BOARD OF MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCEEDINGS
April 4, 2000
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairperson John A. Bolender who led the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioners Mary Jo Cady and Cynthia D. Olsen were in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve 3/21/00 as circulated. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
C O R R E S P O N D E N C E
OATH OF INVENTORY
The Auditors office explained the difference in the Oath of Inventory from 1997 to 1998 as it related to ER&R Inventory.
WSU COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
The Washington State University thanked the County for the continued support and interest in partnership that exists between Mason County, the US Department of Agriculture and Washington State University.
Received the statement of gross receipts and financial statement from TCI Cablevision of Washington, Inc. dated December 31, 1999.
SHORELINES ADVISORY BOARD - APPLICANT
James C. Anderson - Reappointment
B U S I N E S S
VETERANS ASSISTANCE APPLICATION
The Veterans Assistance Screening Committee is recommending approval on the below listed application:
Richard L. Cultee VFW 1694 Utilities $387.59
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve the Veterans' Assistance application for Richard Cultee in the amount of $387.59 as recommended by the screening committee. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION
Mike Rutter, Facilities & Grounds Manager, presented Neva McCloskey with a certificate of appreciation for her 20 years of service. She plans to retire April 17, 2000.
The Board recessed for 3 minutes.
HEARING - SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION
Ione Siegler, Budget Director, requested the Board set a hearing to consider a supplemental appropriation for Current Expense in the estimated amount of $40,253.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve Resolution No. 27-00 setting a hearing for a supplemental appropriation on 4-18-00 at 9:15 a.m. in the estimated amount of $40,253. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye. Resolution No. 27-00 (Exhibit A )
ESTABLISHMENT OF RESERVE FOR TECHNOLOGY FUND
Ms. Siegler requested the Board approve Resolution No. 28-00 establishing a Reserve for Technology Fund.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve Resolution No. 28-00 and establish Fund No. 119-000-000, the Reserve for Technology Fund. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye. Resolution No. 28-00 (Exhibit B)
HEARING Supplemental Appropriation - $115,837 Current Expense Fund, $234,974 Capital Improvement Fund
Ione Siegler, Budget Director, requested the Board approve the budget order for the supplemental appropriation in the amount of $115,837 for Current Expense and $234,974 for the Capital Improvement Fund.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve a supplemental appropriation to the 2000 budget in the amount of $115,837 for the Current Expense Fund and $234,974 for the Capital Improvement Fund as presented by the Budget Director. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye. (Exhibit C)
HUD HOODSPORT/SUNCREST WATER SYSTEM
Gary Yando, Director of Community Development, requested the Board authorize the Chair to sign the request for amendment for grant agreement #F-98-74098 HUD Hoodsport/Suncrest Water System.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve the request for amendment and authorize signature thereof by the Chairperson wherein Mason County and PUD #3 are requesting a time extension to use the available funds included in contract No. F-98-74098 in completing the critical improvements to the Hoodsport and Suncrest Community Water Systems. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
BELFAIR WATER DISTRICT
Mr. Yando explained in 1997 and 1998 the Washington State Legislature authorized an additional return of the sales and use tax collected by the State Department of Revenue to rural counties for the purpose of financing public facilities. The goal of the legislation is to provide additional funds to improve the economy of the rural counties by financing public facilities that will result in new jobs through business expansion and recruitment.
Mason County's first project to be awarded funds is the Belfair Water District #1 in the amount of $181,750 and will be used to improve the water system.
Lou LaDow, Belfair Water District Commissioner, thanked the Board for the award and gave a brief explanation of the project. He hopes to have it completed early next year.
The Board recessed for 5 minutes.
HEARING Consider the moratorium on the issuance of building permits or other development permits for card rooms within the unincorporated areas of Mason County for a period of six months.
Mr. Yando presented the staff report. On 2-22-00 the Board adopted Ordinance No. 15-00 imposing a moratorium on the issuance of the building permits or other development permits for card rooms within the unincorporated areas of Mason County for a period of six months.
There was no public testimony.
Cmmr. Bolender suggested the Board continue the moratorium in order to have time to develop a work plan.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to concur with the 2/22/00 action adopting ordinance 15-00 which imposes a moratorium on the issuance of building permits or other development permits for card rooms within the unincorporated areas of Mason County to be effective for a six month period and authorize the Chair to sign the findings of fact. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
BEARDS COVE WATER SYSTEM CARETAKER
Mr. Yando requested the Board approve the contractual employment agreement with Steve Grady for the Beards Cove Water System Caretaker.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve and sign the contractual agreement between Steve Grady and Mason County whereby Mr. Grady provides those duties described in said agreement at $10 per hour through 12-31-2001 as caretaker at Beards Cove Water System. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
CRP 1667, SATSOP-CLOQUALLUM ROAD
Jerry Hauth requested the Board approve CRP 1667, Satsop-Cloquallum Road.
