stating that the licensee is in compliance with the child support order.Licensure Board for Landscape ArchitectsThe Board of Registration for Landscape Architects is replaced with the Board. The membership of the Board consists of four licensed landscape architects and one member of the public. The landscape architect members must be residents of Washington and have at least eight years of experience in the field of landscape architecture. Members are appointed to six-year terms by the Governor.The Board certifies the education and work experience of applicants and determines the content, scope, and grading process of the required examination. The Board may adopt an appropriate national examination and grading procedure.The Board may impose disciplinary procedures under the URBPA for the following actions:

Exemptions from LicensureThese licensing requirements do not affect or prevent:

The Landscape Architects' License Account is created in the State Treasury.

Rules Authority: The bill does not address the rule-making powers of an agency.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.