In 2022 and 2023 CCAR & Washington REALTORS® continued to advocate and win on key issues for our members! None of this would be possible without member contributions to RPAC (the REALTOR® Political Action Committee)
- In 2022, CCAR in collaboration with WASHINGTON REALTORS® defeated the following point of sale proposal within the City of Vancouver: “Adopt an all-electric building reach code that transitions at least 50% of buildings to all-electric at point of sale in 2030 and 90% of existing buildings transitioned to all-electric at point of sale by 2040,” This policy would have further complicated transactions for our members operating in the City of Vancouver. Defeating this policy wouldn’t have been possible without member contributions to RPAC and engaged members sitting on our Government Affairs Committee.
- CCAR successfully lobbied the Clark County Council in 2023 to increase the population growth forecast for the next 20 years. This new growth forecast will ensure the county plans for the new housing needed to accommodate these new residents, increasing future inventory for our members.
- CCAR lobbied to establish the first homebuyer down payment assistance program in Clark County. The government affairs team lobbied and testified in front of the Council in August of 2022 to include $2 million for this program in the budget using ARPA funds. Following that effort in March of 2023 an inter local agreement was established between the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and Clark County, adding another $666,000 in funding and officially rolling out the program for qualified buyers in Clark County. CCAR is always striving to support homeownership opportunities at a variety of income levels.
- In 2023 CCAR defeated restrictive sign ordinances throughout jurisdiction in Clark County. In the City of Camas, the council was proposing a 100ft sign ban from the outer curb of all roundabouts in the City. CCAR engaged its members and used its influence in the community to reduce this to 10 ft. This allowed our members to continue to advertise around the highest-trafficked areas in the City.
- CCAR has the largest business PAC at the local level. This helps us move the needle in key swing races when it comes to election time by electing Pro-REALTOR® candidates has allowed us to do the following things for the community:
- Reforming condo liability laws to allow more affordable condominiums
- Encouraging city councils to adopt middle housing zoning laws
- Blocking local rent control laws
- Become a key player on the vacant buildable lands model that will dictate Clark County’s comprehensive plan moving forward.
- Protecting short-term rentals in a safe and efficient manner.
- Responsible density reform including, but not limited to, ADUs, condos, multifamily units in single family zones.
- All of CCAR’s endorsed candidates for the 2022 mid-term election won their respective races. This was in large part due to the RPAC funding and advocacy influence CCAR wields. CCAR members who sit on our RPAC and Government Affairs Committees were integral in the selection, interview, and endorsement of candidates.
- WASHINGTON REALTORS® has and will continue to:
- Ensured that real estate was exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
- In 2023, RPAC RPAC also effectively thwarted proposed increases in the Washington State Real Estate Excise Tax, ensuring housing costs remain as low as possible for homeowners and potential buyers.
- Exempted REALTORS® from a 20% increase in the B&O Tax you pay- putting $250-$500 back in the pocket of our members each year.
- Protected your Independent Contractor Status.
- Beat back a bill that would have required any in-house transactions to involve attorneys for both the seller and the buyer.
- Reformed Condo Liability Laws so that more affordable condominiums can be built.
- Passed a bill that encourages cities to allow responsible density- things like accessory dwelling units, duplexes, and triplexes in single family zones and more.
- When we play – we play to win: Currently there are 8 Washington REALTORS® elected to the Washington State Legislature with 3 elected this year alone! Our members have the ability to influence policy and elections, inside and out.
As part of your CCAR and RMLS memberships you receive access to monthly market action reports from RMLS. CCAR condenses these market reports down into sharable graphics that you are encouraged to download and share with your clients, or share on your social media accounts.
Simply click the link above to download the image, or click the social share sized graphics below to download them.
Historic data is available on the CCAR website.
Here’s what CCAR President Curtis Ambrose had to say about the October market:
“The prime driver of the activity – or lack thereof – in our current markets is high interest rates. Today’s interest rate environment is causing those who might otherwise want or need to move, but who have locked in a rate in the 2s, 3s, or 4s, to stay and wait for rates to come down before moving, while buyers are being hit with the double-whammy of high prices and high interest rates holding down affordability. Lowering interest rates coupled with more housing production would help to free up available inventory in Clark County.”
