News From Your Friends

The Value of Engagement

May 23, 2023 in Comprehensive Plan & Growth Management Act, Responsible Development

For those of us who have been watching the County lately, we know that the County is working on its every 10-year Comprehensive Plan Update. This is a blueprint of sorts that will define our growth for the next 20 years.

Many prospective buyers will refer to the “Growth Management Plan” prior to buying a home, or property in which to build a home. Questions such as what will be built, where and how far away are key questions to be answered prior to making a decision of this magnitude.

Watch the County Council and Planning Commission meetings. Many of those meetings will have the pertinent issues on the agenda. The County has already decided on the math to be used to forecast our population growth and while many will disagree with the number the County approved, we must remember that governing is a science of compromise. Hopefully some facts guide the decisions; the out-come is almost always a compromise.

We are discovering that the County has made lots of exceptions to the Growth Management Plan.  The question is why do we have a plan if we are not going to be governed by it? In my opinion, there have been exceptions made for the developers, as an example, to build what they want, where they want. It is past time for the public to let its opinion be known. The sooner each of you can make your views and opinions known, the better.

Growth needs to be planned for and the process managed. New housing developments should have schools also planned within the new developments. There should also be shopping opportunities, like food, fuel, public transportation, parking, with streets wide enough for parking on both sides and still two lanes of drive through traffic. Where are the green spaces being built within the developments? Where are the parks for children to play in?

In short, if we, the residents of Clark County do not oversee those that govern our County, who will? Ask yourself if those who you leave the oversight to have your best interest at heart?

My counsel is this: become engaged in the process. Let your opinion be known. If the Clark County Councilors limit your speaking time (3 minute limit at public hearings), write letters to the Columbian, to the Reflector, to Clark County Today. Write letters to the County officials, to the state legislators and to the federal agencies if so warranted. If you do not know the addresses, visit the Friends of Central Vancouver web site. Make sure to look under the document download on our navigation bar. Then look at the letter writing campaign. Our web site contains a lot of information on how to respond to County activity. Be a part of the solution –  not simply a bystander.

 Submitted by Jan Kelly, Friends of Central Vancouver (FOCV)

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