New planning agency marks first year

The Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency has issued its first annual report.

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WALLA WALLA -- The history of the first year of a new city-county planning group is now available.

The Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency has issued its first annual report. The 20-page document details how the new agency came into being when Walla Walla County and the city of Walla Walla merged planning departments in late 2010.

The new agency incorporated land use planning, building permitting, plan reviews, construction inspection and code compliance under one roof. Originally governed by a three-member board, the intergovernmental agreement which created the agency was recently modified to enlarge the board to five persons.

Current board members are Bill Clemens, chairman; county commissioner Greg Tompkins, vice-chair; city councilman Jim Barrow, board member and Dominick Elia, county appointee. The fifth seat on the board has not yet been filled.

The new agency opened its offices Jan. 10, 2011, in the city of Walla Walla's Service Center at 55 Moore St. It began with 11 employees, all of whom had come from either the former Walla Walla County Community Development Department or the city of Walla Walla's Development Services Department.

Tom Glover, formerly director of the county planning agency, was chosen to head the new agency.

According to the report, in its first year of operation the agency has handled 191 land use-planning activities in both the city and county and issued 2,812 building and other permits.

The code compliance division received 332 code compliance cases involving the city during the year and resolved 285 of them. The division received 121 code compliance cases involving the county and resolved 131 cases, that number including cases left over from 2010.

Also contained in the report are summaries of the activities of the city and county planning commissions, cases handled by city and county hearing examiners and actions by the city's Historic Preservation Commission. A summary of the agency's budget and receipts is included as well.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.



On the net

First report of the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency: www.wwjcda.org

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