by Rob Ollikainen, Peninsula Daily News
Clallam County (the northernmost county on the Olympic Peninsula) has won a key battle in its long war over zoning.
The Western Washington Growth Management Act Hearings Board on Tuesday found the county’s rural zoning is valid and compliant with the Growth Management Act. Moreover, the board found the county’s amended limited areas of more intensive rural development, or LAMRIDs, are compliant.
“My office successfully argued to the growth board that Seattle special interest group Futurewise’s and local group Dry Creek Coalition’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to rural zoning failed to acknowledge the unique, local circumstances in rural Clallam County and ignored this county’s right to control its own future,” Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly said in a statement.
“This is an unprecedented win for private property owners in Washington state, where county after county in recent years has instead chosen to abandon the battlefield over rural lands and settle for one-dwelling-for-five-acres.”
This is important for rural and shoreline property owners because “one size fits all” has been the land use planning mantra of planners, activist groups and the Department of Ecology. However, the Growth Management Act and the Shoreline Management Actcall for custom-tailored approaches to suit local conditions.