In this month’s Wonkabout Washington, we’re diving into amendments to four of Pierce County’s subarea plans. Specifically, we’re examining the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for amended Community Plans for South Hill, Mid-County, Frederickson and Parkland-Spanaway-Midland, which make up the central unincorporated urban growth area (UGA) in the county. Unfortunately, we believe that the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these plans is insufficient in addressing development impacts in the county.
Planning and Climate Change: Concentrating Growth to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions
If you are like most Washingtonians, your largest contribution to the global climate catastrophe is the greenhouse pollution emitted from driving around every workday. But we have a plan for that. The Puget Sound region is working to focus growth into existing cities and towns and to invest in local and regional transit and walking and bicycling. This strategy will shorten trips and allow many Washingtonians to walk, bicycle, and take transit more often, reducing our carbon footprints.
Unfortunately, the subarea plan revisions go the wrong way. Rather than focusing growth in Tacoma and other Pierce County cities where we have invested billions on light rail and commuter rail, the subarea plan will direct more growth onto greenfields, polluting streams and the atmosphere. Here’s an overview of our top concerns about the proposed subarea plan revisions.