Monday, September 04, 2006

Yakima County Ordered to Revisit Land-Use Regulation

Yakima Herald Republic Online - By DAVID LESTER
"An administrative procedure that permits land designated as agriculture to be changed to another use, such as mining, is the subject of a public hearing before Yakima County commissioners next month. The hearing, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 12 in the commissioners' courthouse hearing room, is in response to a land-use appeals board's ruling that the county failed to perform an environmental review of the proposed change. The Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, in a June 20 decision, gave the county until Sept. 18 to correct the error. The three-member board made its ruling in an appeal to the county's approval of a new gravel mine on Lateral 1, west of Lateral A, northwest of Wapato. The board concluded the county gave the public adequate notice of the emergency request by Columbia Ready-Mix to mine gravel from a 78-acre former orchard. But what the county failed to do, the board said, was consider the environmental impact of the associated change to the comprehensive plan. The change allowed land-use designations to be changed from agriculture to another resource use without considering criteria designed to protect the county's agricultural base."