After Applying

If the land is located in the county's unincorporated area, the county legislative authority is the granting authority on the application. If the land is located within an incorporated area of the county, the application is acted upon by a joint county/city legislative authority consisting of three members of the county legislative authority and three members of the city legislative authority. If the application is subject to a comprehensive plan that has been adopted by any city or county it shall be processed in the same manner in which an amendment to the comprehensive plan is processed. If the application is not subject to a comprehensive land use plan, a public hearing on the application will be conducted, but a notice announcing the hearing must be published at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

The granting authority either approves or rejects the application in whole or in part within six months of receiving the application. In determining whether an application made for classification or reclassification should be approved or denied, the granting authority may consider the benefits to the general welfare of preserving the current use of the property. They may require that certain conditions be met including but not limited to the granting of easements. Examples of some conditions that have been required by the Klickitat County Board of County Commissioners for Open Space include placing a 4 foot by 8 foot sign with map indicating where the public is allowed access to the property. Please know also that the liability of public access remains with the property owner.

If the application is approved, in whole or in part, the granting authority will, within five days of the approval date, send an Open Space Taxation Agreement to the applicant for signature showing the land classification and conditions imposed. The applicant may accept or reject the agreement. If the applicant accepts, he or she must sign and return the agreement to the granting authority within 30 days after receipt. The approval or denial of the application for classification or reclassification is a legislative determination and is reviewable only for arbitrary and capricious actions.

Appeal can be made only to the superior court of the county where the application was filed. Within 10 days of receiving notice of classification of the land from the granting authority, the assessor submits the notice to the county auditor for recording in the place and manner provided for the public recording of state tax liens on real property. Current use valuation will begin on January 1 of the year following the year the application was filed. The criteria for classification continue to apply after classification has been granted.