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November 2016


Voters Decide on Levies, Bonds, and a City Income Tax (!)

Voters Decide on Levies, Bonds, and a City Income Tax (!)

November 30, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

In the second of this 2-part series on recent ballot results, MRSC's Steve Hawley looks at levies, bonds, and an effort to institute an income tax in the city of Olympia.

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Voters Weigh In on Charter Amendments, Fireworks, Marijuana, and More

Voters Weigh In on Charter Amendments, Fireworks, Marijuana, and More

November 29, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

In the recent general election, voters got the chance to weigh in on many important issues statewide.  This post will focus on election results for city and county charter amendments, advisory votes, and other non-financial measures.

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Inclusionary Zoning: One Approach to Create Affordable Housing

Inclusionary Zoning: One Approach to Create Affordable Housing

November 23, 2016 by Steve Butler
Category: Housing

Affordable housing is a big issue facing many communities in Washington. One approach used by a number of cities is called "inclusionary zoning," which requires affordable units to be included within new residential development projects or requires payment for construction of affordable units elsewhere.

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PRA Restriction on Providing Lists of Individuals for Commercial Purposes – More Updates

PRA Restriction on Providing Lists of Individuals for Commercial Purposes – More Updates

November 17, 2016 by Nancy Krier
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

The commercial purpose restriction in the PRA restricts agencies from providing lists of individuals for a commercial purpose. Open Government Advisor Nancy Krier discusses the April 2016 SEIU 775 case, and several developments that have happened since then, that impact the commercial purpose restriction.

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The Effect of Hirst on Non-GMA Counties and Issues Other Than Water

The Effect of Hirst on Non-GMA Counties and Issues Other Than Water

November 10, 2016 by Neil Caulkins
Category: Water Resources , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This is the fourth post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post considers two additional questions: (1) the potential impact of the Hirst decision on counties that do not plan under the GMA; and (2) whether Hirst has application to issues other than water.

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How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

November 9, 2016 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Governance

With the holidays approaching, many local governments may be considering how to celebrate the holiday season through, for example, such means as holiday decorations, cards, and Christmas trees. Can local governments do this? Maybe, but some caution is probably warranted before proceeding.

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Smarter, Safer Roads by Design

Smarter, Safer Roads by Design

November 8, 2016 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

A while ago, I asked a group of city and county PWDs/Engineers these questions: “What neat and innovative things are your public works consultants and contractors doing on your road projects and what is on your wish list?”  Aside from ...

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What is a “Determination of Water Availability” Under Hirst?

What is a “Determination of Water Availability” Under Hirst?

November 3, 2016 by Neil Caulkins
Category: Water Resources , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This is the third post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. In Hirst, the Washington Supreme Court made clear that counties have the responsibility under the Growth Management Act to make determinations of water availability for development permit approval. This post discusses what exactly is a “determination of availability” and how it is different than a “determination of adequacy” under chapter 19.27 RCW.

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