Government Affairs Monthly Update

Jamie Howsley

Jamie Howsley is a land use attorney practicing in Washington and Oregon. He has served as the BIA’s Government Affairs Director since 2011. You can reach Jamie directly via email or call 360.281.1123.

The Government Affairs Committee meets on the second Monday of the month in the BIA office at 3:30 pm.

September Government Affairs Update


When the Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Having spent the majority of my life in Clark County I do not specifically remember smoke coming back over the area. I have vague recollections of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 only because it was my 6th birthday and we had a party at my house. But the smoke that we got in 2015 and now 2017 has really brought it home that we all need to be very careful when we get into summer. I am hopeful that the Gorge fire and others will be put out soon and pray for all of the emergency service workers and firefighters for strength during this time.

Washington State Legislature

It is eerily quiet with the legislature being out of session and no capital budget deal in exchange for a Hirst fix in sight. We continue to listen for any sounds that a deal is imminent, but with each passing day it appears as if it might have to be resolved in the 2018 session.

WA Administrative Code Update On Requirements in Wiring in Exterior Walls

Al Audette at BIAW is fielding a lot of calls related to wiring in exterior walls and wanted to pass along this update below.

Requirements for Wiring in Exterior Walls – Siding Nail Installation

WAC 296-46B-010(6) was recently changed to provide additional protection to wiring from damage by siding nails, the language underlined below was added:

Prior to completion of an exterior wall cover inspection, either:

a) the exterior shear panel/sheathing nail inspection must be completed by the building code inspector and where siding nails or fasteners which penetrate into the wall cavity are to be used, all siding must be installed; or

b) all wiring and device boxes must be a minimum of 2 ½ inches from the exterior surface of the framing member; or

c) all wiring and device boxes must be protected by a steel plate a minimum of 1/16 inch thick and of appropriate width and height installed to cover the area of the wiring or box.

Notice that there are three options – a) or b) or c). The new requirement for installation of the siding was placed as an addition to paragraph a), the first option of requiring the shear panel/sheathing nail inspection to be completed. The second and third options of placing all wiring and device boxes at least 2 ½ inches from the exterior surface of the framing member (i.e., stud), or protecting the wiring and boxes with steel plates is still available.

Typically, if the exterior walls of a dwelling are of 2X6 studs, there won’t be a problem because the wiring and deep device boxes will have at least 2 ½ inches of clearance. Exterior walls with 2X4 framing will typically require the siding to be installed unless additional protection for your wiring is provided.

City of Camas

The City of Camas has scheduled a public hearing date on September 18 for the amendments to Title 18 Zoning. The versions of the code as recommended by the Planning Commission will be sent out along with the Government Affairs Committee materials and we’ll review it at the next meeting.

Clark County

  • Please be sure to join Clark County  for the first annual Technology Service’s TechFest event on Thursday, September 7.  The County will put on a presentation scheduled to begin at 9:30a.m., however, please do come early to find metered or street parking and enjoy refreshments.
  • Marty Snell, director of Community Development for Clark County, has announced the hiring of Mike Curtis to the position of Permit Center Manager. Mike brings to this position management experience in the private sector, excellent customer service experience, first-hand knowledge within the building profession (foreman for contractor and self-employed contractor), and collaborative teamwork with Clark County Community Development. Since November 2012, Mike has been an inspector and, recently, a lead inspector in the Building Safety program of Community Development. Mike will begin in his new role on September 1.
  • The County will be hiring an outside firm to conduct an audit of permit center and to propose a series of recommendations to make operations better from a customer service standpoint.  The audit will be occurring here in early fall.