Community Plans and Public Notice

[Editor Note: This letter was sent from Cindy Beckett of the Midland Community to the Pierce County Council on 11/5/18.]

 After watching the presentation from the executive offices at this Nov 5th meeting, I come away with continued concern of and for the people and their communities of the UGA – a concern I believe should be the first concern of our council too. In the presentation of how great the streamlining of approval is now, there was no reference at all of any kind to public notice, public hearings, public involvement, public approval, nothing at all.

PC Responds only talks about how fast they can clean up garbage, but nothing is said about water violations at all, so nothing has changed in that arena, only in fast tracking cleanup of garbage.

Solely the “improvements” of streamlining all applications now focuses on pushing development through as fast as humanly possible for the developer, with reference to review only by internal departments. I was disappointed that none of the 4 of you even asked where the public notice and public comment come into this new break-neck speed approval process.

Please shed some light on this. Already there is a serious issue of our local government “forgetting” that the people, not the county planning department, wrote their community plans, donated 4+ years of their lives working on their plans while paying all staff at the same time who ultimately worked against them – and still do. We do not pay our staff to work against us. If this was a private business, they would be fired!

Now it is even worse. No one who was involved in the writing of our original community plans is even “allowed” on the LUACs, and there is a grievous misunderstanding that somehow the community plans belong to the executive and planning dept. They do not. The only reason the executive offices were tied to the plans is when development applications come in for a given community, the people of that community are to work with the planning staff to advise them whether or not that development fits into the goals set by the people for their communities. Nothing more. The LUACs never belonged to the executive and still do not belong to the executive. The disrespect is insulting!!!

I see all these plans for highest possible density throughout the entire UGA were created behind the backs of the people, and now the people (again) will be the ones forced to pay to run sewers and roads throughout the UGA, then those living there will be forced to pay to hook onto that sewer, just to accommodate the highest density possible on every available scrap of land. No one ever said this county has to do this. Certainly not the State, who repeatedly stated they never, at any time, order a local government to develop beyond they capacity to service that development, regardless of whether the mandatory services and facilities are in place or not. The State has repeated that over and over again. So this is not being done to assuage the State, it is being done because an individual “leader” or perhaps all the elected “leaders” jointly want to do it, regardless of what the people want.

This is not the vision we have for our county or our communities. The people have been shut our more and more recently, and even finding information about “approved” developments is getting ridiculous with the new way of dividing a development app into many different files that you must know exist to even find. You know this is true, as it already happened in Fife, where the people had to sue to get information that used to be readily available to the public who already pays for everything.

Whether you are aware of it or not, the general public is becoming more and more dissatisfied with the increasingly covert way all these decisions are made without any type of public notice or opportunity to comment.

Please attend to this most pressing issue. I will send word to the communities asking for hundreds to also send emails addressing this issue if you wish. It is beyond time that our local government begins to respect the people who are paying their wages, and stop shoving all of these personal agenda plans through behind the scenes.

This is of course not personal to any individual, it is a blanket statement for our paid staff, which includes our paid elected staff.

Thank you for your time, and I sincerely hope you will look at this issue from the side of the people whose lives and well being, and the pride in their communities, you are playing with.

Regards | Cindy Beckett |Midland Community

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