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PRESS RELEASE: Governor Signs Into Law Buildable Lands Bill

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 in:
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Media Contact:
Sharon Couts
Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties

Governor Inslee Signs SB 5254 2017
Joining Governor Inslee at the July 6 bill signing are Rep. June Robinson, Senator Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Nicole Macri, Senator Joe Fain, and representatives of the various stakeholders who provided input on the bill, including the Washington State Department of Commerce, Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the Washington REALTORS, Building Industry Association of Washington, Association of Washington Cities, and affordable housing interests.

Governor Signs Into Law Buildable Lands Bill

New Law Will Improve the Methodology and Process Used to Assess Buildable Lands

Bellevue, Wash—July 7, 2017—Governor Jay Inslee yesterday signed into law Senate Bill 5254, ensuring adequacy of buildable lands and zoning in urban growth areas. The bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Fain (R-47th District), will improve the methodology and process by which local jurisdictions assess buildable lands.

Nick Harper, senior director of strategy & policy at the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, explained the significance of the bill, which has been a top legislative priority for the association. “The bill’s passage represents a major step forward for the buildable lands process by ensuring greater accuracy of information used to plan for growth,” he said. 

“The new law brings more specificity into what items must be reviewed to determine whether lands are buildable or what density could be achieved,” Harper added. “More accurate buildable lands data should help our region do a better job of utilizing existing land supply and infrastructure to meet current and future housing demand.”

The new law also provides increased certainty and flexibility for local jurisdictions to assist in funding low-income and homelessness programs.

The Growth Management Act requires King, Snohomish, Pierce, Clark, Thurston, and Kitsap counties to establish a buildable lands program to determine whether the counties and cities within them are achieving urban growth within their urban growth areas. Senate Bill 5254 adds Whatcom County to the list of counties participating in the buildable lands program. View the House Bill Report for Senate Bill 5254.



Founded in 1909, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties has grown to become the largest residential homebuilders association in the United States. With more than 2,900 member companies, the association is dedicated to membership value, housing advocacy, community service, and financial stewardship throughout the Puget Sound region.



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