BILL REQ. #:  H-0582.1 


State of Washington62nd Legislature2011 Regular Session

By Representatives Springer, Eddy, Takko, Upthegrove, Tharinger, and Kenney

Read first time 01/19/11.   Referred to Committee on Local Government.

     AN ACT Relating to the establishment of a process to support local jurisdictions for outstanding progress in implementing the growth management act; adding new sections to chapter 36.70A RCW; and creating new sections.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds and declares as follows:
     (1) In its first twenty years of existence, the growth management act established under chapter 36.70A RCW has helped local jurisdictions to better coordinate, plan, and shape the growth within their communities. The result of comprehensive land-use planning, capital facilities planning, blueprints for achieving the thirteen goals of the growth management act, and regular updates to how those goals are being met, is that jurisdictions around the state have been able to balance their land-use visions within the financial realities and impacts of what is occurring in their communities, and to take thoughtful, balanced approaches to juggling the demands of growth with the need to sustain and preserve the state's natural environment;
     (2) However, as is true with many implementation projects, the level of effort, level of commitment, and level of progress made by jurisdictions in carrying out the objectives of the growth management act, in recognizing that infrastructure investment is needed to spur market recognition and growth potential and in preparing their communities for the demands of growth while also protecting and sustaining natural resources, has differed from place to place;
     (3) The legislature recognizes the fact that the promise of the growth management act has always been limited by the fact that the state's investments in infrastructure have failed to keep pace with the growth that has occurred on the ground, making it more difficult for jurisdictions to achieve the potential of the plans and blueprints laid out for their communities;
     (4) Despite the legislature's best intentions, the economic realities facing the state make it extremely unlikely that infrastructure investment at all levels will ever be able to fully keep up with the population and employment growth experiencing by communities throughout Washington;
     (5) In an era where resources are limited and will continue to be, the legislature thus needs to find new ways to better focus and coordinate the infrastructure investments it is able to make through grant and loan programs made available to local communities.
     Therefore the legislature intends to direct the establishment of a process that will support communities that have demonstrated outstanding progress in achieving the goals of the growth management act. The legislature also intends to ensure that in creating such a process and thereby creating an incentive for local jurisdictions, nothing shall be developed that in any way penalizes other jurisdictions which may not be as far along in attaining those goals of the growth management act.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 36.70A RCW to read as follows:
     The department is directed to establish a process and criteria by which entities that consistently achieve outstanding progress in implementing the growth management act may qualify for additional points in competitive scoring of grants and loan programs that are used to help local communities carry out their obligations under the act.
     (1) The grant and loan programs include, but are not limited to, the public works assistance account, safe drinking water revolving loan fund, centennial clean water account, stormwater grants administered by the department of ecology, economic development grants, Washington wildlife and recreation program, and housing trust fund.
     (2) The process and criteria must be developed in a manner, and on a timeline, that takes into consideration state grant and loan funding cycles.
     (3) In establishing the process and criteria under this section, the department shall work with, and regularly consult, a broad array of stakeholders representing cities, counties, and special purpose districts. The department may also include in its outreach and consultation representatives of organizations with special expertise in, and understanding of, specific grant and loan programs.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   A new section is added to chapter 36.70A RCW to read as follows:
     In developing the process and criteria directed under section 2 of this act, the department shall utilize performance tools that can serve as a measuring stick for evaluating the progress of local jurisdictions in carrying out and implementing the goals of the growth management act. These goals include, but are not limited to, the following:
     (1) Land-use elements that maximize a jurisdiction's ability to accommodate density and more intense growth, particularly in downtown areas;
     (2) Housing elements that afford a rich and diverse range of housing stock and ensure a certain percentage of affordable housing stock;
     (3) Transportation elements that are accommodating of all modes of transportation, including not only vehicles but pedestrians, bicyclists, trail users, and transit, including high-capacity and rapid-frequency transit;
     (4) Utilities elements that maximize available lands and resources by creating regional conveyance and detention facilities, rather than forcing property owners to make parcel-by-parcel investments in infrastructure;
     (5) Parks elements that ensure the accommodation of open space and trail space in high-density areas;
     (6) Maximizing the value of public investments;
     (7) Supporting the sustainable economic growth of the state;
     (8) Redeveloping existing lands prior to the development of new land;
     (9) Supporting achievement of improved jobs-housing balances within a jurisdiction;
     (10) Consistency with countywide planning policies; and
     (11) Enhancing the natural environment and using sustainable resources.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   The department shall complete the development of the process and criteria by December 31, 2010, and shall report to the governor and appropriate legislative committees on the established criteria. The department shall begin utilizing this process beginning with spring 2012 grant and loan cycles, if feasible.

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