Editorial: Graham Community Plan update


By David M. Friscia

Bottom up Growth Management at work in Pierce County

Bloated “Community” Plan Rubber Stamped By the Graham Advisory Commission

At the 6 PM Tuesday March 24 Graham Advisory Commission meeting, the Chair of the Graham Advisory Commission was in such a hurry to get a positive vote on the County Staff’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update work product, that he conducted a vote without public comment on the issue. The Graham Community Plan went from 229 pages to 732 pages without any Community Planning Board input or guidance. The only problem was that County Staff’s rewrite of the “Community” Plan violated the Pierce County Code since only Community Planning Boards can recommend “Community” Plan Updates to the Planning Commission.

Agency – the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power: operation.

Pierce County’s agency is to review, and update if necessary, the County’s GMA compliance based on the reality that the only constant is change. Bureaucrats’ tunnel vision produced an agency, an operation, which is very different than the “public interest” in the reality of change – jobs and housing for an increasing population. Tunnel vision logic persuaded bureaucrats that their chosen operations are correct; therefore, in the “public interest”. The only ‘fly’ in their ointment is the public interest in economy.

Economy – careful management of available resources

The ‘bottom up’ Growth Management State Law gives agency to the public interest in economy which is not the bureaucrats’ interest in remaining the gate keepers to the management of the available resources. The convolution the bureaucrats’ interest in gate keeping with the State law agency of the public interest in economy produced a “Community” Plan without any public Community Planning Board input or guidance that makes compliance with the Pierce County Code nearly impossible for the average citizen; reinforcing the human trait of asking for forgiveness after the fact as opposed to permission before the fact.

Public Comment at a Public Meeting

After the Graham Advisory Commission Chair tried to open public comment on the vote of the commission, the Chair then reversed the act of the commission unilaterally, allowed public comment, and then called for a positive vote, again, on the County Staff’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update work product. Guess what the outcome was for the public interest in economy – tripling the number of pages the public will have to digest to comply with the Pierce County code. Procedural Due Process violations have their public consequences, at the County-wide and the Community Area levels.

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David M Friscia serves on the Graham Advisory Commission (GAC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources Board (ADR).


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