WHEREAS, the Land Use Study Commission was established in 1995 to conduct studies relating to the effectiveness and implementation of Washington’s land use and environmental laws and, pursuant to its enabling statute is due to expire on June 30, 1998.
WHEREAS, members of the Commission have given hundreds of hours of their time to benefit the citizens of the state.
WHEREAS, the Commission has completed the majority of the assignments given to it by the Legislature and the Governor and its recommendations have become law in each of the last two legislative sessions, resulting in significant improvements to the Washington’s land use and environmental laws, and resolving many of the recurrent areas of dispute about the Growth Management Act.
WHEREAS, the Commission has made considerable progress in developing a consolidated land use code and valuable work would be lost if the Commission terminates before this task is completed.
WHEREAS, the complexity of developing a consolidated land use code, a delay in establishing the Commission, and the additional duties given to it over the last two years have prevented the Commission from completing this final task before June 30, 1998.
WHEREAS, a consolidated land use code will have several important benefits for Washington State, including:
- Protection and enhancement of important state environmental values;
- More effective and efficient use of public and private resources in the land use planning and project review, leading to greater certainty and streamlining of the development process without adverse environmental consequences;
- Improved cooperation between the state, local, federal, and tribal governments on land use and environmental issues;
- Enhanced public participation and confidence in the state’s land use and environmental regulatory system;
- Assisting in the overall state response to challenges posed by potential listings of salmon stocks under the federal Endangered Species Act.
WHEREAS, with an additional six months, the Commission will be able to conclude its work and present its recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, hereby order and direct the following actions:
- The Land Use Study Commission is continued until December 31, 1998. The Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development shall provide necessary administrative and financial assistance to support the Commission and its staff. The Department may seek financial and other assistance from other state agencies as needed. Members of the Commission are authorized to receive reimbursement for travel expenses as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060 for attending meetings of the Commission.
- The Commission shall complete its recommendations on a proposal for the integration and consolidation of the state’s land use and environmental laws into a single, manageable act or body of law. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the commission shall evaluate the effectiveness of the Growth Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act, the Shoreline Management Act, and other state land use, planning, environmental, and permitting statutes in achieving their stated goals. In developing the consolidated land use code, the Commission shall consider the provisions of RCW 90.61.040(3).
- The Commission shall submit a final report to the Governor and the Legislature stating its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for a consolidated land use code not later than December 31, 1998.
- This executive order shall take effect July 1, 1998 and shall expire on December 31, 1998.