This is for preliminary engineering, right of way acquisition and road contruction to raise approximately 1,995 feet of roadway to eliminate flooding, and grade, drain and surface with two shots of BST.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to execute CRP No. 1667, Satsop-Cloquallum Road. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye. Resolution No. 29-00 (Exhibit D)
BID OPENING 2000 Asphalt Paving Program
Jerry Hauth, Public Works Director, presented the three bids received.
Engineer's estimate was $1,674,195.
CRP 1626-R - BELFAIR-TAHUYA ROAD
Mr. Hauth requested the Board approve a revised CRP, CRP 1626-R, stating the correct road is Belfair-Tahuya Road. It incorrectly stated it was for the replacement of a culvert at Upper Stimson Creek under Elfendahl Pass Road.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to execute CRP 1626-R, Belfair Tahuya Road as presented. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye. Resolution No. 30-00 (Exhibit E)
GIS SERVICES CONTRACT - WHITE SHIELD, INC
Mr. Hauth requested the Chair execute the contract with White Shield, Inc. This is for GIS Services.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to authorize the Chair to execute the contract with White Shield, Inc for parcel coordinate development (pilot program) for the three sections of land as identified therein. Contract amount $13,776. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
NORTHWEST WEATHERNET, INC
Mr. Hauth requested the Chair execute the letter of contract extension with Northwest Weathernet to be in effect until February 17, 2001.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to authorize the Chair to execute the letter of contract extension with Northwest Weathernet for weather forecasting services to be in effect until 2-17-2001. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
Mr. Hauth requested the Board authorize the Chair to execute Amendment No. 2 to Agreement No. 99033 with Skillings-Connolly, Inc.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to authorize the Chair to execute Amendment No. 2 to consultant agreement #99033 with Skillings-Connolly, Inc. for preparation of new digital terrain maps, hydraulic modeling, and recommendations concerning flooding hazards and a floodplain ordinance. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve the Veterans' assistance application for Mrs. Carol (James) Riley in the amount of $216.34 for utilities. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
DUAL COMPRESSOR SYSTEM
Dave Loser, ER&R, requested permission to utilize the post-for-quotes procedure for a dual compressor system to provide air for the equipment at the shop. This is a replacement.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to authorize the ER&R Fund Manager to utilize the post-for-quotes/telephone bid procedures to replace both compressors. Not to exceed $7,000 without Board approval. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
PART TIME SHOP ASSISTANT
Mr. Loser requested permission to recruit for a part-time shop assistant.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to recruit via the Mason County High Schools and hire one part time shop assistant for the Central Shop. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
FUEL FACILITY CLEANUP ASSISTANCE
Mr. Loser requested permission to request proposalS from companies from the Consultant Roster to review the cleanup and sampling conducted at the Courthouse fuel facility.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to authorize the ER&R Fund to request proposals from companies off the 2000 Consultant Roster for Environmental Services at the Courthouse Fuel Facility and enter into contract with the consultant selected. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
BID OPENING One Used 32 34 steel, End Dump Trailer with hydraulic system.
No bids received.
BID AWARD - 2000 ASPHALT PAVING PROGRAM
Mr. Hauth recommended the Board award the bid for the 2000 asphalt paving program to Ace Paving.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve the recommendation of Public Works and award the 2000 Asphalt Overlay program to Ace Paving of Bremerton, WA. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
The Board recessed from 10:05 to 10:30 to move the meeting to the Shelton Civic Center, 525 West Cota Street.
HEARING Consider revisions to Mason Countys Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations.
The Board of Mason County Commissioners reconvened at 10:30 a.m. at the Shelton Civic Center to consider revisions to Mason County's Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations.
Chairperson Bolender opened the hearing. He explained this is the first of possibly a number of public hearings and workshops the Board will hold. He noted this hearing is to address the items in the January, 1999 Growth Management Hearings Board Order regarding Mason County's out-of-compliance and invalidity on the Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations. He noted during previous Planning Commission meetings, there has been a significant amount of testimony regarding the constitutionality of the Growth Management Act (GMA), he stated the Board will not take testimony on this subject. The Prosecuting Attorney has reviewed that issue and it is not within the scope of this hearing.
Bob Fink, Planner, presented the staff report and the proposed amendments to the Mason County Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations (Attachment A). He reviewed the directives contained in the Hearings Board Order. They include the following: 1. The open space map must be reviewed and found in compliance; 2. Amendments for the Belfair urban growth area should address: the capital facility plan for public sewerage system, projected population characterized by urban density, and inclusion of the Union River Valley in the UGA.; 3. Commercial and industrial activity in the rural area must be minimized and contained pursuant to RCW 36.70A.070(5)(d)(i). The range and types of uses allowed in the rural areas and the rural activity centers substantially interfere with the goals of the GMA.; 4."In order to remove substantial interference the County must: delineate a rural maximum residential density in the RAC's and rural areas; more closely match capacity with RAC population allocation; set the logical outer boundaries of the RAC as delineated by the built environment; cap the clustering in the rural areas so as to preclude sets of clusters of such magnitude that they demand urban services."; 5. The FSEIS must be brought into compliance.
