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Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

February 10, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Cities and counties have the authority to zone for licensed marijuana businesses as they deem appropriate, subject to the 1,000-foot buffer zones around certain uses established in RCW 69.50.331(8)(a), which cities and counties now may reduce in size, except for those around schools and parks. See RCW 69.50.331(8)(b). They may even prohibit such businesses entirely, at least according to the attorney general’s office and the five superior courts that have so far addressed the issue. So, how have cities and counties approached their authority to zone for this new land use?

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It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

February 9, 2016 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

I know, I know. Budget already? You just adopted your budget (or if you are like us and have a biennial budget, you just finished the mid-biennium review). But wait! If you want to have a great budget experience next fall (and who doesn’t), then it is not too early to think about how to lay the best founda...

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Tactical Urbanism: Applying a Big City Placemaking Technique to Smaller Communities

Tactical Urbanism: Applying a Big City Placemaking Technique to Smaller Communities

February 4, 2016 by Josh Mahar
Category: Development Types

Tactical urbanism offers cities and towns of all sizes a way of testing out and engaging their communities in new placemaking techniques, without requiring major capital investments.

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Municipalities Now Responsible for Addressing View-Obstructing Roadside Vegetation

Municipalities Now Responsible for Addressing View-Obstructing Roadside Vegetation

February 3, 2016 by Bob Meinig
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

In a short, unanimous opinion issued last week, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that a municipality – a city or county – can be held liable for hazardous conditions on its roads created by naturally occurring roadside vegetation.

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4 Things You Should Know About Asset Management

4 Things You Should Know About Asset Management

January 28, 2016 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Administration

Many jurisdictions feel that AM is too hard for them. But in this blogt we explain how AM can be a fantastic tool for any size jurisdiction and doesn’t take a huge investment to get going.

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New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

New Federal Drone Regulations and Guidance

January 27, 2016 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently took two actions related to the regulation of “unmanned aircraft”—more commonly known as “drones”—that I think are relevant to local governments here in Washington State.

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The Importance of Population Forecasts for your Comprehensive Plan

The Importance of Population Forecasts for your Comprehensive Plan

January 26, 2016 by William Simpson
Category: Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management , Planning Advisor

Selecting a population forecast is a critical step for communities beginning the review and update of their comprehensive plan. This post provides some answers to common questions for those beginning the update process.

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Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

January 20, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Snow and Ice Removal

It’s winter. Snow likely will be falling. What can or should a city or county do to deal with accumulations of snow and ice on sidewalks and streets? Here are a few questions and answers dealing with snow and ice . . .

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Understanding Employee Motivation is More Important than Ever

Understanding Employee Motivation is More Important than Ever

January 20, 2016 by Michael Jacobson
Category: Administration and Management , Government Performance Advisor

Lack of employee engagement shows itself in a variety of serious issues that impact organizational performance. Advisor Michael Jacobson highlights methods local governments can use to find out what motivates their employees and help keep them engaged.

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Who Should Receive the Utility Bill, Landlords or Tenants?

Who Should Receive the Utility Bill, Landlords or Tenants?

January 19, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Utilities - Billing and Collection

Who should receive a utility bill is just one of the many complexities local governments must determine in their utility billing procedures. This blog highlights our survey of how numerous jurisdictions handle this issue.

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Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

January 15, 2016 by Randy Hinchliffe
Category: Revenue and Taxation , Finance Advisor

Randy Hinchliffe from the City of Waitsburg provides his perspective on dealing with the lack of local control of state shared revenues.

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New Rules Addressing Use of Gender-Segregated Facilities by Transgender Individuals

New Rules Addressing Use of Gender-Segregated Facilities by Transgender Individuals

January 14, 2016 by Flannary Collins
Category:

Effective December 26, 2015, the Washington State Human Rights Commission (HRC) adopted new rules requiring that individuals be allowed to use gender-segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and homeless or emergency shelters, that are consistent with their gender expression or gender identity.

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New Strategies to End Homelessness

New Strategies to End Homelessness

January 12, 2016 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Housing

As the conversation around homelessness picks back up, here are three innovative strategies that may provide good models.

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Some Public Records Act Insights from 2015

Some Public Records Act Insights from 2015

January 7, 2016 by Joe Levan
Category: Public Records Act

There were several highly significant court decisions and other developments in 2015 regarding the Public Records Act (PRA) (chapter 42.56 RCW). The following are six insights for local governments that I’ve gleaned from such developments, with a particular focus on electronic records and use of personal electronic devices by...

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Tiny Homes: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

Tiny Homes: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

December 30, 2015 by Steve Butler
Category: Development Regulations and Zoning

Tiny homes are all the rage these days! However, our zoning and building/construction regulations create significant barriers against them, especially if someone wants to live in a tiny home on a permanent basis. This blog covers some the things to consider in the regulation of tiny homes in local communities.

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Looking Ahead: 2016 Predictions and Prognostications

Looking Ahead: 2016 Predictions and Prognostications

December 29, 2015 by Byron Katsuyama
Category:

Policy Consultant Byron Katsuyama highlights some key issues and themes that will likely be important for local governments through 2016.

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Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

December 29, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenue and Taxation

Recent legislation has changed the definition of a retail sale and the new change becomes effective on January 1. Here is some guidance on what this change may mean for your 2016 tax report.

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State-Licensed Marijuana Industry Morphing and Growing

State-Licensed Marijuana Industry Morphing and Growing

December 23, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

As the transition of the state-licensed marijuana industry continues, the LCB recently issued a recommendation for a substantial increase in the number of retail stores throughout much of the state.

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NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision Adds Complexity to Legal Landscape

NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision Adds Complexity to Legal Landscape

December 21, 2015 by Sarah I. Hale
Category: HR Advisor

The National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), lays out a new standard for the meaning of “joint employer.” 

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Social Media Management is Now a Full-Fledged Government Discipline

Social Media Management is Now a Full-Fledged Government Discipline

December 17, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Social Media

The importance and complexity of social media have turned this once fledgling activity into a critical piece of government communication resources and it may be time for your organization to take it more seriously.

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