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

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 $50.
$369 includes free shipping!
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95