Mr. Fink explained the County hired planning consultants Michael McCormick and David Evans and Associates to assist the County in development of a strategy for compliance and proposed amendments to comply with the Hearings Board Order. The Planning Commission held numerous workshops and public hearings and finalized their recommendations March 23, 2000.
Cmmr. Cady asked what the population of the Allyn area is.
Mr. Fink stated he believes it is approximately 700 people.
Mike McCormick, consultant, thanked the Planning Commission. He noted the consultants do have some suggestions that are different than the Planning Commission. He pointed out two maps on display they have prepared that show recommended densities in rural areas. There are additions to those maps that are still in process regarding hamlets and some of the Rural Activity Centers (RAC). He stated the map on the left is the original map they believe is a fair reflection of land as it is platted. The map on the right provides a more aggression depiction of where development is feasible based on the location of infrastructure.
Cmmr. Bolender referred to the first map that utilized a lot of tax parcel information. He noted that the tax parcel information doesn't recognize that some parcels have been subdivided, even though they May be in a timber classification. He didn't think that is reflected on the map to the left.
Mr. McCormick replied that the information they obtained from the Assessor's office will sometimes show the actual platting on the section maps. Sometimes it makes reference to a separate map where subdividing is shown. In those cases, that is what they have used. He pointed out they have not touched any of the land that is designated as long term commercial forest even though they know some of that land has been platted, that is not part of the appeal.
Dick Patterson, Hoodsport, talked about the designation of the Rural Activity Center. He doesn't see any changes on this topic and is unhappy with this. He doesn't agree with the amount of property designated as an RAC. He suggested if it can't be enlarged, withdraw from the process.
Cmmr. Cady stated they have asked people in Hoodsport to develop a subarea plan, such as Allyn and Belfair has done.
Mr. Patterson stated as it is, Hoodsport businesses can't grow.
Cmmr. Cady replied that is why they have been encouraged to put together a plan that would possibly make Hoodsport a UGA, to consider a sewer system and the water systems that are being upgraded.
Marilyn Johnston, Hartstene Island, member of Planning Commission, expressed her concerns with the boundaries for the RAC's in Taylor Towne and Hoodsport and whether the changes in the matrix will work. She addressed the two land use designation proposals submitted by the Planning Commission. Proposal A was dubbed as the yellow paper and Proposal B was the white paper. She voted against Proposal B, the transition density area but agreed to include it in their final order in the packet sent to the Board. She believes allowing a new rural land use designation, transition or otherwise of less than five acres will be red flagged, will increase scrutiny by the Hearings Board and jeopardize acceptance of the land use designation section of the resubmitted Comp Plan. She believes the language of the yellow paper should prevail. She also pointed out that all possible transition density areas have not been mapped.
She cited several Hearings Board cases regarding rural land densities. In the Vashon - Maury case, it was stated, "For the purpose of determining if a proposed use constitutes impermissible urban growth or permissible rural growth, the Board will consider... whether the proposed use will be compatible with the rural character of the land use pattern in the vicinity." She understands that to mean the surrounding rural area. They further stated in the same case, any smaller rural lots will be subject to increased scrutiny by the Board to assure that a pattern of such lot sizes, their number, location and configuration does not constitute urban growth.
In a decision by the Hearings Board, ISSGMC vs. Island County, they wrote, "The GMA changes previously allowable land use patterns in rural areas." In Bremerton vs. Port Gamble, the Center Puget Sound Hearings Board commented, "An urban pattern of 1 or 2.5 acre parcels would constitute sprawl. Such development pattern within the rural area would also constitute sprawl," and "preexisting parcelization cannot be undone. However there is no reason to perpetuate the past..."
Ms. Johnston then referred back to mapping. Mason County's present ability to map entire lands without error, is an impossible task. She understands a state-of-the-art map using the latest satellite data will be produced by the state in the near future. She noted the time table for revising the Comp Plan is near and mapping errors can be corrected, providing the County is not in a state of invalidity. She hopes the County can convince the Hearings Board we are making a serious attempt at a variegated land use pattern. She cautioned the Board to not run the risk of having rural land areas found invalid by submitting a transition density designation proposal that will raise concern that once again Mason County is attempting to do something that falls into an unacceptable category for rural land use density. Rather than transition density areas she would like to use clustering that uses less road space as well as new designs for other clustered housing needs.
Cmmr. Bolender asked if the Planning Commission looked at other jurisdiction's plans.
Ms. Johnston replied they did look at Pierce County's. She stressed that until accurate mapping is done, she is not comfortable with that.
