Monday, August 27, 2007

Kittitas County's Growth Plan Struck Down

Mike Johnston, senior writer for the Ellensburg Daily Record, reports that the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board has struck down Kittitas County's growth plan.
" The state hearings board invalidated two land-use planning decisions contained in the county’s 2006 comprehensive plan and declared a list of other planning elements as out of compliance with the state’s Growth Management Act. The three-member state board also said the county’s continued use of three-acre zoning outside designated growth areas harms the county’s agricultural and other open spaces by encouraging urban-type growth in predominately rural areas."

Mr. Johnston goes on to quote the attorney for pro-development interests:

Other interveners in support of the county’s plan, the Building Industry Association of Washington and the Central Washington Home Builders’ Association, indicated they were disappointed in the decision, but not surprised. Attorney Andrew Cook of Seattle, representing the two groups, said the state hearings board is “notoriously anti-growth and anti-development, and this decision confirms this.” “The growth board has become so anti-growth that we, basically, expect we’ll lose at this level and appeal the case to the courts,” Cook said. “It’s disheartening, however, to consistently have unelected growth board members overturn laws enacted by elected officials.” He said the Monday decision imposes “Western Washington development standards on Eastern Washington residents.”
As of today, the decision hasn't been been posted on the Board's decision website. Update: Mr. Johnston also published another article concerning this matter that includes additional details.