Program highlights commitment to preserving and protecting Washington’s enviable quality of life
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce presented on behalf of Governor Jay Inslee a 2017 Smart Communities award to the Southeast Washington Coalition consisting of Columbia, Asotin and Garfield counties and the cities of Clarkston and Starbuck for their regional growth management master program update.
The award celebrates the partnership that developed a Shoreline Master Program over three years with shared goals, policies and regulation for more than 300 miles of coastline. Partners accepting the award for the successful collaboration are:
Judges commended the intense cooperation between many different elected officials with diverse needs, interests and constituencies. The result is a Shoreline Master Program tailored to the unique conditions in each county while also providing consistent elements across county lines. The coalition successfully struck a balance between environmental protection, public access and water-oriented uses and achieving “no net loss” of ecological functions as they existed in southeast Washington in 2014.
The one-of-a-kind regional plan, approved by the Department of Ecology without a single change, was completed on time and within budget.
Judges described the process as “a very impressive model” and a “great example of visioning, community outreach and good planning – very smart!” They also applauded the group’s extensive stakeholder outreach and proclaimed it “top notch work and commitment by elected officials working together on tough questions.”
Now in its 12th year, the Smart Communities program recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy, and sustainable infrastructure in Washington State.
“The award recognizes the hard work of citizens, businesses and local officials to make sure we have a healthy economy, and strong, resilient communities. Creating a ‘quality of place’ helps grow communities where people want to stay, raise families, and develop economies,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.
Washington’s comprehensive Growth Management Act has been in place for 27 years. Using it as a framework, local communities plan and implement their vision for the future. For more information on the Governor’s Smart Communities Awards or the Growth Management Act, visit www.commerce.wa.gov/growth.
Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, (206) 256-6106
Mark McCaskill, Managing Director, Growth Management, (360) 725-3055