Dale Elmlund, Union, asked how many people in the audience are business owners or residents.
Cmmr. Bolender interjected this is a public hearing for testimony to the Board.
Mr. Elmlund continued, he applauded the Board's actions on the urban areas. He has been absent from the area for a year and now realizes how fast urban growth can take over. He referred to the designation of forest land. He believes the County needs to delineate between forest due to the watersheds. There is a difference between a forest industry and a forest. If anything other than the timber and underbrush is removed, it is no longer a forest. A watershed has to have more than just fir trees.
Richard Bell, Allyn, supports the UGA designations of Belfair and Allyn. He noted sewer is going into Allyn. A water study is currently ongoing. He pointed out Lakeland Village makes up 3/4 of Allyn and it does have a Class A water system, underground utilities, and storm water retention. The developers have indicated they would be interested in providing storm water planning efforts for Allyn. When Lakeland is built out, it will house 1,200 residents and that is why the UGA is important. The village of Allyn is a commercial center and has a plan to provide the essential services. The subarea group has been going on for three years and is ongoing.
He stated Belfair is very important as a UGA because it is the commercial hub of the north end of the County. The Chamber has been involved in making sure the requirements of the UGA are being met.
Joe Bourgault, Skokomish Valley, asked if testimony is really helping. He stated additional regulations are brought in at every meeting. He is against large amounts of land per one house. He stated land is becoming scarce and will be out of reason for young people. He would like to let people do what they know their land is capable of doing. He is disturbed that outside interests push this. He would like more time spent on it.
Bonnie Knight, Port of Allyn, expressed her support of the Allyn and Belfair subareas. She supports the UGA designation.
Shirley Willeiksen, Mason Lake, addressed the designation of the Mason Benson area as a hamlet. She believes it is not fitting or suitable for a rural residential neighborhood. She asked that the Mason Benson area be left off the hamlet list and let the rural residential area retain its present character. She would like the established businesses remain as they are without the addition of new commercial and industrial uses.
Ms. Willeiksen then addressed the population projection data. She asked if Mason County is using two different sets of figures, one for the GMA and another for the Belfair Bypass study. She finds this contradictory.
Cmmr. Bolender replied he doesn't believe there is a conflict in the GMA. He stated GMA requires the population allocation be based on OFM projections and historical figures.
Mary Lynn Evans, David Evans & Assoc., explained the population projections are based on several things. The population in the 1998 Plan did show an immense amount of growth for the first three or four years. Then the rate of growth declined. The most recent studies from OFM show 0.6% is the rate of growth. This was double checked through the building permits. They also checked with the census data, PUD reports and other reports supplied by the state. They also considered the sewer study at Belfair and Allyn. Her opinion is that the information is consistent with GMA requirements.
Ms. Evans then addressed hamlets. As they are to be mapped, the hamlets take into account existing development. In most cases it is only the businesses, not the entire residential area. The rural residential will stay.
Jack McCullough, Seattle, representative of Overton family, commented on the Belfair area. They support work in the Belfair area. They support the population figure of 2.5. They believe a sewer should be financially feasible in Belfair. They also endorse the proposed Development Regulations. They will submit written comments on the matrix. If sewer is available, they believe multi-family housing could be higher. With regard to height limit, they believe a 45 foot limit is more suitable considering commercial activity.
Dennis Hanburg, APEX Engineering, representative of Overton family, supports land in the UGA be developed through clustering utilizing on-site sewage disposal. He referred to Page IV-2.13(f)&(g). He wants to make sure the interpretation of this section is that utilizing on-site sewage disposal for clustering would be allowed. He presented the options of clustering where lot sizes are at 4 to 6 units per acre density and setting aside properties for community drain field systems, which have been used in other counties. The advantage is it allows to build at 4 to 6 units per acre density and also meets the needs of the UGA and allowing the growth to occur. There have been conditions where dry sewers would be installed as part of the 4 to 6 unit criteria and no-protest agreements by those developments were prepared in advance. The infrastructure is built as you move along. He requested clarification of the clustering be made either in this document or the final document to allow on-site sewage disposal.
Holly Manke White, Manke Lumber Company, stated that much of what the Hearings Board has ruled on in Mason County's case, has been preempted by more recent Board decisions and court cases. She gave the example of Smith, et al vs. Lewis County. In the 1999 decision, even though the county had adopted 1 to 5, 1 to 10 and 1 to 20 densities to meet the variety of densities requirement, the Hearings Board went on to say, the variety requirement was intended by the legislature to include densities of less than 1 to 5 as well as greater densities. This is in direct contrast to their ruling here in Mason County, that 1 to 2.5 is not rural and that lot sizes 4 acres and smaller constitute urban growth. The Hearings Board cannot legislate rural densities. Rural densities are only one component of the definition of rural and if the County is able to show, by virtue of innovative techniques, strict development standards and other limiting factors, that it's able to retain rural character and prevent urban growth, even with the densities of 1 unit per acre or 1 unit per 2.5 acres, as in waterfront situations or RAC, the Hearings Board has to accept that. They are not in any position to legislate our densities.
