For the last 12 years, Futurewise has worked to close a crucial loophole in the GMA known as the ‘vesting loophole’. You read that right – this bill was first introduced in 2008. This is the closest we have ever gotten to passing this bill, but right now it is in danger of dying on the Senate floor.
We need all hands on deck to contact our Senators immediately and tell them to vote YES on SB 5042. If this is the one action you take this legislative session, now is the time! Click below to email your Senator and forward this action alert to anyone you know who cares about preserving our farmland and critical habitats.
Have time for one more quick action? Give your Senator a call! Find your Senator’s name and phone number at this link, and then make a call using the script below:
“Hello <<Senator’s Name>>. My name is <<your name>> and I am calling to urge you to vote ‘yes’ on Senate bill 5042. This bill would close a harmful vesting loophole in our state’s Growth Management Act to ensure that counties are not unnecessarily expanding their Urban Growth Areas into our prime farmland and critical habitats. I hope I can count on you to support this vital legislation.”
What exactly is the vesting loophole? Under the GMA, counties can vote to expand their urban growth areas into farmland and natural habitat. Sometimes though, these UGA expansions are unnecessary and just contribute to excessive sprawl. In those cases, Futurewise might appeal the UGA expansion to the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) and win a judgment that the UGA expansion was illegal under the GMA. However, under the current framework, any permits issued for new construction in the expanded UGA are still valid even if the UGA expansion is later ruled illegal.
We want to make sure that we’re not seeing more sub-developments in farmland and critical habitats. SB 5042 would close the loophole by changing the date for specific actions, such as UGA expansion or de-designating farmland, until after the appeal period has expired or a judgement by the GMHB has been passed.
Thank you for your advocacy on this important legislation.