WA State Legislature's submitted bills affecting water and property

from Washington Votes.org


Please note that the following legislative actions have been taken.

House Bill 1009 (Modifying the authority of certain state agencies to enter into agreements with the federal government under the Endangered Species Act)

Introduced by Rep. Bruce Chandler, (R-Granger) (R) on January 10, 2011, requires legislative and gubernatorial approval before a state agency can enter into a multi-year habitat conservation plan between the State and federal government under the federal Endangered Species Act.



House Bill 1013 (Requiring notice to property owners when a county, city, or town modifies its zoning requirements)

Introduced by Rep. Jan  Angel, (R - Port Orchard) (R) on January 10, 2011, requires a county, city or town notify an affected property owner of any zoning modifications prior to a public hearing on the proposed zoning changes.



House Bill 1014 (Modifying the authority of a watershed management partnership)

Introduced by Rep. Roger Goodman, (D-Kirkland) (D) on January 10, 2011, modifies language related to  watershed management partnerships.  This measure removes specific language regarding Lake Tapps and White River, creating consistent guidelines for all watershed management partnerships.



House Bill 1026 (Specifying procedures for adverse possession actions)

Introduced by Rep. Christine Rolfes, (D-Bainbridge Island) (D) on January 10, 2011, modifies procedures for actions for adverse possession. An action for adverse possession originates when a party enters land owned by another and then stays and uses the land.  The occupier must prove entry onto the land, open use of the land, that the owner of the land had no knowledge of the use, and that the use was for a continuous period of time. This act requires that one asserting title to real property through adverse possession prove each element by clear and convincing evidence and be responsible for all attorney and court costs.  The prevailing party in an adverse possession action is liable for all property taxes assessed on the property during the period of adverse possession. The act will apply to all actions filed on or after July 1, 2012.



House Bill 1035 (Prohibiting the use of eminent domain for economic development)

Introduced by Rep. Larry Springer, (D-Kirkland) (D) on January 10, 2011, restricts the use of eminent domain by prohibiting the transfer of private property for economic development. Economic development includes the transfer of private property to a public or private entity for any activity to increase tax revenue, tax base, employment, or general economic health; but, does not include the transfer of private property to public utilities for the purpose of providing a public service.



House Bill 1036 (Concerning a municipality’s right to condemn real property due to a threat to public health, safety, or welfare)

Introduced by Rep. Roger Goodman, (D-Kirkland) (D) on January 10, 2011, modifies municipalities’ use of eminent domain to expressly include the condemnation of real property that is a threat to public health, safety, or welfare. Within 120 days of the passage of this act, owners of real property that is currently subject to this type of condemnation action may file an appeal in superior court to determine whether the property is a threat to public health, safety, or welfare. The court will make a final determination on the condemnation action and if the court finds the defect curable, the property owners will have a reasonable time to correct the problem. If the property owners cannot cure the deficiency within the time set forth by the court, the municipality can proceed with the condemnation.



House Bill 1044 (Establishing the Office of Open Records)

Introduced by Rep. Christopher Hurst, (D-Enumclaw) (D) on January 10, 2011, establishes an independent Office of Open Records within the Office of Administrative Hearings to provide appellate review of legal actions involving public records requests. State agencies may voluntarily agree to use this process on a fiscal year basis. Parties filing an appeal under this act must do so within 30 days of an agency’s unsatisfactory action on a public records request and must pay the legal fees created by rulemaking. The Office of Open Records may deny any appeal. Third parties may intervene in the process with a showing of assistance to the parties without creating delay and the denial or acceptance of an intervening party is not subject to judicial review. The Office of Open Records may not award any costs, penalties, or attorneys’ fees. Judicial decisions rendered in this process are subject to review by a Superior Court. This act takes effect January, 1, 2012.



House Bill 1045 (Clarifying agency relationships in reconveyances of deeds of trust)

Introduced by Rep. Sam Hunt, (D-Olympia) (D) on January 10, 2011, provides   clarification for conveyance of property when payment by a trustee is satisfied.  This act also establishes statutory procedures required of a beneficiary for reconveyance of property.  In addition, this law clarifies that a representative of a trustee may file satisfaction of payment in a county where the deed of trust is recorded.



House Bill 1054 (Declaring water conservation practices to be a beneficial use of water for the purposes of relinquishment)

Introduced by Rep. Bruce Chandler, (R-Granger) (R) on January 10, 2011, modifies current law to include water conservation practices by water users as a beneficial use for purposes of relinquishment of water rights.



House Bill 1060 (Concerning contiguous land under current use open space property tax programs)

Introduced by Rep. Bruce Chandler, (R-Granger) (R) on January 10, 2011, modifies the current definition of “contiguous ownership” of open space lands to include land parcels owned by different persons if the parcels are managed as a single operation and owned by members of the same immediate family, owned by legal entities owned by members of the same immediate family, or a combination of the two.  This act also makes the same changes for “contiguous ownership” of timber and forest lands and modifies the definition of “contiguous”.



House Bill 1068 (Requiring the governor's signature on significant legislative rules)

Introduced by Rep. Barbara Bailey, (R-Oak Harbor) (R) on January 10, 2011, requires the Governor’s  signature on any significant rule approved  by state agencies where the head or governing body is appointed by the Governor.



House Bill 1082 (Providing for voluntary corrections of violations of environmental laws)

Introduced by Rep. Barbara Bailey, (R-Oak Harbor) (R) on January 10, 2011, to require state and local government agencies to issue warnings to individuals who are in violation of the growth management act or shorelines management act, and to provide information on how to voluntarily comply with the law. The bill also requires agencies to allow time to correct violations before issuing fines or penalties, and to work in good faith with any person that wishes to voluntarily comply.



House Joint Resolution 4200 (Amending the Constitution to address emergency clauses)

Introduced by Rep. Barbara Bailey, (R-Oak Harbor) (R) on January 10, 2011, requires emergency clauses only be allowed by amendment to a bill and approved by sixty percent of each house of the legislature. Emergency clauses call for the immediate implementation of a law upon signature of the Governor.



Senate Bill 5001 (Returning ownership of unappropriated public lands to the state)

Introduced by Sen. Val Stevens, (R-Arlington) (R) on January 10, 2011, to declare that the present, claimed ownership of the public lands within the state of Washington by the federal government violates the U.S. Constitution. Transfers ownership of all public lands , water and mineral rights from the federal government to the State of Washington.



Senate Bill 5002 (Authorizing acquisition of federal property by eminent domain)

Introduced by Sen. Val Stevens, (R-Arlington) (R) on January 10, 2011, to allow the use of eminent domain for property under federal government title in the state, unless the property was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the legislature and in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.



Senate Bill 5012 (Revising the standard of review for appeals under the growth management act)

Introduced by Sen. Scott  White, (D-Seattle) (D) on January 10, 2011, to declare the legislature’s intent that local decisions be guided by the goals of the growth management act and comply with its requirements. Requires the growth management hearings board to defer to a local decision unless the board determines that the local government has erroneously construed the law or, that the weight of evidence does not support the local decision.



Senate Bill 5013 (Requiring that quasi-judicial land use permits be decided by local planning officials or hearing examiners)

Introduced by Sen. Scott  White, (D-Seattle) (D) on January 10, 2011, to require local legislative bodies to remove themselves  from administrative, quasi-judicial, and appellate land use decision making, and to assigns those responsibilities to hearing examiners or professional staff. A local government may adopt an ordinance opting out of this requirement no sooner than March 1, 2012, nor later than May 30, 2012.