Northwest NEWS

May 22, 2000

Editorial

Updated GMP provisions will benefit Valley residents for the long term

   We are writing to express our support for several issues being addressed in the current update of King County's Growth Management Plan.

   First, we support the prohibition against allowing residences to be built within the Forest Production District. These unique and irreplaceable lands have been zoned for long-term commercial forestry activity, an industry that provides jobs locally and also safeguards agricultural activity in the Snoqualmie Valley by preventing runoff from flooding our low-lying farms and fields. We believe areas zoned for specific economic activities, like forestry, agriculture, and industry, should be consistent in restricting the practice of residential development in these areas. We urge the County Council to make sure this issue is addressed in the final version of the Plan.

   Second, we believe that new high schools and middle schools should not be built in the forest lands, but instead should be located near the children in the urban and suburban areas where the number of new residences and demand for infrastructure is increasing. To take children from their neighborhoods and bus them out to the country to attend school just doesn't make sense.

   Third, we believe that the proposed rezoning of properties adjacent the forest production area to one house per 20 acres is both appropriate and necessary for the long-term protection of our environment and sustainability of rural life in the Snoqualmie Valley. King County rural policies call for this level of density, and it is time the County's Plan was brought into compliance with its own policies.

   Since 1995, cities in King County have been taking on greater density to help keep rural areas rural. This is part of a comprehensive effort that also includes incentives for rural property owners, such as allowing them to receive compensation in exchange for not developing their rural lands.

   We urge our King County Council members to adopt all of these provisions, which will benefit all Valley residents over the long term.

Michael & Jane Stoccardo, Duvall