HB-1653 CAO ruling
HB-1653 was requested by the Department of Ecology (DOE) and the City of Bellevue. It sought to have Critical Area Ordinance shoreline regulations “sanctioned” by the legislature. As you may recall, there were several court cases that concluded municipalities were wrong in labeling all shorelines as critical areas, suggesting they should have used their Shoreline Master Program (SMP) planning process instead.
While many of us appealed to the decision makers in Olympia that all shorelines are not inherently critical areas and that Best Available Science (BAS) was misused and misconstrued in doing so, bill 1653 was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Gregoire. This action retroactively approved CAO shoreline actions taken by local jurisdictions.
We thank those of you who supported our effort to have the legislature uphold the Supreme Court rulings.