Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood




            March 18, 2003




Speaker Frank Chopp                                                         Representative Phyllis Kenney
Representative Ed Murray                                                    Representative Jim McIntire
43rd Legislative District                                                        46th Legislative District
P.O. Box 40600                                                                  P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, Washington  98504-0443                                      Olympia, Washington  98504-0446


RE:  Senate Bill 5282, Eliminating Growth Boards

Dear 43rd and 46th District State Representatives:

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board of Trustees urges you to do all you can to ensure that Senate Bill 5282 receives no action in the House.  SB 5282 would eliminate growth management hearings boards.  It passed the Senate on March 13th and has been referred to the House Local Government Committee.

LCC recently filed a petition with the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board for review of two ordinances adopted by the City of Seattle and procedural issues relating to those measures.  Our board reviewed the option of going to Superior Court, but the attorneys fees involved would have been at least four times as much as going before the Growth Hearings Board due to the discovery process and other steps in trial preparation.  It is still expensive to go before the Growth Hearings Board, but the issue is important to our community so we decided to hire our attorney and pursue review through this mechanism.  Four other community groups have joined us in our petition—the Northeast District Council, representing 18 community and business organizations, the University District Community Council, the University Park Community Club and Friends of Brooklyn.  These organizations are located in the 46th and 43rd Legislative Districts.

Enactment of SB 5282 would shut us out of any kind of review due to the cost of going to Superior Court.  It is important that citizens have access to review of local decisions relating to growth management issues.  Our Superior Courts are already overburdened and a transfer of this responsibility for those who could afford that route would require additional state funds at a time when there are other pressing funding needs.  We are pleased to join 1000 Friends of Washington in opposing SB 5282 and efforts to undermine the Growth Management Act.

The growth management hearings boards serve an important role in ensuring that development regulations and comprehensive plans are in compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA).  Those who are appointed to the boards have special expertise on land use matters.  By virtue of the expertise that they have developed, citizens and local jurisdictions can be assured of consistent interpretations of the GMA.

We hope you will consider our views on SB 5282 and urge your colleagues on the House Local Government Committee to take no action on the bill. 



Jeannie Hale, President

Laurelhurst Community Club

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631


cc:  Representative Sandra Romero, Chair, House Local Government and Housing Committee and Members of the Committee:  Representatives Dave Upthegrove, Lynn Schindler, Fred Jarrett, John Ahern, Jean Berkey, Judy Clibborn, Jeanne Edwards, Doug Ericksen, Tom Mielke, Jim Moeller