Friends of Clark County Appeal 2016 Comprehensive Plan
Friends of Clark County has partnered with FUTUREWISE, a Washington State based organization promoting smart growth, and filed a Petition for Review to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearing Board challenging the Clark County 2016 Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan adopted by the County Council on June 28, 2016 allows for further division of resource lands in Clark County, taking farm land, zoned AG-20 and allowing it to be divided into 10 acre parcels and allowing Forest Resource lands, previously zoned FOR-40, be divided into 20 acre parcels.
Why are these divisions bad for Clark County?
According to Sue Marshall, a Ridgefield area farmer, “agricultural lands have taken a disproportionate hit in this rural comp plan. Size matters when it comes to farming and splitting up farms into smaller parcels will challenge the long term economic viability of farming in Clark County.”
Furthermore, more developed parcels require more wells. Currently, all the rural groundwater in Clark County is allocated. Therefore, the addition of more wells puts pressure on the groundwater source – meaning more wells go dry. Farmers cannot afford to water crops using public water. A good supply of county well water is essential to promote and enhance agriculture in Clark County.
And, the division of rural lands puts pressure on transportation routes and other infrastructure in the rural area. These infrastructure costs are shared by all county residents. In the approved comprehensive plan, there is a $158M deficit for transportation projects alone. And, this plan does not account for the increased growth. Can and do county residents want to pay for this? Do we want to burden future generations with underfunded roadways and infrastructure?
Why Friends of Clark County Cares –
Friends of Clark County advocates for a sustainable Community by defending the goals of Washington’s Growth Management Act. We do this because we believe that by protecting clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, resource lands and open space, Clark County will continue to be a beautiful and healthy place to live, work and play for generations to come.
* Friends of Clark County is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization and your donation is fully tax deductible.