In a series of emails, I will attempt to send complete information that addresses the misunderstandings, misguidance and lack of authority of the PSRC in dictating over local government comp plans concerning placement of development and of annexation.

I know it is a lot of reading material, which is why I am sending it in separate emails.  However, being informed is the only way to address this madness.  Under the GMA & the PSRC cited RCW’s, (under which PC “certification” PSRC had no authority to dictate development the PSRC has no authority or jurisdiction at all), only the “certification” of the county’s TRANSPORTATION element is at issue, and that is solely for federal and state transportation (roads) funding.  Unfortunately, the PSRC opted to claim “authority” to dictate annexation & development.  They have no right to do that!  They may NOT call for Pierce County to create annexation where it is not appropriate, nor to dictate to Pierce County on where and how much development goes in any given area.  They are actually using the GMA as a weapon and tool of power that they do not have. Below is the comparison between the State GMA & the PSRC made up dictates.  My notations follow ***s

What the PSRC says���

DISCUSSION: CONDITIONS FOR CERTIFICATION

The county must address the following provision of the Growth Management Act and VISION 2040 in order to maintain certified status:

The Growth Management Act calls for a transformation of local governance in the urban growth area, through annexation to or incorporation of a city, so that urban governmental services are primarily provided by cities and rural and regional services are provided by counties (RCW 36.70A.210, WAC 365-196-305). VISION 2040 ***PSRC has NO authority to “call” for this action!  ***Vision 2040 is solely a PSRC idea and is NOT found in the GMA calls for all unincorporated lands within the Urban Growth Area to transition into cities and assumes this transition to be largely complete by 2040. Two important steps in this process are (1) affiliation of the urban growth area for annexation by neighboring cities or identification of areas not appropriate for annexation for incorporation (MPP-DP-18), and (2) joint planning to ensure an orderly transition to municipal governance (MPP-DP-19).  VISION 2040’s Regional Growth Strategy also calls for affiliated portions of the unincorporated urban growth area to accommodate a greater share of growth than nonaffiliated areas. The county has adopted notable goals and policies that support affiliation of the unincorporated urban growth area with cities, encourage annexation of these areas through joint planning, and call for identifying areas not suitable for annexation for incorporation as new cities.

 ***MPP is a PSRC created definition and is NOT part of the GMA

***VISION 2040 is NOT found in the GMA

These goals and policies provide a roadmap for facilitating this transformation of governance and go a long way towards implementing the Regional Growth Strategy and Growth Management Act. However, the comprehensive plan (Map 2 – 2) indicates that the majority of unincorporated urban growth area is not affiliated for annexation or identified for incorporation. ***the regional growth strategy is a PSRC dictate only and NOT part of the GMA! The comprehensive plan (pierce county’s plan) (Table 2-D) also allocates about three-fourths of the unincorporated urban growth area’s housing and employment growth targets to unaffiliated portions. The county has indicated that it has already begun implementing the plan’s goals and policies on affiliating, annexing, and incorporating the unincorporated urban growth area.  The county should continue its work to affiliate urban unincorporated lands with an adjacent city or identify those that may be feasible for incorporation. Once affiliated, the county should revise the plan and supporting documentation to reflect the affiliation, including revised allocations of growth within the urban unincorporated area to better reflect the (***PSRC) Regional Growth Strategy by focusing growth in affiliated areas. Growth targets adopted by Pierce County in 2011 allocated 28.8% of assumed countywide population growth for the 2008-2030 planning period to the unincorporated urban growth area. This was significantly higher than the 20.6% called for by the Regional Growth Strategy.

What the GMA says

Within one year of July 1, 1990, each county that as of June 1, 1991, was required or chose to plan under RCW 36.70A.040, shall begin consulting with each city located within its boundaries and each city shall propose the location of an urban growth area. Within sixty days of the date the county legislative authority of a county adopts its resolution of intention or of certification by the office of financial management, all other counties that are required or choose to plan under RCW 36.70A.040 shall begin this consultation with each city located within its boundaries. The county shall attempt to reach agreement with each city on the location of an urban growth area within which the city is located. If such an agreement is not reached with each city located within the urban growth area, the county shall justify in writing why it so designated the area an urban growth area. A city may object formally with the department over the designation of the urban growth area within which it is located. Where appropriate, the department shall attempt to resolve the conflicts, including the use of mediation services.

***NOTE – there are NO cities within the designated county UGA!!!  All cities are outside the county UGA, and the cities have their own UGA’s.

(3) Urban growth should be located first in areas already characterized by urban growth that have adequate existing public facility and service capacities to serve such development, second in areas already characterized by urban growth that will be served adequately by a combination of both existing public facilities and services and any additional needed public facilities and services that are provided by either public or private sources, and third in the remaining portions of the urban growth areas. Urban growth may also be located in designated new fully contained communities as defined by RCW 36.70A.350.

(4) In general, cities are the units of local government most appropriate to provide urban governmental services. In general, it is not appropriate that urban governmental services be extended to or expanded in rural areas except in those limited circumstances shown to be necessary to protect basic public health and safety and the environment and when such services are financially supportable at rural densities and do not permit urban development.

(5) On or before October 1, 1993, each county that was initially required to plan under RCW 36.70A.040 (1) shall adopt development regulations designating interim urban growth areas under this chapter. Within three years and three months of the date the county legislative authority of a county adopts its resolution of intention or of certification by the office of financial management, all other counties that are required or choose to plan under RCW 36.70A.040 shall adopt development regulations designating interim urban growth areas under this chapter. Adoption of the interim urban growth areas may only occur after public notice; public hearing; and compliance with the state environmental policy act, chapter 43.21C RCW, and RCW 36.70A.110. Such action may be appealed to the appropriate growth management hearings board under RCW 36.70A.280. Final urban growth areas shall be adopted at the time of comprehensive plan adoption under this chapter.

(6) Each county shall include designations of urban growth areas in its comprehensive plan.

(7) An urban growth area designated in accordance with this section may include within its boundaries urban service areas or potential annexation areas designated for specific cities or towns within the county. [2004 c 206 § 1; 2003 c 299 § 5; 1997 c 429 § 24; 1995 c 400 § 2; 1994 c 249 § 27; 1993 sp.s. c 6 § 2; 1991 sp.s. c 32 § 29; 1990 1st ex.s. c 17 § 11.]

           
NOTES:

Severability — 1997 c 429: See note following RCW 36.70A.3201.
Construction — Application — 1995 c 400: See note following RCW 36.70A.070.
Effective date — 1995 c 400: See note following RCW 36.70A.040.
Severability — Application — 1994 c 249: See notes following RCW 34.05.310.
Effective date — 1993 sp.s. c 6: See note following RCW 36.70A.040

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