Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2008 NO. 1 > Jan 3 2008

1.  The Growth Management Act (GMA) does not apply directly to a site-specific decision such as siting a wetlands mitigation bank, although the GMA applies to the development regulations and comprehensive plans.  2.  Certification of a wetlands mitigation bank by the Department of Ecology does not legally obligate a county to issue required permits for the bank.  3.  The Department of Ecology’s certification of a wetlands mitigation bank does not make the Growth Management Act (GMA) or the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) inapplicable.  4.  The substantive provisions of the Growth Management Act (GMA) do not apply to the Department of Ecology’s certification of a wetlands mitigation bank.

AGO 2006 NO. 2 > Jan 27 2006

1.  When a local jurisdiction designates critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), it is not obligated to include, as designated critical areas, shorelines of statewide significance or other shorelines within the jurisdiction; however, the jurisdiction should designate those shorelines within the area, or portions of them, and meet the statutory criteria for designation (RCW 36.70A.030(5)).  2.     If a local jurisdiction determines that some of the shorelines within its area should be designated as critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), that determination is subject to administrative and judicial review as provided in statute.

AGO 1998 NO. 4 > Mar 3 1998

The Growth Management Act does not obligate a county to require the replatting or resubdivision of lands in the county which are outside any urban growth area and which were platted before 1937, but allows local flexibility in applying GMA standards to such lands.

AGO 2005 NO. 11 > Sep 7 2005

1.  The Growth Management Hearings Boards have no authority to remand a case back to a county or city for the purpose of amending their comprehensive plans or development regulations, except where the board has found the plan or regulations to be out of compliance with the Growth Management Act.  2.  WAC 242-02-720 is consistent with the statutory authority granted to the Growth Management Hearings Boards.

AGO 1992 NO. 17 > Jul 28 1992

1.  RCW 19.27.097 provides that an applicant for a building permit must provide evidence of an adequate supply of potable water.  The authority to make this determination is the local agency that issues building permits.  2.  The Legislature has authorized the Board of Health to establish, and the Department of Health to enforce, a comprehensive regulatory scheme for public water systems. In determining whether water to be supplied from a public water system constitutes an adequate water supply for purposes of RCW 19.27.097, the local agency issuing building permits must apply the standards set by the Board of Health.  3.  If water is not supplied from a public water system, the local agency issuing building permits has more discretion to determine if the water supply is adequate for purposes of RCW 19.27.097.  At a minimum, there must be sufficient quality and quantity of water for the intended purpose of the building.

AGO 1992 NO. 23 > Oct 13 1992

1.  RCW 36.70A.280 authorizes the Growth Planning Hearings Boards to hear petitions which allege that governments planning under the Growth Management Act are not in compliance with the requirements of the Act as it relates to plans and regulations adopted pursuant to RCW 36.70A.040.  One requirement of the Act is that governments adopting plans and regulations consider the goal of protecting private property rights.  The Boards have jurisdiction over petitions that allege that private property rights have not been considered or have been considered in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner.

AGO 1992 NO. 28 > Nov 18 1992

1.   RCW 36.70A.040 provides that if a county is required or chooses to adopt comprehensive land use plans and development regulations under the Growth Management Act, each city located within the county must also adopt comprehensive land use plans and development regulations under the Act.  This requirement applies to cities located partially within a county planning under the Act and partially within another county.2.   A city that adopts comprehensive land use plans and development regulations because it is partially located in a planning county must adopt plans and regulations for the entire city, even that part of the city located within a county that is not planning under the Act.