She referred to the Hearings Board order to delineate a rural maximum residential density in rural areas, they have said we do not need so many 5's because we have an excessive number of rural parcels already. They have tied the inventory of existing lots to a need for a cluster cap provision and an aggregation requirement. They have required to allocate population to Rural Activity Centers, once again legislating a new form of population allocation. The Act does not require that. All of these Orders have been reversed in Clark County Natural Resources Council vs. Clark County Citizens United, another 1999 decision.
In that decision, it is stated that nothing in the Growth Management Act provides that a county must use OFM's population projections as a cap or ceiling, when planning for non-urban growth. This reversed the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board holding that population projections for urban areas plus the population for non-urban areas, must total the population projections for the entire county. The Superior Court went on to say, it is evident the rural land use density regulations were driven, in part, by earlier growth management hearings board decisions, requiring urban population plus rural populations to equal OFM's population forecast. This formulaic view of the GMA requirement is fatally flawed, there is no requirement in the GMA that OFM projections be used in any manner other than as a measure to insure urban growth areas are adequately sized and infrastructure in those growth areas is provided for. The Hearings Board requirement to, in essence, require a vacant buildable lands analysis for the rural area was erroneous. This Hearings Board decision compelled the county to down zone substantial portions of the rural areas in order to meet the Hearings Board's apparent requirements. She stated that is exactly what has happened in Mason County. This approach to control and legislate density by this Hearings Board has been struck down in the court and she asked why we continue to operate under directives that have been outdated.
She asked if those who have not developed their land should be punished now with densities that preclude the marketability of the property, or should a plan be devised that is fair for all with densities and development standards devised to accomplish stated planning goals and balance property rights as opposed to largely reflecting what exists already which she believes the second map does that.
She stated more work needs to be done on the criteria in order to reflect the accomplishment of stated planning goals. There are many 5's that are abutting long term commercial forestry on that map. She believes there should be more 10's where they are not already platted and in all instances, clustering and development standards should be provided to protect the resource lands.
Lands surrounding the UGA's should be 5's and 10's and they are shown but with mandatory clustering and maximum building envelope sizes which will allow for future expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary. This zone could be called reserve 5 and 10.
Undeveloped marine or lake waterfront property should be given either a 1 to 1 or a 1 to 2.5 density depending of the location and the existing surrounding development on that waterfront. The Act indicates it is possible to develop areas of more intense rural development, specifically in the shoreline zone. In the Pierce County Plan, they have called that a specific waterfront tier, a rural density exception. She doesn't believe Mason County needs just a rural LAMIRD because of the uniqueness of Mason County with so much waterfront. She suggested a specific waterfront zone or tier. She believes this would work with the Act because the densities we are talking about are 1 to 1, 1 to 2.5, and are historically low densities for waterfront compared to the densities that are around them since they are mostly 1/4 acre lots or smaller. The areas that are left to develop are so limited that the impact will not create a new pattern of urban growth.
She stated the Western Board has commented on the areas of more intense rural development on the Island County case. They stated that commercial residential industrial shoreline and mixed use areas aren't subject to the Act where it requires visual compatibility of rural development with surrounding rural areas. The question is whether allowed densities and uses reflect the existing density or uses contained within a specific area of more concentrated rural development. She summarized they are saying they will allow for an in-fill provision allowing those undeveloped parcels to develop at densities higher than you would normally see under the new Growth Management Act principles and also comparable to those densities surrounding that undeveloped property.
She asked if the record supports the need for a 1 to 20 zone. The criteria indicates we should have at least two critical areas and be adjacent to resource lands but there are almost as many 1 to 5 acre parcels as 1 to 20's adjacent to resource lands and especially on the east side of the county.
She believes the map, as opposed to showing the existence of critical areas, shows more the existing land development conditions. What the 1 to 20 really does is function as a defacto forestry zone and a place holder but the Act doesn't anticipate this. It anticipates a long term commercial forestry zone, not a defacto forestry zone.
She stated Harstine Island is an excellent example of how the criteria are improperly mapped. The three or so sections of land zoned 1 to 20 meet none of the criteria except that they are not already developed. It is not necessary to require such low densities in order to remain tree cover and rural character.
Ms. Manke White stated in February she provided the County with a cluster development concept for large parcels of land, 40 acres and larger. The purpose of that provision is to allow for rural residential development while preserving land for interim forest management, ag or open space and future growth, provide a high standard of environmental protection, encourage innovative rural planning techniques, achieve a variety of rural densities, promote affordability for rural lifestyles, encourage forrest management as an element of the rural character of Mason County. She stated this is what everybody wants in the GMA but nobody has embraced this. They are just slapping the 1 to 20 stuff all over the county.
