(Editor’s note: The following letter is a response to the Nov. 9
Valley Record story “City angry over zoning proposal.”)
The city of North Bend is currently under a development moratorium
due to its failure to provide the citizens with sufficient water. As the
mayor points out, the term “moratorium” comes from the Latin term
“mortus,” or death.
North Bend will almost certainly die if the water crisis is not
addressed soon. There are many, in all levels of government, who would like to see
this happen; we all know how our county government feels about rural
living. Unfortunately, these same folks in local government have control over
the water, and therefore development.
Some questions do indeed need some answers. Who at the state
level invalidated the water agreement between the cities of Snoqualmie
and North Bend? Who in our local government miscalculated the local
water supply needs and failed to file the proper documentation with state
If the city of North Bend does indeed die as a city, it will likely
become part of the city of Snoqualmie, which has a strong infrastructure as a
result of forward-thinking people who understand that people need housing,
and development should be allowed, but controlled and well thought out.
The Growth Management Act requires that all portions of the
county take a portion of the growth. Had North Bend agreed to annex the
Uplands development, it is probable that the water moratorium might not be
an issue. North Bend would be taking on its share of growth, as required by
the GMA, and would not be dying on the vine.
It seems unfair that those North Bend officials point fingers at
these developers when they, themselves, cause the problems, and as public
officials are in the position to solve them. Additionally, the one spokesperson
for the city is also a paid county employee, whose job it is to acquire rural
space. Is this conflict? Does his public agency compete with private developers
for our tax dollars?
Before we all get in an uproar over the up-zoning of these parcels,
remember that the county will require a huge number of studies — from water
runoff to traffic impact and engineering — before a home is built, or a lot
The GMA mandates that development occurs in our region; it’s up
to the city to make sure we have the infrastructure to sustain the growth
that is coming and to support the citizens already here.