Hi Friend --
Spokane County is hoping that you won't show up to yet another hearing on June 3rd to tell them again to stop promoting sprawl with unneeded and expensive urban growth area expansions.
Suddenly the county is planning for thousands more people to move to our region than they were the last time hundreds of you told them they were too high on their growth projections. They are hoping you won't notice.
It's time to plan for growth that we can realistically expect. The county has not demonstrated that it will create any new revenue to pay for it's unneeded expansion - while growth trends show our metro area continues to be slow-growing despite our historically oversized urban growth boundary. Spokane's metro area ranked dead last in Washington and #208 out of 293 in a national survey to identify the fastest US growing cities.
We can't afford to provide more than one billion dollars worth of new services and infrastructure for an influx of people that we can't realistically expect.
Attend next Tuesdays hearing and tell the county to face the facts--unneeded urban growth area expansions are not good for tax payers or the economy!
Spokane County Urban Growth Area Remand Hearing
June 3, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Commissioners Hearing Room
Lower Level, Spokane County Public Works Building
1026 W. Broadway Avenue
email email@example.com if you need to arrive late and want to be signed in.
Background: Back in 2012 so many people turned out to the hearing on Spokane County's Urban Growth Area Expansion that it was too crowded for me to count them. The vast majority were there to tell Spokane County to face the facts that their own experts had presented to them--there is already enough space inside our existing urban growth area to accomodate future growth and that we can't afford the nearly one billion dollar price tag. However, the Commission instead decided to tweak the population numbers without a public hearing and adopt the expansion.
Then they rushed to get land speculator's projects through the process to start building in the expanded urban growth area while Futurewise, our partners and state agencies were appealed the decision, even going so far as to back date one developer's application. Futurewise won an order of invalidity against the county's decision and it was remanded back to the county to do it over. This is that do-over hearing.
We have to stop the expensive an economically stifling practice of pushing growth to the rural fringes of our urban areas rather than focusing on city centers where the infrastructure and services needed already exist. Our metropolitan area is littered with vacant lots and empty buildings that will never be filled if we continue to allow land speculators to build on the periphery of existing urban areas. Click here to see how much vacant land is in our existing urban growth area.
Enough is enough!
Eastern Washington Program Director
P.S. Our County's Urban Growth Area (UGA) already covers over 89 square miles, this is over 2.5 times larger than the City of Paris, France. Their population, at 2.2 million is almost 5 times the population of Spokane County. Further, 25% of growth in the last decade has happened outside our urban areas and the UGA itself has not reached the population it was planned to accommodate. Join me and stand up one more time for good planning next week!
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