WSR 16-24-063
[Filed December 5, 2016, 2:21 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Proposal is exempt under RCW 34.05.310(4) or 34.05.330(1).
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Adoption of Legal Descriptions for Urban Areas Designated in Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
Hearing Location(s): Fisher's Landing Transit Center, Rose Besserman Community Room, 3510 S.E. 164th Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98683, on February 14, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Note: The time is the start time for the commission's meeting. The meeting agenda, which will have the hearing time, will be available approximately one week prior to the hearing date.
Date of Intended Adoption: February 14, 2017.
Submit Written Comments to: Jeffrey B. Litwak, Counsel, P.O. Box 730, White Salmon, WA 98672, e-mail, by February 2, 2017. Note: Comments submitted prior to the deadline will be addressed in a staff report. The commission accepts written comments until the close of the rule-making hearing.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nancy Andring by February 6, 2017.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This rule adopts legal descriptions for the urban areas designated in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e). The rule does not change any existing commission rule or the National Scenic Area Act - it is, in effect, an interpretation of the National Scenic Area Act. The rule will provide greater certainty for landowners and land managers about the precise location of the urban areas. Where the legal descriptions differ from a prior interpretation of an urban area boundary, the legal description will supersede the prior interpretation. Existing uses based on a prior interpretation will be managed in accordance with the existing uses provisions of the commission's management plan and county land use ordinances administering the plan. The rule does not change any urban area boundary; changes to urban area boundaries may only occur in accordance with 16 U.S.C. § 544b(f) (commonly referred to as "4(f)").
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Congress provided maps of thirteen urban areas and stated that the urban areas are "generally depicted." To date, the commission and United States Forest Service have interpreted those maps as needed, which led to litigation and claims of inconsistent procedure and outcome. In addition, the commission is authorized to make minor revisions to urban areas in accordance with 16 U.S.C. § 544b(f). The legal descriptions will reduce litigation, increase consistency in surveying urban area boundaries on individual parcels, and allow the commission to better analyze applications to revise urban area boundaries.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.97.015, ORS 197.150, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 43.97.015, ORS 197.150, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
Rule is necessary because of federal law, 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: The commission and forest service prepared the legal descriptions of the urban areas with the assistance of land surveyors licensed in Oregon and Washington, and with the assistance of two advisory committees. Prior to filing this rule-making notice, the commission held three public workshops to explain the purpose of the legal descriptions and show areas where the commission had to use discretion because the maps were unclear. The commission staff will hold an additional public workshop on January 26, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Gorge Commission Office, 57 N.E. Wauna Avenue, White Salmon, WA 98672. Persons interested in attending must RSVP to Jason Hildreth, Space is limited to approximately fifteen persons. If there is greater interest, the commission will schedule additional workshops as needed.
Name of Proponent: Columbia River Gorge Commission, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Jeffrey B. Litwak, Counsel, White Salmon, Washington, (509) 493-3323; Implementation: Jason Hildreth, Land Use Planner, White Salmon, Washington, (509) 493-3323; and Enforcement: Krystyna Wolniakowski, Executive Director, White Salmon, Washington, (509) 493-3323.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(3). This rule adopts without material change 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. This rule is exempt under RCW 34.05.328(5), including, but not limited to RCW 34.05.329 [34.05.328] (5)(b)(iii). This rule adopts without material change 16 U.S.C. § 544b(e).
December 5, 2016
Nancy A. Andring
Rules Coordinator
Reviser's note: The material contained in this filing exceeded the page-count limitations of WAC 1-21-040 for appearance in this issue of the Register. It will appear in the 17-02 issue of the Register.