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PDFWAC 365-197-060

Definition of plan "deficiency" identified in project review and how such deficiencies should be docketed.

(1) Project review may continue under SEPA and other applicable laws, if, during project review, a GMA county/city identifies a deficiency in the applicable development regulations or the policies in the comprehensive plan. The identified deficiency shall be docketed for possible future development regulation or plan amendments. The applicant may proceed as provided in subsection (4)(c) of this section. The project review process shall not be used as a comprehensive planning process. Docketed deficiencies shall be considered through the normal amendment process for comprehensive plans or development regulations.
(2) "Deficiency" in a development regulation or comprehensive plan refers to the absence of required or potentially desirable1 contents of a comprehensive plan or development regulation. It does not refer to whether a development regulation adequately addresses a project's probable specific adverse environmental impacts, which the permitting agency could mitigate in the normal project review process. Some project-specific impacts could be identified that the agency will need to or prefer to address at the project level rather than in the comprehensive plan or development regulations.
For purposes of docketing, use of the term "deficiency" shall not mean that a comprehensive plan or development regulation adopted by a county or city under chapter 36.70A RCW is invalid or out of compliance with chapter 36.70A RCW. Docketing is intended to allow and encourage GMA counties/cities to improve their plans and regulations as a result of experience in reviewing projects, but without stopping review of the project that may have disclosed the "deficiency."
(3) A project should not be found to be inconsistent with applicable regulations or the plan if the inconsistency is the result of a deficiency of one of the four criteria for project consistency. The deficiency should be docketed for possible future regulation or plan amendments, and the project proponent can proceed with either of the options provided in subsection (4) of this section.
(4) If all of the information to analyze consistency does not exist in the regulations or plan, the absent policy or regulatory information should be docketed for possible future regulation or plan amendments. At this point the applicant may:
(a) Await docketing and decision on the proposed amendment to address the deficiency before proceeding with the project review process; or
(b) Proceed with the project review process under SEPA and other applicable laws.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70B.040. WSR 01-13-039, ยง 365-197-060, filed 6/13/01, effective 7/14/01.]
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