The Citizens' Alliance holding undermines the comprehensive nature of the GMA and a well established approach to land-use planning. The opinion contemplates imposing clearing and grading limit regulations based on site-specific evaluations, requiring the county to expend already tight resources and to implement an inefficient method for protecting community interests in environmental protection and preservation. Landowners in Washington State have access to numerous protections against overreaching government regulations that impede private property rights to an unreasonable degree: Constitutional, statutory, and administrative remedies exist for abuses of police powers. However, Washington's preemption statute, RCW 82.02.020, is an inappropriate framework for analyzing a facial challenge of King County's clearing and grading regulations, and the court of appeals erred when it held otherwise. Despite the court's decision, GMA objectives and requirements remain. Municipalities are still obligated to have regulations based on the best available science that protect the functions and values of critical areas. The actual impact of Citizens' Alliance remains to be seen, but absent a judicial correction or legislative clarification, treating comprehensive land-use regulations as a "tax, fee, or charge" subject to the state preemption statute, without application to a proposed development, threatens to render comprehensive land-use planning nearly impossible to achieve.
URBANITES VERSUS RURAL RIGHTS: CONTEST OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAND Donya Williamson Washington Law Review; Aug
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