Opinion

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.

MAXINE KEESLING

Woodinville

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