CCAR has announced the candidates it has endorsed as they strive to become elected and carry out their terms in 2024 and beyond! These decisions are not made in a vacuum. CCAR develops a collaborative committee to interview and select candidates for endorsement. The composition of the committee is as follows: 2 members from the Executive Committee, 2 members from the RPAC (REALTOR® Political Action Committee), and 2 members from the Government Affairs Committee.
We urge our members to seriously consider voting for these candidates, but regardless, we want you to get out and vote!
CCAR announced the results of our 2024 Directors election and bylaws vote at our October 24th Membership Meeting & Happy Hour at Royal Oaks Country Club. Congratulations to the following newly elected directors on their election to the Board of Directors:
- David Knode, John L. Scott
- Diana Rutherford, Realty One Group Prestige
Affiliate Director: Jennifer Rinde, Old Republic Home Warranty
They will join the following members on the 2024 CCAR Board of Directors:
- President: Heather Renner, Keller Williams Premier Partners
- President-Elect: Amy Wells, John L. Scott
- Immediate Past President: Curtis Ambrose, Windermere NW Living
- Vice President: Anthony Stroud, Professional Realty Services
- Treasurer: Wendy Wampach, Imagine Homes Realty
- Secretary: Connie Bovee, Windermere NW Living
- Director: Rodney Shimogawa, Homeowners NW
- Director: Shelly Schmitz, Keller Williams Premier Partners
- Director: Julie Baldino, Front Door Realty
- Director: Jodie Sharp, Windermere NW Living
- Director: John Rose, Rose Real Estate Group
- Legal Counsel: Roy Pyatt, Landerholm, P.S.
We look forward to working with you in 2024!
Additionally, all three proposed bylaws changes passed with overwhelming majority approval. Thank you to the CCAR members who participated in the election and voting process!
September Membership Meeting Recap: Building a More Inclusive Experience with Gonzalo Mejia
Did you miss Wednesday’s Membership Meeting with guest keynote speaker Gonzalo Mejia? Watch a full recap of Gonzalo’s presentation covering the keys to building a more inclusive experience for your clients and your fellow REALTORS®, and to navigate around our unconscious biases to deliver stellar customer service.
2023 brought concerns over PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, in local water supplies to the forefront of residents’ minds. Clark County and its various cities have been working to test and address issues related to this issue. PFAS are found in everyday items that are resistant to heat, water, stains and oil, making them useful for manufacturers who sell nonstick pans, food wrappers, outdoor gear, cleaning supplies and cosmetics.
Well 13 in the City of Camas tested positive for PFAs, in April of 2022 and December of 2022 and was subsequently shut down for the safety of residents. The city said testing on May 17, 2023 did not detect any chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in Well 13, located south of East First Avenue near Louis Bloch Park in downtown Camas. Six months after detecting elevated levels of harmful “forever chemicals” in one of its drinking water wells, the city of Camas brought that impacted well back online the week of May 29.
In March of 2023 Clark County tested well 22 and found PFOA levels at 8 parts per trillion. Well 22s levels are below the Washington State Department of Health’s action level of 10 parts per trillion for PFOA. Well 22 has been offline since September 2022 and was used during periods of high demand, accounting for less than 1 percent of the utility’s total water supply. Clark Public Utilities has regularly tested its water since 2014, corresponding with state and federal regulations. In 2021, the utility began using more advanced technology that could uncover PFAS levels down to 2 parts per trillion, a more precise measurement than they could previously detect.
Cities are addressing these concerns with the City of Vancouver approving a contract for a treatment system to eliminate PFAs from the City’s water supply:
The city of Vancouver is moving forward with plans to create a treatment system for toxic chemicals in the city’s water supply. To combat this, Vancouver intends to build a PFAS treatment system in the coming years (a $15.7 million project put into motion Monday night when the city council approved a contract for a preliminary design.)
