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Good News Out of Olympia

April 26, 2019

Condo Liability Reform, SB 5334

BIAW would like to thank Senator Jamie Pederson (D-Seattle) and Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) for their leadership on SB 5334, the Condo Liability Reform bill, which has passed the House and Senate unanimously and is headed to Governor Inslee for signature. This bill helps revise overreaching condo warranty liability from the ‘90s, which will allow for
new condo construction in Washington state. While not a silver bullet to the housing crisis in our state, it is another option for consumers seeking a path to affordable home ownership, by increasing supply and options for families of all sizes and incomes. Condo liability reform was a BIAW priority for 2019.

Urban Density, HB 1923

Sponsored by Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) and helped along by Representative Andrew Barkis (R-Olympia) and Senator Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby), this bill works to increase urban density and is also on the Governor’s desk for his signature. This bill encourages cities to choose from a menu of options to “get to yes” on projects. It includes things such as upzones, cluster lot development, form-based codes, planned actions, and more. If a city chooses to take two “get to yes” development regulation code changes, they are eligible for planning grant dollars (funded through an additional $2.50 document recording fee) and these newly adopted ordinances would be protected from appeal.

Additionally, HB 1923 provides transportation State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeals protection for individual projects that are consistent with the underlying transportation plan. Limiting SEPA appeals on individual projects that are consistent with underlying plans was also a BIAW priority this year

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