Counties Seek Clearer Process For Highway Access

The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, heard testimony on SB 656, State Highway Administartion- Entrance to State Highway- Permit Process, on March 10, 2015. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel, Les Knapp, presented testimony urging committee to support with amendments . This bill would clarify and create more certatinty for the process in which the State Highway Administration grants entrance permits to certain State Highways.

The written testimony explains:

SB 656 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.

The suggested amendment would replace the comprehensive plan consistency test in the bill, not to eliminate or change any existing comprehensive plan consistency requirements.

The cross file of this bill, HB 621, was heard last week, March 5, 2015, in the House Environment and Transportation Committee.

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.

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