She continued, policies need to be developed and time lines in this Comprehensive Plan to implement programs to preserve open space and continued resource management on large parcels in order to preserve meaningful open space corridors that allow for private property rights. The Hearings Board decision limits the County to clustering on 40 acre parcels, which she believes is meaningless and preemptory. Because of the ownership patterns that are unique to Mason County, the large tracts of land that are owned by timber companies, it is imperative that a clustering program be provided for those lands in order to preserve the rural character.
She stated she has also provided the County with legal rational and principles for a rural shorelines preservation program also for parcels 40 acres and up. In exchange for leaving shorelines and bench areas and open space, densities at a rate of 1 to 2.5 acres or higher, are transferred from that area left in open space and added to upland densities and clustered away from sensitive areas. Comprehensive Plan policies can be developed and a time line to perfect such concepts for the next planning process.
She referred to a paper she supplied to the County titled "Innovative Land Use, Rural Shoreline Preservation Program" which provides legal justification for higher densities on the waterfront for parcels smaller than 40 acres.
If Mason County devises a waterfront zone at 1 to 1 and 1 to 2.5 with clustering options, provides a rural reserve 5 and 10 around urban growth boundaries, provides rural 5 and 10 with clustering and bonus density provisions, provides rural forty for inholding lands with mandatory siting requirements, provides a rural resource 10 for lands adjacent to resource lands, which would require rural clustering and siting of buildings a certain distance from the resource lands, this rural resource 10 could also be utilized on larger undeveloped parcels and could be accompanied with a clustering and bonus density provision. She asked if the County did all of that, would that constitute variety. She submits that it would.
Carefully crafted development standards would provide certainty that rural character would remain and with nearly 80% of the County in resource land, it is hard to imagine that urban services would be required at this level of development but more analysis could be done.
In summary, Ms. Manke White stated the Hearing's Board Order needs to be reviewed in light of new decisions. More work needs to be put into the criteria. A waterfront zone needs to be developed and perfect the rural zones with development standards to allow for the expansion of UGB's, protect the resource lands and maintain rural character. Policies and timelines needs to be provided to develop clustering concepts for large, rural wooded and waterfront parcels. At the next hearing she would like to speak more specifically to clustering options and proposed map changes.
Willa Smith, Hartstene Island, stated she doesn't believe GMA is good for small land owners. She sees it benefitting large landowners. She is concerned with taking away peoples rights and only wealthy people can afford the land. She asked about provisions for those whose property values have dropped because they can no longer use their land. She is afraid Hartstene Island will be made into another Mercer Island.
Harvey Warnaca, Duck Cove Drive, stated he doesn't see what the Board will learn from additional testimony. He pointed out the Board is obligated to make the decision to comply with the GMA or tell the state the County doesn't intend to.
Ken Heim, Hoodsport, stated Mason County is unique. He stated Mason County is one of only five counties in the state projected to grow in excess of 9% in the next 5 years. He believes the County can comfortably accommodate this growth. He suggested the Board examine the parcel sizes recommended by the Planning Commission to the north and south of SR 119. These are sections 10, 11, 14 and 15. He referred to it as the Lake Cushman corridor. He believe parcels varying in size from 2.5 to 10 acres are sensible conformity with the surrounding area. He believes the area is ideal to consider for density bonuses and clustering. This is a retirement and recreation area. Much of the land is flat and rolling with many water views. The existing infrastructure consists of SR119, power, telephone, and cable is available. PUD #1 has a new well and 70,000 gallon water tank is in the center of these four sections. He understands they have the capacity to serve 100 to 200 additional hookups. An additional 50,000 gallon tank is planned to be constructed further upon SR119. He believes the additional hook ups would solve the problem of high water bills. The soils in the area generally perk very well and there is excellent fire protection.
Mr. Heim noted that in nearby Hoodsport there is a post office, and various stores and businesses. The Hearings Board mandated the Hoodsport RAC be reduced in size. He stated the County planners and consultants responded to that request by reducing the size by 90%. This reduction almost eliminates the RAC. He believes expanding the RAC to the west and away from the saltwater is a better plan. He stated large parcels are beyond the reach of many blue and working class people and people do not want 10 and 20 acre parcels for their personal use. He asked the County not close the door to the opportunity of expanding the recreation and retirement industry. He believes his request was well received by the Planning Commission but fell on deaf ears with regard to the County planners and consultants. He asked if the consultants shouldn't be informing the Board of the recent legal decisions.
John Ervin, addressed Taylor Towne area, stated it is his opinion that it is best to come up with a proper plan to submit rather than have the Hearings Board push the County through prematurely. He believes the map needs more consideration. The cost of land will be prohibitive if left at 20 acres. He would like a subarea group for the Taylor Towne area and for the other areas. He is glad to see Craig Road was included. The existing businesses need to be protected. He doesn't agree with the matrix. He believes the Board is listening, but needs fine tuning. He pointed out the population will grow and services are needed. He asked for an evening meeting.
