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Appendix G – Definitions of Key Terms

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Affordable Housing: The generally accepted definition of housing affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing (HUD).

Buildable Lands Report: A Buildable Lands Report (BLR) analyzes the urban development that has occurred since the adoption of the previous Growth Management Act comprehensive plans. Using this information, the report evaluates the adequacy of the land supply in the Urban Growth Area to accommodate the remaining portions of the projected growth. In this sense, a BLR ‘looks back” to compare planned vs. actual urban densities to determine whether the original plan assumptions were accurate. (See GF-7 and RCW 36.70A.215.)

City: Any city or town, including a code city. [RCW 36.70A.030(3)]

Consistency: The definitions and descriptions of the term "consistency" contained in the Growth Management Act procedural criteria Chapter 365-196-210(9) Washington Administrative Code, and as further refined in statute, Growth Management Hearings Board decisions and court decisions should be used to determine consistency between jurisdictions' comprehensive plans.

Economic Infrastructure: The combination of economic activity, institutions (e.g. banks, investment firms, research and development organizations, and education providers) and physical infrastructure – such as transportation systems – that support economic activity.

Essential public facilities: Those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities and state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities as defined in RCW 71.09.020. [RCW 36.70A.200(1)]

Jurisdictions: County and city governments (when used in a policy).

Land Capacity Analysis: A land capacity analysis focuses on the reestablishment of a new 20-year urban land supply for accommodating the urban growth targets. As such, it fulfills the Growth Management Act “show your work” requirement for the sizing of Urban Growth Areas for future growth. (See DP-1 and RCW 36.70.A.110(2))

May: The actions described in the policy are either advisable or are allowed. “May” gives permission and implies a preference. Because “may” does not have a directive meaning, there is no expectation the described action will be implemented.

Municipality: In the context of these Countywide Planning Policies, municipalities include cities, towns, and counties.

Public facilities: Streets, roads, highways, sidewalks, street and road lighting systems, traffic signals, domestic water systems, storm and sanitary sewer systems, parks and recreational facilities, and schools. [36.70A.030(12)]

Shall: Implementation of the policy is mandatory and imparts a higher degree of substantive direction than “should”. “Shall” is used for policies that repeat State of Washington requirements or where the intent is to mandate action. However, “shall” can not be used when it is largely a subjective determination whether a policy’s objective has been met.

Should: Implementation of the policy is expected but its completion is not mandatory. The policy is directive with substantive meaning, although to a lesser degree than “shall” for two reasons. (1) “Should” policies recognize the policy might not be applicable or appropriate for all municipalities due to special circumstances. The decision to not implement a “should” policy is appropriate only if implementation of the policy is either inappropriate or not feasible. (2) Some should policies are subjective; hence, it is not possible to demonstrate that a jurisdiction has implemented it.

Social Infrastructure: The underlying institutions, community organizations, and safety networks that support society in general and local service standards and delivery in particular.

Special Needs Housing: Affordable housing for persons that require special assistance or supportive care to subsist or achieve independent living, including but not limited to persons that are frail, elderly, developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, physically handicapped, homeless, persons participating in substance abuse programs, persons with AIDS, and youth at risk.