Rural Lands Review
The Rural Lands Review encompasses a number of projects and activities that have taken place since adoption of the 2007 Comprehensive Plan Update. The projects are summarized below:
The county began a project in 2008 to review the effectiveness of its land use policies in preserving rural lands and rural economic opportunities. The project to date has had three phases. The first phase involved the convening of a Rural Lands Task Force. The group worked with Rural principles and values to define what rural Clark County is and should be. In the second phase, the task force looked at rural economic development opportunities, including the recommendations of the Agriculture Preservation Advisory Committee (APAC). The result of this phase was a number of Rural Lands Task Force recommendations. Many of these recommendations were addressed through the county's Retooling Our Code project, with the results being changes to Clark Count Code sections, including:
- Changes to rural center residential uses;
- Development standards for mixed use on some rural center parcels;
- Kennels code revisions;
- Stables code revisions;
- Master planning for energy parks;
- Temporary farm worker housing;
- Agriculture markets and roadside stands; and
A number of recommendations from the task force require review beyond simply amending the code. In 2011, the then Board of County Commissioners authorized the Rural Lands Study, which was the third phase of the Rural Lands Review.
2016 Comprehensive Plan update
The 2016 Comprehensive Plan update began in July of 2013. It was determined early on that the population projection and jobs target the Board picked could be accommodated within existing urban growth areas.
The initial environmental review process contained three alternatives. Alternative 2, county-initiated actions, includes a proposal to reduce the minimum parcel size for agricultural lands from 20 to 10 acres and for forest lands from 40 to 20 acres. This is an idea that came from the Rural Lands Task Force, and would be implemented with a cluster requirement.
Alternative 4 was added to the environmental review in April of 2015. For Rural lands it would create one- and 2.5-acre parcel sizes in addition to the five-acre parcels. For agricultural lands, AG-20 would be replaced with AG-10 and AG-5. For forest lands, FR-10 and FR-20 would be added to the existing FR-40 and FR-80 zones.
The current plan is the 2016 Clark County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan approved by the Board of County Councilors on June 21, 2016. The adopting ordinance No. 2016-06-12 was approved on June 28, 2016 to go into effect ten (10) days after adoption as provided by law, except for school, parks, and traffic impact fees, which took effect on January 1, 2017. The 2016 Clark County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan replaced AG-20 with AG-10 for agricultural lands and replaced FR-40 with FR-20 for forest lands. On July 22, 2016, a petition was filed with the Growth Management Hearings Board for review. Ordinance No. 2017-07-04 changed agricultural lands from AG-10 back to AG-20 and forest lands from FR-20 to FR-40.
More information about the Comprehensive Plan Appeal can be found on https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/comprehensive-growth-management-plan.
Below are links to more information on the Rural Lands review project.
Oliver Orjiako, Clark County Community Planning