Legislative Committee Update

By the writing of this article in mid-march, we are into the second half of the legislative session and the first several rounds of cutoffs have passed. Only bills that have passed one or the other chamber are still alive for this session; bills that didn’t advance past their House or Senate committee this year will still be eligible to move forward in 2022 though. 

Those cutoffs significantly trimmed the number of live bills from 1,474 bills (on all topics, not just planning) introduced in both chambers to 416 bills that passed one chamber or the other. The Legislative Committee has focused on about 15 bills of particular interest to planners. About ten of those are still alive:


  • SB 5225 would authorize superior courts to transfer land use appeals to the court of appeals, freeing up superior court capacity to work through the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases. The Legislative Committee supports the bill, but has not yet weighed in.


  • 2SHB 1099 would incorporate climate considerations into the state’s planning framework. It’s a significant bill, and addresses one of the chapter's highest priorities for this session. The Legislative Committee sent a letter of support to the House Appropriations Committee.

Growth Management

  • ESSB 5275 would permit some intensification of Limited Areas of More Intensive Development. APA has historically been very cautious with bills that weaken protections for rural character, but this bill would at least limit increased retail space on a given site to an additional 5,000 square feet. The Legislative Committee has not yet developed a formal position or weighed in.

  • HB 1241 would move the state from an 8-year periodic update cycle to a 10-year cycle and would add a mid-cycle requirement for implementation reporting. A major amendment made in the House Local Government Committee added a number of provisions related to coordination between local and tribal governments. We are concerned about stretching out the periodic update cycle and reducing associated planning work. We are supportive of better coordinating tribal and local government planning. As of mid-March, the committee has not yet weighed in on the bill as a whole.


  • HB 1070 would expand the allowable uses for sales and lodging taxes for housing. The Legislative Committee is leaning toward support but has not yet weighed in.

  • HB 1232 would require improved countywide coordination in housing planning to increase the availability of a variety of housing types, would characterize single-family housing as including duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes, and would impose a periodic update requirement for countywide planning policies. The Legislative Committee is leaning toward support but has not yet weighed in.

  • SSB 5235 would preempt local limits on unrelated persons living within a housing unit and would preempt local regulations that require owner occupancy of an accessory dwelling unit or the main dwelling. The Legislative Committee has not yet developed a formal position or weighed in.


  • 2SHB 1117 would incorporate salmon recovery into the state’s planning framework. The Legislative Committee has not yet developed a formal position or weighed in.


  • HB 1137 would revise and refine the state’s transportation planning goals to incorporate a priority on maintenance and safety. The Legislative Committee is leaning toward support but has not yet weighed in.

  • The House and Senate are both considering major transportation packages with a variety of different funding sources and a mix of expenditures. APA Washington supports the development of sustainable transportation funding sources to replace the gas tax as fuel consumption decouples
    from vehicle miles traveled; supports projects and programs that will significantly reduce transportation-related deaths and injuries, especially among vulnerable, lower-income, and historically-marginalized populations that are overrepresented in deaths, injuries, and impacted health; and supports a fix-it-first focus on keeping our transportation facilities in a state of good repair and carefully considering long-term maintenance and operations costs for new and expanded transportation facilities. The Legislative Committee has not developed a formal position or weighed in on the competing transportation proposals.

As always, if you’d like to participate in the committee or if you have comments on a bill that you’d like
us to consider, drop us a line at [email protected].