HB 1987- Affordable Housing

Prevents counties from restricting the density of affordable housing development on property owned by a religious organization under certain conditions. This would require Counties to allow the density of the affordable housing development on religious owned properties to exceed density limits by two times the maximum density requirement of other structures.

HB 2607 – UGA’s and Transit Support

Allows residential targeted areas eligible for the multiple family tax exemption to be designated in any county with an unincorporated population of at least 350,000 seeking to promote transit-supportive densities and efficient land use near transit corridors by encouraging redevelopment. The stated purposes of the multiple family tax exemption for RTAs are specified to include the redevelopment of areas in urban growth areas to support transit-supportive densities and efficient land use.

SB 6121 – School Siting

This bill is similar to previous bills addressing the siting of schools outside of the UGA. This language addresses small, private higher education institutions that are located in close proximity to an urban growth area.

HB 2431 – JARC

Eliminates the joint administrative rules review committee (JARC). In recent past we have supported the idea of giving JARC more than just a study of rulemaking impacts.  Counties will comment that JARC recommendations should be made as legislative changes needed to offset negative impacts of agency rules.

SB 6186 – Growth Monitoring

Requires counties to produce an annual growth monitoring report within two months of the close of its fiscal year. The report must include information about population growth trends, employment growth trends, annexation trends and more. Also, a 4-year review of these trends will require a change to a comprehensive plan, county budget and the housing element, the capital facilities plan element, and the transportation element.

HB 2380 – Solid Waste Management

Directs the Utilities and Transportation Commission to develop a public outreach strategy and the Department of Ecology to update solid waste management guidelines for local governments, with the goal of both activities is to reduce the rates of contamination of recyclable materials.

HB 2411 – Wasted Food Reduction

Directs the Department of Ecology to work with the departments of Health and Agriculture to develop a food waste reduction plan by 2020 to achieve the 2030 wasted food reduction goal. Waste reduction strategies for county solid waste plans may include strategies from the plan developed by ECY, DOH, and WSDA. Programs that collect food waste, in addition to yard waste, are identified as source separation strategies that may be implemented by counties in their solid waste collection plans.

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Laura first became involved in government as a city council member for the city of Newport Washington and later became a County Commissioner in Pend Oreille County. She served for 6 years and represented the region on statewide and national boards. Laura and her family moved to Olympia in November of 2012 and she has worked for WSAC for four years doing policy work on natural resources, land use and environmental issues.