Sheldon has trio of district-focused bills bound for governor’s desk

Sen. Tim Sheldon is pleased that 35th District residents will benefit from three of his bills, which earned overwhelming bipartisan support from the Senate and House of Representatives and are now headed to the governor for final signature.

Rural landowners will be particularly interested in Senate Bill 5048, which authorizes the use of fluorescent orange paint to provide notice against trespassing.

“This really benefits both landowners and the public because orange paint will make it easier to determine property-boundary lines,” said Sheldon, D-Potlatch. “Otherwise it takes 437 no-trespassing signs to mark the perimeter of 400 acres of private property, and signs are often stolen or defaced, which makes it expensive and time-consuming to maintain.”

Thanks to Senate Bill 6031, Mason County will soon be able to form management districts to acquire property or property rights by purchasing land or conservation easements.

“It’s important that we protect our lakes and beaches from overdevelopment. The bill promotes conservation of wildlife habitats, protects water quality, and should improve communication between communities and owners. The idea for the bill was brought to me by Lake Nahwatzel residents and others,” Sheldon explained.

The third measure, Senate Bill 6330, offers a low-income housing tax break to Mason County, which meets the definition of a rural county, has only one incorporated city, and has a sewer system and urban growth area within an unincorporated area of the county. Counties and cities in Washington with populations of more than 350,000 are already eligible for the tax break.

“A tax credit for low-income housing will go a long way to promote development and growth in unincorporated rural areas, such as Belfair in the 35th District, where there is a need for low-income housing,” Sheldon said. “I think it will draw new people to the area because individuals and families will soon be able to live in the same area as where they work.”

The 2014 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn Thursday.