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PDFWAC 365-196-630

Submitting notice of intent to adopt to the state.

(1) State notification and comment.
(a) The act requires each county or city proposing adoption of an original comprehensive plan or development regulation, or amendment, under the act, must notify the department of its intent at least sixty days prior to final adoption. Counties and cities may request expedited review for changes to the development regulations pursuant to RCW 36.70A.106 (3)(b).
(b) State agencies, including the department, may provide comments on comprehensive plans, development regulations, and related amendments during the public review process.
(2) Notice to the department must include:
(a) A cover letter or cover page that includes an explanation of the proposed amendment, notification that the submittal is intended to begin the sixty-day review process, the planned date of adoption, and the sender's contact information; and
(b) A copy of the proposed amendment language. The drafted amendment text should be in a complete form, and it should clearly identify how the existing language will be modified. An example of acceptable form includes struck through and underlined text that indicates proposed deleted text and new text, respectively.
(c) If the proposed amendment changes during the legislative process, counties and cities may submit supplemental materials to the department without initiating a new sixty-day notice period. Counties and cities must identify any materials submitted to the department if they are supplemental to an earlier proposed amendment under a sixty-day review.
(3) The department prefers that notices be submitted electronically. Expedited review requests should be submitted by email as outlined in subsection (6) of this section. Counties and cities may contact the department by telephone at 360-725-3000 or by email at to obtain electronic contact information and procedures for electronic submittals.
Copies submitted by U.S. mail should be sent to:
Department of Commerce,
Growth Management Services
Attn: Review Team
P.O. Box 42525
Olympia, WA 98504-2525
(4) Submitting adopted amendments.
(a) Each county or city planning under the act must transmit to the department, within ten days after adoption, one complete and accurate copy of its adopted comprehensive plan or development regulation, or adopted amendment to a comprehensive plan or development regulation. Additional copies should be sent to those state agencies that provided comment on the proposed amendment.
(b) The submittal must include a copy of the final signed and dated ordinance or resolution identifying the legislative action.
(c) Submittal of adopted amendments should follow the method outlined for submission of the sixty-day notice for review.
(5) The sixty-day period for determining when a comprehensive plan, development regulation, or amendment can be adopted begins as follows:
(a) When the notice is automatically date-stamped upon receipt by email attachment if the submittal is transmitted electronically; or
(b) When the material is stamped upon the date of receipt at the department's planning unit reception desk during regular business hours if the submittal is transmitted by U.S. mail.
(6) Expedited review.
(a) Counties and cities may request expedited review when they are providing to the department notice of intent to adopt development regulations under RCW 36.70A.106 (3)(b).
(b) Expedited review is intended for amendments to development regulations for which, without expedited review, the sixty-day state agency review process would needlessly delay the jurisdictions adoption schedule.
(c) Counties and cities may not request expedited review of comprehensive plan amendments.
(d) Certain types of development regulations are very likely to require review by state agencies, and are therefore generally not appropriate for expedited review. Proposed changes to critical areas ordinances, concurrency ordinances, or ordinances regulating essential public facilities are examples of development regulation amendments that should not be submitted for expedited review.
(e) Department responsibilities:
(i) Requests should be forwarded to other state agencies within two working days of receipt of request for expedited review.
(ii) State agencies have ten working days to determine if the proposal is of interest and requires more time for review.
(iii) If the department is notified by any state agency within ten working days that it has an interest in more time for review, the department will not grant expedited review until all agencies have had an opportunity to comment.
(iv) If after ten working days, a state agency does not respond to the department, then the department may grant the request for expedited review.
(v) The department may determine that it has an interest in a proposal that requires more time for review, and it may deny a request for expedited review on that basis.
(vi) The estimated time frame for processing an expedited review request is fourteen days, to coincide with the State Environmental Policy Act comment period.
(vii) The expedited review request must include the information required to determine if an item is of state interest, similar to the methods outlined for submission of amendments for sixty-day review.
(f) State agency responsibilities:
(i) If a state agency intends to comment, the agency must respond to requests for expedited review within ten working days.
(ii) State agencies should determine how to coordinate an agency response internally to maintain proper notification and information management between its headquarters office and regional offices. The department will work with state agencies if it can be of assistance in this process.
(iii) If a state agency has an interest in a proposed amendment for expedited review, and it has requested the department not grant expedited review, the state agency requesting denial of the expedited review should contact and provide comment directly to the requesting jurisdiction within the sixty-day period specified in RCW 36.70A.106. The state agency should notify the department when it has completed review and provided comments.
(g) County and city responsibilities:
(i) Requests for expedited review should be the exception and not the rule. Expedited review is designed for use with development regulations amendments that are unlikely to require state agency comment.
(ii) Expedited review should not be used as a substitute for timely notification. Counties and cities should plan for the full sixty-day review period when practicable.
(iii) Counties and cities must request expedited review on a case-by-case basis.
(iv) Requests should be in the form of an electronic submittal, following the department's requirements for email submittal for sixty-day review in subsection (3) of this section.
(v) The request must be accompanied with enough information, as defined by the department, in consultation with other state agencies and counties and cities, to determine whether it is of state interest.
(vi) Expedited review should not be requested if the normal sixty-day period will not delay adoption.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050 and 36.70A.190. WSR 10-03-085, ยง 365-196-630, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10.]
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