News

Growth management decision delayed

The Clallam County commissioners will need to wait until after the holidays to hear back from the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board on their plan for compliance with the state's Growth Management Act.

In April the board ruled the zoning in many areas of Clallam County were out of compliance with the state law. The ruling stated some land inside the

Sequim growth area did not require high enough densities while some lands outside the growth area allowed too many houses per acre.

Also, the board said Blyn and Carlsborg were not properly zoned or identified in the county's comprehensive plan as well as a few more tracts of land throughout the county, which are labeled limited areas of more intense rural development.

The county planning staff immediately started forming a plan to present to the board to show what the county could do to reach compliance within the challenged areas.

The plan was vetted and amended after several public hearings in front of the Clallam County Planning Commission, the Clallam County commissioners and county residents. It was submitted for review in October with an expected board meeting on the matter on Dec. 15. But due to scheduling conflicts, the board has delayed the hearing until Jan. 12, 2009, at 10 a.m.

The location of the meeting is still to be determined but is expected to be in Clallam County and open to the public. The meeting may be held in the Port of Port Angeles meeting room, where the board last met to review the claim against Clallam County.

According to county representatives, the board is not likely to make a decision at the hearing, but will deliberate on the issue publicly before forming a decision within the next month.

The board's initial review of Clallam County's lands resulted from a legal appeal of the county's updated comprehensive plan filed by two growth watchdogs, Futurewise of Seattle and the Dry Creek Coalition out of the Port Angeles area.

Many of the challenged areas were not found out of compliance and retained the same zoning. The county's compliance plan resulted in the rezoning of many areas in the county both to higher and lower densities and occasionally a change in allowed land uses.

For a timeline on the county's compliance track and a step-by-step analysis of each challenged section of land, visit www.clallam.net and click on "2008 Growth Management Compliance Proceedings."



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