WSR 05-14-115



(Aquatic Resources Division)

[ Filed July 1, 2005, 1:02 p.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is considering amending WAC 332-30-128, regarding the length of time allowed for rent appeal review periods.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 79.90.520 requires that a lessee or applicant of state-owned aquatic land file a request for review within thirty days after the manager has notified the lessee or applicant of the rent due. For leases issued by the department, the final authority for rent review rests with the Board of Natural Resources (BNR).

     Associated statutes: RCW 79.90.460, 79.90.475, 79.90.520, 79.90.456, and chapter 79.93 RCW.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rule does not provide an accurate reflection of the time necessary to submit and complete a full rent review. If a lessee appeals rent, the appeal is first reviewed through the rent dispute officer (RDO). If the outcome is appealed by the lessee, it is elevated to the rent dispute administrative officer (RDAO). Generally only complex and larger issues are elevated to this level. Fifteen days are allocated to submit the appeal, and thirty to complete the RDAO review period. Should the lessee appeal the RDAO's decision, another fifteen days are provided to appeal. Final authority rests with the BNR who holds infrequent meetings on the first Tuesday of every month. The final review period is seventy-five days total. Difficulties have been encountered in scheduling and coordination at this level. Lessees have stated the fifteen day appeal time rushes the process and if they had more time to discuss their rent appeal with their Land Manager, they may not have to pursue the full rent review process.

     The proposed changes will help ensure effective coordination and scheduling:

RDO Review: No change.
RDAO Review: Increase this level of appeal by ninety days.
BNR Review: Increase this level of appeal by thirty days.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: This rule does not involve other federal or state agencies. Port districts have the authority to handle rent review independently of the department's process. This rule does not apply to the port authorities and will not impact their rent appeal process.

     Coordination with the port authorities involve outreach during the rule-making process. The department will provide the same opportunities for comment as it will for the public's involvement. The process is outlined below.

     Process for Developing New Rule: DNR will contact stakeholders and affected parties and entities to solicit their participation in the rule development process.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The Department of Natural Resources encourages your active participation in the rule-making process. Anyone interested in more information on how they participate should contact Elizabeth Ellis, Aquatic Resources Division, Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Planner, 1111 Washington Street S.E., P.O. Box 47027, Olympia, WA 98504-7027, voice (360) 902-1074, e-mail, fax (360) 902-1786.

June 30, 2005

Doug Sutherland

Commissioner of Public Lands

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