Are you being dragged into – The City of Pierce – without your consent?

{Editor Note: Acronyms abound in the lingo of land use, here are the ones you need for this article
PSRC = Puget Sound Regional Council that is a live link
UGA = The area designated by the county comprehensive plan as Urban Growth Area
GMA – Growth Management Act, enacted by the Washington State Legislature
GMCC = Growth Management Coordinating Committee}
Letter by Cindy Beckett of Midland, sent to Dan Roach (Pierce County Council), Terry Ryan (Snohomish County Council), Hank Margeson (City of Redmond), Ryan Mello, (City of Tacoma) regarding the creation of a non-voter approved city in South Pierce County:

This message is also forwarded separately to the community leaders in the UGA, who are already discussing this issue, as the alarm bell is ringing everywhere. You will never be successful in forcing the people of Pierce County to give up their own beloved community identities no matter how much authority you think you have.  You will also never be able to annex the entire UGA without the vote of the people, regardless of the plans you have to do just that without a vote of the people.

After reviewing the “City of Pierce” proposal, I must ask who gave this PSRC the right to dictate that all of the central Pierce County UGA is to be turned into one giant city?  This is not a casual question – we intend to find out who gave the PSRC that right, what role the state is playing in this travesty, and how the federal government feels it can step in over the GMA.

The “City of Pierce”.  What does it mean for the people?  What people – they are just pawns and are to do what we tell them to, to shut up, close their eyes, and continue to pay their taxes and our wages & benefits that they themselves do not have.  That is what you and your PSRC have apparently decided with this hare-brained scheme to pave the entire county UGA and make it one huge, ugly, filthy, crime-ridden city, (no matter how pretty you try to make it look on paper) where every individual community ceases to exist and everything is built the same way everywhere.  Public transportation?  Ha!  Maybe in 50 years, but certainly not anywhere in the foreseeable future.  We have already had 25 years of no public transportation, jammed, ruined roads, complete lack of services, overcrowding, and a terrible local economy under the guise of the GMA.  We can’t even get bike lanes and crosswalks painted on the county roads, even though we have been trying for years!  You will never succeed in snowballing the people of this county into believing that paving over the entire UGA and smothering everything under high density development over the entire UGA will be any different that what we have now – nothing!!!  Even to finding ways to not have to plant street trees?  How very clever of you!

Just make it all into one huge city, get rid of ALL environmentally sensitive areas simply by denying they exist on the paper map you are looking at.  Pave over the entire Sole Source Aquifer (who needs it – it only supplies all of the water to 65% of Pierce County’s population and ONLY recharges from surface rainfall filtering through pervious soils).  Destroy ALL traces of every community’s heritage, history and identity.  Once it’s all gone and many private pockets are lined, no one will care anymore.  Services?  Well, you have already had 25 years to provide even a modicum of services, roads, parks, libraries, community centers, all the stuff we were supposed to have already.  We have none of that.  What we have county-wide in this “UGA” is crammed roads with NO public transportation in most of the areas.  Crammed to capacity portables since the schools are wall to wall students who are failing.  Crammed parks since no one bothered to assure there even were parks (too much valuable housing development land would be lost).  Uneducated “leaders” who have no idea what the term “sole source aquifer” even means.  Elected “leaders” with obvious ignorance of the legacy of the Asarco contamination of the soils in this region, so no soil testing is EVER required.  And NO JOBS FOR MANY OF THE PEOPLE already here, so they must cram the highways driving north or south to where the jobs are.

And yet you want to make this 500% worse?  Based on what intelligent, informed decisions?   If you are hinting that the federal government is telling you to do this, you had better be able to prove that!  We don’t believe it for one second.

And, when did you intend to inform the taxpayers about this upcoming travesty?  After it was all approved and too late?

That’s what this ridiculous scheme to pave the entire county sounds like to us.  These decisions were made behind closed doors and behind the backs of the people.  This plan to make every community look exactly the same as the next, all 100% built out in exactly the same way as continuation of one huge city with no identity, all designed to utterly remove everything that makes a community individual, demonstrates the most blatant disrespect, dishonor and lack of concern for the people of Pierce County.  Only total arrogance would lead anyone to believe that they have that right.

An already growing number of community leaders find this appalling.  We also intend to contact both state and federal offices to determine how one group, even the PSRC, can overturn the GMA, which the federal government has no control over or opinion on.  I have spoken directly to the White House about this GMA, only to learn it is not a federal program at all, and only 2 states – the 2 most ruined in the country, are under the control of this development-over-all-else driven GMA.

So, I am following up again with the federal offices to learn how it is that an organization such as the PSRC can literally dictate when, where and how an entire county can be turned into one huge, sprawling city so destroyed by over-development, while making it sound like they were told to do that by the PSRC.  How they can make it sound as if it is a federal directive while using the GMA – which has nothing whatsoever to do with the federal government, needs an answer

It is plain that this is again an example of taxpayer paid people sitting around tables, making plans over paper maps, and to hell with the people who pay their wages.

Apparently the PSRC & “leaders” from both Tacoma & Pierce County” feel they alone have the right to decide what goes where, regardless of the ultimate destruction of and 100% loss of identity of every community.  This appears to us to be nothing more than huge a land grab.

If you and the PSRC, think the people of Pierce County will just shrug and say OK, destroy every vestige of our communities to build your “dream city”, you are in for a huge awakening.

True leaders do not do these things.  Thank goodness we have an election system here!!

Cindy Beckett, Midland (and intending to remain Midland)

You can view video of Puget Sound Regional Council Meetings through this PSRC site



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Deb Dearinger says:

    They do this because they use the GMA to entrench their jobs, and they get away with it because in so many jurisdictions there are neither elected officials nor citizens who have the interest or the time to understand the complexities of the resulting comprehensive plans. The Feds are not involved and can’t help. This is purely a Washington State train wreck. And good luck getting anyone at the state legislative or executive level to agree that a good intention – the GMA – has gone out of control.

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