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RCW 47.50.010

Findings—Access.

(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Regulation of access to the state highway system is necessary in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, to preserve the functional integrity of the state highway system, and to promote the safe and efficient movement of people and goods within the state;
(b) The development of an access management program, in accordance with this chapter, which coordinates land use planning decisions by local governments and investments in the state highway system, will serve to control the proliferation of connections and other access approaches to and from the state highway system. Without such a program, the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of this state are at risk, due to the fact that uncontrolled access to the state highway system is a significant contributing factor to the congestion and functional deterioration of the system; and
(c) The development of an access management program in accordance with this chapter will enhance the development of an effective transportation system and increase the traffic-carrying capacity of the state highway system and thereby reduce the incidences of traffic accidents, personal injury, and property damage or loss; mitigate environmental degradation; promote sound economic growth and the growth management goals of the state; reduce highway maintenance costs and the necessity for costly traffic operations measures; lengthen the effective life of transportation facilities in the state, thus preserving the public investment in such facilities; and shorten response time for emergency vehicles.
(2) In furtherance of these findings, all state highways are hereby declared to be controlled access facilities as defined in RCW 47.50.020, except those highways that are defined as limited access facilities in chapter 47.52 RCW.
(3) It is the policy of the legislature that:
(a) The access rights of an owner of property abutting the state highway system are subordinate to the public's right and interest in a safe and efficient highway system; and
(b) Every owner of property which abuts a state highway has a right to reasonable access to that highway, unless such access has been acquired pursuant to chapter 47.52 RCW, but may not have the right of a particular means of access. The right of access to the state highway may be restricted if, pursuant to local regulation, reasonable access can be provided to another public road which abuts the property.
(4) The legislature declares that it is the purpose of this chapter to provide a coordinated planning process for the permitting of access points on the state highway system to effectuate the findings and policies under this section.
(5) Nothing in this chapter shall affect the right to full compensation under section 16, Article I of the state Constitution.
NOTES:
Captions not law1991 c 202: "Section captions and part headings as used in this act do not constitute any part of the law." [ 1991 c 202 § 22.]
Effective date1991 c 202: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1991." [ 1991 c 202 § 24.]
Severability1991 c 202: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1991 c 202 § 25.]
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