Evan Smith: Hearing on Point Wells bill Friday morning in State House, next week in State Senate

Thursday, February 10, 2011

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

The bill to limit development at Point Wells will have a hearing Thursday in the State House of Representatives committee on local government.

The hearing is scheduled for 8 am Friday at the State Capitol in Olympia.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Maralyn Chase has sponsored an identical bill in the Senate, a bill that is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday, February 15, at 1:30 pm before the committee on government operations, tribal relations and elections.

Both bills would limit development at places like Point Wells to the density of nearby cities unless the County that includes that development negotiates an agreement on impacts of the development with affected cities,

Rep, Ruth Kagi, who sponsored the House bill told me Wednesday that she expects both the City of Shoreline and Snohomish County to have representatives at the hearings.

She said she still hopes that Snohomish County will start negotiating with the cities of Shoreline and Woodway without the legislation.

The owners of Point Wells, a former industrial site, have proposed developing the site as a group of condominiums. Although the site is in Snohomish County, the only access is along through the Richmond Beach area of Shoreline.

Kagi said that having companion bills in the House and Senate is a common way to increase the chances of passage.

Rep. Cindy Ryu, a co-sponsor of the House bill, said Tuesday evening that she hopes that the bill will pass because "it's a matter of basic fairness and common sense that a community most impacted by a development should have a say in how that development occurs, and I believe my colleagues will recognize that."

She agreed with Kagi that it's fairly common in the Legislature for legislators from both chambers to file the same bill, identified as "companion bills," a procedural technique to ensure that the matter can come to a vote in both houses.

Chase, Kagi and Ryu represent Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Woodway and the rest of the 32nd Legislative District.


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