Update on Washington Can’t Wait

Nov 19, 2021 | Beacon, Climate, News

During the last legislative session, ECAM endorsed the Washington Can’t Wait (WCW) campaign to pass legislation to update the Growth Management Act (GMA) to include planning for climate change, environmental justice, and housing equity.

Reminder: GMA, adopted in 1990, requires fast-growing cities and counties to plan for growth to avoid urban sprawl and protect our natural resources, including agricultural land. Cities and counties update their plans every 10 years, and the next update is approaching.

While the WCW proposed bills had strong support, they did not make it through both houses and need our support again in this upcoming January legislative session.   Here is a quick summary of the bills.

HB1099 requires planning for climate-resilient communities, addressing environmental justice, and reducing vehicle miles traveled.

HB1220 requires planners to address affordable  housing and to end race and income discrimination in housing. This bill was PASSED but failed to have funding appropriated to support the planning process. We need to SECURE that local funding this year.

SB5042 will close a loophole that allows for “illegal” urban sprawl.  Currently, during the appeal period for a proposed expansion of a growth boundary, building permits can be issued for the  expanded area. If expansion is not approved, the permits are grandfathered in so voila—urban sprawl.

  • WCW is advocacy-friendly, providing resources and links for contacting legislators and for registering support for bills once the legislative session has begun. It just takes a few clicks to register your support.
  • Start by signing up for campaign updates. Sign up for campaign updates.
  • Visit WCW for further information.
  • Contact Kristi Weir of ECAM if you have further questions about WCW or if you want join ECAM.

by Kristi Weir