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Abstract

In 1990, the Washington State Legislature took the first significant step toward growth management when it enacted the Washington Growth Management Act (GMA). The GMA directs cities and counties to protect natural features and to begin planning to accommodate anticipated population increases. The legislature examined the recommendation of the Growth Strategies Commission' to create an independent dispute resolution system to resolve conflicts under the GMA. The Commission recommended the use of a panel of independent arbitrators with mediation and binding arbitration. Appeals would be limited to the Washington State Court of Appeals only on constitutional and procedural issues. The legislature concluded, however, that the dispute resolution mechanism should instead be administered by an independent state agency, and, in its 1991 amendments to the GMA, directed the establishment of three Growth Planning Hearings Boards. Our goal in the following commentary is to provide "how-to" assistance that clarifies the Boards' Rules of Practice and Procedure and that illustrates the appeals process. This Article reflects the opinions of the authors, who are Board members, and does not represent an official position of the Boards.