Les Knapp, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel, testified to the House Environment and Transportation Committee, March 5, 2015 to support with amendments HB 621, State Highway Administration- Entrance to State Highway-Permit Process. This bill would bring clarity and certainty to the process to grant entrance permits to certain State highways.
The written testimony explains:
HB 621 would require the SHA to grant or deny specified residential, commercial, and industrial highway entrance permit requests within 60 days after receipt of a written request from a land use authority for the jurisdiction in which the proposed entrance is to be located or 120 days after receipt of a complete permit application. When determining whether to grant or deny a request for a permit, SHA must: (1) consider whether the proposed entrance is consistent with the comprehensive plan for the jurisdiction in which the proposed entrance is to be located; and (2) must determine whether to grant or deny the permit request based on whether a preponderance of reliable evidence indicates that the proposed entrance is consistent with the comprehensive plan and meets other requirements of the permit.
Finally, SHA must promptly provide a written notice and explanation of the reasons for granting or denying a permit request to the permit applicant and each land use authority for the jurisdiction in which the proposed permit is to be located. A land use authority may appeal a permit denial as a contested case to the Office of Administrative Hearings.
The amendment that MACo recommends is to replace the comprehensive plan consistence test in the bill. The amendment does not eliminate or change any existing comprehensive plan consistency requirements – only removes this new and unwarranted State determination.
For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.