Leaping Through Loopholes in Washington's Growth Management Act

Despite laws meant to protect open space and limit sprawl development, developers in Washington have found a legal way to get major housing projects approved in Washington.

In the first of a two-part series, Crosscut and InvestigateWest delve into how a tiny provision in the state's laws have enabled developments that undercut efforts to manage growth.

"The Growth Management Act - passed in 1990 to rein in runaway development that chokes roads, spurs water pollution and carpets the countryside in concrete - is only one of a number of environmental and land-use laws to be undercut by a feature of Washington law that gives developers unusually favorable treatment compared to most other states.

Known as "vesting" and dating back more than half a century, the legal provision means that if a developer learns a new law is coming that would restrict building, he or she can draw up preliminary plans for a subdivision, file the paperwork with the county - and avoid the new, more restrictive rules. Even if construction doesn't start for years."

Full Story: Odd provision in state law severely undercuts growth management

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.