State board largely backs county growth plan

first_imgA state land-use board on Thursday issued its long-awaited decision about appeals to Clark County’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. Though it will take some time to analyze the complex ruling in depth, a rural-landowners group saw its challenges against the plan dismissed while environmental groups declared victory.The county’s comprehensive plan is a document required by the Growth Management Act and is meant to guide growth in the county for the next 20 years. After it was passed by the county council last summer, it quickly drew challenges from two different angles.Local environmental group Friends of Clark County was joined by Seattle-based Futurewise in its appeal, alleging that the county plan contained 12 violations of state law, including improperly expanding urban growth areas, removing agricultural land, failing to properly fund a transportation plan and contributing to sprawl by shrinking minimum lot sizes for agricultural and forest land. The two groups also challenged a move by the county to establish an industrial land-use bank on the Lagler Dairy property along Northeast 117th Avenue in Brush Prairie.Clark County Citizens United, a landowners group, appealed the plan from a different angle. The group alleged that the county essentially discriminated against rural landowners. Their appeal claimed that the county violated public participation processes that excluded rural and resource landowners, low-balled its population projection and put unlawful limits on the acres of rural land available for development.On Thursday, the Growth Management Hearings Board, a quasi-judicial panel that adjudicates charges that local jurisdictions aren’t complying with the Growth Management Act, issued its long-awaited order on Clark County’s comprehensive plan.last_img

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