Growth Management Board invalidates Sno County ordinance naming Point Wells an "Urban Center"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) issued a decision this week invalidating Snohomish County's designation of Point Wells as an "Urban Center."

The Growth Management Hearings Board is a State Board charged with hearing cases concerning compliance with the goals and requirements of the Growth Management Act and related provisions of the State Environmental Policy Act. The Central Puget Sound Hearings Board is a three-member panel of land use experts.

Following extensive briefing and a hearing on the merits, the Board agreed with Petitioners Save Richmond Beach, City of Shoreline and the Town of Woodway that Point Wells is not an appropriate site for an "Urban Center," and invalidated the Snohomish County ordinances designating it as such.

As a result of pressure on Snohomish County by 32nd District Rep. Ruth Kagi in the state legislature, Snohomish County had begun to work with the Town of Woodway and the City of Shoreline on issues around the Point Wells development.

To quote Jerry Cornfield in the HeraldNet,
"Kagi almost single-handedly brought Snohomish County to its knees on how it will deal with future development on Point Wells. She introduced a bill making sure the county hears what Shoreline and Woodway have to say. Though the bill died, the county agreed those communities will get a louder voice in the process."

Shoreline staff had just started meeting with developer Blue Square Real Estate and the Town of Woodway to develop a municipal agreement, which is part of the Snohomish County code. This ruling by the GMHB should change the terms of discussion.

--Some material in this story came from the newsletter of SaveRichmondBeach


Elaine Phelps,  April 27, 2011 at 10:35 AM  

This is indeed good news.

One correction: Rep. Kagi's bill did not die. She withdrew it after Snohomish County agreed to enter discussions to resolve the objections raised by the opposing parties. In other words, Rep. Kagi succeeded in achieving her goal.

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