“Washington Legislators Propose Increasing Real Estate Taxes Amidst a Housing Crisis”
– Jo Ann Johnston, CEO – Clark County Association of REALTORS®
Vancouver, WA – Washington is in the middle of an extreme housing crisis that the legislature has failed to address for many years. Washington ranked 50th in the nation in housing units per family at the beginning of the year. In an attempt to address the effects of the housing shortage, the Legislature has made housing their top priority this year and is working on a large number of housing bills. Unfortunately, one of those bills is HB 1628 which proposes to increase the Real Estate Excise Tax on all properties with a larger increase on properties over $5 million. The proposal would increase the taxes on Clark County homeowners by over $23 million annually. Raising taxes is not the solution to creating affordable housing. You can’t make housing more affordable by making it more expensive.
Both the House and the Senate Capital Budgets have historic levels of investment into the Housing Trust Fund and housing services, all without increasing taxes or fees on Washingtonians. Between the numerous policy bills that would modify zoning, reduce regulations, and streamline review processes and the record-breaking investments proposed in the Capital Budgets, there is no need to increase REET. Increasing REET now would not only push the costs of homeownership higher but would increase the cost of commercial and multi-family buildings, which in turn drives up rent. We all agree that we need to go big on housing, and Washington needs a large amount of money to do that. The Governor’s housing bond referendum would dedicate that large amount of money that we need, without increasing Washingtonian’s taxes. The House Operating Budget already budgeted out the funds needed to repay that bond if it were to pass.
The legislature is taking steps forward through smart housing policy decisions, don’t move Washington backwards with a REET increase.
Clark County Comprehensive Plan Update
Clark County is going through the process of updating its comprehensive plan in accordance with the Growth Management Act (GMA). The plan is due to the Washington State Department of Commerce on June 30th 2025. This plan sets out how the county will accommodate growth over the next twenty years. This determines land use, infrastructure, and allowable uses on property throughout the county. The first part of the process will look at population forecasts from the Office of Financial Management followed by employment forecasts. This is a very important planning tool, and the county hopes to garner as much public participation as possible. Below you will find information on the comprehensive plan update, public participation plan, and the current adopted plan, last updated in 2016.
- Comprehensive Plan 2025 Update: 2025 Update | Clark County (wa.gov)
- Public Participation Plan (subject to change): PublicParticipationPlan_2025 Periodic Update-FINAL DRAFT-FOR PUBLIC COMMENT_1.pdf
- Current Comprehensive Plan (last updated in 2016): Comprehensive Plan 2015-2035 (wa.gov)
City of Vancouver Will Review Code, Planning Commission Looks at Code Changes for Evergreen and Grand Boulevard Commercial Corridors
The City of Vancouver has contracted with WSP to complete an extensive review of building and land use code for the City of Vancouver. This will also coincide with the City of Vancouver’s own comprehensive plan update. Click here to read more
The City of Vancouver is changing and last week the City’s planning commission reviewed the following presentation: Evergreen and Grand Commercial Corridors Strategy Implementation. The planning commission hopes these changes will spur more mixed use development in the area. The proposed code changes reflect a desire to make both corridors modern, dense, and walkable. However, the code proposal encompasses a drastic decrease in the amount of future parking available for both corridors.
City of Vancouver Maintains Ban on Large Scale Warehouses, Eases Threshold from 100,000 sq ft to 250,000 sq ft
City staff will aim to present code changes to the council within the six-month moratorium.
Is there an advocacy issue you want to know more about, or feel we should be focusing on?
Please contact Justin Wood to start the conversation!
I wanted to provide a brief re-cap of some of the bills we supported at Hill Day. Keep in mind many of these bills will die this session but some of them, especially middle housing, have a lot of bipartisan support. As the session progresses and you want to check on these bills, here is the legislature’s bill information page: Bill Information (wa.gov) Many, if not all of these have a companion bill in the opposite chamber. Many of these bills strive to increase the housing supply in our state which our state desperately needs.
Description: “Middle Housing” types are duplex to sixplex units, townhouses, cottage houses, and other smaller housing types that fit within existing residential neighborhoods. The lack of housing supply is caused by lack of building land, and antiquated city zoning that locks up over 70% of residential land solely for single-family housing. Allowing middle housing in all residential areas would still allow single-family housing, but provide more options to increase housing supply and affordable homeownership.
