Northwest NEWS

January 25, 1999

Editorial

Not everyone wants the UAC to represent them

   Regarding a quotation from he Valley View, January 11, 1999 issue: "Fall City at a crossroads."

   Dr. Jones said he is particularly interested in the possibility of creating a conservation district and an unincorporated area council. "Everyone is excited about having an official voice in working with the county," he said.

   Fall City is indeed at a crossroads, but in my opinion, many of the directions the King County-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee is taking will lead to dead ends. I see problems with most of their recommendations, but this letter will concentrate on the two recommendations that would affect all of the 98024 zip code and possibly beyond that boundary.

   CAC Recommendation to create a Conservation District: The proposed Fall City Sub-area Plan posted on the King County DDES website states "King County should establish a rural conservation district encompassing a much larger area than the town of Fall City [e.g., similar to the zip code area of 98024]. It will require commitment and resources from the county to study and create the rural conservation district."

   According to my homework, there are no regulatory or legal mechanisms currently in place to create an undefined entity of a "rural conservation district" that could encompass the entire 98024 zip code area. Without the existence of regulations or mechanisms in place to create a conservation district, I believe it is extremely premature to include the CAC recommendation to "study and create the rural conservation district." The word "conservation" sounds enticing but could be a wolf in lamb's clothing.

   There needs to be extensive citizen involvement of those who would be affected by a "rural conservation district" before the CAC should make a recommendation that is supposed to reflect the wishes of the citizens involved. The public needs more information, and as I understand it, that information is not readily available.

   CAC Recommendation to "Create an unincorporated area council (UAC) for the Fall City area:" I am not excited about having an official voice in working with the county. The private citizens would actually lose their voices.

   Fall City does not have the rural area requirement of the population of 9,000. Small remote communities may petition King County council for an exception to the population limits. Since the King County Council discourages the proliferation of UAC, the council would ask that the boundaries of the proposed UAC area be expanded. Therein lies a major problem.

   If the boundaries were to extend beyond Fall City, then Preston would more than likely be included. I am opposed to forming a UAC in combination with Preston because Fall City and Preston do not share the same agendas:

   The Unincorporated Area Council is only an advisory body, so the quality of their voice is questionable. Forming a UAC or not is normally done independently without mention in a sub-area plan, and again, the recommendation should truly reflect the wishes of the citizens the committee serves. The committee does not know for a fact whether "everybody" wants a council to be the citizen's voice.

   I hope the CAC will reconvene and seriously review their recommendations, and accept and review more comments before finalizing the document.

Audrey A. Schroeder, a Fall City property owner