Goehner legislation to increase access to water and sewer systems passes Local Government Committee

The House Local Government Committee passed legislation on Friday that makes it possible for more properties to have access to water, storm drains, and sanitary sewage systems.

House Bill 1627, sponsored by Rep. Keith Goehner, is designed to provide more flexibility in growth.

“The legislation would allow for cities to responsibly extend utilities to create more affordable and environmentally sensitive outcomes for development in proximity to existing services,” said Goehner, R-Dryden. “It does not undermine the Growth Management Act or promote sprawl.”

The bill would:

  • allow urban government services to be extended beyond city and urban growth area boundaries to meet the needs of those living within such communities. Water, sanitary sewage systems, and storm drains could also be provided to properties outside of these boundaries to protect basic public health, safety, welfare, and the environment.
  • allow for additional development and services in limited areas of more intensive rural development, based on the needs of the people in those communities.

“There have been poor outcomes in our communities that are connected to land use and housing policies,” said Goehner. “We've instituted protections to keep development in check, then have turned around and pushed for higher densities on lands that have been part of a state approved comprehensive plan. We need to trust local governments to plan for their own needs and not impose additional standards and regulations. This bill gives us an opportunity to do that.”

House Bill 1627 now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.

The 60-day 2022 remote legislative session adjourns on March 10.


Washington State House Republican Communications