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Taking Aim at GMA Vesting

January 25, 2019

The perennial bill taking aim at Growth Management Act (GMA) vesting has a hearing in House Environment & Energy on Jan. 31 at 8:00 a.m. Sponsored by freshman Representative Jared Mead (D-Mill Creek), HB 1544 ensures that any jurisdiction that adjusts it’s Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary will be held hostage until a final court upholds it.

Shifting from the presumption that laws and regulations are legal until they are not, HB 1544 finds that – only in this instance – the law is considered suspect and unlawful until there is a final decision. This means if a local government determines there is a need to expand a UGA, builders would not be able to know if their land use planning was legal while waiting for an appeal to work its way through court. A process that could take up to a decade. This damages certainty and vesting for builders who rely on regulations and land use plans of local governments in making land acquisition and development plans.

BIAW will strongly oppose any further erosion of Washington’s vested law doctrine.

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