The following information comes
our way from the Washington Farm Bureau. Your participation helped
protect your right to the full use and enjoyment of your property.
One of the things that we need
to keep in the forefront of our minds is that if the community wants to be able
to purchase locally grown food, our regulatory framework needs to allow us to
do so. The GMA/SMA bill would have made it more difficult for us to grow
our own food in the area, and would have forced yet another layer of regulation
onto the backs of shoreline property owners.
Never underestimate your power,
as a citizen, to influence the outcome of any bill brought to the House or
House Lets GMA/SMA
HB 1653, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-Covington)
bill would have temporarily interfered with a host of exemptions under the
Shoreline Management Act (SMA), including agricultural activities.
bill unexpectedly moved out of the House Rules Committee Wednesday and ignited
a wildfire of last-minute lobbying and grassroots messages to state
Bureau members were joined by other rural, suburban and urban residents
concerned that this legislation would interfere with their rights to use and
enjoy their property within a couple hundred feet of shorelines.
Bureau was joined by the Horticultural Association, Grange and Friends of Farms
and Forests in the effort to fight back the revived bill. AWB and other
business organizations were also in on the effort.
Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen)
SMA specifically prevents local governments from limiting or prohibiting
agricultural activities, thanks to legislation sponsored in 2002 by Sen. Brian
Hatfield (D-Raymond) when he served in the House.
the July 2008 Anacortes ruling, the state Supreme Court ruled that
critical areas within the SMA jurisdiction are to be dealt with exclusively
under the SMA and all others under the Growth Management Act (GMA).
1653 would have gutted that ruling and given the Department of Ecology leverage
over CAO (GMA critical area ordinance) approvals that they do not currently
and the Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development (CTED) were
lobbying hard for the passage of the bill.
SMA specifically provides exemptions or protections for many activities in the
shoreline areas. Among those that would have been harmed by this legislation
commercial timber cutting
for projects to improve fish or wildlife habitat or fish passage
maintenance or repair of existing structures or developments, including damage
by accident, fire, or elements
of the normal protective bulkhead common to single family residences
and practices normal or necessary for farming, irrigation, and ranching
activities, including agricultural service roads and utilities on shorelands
on shorelands by an owner, lessee, or contract purchaser of a single family
residence for his or her own use or for the use of his or her family
of a dock, including a community dock, designed for pleasure craft only, for
the private noncommercial use of the owner
and maintenance of any system of dikes, ditches, drains
process of removing or controlling an aquatic noxious weed; and others
activities are currently protected under the SMA, but most of them are not
protected under the CAO requirement of the GMA.
Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee rejected the companion bill, SB 5726, sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle).
GMA/Climate Bill Also
Perishes to Cutoff Deadline
HB 1490, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island)
died in the midst of the House floor flurry on Thursday.
original bill would have added reducing greenhouse gases to the environmental
goal of the Growth Management Act.
addition, full-planning counties would have been mandated to include addressing
greenhouse gases and reducing "vehicle miles traveled" (VMT) in their
mandatory county-wide planning policies.
VMT would have had a disproportionate impact on agriculture and rural
communities, as it is necessary to travel more miles to services, employment,
and markets in rural areas than in more compact urban areas.
greenhouse gas reduction mandate and goal would have resulted in tens of
millions of dollars in litigation, much the same as we have seen result from
the current mandate to "include best available science" (BAS) in
critical area ordinances. Now, 14 years after that mandate was added to the
GMA, there is still no definition of BAS.
to deadline, several amendments were floated, attempting to reduce the bill to
a focus on providing affordable housing near the largest public transportation
hubs around the state. Washington Farm Bureau offered no objections to
later amendments that focused exclusively on affordable housing.