Northwest NEWS

July 10, 2000


And they call this planning?

   I have a family-run business in Duvall. We have performed certified auto repair on Main St. since June 1984. We built a house here in 1982. My wife and I started this business because of a motorcycle accident that had left me unable to physically perform my job at a Seattle car dealer.

   For a time, I had the choice of becoming "re-trained" by the state, or adapting my legs to my chosen career--automotive repair. I liked repairing cars, so now I would be "self-employed."

   Toward the middle of that year, we had twins. This made Duvall the right place to raise our family and start a business. And now, because of Duvall's growth and politics, that livelihood is in jeopardy.

   The City of Duvall has found itself again experiencing growing pains. "Poor planning," "bad foresight," and a general "state of confusion" are just a few comments heard from many of the residents that stay up with the local politics concerning this growth. (A grocery store that takes almost two years to build?)

   Word has it that the sewage treatment plant in Duvall needs to expand again. So, where is the land to do this, you ask? Supposedly where my business resides.

   Questions I have: What happens now since the city really wants this land? Would the city be our landlord? Is this possible? Or will we be asked to vacate the premises so a backhoe can find a parking space? Or, more than likely, will we be booted off the property to make way for sewage expansion? Is the last sewage expansion finished yet? How long will it take before we can start up in a new location in this town we call home? Is there even any commercial space here to do this? How much available land is zoned commercial/industrial in Duvall at this time? What will my family do without an income? And the biggest question is: Why can't we get a straight answer from anyone?

   We are hanging here with all these questions and not knowing anything for sure. Either way, it looks like where we have been repairing vehicles of second-generation customers, where customers have become our friends, where friends have watched our children mature over the years, this working tax base will no longer be here. Instead, all the residents of Duvall will find will be ponds for the disposal of human waste.

   My family and I, plus other families, have produced an income from this business over the years with which we have been able to live comfortably while adding to the real tax base for the city.

   Now, eleven businesses seem to be getting the shaft in the name of "growth." Who owns a few of these businesses needs to be examined by the public. With the boom in housing, which a city can use but produces no real business tax base, the city now wants to remove one of the few sources of this type of tax-based income and replace it with city operations and projects that provide no tax base. And they call this planning?

John & Gail Petree, Duvall