tMotion for invalidity denied
On June 10, the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board issued a decision regarding two recent motions filed with them regarding the Eastsound Urban Growth Area (UGA) compliance matter – San Juan County’s motion for an extension of time filed with the Board on May 19, 2008 and a motion for a determination of invalidity filed with the Board on May 23, 2008.
The decision reads in part: “While especially concerned about the rate of development in the Eastsound UGA that continues to occur without a compliant sewer, stormwater plan or land capacity analysis, because the County appears to be reaching conslusion on its remand tasks, the Board declines to impose invalidity at this time.”
“The Board will not grant another extension period until it holds a compliance hearing,” (scheduled for Oct. 30, 2008). “If the county has not completed its remand work at that time, it will also consider whether invalidity should be imposed.”
On May 19, the county had asked for a 90-day extension from the earlier June 18, 2008 deadline. That extension request was granted, Gaylord said, “because we’d made so much progress since the last report,” notably, completion of the Eastsound Land Capacity Analysis and arrangements to use the Eastsound Sewer and Water District planning process as the county’s capital financing plan for sewers. Progress on a third element – a capital finance plan for stormwater – has been made by providing an inter-fund loan for a stop-gap measure, as a “way to move forward.”
The county’s stormwater subcommittee devised a plan last month for the Department of Public Works road fund to provide the financial backing for the Eastsound Stormwater Utility.
In their May 19 motion, the county reported that “it has the final draft of the Sewer District’s 2008 update of the 2003-2023 General Sewer Plan,” and that “the county plans to amend its comprehensive plan … by Aug. 12, 2008.”
The county has scheduled a public hearing for “additional information on its stormwater capital facilities plan on July 29.”
According to Gaylord, the county has made enough progress to hold back the request for invalidity. “It was not shown that a lack of stormwater or sewer service has caused any harm,” he said.
He added that he expects that the plans will be completed “easily before deadline.”