Legislative Committee Summer Update

Updating the framework and looking forward to 2021

The legislative committee has been quiet this summer, which usually happens as we mirror the lull between sessions in Olympia. But this year we’re also focusing on an exciting project with a less-than-exciting name: Updating Washington’s Growth Policy Framework. This project builds on the Road Map to Washington’s Future, and seeks to develop consensus among a set of key stakeholders around five important topics: 

  • Adaptive and inclusive planning at a regional scale

  • The cycle and dedicated funding for updates to comprehensive plans and development codes

  • Housing elements, affordable housing, and infrastructure

  • Development regulations and permit processes

  • Climate change

Those are weighty issues, but at least we’re not starting from scratch given the work that went into the road map as well as significant time spent engaging on these issues in past legislative sessions. At this point we’re about halfway through the effort, with a final report to the legislature expected in December. It appears that the right organizations are at the virtual table, people are invested in the effort, and the discussions have been robust. APA-WA is represented at convenings by Leonard Bauer, John Owen, and Yorik Stevens-Wajda, and supported by a task force of about a dozen planners graciously volunteering their time and insight in service of a better planning framework.

Help Shape the Chapter’s 2020 Legislative Priorities

To guide Washington APA’s advocacy programs on state legislative policies, laws and budgets, the chapter develops and maintains an annual Legislative Priorities document that lists the chapter’s priorities for action in the upcoming state legislative session.

The Legislative Priorities generally undergo a full refresh prior to the start of each legislative biennium, which starts with a new long session (odd-numbered years). The chapter’s legislative committee takes the lead on developing the legislative priorities document with input from chapter membership and consideration of the policy direction set nationally through APA Policy Guides and APA Policy Principles

The newest national policy guide, approved and published in July, addresses Hazard Mitigation. The next policy guide, currently nearing completion, is an update to the 2011 Climate Change policy guide.

It’s very important that the chapter’s legislative advocacy efforts represent the priorities of the chapter’s membership, and the only way that’s possible is through your input and involvement. The legislative committee is asking chapter members to engage via a short comment form. The comment form will be open until November 15, after which the legislative committee will gather the comments, develop a draft legislative agenda, and submit it to the board of directors for consideration at the board’s December meeting.

Complete the 2021 Legislative Agenda Comment Form

Help Out!

The legislative committee is always looking for planners with an interest in learning about our state’s planning framework and helping to shape it by advancing good planning. Read about the legislative committee’s work, send us your ideas for legislative advocacy at [email protected], or consider joining the committee to help make great communities happen.