Opinion

Allegations of opponents only a smokescreen

planned communities Recently in this paper, opponents to our planned communities near Redmond have raised questions about the integrity of our companies.
   Opponents suggest that our companies don't care about the quality of life in our communities and that we have acted "behind the scenes" to push our projects through the approval process.
   Nothing could be further from the truth. We have over 140 employees who are active residents of the Puget Sound region. We live here, work here, play here, and raise families here. We care about the quality of life in the region. It impacts us both on a corporate and personal level.
   Our business is to provide places to live, work, and play for current and future residents of the region. We take that work very seriously.
   The land that we own near Redmond is private. The approval process we have gone through is public. We have spent 10 years listening to and working with citizens and public officials to ensure our new communities meet the needs of the region, are sensitive to the environment and are economically viable.
   The debate today is not, as our opponents suggest, to develop or not to develop our land. Rather, the question is, should we accommodate growth in a planned way, addressing a broad array of community needs, or continue a patchwork pattern of large lot development that only addresses the needs of the top tier of home buyers?
   That is the issue. The allegations of our opponents are only a smokescreen.
   We and our employees are proud to be a part of our communities and our companies. We pride ourselves on the reputation for integrity and quality that we have built with public officials and the communities in which we live and work.
   We regret that the project opponents, lacking a better basis for argument, have chosen to attack our reputations instead.

Jim Warjone, President, Port Blakely Tree Farms
Steve Dennis, President, Quadrant Corporation