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Published on Friday, January 6, 2017

School siting conversation begins anew

Despite coming close to agreement at the end of the last legislative session, school districts promoting expanded opportunities to cite schools outside of urban growth areas have introduced a bill (HB 1017) which takes a whole new approach. Please take a fresh look and contact Carl Schroeder to share your thoughts or concerns. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing on January 12 at 8 am. Feedback provided before that time would be most appreciated.

Elements of the proposal include:

  • Applies statewide.
  • Cities must “prioritize the siting of schools and school facilities”. It is unclear what this means in practice.
  • Schools and school facilities shall be permitted uses in all zones and additionally may not be required to be sited on industrial zones and resource lands.
  • School facilities sited in the rural area must “consider” infrastructure and service impacts on affected cities. Previous versions had included language about “fully considered and mitigated”.
  • Growth Management Hearings Boards are prohibited from hearing petitions relating to the siting of school facilities in accordance with this act.