Official says he wishes the county had never agreed to
participate in the Growth Management Act.
If Walla Walla County Commissioner Dave Carey could go back
12 years and change his vote, this week's public hearings on
proposed development regulations might never have happened.
The hearings held Monday and Tuesday to obtain comment on
regulations intended to enforce comprehensive planning under the
state Growth Management Act generated more questions than
``I have to apologize to you for what I've done,'' Carey
``It just tears my heart'' when people come before the
commission and are told they cannot manage their land as they
see fit under the new laws, he told six landowners who attended
About 15 people Monday expressed confusion and dismay about
how the proposed regulations would affect their property rights.
Carey in 1990 was one of the commissioners who voted 2-1 to
participate in Growth Management Act planning. In exchange, the
state paid the county $75,000 a year to conduct planning and
Ten of the state's 39 counties opted not to fully conduct
planning under the act, according to the Office of Community
Development regulations Walla Walla commissioners were
considering this week would apply to a land use plan adopted in
May. The plan outlines management objectives for development in
all unincorporated parts of the county through 2021.
The regulations will replace interim rules commissioners
adopted early last year.
``I just have a tough time figuring out why we have had this
land for nine decades and can't do what we want with it,'' Dick
Kelly, a Frog Hollow Road resident who wants to place a house on
his land for a family member, told the commissioners.
He and others questioned the ``clustering provisions'' for
houses in primary agriculture areas zoned for 40-acre minimum
The provisions allow up to three residences to be clustered
together on a small adjacent lots while one house is allowed on
the remaining acreage.
Under previous regulations, houses had to be situated on
10-acre minimum parcels.
``On this clustering, what are you trying to avoid?'' asked
Tom Strycula, a Burbank resident.
``Under growth management, the aim is to protect agricultural
lands,'' said Connie Krueger, regional planning director.
Other questions involved how zoning changes will be
accomplished under the new regulations and the county's
Krueger said that with growth management there is now ``much
more bureaucracy'' involved with zone changes.
Commissioners are expected to vote on whether to enact the
development regulations when they hold their regular meetings
next week, said Commission Chairwoman Pam Ray.
It is uncertain whether commissioners will vote on the rules
at their regular Monday or Tuesday meeting, she said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The Walla Walla County commissioners at meetings Monday and
Authorizing the commission chairperson to sign reimbursable
agreements with the Department of Transportation, Port of Walla
Walla and developers of a proposed natural gas-fired energy
plant near Wallula for a transportation study of access roads
and interchanges in the area.
A March 25 date to hold two public hearings to consider
vacating part of a county right-of-way and establishing another
on Chamberlain Road southwest of College Place.
Holding a public hearing at 10 a.m. March 11 to consider
revising the residential outdoor burn permit fee schedule.
Reappointing Juan Pedroza of Walla Walla to another 5-year
term on the Walla Walla Housing Authority Board of Directors.
Contract extensions with five local attorneys to provide
legal representation for indigent criminal defendants.