The Growth, Environmental Planning and Agriculture (GEPA) Policy Committee met last week during the FAC Legislative Conference and took-up several policy issues important to counties. While growth management has historically been a core focus of this group, the Committee concluded that the growth reforms of 2011 are still being evaluated and, as such, no immediate changes are warranted. Moreover, the Committee felt its guiding principles and its existing policy framework provide the association sufficient direction as it heads into the 2013 legislative session.

Two new issues were brought to the committee and later adopted. These include expressing support for state funding of Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) and opposing any legislation that curtails and RPC’s ability to provide technical assistance services to counties.

While growth management received only minimal attention during the meeting, environmental and agriculture issues were discussed in depth.  Among the issues considered were: water supply governance and water reservations; state preemption of local fertilizer ordinances; agri-tourism; and intergovernmental coordination of local utilities. 

Based on all of the issues considered by the Committee, the following priorities were adopted:  Funding of Regional Planning Councils; Opposing state preemption of local fertilizer ordinances; and State funding for local affordable housing initiatives.

For more information or questions, please contact FAC Growth Advocate Eric Poole.