From: Brian T. Hodges []
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:50 AM
To: Norman MacLeod
Subject: FW: Another GMA/Property Rights Victory for PLF


Please share with OSF!


From: Brian T. Hodges
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:49 AM
To: All PLF
Subject: Another GMA/Property Rights Victory for PLF

We scored another great victory in Washington’s Supreme Court today. The issue: a jurisdictional turf war between two statutes that take substantively different approaches to balancing development and the environment.

The Shoreline Management Act purports to balance use and protection while mandating that certain development must be allowed.

By contrast, the Growth Management Act mandates that government protect critical areas based on "best available science." (As the court noted, "a benign term with often a heavy price tag.").

In 2003, Washington’s Legislature amended the GMA to clarify that shorelines are regulated under the SMA, while critical area regulations are governed by the GMA. The legislature also made it explicitly clear that shorelines are not considered critical areas under the GMA unless the areas qualify for such a designation based on the definition of critical areas under the Act.

Undeterred by the law, environmentalist group Futurewise challenged Anacortes’ GMA update for failing to adopt critical area regulation for the shorelines. We participated as amicus before the Supreme Court. The issue before the Court was whether Legislature meant what is said – specifically, whether County’s could continue to adopt GMA critical area regulations until such time as they updated their SMA regulations.

This morning, the Court issued its decision: "Critical areas within the jurisdiction are governed only by the SMA."


Brian Hodges


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