Public Affairs Updates for January 2018!

Puzzle pieces being placed with Public Affairs written on them

 

Welcome to 2018! I hope you all were able to spend some time away from your businesses and enjoy some time off with friends and family.

 

From a Public Affairs perspective, the turn of the calendar to a new year also means the start of a new Legislative Session. This year, we are looking at a short 60 day session, but some large issues remain that could push them into overtime. Among our largest priorities this year is the fix to the Hirst Decision which has impacted water rights and property owners all over the state. Washington REALTORS has been leading the charge on this issue, looking for a solution that ensures that property owners are able to install wells that do not impair instream flows at a cost that isn’t out of reach. There are multiple factors to consider, and we are working with our legislators to find a solution that is agreeable. Also this session, there will likely be talk of adjustments to the state’s plans to fully fund education, and we will be staying close to those talks to ensure that our schools are appropriately supported and that the funding won’t have negative impacts on affordable housing or come from expanded REET or Capital Gains. As is the case the past few years, we will also focus on ways to adjust the Growth Management Act and provide greater access to affordable housing. To make sure your voice is heard, make sure you register to attend Legislative Day on January 18th! Time is running out, check out warealtor.org to register NOW!

 

Locally, Clark County is entering the next phase of changing regulations for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Cottage Housing, and our association provided comments and advisement on those changes. We expect that the final drafts will be more or less in line with what our position is, and hope that the changes will offer property owners the flexibility they desire for their properties, as well as offer a wider range of housing options for people in our community.

 

In the City of Vancouver, the new year starts with a new Mayor and a couple new faces, one still unknown as they are yet to fill the vacancy of the seat won by Scott Campbell who unfortunately passed right before the election. That process will unfold in the next couple weeks, and soon after the council will focus on issues important to the City like transportation and emergency services. A task force is wrapping up that will provide some citizen advisement to the council related to aspects of budgeting, and CCAR will be involved with efforts to ensure that investments in the community are reasonable and the funding is from equitable sources.

 

Our annual RPAC Dinner Auction is March 13, so mark your calendars now. If you would like to contribute an item for auction, please reach out to me as soon as you can so we can coordinate. Last year was a record-breaking one for the RPAC Dinner, and we are already looking to build on its success! I hope to see the room packed for RPAC Goes Hollywood!

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

 

Rian Davis

Public Affairs Director

rian@ccrealtors.com