People for a Liveable Community told to clarify Glen Cove appeal - Growth Hearings Board says 'be more specific' in challenge to land use policies

By Barney Burke
Port Townsend Leader Staff Writer


The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board has directed People for a Liveable Community (PLC) to be more specific in its challenge to Jefferson County's land use policies regarding Glen Cove.
PLC, a "smart growth" citizen group, filed an appeal Jan. 10 of the county's December 2002 action enlarging the Glen Cove LAMIRD (limited area of more intensive urban development).

Glen Cove is the light industrial area just outside the Port Townsend city limits, most of which is on the water side of State Route 20.

But Nan A. Henrikson, presiding officer of the hearings board, wrote a letter Jan. 29 agreeing with the county's complaint that the PLC's written appeal was not sufficiently specific. "We did not contemplate that the requirement [regarding appeals under the Growth Management Act or GMA] would be read to mean that petitioners did not have to tell us or the local government what their concerns were until they filed their opening brief," she wrote.

On Feb. 10, Seattle attorney Gerald Steel, who represents PLC, responded with a letter stating: "The actions [alleged GMA violations] include the docketing, notice, and public review processes that were used by the county prior to the adoption of each ordinance. We do not feel it is appropriate for us to describe with more specificity the processing errors until we have been able to review the full county record that details the procedures followed by the county in adopting these ordinances beginning with formal docketing of the amendments and ending in formal adoption of the ordinances."

But in a teleconference meeting with the county and PLC on Feb. 12, the hearings board decided that PLC must clearly indicate which of the county's comprehensive plan policies and goals are violated by the adoption of the Glen Cove LAMIRD, said David Alvarez, the county's chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney. The PLC must also separate its arguments about the LAMIRD boundary from its arguments pertaining to development regulations, he added.

In addition, the county was granted one extra week to submits its brief for the May 14 hearing on the merits of the issue, Alvarez said.

The issues being raised by PLC are "pretty simple," according to Steel. "What we are challenging is that the size of the Glen Cove industrial designation and the intense development allowed there do not adequately protect the rural character of Jefferson County and do not encourage industrial development to locate in the Port Townsend UGA [urban growth area]," he said. "Both of those are requirements of GMA."

"The law on this is still developing," Steel acknowledged. He pointed out that two of the three hearings board members are recent appointees with little if any experience. He maintains that "GMA and case law is clear that rural character must be protected."


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