Latest News

Bills Supporting Housing and State Economy

January 25, 2021

While the onslaught of questionable policy bills continues, there are some bright spots that jumpstart housing recovery while Washington recovers from COVID-19 economic slowdowns. Residential construction can lead the way out of the economic crisis for Washington families and for Washington’s state and local budgets – residential construction accounts for 5.5% of the state’s sales tax revenue.

This week several bills would help spur housing, which will help speed economic recovery for the whole state.

Bills supporting housing and state economy

On Tuesday at 8 AM in the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee SB 5235Increasing housing unit inventory by removing arbitrary limits on housing options, sponsored by Sen Liias (D-Mukilteo) addresses local governments’ attempts to stop, or make very difficult to build, accessory dwelling units. This is a good bill that supports the construction of ADUs.

Sign in SUPPORT here!

That same day,  the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee will also hear a BIAW priority bill sponsored by Sen Gildon (R-Puyallup), SB 5243Creating efficiency in housing by streamlining approval of engineered plans. One thing BIAW members universally grumble about is the permit process. This streamlines that process by requiring permit plans to accept a licensed engineer or architect’s stamp as proof of compliance. When an applicant has hired a qualified professional for plans – the jurisdiction should not be nickel-and-diming permits.

Sign in SUPPORT here!

This week the Legislature will also hear two bills dealing with Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development (LAMIRD) under the Growth Management Act: one in the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee at 10:30 AM on Wednesday (SB 5275Enhancing opportunity in limited areas of more intense rural development, sponsored by Sen Short (R –Addy) and one in the House Local Government Committee at 8 AM on Friday (HB 1233Concerning limited areas of more intensive rural development, sponsored by Rep Barkis (R-Lacey). Both of these bills would allow some flexibility for things like housing in LAMIRDs across the state.

Sign in to  SUPPORT SB 5275 here!

Sign in SUPPORT HB 1233  here!

Two more similar bills are scheduled in the House and Senate in the same committees. These bills would raise the standing requirement for Growth Board appeals to a more typical standard in normal court proceedings. Currently the standing standard in GMA is only having commented during the planning period – whether harm is demonstrated or not. This make it incredibly easy to get standing for appeals and causes more quasi-judicial appeals than is necessary.

  • HB 1144Concerning standing before the growth management hearings board, sponsored by Rep Hoff (R – Vancouver) up at 10 AM on Wednesday in House Local Government; and
  • SB 5314Concerning standing and science under the growth management act, by Sen Short (R-Addy) at 10:30 AM on Wednesday in the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee.

Sign in SUPPORT of HB 1144 here!

Sign in SUPPORT of SB 5314 here!

Return to blog