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Sequim and county consider joint growth planning

Friday, May 26, 2006
Peninsula News Network


Sequim, WA - There are a lot of details to be worked out, but staff for the City of Sequim and Clallam County have started to at least discuss the framework of an agreement that could used for a smoother approach to development around the city in the decades to come.

Ever since the state passed the Growth Management Act in 1990, Sequim and the county have frequently butted heads over the best way to implement those regulations. In the 1990s, some of those fights even turned legal as the city fought the county’s interest in allowing large commercial growth to Seattle in Carlsborg.

In recent years, the two jurisdictions have been better aligned, although the city has criticized the county’s approval of higher-density housing projects outside the Urban Growth Area… and the county has said the city should be urging development of even higher density to control sprawl. But with Sequim’s explosive growth in both residential and commercial development, leaders from both governments are exploring a more formal agreement that could specify the transition from rural to urban inside the UGA.

Last week the Sequim city council gave approval for City Attorney Craig Ritchie to work with officials at the county to discuss the framework of a formal agreement covering future development inside the Sequim UGA. Ritchie told the council the idea is to lay down some guidelines on how the UGA will develop, and especially how infrastructure would be developed and paid for.

The Growth Management Act requires local governments to work closely together to plan for growth inside those Urban Growth Areas, but only a handful of cities and counties have come up with formal agreements and guidelines to cover that work. Ritchie says he’ll be researching those agreements to see what might be adapted to Sequim’s situation.


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