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Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB) Decisions and Orders


What was challenged?  In 2007, the County took two actions to complete the required GMA seven year review of its comprehensive plan and development actions.

  • First, the County adopted Resolution 77 which contained findings and conclusions affirming that the County had completed its review and update of its Countywide Comprehensive Plan, Regional Comprehensive Plan, and development regulations for continued compliance with GMA standards and policies.
  • And secondly, the County adopted Ordinance 827 which amended Clallam County Code, Chapter 31.07, Countywide Comprehensive Plan to formally identify certain areas as LAMIRDs (local areas of more intensive rural development).

Futurewise and non-profit, Dry Creek Coalition (DCC) appealed Resolution No. 77 and Ordinance 827 to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (WWGMHB).  Futurewise and DCC claimed that certain areas of the County's Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations  were not in compliance with the Growth Management Act.

What did the WWGMHB decide? The WWGMHB  heard the case in 2008 under the title WWGMHB No. 07-2-0018c: Dry Creek Coalition and Futurewise v. Clallam County, and issued two decisions, in which it ordered Clallam County to change portions of its Plan and Code.  For more information about WWGMHB, Decisions and Orders, visit their website at http://www.gmhb.wa.gov.

How did the County respond to the WWGMHB´s 2008 Decisions & Orders?  The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)  responded to the WWGMHB 2008 Decisions and Orders as follows:

  1. The BOCC adopted interim controls in areas affected by the rulings of invalidity in the following Decisions and Orders  by the WWGMHB.  Click here to find out more about the interim controls;
  2. The BOCC appealed the WWGMHB´s decision to the courts.  Click here to read more about the appeal; and
  3. The County proceeded with achieving compliance. 
    1. The 2008 GMA compliance proceedings were finalized with the County´s adoption of Ordinance 835 on October 21, 2008.  Ordinance 835 constituted the County´s partial compliance response, addressing issues relating to LAMIRDs, Blyn, and the Sequim UGA.  Click here for more information about the 2008 GMA compliance proceedings.
    2. The 2009 GMA compliance proceedings will be initiated early 2009 and will address the County´s Rural Moderate (R2) and Western Region Rural Moderate (RW2) zones which were found invalid by the WWGMHB and which are currently zoned Interim Rural (R5) or Interim Western Region Rural (RW5).  The 2009 GMA compliance proceedings will also address those areas that were excluded from LAMIRD designation during the 2008 GMA compliance proceedings and which were rezoned to Rural (R5) or Western Region Rural (RW5). Click here for more information about the 2009 GMA compliance proceedings.  

What was the result of the WWGMHB´s review of the County´s compliance response? On January 12, 2009, the WWGMHB held a compliance hearing on the County's partial compliance response. The WWGMHB issued its compliance order on January 30, 2009.  To read the WWGMHB´s January 30, 2009 Decision and Order, click here.  The WWGMHB found as follows:

  1. Updates the County made to16 limited areas of more intensive rural development (LAMIRDs) are now compliant with the GMA. County LAMIRDs include rural areas zoned for more intensive rural residential (maximum of 1 dwelling unit per acre), commercial, industrial, or mixed use development. These areas cover less than 1% of Clallam County. For the four LAMIRDs remaining in non-compliance, the WWGMHB found:
    1. The Deer Park LAMIRD located at the Deer Park Rd/US 101 intersection just east of Port Angeles compliant, except for approximately 18 acres.
    2. The Dryke-Sherbourne (East & West) LAMIRDs located between Port Angeles and Carlsborg on US 101 compliant, except for approximately 3.8 acres.
    3. The Laird's Corner (West) LAMIRDs located at the US 101/SR 112 intersection compliant. The Laird's Corner (East) LAMIRD located in the vicinity of US 101 and Dry Creek Rd just west of Port Angeles was found compliant, except for approximately 50 acres.
    4. The adjusted boundaries of the Lake Farm LAMIRD located east of Port Angeles that allows for 1 dwelling unit per acre residential densities still remain non-compliant.   
  2. County action to designate a Blyn LAMIRD and rezone areas outside of the LAMIRD to Rural Low (R5) is now compliant.
  3. Adoption of the Sequim Urban Residential – II [S-(RII)] zone that allows for higher urban densities to replace the found invalid S(R-I) zone is now compliant.
  4. No basis that the URH and URL zones are in non-compliance with the GMA within the Sequim and Port Angeles Urban Growth Areas (UGA).
  5. The County's zoning language that allows consideration of development in existence "prior to" July 1, 1990, versus the character of development existing "on" July 1, 1990, as non-compliant. However, the WWGMHB did find that the County may properly limit conditional uses based upon the type, scale, size, use or intensity without numerical standards as to those dimensions. 

The WWGMHB set a compliance due date of July 30, 2009, for the areas of the County's partial compliance response remaining in non-compliance.