Kittitas County commissioners on Wednesday will wade into a review of more than 5,000 pages of public testimony, research and recommendations about how best to comply with state growth rules and court rulings.

Commissioners will start their deliberations at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 109 at the courthouse in downtown Ellensburg.

Although the meeting is open to the public, public comment closed Dec. 6. 

The commissioners’ last session for deliberation was Dec. 3. 

The large public record contains the results of more than a year of work involving county planning staff, land-use consultants, and input by the public and interested groups to find ways for the county’s rural land-use rules to be brought in line with state growth rules.

Since 2007 in a series of orders, the state’s Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board has found the county’s rural land-use policies, zoning and development rules are not adequately protecting the rural character of lands outside city limits in the county.

Court ruling

The state Supreme Court in July 2011 ruled the county must show how its rural land-use rules comply with the state’s Growth Management Act, or revise them and present them to the state growth board.

The county faces a Feb. 12 deadline to submit its proposed changes to the state growth board for review.

County Planning Official Robert “Doc” Hansen on Monday said the entire record is available online at www.co.kittitas.wa.us/cds/compliance-2012/meetings.asp. Cick on “Meetings/Materials” on the right side of the page and then “Record for Deliberations,” Hansen said.

There are 74 folders that can be opened and downloaded, Hansen added.

He will give a summary of all changes at the Wednesday meeting, including changes recommended by the county Planning Commission, changes made by staff in response to public comments and a summary of staff recommendations.

Hansen said it’s his hope to have a final version of the rural land-use changes approved by commissioners in the first week of February, well before the Feb. 12 deadline. 

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