Growth Management Act may get a refresh
By Matt Rosenberg
(From the August 12, 2016 edition of Lens; reprinted with permission)
Washington state legislators on the House Local Government Committee next month will begin a series of public work sessions to look at how to reform the Growth Management Act (GMA) in the 2017 legislative session.
The Act has come under increasing scrutiny in the last year. According to critics in government, the private sector and academia, the GMA:
- is based on inherently flawed methods of projecting population growth;
- can induce heavy-handed regulation by regional governments which actually hinders growth management;
- limits housing supply and drives up housing costs;
- and has hurt some local school districts by preventing them from using the best available land for required new facilities.
In its 2016 Interim Plans, the House Office of Program Research states (pp. 67-68), "An objective review of the GMA will be conducted" to see where and how GMA is "not functioning well after 25 years and significant population growth." The probe will include "a review of school siting issues and other local land use issues."
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Matt Rosenberg is editor in chief of Lens, a publication of the 501(c)3 Business Institute of Washington, based in Bellevue. Visit the site at thelens.news. Send story ideas or guest op-ed pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.