Court validates county position regarding Ridgefield, La Center annexations
VANCOUVER — The Clark County Council has decided not to file an appeal of the Washington State Court of Appeals recent decision regarding the county’s 20-year Comprehensive Plan update.
The Court of Appeals reviewed the expansion of the urban growth boundaries surrounding the cities of La Center and Ridgefield. The court upheld the county position that land annexed into the cities of Ridgefield and La Center could not be challenged under the GMA. The court decision also upheld the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board ruling that a portion of the 2016 Plan was out of compliance with the state’s Growth Management Act.
“This gets the county a step closer to being in compliance with the GMA and restores the ability for the county to apply for and receive grants and loans from the Washington State Public Works Fund and Transportation Improvement Board,” said Council Chair Eileen Quiring. Counties are not eligible for this funding if their comprehensive plans are out of compliance.
During the 2016 Plan update the county designated approximately 600 acres of what was agricultural land to be Employment Center with a light industrial zoning and Rural Industrial Land Bank overlay. Not pursuing an appeal means that the property will revert back to an agricultural designation with 20-acre minimum lot size.
The Clark County Planning Commission will review the GMA compliance update in mid-October. The commission is an advisory panel to the council. The County Council will hold a hearing to consider the Planning Commission recommendation in mid-November. Once adopted, the plan goes back to the Hearings Board for review.
Plan adoption materials can be found at www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/plan-adoption.
Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.