We All Need To Remind City Of The Purpose Of The GMA / Facebook Post, Whatcom Hawk, Wendy Harris

whatcom hawk23 hrs  September 20, 2015  Wendy Harris

Here is what the GMA [Growth Management Act] states about its purpose:

“The legislature finds that uncoordinated and unplanned growth, together with a lack of common goals expressing the public’s interest in the conservation and the wise use of our lands, pose a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the health, safety, and high quality of life enjoyed by residents of this state. It is in the public interest that citizens, communities, local governments, and the private sector cooperate and coordinate with one another in comprehensive land use planning. Further, the legislature finds that it is in the public interest that economic development programs be shared with communities experiencing insufficient economic growth.”

Emphasis is placed on the importance of comprehensive and coordinated planning, both within a city or county and between neighboring cities and counties. And the reason we do this, regardless of which hat we wear, is to promote public interest. So we protect the environment, we conserve our land, and we promote economic development programs that serve the public.

The city has strayed so far off course under this administration that its planning is a hollow, twisted shell of what the GMA envisioned. The GMA update process is willfully piecemealed, focused on maximizing short term profits for the city and private industry, and even public housing projects and large development projects involve incentives for developers. None of this promotes public health safety and welfare, and the damage being done can never be undone.

Next month there will another city open house for the Critical Area Ordinance before it is forwarded to the city council for approval. The CAO is being treated as if it is not part of the GMA although it is specifically listed as such. This is your chance to be heard and to the tell the city that you want it to honor the intention of the GMA by engaging in comprehensive and coordinated planning that includes the CAO, that protects critical areas and wildlife… that puts the public interest first and focuses economic incentives on marginalized and low income communities.

I can not do this myself. I need your input and assistance, or frankly, my friends, it is game over.

Read Wendy’s post on the Whatcom Hawk Facebook page here.

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