Local officials complained that the authority might trump local land use law with little municipal representation

Heather Brandon | WNPR.com

Sound Transit officials created a draft for the Federal Way Link Extension project, even though they only have funds for infrastructure from SeaTac to the Kent/Des Moines area. — Image Credit: Contributed PhotoLawmakers are planning changes to a controversial proposal from Governor Dannel Malloy that would enable the state to take land near transit stations.

Malloy recently put forward legislation creating a Transit Corridor Development Authority. The agency would be able to pursue transit-oriented development at all properties within a half-mile radius of the state’s bus or train stations. It would have the power of eminent domain, and the ability to issue bonds.

Local officials complained that the authority had little municipal representation, and expressed concern about whether it would trump local zoning and land use regulations.

The original legislation doesn’t require the eleven-member, appointed TCDA to gain the approval of locally-elected officials. Instead, it notes the following:

“…the chief elected official of each municipality in which an authority development project is planned shall serve as an ad hoc, nonvoting member of the board for matters affecting such project.”

Democratic Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague, who co-chairs the Planning and Development Committee, said legislators are working on allowing for more local control in the draft bill. Legislators will also eliminate an initial proposal permitting condemnation of property. Municipalities will not be required to cooperate with the TCDA. Read more