Fred Yancey, Mary M Knight School, Matlock, noted that no school districts were contacted about their growth projections. He believes the issue is local control over state control and no one is a winner. The minimum 20 acre lot sizes and even 5 acre lot sizes are prohibitive and will not create affordable housing. The Act runs counter to rural character and its development history. He believes the Plan has strayed from the original goals. He urged the Board to tell the State they will not take part in making a defective process less defective.
Arne Shriver, Emerald Drive, owner of Verle's Sporting Center, believes it is a strange process. It started as a community development plan, then the Hearings Board said they don't like the plan, then the consultants revised the plan over and over. New rulings were not taken into consideration and he believes the consultants should be on top of that.
Cmmr. Bolender clarified the County did not contract with the consultants to provide legal analysis but that analysis should be provided by the Prosecuting Attorney's office.
Cmmr. Cady interjected that the consultants told the Board they were looking at recent county cases to make their recommendations.
Mr. Shriver stated this is no longer a community plan. He believes property rights are being taken away. He supports transition zoning in the residential areas. He stated people can live on 1, 2 and 5 acre parcels comfortably. He referred to the interim matrix in the RAC's. He hopes they are interim and the subarea planning groups will refine the matrix into a zoning plan. He noted the petitions filed do not move the Plan forward.
Chris Keegan, DOT, stated the DOT intention is to move the essential functions of the current Potlatch site to a site about 3 miles north of there to headquarter the sanding operation and a place to bring landslide material.
Gerald Salmon, Allyn, owns 17 acres at the intersection of Grapeview Loop and Highway 3. He requested 8 acres be considered for urban development, or at least an RAC. If it is left as rural he has few choices to develop his property. He submitted a map of his property.
Norma Taylor, Bronze Works, displayed a draft drawing of a cultural center that she hopes to develop on the property at the corner of Fredson Road and Highway 101. She has 85 acres to be developed.
Vivian Mitchell, stated the ongoing cost is wasting money. There are things that need to be done in this county but they can't be done. She doesn't understand the 1 house on 5 acres and 1 on 10 acres idea, she stated people can't afford that type of housing. She pointed out it creates a bigger tax base if the parcels are smaller.
Sarah Smyth McIntosh, Skookum Lumber, believes there is a way to incorporate the people's concern and comply with the Act. She is not concerned with making the Hearings Board happy. She had a meeting with the governor's office and believes if we show our work and good faith to comply with the law as best we can, the governor not sanction Mason County and the County will be compliance with the law by the end of the year.
She supports the efforts of the Planning Commission. She believes they heard the people and tried to incorporate their concerns. She would like representatives of the Planning Commission to report to the Board of Commissioners and have written justification on the record of their reasoning. This needs to be formally adopted in a regular meeting, which has not been done. She acknowledged there is a lot more work to be done. She doesn't believe the people of Mason County feel they have been heard. She recommended the maps that have come from the Planning Commission, be looked at as working drafts.
She stated the Hearings Board cannot make the County short circuit the public process and until there is the ownership of the plan by the people of this County, nobody can enforce it. Nobody can make us do it faster than the people of Mason County are willing to do it, but we need to get in compliance so we can get out from under the Order of Invalidity.
We need to understand why the maps were changed. The consultants need to give written justification on the record because the law requires we show the work. She has severe concerns that changes were made to the maps inappropriately, not based on legal criteria.
Cmmr. Bolender asked, for clarification, if Ms. McIntosh was referring to the two maps displayed.
Ms. McIntosh replied she is talking about everything.
Cmmr. Bolender pointed out some of the maps were not prepared by the consultants.
Ms. McIntosh continued, the maps she is referring to are the rural residential densities and commercial and industrial mapping of logical outer boundaries. She is very concerned with the mapping of the Taylor Towne area and about the use of RAC's, RCC's or rather hamlets, LAMIRD, she believes it should be "real people" talk, not planning talk. She noted this is about existing areas of rural development. Some of these areas are more intensely developed for residential uses, some for rural businesses and they existed in 1990. Some of these areas have been developed since 1990 and have every right to be developed the way they were developed and comply with the Act and the 1997 amendments to the Act. She stated what needs to be done is to map in the way shows the historic economic development. It is not about expansion, it is about this is the historic economic base. This is just as important as the environment and the two can be protected together.
She stated if the County doesn't receive a written justification from the consultant for the changes, the County doesn't have a legally defensible record. She suggested the Board obtain an opinion from the Prosecuting Attorney.
She supports the formal adoption of the subarea groups and to make sure they are representative of their area. She can give written criteria for what she would consider representative of a subarea. She would like to incorporate the subarea plan.
She requested the hearing be continued to an evening and leave the record open for further comment.
