Weekly Reader

Friday, August 30, 2019

Economic Development
The Growing Shadow of State Interference – Click here for the report from  the Local Solutions Support Center(LSSC). According to the LSSC website the organization “is a coordinating hub that provides local governments, elected officials and advocates with legal technical assistance and tools needed to defend local democracy and discourage the use of preemption that limits the ability of cities to protect people’s civil rights, solve problems, and improve lives​.”

Transportation
While long-range electric passenger vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt get a lot of attention, 59 percent of emissions from the transportation sector actually comes from vehicles that are not passenger cars. Click here for the story from the NRDC.

Here is the latest from MRSC on the recent Washington scooter legislation that sets the stage for statewide expansion of the practice.

Check out the short video clips outlining the policy goals governing the Washington Transportation Plan- WTP 2040 and Beyond at this link.

Community Development / Other
The report is from the national league of cities. The task force settled on five national and five local priorities to address housing. Here are the five local priorities:

1. Establish local programs by combining funding and financing streams to support housing goals.

2. Modernize local land use policies, including zoning and permitting, to rebalance housing supply and demand.

3. Identify and engage broadly with local stakeholders; and coordinate across municipal boundaries, to develop a plan to provide housing opportunities for all.

4. Support the needs of distinct sub-populations including the homeless, seniors and persons with conviction histories.

5. Prioritize equitable outcomes in housing decision as it is an essential component for success.

According to the National Association of Regional Councils – “The Department of Transportation said Aug. 23 it wants to limit draft environmental impact statements to no more than 150 pages. Additionally, the department wants to limit environmental assessments, which are less thorough than environmental impact statements, to 75 pages, though both page limits are not binding. The limits are an attempt to both streamline and simplify federal bureaucracy as long documents make it challenging for agency staff and the public to find and disseminate information. These limits are also consistent with a 2005 report from the Council on Environmental Quality that states that final environmental impact statements should be less than 150 pages, or 300 for projects that are unusually large or complex.”

Here is an article titled Zoning: The Cause and The Cure for High Housing Prices from the American Planning Association.

Click here for recent MRSC thoughts on the public input process at your public meeting.

Here is an MRSC article on understanding the affordable housing sales tax credit.

Are you ready for possible flooding this year? Since 2006, we have experienced seventeen (17) Presidential Disaster Declarations in Washington that included storm surge, flooding, high winds, ice storms, landslides, mudslides, and even a tornado. Total costs of emergency measures and repairs to permanent infrastructure were in-excess of $500,000,000! Are you ready? Click here to register for an upcoming training in either Wahkiakum or Cowlitz County. Topics include: Public Assistance 101, New Delivery Model, Introduction to Grants Portal, Documentation Tips and Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA), and much more.

Up-coming events and activities

  • Cowlitz Regional Information Forum, September 13, 7:30 am, at the Port of Kalama (Note Location Change)
  • Regional Transportation Planning Organization Board meeting, September 18, 10 am, Veterans Museum, Chehalis