County begins work to implement rural rail-related development options
Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County is starting work to implement new provisions of the state Growth Management Act, GMA, that are effective today and allow development along the county-owned Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.
During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers amended the act to permit freight rail-dependent uses on parcels adjacent to the railroad. If adopted by the Board of County Councilors, such uses would be allowed in rural, agriculture and forest-zoned lands.
The county immediately is beginning to:
- Amend its Comprehensive Plan’s land use, rural and resource, and transportation elements.
- Define certain areas where such uses would be allowed.
- Draft development regulations that will include a list of freight rail-dependent uses.
The council asked that Comprehensive Plan policies and area map amendments be completed in 2017.
Community Planning will host an open house and public meeting about the project at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Prairie High School, 11311 N.E. 117th Ave. Staff will make a presentation and the county council will take public comment.
Other meetings where people can provide testimony will be:
- Planning Commission, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., sixth-floor Hearing Room
- Board of County Councilors, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., sixth-floor Hearing Room.
Written testimony can be mailed any time to Community Planning, PO Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810 or the Board of County Councilors, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000. All comments will be part of the official record.
County staff will work with the Railroad Advisory Board to draft policies and define where freight rail-dependent uses could be allowed. In 2018, the advisory board and staff will focus on developing a draft list of freight rail-dependent uses.
More information about the project can be found at https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/freight-rail-dependent-uses.
360.397.2280 ext. 4898