- HB 1110 sponsored by Rep. Bateman
A fully-planning city with a population of at least 6,000, or a city located within a contiguous urban growth area with a city with a population above 200,000, must authorize the development of:
- at least four units per lot on all lots zoned for residential use;
- six units per lot in all residential zones if at least two of the units are affordable; and
- six units per lot in all residential zones within one half-mile of a major transit stop.
- SB 5364 sponsored by Sen. Frame (Lot Splitting)
- The resulting lots are at least 1,500 square feet;
- The resulting lots are at least 40 percent of the size of the original lot;
Detached ADUs outside the UGA:
Description: The housing supply crisis is not just an urban problem. While some counties have enacted ordinances allowing detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in rural areas, other county ADU ordinances have been rejected by the Growth Hearings Boards. In these counties, large attached ADUs could be built, but smaller more affordable ADUs are prohibited. This legislation is based on a recent detached ADU ordinance adopted in Snohomish County with bipartisan and unanimous support, and that was not appealed to the Growth Board. The bill allows detached ADUs, but regulates the size, appearance, and location of detached ADUs in rural areas.
Condo Liability & Increased Production:
Description: Condominiums are the most affordable type of homeownership, but the supply of new condominiums in Washington is among the worst in the country. This bill improves the condominium market by improving the process to repair condominium defects (“Right to Cure”), streamlines the process for construction of smaller condominium projects, ensures reasonable impact fees for condominiums, and provides a condominium tax incentive for certain qualified first-time homebuyers.
Exempting residential sale/leaseback from the Landlord-Tenant Act
Description: When a house is sold, sometimes the seller is not yet ready to move out, or the buyer is not able to move in. In this situation, the buyer and seller will agree to a written “leaseback” as part of the sale so that the seller stays in the house after closing for a certain period of time. This is not a typical landlord-tenant type situation, so this bill would clarify that a sale/leaseback is exempt from the state’s landlord-tenant act.
Improve Consumer Protections in Real Estate Agency Law
Description: Washington State’s real estate agency law, Chapter 18.86 RCW, has not been updated since its adoption in the 1990s. Existing law does not require certain basic consumer protections, and does not reflect modern industry best practices. This legislation will both protect consumers and avoid litigation seen in other states. For example, the bill would improve disclosures of real estate broker duties, require a written buyer agency agreement for a broker to be compensated, require terms of compensation in writing, and ensure that the legal duties of brokers protect all parties in a transaction – not just the broker’s own client.
- SB 5191 Sponsored by Sen. Stanford
Transit Oriented Development- Governor’s Bill
Description: Washington State’s multi-billion dollar transit investments necessitate land use and zoning near transit that increases housing supply and community services for transit users. Transit-Oriented Development (“TOD”) regulations would apply in areas next to the largest transit facilities like light rail to ensure that new housing supply is commensurate with the State’s transit investments. Cities would have flexibility to allow different types of TOD near station areas.
- SB 5466 sponsored by Sen. Gildon
Be sure to vote so that the REALTOR® voice is heard loud and clear! CCAR is proud to endorse the following candidates who understand and support the real estate industry:
- John Horch – Clark County Sheriff
- Nancy Barnes – Clark PUD
- Kevin Waters – 17th Legislative District, Position 1
- Paul Harris – 17th Legislative District
- Stephanie McClintock – 18th Legislative District, Position 1
- Greg Cheney – 18th Legislative District, Position 2
- Glen Yung – Clark County Council
- Monica Stonier – 49th Legislative District, Position 2
During an interview process conducted by the the Endorsement Task Force, these candidates demonstrated their understanding of what makes a healthy community. They remain committed to building a healthy business climate, protecting quality of life issues and making prudent decisions with public resources. CCAR looks forward to partnering with them to continue making Clark County an attractive place to live, work and play.
CCAR encourages all eligible residents to vote by visiting the Clark County Elections Office at https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections/voter-registration
*Candidates are interviewed by The Clark County Association of REALTORS Endorsement Task Force. Candidates are endorsed based upon their answers to the questions below and their voting history if they are incumbents.
Questionnaires used by the Clark County REALTORS® Government Affairs committee may be accessed below.