The goals of the Growth Management Act (GMA) of Washington require that the comprehensive plans of local governments are not in conflict with state statutory goals. It is understood that the GMA provides local governments choices to direct developmental regulations.
GMA goal No. 10 clearly states, “Protect the environment and enhance the state’s high quality of life, including air and water quality, and the availability of water.” The housing industry has turned the heat on high to push legislation on a statewide level to increase housing in Washington. This legislation, House Bill 1110 and Senate Bill 5190, do not “protect the environment” because they exclude the protection of existing trees on the middle-housing lots, ignore local tree-protection codes and change zoning regulations. Why are state legislators so eager to mandate such legislation? Many local councils are considering what middle housing would be appropriate for their cities. Housing development regulations should remain with these local jurisdictions.
In response to the ongoing climate crisis, established trees in local neighborhoods must be retained, preserved and protected. The GMA provides local government choices to direct developmental regulations. Leave these regulations to local jurisdictions. (A public hearing on SB 5190 will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. View it live on TVW here.)
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline