BIAW Bulletin: March 15
March 15, 2021
Day 64: The legislature has passed the first major cutoff and is back to hearing bills in committees. The House is now hearing Senate bills and the Senate House bills. It’s all very exciting. We’re still in a Zoom world of social isolation. However, last week the governor did announce that starting on March 22, the entire state would be moving phase 3 – 50% capacity inside and 25% capacity for outdoor entertainment/sports. So Mariners’ opening day can have up to 9,000 fans. He also announced that people in “Tier 2” would all be qualified for vaccination.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be on film talking about who is qualified for vaccinations – but here we are. Tier 2 expands to critical workers like grocery, etc. and pregnant women 16 and older in addition to those in Tier 1 which are high-risk workers, nursing homes, older people or multi-generational households. It’s all clear as mud. But it’s clear the key to a return to normalcy is getting needles in arms.
But back to the legislature. Still no reform action on the governor’s emergency powers. Because, why involve the legislature?
I want to highlight a few GMA bills for you being heard in the Senate housing and local government committee tomorrow at 8 AM.
- HB 1117 adds salmon recovery and requires the implementation of a net ecological gain standard to development regulations. This will drive costs on housing.
- HB 1099 adds climate change, GHG, and VMT reduction targets and encourages downzones in rural Washington. While an improvement to provide for middle housing was added in the house, this bill will still add costs and delays to housing in Washington.
- HB 1241 changes the comp plan timeline from eight years to 10 years while adding a mid-cycle check-in. The problem with this bill is it massively expands tribal engagement in GMA planning, which wouldn’t be an issue except for tribes are in no way subject to GMA and have no accountability for growth. So broad expansion by including their demands on local governments means they get virtual veto power over planning they have absolutely no liability in the plan.
BIAW will continue to carry the message that these bills will add costs and delays. For every additional $1,000 in the cost of a new home, it prices 2,500 households out of the market.
Thanks for watching – another stupendous occurrence of the Hammer with Himebaugh. Homes start here. Himebaugh out.