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2006 Report to the Legislature: Cluster Residential Development, Ground Water Withdrawal Exemption, Whitman County Pilot Project (Historical)

Publication number Date Published
06-11-049December 2006
VIEW NOW This publication is historical. It is unavailable on our website. To request a copy, please use the contact listed below.
Author(s) Rebecca Inman
Description In 2003, the legislature added a Cluster Residential Development pilot project (RCW 90.44.052) to the groundwater withdrawals already exempt from permitting requirements (RCW 90.44.050). Use of the project pilot exemption is restricted to the following:
• Groundwater withdrawals of up to 1,200 gallons per day (gpd) per household.
• Development of six or more homes.
• Density of no more than one residence per ten acres.
• Beneficial use of water beginning before December 31, 2015.
• Projects in Whitman County.
Whitman County has adopted a Cluster Residential District ordinance. The ordinance allows rural residential development of four lots on 20 or more acres, which are able to use the standard groundwater exemption. Larger developments under the ordinance would rely on the pilot project exemption for water supply. So far, the eleven requests for rezoning under the new ordinance have all involved dividing 20 acres or more into four lots. No uses under the pilot project exemption have been proposed. The county believes developers prefer to use the standard groundwater exemption because it allows for development with greater density. Greater density equals a smaller first investment and a higher rate of return. The county would prefer to see the development allowed under the pilot project and hopes developers will use the new exemption in the future. Because no development has used the pilot project exemptions, Ecology is unable to measure the impact on the aquifer(s) and nearby wells.
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Keywords exempt wells, Water Rights, legislative, report, legislative report, water resource
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2004 Report to the Legislature: Cluster Residential Development Ground Water Withdrawal ExemptionWhitman County Pilot Project