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Comp Plan has unpublicized controls
New clearing and grading and forest-cover-restoration requirements
in King County's proposed 2000 comprehensive plan amendments will
have a worse effect on landowners and traditional rural character than will
the widely publicized downzoning proposals.
Even if DDES permit staff agreed that a specific site could be cleared
for pasture or horticultural pursuits, the cost of proposed
permanent stormwater control facilities and proposed soil amendments would be
affordable only to the very rich. Instead of scattered farms among the trees,
it will be trees, trees, trees.
An April 27 county chart showed forestry covering 60 percent of
King County, with the rural area covering only 13.7 percent, excluding
Vashon Island. Agriculture covers only 3 percent of the county.
Small farmers with their produce and flowers contribute a lot to
the popular local farmers markets. Hobby farming is a healthful,
stay-at-home activity for landowners, and
livestock-raising is more beneficial to children than hanging out at the malls. So
why does King County want to prohibit new ag uses in the rural area?
Why will rural ag effectively be limited to what's already there? Why are
landowners being denied their traditional right to use their land for farming?
By the way, the "waste material such as biosolids " that
the county wants us to spread on our land as a condition of obtaining a
clearing permit is very controversial and deserves in-depth discussion
before adoption into comp plan policy. There are other unpublicized significant
land use controls scattered throughout the various comp plan amendment
documents that landowners will become aware of in future years, one by
one, as they stand at the permit counter anticipating an approval they are
not going to get, or one which will be unaffordably conditioned.