The Columbia River Economic Development Council(CREDC), a long-time Association of Washington Business (AWB) member is urging both Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna to make cutting government redtape and streamline permitting a top priority of the their administrations.
The CREDC recommendations mirror AWB and provides an additional lift to restoring progress and jobs. In its paper: "A New Look at Washington's Business Climate." It was a subject AWB President Don C. Brunell addressed in a column released statewide in early August.
According to Wednesday's The Columbian, the CREDC paper recommends the state take several actions, including:
• re-engineering permitting channels so that the total local, state and federal process to secure a building permit takes no longer than four months when wetlands are not involved and no longer than six months when wetlands are involved.
• overhauling appeals processes, including combining various hearings boards into one and including "members who understand business."
• delaying implementation of "low-impact development" requirements
• allowing local communities to deploy "innovative approaches, incentives and strategies for environmental mitigation and enhancement."
• providing more support, through tax increment financing or other tools, for infrastructure development "that will lead to land for jobs."
"With an unemployment rate that is more than 40 percent greater than the state of Washington" -- and that's higher than the rest of the Portland area -- "Southwest Washington desperately needs these new jobs," the council's paper summarized.