Ms. McIntosh stated the consultant's report needs to be refined and balance the goals based on the local circumstances. What is deficient is the local circumstances have not been properly documented. She believes the circumstances are known, but she is not certain they are on the record in a way that is comprehensive and are in findings of fact that are clear. Her impression is the people do not feel that the consultants have made the revisions that incorporate their concerns. She believes the public perception is that the public is not being heard.
She stated that even though the consultants are not giving legal advise, they are giving legal advise. They keep telling the public what they can't do and she stated the County can do a lot of what the public wants within the law. It May not comply with other Hearings Board Orders or Interpretations, but it would comply with the law and that is what the County needs to focus on. She said the Hearings Board is a moving target, they change their mind.
She asked the Board to give a brief statement of how they feel at this point in the process. She believes the people don't know the Board's positions and there is some antagonism because of that.
Ms. McIntosh handed out the Whatcom County case.
Dick Wilson deferred to the next hearing.
Ken Howard, Matlock, stated small industry in the Matlock area would be beneficial to the economy. Under this proposed Plan, local development is prohibited. He stated the Plan is not his idea of democracy and believes it is full of discrimination and flaws. He supports 1 to 2.5 acres or less. He pointed out the Plan states that property rights of land owners shall be protected from arbitrary and discriminatory actions.
Randall Barkam, Matlock, protested the hamlet designation. The services allowed provide almost no services to the community.
Jay Hupp, EDC, he referred to the lack of justification for the mapping changes, particularly to the resizing of the RAC. Suggested the matrix be removed from the Development Regulations. He referred to 36.70, Planning Enabling Act, he stated if you read the zoning definition, the County has already done it.
Rick Coleman, Planning Commission, stated they didn't vote for the first or second map on display. They voted for the middle map with two attachments. He stated one of the attachments came from a sub-committee which consisted of four people from the Planning Commission. This was for the transition areas. They (sub-committee) realize 5's, 10's, and 20 are by and large unacceptable. He stated the formula for the transition area was arrived at by Pat Byrne, an engineer. He explained an example of the transition area using a square 40 acre parcel. If that area butts up against another area in which the predominate tract size is 2.5 acres or less, then there is a transition area. It allows the first tier to be 2.5 acres in size. The second tier doubles the size, the third doubled again to 10 acres until the lot size is reached that is indicated on the map. On a square forty, the densest the first tier of 2.5 acre pieces can get, with the present development regulations, is 165 feet by 660 feet, eight 2.5 acre pieces. That uses 20 of the 40 acres, the second tier would be four 5's. The average density of those twelve pieces is 3.3 acres, which he doesn't believe is urban sprawl. He believes this would be quickly built out. He stated the vote was 4 to 4. He stated the consultants plan was a bit different. He would like County staff to take both plans and see how many 2.5 acre pieces they actually create. He doesn't see that the Plan stops growth, it dictates the income level it takes to live outside the city and outside the subarea.
Tim Sheldon, EDC, thanked the Planning Commission. He believes the fully contained community is not supported by the people.
Cmmr. Bolender interjected that at the present time the Planning Commission's recommendation is that no population would be allocated to a FCC.
Senator Sheldon continued, the idea of reducing the RAC in Hoodsport and Union defies logic. The population center is being pushed to a steep slope, next to the waterfront. He hopes petitioners will testify. He stated it is important to share thoughts. He asked if the Prosecutor's office is in attendance at the hearing. He stated it is the beginning of the Prosecutor's office needing to be more involved in the Plan, when and if these challenges are heard. He stated in 1992 23% of the workforce was leaving the County to work, today it is 30% of the population and increasing rapidly. There is a need for good paying jobs in Mason County and hopefully the Plan will reflect that and not favor the service industry which provides jobs but not at wages that can feed a family. He also hopes it doesn't become too personal because then people lose perspective. The constant battling doesn't serve the public.
Chris Parsons, CTED, stated she will come back to the next hearing and provide technical advise. She encouraged the Board to move forward with the amendments. She also reminded the Board this isn't set in stone and there is an annual review process.
Cmmr. Bolender reiterated the GMA does allow for Comprehensive Plan amendments to be made on an annual basis. It is not a realistic expectation to expect this plan to be perfect the first time.
Cmmr. Cady stated she is disappointed the new court cases were not brought forward by consultants or the attorneys. She is very frustrated with the Hearings Board. She stated it is hard to plan the same way as an urban county does. She doesn't like the outside influence that fund the petitioners. She is concerned about the rights of the citizens that are being eroded from within, she feels rights are take away, bit by bit.
Cmmr. Bolender noted time has run out and he will provide his perspective at the next hearing.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to continue this hearing to Monday, 4-17-00 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shelton Civic Center. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; O-aye; C-aye.
The regular meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Rebecca S. Rogers
Clerk of the Board
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
John A. Bolender, Chairperson
Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner
Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner